January 23, 2012
Aside from the legal limits of your country, there is nothing to stop you from cosplaying outside of a convention. So yes, you can cosplay when a convention is not going on but it isn’t always a good idea.
If you are particularly antsy and can’t wait for a convention try checking cosplay discussion boards in your area. Some people run cosplay or photoshoot events between cons and they are both a great chance to wear your costume and make friends with other cosplayers. The bigger ones I know of in Toronto (Canada) are the Cosplay Skate where everyone goes skating in or out of costume, there is also the Cosplay Picnic that is a photoshoot / picnic hangout that takes place in the summer. If you can’t find anything in your area you could also think about starting your own event!
Please keep in mind that people will be looking at you funny, asking odd questions, and you may get some negative comments. Seeing costumes is not a normal thing outside of events and stage shows and not everyone is very open to the idea. Certain places, such as stores and malls, may kick you out if they believe you are a disturbance so it is important to choose your cosplay location wisely and be aware of your behavior. Remember it makes everyone who dresses up look bad when you damage property, try to freak out “normals”, and otherwise act rude or loud. This also applies to situations where you unintentionally cosplay outside of a convention, such as going outside of the convention area to eat, using public transportation to and from a con, pick up a last minute thing from a store, etc.
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