October 11, 2015
We planned to get to the Expo Centre by noon. I would have enough time to register and get organized before the pre-judging. The boys could wander around without getting bored. So I figured waking up at 9 am would give me enough time to get ready. I started with the body paint, which was way harder than I was expecting it to be. How hard could it be to draw on perfect little white stripes on my own body? Excruciatingly hard. I did the best I could on my own and got Riley to fill in the back and other little gaps.
By now it's probably 11 am and I'm avoiding looking at my phone or other clocks in the house. I rush to put in contacts and fake eyelashes. I used a different paint for my face, thinking it would be better, but it ended up cracking all over on the ride to the con.
Next up was the wig. I got a cheap, long, black wig from value village and was going to attempt to put it in a ponytail. For my stressed and rushed attempt, it doesn't look terrible. Did it still look like a cheap halloween wig? Yes. I've since bought a new wig that looks so much more amazing.
The night before I specifically told Ryan and Riley that we would be leaving no later than 11:45. "Blah, blah, stay on schedule, don't stress me out." So as 12:15 rolls by, they're patiently sitting on the couch, avoiding eye contact. I dab some white glue on the back of my gem and let it get tacky before I try to stick it to my forehead. It doesn't stay. In my frazzle and dazzle state, I didn't even consider using eyelash glue; a friend suggested it to me later on.
I threw on what costume bits I could, grabbed my spear, and we were out the door. Of course it had to be the windiest day of the season. So I'm trying to hold my stupid wig in place and holding my spear head so it doesn't rip off the staff. We squeeze into the truck and head to the con.
We get to the con at about 12:40 or something ridiculous, because I only have a short amount of time left to register. I finish "getting dressed" beside the truck and I ditch the gem. It wasn't going to survive. We then battle the wind into the building. I'm too stressed to feel self conscious at this point, but after I register, we don't have anything to do for an hour. My nerves have time to set in and I start feeling self conscious about my tummy and my wig.
When you think of a con, or gaming tournament, you'd think of large crowds and tight spaces. TCEG was the opposite. I think they were expecting more, but the whole place was just awkwardly spaced out. There wasn't many people around at all. There was maybe 20 vendors tops, and over two occupied halls, the gaming stations were squished in the corner of one hall. [Photo by esportsearnings]
We walked around the vendor "wall" and 5 minutes later we were already finished. It was nice to see a few different vendors that didn't make it to ECEE.
I left the boys doing boy things and I headed over to pre-judging. I've never felt so awkward in my life. There's about 20 cosplayers, ranging in talent and awesomeness. A few people are talking to each other. I'm just like, I'm gonna stand by this other person and hope they talk to me, and that everyone else isn't judging me. I was so nervous!
I was entering my first cosplay contest and I didn't know what to expect. They called me into the room and asked me questions about my craftsmanship and progress on the cosplay. Then they released me! I was still so nervous. Like, I didn't even know what just happened.
I went and found Riley and realized I forgot my belt of teeth in the truck. We run back out to the truck and I finish getting dressed. It's too bad I didn't have that on for pre-judging! On the way back through the hall, we took some photos of my costume and met up again with Ryan.
We wasted some time looking at some board games and we sat down to play one. We played until I had to go for the cosplay parade which would lead into the contest. I was a bit more social while standing around before the parade, but still super awkward. The parade was a super weird idea - I think it's because there was hardly anyone at the con. [Photos by esportsearnings]
They got everyone "backstage" and then we stood around waiting for about 1/2 hour. I was definitely more social backstage. Everyone was asking each other questions and being supportive! Finally we were ready to start.
It was hard to hear the announcer from backstage but apparently he was pretty bad. The first girl called on stage didn't have a music file, so everyone behind her's got messed up. It was super disappointing for the first three of us, and then they fixed it. I definitely almost biffed it going up the stairs though. Everyone's nightmare, am I right? I don't even remember what I did on stage. The music was disorienting and I'm pretty sure I looked at the judges and awkwardly walked off stage.
The crowd loved the Cloud cosplay - all the Final Fantasy die-hards fan-girled. Everyone went up and then we had to wait for the final judge tally. [Photos by esportsearings]
It took about another 15 minutes and then they were ready. They called third place, novice category first. It was me! The announcer said "Nidalee" wrong so a guy way in the back yelled "it's Nid-ah-lee!" which was cool, made me even more giddy than I already was that I actually placed. They didn't have anything to give us on stage so I just smiled ridiculously and then walked back off. Nerve racking. I just won a thing! I agreed with all the winners and placers of each category. Everyone deserved it!
We had to hang out even longer so they could take photos. We took some cool group photos on stage, and a few solo shots of the winners. [Photo by naytay]
All the winners were told they would get their prize money the following day. That turned into a whole gong show in itself. Thanks to the lovely cosplay contest judges and organizers. They got on the case and got everyone their prize money. I checked the facebook page for TCEG recently, and people are still waiting for refunds for different events. I don't know the whole story, but it sounds like a total pain. This text picture is a screenshot of an email TCEG sent with the prize money.
After the cosplay contest was finally, actually over, I got Riley to take a few pics of me on stage because he didn't take pictures during the show. Then we headed to a vendor that had a cool shirt I wanted. We got a pint glass each for free because they were flawed, but they still looked in good condition. Score! We headed outside and got a few more shots of my cosplay before we headed home.
TCEG Con 2015 was quite the experience. I don't think anyone will ever experience it again, and that could be a good thing. Again, a huge thanks to the ladies that helped contain the chaos and made it a fun experience - Mythic Roots, Naytay and Kitnip.
You can read about how I made my Nidalee cosplay in my previous post.