There are thousands of talented cosplayers out there — so why do we keep seeing the same few dozen faces? Sometimes I come across a fantastic cosplayer that only has a few thousand likes on their page, and it just makes me think about how many amazing cosplayers I'm not seeing, drowned out by the same cosplayers being featured over and over.
The trouble is, it's hard to find the smaller cosplayers! If they're being passed over for features on big pages, how do we dig them up? Luckily, there's a new Facebook page that's trying to make that search easier: Up & Coming Cosplay.
The way I see it, this new page is a much-needed step for the cosplay community, and great for both cosplayers and cosplay fans.
For cosplayers, the benefits are pretty obvious: Opportunity. I can't tell you how many friends have vented to me about the frustrations of trying to get featured by open-submission cosplay pages, and the pages that don't take submissions are even harder to get into — you basically have to go viral for them to notice you. For a beginner cosplayer looking to grow, being featured on social media communities with broad audiences are a key step. But the barrier to entry can be extremely high, essentially putting every cosplayer up against famous faces in the battle for feature space.
By limiting their features to cosplayers with 10,000 likes or less, Up & Coming Cosplay is leveling the playing field, allowing new and growing cosplayers to score features without needing work comparable to Yaya Han's. Essentially, it's a low pressure sandbox for cosplayers who are trying to break into professional cosplay to be featured, connect with peers, and learn what kind of work brings in new fans.
for cosplay fans
I love cosplay, and I want to fill my newsfeed with it. I'm always hungry for new cosplayers to follow. Sometimes, I go to my favorite cosplayers' pages just to make sure they didn't post a photo that I missed. And no matter how many cosplayers I follow, I never get tired of seeing new cosplay on my dash. But you know what I do get tired of? Seeing the same cosplays on my dash every day for a week from a dozen different sources. I gotta tell you, I loved the Disney Mandalorian group... the first five times I saw it.
So how do we break the monotony and get new content on our feeds — not just new costumes, but new cosplayers wearing and making them? Up & Coming Cosplay can get you in on the ground floor, discovering tomorrow's famous cosplayers, before they get there. Go ahead, tag your Witcher-obsessed friend in the comments of that Yennefer cosplay — I promise they haven't seen it yet.
a new industry
If there's one thing we know about the cosplay industry, it's that we don't know anything. The community might be decades old, but it's growing at a ridiculous rate right now, and the majority of cosplayers today have likely been cosplaying for 5 years or less. Not to mention, "professional cosplay" as a gig is such a new thing, the average person off the street probably still doesn't even know it exists.
With any community growing this quickly, there are going to be growing pains. And one of the growing pains we're experiencing right now is an influx of new cosplayers with pro cosplay dreams (and pro cosplay talent and ambition), and a relatively small group who have already achieved it. I predict that gap is going to close fast over the next few years. But right now, we have a massive thirst for cosplay content, and most of us only have access to a fraction of the pool. I strongly believe that pages like Up & Coming Cosplay can help provide the supply to meet the demand.
What are you waiting for? Go discover some new, talented faces. There are thousands of them waiting to be seen.