Sunday, December 07, 2014

S.O.X. Fantasy Fest 2014

Another cosplay-related post!

So, in October/November, Celcom was promoting Xpax, School of X (S.O.X.) thing by organizing a series of events that involved Anime, Cosplay, Comics and Games. It was called S.O.X Fantasy Fest, and will have 3 regional festivals (Johor, Penang and KL) and a finale at Kenanga Wholesale City. A week before the event in Penang, Jon told me there was gonna be a Cosplay Competition with cash prizes, so I thought, hey why not? Not sure what I was thinking, but I was feeling ambitious, that I could snag the RM300 grand prize for the solo cosplay competition.

For both the Penang Regionals and KL Finale, I was cosplaying Korra from Avatar: The Legend of Korra. But two slightly different Korra's.

Sunday, 2 November 2014 (Penang)

I was going to the event alone. As the official website mentioned that the cosplayers have to be on standby 3 hours before the competition (which was scheduled at 12pm), I left home really early for the ferry. I managed to do half my make up and tied up my ponytail with my Korra hair accessories.

My semi-casual look, still grabbing attention on the ferry
(and as usual, IDGAF :D)

As usual, I walked to the jetty alone. As I walked past a parking lot near my university, I saw this Indian man who was sitting on his stationary motorbike. As I was walking past where he was, he suddenly called out to me.

Dude: Hey miss.
Me: *looks at him*
Dude: Do you wanna suck me? Free service.
Me: *notices something on his crotch area* *looks back forward and walks off nonchalantly*

But after that, my mind was just yelling WHAT THE CRAB. I just kept walking at my normal pace, and luckily he did not pursue me. But that experience was a first, and was very disturbing. ==

Got to the island and for the first time, I took a cab alone, in Penang too! Around 9am+, I arrived at 1st Avenue safely, the venue of the event. Walked in and the whole mall was still dim and quiet. I got to the event floor, and the only people there were the staff and some of the DOTA2 players. I felt like I got there wayyyy too early. o__o

So I registered myself, got my participant tag. And the girl told me, "The competition starts at 4pm, so please be at the stage area around that time." Whaaaat? o__o So what am I going to do for the next 6 hours in a small event like this...?

Lesson: Always believe in Malaysian timing.

I took my sweet time fixing my make up, wearing my costume and redoing my hair. By the time I was done, it was almost 11am, but the event was still rather empty. Thank goodness my friends, Jon and Wani was there. We just sat down and started lamenting on our sad fate of being so early at a quiet event while everyone else was having fun at Cosmart, Jcos and other bigger cosplay events.

Can you see the enthusiasm bursting from our faces?

We just killed time sitting around and chit-chatting. When the other two started to get busy, I just mind myself and walked around the event floor. I was quite nervous, as I had not prepared anything much for the competition. So I'd find secluded corners to practice my water and firebending.

The few pictures I found of myself, taken by the public

Random sad fact: I was called Katara. This was not the first time. .___. I was so happy when a guy who took my picture said he was an Avatar fan. Then he said "Katara" and I was just smiling apprehensively, thinking "OH NOH YOU DIDN'T". Recently, I found out my ex-roommate also thought I was cosplaying Katara, but had the impression that Katara's name was actually Korra.

Life of a Korra Cosplayer

Me, Jon, Wani and another guy (sorry I forgot your name! D:) went to Nando's for lunch. After that, we met up with more friends, yay! Raz and Jimmy! When we returned to the event floor, it was starting to flood with more people and other cosplayers. I was starting to get more anxious, seeing my competitors! But before the competition, we had a mini photoshoot, where there were 3-4 cameras pointed at me. Never before. o_o

Thank goodness my Taekwondo skills were put to good use!
Photo credits: Eyeofraz

Firebending
Photo credits: Jingkoes Ghain

NOT MY BENDING! D:
Photo credits: Jingkoes Ghain

Run, saikang, run!
Photo credits: Jingkoes Ghain

After that, I had to standby for the competition. I was somewhat confused by the competition format as all the websites about the event kept giving different information. Finally, we were told that we had 3 minutes to do whatever we liked. So I thought, hey, might as well just do some sort of a bending performance. I admit, my costume is simple and not outstanding. The only way to stand out is to give a good performance, when most of the contestants would only be doing the standard 3 poses. The best thing about me cosplaying Korra is that I could give a good performance with my bending props, and that I could bring out her cheerful character.

I did more practice with my props, and listened to the music I took the whole night to decide on. Finally, it was my turn to take the stage.

Original video from caterpillartomoko (10:02 onwards)

(for notes on how I made my bending props, read here)

I was panting and sweating after the performance! Swinging those props around really takes a lot of energy and effort! Despite some screw ups and my boots going unstable on me, I think I did a pretty good job! I was also quite happy at the fact that the judge (Kaien) thought my hair was a wig, hehe! (she liked it, and that was the main point ^^) I just rested for the rest of the event till the prize giving ceremony. By then, I had also met up with the usual Penang suspects: Jin, Shereen and Sizer!

We went to the top floor to get some Chatime. By then, it was 6pm and Raz was calling us because I was supposed to be gathered at the stage for the prize giving. Whoops. :P (sorry not sorry, because BUBBLE TEA PLZ)

After all the participants went on stage to collect our participation certificates, they announced the Top 5 winners. My friends were telling me that I'd definitely win, and I was quite satisfied with my performance, too. But by experience, I didn't want to/couldn't be too confident before the results were announced. But alas, they called my name for the grand prize. Korra! :D

The Solo Cosplay contestants!

This is my first time doing a skit for a solo cosplay! And my first time winning cash for cosplaying! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited about the money. But I was also able to prove that you don't need an amazing costume with mad weapons or armour to win.

All you need is some Avatar spunk
(gif credits to Raz!)
(I abuse this pose a lot :'D)

For winning the competition, I get RM300. And I am invited to compete in the Solo Cosplay Competition 3 weeks later in Kenanga Wholesale City, for a chance to win RM1,500 and an iPhone 5s! I'm even given RM100 as transport allowance if I go. Since I'm actually from KL, and the grand prize is amazing, you bet I'm in! There's really no loss, for me. :P

3 WEEKS LATER

I was really busy with my sports cup, and was recovering from my food poisoning. I couldn't find time to properly plan out my skit idea until Thursday night, since I had an exam too. I had some ideas on what I should do, running in my head for those 3 weeks. I tried to get opinions from my friends too. But since I wanted to give it my all (RM1,500+ is on the line! D:), and not give a half-assed performance, in the end, I didn't confirm anything or even finished recording the audio for my skit until Friday, when I was on the bus ride home. (I actually edited my audio on the bus!) I got my eldest brother to voice Adult Aang for me. C:

Forever chionging props for cosplay. SPACE ROCK! Earthbending prop!

Saturday, 22 November 2014 (KL Finale)

I had to actually ditch my sports team in competing for volleyball (my favourite sport! ;A;), just to join this competition. It was clear that this cosplay competition had more at stake, but it still made me sad to be missing out of my PIDC Cup Volleyball...

I didn't sleep much before the event, as I was fixing my costume, working on the audio and props the whole night. Probably just 1-2 hours of nap? My parents fetched me to KL around 9am as they had to travel to Melaka for a wedding. They had actually delayed their departure by a day, just because I was coming back that weekend. Luckily the fetched me there, I wouldn't wanna carry my costume and props and ride public transport alone. I originally wanted to use a mirror for my skit, too. But obviously, transport is a problem.

Ahhhh. The times I wish I could drive myself around, alone. ;w;

I got to the event early again. I was in partial make up, again. And only started to fix every thing else, and wear my costume when I reached the event.

My semi-casual look again! Before donning my costume

The only ones in the toilet were the girls who were working at the maid cafe. After getting in cosplay, I went and register myself. Then I walked the halls and said hi to the people I know I tried to kick up some conversation! The last convention in KL I attended was C2AGE in May, so it's been awhile since I met some of the usual KL faces. (although lots of them traveled north for CF Mini C:)

Lovice! A cosplayer I met in the Penang Regionals! C:

Photo by Viv Minami!

Around 1pm, the solo cosplay contestants had to standby. I'm 3rd to go up stage! Around that time, my friend, CCT just arrived at the event! Thank goodness for him, otherwise I'd be lost and alone at the event and going back to Subang by myself. |D

Anyways, it was show time!

Original Video from Jon Dei Goon (8:09 onwards)
Clearer video with my performance here!
For videos of all the contestants, check this playlist!

I cringed a lot when I looked back at this performance. It could use a lot more practice, feedback and thought. I think my movements while talking weren't obvious enough. And the hair part, haha! I intended to throw it down slowly but... adrenaline I guess. |D So awkwardddd! And my water/fire bending! The event hall was roofed, but the hall wasn't closed, so it was ventilated by some huge ass ceiling fans (like the one in Sunway Carnival Mall). Thanks to that, my cloth got blown in all the wrong directions, and I kinda panicked a little. The wind was screwing up my water/fire bending, the ironyyyyy. (saw what I did there) No time/equipment to prepare air bending due to some circumstances. Oh well. Either way, I think I did what I can, I really think I could do better. But there's always next time, which means I can make an even awesome performance!

Group picture with the Solo Cosplay contestants!

After that, I dragged CCT out to fulfill my bubble tea cravings, hehe. xD Which was also when I realized my Chatime card was missing... D:

Back at the event, I just continued to socialize around and meet up with the other cosplayers. I met Joe Yee, Ash, Jon, Wani, Potter, Guki, some other new faces like Kuro, Stanly, photographers like Alex, Haziq, Thomas, the people at the CF booth, Jared, Grace... and a lot more!

Also, finally met my Gekkan family in flesh! Reika and Kira!
(stay tuned for our Gekkan Shoujo cosplay in the future 8D)

Since my platform boots are quite a hazard to my feet, we took a break sitting in front of the stage area. We managed to catch a small "Guess the Character" session, in which CCT mimicked Gray Fullbuster's pose, and won a HunterxHunter folder, haha! We were also there of the Oh! My English session, where 4 of its cast members were dressed in cosplay, and were promoting the show and asking some random questions. It was kinda entertaining, surprisingly, haha.

Later on, there was a Cosplay Parade thing going on, where the cosplayers walked around the hall in a sorta parade style. I joined in, since I had nothing else better to do.


(watch out for me at 1:29 xD)

While waiting for the prize giving ceremony, this guy who had approached me earlier to join a competition, told me that I have won it. Here's the full story!

Before my competition, said guy approached me and asked me to join a competition, in which you take a picture of yourself, post it on Instagram and #SOX2014 (all that usual jazz), and if you get the most amount of likes, you'll win! You have to register yourself with the guy to be eligible, first. Since you approached me, and a photo is really easy to take, so why not? I registered myself, and after my performance, I got CCT to take a photo of me and Instagram that right away.

Have I told you I abuse this pose. A lot?

I was pleasantly surprised when I was told I won. I just looked at CCT with a "not bad" face. The guy asked me to leave my details so that they could call me up to collect my prize later.

So, came the time for prize giving! The emcee was explaining the details of the competition I joined (which was called Cosplay Paparazzi, haha).

Emcee: And the winner will get a brand new Lenovo phone!
Me: *widens eyes and raises eyebrows* *looks at CCT* *mouths "Me?"*

I thought it was just some random competition where you win some goodie bag and stuff. I never expected to win a phone! None of us did! The most amazing part about it is that I actually won, and that they gave me a phone, all for a whooping total of 12 likes on my Instagram photo. Amazeballs.

My new phone! (which I'm probably gonna try selling)

After that, the Solo Cosplay competition winners were announced as well. I got 1st Runner-up! While running up the stage, I could hear people saying "her again?". Yeah, I won two prizes, deal with it. :P

Emcee Neo photobombing me and ruining the focus of the picture pfff

Although I didn't get the grand prize (would've really liked to upgrade to an iPhone 5s!) but RM1,000 is really amazing already. Plus I got an extra surprise phone! Not too shabby.

Here's the list of winners for the Solo Cosplay!
Champion: Gakupo
1st Runner-up: Korra (me!)
2nd Runner-up: Gasai Yuno (Kuroyami)
Interestingly, we're the Johor, Penang and KL regional's champion, respectively. Meaning, we've already got RM300 in our bag, hehe! More money to steal from Celcom. (another note: It's been over a month since Penang regional and 2 weeks since the finale, I still haven't gotten my prize money yet.  =| )

After that, I changed out of my costume. I get a barrage of "Belanjaaaa!" comments from everyone. We bought Subway for dinner. Then took the monorail and KTM back to Subang Jaya.

I didn't attend the Day 2 event (which had the really funny group cosplays!) as I had to head back to Penang. Spent the rest of Sunday at home before taking a bus back North.

All in all, it was an amazing experience! So much love for the Avatar series, and love for Korra! As mentioned, this is my first "real" solo cosplay competition, and my first win, and my first cash prize! Even after 7 years cosplaying, there are so many things to discover from it. I've also felt more connected with the cosplay community recently, meeting and being more familiar with old/new cosplayers. I'm really pumped and excited to keep my hobby alive! And to bring more Korra cosplays in the future. C: I'm the Avatar, after all!

Quote of the Day: "Instinct is a lie told by a fearful body, hoping to be wrong." - Zaheer, Avatar: The Legend of Korra.

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