Oh, For The Love of Cosplay!
Yes, I used to host cosplay events. No, it's not for everyone.
So for the last few years, I have been a member of the board of directors for the cosplay event company N.E.C.C. Events. Now I bet some of you are going "Oh, that's cool! You must have been super popular!" The truth of it is no, no I was not popular. Believe it or not, myself and the rest of us on staff were not only referred to as gods but also "Scary" people. Keep in mind that I'm 5'4", chubby, and look no different than the rest of the cosplayers 90 percent of the time.
Now for the first couple years I was just working as the webmaster and the Cosplayers Against Bullying Liaison (C.A.B.). After C.A.B. joined up with the N.E.C.C., I continued my duties as a partner through C.A.B. and employee of the company owned by Josue Gonzalez.
In my time, I had seen only one person demoted and ultimately step away fully due to mental health. The Former Vice President of 2013 going into 2014 was demoted for failing to do his duties, which at the time was very simple. I thought nothing of it because the company had yet to grow and he stayed on as a host.
So let me break down the staff tiers for you,
- First, you have the Core staff, or the Board of directors. They make all the big decisions that have to do with events, money, and ect..
- Second, you have the the Hosts. Hosts run events on the behalf of the company, following the rules that the board put in place to keep everything safe. Normally, a member of the board and a Host would handle the smaller events. During the big annual event, it's all hands on deck.
- Third and final, you have the volunteers. Volunteers make up the stage hands, security, and small games hosts. They are facilitating the area and making sure people are safe.
So now let's take all of that into account. You have a core staff of six people before hosts and these six people come up with around $2,000 of their own money over the course of five years to host this event and suddenly they are unapproachable. We aren't scary, I can promise you that. We are Geeks and Nerds just like you!
If you don't have thick skin, being a host is not for you. You'll receive all sorts of threats to your event email. I got quite a handful after a debacle or two with a woman trying to sell adult content at a PG-13 Event, and you'll even get people trying to outright steal your events.
That being said, be prepared because you don't know what people will do. You are the face of your events and as such you're held to a higher standard than most. So you can't really vent on social media if people are spreading rumors about you because it's seen as unprofessional or childish. To continue on, you really can't issue a press statement for everything you're being sent or tagged in that's negative. It can only backfire negatively.
But don't forget, you can accept help from people or you can even help others yourself. The point of the cosplay community was and is to be a family. After all, we are just a bunch of people dressing up in a costume to be someone we aren't. We share that love.
So if the hosts do it for the Love of Cosplay, don't they deserve a little sack? As hosts we aren't scary, we are just like everyone else but we do ask for a little respect, because many of these events are paid for almost fully by us.
While I retired from my position at N.E.C.C. Events following a TIA and multiple medical issues, I would love to still work in some capacity. I'm just not sure I could handle it any more. I feel like so many others could take that torch, and light the way for bigger and even better events while I turn my focus to my cosplay work.
Being a host is a lot of work, and it's even stressful at times and not everyone can handle stress. But to those that can handle it, shine bright! Light up the world with all that you offer and the love for the arts! I know that I would be happy to see you strive and blossom into a wonderful event host and coordinator.