Aka: A Public Relations Guide for Surviving Heroes of Cosplay
So, Heroes of Cosplay is coming to Ottawa. Regardless of how individuals feel about that, it’s happening.
I won’t lie, I do hope I get to meet Yaya, if only to talk construction and so forth with her. The problem is, while I have no problem with the ‘heroes’, I really don’t want to come across as ‘that giant amazon-canadiian-kaiju b*tch’ and have it affect my Cons from now until I’m forgotten. So, like, a week.
The short story of how I met Melting Mirror all those years ago, is that we were in Journalism together. Although I transferred into IT two years in, we covered the general ‘how to talk to people on camera’ in class.
I never really thought it’d come in handy in Cosplay, but the universe works in strange and mysterious ways. As a result, I thought I’d share tips for those Cosplayers who don’t want to miss out on a Con, or a Masquerade, but also don’t want to risk being ‘that [adjecting/descriptor] b*tch from Canada’ on season 2 of Heroes of Cosplay.
1. Be friendly, pull a funny face, or pretend they’re not there
The camera crew will be walking around the con to film background shots. You can smile and wave, or ignore them. If you have a bitchy resting face (BRF) and don’t want to be seen as scowling you can always focus on smiling all day. But if you feel like rocking that BRF, do it. Scowl away, you crazy grumpycat.
2. You don’t have to answer any questions and you can choose the ones you do
This is especially for Masquerade entrants! Some questions may be about your costume, and rock on for you! Be proud and show that shiz off on TV. BUT.
Some questions, are verbal mines, waiting for the unwary to step on them and then ka-boom. Drama llamas everywhere. (mixed metaphors, whatevs). If you feel like a question is loaded, or dangerous to answer, just smile sweetly and either say ‘oh I’d rather not talk about that’ or ‘I’m sorry, I have to go’ then go sit with someone. (it doens’t matter if you know them, that’s how you make friends!)
Questions to watch out for are:
“Who do you think is better? [option a] or [option b]”
“Are you upset that the heroes are here?”
“What did you think of the results?”
“Who do you think will win?”
“how does it feel to be the hottest one here?” “Maybe you should interview someone else.”
And/or any of the usual awkward/sexist shit like the actual-for-real quote above. James Park took this photo at the exact moment of my ‘ugh’ reaction. Interviewers that ask these questions are looking for soundbites to play against something the heroes say/do by splicing your answer in to a different sequence.
Don’t give them anything that could be seen as anything but positive.
3. Be overly Canadian, but not a pushover
I’m not talking about plaid and beavers, but our stereotype of polite, friendly, and kind. Say ‘no, thank you’, rather than ‘no’. Smile even when you say no, but be firm. No means no, to dates and to cameras.
If they follow you, just pull out a book and read. Be boring, be polite, and they’ll move on.
4. It’s okay to have personal space
If the camera crew is constantly in your personal space, or if they ever happen to make you feel uncomfortable, ask them to ‘please’ leave you alone. If they don’t, find a staff member or security and explain the situation. Cons have harassment policies, and it applies to EVERYONE.
Even dudes with cameras.
Here’s the deal, Pop Expo is bilingual. Heroes of Cosplay is not. It might be tempting to grumble in french so that the camera men and Heroes can’t hear you, but if they hire a translator, you can bet that if you say something awful, it’s going to show up on the show.
Treat any interaction near a camera as if the people behind it know what you’re saying.
6. Have Fun!
It’s your Con after all, enjoy it. The Canadian Cosplay scene deserves a spotlight, we’re awesome and our masquerades focus on craftsmanship. If you want to compete, do it.
There’s still going to be the skill levels as far as I’m aware, so if you’re a Novice, Journeyman or Artisan, go all out and show of your awesome work.
I’ll be cheering you on from my Artist table.