If you’re new to cosplay and you are unsure of whom to really interact with, don’t worry—because everyone starts out this way. When we are new to a certain subculture or community, it’s natural to feel shy. Fret not however for here are some helpful tips to easily break the ice and instantly make friends with fellow cosplayers.
Step 1 – Join an Event or Convention
Some of the best places to find cosplayers in your area are, of course, the venues of cosplay events and hobby conventions. Aside from the usual booths, panels, and items that are on sale, cosplay is one of the primary highlights of such events. You can start from there. It may be awkward at first but once you have the confidence to approach the cosplayer then you’ll be just fine.
Step 2 – Compliment Other Cosplayers; Introduce Yourself
To some this might be hard to do but fulfilling in the end as long as you made the right approach. If a person accurately cosplayed your favorite character and you want to have a picture with him or her, ask permission before taking his/her picture with you. If you really want to interact more with the person, you can introduce yourself. Say your name, shake hands with the person, and ask some very easy yet non-personal questions. The most non-personal questions you can ask would be anything about their favorite anime, manga, video game, or any particular fandom that he/she appreciates.
Here are some things that you shouldn’t do to a cosplayer:
- Don’t even try to make any form of physical contact that may be deemed inappropriate. (E.g., don’t try to hug the cosplayer!) Always remember to appreciate personal space and privacy of the individual. Though this applies in fiction (like in anime), it doesn’t mean that it can be applied in real life. Remember that cosplay is not consent.
- Do not ask very personal questions or try to fish sensitive information from the cosplayer. Keep in mind that these individuals are just portraying fictional characters, which—in all probability—might have radically different personalities from that of the cosplayers. Remember to respect the private life of the individual.
- Ask him or her to do something very inappropriate (E.g., asking the cosplayer to do a provocative pose). It is a sad reality that there are some individuals who ask—and even demand!—cosplayers to do something that borders on the indecent like kissing, groping, and yes, even doing sexy poses. They are people too so don’t do anything brash.
Step 3 – Keep in Touch
This might not be hard to pull off especially if it’s your first time meeting up with the cosplayer in question but it’s alright; take it as slow. You can’t always be friends to every cosplayer you meet. You can hand out a card that has your personal contact details (e.g. Facebook account, email, etc. However, keep in mind that giving out personal contact numbers is discouraged). Some cosplayers hand out “coscards” or cosplay cards that contains links or contact details of themselves with of course one of their best cosplay photographs as the background.