Halloween is generally the only accepted day for the public to dress up in costumes, but why? That’s the question asked by those in the cosplay community. Cosplay, short for costume play, is a hobby that brings together pop culture fans who enjoy creating and wearing the signature outfits of their favorite characters from movies, video games, anime, comic books, and more.
Full Sail students banded together in November 2013 to launch their own Cosplay Club, and have since gathered for a number of events on campus and in the community. The group is sponsored by Gertie Williams, Associate Course Director for our Psychology class, with Creative Writing for Entertainment student Indica Mobley as club president. The organization held their first meeting in January, and now includes over 30 members from various degree programs.
From left: David Mowl, Indica Mobley, Yvana Barrett, Elizabeth Martinez Aviles, Sabrina Henle
“It was something I had in mind for awhile and posted about it [on our student website], just to see if there was anyone else who cosplayed,” Indica says. “I started out just to make more friends, but then I got a lot more people respond to my post than I expected and a couple of them said we should start a club.”
In addition to their monthly meetings, these cosplayers have also been active with outside events – with a recent trip to Orlando’s Megacon, as well as future appearances planned at other events like Spooky Empire’s May-Hem.
“We’ve also done photo shoots and are planning a few other things around town,” Indica says. “We’ve had a crafting day where we all get together and work on our costumes, and are also work on some fundraisers. We’re also planning an event at A Comic Shop within the next couple months.”
Indica understands that cosplay might seem intimidating for newcomers because of the sewing and crafting involved in constructing a costume from scratch. Part of their efforts are working to recruit more members, those who might be interested in the the hobby but don’t quite know where to begin.
“You have to find a character you want to cosplay, that’s the most important step,” she says “Then you have to get all the materials. There’s a lot of places you can go online to help you, like Cosplay.com. Their forums are really helpful.”
“Cosplay can be expensive, but there’s ways around that too. I never buy fabric unless it’s on sale or I have a coupon. I also do a lot of thrift store shopping. Then with the actual sewing, I can barely get a sewing machine to work and I’m still able to do this, so I think anyone could try it.”