But let's not forget the play in cosplay. If you enter a competition you should always prepare as if you are going to the "show round". It is more common (at least in Norway) that a competition consists of two rounds, one catwalk with prejudgeing and a "show round". For the second round you often get to use microphones, pre recorded music, video and influence the stage lights.
The show is mainly for the audience, who might not know who you are cosplaying. The main key is to entertain no matter if someone know you character of not ;) Fandomily cosplay have written a sum up about what they think is the most interesting to see in a cospaly show when preparing, check out the post here.
So since they have covered most about the content, let us plan the rest of the show together.
You should always bring music. It is terrefying to stand on stage and everything is quiet (and you feel like 30 seconds lasts forever). If you don't have a specific plan, at least bring the themesong for your character on a memory stick.
Vi theme song, just listening to it make me feel more in-character.
But you can do way more with sound, I have written a small post about editing audio earlier. You can add dialogue, sound effects, quoted, background noice. Everything to set the mood. If you are "shadow fighting" on stage it looks way more exciting with epic music and "clink" sounds. And if you character is "lost in the wood" during a rain storm, then rain sounds and some eeire music.
The music layers in Audacity for my Adjutant performance.
Also since this post is about preparing, bring you music with you on a USB stick. Even if you have sent it to the organizers, because they might lose it or delete it by accident. One time a con started the wrong music as I was about to enter the stage, I told them it was wrong and they couldn't find the one I sent them. But ta-dah! I had a copy with me on a USB in my pocket (yes, cosplay with pockets) and it worked out. Be prepared, the ;)
Life saver ;)
Not every competition lets you use video, but it can be very helpful if you are fighting a demon to actually have a demon screaming at on screen.
And if you can't use video, maybe you can ask for a background photo. If you character lives in the jungle, add a jungle photo in the back.
I am going to write a bit more about how to edit and use video in a show in a later post, I'm just waiting for a video of my performance to be released.
Again, not everyone lets you control this, and the light technicians are ofter very busy. So keep it simple.
Some ideas could to ask if you could start your show with a dark stage and add lights when you anter, and exit on dark stage again. Or maybe ask for green light if you are in a forrest, blue light if it is supposed to be night in your act.
For NCC competition I actually made a very detailed request and we had several test runs of our shows.
Here I also listed what I needed from the crew in terms of microphones etc.
And this is what my show ended up looking like.
I didn't know we could have a video in the back, so I just asked them to put up the League of Legends logo while I was on.
Use the entire stage.
OK, we have sound and settings, now to walk on stage. Remember to use the entire stage, don't stand in the back or only stand in the middle. Move around (if possible). And exaggerate your moves and hands. People are going to be looking at you from far away, kind of over do it ;)
And practice what you are going to do on stage, don't just wing it ;) This makes you look more in controll and you won't have "slow" parts when nothing happens. And move around.
The NCC competition is so far the best example for large and extensive shows, So here's the entire show from 2014, and you can see how the contestants use lights, music, videos and props :D
I was a judge during this competition, easy job right? (No)
And yes, not all competitions require all of this, but do not overlook the play part, it makes your costume come to life. And it is very entertaining to watch.
I hope this helped a bit too ^_^