Stubbled Grapes: MCM May 2013

The May MCM Expo just gone – or I suppose we should call it MCM Comic Con now – was my 8th time at Expo, so I feel somewhat like a seasoned Expo-goer. That said, things are always changing and there’s always new things to see or take part in, and of course, the cosplays always change! This year I was determined to find a nice split of time between being a photographer and wearing cosplays, something I failed to manage last year.

Friday was a nice quiet day as always. I had only one photoshoot to do for a friend, and spent the rest of the time looking around the stalls in the main hall. I love Fridays for that reason, if you’ve never been able to attend on a Friday I would really try to make the effort one year. They’re much quieter than either Saturday or Sunday, but there are still plenty of people around to chat to. You can easily move around inside the hall, and perhaps scout out some of the stalls you may want to visit later. It’s definitely a good day to learn where things are, so you can more quickly weave your way through the crowds on Saturday!

Saturday is of course a much busier and more involved day. Throughout the morning I had various photoshoots lined up. Tip: If you have organised a photoshoot with a photographer, and you’re going to be late, please let them know. If you can no longer make it, then let them know. It’s not fun to be left standing around waiting for someone to turn up, with no idea if they’re actually coming or not. Anyway, I digress, just, please, we have a lot to thank photographers for. Don’t take them for granted!
After the photoshoots I got changed into my main cosplay of the day, which was Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII, something I’ve worn several times before, but I always feel so comfortable in it. I had a small photoshoot with some friends, and then had to rush off to be judged for the masquerade!

[Caption: Me as Lightning. Photo by I-Drew Cosplay]

Another tip, make sure you know where to line up for the masquerade. Come about 4 o’clock, I was wandering around the hall lost, having no idea where or when we were supposed to meet. Whether it was my fault or not, make sure to ask during the morning before the masquerade rush.
I’d advise anyone thinking about it to go for the masquerade. Stood in the queue I was doubting why I’d even signed up for it, seeing all the amazing cosplays around me I knew I couldn’t win. But, I spent the time chatting to people backstage (great place to meet fellow cosplayers, just get chatty!). I was nervous before I got on stage, but once I was up there I heard my friends cheering for me, which was a great boost. Then all the cameras started flashing. And suddenly all the attention is on you. As long as you’re prepared, this is a great moment. This is what it’s for. You get to show off your cosplay and all the hard work you put into it. Strut a few poses on the stage and forget about winning. I came off stage and felt so glad I’d done it, whether I won or not! I found someone I knew offstage, and continued watching the rest of the masquerade with them. I cheered when my friend won the group performance, when the girl who came after me won the parade award, and when the girlfriend of a good friend won the Eurocosplay place and indeed for everyone who won something! I didn’t care that I hadn’t won anything. It’d been great fun just being on the stage!

Sunday was a little bit more chilled. This time I was cosplaying as Rosa from Final Fantasy IV. We had a large Final Fantasy group photoshoot in the morning, but unfortunately our photographer didn’t turn up, so someone else and I stepped in to take the photos instead. It was a great opportunity to chat with new people, some of whom were convinced to join our massive Final Fantasy cosplay group. I spent the rest of the day in and out of the hall and having another small photoshoot with friends.

[Caption: The Big FF shoot!]

I’ll admit, before Expo Comic Con I was having a stressful week trying to finish Rosa. I didn’t want to wear it. I didn’t even want to attend, but since it was already all paid for, I went anyway. And I’m glad I did. It only gave me a partial inspiration to carry on, but a couple of days afterwards I wanted to dive right into my next lot of cosplays to make. And this writing this blog has made me realise just how good a weekend it was, if only I’d been willing to see that at the time. But perhaps that’s a blog post for another time.

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