Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Fangirl Experience: Animazement!

Animazement is a four day long fan convention in Raleigh, North Carolina. This year, between Thursday and Sunday, there were over 14,000 people in attendance, and I was lucky enough to be one of them! During the convention there are panels, showings of movies and anime, autographs, cosplay, photo-shoots and in-character performances.

This year was my second time to Animazement and my third convention overall, so I mostly knew what to expect and how to prepare. I packed enough snacks to feed an army, a portable battery charger, and even band-aids; but nothing in the world could have prepared me for what was about to happen… I had to learn how to sew.

Cosplay (Featuring: Molly's poor sewing skills)

It was Tuesday, the week of the convention. Since I had gone to a con in Winston-Salem earlier this year I already had a full Batgirl cosplay almost completely ready to go (minus some spray painting and helmet repairs), so instead of being content with my really kickin’ Batgirl cosplay (fandom: DC Comics) like any rational person would be, I decided to conquer an entirely different cosplay in the three weeks before the con (go big or go home, right?) So on this fateful Tuesday, I sat up well into the witching hour ripping the bad seams out of the dress for my Toriel cosplay (fandom: Undertale).

Luckily, with a lot of work to do and only a little bit of time, my mom came to the rescue, and after I completely took my dress apart, she redid the entire bodice for me. With my mom handling the dress, I could focus on the finishing touches, and things finally fell into place.


Thursday evening, I packed my bags and loaded my cosplays and stage make-up into my car and headed to my friend Ashley’s house to stay for the weekend. After work, I headed to the convention center to meet a friend who was waiting in line for tickets. The line was out the door and wrapped literally the entire way around the convention center. An hour or two and an entire bag of gummy bears later, we were in the convention center. Thursday was just a pre-convention day, so we met up with our friends inside, got our maps, and departed to Ashley’s house. There, we met up with her friends from Michigan and ate a few cinnamon twists before leaving again for a late night Walmart run. Six girls piled into Ashley’s SUV and we sped off, singing K-Pop into the night. Around Midnight we all finally settled into bed, with visions of mochi dancing in our heads.


Friday morning we woke up around 5:30 to put scales on our faces and wing out our eyeliner. The thing about Cosplay is that it’s a lot like being on stage. You need strong features that can show up on camera, and you can literally be transforming your face into something completely different and unrecognizable (usually using latex or heavier formulas of stage makeup and various contour techniques). Seven A.M. rolled around and we all put our wigs and armor on and set out on our grand and very nerdy adventure.
(Left to right: Ari, Molly (Me), Jacey, Ashley, Laura, Margaret, and Kristin)
After a quick stop for breakfast, we got to the convention center. Our big activity of the day was a tea party with cosplayers from Ouran High School Host Club, an anime we had all seen. They served us tea and snacks in character, then preformed small skits. After that, we grabbed a large pizza and headed back so I could make it for the D.C. comics photoshoot.
(Note: The Joker being totally in character and looking at me like he’s going shoot me in the stomach. Again.)
Later, we had a little fun with the advantages of catwalks in the convention center…

...and met some of my favorite heroes...

(From left to right: Definitely not a Hydra agent, Cutest Batgirl in all of Gotham a.k.a. Barbara Gordon)
(This Batman is really nice, and we're kind of friends now, not to brag.)
…then took a little nap.

(Pictured here: Ari.)
...and after our last panel, it was pushing two A.M. So following almost 22 hours of being awake and probably about 20 hours of being in cosplay, we all finally crashed back at Ashley’s house.

(Picture from MTV's Teen Wolf)


Saturday morning we made the unanimous decision to sleep in until around nine. Once everyone got rolling, it took a lot less time to get into cosplay. Mine had a lot less armor on Saturday because it was actually just a dress and tights. My cosplay for Saturday day was Toriel from Undertale (This was the dress I had been working on that my mom had to reconstruct), and it was a very fun cosplay to create and to wear out. The original character design for Toriel is 8-bit so there's a lot of creative freedoms you can take with the cosplay. I designed a shorter dress with a petticoat and flowing sleeves. I also decided against face-paint and opted for white tights and white shoes. My make-up was fun as well; I created a doe-like eye and painted my cheeks with some white freckles. Once I added a wig and flower crown, I was ready to roll. Here we all are heading out.

(Left to right: Kristin, Jacey, Margaret, Ashley, and Molly (Me))
Saturday’s convention day was a lot more shopping and panel-going until the performances that
night. Saturday is always the busiest day by far. We did the best we could to find time for pictures...

...a coffee break…

(Featuring my grumpy sheep plushie)
And lots of selfies…

And after the performances (which have been immortalized here: x), the rest of the gang headed back to Ashley’s, and I went back home to my own bed.

The weekend, as a whole, was wonderful! I got to meet new friends, geek out with the old, and play dress up for two days straight! It was hot and tiring, and those of us that weren’t covered head to toe got sunburn, but the fangirl experience can’t all be roses. It takes thick skin (plus some sunscreen and Ibuprofen). Next year can’t come soon enough!

What’s your essential for con survival? Have you ever cosplayed? I want to know! Let’s talk!

This post brought to you by six cups of coffee to make up for the sleep I STILL haven’t caught up on.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like it was a lot of fun! I love going to conventions I've been to a lot myself including DragonCon, MegaCon, and MomoCon, and I've cosplayed at them all. Safety pins are definitely a must in case something decides to detach when you least expect it.