Cosplay has been a very big part of my life for the past ten years. Since my passion has become more serious in the past few years, questions of my dedication to cosplay have risen – Why am I doing this? What is cosplay doing for me? Of course, cosplay is very fun, but I think there’s more to it than that. This last year, at Sakura Con, I conducted a panel called Need Input!: A Panel for Cosplay Research. I hosted a Q&A style panel that asked cosplayers deep questions about their cosplay passions, and their responses blew me away. Now on tour at conventions on the the east coast, Need Input continues to gain ground and knowledge about the will and the way of cosplay for hundreds of people. I became so committed to this mission of learning why people cosplay that I have now invested an academic agenda and wish to pursue a Masters degree in Cosplay Studies. Cosplay isn’t just costuming – it’s culture, community, inner dialogue and personal growth. It’s learning new skills, building self-esteem, and learning to think on the spot. It has become one of the newest and hottest pop culture trends and it’s taking over conventions. This is a performance art revolution, and I’m committed to researching and discovering the will and the way of Cosplay. FOR SCIENCE!
On this page, I will be posting my audio files and my transcripts from conventions where the Need Input panel has been hosted so you can get a real feel for what happens at my panel and what kind of research I’m doing. I’ve also conducted surveys to collect statistical data to get demographics for the typical cosplayer and once my statistics have been allocated, those will be posted too! In case my panel doesn’t get approved, I’ve recently thought of the idea of doing walk-around mini audio interviews where I run with a question for little while, ask a few people, and then change the topic and ask a few more people. These will also be posted in audio format and transcribed. It’s all in the pursuit of field research and discovering the reasons behind why people cosplay!
Below we have transcripts of Need Inputs that have been conducted and audio snipits of dialogue from the panels!
Panel Transcript SakuraCon 2013 – Sakura Con 2013 works as the launch pad for the first ever Need Input panel. This round explores diversity in the cosplay community, love for cosplaying villains, dressing up as animals, and the true social profit of cosplay.
Panel Transcript SakuraCon 2014 (Coming Soon) – Back at Sakura Con after moving to New York with more organization and structure, Need Input looks into gender stereotypes in cosplay, professional cosplayers, ‘Cosplay is Not Consent’, and being an older cosplayer in a perpetually youthful convention setting. Also, Katelyn’s eternal love for the high caffeine beverage, BAWLS.
Panel Transcript AnimeNext 2014 (Coming Soon) – In New Jersey for AnimeNEXT, Need Input is set in an at-capacity room with some of the best audience contributions to date. This session explores what cosplayers look for when they pick characters, what cosplayers actually learn on the path to becoming a character. and the biggest struggles they face in finishing their cosplays.
Panel Transcript Wizard World Nashville 2014 (Coming Soon) – Working on a mini-tour with Wizard World, Need Input journeys to Nashville to explore cosplaying as a family, breaking down what it means to be a part of the cosplay community and what embarrasses or annoys people in the cosplay/convention community.
Panel Transcript Wizard World Portland 2015 (Coming Soon) – Back in Oregon for a week, Need Input makes a second appearance at Wizard World, and the attendees are not shy to bring forward ideas about what they have learned and the inner strengths that have discovered as a result of cosplay.