It’s been a couple of months since I competed in the Western Championships of Cosplay and I haven’t had any time to debrief because I’ve been heads down on creating more cosplays and then going out of the country on a much needed vacation. Now that I’m back and finally over jet-lag my brain is starting to fully process the enormity of what happened in March.
Wow. Just wow.
Competing at Emerald City Comic Con had been on my list of to-do items for years. I wanted to do it “someday” and thought that maybe I would get a chance when I was older or good enough…or just, someday in general. When I applied to compete I barely thought I would get in. I knew that this was one of the most prestigious cosplay competitions and they were very picky about who they let compete. I had no idea whether I would even be allowed to walk.
When I received my invitation I literally stood up on my bed crying. I honestly couldn’t believe it. I WAS GOING TO COMPETE AGAINST THE BEST. It also meant that I needed to get started immediately on building out my cosplay to match my vision for competing. I had already rebuilt it twice and had a month and a half after receiving my invitation to build on what I already had. To be honestly I didn’t really build on it. I pulled that cosplay apart and down to its core and built it anew. For the third time.
Looking back I COULD NOT be happier with how the cosplay turned out. To be absolutely honest I tear up when I think of how perfect that night was. The adrenaline, the crowd of 2,000+ people chanting “Rufio! Rufio! Rufio!” I honestly don’t know how I will ever top that experience for the rest of my life. Knowing that people connected with a character as deeply as I do is just such an incredible feeling.
I do hope that I can compete again next year although I don’t know which character I’m going to bring to life for the stage. There is still so little representation of POC cosplayers in these arenas that my hope is that by competing I can inspire others who feel like they aren’t “worthy” to apply to try and pursue their dream. I did. And despite every little insecurity that whispered I wouldn’t make it, I did.
In case you missed the show: https://www.syfy.com/videos/the-western-championships-of-cosplay-eccc-2019