DERP (Dedicated Educated Roleplay Professionals) cosplay
Anime: Cowboy Bebop
Song: “Somebody that I Used to Know” by Gotye
Faye Valentine: The Wonderful Sonja
Spike Spiegel: The Amazing Lathan
Julia: Me (Malorie Brooke)
Nerd: A Life Cycle
I have been a nerd my entire life. More than that, I have been excessively proud of my status as a female gamer, sci-fi nut, lover of anime, internet meme aficionado, etc. My experience with the “nerd” community has always been (sadly) limited until recently. I spent a lot of my childhood being made fun of for liking X-Men more than chasing boys on the playground, or for playing NES every night after dinner instead of playing doorbell ditch with the other kids in the neighborhood. I didn’t fit in with the people that I was surrounded by on a regular basis, and more than that, I didn’t want to. Those experiences early on engendered an isolationist mentality with which I am sure a lot of people can relate.
Granted, as I got older I built a friend base around playing Mario Kart and sneaking beer until our eyes either bled or we lost consciousness (I am such a rebel), and college dorm life opened up a completely new level of shenanigans. I have fond memories of sitting on a giant bean bag chair for two days solid doing nothing but eating cheese sticks, drinking capri sun, and watching the entirety of Fullmetal Alchemist. Sleep is obviously for the weak, and homework was for those that had their priorities completely mixed up. Oh 2005, how glorious you were.
2005 was also the year I went to my first convention. I think in all honesty it was the first time that I had actually processed that there were even such things as conventions. And if you are going to come out from living under a rock, PAX was definitely the way to do it. I didn’t just become aware, I think I was thrust into a higher level of consciousness—these are my people. I was really presented with the reality that not only were there hundreds of people that enjoy the same things I enjoy, but that there are hundreds more that make those things happen and actually care what we have to say about it. Mind = blown. Game over—the princess has been saved.
All of this personal history has been leading up to this year’s Sakura-Con. This con was special because it was the first time I actually cosplayed. Not only that, I had the opportunity to participate in a wonderful skit in the cosplay competition thanks to my lovely friend Sonja. At 25 years old I got to ride my first cosplay high. I feel like I am a little late to the party, especially because I really am a complete amateur (l2sew jklulz), but I am happy and proud of myself for doing it. We didn’t just do it, we owned it. We got best in show to prove it.
I feel that this con in particular has been a perfect culmination of all of the experiences I have had whilst existing within this awesome cultural sphere. I had the opportunity to really enact my fandom, and to embody and welcome that mindset in a new way. And now I don’t want to stop. I want to get better, I want to be a joiner, and most of all I want to hug every single one of the attendees and staff members for doing whatever it is that they do. Making the world a better place one slightly awkward, life-long nerd at a time.