Often in life, we are faced with uncertainties, and doubt shrouds our analysing capabilities. We are faced with choices, with one choice looking too grim to chase after.  It is at this time that we need to pay a visit to our Fortress of Solitude to rethink our options.

“You need to be able to find time between studies & working on a cosplay. Apart from funds, resources also play a crucial role in the finished product.” agrees Charlotte Rodricks, a 24-year old student who cosplays for fun and goes by the name Purrin Cosplay. “My mom has always been supportive of me cosplaying. If I needed help with making props, my dad provided me with the required assistance. In fact my parents even gifted me a sewing machine as a birthday gift so I wouldn’t need to hand stitch everything by myself.” adds Charlotte. She was lucky to have her parents support her in her cosplays and even help actively.

Although, sometimes people face much more hurdles when they try to pursue their passion for cosplay. “I belong to lower middle class family. Understanding these kind of stuff is difficult for our parents.” says Gaurav Thakur, a 27-year old professional graphic designer who is as much of a professional cosplayer, though he started it as a hobby. Gaurav started out cosplaying in 2013 and Spiderman was his first cosplay. “My parents just knew Spiderman. And that is what they thought I did. Later on, when they saw my interviews and pictures in newspapers, slowly and steadily they understood what exactly I was doing.” says Gaurav with a smile. Seeing happiness on his parents’ faces does make him happy as well.

Gaurav as Spiderman

“One has to know where he or she excels and play it accordingly and I am glad to see many people come up and cosplay whatever they wish to.” advises Shareen Gracy Toppo, a 30-year old cosplayer who’s much popular with the name Gracy Chan. Gracy is a part of an NGO called Mann Global Welfare Foundation. She further says, “Initially I didn’t know anything about cosplay. When I was first introduced to the world of anime, I used to look up for my favourite characters on Google.  Then I found that there are actually people who enact their favourite characters. And soon I started following few of my favourite cosplayers mainly KANA and Reika and they are my idols still now. I have always loved all kinds of art and was pretty much good in art and craft so this indeed helped me to build my props and do make up for any cosplays I wanted to do. I even took a bold move when I decided to create my own new character which I cosplayed last year in Hyderabad Comic Con 2016. People adored Spider Queen.”

Gracy as Spider Queen

Ahmed, popular for his Groot cosplay, chips in, “Choosing cosplaying as a career is a hard job but definitely possible. I am not a professional cosplayer. I am a student. Although, I don’t know much about this, however from what I have heard, you can surely survive with what you earn. Also, you will have to travel a lot with all your cosplaying stuff. So, that’s pretty fun.”

Gaurav tries to give a reality check and tells, “Taking cosplaying as a career; still a grey area. Still very less platforms, and no one to sponsor you for all the stuff. Making a cosplay and developing needs money. Start as a hobby, and when you feel you have the contacts or the right platforms, go for it. India is still developing, but in abroad, competition is on top.” Charlotte tells, “Cosplay is for everyone! It doesn’t matter what is your body type, colour or anything else. Cosplay for the love of the character. As of now in India, there are quite a few professional cosplayers. However as a serious career choice it is still in its infant stages.”

Gaurav as Deadpool

“We are humans and we are not perfect. Be as you are and use your skills to make your cosplays better. Experience says when you teach someone you learn too so do help others and experiment as there are no rules to cosplay.” adds Gracy as we draw to a close.

Gracy as Valak

Cosplaying is great. It adds flavour and takes fervour to do that. For all the budding cosplayer around there, India is at a stage when it is still fumbling with this relatively new concept but we are learning fast. Cosplaying is slowly but steadily taking a strong grip and we can always hope that in the recent future we climb as high as foreign cosplayers do.

 

P.S. The cosplayers are the owners of the images displayed.

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