Con-crunch is the few days or weeks before a convention that you’ve either decided to throw together a completely new, last minute cosplay and every waking hour of your already busy day is devoted towards this. Most people juggle the new cosplay with their other jobs, their school, their internship – it’s tough. It can happen, but it’s tough.
Admittedly, I have compiled significantly less cosplays in the past year than most of you. While you kids (I say, as a 23-year old “adult”) are super accomplished and I admire you all for this, I speak because I am mildly concerned.
I know that the latest and greatest thing comes out and the urge to cosplay it first and best is totally a thing that happens sometimes, but it can always wait. Sometimes if you wait just a bit longer you get to see that one photo that makes you want to tear apart your cosplay after you’ve already finished it.
If you’re familiar with the convention scene, Katsucon is supposedly one of the best East Coast conventions happening this weekend (President’s Day Weekend) in the D.C. area, and all week I have been seeing Facebook posts from people agonizing about their con-crunch.
YOU DON’T NEED TO DO THIS TO YOURSELF EVERY YEAR.
I’ve compiled a handy-dandy guide to try to help you to avoid con-crunch.
- Try to avoid making those last minute, week-before cosplays. You’re totally capable of doing them! They’ll totally be awesome when they come out last minute, after going through the last minute stress of trying to make it happen — HOWEVER. Is it worth the stress? Is it worth the lack of sleep?
- Avoid purchasing pieces for cosplay last minute. In general, it tends to make the cosplay more expensive. If you don’t already do this, I highly suggest making a budget for each cosplay. Sometimes a budget alone becomes a nice reminder when you have to table it for next time, instead of spending more just to get it done quicker.
- Make a plan that you actually adhere to. Maybe make a google docs schedule, integrate it in your google calendar! Get the cosplanner app! Get a giant whiteboard! Do whatever it takes.
- Don’t agree to a cosplay that you’re half invested in doing, especially for a group cosplay. A lot of the stress is due to wanting to be a part of a group with your friends. Don’t succumb to it!
- Take a picture of the pain that you’re experiencing right now. I suggest a picture of your face – Make sure to capture the bags under your eyes from the lack of sleep. Print it out. Grab your favorite sharpie. Write fun little reminders to yourself about the current hell you’re putting yourself through.
- You know those pained Facebook/twitter/tumblr posts you’re writing? REMEMBER THEM. LOOK BACK AT THEM. DO NOT FORGET.
- Remember that you can always push something to the next con. There will always be other conventions, there will always be more cosplays.
PERKS OF AVOIDING CON-CRUNCH
- You are statistically more likely to avoid con-crud (a.k.a the con plague, the cold/flu everyone gets because there’s a bunch of people sharing a small space together) based on absolutely scientific evidence of my own. With 7-8 hours of sleep each night, your body has a LEVELED UP IMMUNE SYSTEM.
- With 7-8 hours of sleep the nights BEFORE the con, your body can probably handle the 4-5 hours of sleep DURING the con. Unless you’re me. If you’re anything like me I turn into a wild animal if I get less than 7-8 hours of sleep.
- That Thursday night before the convention? You won’t be sewing in your hotel room or in the car ride over.
- You can put all that stressed out energy towards being able to experience the convention fully instead of napping all the time.
Bottom line: help each other.
The cosplay community is totally enabling and encouraging which is usually fantastic, it has helped me push myself outside of my own limits and grow in so many ways as a person. Except con-crunch is very stressful and if we all looked out for each other and tried to discourage the crunch, it would benefit everyone.
That said, have fun for those those lucky folks of you who are going to Katsucon. I’ll see everyone else at PAX East.