Cosplay Ball Review
Review by: Geek Girl Zelda|
Geek Girl Zelda recently attended the Fandom Society's Cosplay Ball...
The inaugural Cosplay Ball thrown in Hollywood by the Fandom Society this past Thursday was quite the experience. For the event it was, the PR was remarkably low, and we almost missed hearing about it in time. I didn't know much of what to expect before attending, but was very impressed at what the event delivered – especially on a weeknight.
I arrived before the event opened, during the 21 and under meet and greet portion of the event. The Cosplay Ball was held at the Supperclub on Hollywood Blvd, a rather swanky space that I had not previously attended. The event was a bit of an unusual one for this club, I gathered. Both the mostly under 21 cosplayers and suited up bouncers seemed a bit taken aback at the presence of each other. Inside, it was an odd and intimate blend of VIP and fans while guests and fans alike mingle in costume. There is a red curtain drawn with a photographer taking photos of the guests, a bar for those over 21, ample and comfortable seating for everyone (almost unheard of), and a live stream of the event where anyone can talk to hosts from Fandom Society for their web show.
The people in attendance are varied at this point, mostly younger people in anime cosplay with an alarming amount of Homestuck and Homestuck mashups. I am dressed in a Black Canary outfit I sewed together the night before, and my date Scare Crobot from JaW Images Photography is dressed as amazing Rita Repulsa. Everyone looks great (just check out the photos!), is friendly and obviously having a good time. The bartenders and employees at the Supperclub also seem to be enjoying this change of pace, and it's cool to have a cosplay event at a venue that feels classy and where the cosplayers are treated well and not like weirdos. I didn't hear a negative comment all night. A redheaded employee asked us if he'd get made fun of for putting on a Ron Weasley costume he had in his car. We told him to have a look around and assured him he would not, and later in the night we saw him rocking the costume. It was a remarkably accepting and judgment free zone - a seemingly rare thing in the cosplay community these days.
Scare Crobot and I talk to lots of voice actors, actresses, and prop makers. At one point, a kick ass Rule 63 Alex from Clockwork Orange we had been admiring earlier comes over. With her os am awesome classic 60's Catwoman with perfect vintage hair. They compliment Scare Crobot on how amazing her boobs look in her costume, and we all have a laugh before realizing that the Alex is actually Top Model winner Adrienne Curry. Shortly after, someone points out our host, dressed as Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Oh, that's because he IS Zuko (his voice, that is) – not to mention Rufio from Hook. His name is Dante Basco, and he's been helping make the cosplay scene a more fun place to be in LA recently.
No one really seems to know much about what's going to be happening at this event tonight, although it seems that there are a lot of people tirelessly working to make it happen. There's a bit of an air of magic and mystery as everyone waits for – we don't know what exactly.
It starts to feel crowded. At the announcement from Dante, the curtain opens to reveal a much larger room – one many of us didn't realize was there. There is white seating around the entire place with tons of room for all the VIP guests (but tons of room for attendees too), a dance floor in the middle, and a DJ booth and stage overlooking it all. An aeriel rope drops from the ceiling with a Catwoman dancer, who does a really sexy routine while people watch on. Following which, celebrity youtube musician AJ Rafael (in his rufio wig) performs a Disney medley on his keyboard. Everyone in the audience sings along, especially during the portion of the song from Frozen. A fan dressed as Elsa joins on stage and people cheer, followed by a Homestuck Elsa cosplayer. For the end of the song, Dante Basco joins in too, because why not? That's just the kind of night it is.
The evening pretty much continues like that, with DJ sets, dancing, and a performance from the local video game band The Megas. (Originally, I had found out about the event through The Megas site, and word was most of the PR came about through Dante's Tumblr page). Suddenly, the audience seems to be full of people wearing The Megas t-shirts and rocking out in the front row. Many people in the audience are still below 21, and it's cool to see that there was plenty for them to enjoy in the evening before it turned to 21+. While being that age already feels like a long time ago, I have been cosplaying since I was 15 too. I am glad to see that there are places that all ages are welcome. It was intimate, but also respectful, and both fans and guests seemed to be genuinely having a good time.
Suddenly it seems that the younger crowd is gone, and I am still not sure how they were all escorted out. The vibe of the place is noticeably different, and the event is now a 21 and up nightclub. Dante is lowered down from the ceiling in a cage to Katamari Damacy music (my favorite) while people cheer Rufio! Rufio! Rufio! The night continues with dancing, DJ sets, mingling, drinks, and two more aeriel silk and pole acts (Spiderman and Wonder Woman). I see not one, but two Bruce Leeroy costumes and just about lose my shit. All in all it's a pretty damn good time, and I look forward to seeing the next event Fandom Society hosts. Dante mentioned wanting to take it as a national tour, so hopefully more of you will get the chance to experience it.
It's nice to see an event that feels VIP but that everyone has the chance to attend. There is something magical about being a part of an event that is super indie and fanmade, to be sure. But there is another, different kind of magic being a geek in a place with such high production value and class, too. If you missed it, be sure to check out the next one – it promises to only get better.
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Article by: Geek Girl Zelda
Photographer: JaW Images Photography
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April 10 2014