If you’re hitting the Con or surrounding area this year, a friend of mine posted up on The Book of Face some tips about interacting with costumers at the convention. His name is Matt Hofmann, and he’s a former Legion Commanding Officer of the Rebel Legion Star Wars costuming group, and is currently very active in the local chapters of both the Rebel Legion and 501st Stormtrooper Legion as an X-Wing Pilot, Rebel Fleet Trooper, and Tusken Raider. He has years of experience, so you might want to take heed to these tips. His posting from his Facebook Page this morning is recreated here:
Attention Indy area parents—It’s GenCon week again, and that means it’s time to take your kids to the Convention Center to have them take pictures with Stormtroopers and Link and zombies and superheroes and steampunk people.And while those of us who costume love to take pictures with your kids and be a part of something awesome for them, please remember a few important things:1. Tell the person that their costume looks great. There is nothing any of us like hearing more when we’ve put hours upon hours of blood, sweat, tears, and cash into a costume that you saying you look like it or that it looks like it’s from the movie/tv show/comic book, even if you have no clue what the costume is.2. Feel free to ask questions about our costumes, because we love answering them. I’ll even answer two of them early: yes, it costs a lot to make a costume and yes, it’s hot in them.3. We are not paid professionals, nor are we actually these characters. I know, shocking. Most of us will play along with the kids and act like who we are, but it’s not like seeing Santa at the mall or going to Disney World. We’re there to have fun and hang out, too. If you want to see us being our characters, come see us Wed-Sat nites from 6-8 at Scottys Brewhouse downtown or wait until May and see us at the Indiana State Museum for Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination. #shamelessplug4. Please be respectful when a costumer says, “Not right now, sorry.” If you see Darth Vader take off his helmet for a break, don’t immediately go over and say hey, I know you JUST took your helmet off, but can you please put it back on and take a picture with my kid? If you come back in five minutes, I bet he’ll have that helmet back on and be ready to take pictures. The same can be said about when you see costumers eating. Or in the men’s room.5. Please note that a lot of people with masks and helmets can’t see shorter kids, so give them a wide berth, especially when they’re on the move. They also more than likely can’t hear you, so don’t be offended if they keep walking.I think that’s it. If anyone else has any to contribute, please feel free. See you this week at the four greatest days of gaming!
Matt brings up some excellent points here. For all the hard work they’ve done, and the crowds they bring, these are fellow con-goers, just like you. They paid for their tickets, just like you. They love showing stuff off, but they are not obligated to perform for you like a trained monkey.