Being in character when you cosplay

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#1 Brutal on 8 months ago

How many of you are "in character" when you cosplay? Is it expected to be in character when you cosplay? Do you think other cosplayers should be in character when they cosplay? I'm also looking for any tips on how to be in character because personally I find it difficult.

#2 Maurishio-kun on 8 months ago

#3 Brutal on 8 months ago

#4 Asmaria on 8 months ago

I wouldn't say I'm always in character. I'm me, I go to a con to experience it as me, with friends. BUT, in pictures, or goofing off, definitely I try to emulate my character. Hanging out with others in costume is a bit like LARPing-lite, if you think about it. Some people may just wear the costume but a lot of us joke toward each other as our characters might speak, or we have rehearsed poses and gestures and mannerisms so that when we are caught in candid photos or just turn to take a photo, the reaction becomes natural and we have less uncanny looking pictures.

There are some characters I really connect with easily, and others I find I have a hard time figuring out how to act like. But either way, I'm really only doing it maybe 25% of the time? I don't even know if that's a good figure. I know the line between me and my character so I'm not going to answer a regular person or question as my character, but if I'm dressed as say, Lina Inverse, and someone says 'hey, who wants to order a pizza?', then heck yeah I'm gonna perk up a little bit more eagerly than I normally do and be like 'AW YEAH FOOD! 8D' for a little humor.

It's only weird if people do it constantly.

As for tips, study your character. The way they stand, the quirks of their expressions, the way hold things or fidget or get impatient, etc. And if you have trouble imagining what they do or how they think about things, I suggest trying to write them. Fanfic or RP is pretty fun to begin with, but on a meta level I think it helps us understand character motivations, and that is good for acting.

#5 Chiagirl on 8 months ago

I don't usually RP my character much but I think cosplayers who are in character tend to make the experience much more memorable and that generally causes me to think more highly of their costume overall. Especially when they can match the voice dead on; a few years back I went to a con where this guy did a PERFECT impersonation of Pegasus from Yugioh, and it still makes me smile to this day just thinking about it.

#6 Angelx624 on 8 months ago

Only when I'm cosplaying in a group will I be in character most of the time. Or when I'm cosplaying a Disney character and kids come up to me. Being in character is a MUST when kids come up to you! ^^

#7 EXEC_HYMME_MACARON on 8 months ago

The 'rule' is pretty simple.

Be in character if you want to be in character. Don't be in character if you don't want to be in character. There's no expectation or rule that you need to be in character all the time, or heck, even at all.

#8 CapsuleCorp on 8 months ago

Nope nope and nope. Never have, never will. Until someone wants to pay me to be a face character, I won't bother. I'm not the character and I don't want to play pretend.

If you want to, fine, but keep several things in mind: most people don't act in character so continuing to act when other people are obviously uncomfortable or not responding is extremely off-putting. You look like an overinvested weirdo if you don't know where to draw the line. Know your audience, and KNOW WHEN TO STOP. If you're bad at reading body language or other social cues, give some thought to when to act and when to stop - e.g., save it for photoshoots or interactions with other cosplayers who are also really into it, in-character panels (if those haven't been outright banned from every convention), or events where you've gotten permission. Spontaneous character interactions work well for people who have had improv training, but if you can't learn improv, scripted interactions (panels or skit contests) work better for those who have time to practice.

A lot of cosplayers at photoshoots usually do little in-character quips or show references with each other, but don't mistake it for full-on acting. It can be fun in small doses but trying to not be yourself all day can be exhausting. Take a moment to watch other cosplayers going about their day, notice what the prevailing trend or habit is, and if it doesn't look like anyone else is ever doing any RPing, then don't. If you really want to scratch that itch and a skit contest isn't enough, consider picking up LARPing.

#9 creativecrater on 8 months ago

I don't necessarily have advise... but as for me, I did theatre for quite a while and it just comes naturally for me to channel characters or personalities. I don't necessarily try to be the character. But I notice that I am more outgoing and mischievous when I am cosplaying Hikaru Hitachiin (like, joining a random dance group or photobombing) or that I stand up straighter with my chest puffed up a little and feel very sexy and confident as Black Canary or that I am kinda clingy to my husband when I'm cosplaying Juvia and get a little more jealous at random people talking to him when normally it never bothers me. So while I don't roleplay the character, I do feel that their traits become more prominent in me when I cosplay them. Which I have come to embrace. So i guess that's my advise. Embrace the character. Love them and they'll bring out sides of you that you didn't know were there*.

*sidenote: don't go too crazy as a villian or thief or something though. XD

#10 gypsy_girl on 8 months ago

For me, I do both. Sometimes I'll act like the character, other times not. It depends on the character how much time I behave like them. The clothes will affect that too. If I'm wearing a lovely ball gown and nice shoes, I'm not going to be running around being silly as much.

You do what works for you.

#11 KuruttaKanashii on 8 months ago

I love being in character! But I specialize in villainesses, so it's important for me to remember not to be so in character that I look like a jerk.

#12 Zoeyromanov on 8 months ago

For me, I love trying to get into character. That said, 'try' being the operative word since I doubt I'd have it in me to be an actor xD. Some characters however are more natural then others. Look no further than the characters I'm cosplaying as this year, ones I'm quite similar to.
As for others, I don't think it's really necessary to be in character; however I do see a lot of people trying to get into character for the fun of it when I'm at a con, so it's just for fun. And I don't think it's required for others to be in character, but there are times when I've encountered people who nail it. One time I was at DTAC a few years ago, and there was one guy who I met went as Revelations Ezio from Assassin's Creed and was completely in character. I loved it, and he was really nice.
If you're looking for tips on how to be in character, I guess a place to start would be to look at what your character does best -- do they have a signature pose that anyone can recognize, or one that the character simply isn't 'whole' without? Does your character have symbols or a feature that makes them unique? For example, Zuzu Boyle from Yugioh ARC-V has a flower/music aesthetic, with the music note on her school uniform giving it away. Maybe you also have a similar personality to the character you're doing, like I am right now.

#13 loz64 on 8 months ago

I can't do it. One of my cosplays is Ganondorf who is a serious and evil character, but I'm always naturally giggling and smiling so I fail as a warlord! Even in photos I can't quite pull off the sinister look.

I've got a cosplay coming up of Princess Yoko from Bravely Second who uses the royal "we" in conversation, so I'll probably have some fun with that.

#14 KuruttaKanashii on 8 months ago

Going completely the other direction can be fun too! A giggly Ganondorf sounds like a lot of fun. I'm dressing my brother up as Darth Maul later this year and you can bet I'm going to get tons of photos of him doing normal things. And it will be hilarious. Seriously. Try to imagine Darth Maul eating cup noodles.

#15 Syon on 7 months ago

I'm almost never incharacter. Not because I'm a bad roleplayer or because I would think of roleplay itself as silly (I've been participating in roleplay in MMOs for around 8 years and I'm doing quite well). But I'm also a really shy person and can't shake that off, even when in costume (or even more, because I'm such a critic towards my own work...) and my previous roleplay experiance kind of shaped my enjoyment aswell. I enjoy roleplay that fits and is complex, played with people that know whats up and gave their consent, not the random kind that may happen at a convention.