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Staying in character? Just curious what you guys think

#61 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

View PostGraphospasm, on 20 February 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

I worked at a murder mystery dinner theater for a summer and learned a few tricks that have served me well during my cosplaying efforts. Might I share?

First, there's a difference between preserving character and preserving demeanor. If you're walking around in-character at a con, sometimes it's okay to drop character and keep demeanor when someone engages you in conversation. It's basically picking and choosing which parts of the character you want to display. If your character is super chipper all the time but is super flaky and forgetful and somebody asks where the bathroom is, keeping in perfect character means not knowing where the bathroom is and letting the person wet themselves. Keeping demeanor means keeping the super chipper attitude but dropping the forgetfulness and telling them exactly how to find the damn bathroom, even taking them to it if they're especially lost. If they REALLY need help, dropping the demeanor and character entirely and acting like yourself is just plain logical.

I tend to walk around in character until I observe an indicator that the person speaking to me doesn't want me to be in character. For instance, if someone asks how I sewed my skirt, I'll drop character (maybe keeping demeanor, depending) and tell them what they want to know. Pretending my Sailor Scout uniform is magical even when asked a dozen times if I used a certain fabric is just obnoxious. However, sometimes people will approach and ask me things about other characters in the show or similar, so it's clear that they want an in-character response. At the murder mystery theater, people would often try to ask me how I got my acting job... that was a call for character dropping (so long as my supervisor was out of earshot). But when they asked things only my character would know, all bets were off and I'd burst into random song if I felt it was appropriate. Sometimes people love that. But the SECOND someone looks annoyed when I talk to them in character, I drop everything. Every. Thing. Some people are just more receptive to it than others and you're liable to get punched if you annoy someone who lacks that key sense of adventure and indulgent fun.

I cosplay Velma and I've been asked a dozen times where Daphne is when I walk around solo. I've trained myself to instantly respond with either a frustrated "She's been kidnapped AGAIN!" or an enthusiastic "It's a mystery!"--same when they ask about the boys or Scooby. People like that my reaction is in character and I know that they didn't *really* want to know that Daphne had to work all weekend and couldn't make the con this year. You just have to find that right balance, I suppose, because walking around looking for clues everywhere would be tiresome indeed. Although I did stalk around with magnifying glass to the ground for a good ten minutes last ACen, Daphne tra-la-laing on my heels. Eesh.

The second a camera comes up for photos the character comes back full force. The second it drops, I thank the person even if my character wouldn't do that. It's just courtesy.

Aaaaand... I'm sure there's more but right now I'm blanking. Whoops.



These are some great suggestions! It reminds me of the Cosplayer I heard of that did the Onceler that was an actress that did a whole improve skit for a fellow congoer that looked really tired. After she was done she dropped it and answered a lot of questions.

Would you suggest for people to practice their demenor and lines before trying to go in character?
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#62 User is offline   Graphospasm 

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 04:20 PM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 21 February 2013 - 01:22 PM, said:

These are some great suggestions! It reminds me of the Cosplayer I heard of that did the Onceler that was an actress that did a whole improve skit for a fellow congoer that looked really tired. After she was done she dropped it and answered a lot of questions.

Would you suggest for people to practice their demenor and lines before trying to go in character?


The cosplayer you described sounds awesome! Last year as Velma I had a little girl, maybe four/five/six years old, come up to me and Daphne and ask for a photo with us. She looked like she thought we were the actual characters, so we acted like the characters and talked about the "secret mystery" we were solving at A-Cen just to get her excited. There's really nothing more fun than making someone's day with a good character play, just like the cosplayer you described. She really does sound amazing to just start up a skit like that! :clap:

I would definitely suggest practicing ahead of time if you're aiming to do some extended character work. There's really nothing like good practice before getting into any kind of role! Getting a friend to ask you some questions while you try to maintain demeanor might be a good way to practice. Sometimes specific lines like the one I described for my Velma cosplay come out of actually being in the moment enough times to develop the lines, but practice can only be a good thing and you might learn way more than you think (mannerisms, walking patterns, things like that). Practicing photo poses wouldn't go amiss, either--my Daphne and I worked out several before hitting the floor in our cosplay and people consistently commented on how fun we looked in the photos since we weren't just, you know standing there. :)
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#63 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 06:24 PM

View PostGraphospasm, on 22 February 2013 - 04:20 PM, said:

The cosplayer you described sounds awesome! Last year as Velma I had a little girl, maybe four/five/six years old, come up to me and Daphne and ask for a photo with us. She looked like she thought we were the actual characters, so we acted like the characters and talked about the "secret mystery" we were solving at A-Cen just to get her excited. There's really nothing more fun than making someone's day with a good character play, just like the cosplayer you described. She really does sound amazing to just start up a skit like that! :clap:/>


In regard to the cosplayer: http://happyconstori...l-you-about-the I hope that it works. Also that is awesome about the little girl. I wish that I could gain the skills to do that. I love being in character for people, unfortunatly I worry I don't come off right.

Quote

I would definitely suggest practicing ahead of time if you're aiming to do some extended character work. There's really nothing like good practice before getting into any kind of role! Getting a friend to ask you some questions while you try to maintain demeanor might be a good way to practice. Sometimes specific lines like the one I described for my Velma cosplay come out of actually being in the moment enough times to develop the lines, but practice can only be a good thing and you might learn way more than you think (mannerisms, walking patterns, things like that). Practicing photo poses wouldn't go amiss, either--my Daphne and I worked out several before hitting the floor in our cosplay and people consistently commented on how fun we looked in the photos since we weren't just, you know standing there. :)/>


How often would you suggest practicing? Any good ways of studying the charater other then watching them on tv? Sadly while my sister dresses up she's not into the whole acting thing, so what can I do about that so that we can have fun in character?
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#64 User is offline   Graphospasm 

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 08:41 PM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 22 February 2013 - 06:24 PM, said:

In regard to the cosplayer: http://happyconstori...l-you-about-the I hope that it works. Also that is awesome about the little girl. I wish that I could gain the skills to do that. I love being in character for people, unfortunatly I worry I don't come off right.



How often would you suggest practicing? Any good ways of studying the charater other then watching them on tv? Sadly while my sister dresses up she's not into the whole acting thing, so what can I do about that so that we can have fun in character?



Wow, that tumblr post is amazing! :D Best cosplayer ever, hands down.

About being worried about coming across incorrectly--don't worry about it! That is seriously the first step toward playing a good role. You're adopting someone else's skin for just a little while; they wouldn't be worried about being who they are. :) Letting go of the ego is hard, but if you can let go of self-consciousness your character will seem a hundred times more real.

Good point about what to study when cosplaying. The source material is of course the closest you can get to the character, but it doesn't hurt to fill in the gaps the show doesn't cover. Actors tend to fill in their character's likes, dislikes, pasts, and all sorts of things just to flesh out the character as fully as possible (although that might feel overboard for just a cosplay; lol). Maybe peruse a few fanfics that deal with close character study, or try role playing characters with your sister before hitting the cosplay floor so you can get a feel for what you're dealing with. If nothing else, try to get down the general demeanor and a few poses for photos. :) Even if your sister doesn't like acting, she should find some enjoyment in being someone else for a day. It's a neat escape, so maybe play up the get-away-from-life aspect and see if she'll go along with it! :thumbup:
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#65 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:19 PM

It totally is! I actually like finding stuff like that, it really makes me feel good about people cosplaying and enjoying the characters. So basically it's like taking on a part in a show, throw to the wind your worries and become the character. That's a great idea with playing up the aspect of being another character. :thumbup: I'll work on that with her.

Do you think it's worth it to look at others that were cosplaying the same character and see how they get into their roles?
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#66 User is offline   Kamen Rider Gumo 

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 02:17 AM

I'm usually OUT of character even in costume, unless a situation calls for it. It's a lot easier to relax that way, IMO. :)
Why did I choose a Red Ribbon soldier for my cosplay? Because I'm a little short for a Stormtrooper.

#67 User is offline   JCWarriorCats 

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 04:54 PM

This is my first year cosplaying, and nobody really explained to me that a large amount of people would treat you like the real character. So I went in unprepared and without any good skills. I didn't pose right, I didn't talk like my character, I was all shy and flabbergasted. Some people just wanted to talk to my character and I was too dumbfounded to respond.

Another thing is, sometime should cant predict what people will ask you. I had one guy ask me if I lost something in prison since I was prison Rukia. I literally ran away because I didn't really know what else to do and I wasn't sure if he was being creepy or not.

My suggestion then though Im not very experienced, is that maybe people should learn to do some impromptu acting exercises. I know there are some games that require this by coming up with a certain scenario and how a character can react. This way you an prepare yourself for such unexpected questions. Get together with some friends and make a party out if it. Have people make certain questions or scenarios to pull out of the hat and have you do as your character. This way you can be ready for anything, and it can help you stay in character when you NEED to be. I totally agree with KNOW YOUR CHARACTER LIMITS. Don't annoy or insult people for the sake of a good sell on a cosplay because you'll just come off obnoxious.
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#68 User is offline   CharlotteStar 

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 04:35 PM

I usually stay out of character unless the situation calls for me to get into it - like for pictures or if someone approaches me and wants an in character response. But then again, the last few years I've gone as Belldandy and she's not that hard to pull off even if your acting normally. I think, for her, so long as you smile your good lol. I also went as Eclair from Kiddy Grade a couple years ago but she's also not too difficult to do.

Though I do like it when people get really into it :) I think it makes the whole experience more fun.

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#69 User is offline   WatchJessieGo 

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 05:20 PM

I've never acted in character for a cosplay besides with posing. I personally don't see much fun in it, but that's just me.

I pretty much agree with everyone else. Don't be rude or indecent regardless of whether or not it's in character. Don't be loud, don't be obnoxious, don't invade anyone's personal space without permission. Also, have some common sense. If someone's come up to you crying or they're in a serious situation in need of help, don't act like a character, act like a human being.
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#70 User is offline   CrimsonAnime 

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 12:53 PM

I really like seeing all the responses here!
Reading this thread really makes me want to do a lot better in acting up my characters. I often find that I don't play the character well enough unless I am being asked for a photo.

This year I am going as Pocahontas and I want to do a better job putting the PLAY in cosplay. But I don't want to go overboard. (my mom keeps joking that I should burst into Colors of the wind)
So I agree that there should be a balance even if it is one that doesn't come from source material but rather from the idea of the source material. For example I am thinking that I might play around when I see cars and jump into the bushes like I'm scared of them. Or...something...
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#71 User is offline   CharlotteStar 

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:06 PM

View PostCrimsonAnime, on 24 March 2013 - 12:53 PM, said:

For example I am thinking that I might play around when I see cars and jump into the bushes like I'm scared of them. Or...something...


You could crawl or sneak around a lot - like how Pocahontas did when she was sneaking up on John Smith at the waterfall - and just look all suspicious and careful. Granted, it's much more subtle than jumping from cars but at least this is something you can do inside (just in case it's cold that weekend) and not worry about getting scratched up by bushes or landing in/on something unpleasant :).
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#72 User is offline   JCWarriorCats 

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:45 AM

View PostCrimsonAnime, on 24 March 2013 - 12:53 PM, said:

I really like seeing all the responses here!
Reading this thread really makes me want to do a lot better in acting up my characters. I often find that I don't play the character well enough unless I am being asked for a photo.

This year I am going as Pocahontas and I want to do a better job putting the PLAY in cosplay. But I don't want to go overboard. (my mom keeps joking that I should burst into Colors of the wind)
So I agree that there should be a balance even if it is one that doesn't come from source material but rather from the idea of the source material. For example I am thinking that I might play around when I see cars and jump into the bushes like I'm scared of them. Or...something...


Well if you are Pocahontas en you should probably learn their good bye and hellos like from the movie. There's a small place to start. And also if you want to keep in character, I don't know if ou have seen Pocahontas two but that's a great example on how she would react in normal society. She seems to be curious. So maybe don't take things that would seem unusual to her but maybe ask a cosplayers or something if you can see what is odd like if they have a prop and do so,etching a bit odd wi it? Just a few ideas.
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#73 User is offline   Fantasia 

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:12 PM

I am going to practice tons to be in character, especially for Maleficent and Nepeta. Playing kingdom hearts has helped me loads xD
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Posted 19 April 2013 - 10:56 PM

A cosplay I tend to do at every con I go is a moogle (if you don't know what a moogle is, you are dead to me :P ). And it's a mascot type cosplay so I tend to not speak at all when wearing it and do everything possible to communicate by miming or other such bodily gestures. Many find it cute and take it well, cause well.. who really expects a mascot to speak? It's not like Mickey Mouse talks to you when yur at Disneyland. haha.

As for others. I agree with most here that in character is nice to an extent. Poses are cool when in character and some dialogue is cool. It's also neat when cosplay gatherings happen and certain characters interact with each toher as you would expect to in your favorite anime or video game or tv series. But do break character at some point, especially when someone is trying to communicate with YOU and not the character you're portraying..
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#75 User is offline   Kasumisty 

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 11:04 PM

No, I don't think people would appreciate a splicer randomly attacking everyone for their ADAM ;)/>/> or Rena squealing about wanting to take everyone home and/or trying to kill people (Higurashi), etc...
Anyway I'm not good at acting so it would probably look stupid if I tried too much, I just pose for photos or once in a while if I'm doing a group cosplay and interacting with my friends I might act like the character.

This post has been edited by Kasumisty: 19 April 2013 - 11:06 PM

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#76 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 02:36 AM

Might I suggest for everyone that is doing a Disney character to check out on Youtube the Disney characters at Disneyworld. A lot of videos are shot of the Facecharacters from there and they show you how they react to things or how they may talk to normal people. I found a few. Also watch the movie, try to get their walk or stance when they're waiting. I know it might seem weird but finding that can help a lot.

For Pocahontas: https://www.youtube....h?v=JckKQJi-3ps

Practice helps, and remember most of all, no one here is a professional. Some might be but the majority are just here to have fun, so perfection isn't required.

Hope that helps some people. :highfive:
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#77 User is offline   brycer9 

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 09:07 PM

i love staying in character i think thats what cosplay is all about

#78 User is offline   Leaf 

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:21 AM

Being in-character is fun for both the cosplayer and other con-goers, but like many others have said- balance is key. If you're having fun being in-character, it's okay to step outside of that to accept a compliment or help out other congoers.

Complainers and haters do really bother me. If you found an Aang eating a cheeseburger, would you chew him out? If a cosplayer forgets a teeny detail about their character, do you criticize them? I hope the answer is "no". Because that's not only awkward, but it's inconsiderate. We're all excited to meet others who understand us.
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Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:53 PM

View PostLeaf, on 22 April 2013 - 07:21 AM, said:

Complainers and haters do really bother me. If you found an Aang eating a cheeseburger, would you chew him out? If a cosplayer forgets a teeny detail about their character, do you criticize them? I hope the answer is "no". Because that's not only awkward, but it's inconsiderate. We're all excited to meet others who understand us.



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#80 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:11 PM

It's kind of funny in that people expect Disney face character when they go to a convention. Makes me go, yeah...no...we're not being paid here to stay in character all day long. I tend to ignore the complainers too, but it makes me a bit nervous when they feel hurt because "I didn't do it right."
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#81 User is offline   Shuichilove 

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:41 PM

Don't even try to ask me to be in character, I am a character.
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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:15 AM

A lot of characters I cosplay are quiet, shy, or well-mannered... I, on the other hand, am not, so it's sometimes difficult to be in character all the time. Usually, I'm in character just for photos or when I'm goofing off with the people cosplaying in the group.
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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:22 AM

Back when I actually seriously cosplayed I couldn't remember to stay in character.

I doubt I still could.
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Posted 28 April 2013 - 12:44 PM

I'm pretty shy, but I get really hyper and energetic when it comes to ACen (I have a problem with shaky hands due to an adrenaline burst and a bit of social anxiety). I'm going as Princess Bubblegum again this year (I was her last year as well), yet I wasn't all too sure how to act as her. I do love staying in character when I can. I want to just go all out regal princess, since I'm pretty dainty anyway.
~ACen 2014/2015: Princess Peach~
~ACen 2013: Princess Bubblegum/Fionna~

#85 User is offline   Grimmons 

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 12:47 PM

I'm doing Theodora from Oz the Great and Powerful so we'll see how much I can stay in character, haha. I can't really do the laugh, not that I've tried
ACen 2014

Bilbo Baggins
Yu Yu Hakusho - Hiei
Wizard of Oz/Oz the Great and Powerful - Wicked Witch

#86 User is offline   oooBAMFED 

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 05:15 PM

Well, it's basically been said but I don't really advise staying in character if the character you cosplay is generally just loud and obnoxious. I also don't think it's a good idea to go up to someone cosplaying and expect them to act like their character.

For example, a friend and I were cosplaying Roxas and Axel from Kingdom Hearts. We had just walked into the convention center and suddenly we hear this scream and then see a girl running towards us. I thought she was going to try and glomp us (which thankfully didnt happen considering my friend and I were both wearing ridiculously high heeled boots and no way could have caught her). She asked us personal questions regarding to the game and while I can do an okay job of staying in character, my friend freezes up and dislikes the attention. Another time the same friend and I were cosplaying Saix and Xemnas (from KH) and another organization member ran up to us, in character and expecting us to be in character as well.

I would say unless you see someone acting as their character, don't expect someone cosplaying to be willing/appreciate having to act like his/her character. If you get the vibe that they are uncomfortable, then drop it. Say thanks or maybe ask them about their costume. But don't keep pushing for an in-character response.

One time I was cosplaying Gaara and I passed another Gaara in the hallway. I just smiled but the other Gaara rolled his eyes and muttered something like "oh great, another one!" That shocked me and later, as I saw him more throughout the day, I realized he was just staying in-character. People need to remember to tone it down though if their character usually acts like a *insert rude word that ACen forums apparently dont like* though. WORDS CAN HURT OKAY. Just have some respect that certain people may not find your humor as funny as you do.

tldr;;;I'm not saying it's bad to be in character! Just make sure to stop if someone seems to not like it and realize some people can be uncomfortable with the pressure of having to act.

Last year I saw a Castiel from Supernatural alone and completely in character and that was awesome! I love seeing Disney characters in character as well (they're pretty harmless I would say).

This post has been edited by oooBAMFED: 29 April 2013 - 05:18 PM


#87 User is offline   ApplePillow 

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 05:33 PM

Well I LOVE it when people are in character but I hate it when people can get rude when it comes to cosplays and all that stuff. If the character is rude in general, they can say a few rude things to friends or people dressing up in the series but try to say it in a more joking tone or at least tell them you were trying to be in character afterwards so you don't offend them.
If I really know the character it'd be cool if they were greatly in character. I'd rather they not completely do it by their actions though,since many things chracters do in a series can be offensive or disturb another congoer or cosplayer.

Though I agree with a lot of people who have spoken in this topic!

I can't really be in character this year since all my character does is "SSSSSS" like a snake and I wouldn't mind answering a few questions and stuff so I'll only do it at the right moments. My voice is very soft though so I'd have to be loud while in the cosplay because its even HARDER to hear me ; I just really hope people don't think I'm yelling at them.
I won't be going to ACen 2015 sadly ;;;; (I am going to Anime Expo) but I'll be back for 2016!
ACen 2016 cosplays:
Tamamo no Mae [Fate/Extra] (0%)
Majora [Gijinka] (0%)
Monitorkuma (40%)

#88 User is offline   Jadante 

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:17 PM

I want to stay in character more than I do.. then again, some characters I've cosplayed have been difficult for me, haha. I'm not at all quiet like Yuna. I'm planning to do it for Atem, though, since his personality is way closer to mine!

I agree with the responses in this topic, too, though. I don't believe in sacrificing politeness for character. I'd much rather be polite to someone and leave them with an overall good experience than be rude to them just to stay in character. I think it's super fun when people stay in character, though! I'll definitely be doing more of that this year :)
ACen 2013 - Pharaoh Atem
ACen 2011, 2012 - Summoner Yuna, Sailor Yuna
ACen 2009, 2010 - Summoner Yuna
ACen 2008 - Summoner Yuna, Eternal Sailor Jupiter, Kino Makoto (Schoolgirl)
ACen 2007 - Original character (Enika)
ACen 2006 - Eternal Sailor Jupiter
ACen 2005 - Original character (Jakoku)

#89 User is offline   Bolo the Beast 

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:48 AM

For the most part I stood in character when I was Knightfall Bane, but when I switched over to Man Toph, I couldn't use my supersonic waves to see everyone all the time. :P
"People are like the stars, there are bright ones, and those that are dim"

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF JELLY TOAST!!

#90 User is offline   Brandonb 

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:48 AM

I probably will! After all, I LOVE Black Butler and Grell :thumbup:

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