thescarletwoman: (TV // TW :: Jack Good Looking)
[personal profile] thescarletwoman
So this is a post that's slightly late in coming, simply because I've had other things on my mind. Like, y'know, finals. But it's still something I want to talk about that's fairly timeless.

Cosplay and Crossplay.

About a week ago, [ profile] avengangle poked me about a post she had seen on one of the blogs she frequents. If you're curious, this is the link. As a warning, it's a couple weeks old and, well, they can be a little scary over there as well. So I don't really recommend commenting on anything. Just my bit of a fore-warning.

The gist of the post was talking about cosplaying and should people of different races/genders play certain characters. The main ones talked about? If a white girl should be able to cosplay roles like Martha, Toshiko or Inara. Well, needless to say I had a few things to say about it. The following is what I posted in response:

I'm actually the female Jack that avenging_angle referred to up a few comments back. I just wanted to pop in with a few things at least from my friends who all cosplay in the whofandom.

I can't speak on the issue of race as I, personally, haven't seen many Martha/Mickey cosplayers. I do know a Tosh cosplayer and she is of Asian descent.

I've cosplayed (and a term that's been coined in fandom is crossplay when dressing up as someone as the opposite gender) at several cons. I wish I had gone to the panel at last year's Gallifrey (con in LA) that actual dealt with the notion of crossplay as it's become more prevalent in the fandom.

I have a group of friends (all female) who cosplay. There are three Jacks, four Iantos, several Doctors and an Owen. For us? It's more about playing the character you're dressing up with, not choosing to identify with one gender or another. Some of us go very far in portraying authenticity in our costumes (to binding or wearing wigs), others just wear the clothes. I know, for me, when I put the costume on, I'm 'Jack'. It's a bit like an exercise in theatre improv. With us, and a lot of others, it's about the attributes other than race or gender--do you identify with the character? Go for it. But my group is all cis-women playing white men. It's not choosing based on race/gender (or being limited to choosing a character who matches your race/gender), but on who you identify with as a character and want to play. But like I said, we find it to be character driven as opposed to gender driven.

I also know of several people who have done femme versions of male characters. Mostly I've seen femme versions of the Third, Fifth, Tenth and Eleventh incarnations. But they take the base design of the costume and make it more stereotypically feminine. Use of corsets is generally found, I will say.

Also, you might like to know that the costume designers do love seeing people dressing up, no matter the gender. I've had a chance to meet both Ray Holman (who designed for Torchwood and the current season of Doctor Who) and Louise Paige (who designed for the Tenant years). Louise I met at Gallifrey as one of the guests and I know she loved seeing people dressed up in her designs. I personally got a glare because I wasn't wearing one of her designs but that's utterly beside the point. I met Ray a few weeks at the BBCamerica permiere of Eleventh Hour. He sought me out because I was dressed as Jack and wanted to get my picture. He later told me that he had wanted to get pictures of the group of us who had dressed (we had Ten, Amy, Femme!Eleven, Rose and me) but didn't have the chance to. The costume designers are all about seeing people in their designs.

So just a few thoughts from one who does cosplay someone of a different gender. :^)

I'm sad I never got any comments, but it did, however, feel good to get that off my chest.


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Mutterings of a Music History Major

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