Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Life as a Villain of Cosplay

Tonight, I make my TV debut.  Sadly, it is not as a candidate for office, an attorney with a high profile case, or even as a businesswoman explaining the importance of high quality shoes.  No, I get to grace the small screen as a reality show villain on "Heroes of Cosplay." (Syfy, 10 Eastern)
For the uninitiated, "cosplay" is the act of dressing up as one's favorite characters from anime, comics, movies, or television shows.  This generally happens at themed conventions, and most of these conventions have masquerades or contests to showcase the best costumes of the convention.  A few cosplayers have been able to leverage winning at these conventions into internet fame, and from there into their own businesses and careers as costume judges and corporate modeling.
"Heroes of Cosplay" follows one of the most famous, Yaya Han, and a group of her friends as they attend five different conventions.  They planned to show six conventions over the six episodes, but only five would agree to filming, leaving Planet Comicon in Kansas City to pick up two episodes.  One episode would focus on the solo competition and the second would focus on the skit-required group competition (made up from whole cloth by the tv show).  It's worth noting that only one of these conventions -- Anime Matsuri in Houston TX -- had any noteworthy cosplay competition or prizes before agreeing to allow filming.  For example, Planet Comicon gave out approximately $300 in 2012.  The show subsidized the approximately $5000 handed out as prizes at Planet Comicon in 2013.
522395_10150709572066812_98865962_n
Here's where I come in.  Last year, my sister talked me into attending Planet Comicon 2012.  With about $50 (most of it spent on the hat!), we created a Fifth Doctor (of Doctor Who) costume for me to coordinate with my sister's Fourth Doctor costume and her K-9 robot dog.  We made the minor mistake of standing in front of the convention's TARDIS, where the throngs of other attendees kept us posing for pictures for a couple hours.  While there, we met two girls cosplaying as the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors.  The four of us decided to be one of the entries into the group cosplay competition that day, and we joked that next year we would do all Eleven Doctors.  

533810_905474410529_657777314_n
After a thousand hours or so of sewing, crocheting, and fabricating (and what felt like just as many hours of networking to find other women the right size), we were able to form our group.  My sister created velvet frock coats, satin vests, cravats, a question-mark umbrella handle, and my magnificent Eighteenth Century ballgown done in the colors of the Sixth Doctor's outlandish costume.  We arrived at the convention and went to sign up for the masquerade, only to discover that not only were we required to agree to be on the show, but also that we had to do a skit.  In speaking to other entrants, we realized that no one had been aware of this requirement, and that in fact the skit requirement had been added only a day before the competition.  We, like our fellow competitors, frantically threw a skit together. (We show up at 30:08 into the video.)
The actual masquerade was an exercise in humiliation and frustration.  We went first, which allowed us to see how miserably outclassed all the locals were by the "heroes."  They had gigantic props, soundtracks with prerecorded dialog, light cues, grips, and smoke effects.  One group had cosplayers who owned their own production company and had done a gig for Guillermo del Toro; the other had Yaya Han herself, who boldly came out of "retirement" from competing at cons to compete at a con with no professional/ amateur split.  The only local group that was able to put together a decent performance was a group of fairies who also dance at the local Renaissance Festival.  We sat there in stunned anger.  We'd been told there was a race, and so we had trained to run, only to discover that our competition was driving Ferraris.
During the judges' deliberation, we were told by the "Heroes" staff that we needed to leave the audience and go behind the show curtain.  Through a gap in the curtains, I saw one of the audience members -- also cosplaying as a Tenth Doctor as about 40 other people did -- stand up, yell "I love all of your costumes except the Syfy plants!" and walk out of the auditorium. A cheer rose up from the crowd -- or at least what was left of the crowd, as most people had gone home after being so frustrated with the show.  We joined it.  We were tired, and hungry, and frustrated that a dream that had started out so wonderfully had been overrun by people competing in our con for no other reason than they needed a place to film their "heroes." 
1174795_10201300063957782_1712862104_n
It was at this point that things got even worse.  One of the "heroes" began to screech at us.  "How dare you!  I spent $2000 of my own money flying this here!"  I'll admit it -- I lost my temper, and this seemed like my only chance to have any of these "heroes" actually listen to me.  Yelling, I tried to explain this was the only chance most of us get to go to a convention, and since we can only afford to compete once or so a year, it means a lot to us.  I didn't think to add that only one of us Eleven even makes $2000 in a month.  More screaming followed so I turned my back.  My sister, the former teacher and so more used to handling screaming girls, helped gather us out of the backstage and when the "heroes" swore at her and tried to get her to respond, she just repeated, "We're done here."
547276_570135889674216_2060069334_n
Back in the auditorium for the awards ceremony, we sat in sullen silence, trying not to even look at the direction of the "heroes."  We were staying out of good sportsmanship, with no expectation of getting anything.  We did notice the judges though -- particularly how a Syfy producer went up to the judges table, said something, and when he left one judge's face had an especially sour look.  They finally began to announce the awards.  "For craftsmanship, the award goes to ... Doctor Who!" We exploded.  We hugged each other, we hugged the other local competitors -- a win for any of us locals was a win for all of us.  In fact, we were so busy hugging each other that the MC had to remind us to send someone on stage to collect the award.
But we couldn't leave yet -- the show wanted us to get in the confessional room to get our side of the drama.  Realizing that far from a documentary, we were dealing with an exploitative reality show, my sister refused to comment.  I don't think I've ever seen someone so angry at someone else's calm.  We filed down the hall to collect our belongings stashed on the con floor (as no one had expected the competition to last two hours past when the con floor closed.)  After dealing with security, we began to pack the superfluous costume pieces when three of the "heroes" with camera in tow confronted us.  Again we let my sister take the lead of deflating the drama and not letting the "friendly chat" devolve into the catfight the "heroes" kept trying to steer it into.
It is one thing to know that reality shows are manipulatively edited, and quite another to be turned into a reality show villain.  From early reviews I've seen, the show tries to make it look like we were heckling them throughout the show, that we picked on the girls and stole "their" prize.  I will say, I'm sorry I yelled at the "heroes."  I'm sorry I gave them any footage for this show.  I'm even sorry that we competed at all, even if it meant waiting another year to see our dream come true -- when it comes to reality shows, the only winning move truly is not to play. 
At the same time, when one sits down to a honest game of poker only to realize that one is against a couple of card sharks with a stacked deck, one's anger at the unfairness is not quenched by the exultation of beating the card sharks at their own game.  I make no apologies for being angry at "Heroes of Cosplay," 51 Minds for producing it, Syfy for airing it, and Yaya Han and all her other "heroes" for being part of something so sleazy.

Edit 9/20: I have posted an apology to Becky, Holly, Jessica, and Chloe here: http://wow-lawbringer.blogspot.com/2013/09/an-apology-to-becky-holly-jessica-and.html

161 comments:

  1. I'm glad you stood up for yourself. I didn't get to see this episode personally but after hearing their comments about how overweight people are an insult to cosplayers I've become less and less impressed with the group. Chole is about the only one I like. She alone stood up that everyone has the right to cosplay no matter what they look like.

    Further more I'm proud you won and to me you'll be a true hero of cosplay and they the villains.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll notice our group of Eleven has everyone from 100 lb teenagers to rather heavier girls and ladies over 40. No collection of models here! :D

      Delete
    2. I saw the pictures. I think you guys did an awesome job with your costumes and as a fellow whovian I adore seeing these costumes. I love your ballgown. I'm sorry that you had to deal with that. Cons should be fun and a time to network not deal with such childishness.

      Delete
    3. Honestly, they were not trying to say that overweight people don't have the right to cosplay, they were just stating in competitive cosplay world especially with everyone's pictures getting tossed around the internet people can be cruel even more so when they are hiding behind a computer screen. To most of these Heros cosplay is their career they weren't trying to be mean they were just trying to protect people from getting their feelings hurt. Also many of the Heros don't look like models at all, are they pretty yes, but they are people to just doing what they love.

      Delete
    4. I still don't understand the drama, which from what I have seen, was not caused by the heroes of cosplay, but by the locals who opposed to the idea of "professional" cosplayers being there. This is sad, because it's a convention of nerds and there shouldn't be this elitism or us against them mentality. These are professional cosplayers who spend a lot of time and money dedicated to their craft. If anything, you should admire and try to share in this dedication, not alienate them; that makes you a bunch of bullies.

      Delete
  2. I'm so sorry to hear this happen to you. I'm glad you stood your ground. It's disappointing that the masquerade ended up being like this, but I really hope that doesn't deter you from cosplaying/competing again!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have to weigh in here on the content of this. Im sorry that your experience was awful - but throwing Yaya and the other decent heroes into the mix of "sleaze" is very unfair. So long as they are bound to this production, all media using their likeness in conjuction with Heroes of Cosplay is under full creative control of the production company. That means that they are free to add, subtract, manipulate, and outright script content as they see fit and none of the personalities involved on the show can do a single thing about it.

    It was the convention who allowed the production company to step in and use the special effects, lighting rigs, etc. It was the convention who didnt enforce a differential in skill levels and what not within the contest/judging. A lot of the things you are upset about have absolutely nothing to do with the heroes at all.

    The show itself isnt a documentary and wasnt billed as one. Its always been marketed as reality, targeting the rising interest in nerd culture in the mainstream and is trying to cash in with a new niche genre. They make drama where there is none, manipulate outcomes, manipulate public opinion, and really just make the cosplay community as a whole look horrible.

    Its dividing people, encouraging drama and hatred in the community, and unfortunately those who are on the first season are being damaged because they thought they were signing up for something more altruistic than the dramatic shitshow that it ended up being through editing.

    Its an unfortunate mess for all of us who love cosplay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your points regarding who's really to blame aren't bad ones. However, I have private post-convention correspondence with the runner of the contest. According to him, "we learned our lesson about TV people. What went on at the show was not how their presence was sold to us in the negotiations. Not truthful is the nice way of saying the truth, they are mostly a bunch of liars ... Suffice to say, at least in my mind, the first thing to do [to improve for next year] is never work with Hollywood people again."

      Second, per Jinyo http://www.jinyo.net/counting-down/ "The production company, 51 Minds, didn’t dream up this show. In a way, it fell into their laps. And while the producers really didn’t know much about cosplay or the convention scene when they first signed onto the project, they tried to understand." That suggests to me that this show was the brainchild of at least one the cosplayers featured, and without their agreement to be on the show, the show wouldn't have existed. As such, they cannot claim to be innocent victims of its missteps.

      Delete
    2. I can say from a mixture of participating in the cosplay community for years (including having attended Anime Matsuri a number of times in the past), watching this series unfold, and reading your story above, it seems quite plain that, much like you suggest in the above reply, that a number of the show's featured cosplayers were completely okay with fabricating drama and seeking it out. It's entirely possible that the show's producers were basically directing their cast to further pick fights with otherwise uninvolved cosplayers, but these people were quite obviously okay with the position they were given. I'd say most good people in the community would not actually be willing to put up with being instructed to perform that kind of behavior.

      I'm also sorry to see that, if everything stated in this blog is truth, which I imagine is in fact so, even more was further fabricated that you and your group hardly instigated. And now I have seen the uneducated viewer very sadly paint your group as the enemy and is marveled at the fact that the "heroes" had such incredible tolerance for the cosplayers with dislike of the "outsiders" ("outsiders" being a word I never once saw in your blog, but "SyFy Plant" instead). It's a sad situation that's been dealt, but I think most people with a brain will plainly see how fake everything around that point in the finale is, if nothing else. Thank you for sharing your story.

      Delete
    3. Yaya claimed it was her idea from a conversation four years ago. It's on her facebook. So there you go.

      Delete
    4. Yaya or someone else in the cast may have had the initial idea, but that doesn't mean she/they retained all that much control over the show or that what was presented was anywhere close to her/their vision. With all the evidence that this company misrepresented themselves and hoodwinked people into various contracts and situations, why do we automatically assume that just because they were paid the main cast was any different?

      Delete
    5. I get that you're upset at the cosplayers who yelled at you but if you've ever worked with Producers for shows like this you might see it differently. They are sharky manipulative jerks and I can promise you none of these girls went into this to make a 'drama' show, they really just wanted to share something they love on TV. Something like that can start off positive and get twisted over months and months and it is absolutely the producers doing the twisting. So please, give them the benefit of the doubt. No one wants to be hated so venomously on the internet, I don't think they were sitting there cackling about being on a reality tv show that would paint them as assholes.

      Delete
    6. 'Sharky, manipulative jerks' the show's executives may be... but they weren't the ones participating in the exchanges. THAT was the actors of the show.
      Things were said (both there and in other episodes) by the 'stars' themselves and not the execs. The execs weren't the ones fake-puking into the garbage container.
      It's absolutely NOT just the producers doing the twisting... from what I've been seeing, there's a lot of self-involvement and self-aggrandizement from the so-called "heroes" of the show... and the sooner they own their own behaviour, the easier it will be for them to (continue to) dial-back their words, responses and comments to keep their popularity and not be 'vilified' as some have been claiming they have been feeling due to the backlash against their behaviour.

      This goes for everyone: if you don't want to be cast as a villain, don't behave like one.

      They may not have been cackling about being on a reality show that would paint them as assholes... but they seem to BE acting like assholes all their own... and more and more of these opinion-type articles and blogposts seem to be cropping up the longer this travesty of a show continues. It's becoming a predictable occurrence... after every episode, someone on the show posts a dial-back or a retraction or a clarification somewhere, trying to paint themselves as less of a douche than they acted on the show... granted, production editing being what it is, it can cut and paste a lot of things to assist in the representation process... but what is said on camera is said... you can't edit a sentence half-way through. The complete comments are those of the actors themselves.
      There's only so many 'Mea culpas' one can say before the public stops believing the sincerity of the apology. The actors on 'Yaya And Friends'... excuse me... "Heroes of Cosplay" would do well to remember that.

      My question is - to contribute just a little more to the melodrama - when they were paid (and let's not fool ourselves, kids... they're now 'actors' on a 'reality' television mini-series)... were the 30 pieces of silver worth all of the subsequent stress they have endured? How does it feel to be infamous?

      Delete
    7. I think it is highly unbelievable that anyone with the slightest self respect would allow producers of a show which you are (apparently) the stars of to dictate what you say and do. If producers tell you to do something you are the one that has the power to do it or not. They are hardly likely to kick you from the show, or they would have no show.

      Delete
    8. Now the Doctor WHo groups did a good costuming job , and I give them credit for doing very well even against things like full Iron Man armor group ... because we know armor is hard to beat..... but just curious as to how your groups lack of production is any way the fault of the cast of the show... Nothing prevented you guys form doing a mildly produced show... cons are great learning experience ... Take what you learn and do even better next time ...

      Delete
    9. Didn't you read the whole thing? The issue wasn't that they had to create a skit. It's that they weren't told they had to create a skit until the day of the competition. Meanwhile, the Heroes apparently had such elaborate performances that must've been created and practiced much time in advance. That is NOT fair in the slightest.

      Delete
    10. The Heroes may have had more time, but they had no way of knowing it was not made clear to the other contestants. Drama can happen at cons and the editing of a show can make it seem worse than it really is. None of the girls knew how it was going to be edited when they were there. They have no say in that part and some of them have said they are not happy with how the show ended up and it was not what they signed up for. I would also like to note that after the competition you, as you say, were "confronted" when by accounts of all the other fem doctors they came to talk it out and it ended with a group hug. It seems you left that bit out to make them out to be villains and create drama in your favor. If you want to show the truth make sure you say the whole truth or get all the other girls in your group to omit the same information as you. Cosplaying is about having fun, but if you choose to compete you have to deal with people criticizing you.

      Delete
    11. Tony, sadly that is the power of contracts, and the consequences of what breach of contract can bring on your head.

      Please note that I have not seen any contracts regarding this show, and only assume that there are some strict guidelines to which the "Heroes" had to abide by.

      Delete
  4. Wow. Just wow. You're the real heroes, not them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Even with Editing I think its poor form to yell at cosplayers that they didnt even make their costumes, when you then go about explaining here that they have their own production company, are high profile etc, did in fact make their own costumes. Does your troupe deserve more merit because it took you twice as long to make your costumes? Because yes you saved probably for a year full to make them? I think both sides deserve merit for their hard work, and it doesnt seem you respected the other cosplayers in terms of their workmanship either, which I think is pretty short sighted. I think both sides are to blame for this, and I do think that you could have handled yourself alot better, just as much as the "heroes".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed. I lost my temper, and I'm sorry for that.

      Delete
    2. While yes they lost their temper it remains that the convention could have had categories and SHOULD have had categories for novice and professional which would have kept things more even.

      Delete
    3. Best and smartest post on here!

      Delete
    4. I would think anyone who truly enjoys cosplay would enjoy to meet those who are more advanced in it. I think Anonymous has it right and both sides were in the wrong. People wouldn't watch it if it was all everyone loves everyone...it unfortunately doesn't sell in reality tv or fictional tv. I honestly hate any form of booing rather the person/group have an advantage or not. I'm not the biggest fan of YaYa's but I would never boo or be insulting as a member of the crowd. I think that showed poorly on the people. Plus to go on while sick as each team of "Heroes" as you put them, says a lot.

      Delete
  6. I am happy that someone linked this on twitter tonight so I could find it and come say... I wish I could shake your hand. Thank you. Thank you for being real cosplayers and for the first time saying on air (even if you didn't mean to) what everyone has been thinking about this show since episode one.

    My only regret watching it was that things had to come to a head with the LA group. Of all the offenders on this show, they are certainly the lesser of the two evils.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I wish all our tempers could have stayed under control, but the fact that it was the nicest girls on the show who happened to be there when the sparks flew was extra unfortunate.

      Delete
    2. Who are you to say who's a real cosplayer? So far the people on heroes of cosplay are real cosplayers and Amy and her group are too, everyone has worked hard on their costumes. Not "everyone" has been thinking that since episode one.

      Delete
    3. Yes i too wondered what makes a true cosplayer and another not? This is the same thing that leads to people feeling that they can stick a camera in front of a camera , and "test" them on their geek cred ....

      Delete
    4. Well they altered the line that was yelled out, makes you wonder what they were saying to egg on their cast members to confront you guys. This show was trying so hard to create drama it made me want to vomit. Hell at one point the show was purposefully trying to make the people on it look bad because it was being sued by a bunch of super pissed off photographers for using their photos with out permission, oddly enough it's about the same episode where they define who the super bitches are.

      Delete
  7. I cannot believe the amount of people willing to defend this craptastic show. I noticed right away the 'heckling' didn't have a voice until they threw your sister? on and I was just disgusted. I actually loved your skit and the ideas behind it

    ReplyDelete
  8. A hobby done for fun and a contest you had the option of not entering into, not to mention a contest you say was never put on before this year so how in the wide world of sports was it a "dream come true"?! This all feels like damage control after you've looked back on your atrocious behavior and regretted it or at least thought how you might look on air. Not once in your flailing speech did you take any responsibility for acting like a complete dick now, at the very least, say you're sorry. Try being contrite just a tiny bit before laying blame and then you'd have a leg to stand on. As it is right now, you look Whiney and rude and no, on top of it with your post, like a complet asshole. Try coming it this from a different direction and only after some deep reflection. You think this show is what's wrong with Cosplay without realizing you and you attitude/behavior are as much to blame.

    ReplyDelete
  9. And I don't expect you to approve my comment because,just like the show, you want to portray a narrative that shows you in a favorable light and others as the "villains". You have to realize you are just as bad as the show even if on a smaller scale. Recognize your own shortcomings. Only then can you hope to overcome them.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for posting this, it's good to have both sides of the story. I do agree with you that there should be a different category for pros, so they're not going up against amateurs who might not have ever done a major masquerade before.

    That said, I think the heckler in the audience was very rude. Yelling out rude things like that is disrespectful to the people on stage, who worked hard on their costumes and performances.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the things yelled from the audience was dubbed diff then what was actually said, one of the girls that yelled stuff out actually posted what was actually said
      http://thumperchan.tumblr.com/post/61568746170/haro-tumblr-okay-everyone-if-you-watched-heroes-of
      sorry to hi-hack Amy but its something that needs saying too

      Delete
    2. Bahaha! Line of love...with exclusions based on spite. Sure it is disingenuous that Syfy changed that line(okay, it is an outright a lie), but the original wasn't exactly lovey dovey no matter what the speaker says. It's like hating the Yankees for being able to outspend other baseball teams and saying it is about love.

      Delete
  11. I am so happy someone wrote this. This is why I don't enter competitions at any convention, whether it's filmed or not. For me pulling my jumpsuit on is for fun. I haven't seen the show yet, but I'm sure I'll comment again when I do. I've been doing conventions for years and I've seen these kinds of arguments and been IN these kinds of arguments. It's so easy for everyone to be offended and then add in "reality show editing." - I'm so very sorry for the actions of my profession.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Interesting seeing behind the scenes. But it sounds like there's enough blame to go around here to do damage to the rep of cosplayers.

    It's a fricking reality show. How could anyone think it would be some sort of fair, benevolent view that would only favor the really down-to-earth folk working hard from their homes and only getting to their local con? And even if it was like that, a LOT of people would STILL complain!

    Your group won an award. What was the problem? Those horrible interlopers spoiling your fun? ... How? That you suddenly had to do a skit? Wow, but presentations have been a part of some masquerades for decades and I'm surprised something like that wasn't in place already. But you pulled it off--so you should be proud. And, yes, there were the nasty Hollywood types editing the heck out of what you did... but they had stuff to work with, right? And if anyone believes the reality show is exactly what happened, then they are going to be believing all kinds of crazy things which you have no control over anyway.

    I've gone to conventions for more years than most of you have been around. I know how much back-biting goes on in fandom. I'm not surprised at any sort of behavior from the fans... whether on a reality show or not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Planet Comicon's group competition last year was four entries: the four of us as Doctor Who, a three-woman Star Trek group, a ~8 person DC group, and a ~8 person Marvel group. We walked onto tiny stage, struck a hero pose, and walked off. There was no prejudging, there were no skits, and the whole thing took less than half an hour.

      Delete
    2. It is NOT normal to require skits of all your contestants last minute. Being someone who competes only in skit competitions, it takes a lot of work to develop a fantastic skit. It was unreasonable for the convention to require everyone else to suddenly develop a skit because the show said so. Skits are no longer a super common thing in masquerades. They are usually heavily limited or not allowed at all (at least in the Midwest). They usually require pre-recorded dialog, scripts being turned in, and a performance screening beforehand.

      Its just shocking is all. Everyone do a skit last minute! Makes you wonder if it was a ploy by SyFy to make their contestants look awesome.

      Delete
    3. The skits thing is so weird to me. I've seen cosplay groups do them but I don't think I've seen it be a requirement. Walking on and doing a hero pose is an acceptable presentation if you do it so that the costumes are visible (which as far as I can tell you did Amy).

      Just because you know reality TV can suck, doesn't mean you're prepared for the level of fuckery described here.

      Delete
  13. Bravo, and well said. At least your group was shown in the competition at all, though. I was part of the Loki/Loki/Aeris/Nightcrawler battle, and we weren't even shown as competitors. Just one of us was shown during the course of the competition... shown helping hold the door open for the How to Train Your Dragon skit. I'm disgusted with the whole thing. I'm not going to let it get to me after today, though. I hope the cosplay community rallies around you, as they should, if you ever come under fire for this ridiculous contrived drama.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi, Amy. My 16-year-old daughter and I watched the first episode of HoC. She's new to cosplaying and really enjoys going to local cons. After the first ep she had absolutely no interest in continuing to watch the show. "It's all fake, Mom. Cosplaying isn't about the competition, it's about having fun. And they were so mean to each other!" So, we didn't see your episode, but I totally believe it went down exactly as you said.

    I'm sorry you got pulled into that mess. This should have been an awesome experience for you with the group of 11 Doctors (yeah, we're Whovians). You guys look AMAZING in the picture! I hope you had a blast laboring over those excellent costumes.

    You're no villain...you're one of the true heroes of cosplay.

    Much love!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do cosplay as well and watching the show was so weird because it doesn't look like the cosplay I usually see. I love big props, sound cues, etc. I also love when someone pulls of a spontaneous group (like all the Doctor Whos).

      I had to stop watching because of how twisted it felt. In general cosplay is about love of the character/franchise or love of creating neat costumes. Doing it for $$ has never been a consideration for me.

      Delete
  15. Hmm It is interesting to hear both sides of this. I made some snap judgments immediately after watching the episode but I really shouldn't have. Re-evaluating what I saw I suppose it really was a perfect storm of a bunch of crap hitting the fan. You were stressed out for the reasons mentioned. The cast members were stressed out because of all of the negativity they were receiving from the audience. Two parties with what seemed like opposing sides at the moment clashed and unnecessary drama ensued.

    I get why you were angry. And you acknowledged your own fault in the situation which by the way is incredibly mature of you. You could have just as easily tried to justify it so that in of itself really just makes me respect you that much more. Anyone can blow up in a tense situation. It takes someone with character to admit it. My hat is off to you Madam.

    I should have suspected something fishy. Most Whovians I know (though I myself am not part of this fandom) are pretty awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It sucks this happened to you. I really wish that the show didn't manipulate you like that. We all loose our tempers and when a camera is shoved in you face it tends to be worse. Hopefully someone contacts you so everyone call sort this out and it can blow over and we can all get ready for the 50th.

    Also merit points for the group diversity. I'm a bigger girl and this show gives us no love.

    ReplyDelete
  17. You have my sympathy for disliking a reality show. But, honestly, show or not.. these women are very, very talented. I come from a different sort of fandom (closely related to music) that preaches peace, love, unity and respect. When there is friction between people at concerts, many feel like those disturbing are trampling on sacred ground. While watching tonight's episode, I truly believe that you were doing just that - calling out other cosplayers completely out of context. I am not judging you nor am I angry with you, but I think that many need to learn from your poor mistake that no matter how frustrated or out-played you may feel, in the end.. cosplaying or whatever you're doing is about having fun in a non-judgmental environment. Props to you for defending yourself, but the drama you've procured in this post to many will feel like an exaggerated attempt to bash those on the show. Nice costumes... bad attitude.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I watched the show only later to find this blog. I see your side of the story but I still feel like there were things that shouldn't have been said. Everyone made their own costumes. Heck the Fem!Doctors even took home BEST CRAFTMANSHIP!! Surely, that might have been enough. Understandng that changing the rules of the contest was not right. I'm not siding with either team. Both have negatives and positives. I just feel as though there should've been another way to word how upset you were. I hope events in the future are better for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed. I'm not saying I was right to lose my temper. I should have kept my mouth shut, and now we'll probably not be able to cosplay for a couple years until this dies down.

      Delete
    2. Also to be fair the drama went down before they won that award. Can't blame someone for wanting to get her side of the story out.

      Delete
    3. No one will recognize you and your group in a month time for this so don't stop cosplaying due to an error of judgement and what has been show. I sure the "Heros" won't be phased by this either.

      Delete
  19. Hi Amy,

    I am not upset anymore, and I have tried to make that clear over Twitter. It was a difficult scene to watch, but you do not deserve to have anonymous hatred spewed over the internet. In my day job (which isn't really discussed on the show), I manage the online community for BioWare. So when Mass Effect 3 game came out, I endured what you are going through for a few months. While I don't know how you feel, I am so sorry. No one should ever have to go through what is happening now.

    While I am saddened to read some of the things you seem to still think about me, based on what you know about me, I suppose I should not be surprised. However, when we tried to talk to you guys, it was genuinely to make amends. Doctor Who is so important in our lives and we loved your costumes. I think you guys are talented and your group represented such a wide range of people. We were talking about you guys for hours before the contest started. That prize was totally deserved.

    Had we met under different circumstances, I can't guarantee we would have been friends, but I would like to think that it would have been very likely. You like cosplay, Doctor Who, and World of Warcraft among probably lots of other things I love. I seem to recall that people in your group were also BioWare fans.

    I don't know if we will ever meet face-to-face, but if we do, I would love the chance to actually talk to you and your sister properly about fandom and that fabulous dress!! <3

    Hugs,
    Jessica (and I'm sure Holly too but she's staying off the internet outside of Twitter and drawing dinosaurs!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessica, I can't tell you enough how much this means to me.

      My memories of that night are hard to remember clearly. I know that by the end of the night we were tired and hungry (none of us had a chance to eat after 2:00 because the prejudging was such a mess) and I had so much adrenaline pumping through my system that I was hard put to trust anyone. It's unfair to you, but at the time it felt like the same manipulation the producer was trying to do in the confessional booth -- a "good cop" approach to get some footage that could be used edit us to look even worse.

      Thanks again! And if you don't see me, it's because I'll be wisely imitating Holly.

      Delete
    2. That's really good to hear. I wish I had known your online handle a long time ago, I'd been dreading this moment for a long time and it would have been a lot easier to privately send you my support and let you know my intentions :) You guys are good people. I like to think we are too.

      This will blow over very quickly, and you are now initiated into a very exclusive club of internet infamy! Can you believe there was an entire Tumblr site going around 2 years ago dedicated to what a bad Community Manager I am and the various ways I should die? I cried in the bathroom at work every day, and sometimes stuff like that still gets to me, but if you can, try to laugh about it. Smiling makes things infinitely better. A toast to you my dear. Continue being delightful and shine.

      Also, what a shame to just find out you are an attorney! My husband who was at the show with me would have loved to talk to you :) He does criminal (and dabbles in entertainment/contracts for me and my friends)!

      <3

      Delete
    3. Just saying, this makes my heart happy! I haven't watched the episode yet but I will go into it knowing both sides. Since the first episode I have known to take the drama with a grain of salt, I'm glad to see the truth behind the scenes though.

      Delete
    4. I'm glad that kinder words and cooler heads can finally prevail. PS. You are both great cosplayers and I wish you both all the best in your future endeavors

      Delete
    5. Jessica, I'm so sorry to hear you went through that, no one deserves to be told they should die or anything like that over a video game or forum or cosplay show. And that you're going through this now, Amy. I can say that Tumblr has picked up on this and appears to be using its power for good this time rather than evil.

      Delete
    6. I'm glad part of this could be straightened out. I must say I hate the manipulation of reality shows but it gives me hope that it can all be figured out afterwards as long as people try. :) Amy, your entire group is to be commended for pulling through the way you did! Jessica, good on you for reaching out! I still have my own hurdles to jump when it comes to cosplay(people still heckle over race, sigh) but this gives me a brighter outlook!

      Delete
    7. Just wanted to say - happy to see that I looked a while to find what actually happened at the comic-con, because neither extreme explanation made sense. I'm glad you posted this, and really happy that both teams behaved honorably. Big fan of both CrabCat and the Dr. Who ladies. Amy, I hope you don't let this situation get to you or effect how you feel about cosplay. You guys did a wonderful job on your costumes. Jessica, big love to you as well, happy to see you were waiting for the chance to reach out to Amy!

      Delete
    8. Im so happy to see this. Probably irrationally so. I am just sick of the whole "Fake nerd, fake geek, fake cosplay fake (wtf?)" Thing that I see at cons and in the geekist community at large. You both blow my mind with your awesome craftiness. Im the Anon with the comment "Even with editing..". Way to outclass ladies. I give you my citizen cane slow cap. Clap. Clap.
      Bravo.

      Delete
  20. I am glad to know both sides of the story. My whole mantra through this whole thing was reminding myself that things are manipulated by the production staff. I think this post shows that you are human and it makes me happy to hear both sides of the story. I also got sent here by Jessica Merizan. So I wish you and your whole group nothing but success now and in the future and please don't be discouraged!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh neat funny that Heroes of Cosplay brings me to the website of one of my favorite column writers from what used to be Wow.com (You should go back - theres too much Rossi doing his jingoistic thing). Anyway glad to see some locals speak up to the Reality TV show rolling into town. Its interesting to get the Rashomon view on these things.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I was so excited to see you guys on stage, I rarely watch TV, but when a fellow City of Heroes player (who dressed up as the 4th Doctor), said she was going to be on the show, I dropped what I was doing for the night to watch. I had my husband and best friend watching to, so we could cheer on someone we knew on national TV. All of us were not only horrified, but disgusted when the editing made you guys out to be evil nasty *****.
    It was insane seeing the difference in "quality" of the cosplayers, and made me just sit there and think to myself, "Why did they do this? It's not fair to those who have a TV crew and studio to compete against people who are sewing in their living rooms trying to put together a costume! Cosplay should be fun!"

    It did make me happy to see you guys on stage though. I know you all worked VERY hard on your costumes, and I feel that you and those Iron Man guys should have gotten a LOT more time on stage.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I think that what Syfy did was bogus and crap. Just because Yaya and the others do this for a living so to speak. Doesn't make what people do as a hobby any less important. Syfy's Heroes of cosplay is more like a high school. I don't presume to know any of these cosplayers. Yet they don't give respect to those who try. Syfy can shove it in my opinion. The show is crap, and stupid drama. Hell if I wanted that I would do back to high school.
    A note to all the cosplayers out there that do it because they enjoy it or are part of the 501st. You are doing cosplay right.
    To Syfy and the rest of the people that are a part of the show. You are doing the normal people who cosplay a disservice. Get off your high horse, and realize this is for fun. Not money!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny that you say that, because Jesse, Victoria, and Jinyo are part of 501st. Maybe you shouldn't judge so easily.

      Delete
  24. Not defending either side but you probably should've chosen your words better, especially for all of that "they're not from Kansas City" elitist stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually that was dubbed the gal that said something she actually said "those who aren't syfy plants I love you" they just couldn't have syfy splashed across like that so they dubbed something else

      Delete
  25. To be honest seeing convention fudes during a cosplay contest is starting to get normal. Harsh comment from others. and now I'm dealing with it at cons.

    I mean I saw the episode and reading this made me want to hear both sides of the story, but syfy didn't show as much. I felt alittle confused on the bash upon being an outsider but it's normal to go to every convention.

    I think it's understandable you guys felt unfair. But They also as Well. And I'm a curvy cosplayer myself and I mostly do WoW and They did say hurtful things about being overweight and I was shocked. but then when another fued between the girls over oh anyone can cosplay now, they are hypocritical. This show is just the drama side of cosplay, its just like those housewife shows. I hope you guys arnt getting too hated on.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I've picked this up and shared it in my Facebook with the following:
    "As has been said by more than a few of my friends and associates here, this show uses the cosplay community as a foil for promotion and really doesn't show real cosplayers in a good light. This gives an excellent example of the fun and the joy of recreating our favorite characters only to have slick production companies screw things up. Kudos to the original author for exposing this show and the farce behind it." (https://www.facebook.com/jj.maccrimmon)

    That said, having lived in Los Angeles and worked with Hollywood types, I was afraid they'd do something like this behind the scenes. Thank you for staying true to the reasons why some of us cosplay and dress out for conventions. [FUN]

    I've attended and shot at more than a few sci-fi, fantasy and anime conventions around the country. The real heroes of cosplay are the people like you who lovingly build a couple costumes and props to use at one or two conventions in their areas or at most their region and show off to friends. Even my friends who play in published (on-line) cosplay modeling groups aren't as catty as the "Heroes" you described.

    Sadly, I've seen Yaya at DragonCon for several years, signing autographs and selling stuff in her booth there. I never saw her as more or less than a model looking for gigs, not as some legendary cosplay costumer.

    Thanks for posting this. Hopefully you won't mind a little extra bandwidth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ----That said, having lived in Los Angeles and worked with Hollywood types, I was afraid they'd do something like this behind the scenes----

      Please don't forget, they couldn't have done ANYTHING if the Woman Doctors hadn't been so willing to act like 5 year olds and started booing and razzing their competition.

      Don't START nothing, won't BE nothing!

      Delete
    2. Just popping in to say "Hi" from a former AL resident who loves Abandoned Places on LJ! I was definitely not expecting to see a familiar name pop up when I began reading this post and its comments (excluding friends in my cosplay group, of course, who I'd *expect* to see on this cosplay post but surprisingly haven't yet).

      Delete
  27. I understand where you're coming from with your anger and frustration but I really don't think you should blame any of the women on the show for what transpired. Jessica and Holly are clearly nice girls, who are constantly talking about acceptance, fun, and love within the cosplay community. If anything, blame the shows producers and YOUR local con! I know they werent really aware what they were getting into but they let it happen.Of course there were going to be planted skits, fake-ness, and delays because they were filming a major league show for the SyFy network. I really dont like how you described the crew and their behavior though. They sound like assholes. But after reading your entire article (and watching the show) it is clear that you guys did, in fact, begin to heckle the "heroes" first. The people in the audience were pissed that their con experience got altered by television, and then you decided to take it out on the girls. Saying "you didnt even make your own costumes" is very rude, but was probably your assumption which I guess is understandable. But still rude and unnecessary. You guys still got to win. And also, not everyone on the show is like Yaya. Jesse was a small time cosplayer who spent hours on end building his costumes out of metal and cloth. Also, the "heroes" did not win every time they participated in a con. Not at all. Maybe sometimes the producers had tried to get them to win, but regardless, that is not how the show went. I hope you can see perspective and not try to fault the girls you argued with and if anything, fault the media and all of reality TV for being the way that it is. When some shows or movies are being filmed, entire streets, parks, shops, etc get shut down entirely to the public. Your con suffered, but it couldve been much worse.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Members of both parties have already forgiven and apologized to one another. People need to stop the hate to the cast of heroes of cosplay or to Amy and her group too and to stfu already with hateful comments. Clearly its the fault of the shows production crew and syfy. The cast has also said on their twitters that things have been edited certain ways for earlier episodes.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I was right next to the "heckler" who said that at Planet Comicon. First of all anything they put on the show, if it included the word 'outsiders' was entirely fictional.
    Second, while we were sitting out in the hall looking through the doors at the show we got to watch all the people leave from the audience. Every time the SyFy would call cosplayers backstage to do a re-shoot (and boy there were many) somebody would get tired and leave. I mean, who wants to sit through hours of re-shoots for a show that supposedly was reality in the first place. Yeah, right! It was an annoying pain in the rear. So everyone was leaving because of all the re-shoots.
    So as another crowd was getting ready to go because yet another re-shoot of the SyFy 'stars' I could tell everyone was getting pist at the TV people and just wanted to watch the contest end naturally.
    So that frustration, and seeing the TV show cosplayers coming in with these elaborate staged skits with music, and light shows, and sound/visual effects, and then seeing people we had seen cosplay for years at this same convention go up with less then an hour to come up with a skit "oh, you guys need to have a skit to be in your own convention's costume contest" led to the heckler making that comment she did.
    Don't blame the heckler!
    She was only saying what we were all thinking at that point. Just enough with the retarded re-shoots for a "reality" show, enough with the elaborate special effects that no one else had time to come up with (and even then they seemed lame the eighth time around for re-shoots).
    So I second the heckler (with what she really, actually said):
    "Thank you to all the cosplayers for coming and competing. We love you, except for all the SyFy plants!"
    And I'm ready to say it eight more times so SyFy can get all their re-shoots and capture the spontaneity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It still shouldn't have been said. Even if they were 'Syfy plants' they're still people and they didn't deserve to be treated like that.

      I doubt they enjoyed all of the re shoots. Or how frustrating it was for everyone else. Or how long it was taking. Two of them were already feeling like crap due to illness or injury. It's the producers and film crew that made them do all of this stuff and yet they're the ones catching the flack.

      And shouting stuff like that during a competition on stage is WRONG regardless of the circumstances. I don't think a single one of them were intending to make your lives unpleasant. They all seem to genuinely love what they do and love cosplay. They didn't know what they were getting in to. There was no way of knowing.

      Regardless of the circumstances and even taking in to account what was actually said, it was just rude.

      Delete
    2. As far as we could tell the competition was over. No one was on stage. So where do you think it was wrong? The heckler only said "we love you all, except for the SyFy plants." So if it was rude to hear that you weren't loved maybe you need to look at the company you keep, such as a crummy TV crew.

      Delete
  30. you guys looked awesome, Doctor Who ftw, and loved the pink boy on K9.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I don't think those girls got where they are by complaining and bitching about "out of towners" on Tumblr and Blogger. This is why you'll always be a bunch of terrible cosplayers on a 50 dollar budget, because you just can't STAND other people being better than you, and it doesn't occur to you to take that as a sign to better yourself or your skills, no, you would rather have a field day demonizing and discriminating against them. Let me ask, how does it feel to make sub par cosplays off of borrowed money from your parents and minimum wage income? Because that's what your whole life is going to consist of.

    ReplyDelete
  32. "You either cosplay a hero... or join a hackneyed docu-drama full-of-itself "reality" television show and see yourself become the villain."

    ~ some guy in a super-hero movie somewhere...

    ReplyDelete
  33. Based on your logic with skill level, while you may not have competed with Yaya and her team you probably would have competed against How to train you dragon, since none of them have won awards, they are still considered novices. Actually in fact someone on your team has won something puts you in the journeymen or Masters division (depending on the rules). Though at MOST comic convention there is no skill level.

    And I'm sorry I don't buy the we were tired and stress excuse, because I'm sure a lot of people in the contest felt that way, waiting as long as you guys.

    Let me leave you with this thought, you guys feel upset at the way you got edited, but had it been one of the main cast members I'm sure you wouldn't be claiming how awful Syfy is editing the girls into saying stuff. I have seen the cast called the nastiest shit and almost none of their cosplay peers are supporting them. you would think as victims yourselves you would be more understanding, but no you called them Sleazy, as if the cast has anymore say on how they are edited then you were.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WRONG WRONG WRONG!!! You are completely wrong about what division the Dr Who team would have completed against. Dr Who are novices so long as no member of their group has won the designated number of awards that would bump them up to the Journeyman division. The How to train your dragon group would have been in the Masters division. Crabcat is a profession company. They can only compete in the masters division. End of story Syfy is to blame for things and the Con staff is to blame for not just telling Syfy no.

      Delete
  34. Don't worry, this show won't be renewed...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. unfort it is on for another season, will cons open there doors after all the BS drama... hard to say

      Delete
    2. They filmed at Comic Con in New Orleans this last weekend. The normally 2 to 3 hour costume contest ended up being about 5 hours. The judges, after the solo competition, were able to go out get food, drinks, have a smoke break and DO A COSTUME CHANGE. I can't understand why a "judge" would need a costume change in the middle of a competition.

      Delete
  35. If it helps, I didn't see you as the villain at all. Even without hearing the whole story, I knew how I would feel if some group had come to my local con just for the chance to shine in comparison to the locals. It was very obvious that it was all edited to make everyone look bad. No wonder the judges weren't as enthused about the pre-judging as Yaya thought they should be. It was obvious that Syfy expected everyone to be starstruck, but that didn't happen.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Chloe responded to this here:

    http://chloedykstra.tumblr.com/post/61607065635/in-response-to-this

    I'm with you totally, and I wrote a rebuttal to something Chloe put on her tumblr:

    http://ghostdunk.tumblr.com/post/61613999822/chloedykstra-in-response-to-this

    Basically it seems like "You’re not even from Kansas City" is another way of saying, "You don’t even have any ties to this convention. You’re using us."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What does that mean though? Ties to the convention? They all like cosplay and want to participate. What more "ties" do you need? From what I can tell, the things that went badly were the fault of the production and the Con, but not the cosplayers. If production came to the organizers and said we want everyone to do a skit and the organizers agree, how does the blame transfer to the cosplayers on the show? Doing re-shoots and taking time, this also seems to be the fault of the production. Did the cosplayers have direct control of the shooting? Yelling that you love everyone but the "SyFy plants" is rude. No need to add that last part to your love of some of the people, Also how were they "plants"? That makes it seem like they weren't cosplayers. They have done this plenty of times with no TV show filming. I can't see where the cosplayers as individuals did something negative before being yelled at. The show seems to have had a negative impact to the Con, but again that seems like blame should go to the production and the Con for this agreement. Planet Comicon must have allowed these things to happen and yet they get no backlash. All the outrage was directed at the people that seem to genuinely like cosplay.

      Delete
    2. Planet Comicon is a small con. Its projected attendance for 2012 was 4000 (Could not find better numbers, sorry. 2013 had a larger attendance but idk by how much) So basically this was like if a bunch of Food Network chefs entered a community bake off and on top of that disrupted the whole thing with making everyone wait for their schedule and changing the rules last minute.

      People in the audience don't know who has control and its understandable to be upset in that situation. It sucks that the cosplayers are the face of all that, but they have more control over what happens than the audience or the fellow cosplayers.

      But honestly the cosplayers should have realized that a large influx of professional level cosplayers to a very small con is kind of rude because it completely changes the context of the contest for people who have been participating in it for years. When professional cosplayers start attending small cons organically, because they're close by or whatever, it happens slowly and the community of the specific con doesn't have the growing pains that result in angry attendees. I hope if this show goes on, the cosplayers try to take that in mind and try to influence the decisions the show makes so as to not hurt the community they are trying to represent.

      Delete
    3. So if they come by themselves and make their costumes and win all the awards and no one has a chance it's okay? It is the fact that it was for TV that makes it rude? Or are we now declaring which cosplayers are allowed at which Cons? Again, this seems mostly the TV productions fault. Do you yell at front desk if your flight is delayed because they have slightly more control than you do? Yelling at people is not how you solve your frustration at a situation.

      Delete
    4. Most likely if they "came by themselves" it wouldn't be a large amount of professional cosplayers all at once when previous years only had a handful of participants and small prizes. Its rude because there's a large group of professional cosplayers going to an extremely small con they've never been to just to win awards when the costume contest for this con in the past has been small. It's rude to intrude on a community and force the community to bend to fit you. This has nothing to do with "allowed" this has to do with knowing how to interact with others like a decent person. The front desk situation is not comparable, the audience members are not customers who know that delays are sometimes unavoidable and that airports function on their own schedules, not the customers schedule. This is about the audience who have created a community being disrupted by people who should have known better. The delays were completely avoidable by shooting it like it happens instead of making the contest stop a bunch of times. Those professional cosplayers should know what it means when they participate in a small contest with no class distinctions if they actually respect the communities they are participating in.

      And hell I might yell at the front desk if I knew they were a part of the delays while trying to win large cash prizes, even if they aren't the ones deciding on the delays that's still frustrating.

      Delete
    5. You keep referring to the the cosplayers on the show as not part of the community. Who sets the rules on this? Is no one new allowed to get involved? Is it that they are good and people experience being their is rude? Many of the people on the show haven't actually competed very much. Most of these delays and annoyances can be traced directly to TV production and the Con organizers, not the cosplayers. Do you even know for sure the cosplayers chose this Con? Did the Con organizers agree to allowing them to shoot? Agree to last minute rule changes? All of the bad situations here can be traced to TV production and the Cons compliance and participation. What specifically did the cosplayers do that deserved heckling? Just being there because they have more experience does not qualify as "rude". Other people won awards.

      Delete
  37. "We did notice the judges though -- particularly how a Syfy producer went up to the judges table, said something, and when he left one judge's face had an especially sour look. They finally began to announce the awards. "For craftsmanship, the award goes to ... Doctor Who!" "
    And yet it almost sounds like you were given the award

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who wants to be given an award they don't feel is the one they deserved after working incredibly hard? When you are cheated out of what you worked for, getting offhandedly tossed a prize as if it is nothing of value doesn't make it better. Like anyone who actually cares about what they're doing, they simply wanted a fair competition with their peers. Had the same cosplayers shown up without the cameras but with the same costumes and choreography, there would have been no issue, but the perception of 51Minds (not SyFy) manipulating the result ruins any meaning the prize might have had.

      Delete
  38. Of course Chloe is going to "stick by SyFy". She's a professional geek girl who gets paid to be a geek girl. Her boyfriend is Chris Hardwick of The Nerdist, and she does her own web series on cosplay. As long as she's getting money and getting the attention, she'll step over anyone else she has to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you know her? She did a podcast recently where she addressed her unhappiness with some of the shows editing and portrayals. You write "professional geek girl" and yet what she does is work in fields she likes. If she makes money from talking about cosplay or video games, that's the dream not some weird scheme. Her and Chris met at Galifrey 1, it's not like they met and came up with a plan to make her seem nerdy. Her father invented the lightsaber, it's in her blood if that is possible. I've heard a few interviews and heard from people who have met her, she seems genuine in her attitude and passions.

      Delete
    2. Oh. I get it. The old "fake geek girl" argument. LAME!

      Delete
  39. Looks like both sides have some argument. Without actually being on the production staff of the show it is not likely that we know exactly what is behind the motives of the stars. It does not fail to disappoint that the reactions of many is to assume that the stars are out to start crap (and I thought I was the pessimist).

    The craftsmanship prejudging and skits that you are not used to are how it is often done at large anime cons. While a hero pose is okay, I enjoy skits far more. Sitting in the audience, I can not really see the difference between a so-so
    costume and one that is awesome. And as you can see it does not HAVE to be an elaborate performance. And if you have time by all means record a sound file in your rooms on your laptop(I am just assuming someone will have brought one). It makes it easier for people in the back of the hall to hear.

    Sure edits are gonna make things look worse than they are in this situation, but I see no claim that stuff like not making the costume and not being from KC were not said. Those comments are quite petty. But I understand tempers flare a bit after so many extra reshoots cause long delays. It clearly took the person in the audience to open the floodgates of everyone's frustrations. The stars at least have experienced it for some time so know what to expect. But I'm sure being ill as a couple of them were was not much fun and may have added to the stars own flaring of tempers in your backstage yelling match.

    Yes this is much akin to having to play a pro player in a small local tournament. But is it patently unfair? Okay so they probably have a lot more money from their day jobs than many locals at a small show, and they are probably getting something from Syfy in the end (that is an awful lot of flying about the country to go to cons that they probably never would go to and surely that costs a lot). There really should be a tiered system for novice and not, but that was not implemented and that is on whoever had control of the event (probably Syfy)

    I am presuming with the Syfy sponsorship of the costume contests they had a lot of control over things like insisting on the skits requirement and the signing of waivers to even be in the show. Skits, btw, can be made last minute (although they —Syfy and con staff— should clearly have made such announcements via the con website or mass email) as many people at anime conventions are writing skits during con and some end up being pretty darned fun.

    So let this give you a taste of how some of the masquerades can be run at larger cons. And hey you won something so be proud of that. I hope next year will be nothing like this year. And everyone can go back to having a slightly less stressful experience. And fun. Especially fun. This is really what cosplay is about.

    BTW, it is not normal to have so many cash prizes. This is all Syfy's doing. Most of the time it might be a modest cash prize for best in show with a lot of misc swag for everyone else who wins so clearly this is not about money as some people seem to think. And is someone were flying all over the country and staying hotels that much it would be a pretty bad return on investment if you could not guarantee placing at every con.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been to masquerades at some of the LARGEST cons. I've been competing in cosplay and masquerades for years. I happened to be at the KC Planet ComicCon, although I was working the con and wasn't able to compete in the masquerade.

      I've NEVER seen this sort of bullshit at any other convention. "Return on investment...?" Really? Financial compensation not what cosplay competition is about.

      Also, skits are NOT required at some of the biggest competitions. Sure, they're fun, but they're not the crux of the competition. That's the costume itself. If skits ARE required, it's posted on the con's long in advance. In Kansas City, Naka-Kon is actually just about the same size as PCC, and we don't require skits. Skits are welcome and encouraged... but not required. We're not going to screw people over like that.

      Listen... in short, the folks from SyFy screwed everyone over. If you were there, you'd have realized the tone and dialogue that had been happening all over the convention, even from people who were NOT involved in the cosplay competition at all. Nobody was happy. The details would take too long to explain, but in short... I don't blame these folks for being angry at all.

      Delete
  40. POsted this elsewhere, but think it's worthwhile repeating OK this show was doomed from the start, as no one there really was heroic. Who are the real heroes of costuming? They are the people that will sit down with you when you are panicking when something has fallen apart and help you re sew it. They are people that look at you and say, "Hey, I have something you will love" and introduce you to the art. They are people that will sit down with you and let you pick their brains for hours. They will critique you if you ask but will never judge you because you aren't the right size or shape for a costume. They have healthy egos, legitimately earned but don't lord themselves. The other heroes of costuming are the newbies, that have REAL COURAGE to put themselves out there because they love the character they are portraying, whether they have the right body type or not. People who are trying to build a business in the field and are using whatever methods to get there name out there aren't heroes. They aren't necessarily villains either, they are simply capitalists, for good or ill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see your point, but the people on the TV show didn't start on the TV show. How do you know these people weren't doing many of the things you describe and then got on the TV show based on their love of cosplay?

      Delete
    2. "got on the TV show based on their love of cosplay?"

      Because for starters... they're all friends of Yaya Han.

      A gold star to the first person to pick out which of these MLP ladies isn't in the show...
      (Hint: she was recently accused of "displaying cosplay in the wrong light".

      http://old.daps.tv/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/08.jpeg

      Delete
    3. I competed against YaYa at a competition at Dragon*Con, so I got to see her backstage. When she didn't win, she had a breakdown/hissy fit backstage. She's good, but she's REALLY entitled and can't stand not winning. Ultimate DIVA with attitude. I'm sure she has nice personality traits, too, but I didn't see them. She was extremely sour against the girl who won.

      Delete
    4. Chloe Dykstra was friends with Yaya? I don't think so.

      Delete
    5. Do you mean Jessica Nigri? Well sorry to ruin your argument but SyFy did actually approach her about being on the show and she refused.

      Delete
    6. Yeah... to my understanding Nigri chose to give the show a WIDE berth... and I don't blame her... and read my 'argument' again... I pointed out that Nigri (in the pic) ISN'T in the show...

      Oop... Erik's right, though... Chloe isn't in that pic... so only 4/6 are in the show.
      Mea culpa. My point is no less valid, though.

      Delete
    7. Well, not sure how you got 4/6. There are more than 6 people in the show. And posing in a picture doesn't mean they are close friends or friends at all.

      Delete
  41. We love you. Seriously, we do.

    We were the steampunk group from Steamworks & Shadows.
    When we signed up for the group contest we weren't even informed that we needed a skit. We found out RIGHT BEFORE we had to go on stage. It was so humiliating.

    We were shocked at how snobbish the "heroes" were and how RUDE the director was.

    You guys were SO AWESOME. We applaud the way you handled things.

    I remember your explosive excitement from behind us when they announced you had won. We were so excited for you guys!

    It makes me sick that they painted you as villains. SICK. But then, that's the way "reality" television is.

    Stay strong. Know that there ARE people out there who care to hear the truth and that support you all. I will definitely be spreading this journal around whenever possible so that people will know what happened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you fill us in on how they were snobbish? Chloe said she came up to the Doctor Who group and complimented them on their cosplay and wanted pics with them. I haven't heard any specifics on how the actual cosplayers on the show acted rudely. Any details of that?

      Delete
  42. As a (Master class) costumer and at other times a Technical Director for east coast conventions, I would like to note that we actually have done pre recorded skits with soundtracks (as well as coordinating back drops and lights) for years. I adds a bit of time to the rehearsal schedule - and means that my build for the masq because all my lights, sound equipment, backdrop, etc has to happen within the first couple hours of the convention, if not the day before. (I'll also note I've been exec staff for a certain NE anime con too.... ) Skits with full sound, light changes, etc are nothing new in convention masquerades, and also nothing new for an all volunteer tech staff to accomplish. (We're Techno-fandom, look us up).

    But I am in agreement with most of what you are saying.

    I have always held that there should be a split between amateur and professional, and a graded system (as the ICG holds). It is the best way to inspire and encourage new costumers - by rewarding them.

    I go to many conventions, from small(under 500 attendees) To a large number of literary and media conventions to Dragoncon and NewYork ComicCon. - I onlyget to SDCC only when the fiance has a publisher foot the bill). One can hope that Planet ComicCon folks learn from their experiences here, and other convention organizers take note.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a journeyman class costumer married to a master class costumer. We're members of the ICG, and have competed at all levels. (Also, if you want to see a well-run masquerade, go check out Arisia in Boston.) I live in Kansas City now and was at that particular Comic Con, although I was unable to compete that weekend. However, I saw what went down.

      First, I've never been to a masquerade that REQUIRED a skit. Although skits were highly encouraged (and I've always gone onstage with a skit because I love performing in costume), I've never seen a masquerade turn away a "catwalk" entry, where someone just wanted to show off their work, but didn't feel comfortable doing a skit. Hell, even Costume Con and World Con don't REQUIRE a skit.

      Anyway, aside from that, I'm 100% with you here. There should be a split between amateur and professional, and there should be levels. If you've ever won money (more than a trinket like $25 or a free registration to the next year's con or something like that) or you make your living as a costumer (theater, film, seamstress, tailor), then you should be obligated to enter as a Master or Professional.

      As far as the PCC organizers learning... I doubt it. See, I was the lead security volunteer for the con, and all I can say is... NEVER AGAIN. I've worked so many other cons, and this was a nightmare.

      Delete
  43. The fact of the matter is that you were out of line being that rude. You are just making excuses for what you said. And it was nasty.

    I'm a Seattle native who has gone to Emerald City Comic-Con since it began over ten years ago. As you well know, Heroes of Cosplay showed up at ECCC this past year (episode two), and I was in the front row in the audience, where we had to sign waivers as they were filming the reaction of the front row.

    And you know what? We thought nothing of it. (The only person that was remotely nasty was Wendy Pini, who made a snarky remark to a cosplayer. Not cool.) None of us in that audience either booed any of the cosplayer or felt that anyone from out-of-town or involved in that show were ruining ECCC in any way. That was the furthest thing from our minds. (I actually thought it was pretty cool, because by putting it on television, it would bring more attention to the comic-con experience.)

    Your DW group was awesome! Kudos on your win! I'm a HUGE Doctor Who fan, and have been for over 20 years. But that doesn't excuse your rude behavior and your xenophobia. (Tangent: I'm actually embarrassed by Who-dom, incidentally. After getting to see a trailer for the 50th anniversary special at the SDCC DW panel this past July, I read with dismay the anti-American hatred on several DW threads. Accusations that "the Americans got to see the trailer first" just rang false. American DW fans did not get to see that trailer first. Rather, a mere six thousand fans got to see it, including the three Brits that were in line with my friends and I. And there were people from all over the world in that panel. After that ruckus, I learned that just because someone's a DW fan doesn't mean they can't be a jerk-wad.)

    As a 41-year-old gay man who has gone to cons for over a decade (including 6 years at SDCC), I don't make fun of my fellow Con-goers. I know better. I know what it feels like to be heckled. But I don't ever do that to other people. And I don't snub my fellow con-goers for not being "locals." (SDCC is run by Comic-Con *International*, for the record.)

    I have never been to Kansas City, but I have been to over 20 countries in my life. Some people are nice, some people are not. It's a mix. That's life. But if this is how Kansas City comic-con goers behave, count me out. Because don't act like that here in Seattle. Thankfully.

    Instead of making excuses for your behavior, which is precisely what you are doing her, you should apologize. Not to me. Not to the other con-goers. But to the people you were rude to. Is that so hard? Really. Is that so hard?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EJ... you certainly aren't very wise. You weren't at Planet Comic Con in KC, and you have no idea what it was like for the cosplayers there. I'm from Boston originally, but I live in Kansas City now. I've been attending sci-fi, fantasy, literature, and other cons for years, all over the country, and in other countries. I've been a convention director, a featured author, a cosplay competitor, and a regular old attendee. I've never seen such a disorganized clusterfuck as KCPCC was this year... and SyFy threw oil on a smouldering ember.

      First of all... xenophobic? What the hell are you talking about? She wasn't "snubbing her fellow con-goers." She was reacting to the REALITY that the cosplay contest had been RIGGED. SyFy had cherry-picked a few people to come in as ringers to win a competition that SyFy itself had re-organized the day before to make it almost impossible for other people to be prepared for it. If you weren't one of SyFy's darlings, you had no idea that there were going to be crazy new requirements for the competition that had been re-written THE DAY BEFORE. Pointing out that some folks weren't locals wasn't xenophobic. It was a simple, one-word distinction to make because all of SyFy's ringers were from out of town. Sure, we get plenty of attendees to Kansas City conventions from out of town, but the way she used the term here, it was to indicate the folks who had been specifically imported to cause reality TV havoc at a local convention. That's not xenophobic - that's reality TV.

      Second... the people at most Kansas City conventions are as warm, welcoming, and friendly as you'd find anywhere. The man who runs KCPCC is a for-profit money-grubber, and that sets part of the tone for that convention. It's NOT typical of cons in our region. PCC had DOUBLED in size from the previous year. It was a mad house. The chair/owner of the con was busy micromanaging everyone, yelling at people behind the scenes (I know, I was his lead Security volunteer, and I can say this - NEVER AGAIN), and funneling all of his resources to suck up to the big guests. Food, comforts, and considerations that were supposed to go to volunteers and competition entrants disappeared. People who weren't with a celebrity guest or part of SyFy's entourage were treated like dirt. By the end of a long day of being jerked around, kicked around, and generally treated like an obstacle or a tool... YOU'D BE CRANKY TOO!

      I need to go to bed, as I have a long day ahead of me, but allow me to say this:

      Get off your high horse. You weren't there. You didn't experience what these hard-working young competitors experienced. I saw their costumes up-close. I've been competing in masquerade and cosplay competitions for years, and their work (collectively) was top-rate, worthy of best-in-show. Instead of being treated like human beings and normal masquerade competitors, SyFy manipulated the whole thing and ensured that they were treated like dirt. When they got justifiably upset about it, SyFy manipulated the situation and portrayed them in the worst possible light. These kids didn't want this. They wanted a normal cosplay competition. They'd spend thousands of hours working on their entry, so they did it anyway, and they got burned.

      Try to have a bit of perspective here... preferably one that doesn't involve the colonoscopy you're giving yourself with your own head.

      Delete
    2. EJ... you certainly aren't very wise. You weren't at Planet Comic Con in KC, and you have no idea what it was like for the cosplayers there. I'm from Boston originally, but I live in Kansas City now. I've been attending sci-fi, fantasy, literature, and other cons for years, all over the country, and in other countries. I've been a convention director, a featured author, a cosplay competitor, and a regular old attendee. I've never seen such a disorganized clusterfuck as KCPCC was this year... and SyFy threw oil on a smouldering ember.

      First of all... xenophobic? What the hell are you talking about? She wasn't "snubbing her fellow con-goers." She was reacting to the REALITY that the cosplay contest had been RIGGED. SyFy had cherry-picked a few people to come in as ringers to win a competition that SyFy itself had re-organized the day before to make it almost impossible for other people to be prepared for it. If you weren't one of SyFy's darlings, you had no idea that there were going to be crazy new requirements for the competition that had been re-written THE DAY BEFORE. Pointing out that some folks weren't locals wasn't xenophobic. It was a simple, one-word distinction to make because all of SyFy's ringers were from out of town. Sure, we get plenty of attendees to Kansas City conventions from out of town, but the way she used the term here, it was to indicate the folks who had been specifically imported to cause reality TV havoc at a local convention. That's not xenophobic - that's reality TV.

      Second... the people at most Kansas City conventions are as warm, welcoming, and friendly as you'd find anywhere. The man who runs KCPCC is a for-profit money-grubber, and that sets part of the tone for that convention. It's NOT typical of cons in our region. PCC had DOUBLED in size from the previous year. It was a mad house. The chair/owner of the con was busy micromanaging everyone, yelling at people behind the scenes (I know, I was his lead Security volunteer, and I can say this - NEVER AGAIN), and funneling all of his resources to suck up to the big guests. Food, comforts, and considerations that were supposed to go to volunteers and competition entrants disappeared. People who weren't with a celebrity guest or part of SyFy's entourage were treated like dirt. By the end of a long day of being jerked around, kicked around, and generally treated like an obstacle or a tool... YOU'D BE CRANKY TOO!

      I need to go to bed, as I have a long day ahead of me, but allow me to say this:

      Get off your high horse. You weren't there. You didn't experience what these hard-working young competitors experienced. I saw their costumes up-close. I've been competing in masquerade and cosplay competitions for years, and their work (collectively) was top-rate, worthy of best-in-show. Instead of being treated like human beings and normal masquerade competitors, SyFy manipulated the whole thing and ensured that they were treated like dirt. When they got justifiably upset about it, SyFy manipulated the situation and portrayed them in the worst possible light. These kids didn't want this. They wanted a normal cosplay competition. They'd spend thousands of hours working on their entry, so they did it anyway, and they got burned.

      Try to have a bit of perspective here... preferably one that doesn't involve the colonoscopy you're giving yourself with your own head.

      Delete
    3. did you NOT read why she got upset? Her group was blindsided with a neccessary skit they had to come up with out of no where to compete against the HoC. She is NOT making any excuses. You know you would be just as pissed too if that happened you.

      Sorry gay man, your point is invalid here. You wasted your precious time.

      Delete
    4. and she did apologize! Scroll up!

      Delete
    5. Mijan

      Im not saying that everything you said isn't true. But calling out the cosplayers for syfys and the con organizers greed is still not ok. Two wrongs don't make a right. I think the Doctor Who people stood on their own merit, and didn't need to point out the "ringers" Heckling and making people feel bad is never ok in any light. Even the gal who posted that admitted she said things she regretted and apologized. That makes her a better person and humane. The "characters" of heros of cosplay are still people.

      Delete
  44. i thought your guys costumes were awesome and im amazed to see people from the show coming here to talk it out. people should spread this and let people know what the tv didnt show and that both sides admit fault and can act like adults. im amazed they didn't have categories even my local con of 1000 attendees has cosplay novice and advanced categories

    ReplyDelete
  45. So your Sister was the 3rd Doctor... Well all that drama aside... At least I got to see a very cute version of the 3rd Doctor :)

    Glad you guys stood your ground... And awesome cosplays... Seeing K-9 was a treat!

    Keep on powering through!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I'm from Kansas City. We were at Planet Comicon and we talked to you guys. (We didn't see the group competition). You were all lovely and wonderful and clever and we thought you were delightful. A friend who watched the show last night alerted me to how you were portrayed. I haven't watched the show - I loathe exploitative reality shows and definitely didn't want to see one that turned a hobby I enjoy and find collaborative and cooperative into a giant catfight boobfest - but another friend pointed me to this blog post. I am so sorry that these things happened, and I wanted you to know that I saw you at the con and I thought you were fantastic x 11.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I have to say, this is kinda bull. If you went to a convention and were booed for being an "out of towner" how would you feel? You try to blame it on tv but the truth unfortunately is that you agreed with the person in the audience who told them they were unwelcome there at the convention.

    1. Everyone should feel welcomed at a convention, whether they're from there or not.

    2. Yeah.. maybe they paid 2k to make their costumes and fly them there, that doesn't make them elitist in the least bit, but for you to rag on them because costume making is their job is just really shitty, they spend as much time as other people do while also having a business to run.

    3. You made someone cry, I don't care who you are but that's just plain not right.

    Honestly the only thing I got from the show airing the Kansas City convention is, don't go to Kansas, they don't like out of towners. We don't treat people like that here in Seattle. Our anime convention actually celebrates how far people travel to come to it, and our Cosplay competition is all about Cosplay/acting, its not about where you come from.

    I honestly think this post is super childish, grow up, admit your wrong doings, and get on with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The out of towner comment from the audience was dubbed in by syfy. Even Chloe confirmed it.

      http://chloedykstra.tumblr.com/post/61626115876/final-response-re-kansas-city-debacle

      The Doctor Who group wasn't even the one who made the comment that was dubbed over.

      Delete
  48. I kinda wish someone had ran up on stage during the award presentations and started shouting "RIGGED! RIGGED! RIGGED! RIGGED!" right in front of Yaya and the cameras. Get the crowd to follow along. There would be no way Syfy could edit that out, nor would they be able to stage and reshoot the scene (the trauma to the "heroes" would have already been done).

    Anyways, with a little luck, Syfy will soon have a class-action lawsuit on their hands in only a few more days if they don't own up to stealing and using cosplay photos without the photographer's consent for the presentation of this whole series on their websites and in advertising, so even though I think both parties in this whole thing were in the wrong, at least the cosplay community in the end might get justice.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I read all about everything that happened and then decided to seek out the episode to watch it, and while I remain on your side because this show is awful, I have to ask about some of the content on the show. The part about calling them "fakes" and about them not being from Kansas City, was any of that redubbed, and if not, what was the full context of it? Because honestly that was the part that made you look worst out of everything, so I guess I'd like to know more about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, I have not seen the show. I know that no one said the line "out of towners," which would be especially silly for us to say, as our Nine had moved to Texas just before the convention and we had to pool our money to get her bus tickets to come.
      Given that, I would be very mistrustful of any line said that doesn't exactly match someone's lips.

      Delete
    2. So, the "not from Kansas City" line? Nothing along those lines was said? I thought that had been confirmed. My question is, can someone point to a specific action that a cosplayer on the show did that was rude? All of the bad stuff that happened looks like a demonstration in the horrors of TV production. Being the people caught up in that can't have been fun. Wouldn't the TV production get the blame? Shouldn't the Con itself be next in line? They must have allowed the shooting, allowed the delays and agreed to last minute changes to their competition. What negative actions did the cosplayers as people take? And were those actions before or after they were heckled. You kinda glossed over in your writing how rude it is to call people "plants" as you leave. Just leave if you're upset. Is she calling them fakes? That person was clearly trying to be rude to them. She was clearly allowed to leave as was most of the audience according to you. Why throw stones and more negativity into the situation as you walk out? But, the person who defensively responds because they feel their passion is under attack gets your rage. They responded poorly by using $ as an example, but when someone attacks you as a fake when it comes to your passions, people get upset. I guess my basic question is, did any of the cosplayers from the show do rude things? Also, I'm curious, did Chloe come up before all of this and compliment you guys and take pictures? That seems like a hand reaching across the isle. Did you guys compliment any of them. Or why not voice these frustrations to Chloe? It may not have changed anything, but it seems most options are better than a yelling match. Appreciate you telling your story.

      Delete
    3. Chloe did come by before, and she was sweet and great. We loved her wings, though I wasn't familiar with the character.

      Afterwards, she was one who came up to us. In retrospect, I think she was trying to be genuinely helpful, but at the time we just wanted to go home. We'd already either changed out of our costumes or had stripped down to the minimal amount of clothing to not get arrested for exposure. I was actually down to a corset and a nightgown, and really didn't want to spend half an hour chatting in a hallway with a camera pointed at me. We had missed all of Sunday afternoon's panels, we hadn't had a chance to eat for eight hours, and we just really wanted to go home.

      Delete
    4. Totally understand. Any insight to my larger question? Any specific rude things the cosplayers did as individuals? Things that can't easily be traced back to bad decisions and poor planning by production and the con? I assume your Con organizers agreed to allow filming and agreed to these last competition changes. It's clear that the audience and other cosplayers were put in a bad and frustrating situation. But, it seems to me that the people making the agreements to put you in that situation should get the brunt of blame. That seems to be TV produduction and the Con.

      Delete
    5. Aside from the exchange backstage, I can't say that I experienced any real rudeness. Of course, aside from the exchange backstage and the exchange afterwards, I really didn't interact with any of the cosplayers. They had a roped off green room (well, curtained cubical thing) and we didn't really get a chance to talk to them before.

      (Take that back -- on Saturday, I may have called Becky in her Bioshock Elizabeth gown a TARDIS. At least I said that to an "Elizabeth," and the memories are a little fuzzy. The "Elizabeth" mentioned she'd been getting a lot of that. If that was Becky, I didn't know at the time that she was affiliated with the show, and nothing about the encounter stood out.)

      Delete
    6. Well, other than the apparently positive interaction with Chloe.

      Delete
  50. I saw your group's costumes at the convention itself. They were EXCELLENT. I've been competing in cosplay since 2006, and I have so much fun doing it. I'm a member of the International Costumers Guild, and you can find me running around in a costume at almost any local convention unless I'm working the con... and sometimes, even then. I spent half a day at Naka-Kon as Jack Frost, even though I was the Director of Security. In short, I love cosplay.

    I despise what SyFy is doing. I despise what they did to the cosplay competition at PCC. I despise what they did to you personally. When I heard that some of the "heroes" were competing in costumes that weren't fully homemade, I was infuriated. My wife even sews her own UNDERGARMENTS for historical costume competition. Cosplay competitions are supposed to be about MAKING your costume as much as showing it off.

    And they mandated a skit? SERIOUSLY? Oh gods, I'm so glad I decided not to competing in the cosplay competition. I was volunteering on security for PCC anyway, and they had me balls-to-the-wall busy. (In fact, that had its own drama, and I will never volunteer for PCC again. The guy who runs it is a money-hungry, tempermental micromanager... but that's another story. If any of the security volunteers were rude to you when you tried to get back onto the main floor, I apologize... we were all overworked, underfed, and had been treated like slave labor all day.)

    Either way, pretty much every real cosplayer has seen what's been happening with this reality cosplay bullshittery, and we know it's not your fault. I had no idea they'd been that rude to the local competitors.

    For what it's worth... come to Naka-Kon next spring. I promise, SyFy will NOT be allowed to invade our cosplay competition, and the judging will be thorough and fair. Hell... please just come so we can see your gorgeous Doctor Who costumes again.

    ReplyDelete
  51. The main point I got from this article was that the issue had less to do with the "heroes" and more to do with the way the tv crew came in and took over the con. Which is perfectly understandable. As someone who can only afford to go to a con about once every year, I would hate to get there only to find it hijacked by a bunch of producers and guys with cameras and changing how things are usually run.

    I read a great article a few weeks back that talked about this show and the company behind it. Apparently 51 Minds is well known for this type of drama. Here's a quote from the article:

    "Well, the primary function of a reality show is to create conflict and make people look like a–holes. 51 Minds, the company that makes this show, is one of the all-time bests at this. They did all the great VH1 “celebreality” shows like The Surreal Life, Flavor of Love, Rock of Love, Charm School and I Love Money. The whole point is to take people from certain lifestyles or scenes — in the case of those shows, Z-list celebrities, groupies, strippers, juiceheads — and throw them in a Thunderdome and make them fight for fame and/or money. That is essentially what’s gone on in Heroes of Cosplay, but with cosplayers."

    It sucks, but when I heard they were making a cosplay reality show this is pretty much what I expected. I think what I hate most about this show is how its divided the cosplay community and created so much hatred towards the cast of the show. Now I don't know any of the "heroes" personally, but I do think they've been getting a lot of unnecessary hate from the cosplay community just for being on this show.

    Again, in the case of the conflict between your two groups, I don't personally know what exactly happened. But I'd like to think that whatever arguments erupted between you guys wasn't because any of you are just plain terrible or mean people, but because it was a stressful and frustrating situation, probably being egged on by a reality tv crew trying to create some cheap drama, that just caused both of your groups to snap at each other. These things happen to everyone and they come with the unfortunate side effect of both sides coming out looking bad.

    So I'm really sorry about what happened at your con, but I hope your group and the rest of the cosplay community can stop placing the entirety of the hate on the cast of the show. And the same goes for your group too. The last thing I want to see is for people to start taking sides. Because we're all apart of the same community, and if we spend all of our energy just hating on each other then what the heck is the point?

    ReplyDelete
  52. It doesn't matter if they travel from the other side to the world to compete. It's just a cosplay competition, and anyone can enter. Is there a restriction from people not being able to enter the contest just because they're not from the town? Was there a restriction for professional cosplayers not to enter the contest? No, there wasn't. So, therefore, anyone can compete. If just by means of the program HoC, Yaya and the rest of her crew ended up in this con, that's nothing to do with the program. You're just ranting cuz you didn't win anything. It doesn't matter if you can only attend a con once a year (I do the same), but you should focus on your craft, your sewing, your abilities in general, instead of telling other people they don't deserve to be there. You didn't defend yourself, you just appeared as close-minded. I'm not trying to pick on you, or to defend Yaya and the rest of the crew of HoC, but no one should ever pick on other cosplayer for doing what they love: cosplay. Whatever with the fact they have the money and the resources, I'm pretty sure they didn't have it when their careers started, same as you. Instead of saying negative, focus on yourself and try to make a better cosplay of you. Only that way you can improve and then be called an "out-towner". See if you like it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you kidding me?

      First of all, how can you say she's "ranting cuz [she]didn't win anything," when she WON BEST CRAFTSMANSHIP? In IGC (International Costumers Guild) competitions, the craftsmanship award is just as big as the presentation award. That's a huge prize.

      Second of all, the people who were "imported" by SyFy had an unfair advantage that you're not acknowledging. SyFy forced PCC's cosplay contest to CHANGE THEIR RULES at the last minute. The SyFy show cosplayers knew what those rules would be, and had prepared accordingly. The other folks had no idea that the rules had changed until they were ready to compete, and it completely screwed up their presentations.

      Let me give you an analogy. Imagine that you see an announcement for a little basketball competition... a local free-throw competition. It's going to be fun. You played in high school, and you were good at free throws. You practice a few free throws, and go down to the competition. When you get there, they tell you that the competition is full-court basketball, and then you find out that the other team has brought in a bunch of NBA stars.

      And third... you have the gall to tell this cosplayer that she needs to focus on her sewing??? Did you SEE her group's costumes up close? I did - they were incredible. I'm a competitive costumer/cosplayer, and I know quality when I see it. And while her group MADE everything in their entry, many of the "Heroes of Cosplay" folks DID NOT. Don't tell this woman to "focus on her craft" when the ringers that were brought in by SyFy hadn't even made most of their own costumes!

      You have no idea what really went down with this competition. I was at KCPCC. I didn't compete this time because I was busy working the convention, but I knew what was going on. Amy had every right to be upset.

      Delete
    2. Uh....they did win something? The Dr Who group won best craftmanship. I'm not entirely sure what post you were reading....

      Delete
    3. But they did win. And they won after dumping on a woman who had just been in the hospital and was standing in front of them crying. Oh, and that woman lost.

      Talk about bad winners and poor sportsmanship.

      Delete
  53. And what a shame my comment will only be visible after approval.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't mind people telling me I'm wrong -- I'm an old hand at the internet. But since my friends are reading this too, I'm not going to allow them to read the posts that call us vulgar names.

      Delete
    2. You're not alone. My comment wasn't posted either despite 100% clean language and no vulgar names. Just logic from an outside source who felt there was no excuse for the negativity. The only comments being shown are the ones that support the OP with a few of the "less logical and more angry" posts tossed in to make the OP appear fair and those who felt she (and her group) were out of line look like white knights of syfy. I hope the OP will quit seeking only sympathy and allow others their fair opinion on something made public on television.

      Delete
  54. I had never heard of cosplay before this show and started watching since it was after Face/Off.

    I can understand being upset at producers of a television show, but I don't understand why it was taken out on the competitors and not the producers. No site has mentioned what the ramifications would have been if you had not agreed to be on the show. Didn't you have a choice? Or did you not (in which case, you're getting into the legal area of forced labor and should have called the police)? And, geez, you've got a woman crying who was just at the hospital, and she's getting dumped on? Or are you saying the hospital visit was a fake to make them look more sympathetic?

    The earlier episodes of this show made cosplay look like fun and the community as focusing on the celebration of fandom and performance. But this episode made me wonder: do you not want people coming to cons like this and spending money? Isn't that a goal of promotional activities like this, to promote the con and get people excited about being a part of this? Because I can say that the last place I would ever want to show up now is Kansas City. If I trip over my foot and get a gash in my leg, it looks like I'd be left to bleed to death because I don't belong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The competitors are hardly innocent of wrongdoing...

      Delete
    2. I don't know whether to agree or disagree because I don't know which competitors you are describing.

      Delete
    3. I really doubt the local competitors in the show had any idea of what had happened on the show prior to the episode that they suddenly found themselves dropped into-- I'd be surprised if any of them had even heard of it, otherwise alarm bells probably would have been ringing as soon as they saw the name of the production on the waiver. How on earth could they be expected to know that one of the SyFy competitors had just been to hospital, or that the costumes weren't all (or mostly) produced by professional costuming studios prior to the show? The presence of light rigs, grips, and prerecorded dialogue in the SyFy skits would have made their performances look pretty suspiciously polished.

      If you haven't been to a small convention yourself, it may be that you just haven't experienced the way these sorts of events normally go down. Larger shows like Emerald City and DragonCon would be used to the presence of professionals; from the sounds of it, this show was not, and the locals went in expecting a low-key, low-pressure competition among friends. It was extremely unfair on the part of the production company to drop everyone into the competition without making it explicitly clear what they were signing on for.

      I may be biased because I loathe reality television, but if I found that I had been roped into one because of misunderstanding or misrepresentation, I would be livid. And I certainly feel enraged on behalf of the people who found themselves in that situation-- they may have legally consented when they signed the forms, but that consent was not properly informed beforehand, or else I suspect a lot of them would have backed out.

      Delete
    4. All of that makes perfect sense. But I'm still wondering specifically about the altercation we saw with Becky. I know editing is at work, which is why I am asking so I can know the truth. We see Becky say she just left the hospital. We see her crying. We hear the Dr. Who women challenging her. I want to know what Becky did to deserve that challenge. It looks like being a bad winner and berating someone who is already down. If I'm wrong, just tell me. I just think the producers deserved the crap, not the contestants, and certainly not Becky.

      Your point out consent not being informed; that's interesting. What was left out of the form? I've been to a couple of public situations where filming for reality shows was going on, and I signed the forms, but I made sure never to speak on camera because I fear something like this happening. There's a food competition show where I appear in the background, but I would not speak when a boom mic approached our group even though the food was fantastic.

      I'm also dying to know why no one seemed to care that out-of-towners were winning awards in the individual challenge. Were those altercations just edited out? Or is it considered okay for out-of-towners to enter individual competitions?

      Delete
  55. Looking over the comments and the blog post itself, and having watched the show, I have a few comments of my own.

    My first is that many people need to realize that while it is a "reality" show, it still needs to be edited and fit into 45 minutes. So hours on hours of material fits into 45 minutes. Things will be left out or slightly altered, it happens.


    Next, I think the internet and the show have shown both sides and no one person is to blame, but each person contributed to the "mess." I am glad to see that all groups have acknowledged they were in the wrong and people have seen both sides.


    Regarding that the show does not demonstrate "real" cosplay. I find that false. Cosplaying is a hobby like any other. Some people do it and want to take themselves to the next level (look at Jessica/Holly and Riki) and do this full time as costume designers and such. Others want to compete and others just want to have fun. It is part of what it is like to do this. They are doing just as much cosplay as others are. So when I see people calling it "fake" it really upsets me because I have seen plenty of images and videos of cosplays at other cons and they look awesome and intricate.

    Overall, I think people need to take a few breathes, remember things happen in the heat of the moment, remember that TV only shows so much and also remember that we're all human, just learn and don't make mistakes twice.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Unreality shows generally make whomever is on them look stupid. In this case it makes many of them seem self absorbed, privileged, whiney, incompetent, and/or a pain in the ass.

    Those that do such shows need to understand that even when you say "but that's not the real me,' it WILL be how people perceive you. And you will have to live with that for a long, long time.

    I just hope con organizers take heed and put an end to the TV show manipulation of their events. No matter how much money they get out of it. It will just ruin things for everyone.

    And yes, to me the show is boring and stupid and very craptastic. I find the best parts are when they show other costumes in passing.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Yes, editing can make even the most innocent comment look bad, but when the heroes chose to yell at strangers, be it directed or not they had to know there wasn't a "good" way for that to play out.
    Agree'ing to be on a reality tv show in the first place you go into it knowing it's going to be heavily edited and trashy, it's reality tv not a documentary. It was never promoted as one, perhaps that had been Miss Han's original intent, but when contracts were handed out and details specified, they knew what they were signing up for. If they didn't, they were free to break contract and leave. It wouldnt be the first time someone walked out of a reality show and it wouldnt be the last.
    Yes the production company is to blame, so are the directors, and the editors and anyone who gives this show ratings, but the "Heroes" had to know things were going to go south when things like a "confession room" and being egged on to produce drama occurred. They may not be nasty girls in real life, but they knew they what they were getting in to and they still antagonized the Who group if this account is true.

    ReplyDelete
  58. You can villainize the "heroes" all you want, but there was really only one "villain" (or group of villains) in this situation and - as you so neatly pointed out in the interest of making yourself seem the victim - that was you and your group. Taking syfy out of the situation for the moment with their cameras and altering the rules of the competition from previous years, you're left with a) a group of girls from out of town who happen to be "pros" when it comes to making costumes and b) a group of local girls who are not "pros" but still made their costumes but were RUDE and CRUEL to the girls from out of town. Again, without syfy involved, you have a group of girls who spent lots of time and money on their costumes about to go on stage who suddenly find themselves being jeered at by the crowd and suddenly being called out by a group of local girls RIGHT NEXT TO THEM. It's cruel, it's rude, and it's against everything our community is about. You may toss out excuses all day, but the truth is: you and your group crossed the line. "Syfy plants" or no, you were hurtful to other cosplayers who were there to have fun and who assumed that they would be welcome as that is the usual spirit of the community.

    Now, go ahead and add syfy back in (since yes, they are a major part of this and a comment with angry words against them would be another way too long post), and honestly.. it just makes the situation worse. I'm sure once they were aware that the local groups didn't know there was supposed to be a skit that the "heroes" felt uncomfortable enough (not to mention the illnesses and injuries that took place earlier in the day) and you only sought to make them feel worse. Not only that.. you did it in front of a camera. It's generally assumed that people act BETTER in a public setting than they do in private (where they reveal who they really are)... but there you and your group was displaying their negative spirits knowing full well that they signed a waiver allowing their poor conduct to be displayed on television. Goodness knows what you would have said to them had a camera NOT been around. Point is, yes syfy has managed to cause drama with their show and should be receiving plenty of letters harsh letters about this, but you and your group were out of line. Period. You should have taken complaints to the show, the convention, or directly to the network. Attacking fellow cosplayers is pathetic. You have my sympathy for finding a convention you were looking forward to turned into a madhouse by syfy crew.. but that is all. It doesn't excuse your behavior.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I have read this a few times and a few places.
    I really feel sympathy for your group, as well as anyone (Including the people portrayed on the show to be shown out of context)

    The editing was atrocious, it was done to slip comments in out of context to make drama, villainize people, shame people, and more.

    The fact that they basically mislead the audience starting with the narration of episode 1 stating that every contest has thousands of dollars in prize money more than angered me. This was a blatant false statement.

    I only continued to watch the show because if there is a second "season" there is a chance it may ask to film at the convention I currently sit on the executive board for, and by actually watching the show, I would be able to give a properly researched no vote (I may be the vice president, but I am only a single vote on a 10 person board)

    This does not even get into possible contractual requirements that the show would try and impose, such as changing cosplay contest format to suit the show's needs, even if it means screwing over entrants who may not be informed of this change until the last moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  60. You were wrong and your emotions got the best of you. Not only was I present in the audience, I heard 1 or 2 audience members yell the "outoftowners" remark, and only 5 people from that same group applauded. Your true self came out and you overreacted. It just so happens that cameras were there to film your true self. You got jealous, mad and upset that your chances of winning were dashed. You did what every 5 year old girl does - you started arguing. You are a poor sport and showed poor "gamesmanship". You sister was right - her decision to get you to walk away from this was smart. You were uncontrollable just like the children she teaches. As for your lie stating "... but also that we had to do a skit. In speaking to other entrants, we realized that no one had been aware of this requirement, and that in fact the skit requirement had been added only a day before the competition." the skit was announced about 25 days earlier. Not only was it on the planetcon site, the "Heroes" show did a nice job in showing how the stars spent about 3 weeks practicing on their skit - a feet not able to be done if a skit was announced the day prior.

    I hope you and your crew will learn from your mistakes, move on and try to be better next year. But I doubt you will since you have surrounded yourself with "yes men" friends and anonymous posters who are supporting you throughout this ordeal. At you were honest when you said you join in the heckling... but being honest in admitting you did something wrong is useless if you follow it up with making excuses for doing it. "We were tired hungry and frustrated..." that your dream was being dashed... so you basically lashed out at someone innocent, just like a 5 year girl would.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Considering one of the cast members themselves admitted that the "Out of Towners" heckle was dubbed in, I highly doubt you heard that.

      Delete
    2. The most vocal line was "Great job to everyone but the plants" but thats not to say they didn't say something about out of towners by other people. I was also in the audiance and I heard both things said.. Then I found out later the girl who said the plant thing was a friend of the Dr who girls.

      And regardless if its dubbed or not, those girls said what they said and are just trying to use the excuse they got dubbed over because they know they can hide behind the hate of the show rather then just stick by the fact they made a mistake in dealing with their emotions and personally attacking the cast rather than taking it up with production, the con, or I dunno.. just leaving.

      Delete
    3. I was in the back of the audience (and it was a sparse audience at that considering how long it went). Regardless, there's enough people on here who said they heard the "out of towners" comment and the "great job to everyone except the plants" comment to prove that it did indeed happen. Trying to deny it is nonsense.

      What I do believe happened is that the microphones did not pick it up because the "outoftowners" comments happened about 15 feet from my seat while the cameras and stars were up front behind the drapes thing. I bet production added it in so tv viewers could hear it - not to add fake drama.

      The best response would have been "Listen we all worked really hard for our costumes. I had no idea that professionals were going to be in this contest. You costumes are awesome and you guys deserve to win." Being gracious would have earned Amy more public points than not.

      Delete
  61. I think that the situation was handled very immaturely, and honestly? I found a lot of what I SAW to be from your group. You're not fully at blame, but the people, the COSPLAYERS, who you guys were arguing with are cosplayers too. They should be treated with the same amount of respect that you expect. Immaturity gets you nowhere. I had the same thing happen to me recently at a con. It's not. Appropriate. And just because Syfy comes in with a camera crew to film something does not make it terrible. Be happy. Your con is getting recognized even more throughout the country. Don't be stuck up about it.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Only a few commenters have touched on this, but it seems to me that Kansas City Planet Comic Con or the money grubbing man who runs it is largely to blame! Sounds like this man comprised his convention and his staff by allowing the show there in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, how they weren't more upset at the organizers or SyFy than their fellow cosplayers I don't understand. If all these delays and late changes were made, they must have been made with the organizers consent. Not to mention they would have allowed the production to film in the first place. If people are going to act like this community was intruded upon, then you need to look at who at the top allowed that.

      Delete
    2. A very good point. I've never been to that con but assuming, from the way it was described here, that it's a small con... I guess it makes sense that they would jump at the chance to have syfy film there. They definitely should have thought it through first though and made logical adjustments to their cosplay competition before agreeing to let syfy film.

      Delete
    3. There were over 7,000 people there. I don't know the exact numbers. It's not a small con. It's a mid-size. They like to THINK they're big. They had a few big name guests.

      The owner of the con is a money-grubbing sellout. He's a micromanager with a volatile temperment. He asked me to help recruit security staff from the security team I direct for another big convention in town, so I called up my staffers and we went in. He treated us like dirt. Never again.

      Also, anyone who is chicken enough to post anonymously shouldn't spew insults.

      Delete
  63. I would be mad at the con's managers, not at syfy or the cosplayers. But in all reality, the Heroes of Cosplay show is doing a great job in positively promoting the PlanetCon (and many other unknown cons -I had NO IDEA there were anime cons!) that will certainly increase attendance in the months to come, which is a good thing for everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  64. I really liked your costumes for all I have seen them for a few seconds. Never did cosplay myself so i watched it out of curiosity. I liked some parts of the show and some i didn't I hope that you will have better experience in the future and that people will have a better attitude in general regarding more friendly behavior that sort of thing. And I hope that everything is well for you. Have a nice day.

    ReplyDelete
  65. And this is why "reality" tv is a very particular brand of male bovine feces. I know someone who knows one of the contestants kicked off of Project Runway who was edited to seem like a bizzaro hippie idiot freak. Apparently he's actually a super sweet guy in real life who was shocked and incredibly hurt by the "idiot" edit they gave him.


    Which is why i'm 110% on your side on this one. Even though I wasn't there. Was it not a good idea to yell, probably but you know what? you're human. They could have probably made Tim Gunn look like an James Bond villain with the right amount of editing. Its bullcrap and its infuriating.

    ReplyDelete