So this year I decided to cosplay, which is why I've been making a Korra cosplay this whole time. I thought it would be a bit more fun - an excuse to meet other cosplayers, and I might even get some photos.
I wasn't prepared for how much better it would be.
In the days leading up to the event, the Cosplay New Zealand Facebook group was on fire. Photos of people making last minute adjustments to cosplays, and some people just starting. Questions abounded, and advice was there seconds later. I loved sitting on the sidelines (so to speak) and offering encouragement and support. Every other comment was, "I can't wait to meet you"!
I woke up quite early (6:30? 7:00? Early for me, anyway) and laid everything out. I was ready to go out in public as Korra! I wasn't nervous though. All I've heard from the cosplay community are the positive messages from the Facebook group, so I put everything on and left the house like I was going to a friend's brunch party.
I only hit traffic once I got to the main road heading to the showgrounds. I was feeling a tiny bit self concious at this point - Korra's distinctive hair ornaments were waving in the breeze from my open window. I started seeing cosplayers though - droves of them, walking along the street. My spirits rose, and I waved out the window as Korra with Sunglasses.
Walking through the gates, all I could see were cosplayers. My jaw was dragging on the ground as I slowly made my way to the main entrance. I didn't know how to handle so much amazing in one place.
For some reason, for the past few Armageddons, this feeling had been lost. Something was different this time, but I don't think it was just the fact that I was dressed up. Maybe seeing all the other cosplayers, and noticing all the hard work they all put in to their outfits, maybe this is the sense of awe I could practically taste.
I started off by wandering around the jam-packed halls. Every now and then I caught a passing "Korra!", "That's Avatar Korra!", or sometimes "Katara!". Very soon I realised it would be impractical to walk through such a crowded area (there were over 120,000 attendees on Saturday) so I retreated to the foyer. I then ran into an old high school friend who won Dunedin's Best in Show - Courtney of Kayoss Cosplay. She was there with a Jinx with an amazing Fishbones prop, and a Demon Six tails from Naruto. I merged with the group and we became a very strange mash-up. From there we could barely walk a few feet without being asked for photos!
Saturday ended with a fantastic Avatar group and a hilarious cosplay parade. Ty Lee (Elishia) welcomed me with open arms (quite literally) and I was officially inducted into the world of cosplay.
|Photo credit: Mustafa Qureshi|
Somehow struggling to get out of bed at 7:30, I ran through the motions of becoming Korra. This time I didn't forget my armband. Did I mention that?
We got an excellent photo at the Hobbiton set. The rest of the photos I took were so lacking compared to the casual snapshot from the attendee of the stall.
Monday was competition day, and by this point I was actually getting nervous. Seeing the calibre of the other cosplays was completely blowing me away - but I stuck to my guns and attended the call time regardless.
Our 11:30 slot contained an Ursula, Gamora, Stargate Serpent Guard, and a few other awesome cosplayers. Everyone was so supportive - by the end of the judging session, my nerves were completely gone. How could you be scared when you're performing in front of people who are rooting for you?
We had time to kill before the public display of the competitors on stage, so Six Tails, Jinx, and a Bucky Barnes we roped in slowly made our way to the V 360 photo set. It took us about 15 minutes there and 10 back, even though it was about 20 metres away. So many photos, so many wonderful people.
After the group competition shot, all 39 contestants/groups made their gradual way to the main stage, where we got to watch the SFX competition (which Courtney was competing in).
Since it's still the day of the competition, I haven't found any photos of the display yet. I'm happy to say Korra was a resounding success with the crowd, but not so for the competition as a whole. I'm so very proud of the contestants who won prizes, however. The Gamora from my call slot won a technical award with her very first go at making armour, and a Link who had a real Ocarina (and played it, too), busted out a hilarious skit, even though it was her first competition. She won the novice skit prize, as well.
Courtney once again was involved (she's a busy girl), as she had won Best in Show Dunedin with her Eowyn in armour cosplay (which was stunning!). Katniss took the Trans-Tasman cup with a mind-blowing performance and a dress that revealed another dress underneath. We tried to find Courtney after the show, but doubtless she was helping her SFX model out of the amazing makeup work she did.
And then it was over.
Reluctant to leave each other, Jinx (Georga), Six Tails (Courtney, not Kayoss) all said our "farewell"s and "well done"s and "congratulations", and went our separate ways, knowing that next year will be even better, and we'll all level up our cosplays for a mind-blowing convention.