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Ask Ani-Mia: Motivation, Power Rangers, and Panels

This week's advice covers cosplay motivation during quarantine, Power Rangers, and more!
Ask Ani-Mia
Ani-Mia

Hey there cosplayers and cosplay enthusiasts. Welcome to Ask Ani-Mia, a running advice column where you can ask questions on any topic that may be cosplay related and get an answer. Hopefully my years of cosplay experience can help shed some light on questions you may have been dying to ask but for some reason or another haven’t. So let’s get started.

Dear Ani-Mia, Having to stay inside during quarantine has made me lose motivation to make cosplays anymore. How do I help get my motivation back? – Lindsay T.

I’ve been hearing this sentiment from a lot of cosplayers. It’s a tough time for a lot of people and there’s a lot of stress, which can make it difficult to find the same enjoyment you got from the things you usually enjoy. That is completely normal.

What we all have right now is a lot of time at home with access to tv, movies, web series, video games, online comics and books. Take some time to sit back and relax and enjoy some of the things that might just inspire you. Sometimes it just takes the right character to cross our path to bring the passion of cosplay back. I’ve also found myself looking at other people’s cosplays online a lot more lately now that I have more time, and it’s been really inspiring me to get out of any creative ruts.

But also, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Remember that we are all going through so much right now and it’s ok to feel the way you do. It will get better.

Hi Ani-Mia, I want to make a Power Rangers cosplay but I don’t know where to get supplies or helmets can you help? – Matt J.

What’s great about cosplaying as a Power Ranger, is that there are a variety of resources for costumes and pieces from every season due to its dedicated fanbase. There are many commissioners that can easily handle the bodysuit but making them yourself can range from easy to difficult based on the complexity of that series’ bodysuit details. If you decide to go with creating your own, make sure to look for 4-way stretch spandex. This can be difficult to find in stores sometimes and especially in specific colors, so try online resources like spandexhouse.com or spandexworld.com.

I was able to find boots for my Power Ranger cosplay through eBay, just make sure to check the reviews and ratings for each seller and since most sellers will be overseas, anticipate longer shipping times. Helmets can be a bit trickier. The majority of sellers will be outside the US and there is often a long production time as many sellers make helmets to order and have long wait lists.

My biggest tip is to join Rangerboard.com, a fantastic website for everything Power Rangers and has resources for costumes as well as a way to connect with other cosplayers and commissioners. There you can find people who can point you towards places to source belts, gloves and other accessories or how to create them yourself.

Dear Ani-Mia, I’ve always wanted to host a panel at a convention but I’m not sure how to start. Is there anything I have to do in order to get my panel approved?

Panel hosting at a convention is a large responsibility but is also very fulfilling and fun. There’s no better opportunity to share your knowledge of cosplay subjects than putting together educational programing for convention attendees.

First step, pick your topic. Try to find a niche cosplay topic that you can fill a 30-50 minute segment of time discussing. I say niche because generic cosplay panels, ie. Cosplay for Beginners, are the most offered cosplay panel topics and you will have a better chance of having a panel accepted if it is something unique and innovative.

Assemble your team. While putting on a panel solo can be done, most panels tend to flow better with multiple participants. I’ve found between 3-4 people total on a panel to be the most effective, giving the opportunity for multiple different perspectives but not having too many people that letting everyone speak takes too long or becomes repetitive.

Create your outline and write your questions/topics. Plan out how you want the panel to flow from topic to topic, much like writing a formal paper in school. Think of some questions in advance that you can ask the other panelists to move the conversation to new discussion points. Finally, leave some time at the end of the panel to open up the floor to questions from the audience; but also be prepared to jump in and fill that time if no one has any questions.

Bottom line, keep the panel fun, informative and flowing.

Write up a brief panel description much like you’d see in the convention program guide, a bit more in-depth explanation of the panel and topics that will be covered and a brief outline of the entire panel format. Find the appropriate contact information on convention websites and submit your panel with all this information.

Just remember, if you don’t get accepted the first time, don’t give up. Conventions get a lot of submissions for panels and there are limited slots available. Just keep trying.

If you have a question that you’d like to have answered, feel free to send it to askanimia@gmail.com. Make sure to include your first name and last initial or let us know if you’d like to mark the question as “From Anonymous”

About the Author

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Ani-Mia

Contributor

Ani-Mia has been cosplaying since 2008 and her love for video games, comic books and anime are reflected in her wide variety of cosplay costumes. She has been a cosplay guest at over 150 conventions across the globe as well as judged championship cosplay contests, appeared in both online and print magazines as well as television appearances. She’s also the Cosplay Writer for Otaku USA Magazine, the premiere print magazine about anime and manga in the United States, and an official video host for PreviewsWorld catalog and Sapphire Studios.

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