AFA X 2010: Regional Cosplay Competition, Team Singapore’s ramble!

Its hard to believe the event was over! Much thanks to everyone who cheered for Zephyus and I. With thanks to all our supporters, we managed to get 2nd runner up! We really didn’t expect it as our competitors were so overwhelmingly impressive. 

And of course, our warmest congrats to Team Thailand and team Indonesia for their win too! Truth be told, we were prepared to go home placing last but we didn’t want to disgrace Singapore so we tried our very best.  As with the name of this blog, I'm going to chronicle the journey =)


Video filmed and uploaded by Hexlord

We spent a lot of time fine tuning the script. And about the kiss part, well, I was the one who added it. Trust me when I say it grossed us out too. But it was true to the series and its definitely better than having Kucabara slap Idamaria awake =.= (zeph's initial suggestion)

Because of our busy schedule, we only had our first rehearsal on Friday night. Zephy was out of the country till Tuesday so we really couldn’t find any time to practise which explains my major panic on Twitter and MSN.

But I did the basic animation and sound clip in her absence so when we met up on Friday night, we tried to run through the sequence with the music. Choreographed our fight scene and went through the nitty gritty acting actions needed for the skit. We recorded our dialogue with her Wii Karaoke Microphone and I set about adding them to the video using Adobe Premiere Pro at her place on Saturday afternoon. Just an hour or so before leaving for rehearsal.

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Special thanks to Gin who came down to Zephyus’s house just to help us do our props! The Hellgate would not have been possible without her!! Mad loves her T_T!

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Because we had to rush our props on Saturday, we missed the entire Day 1 event and arrived just in time for our rehearsal at 9pm. We stayed till 1am, running through the entire stage sequence. After that, we all cabbed home.

While Zephyus went home to finish styling her white wig and practise speed changing, I went back to edit our performance video. Speaking of which, I just realised the video played at AFAX on stage had some serious problem!  ToT instead of a red blank screen, images of Lilith should appear. Please watch the actual video here!

I am so upset with myself for exporting it as QuickTime format and not double checking the video!! And you know what's the best part? I exported a mp4 version first but decided to export another .mov  version just in case the stage teams laptop couldn't play mp4. Arghhh!!! Extras work that screwed us up ToT
P1150079I went to bed around 5.30am (Sunday) and then woke up to the very punctual morning calls of my 2 fabulous helpers, Gin and Keng Hou. Both called at exactly 6.30am. To be honest, I went back to snooze immediately after the call =x
So then I rise around 7am, did my basic foundation at home then cabbed down to the event hall (Yes, our cab fares were scary >.< ). And arrived to the warm welcome of Gin and Keng Hou who had already bought us breakfast.
<-- Keng Hou looking absolutely petrified of me :D

After placing our stuffs backstage, we went to the changing room and dolled ourselves up. Oh! I tried a new cosplay tactic that day! Using eyelash glue to stick wig fringe to the face! I know it sounds really gross but many Japanese and local cosplayers swear by it. Idamaria's hairstyle is some sort of a natural sweep with the hair on her left tucked behind her ears with some side burn showing. While   I can achieve the 'tucking behind ear' part, I can't get the side burn to stay put. And surprisingly, the glued sideburn stayed through out! Will definitely try this technique again =)

So we stayed in the toilet till 11am where Kaname, Alodia and Aria was supposed to meet us. But that didn't happen till much later because Kanama overslept LOL! Sorry, just had say this because its funny xD.

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Kaname, Alodia and Aira san inspecting our costume. 

I've already heard from Maria and Yuanie that they actually go into details with the inspection but I wasn't expecting him to inspect my wig too. I was pretty shocked when he asked me to turn around and start touching my wig. Fangirls please don't kill me, but the whole time I was going in my head " why is a simple wig like this worth inspecting??" . When he touched the glued sideburn he gave a knowing laugh xD .

It was very weird to have people inspect and touch your costume like that but I found myself enjoying the process so much. Its almost like I don’t want to stop talking about how I made each part. I felt happy there are people who are willing to listen and can understand why and how I did costumes. It’s a very nice change from the usual cosplay competition that focused solemnly on your stage performance. For once I feel like the judges really bothered about the costuming process.


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It was really touching and exhilarating to hear everyone’s scream and support for the kissing scene. I think Zeph and I were giggling among ourselves on stage when we heard the response.

Yeay, we ‘talk’ on stage a lot, LOLs. It was a very good way to keep each other on the right beat. And almost every time after ‘kissing’ Zephyus would rush me to ‘go limp’ which I would then retort that ‘its not time yet!’.

 
Video filmed and uploaded by LYNAnimeShrine

And yes, at the ending part, I really fell down. Or rather, I fell off the stage because it was too dark and I thought there was actually more space when there is none. Thank goodness a stage crew was there to rescue me! I think he probably saw that I was dangerously close to the edge that’s why almost immediately after I stepped into the air I felt his hands catching my falling feet.

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Seriously, so much thanks to him for that! If I fell off the stage, that would be such an embarrassing and dangerous ending to an otherwise perfect day. I tried to look for him after the performance but was held back and instructed to go backstage because the cameras are on me =( Honestly, I didn’t care about the cameras, I just wanted to thank the person who saved me. If you know who he is, please help me thank him and I hope my stiletto heels didn’t poke him badly or something >_>;;;;

Truth be told, I really wished we could have more time to fine tune our acting and synchronise better with the audio. I really thought my performance up there could have been more dramatic if I had more time to settle into it =(

Special thanks to Gin and Ziyan for being our ever persisting Saikang warriors and helpers. They gave so much constructive comments and helped with so much stuffs, I really can’t imagine going through this mad rush without them around T_T

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With Team Malaysia!  Sadly no photo with the other Malaysian guy on my camera =(

Anyway, the whole backstage experience would have been really exciting if not for the pressure of the competition. The late nights and the competition pressure stoned all the competitors. Compared to the much lighter mood during the rehearsal the night before, everyone was visibly solemn.
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With Zoey from Malaysia!

And I haven't felt this scared for very long. I was so worried about the skit, worried I would trip on stage, worried Zephyus's sword would break apart, worried Zephyus would not be able to change in time, worried the Hell gate would crash before it should and worried it wouldn't fall when it should. *Insert gasp*. At some point the fear of failure was so overwhelming I could no longer think of anything but failing. Fear itself is scarier than anything and I could feel my heart shriveling, physically.

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Team Indonesia, 1st Runner up! Their armor were sooooooooo awesome!!!!! The two guys were quiet but pretty funny too xD

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With Patrisha from Philippines! Her contact lens are scary and she kept doing the “I can see through your clothes” move on me LOL. So pretty and cute!!

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Team Thailand! I really really wished I could have more time to touch their awesome costumes and talk to them more! My Dicam’s battery died and I was too lazy to rummage through my luggage for the replacement battery so pics taken with Mobile after that.

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Hakuren-Naoki from Thailand xD! She is so pretty in real life! And her costume is sooooo solid! I especially love the fringe like structure on the front of her helmet. I never expect anyone to be able to replicate drawings to such details!

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Well, ending the entry with some concluding comments about my competition participation.

I am honestly very happy and excited to represent my country at a regional cosplay competition. It has always been my dream to win a free trip to Japan do something big in Cosplay competitions and I’m really glad I got a platform and a partner to execute it this time. Not to mention the opportunity to be placed on the same stage as awesome epic cosplayers like them makes me feel like I can give my own cosplays a bit more credit.


But as to whether or not I’ve enjoyed the whole journey... I dont't think I have fully enjoyed it. It is probably a blend of my personal reasons, schedule clashes with Zephyus (thus the last minute rollercoaster rush) and pressure of the competition amongst others.

But the biggest reason was handling the rules and working with the organisers. I really do appreciate the organiser’s effort to keep the performance professional and give the stage crew more to work on. But when you have to juggle between handling your own life, making your costumes and props while brainstorming, choreographing and practising for your skit, handling paper work is the last thing you want to do. Personally I feel there was way too much “Materials” to submit … and we don’t even really know if it adds to the judging.

To draw an example, we were required to submit evidence (in our case, scans of the manga) of the storyline of our skit. Then we were required to send them our videos 5 days before the competition even though they still require us to burn it out onto dvd video disk. Then there was also stage requirement information we needed to give and etc etc etc……

Also, being the Home Team meant we missed out on a lot of benefits like free Hotel stay and transport claims. Unlike the other teams who at the very least, earned a free trip to Singapore. I was telling Zephyus, that if we don’t win, we literally get nothing. And then she said we can steal the tissue paper from Kaname and Aira =X Also, unlike the previous year, the competitors this year didn’t get to have that famous lunch with Kaname either. We got Bentos (which got taken away before we could eat them T_T) but its just not the same. I just felt the organisers didn’t do enough to foster the interacting and bonding of the different countries.

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Abruptly ending my entry here because I’m sleepy and its getting boring. Shall leave you guys with photographic evidence of my sacrifices for the competition xD I admit, this is a pathetic attempt on my part to gain sympathy haha! But all the fainting left like 3-4 bruises on my kneecaps. And I think I twisted my ankle slightly due to fighting with the heels.

Comment and tell me how you liked the videos! Part 2 soon !

Comments

maria_tachi said…
Knowing your situation before the day of your competition makes me panick for you also. Actually, a few days before competition, I keep worrying whether will you be in time to make your props or need any help. All these thought keeps going in my mind. Unfortunately, I wasn't being able to help out as I'm still chionging my cosplay stuff as well. Felt gulity on this portion though...

Anyway, I love your skit and both of you have really have great chemistry. You guys look natural. Just like what the judge said, you guys made use of the whole stage. Somehow you got to run around with your heels on!!!~ O_O and the scary scene where you almost fall out of stage. I was like OMG!!!~

I'm glad that you guys won cause your effort paid off!!!~ Lots of thought but I dont know how to put in words lah... :p
Laurie said…
I am thinking if I should do it or not...but here goes..

*congratulatory hugs*

I am really glad you won! After reading from twitter about you guys winning I was so excited. Then last night I saw your video of the performances(after searching for days on afa x videos) and I really believe you deserved the win.

The kiss was a winner!I didn't expect that at all...I guess I haven't seen a heated battle end in a kiss except in Schichou Henge

It must have been nice to have epic cosplayers check how much time, love, planning and labor you spent on your costumes ^ ^

Unfortunately, it seems there were still problems : ( Read about Clive's AFA X experience and he mentioned about the home team as well... all the hotel accommodations...fares...that must have been taxing on your part.

But on the bright side you guys won! Really happy for you ^ ^ Also congrats to Zeph! Unbelievable quick change!
Soh said…
You guys were amazing!!! We rushed over from supporting Rika in the other hall to supporting you guys! To be honest after sitting through Team Thailand and Team Indonesia we were a bit O_O whether Team Singapore could do anything, but the performance really really blew us away and so did the judges' comments! And of course, we knew how rushed everything was and how much work you guys put in and we're SUPER happy for you guys! *HUGS* CONGRATULATIONS! You guys earned it!
Someone who was petrified= = said…
I didnt know that you almost fell down from the stage until I watched the video playback= = I think I was yelling with Gin and Zeph's sister for the hellgate (which was perfectly broken)= =

That was my first time helping cosplayers in their aperformance! (my first time on the AFA stage too, although I was just setting up the props= =) Quick change, video edit, I was very impressed by your performance! Both you and Zeph were perfectly synchronized!

You guys are awesome! I am really glad to be your helper. Hope to see your live performance again on stage!CONGRATULATIONS!
Sour cheese said…
Congrats once again on second runner up.

Didn't realize eyelash glue can be used to stick wig onto the face. @_@ But did it cause any skin irritation after that?

Anyway thankfully the crew managed to catch you before you fell down from the stage! The stage looked quite high sia!
Sese said…
I just remembered we do have a picture together. Our helper and friend Pepz has it ahhh must get it from him!!
zephyus said…
You said alot of things that was really heartfelt and what i had in mind. It had been hard on you while you rush through the things alone.
My heart was racing everytime i think abt AFA in japan. When i received that phone call from you about adding audio to our clip and i was standing in the railway station in tokyo, it was a really helpless feeling that made me want to rush home and finish all the things i havent finish.

But u did an amazing job, with the animation, the audio, the skit, your acting and your costume. You couldnt be a more reliable partner that i could hope for for a cosplay competition. Although i really hope that one day we could win that trip to japan and we can both enjoy tokyo and even hokkaido that we had worked for for both WCS and AFA, but nevertheless, we didnt walk away with just the tissue paper on the table. With proper judges, your efforts are properly appreciated. I'm glad we joined a competition with fantastic judges.

And please take care of your leg. The stage was really high, i remember it was higher than i dare jump off. Thank god, thank god really that you didnt fall off that high platform.

Thank you for being such a wonderful partner. It had been so much fun and endless laughter and crack throughout this journey. In stressful moments, it was filled with giggles and laughs. Hopefully, we can do something like this again minus away all the scary time limits / last minuteness and clashing schedule.
songster69 said…
Congrats! You both did Singapore proud by representing. And please, those of us who know you will also know that you always pull off awesome cosplays and skits!

That being said, I want to do photoshoot!
cvy said…
i watched the performance and replayed it again (esp the kiss :x)! you and zeph did very well even if i may not have much knowledge of the series, i like it alot still! im so proud of u girls!!!

enjoyed your drawings too xD and your savior omg, that was so dangerous, if it wasnt for his quick move to support you..

thanks for the in-sight, will wait for part two!
Jac said…
congrats! I watched your skit ^^
maria: thanks for ur concern babe. Ur cardboard saved us a lot (even though zeph actually bought 4 big cardboards but I think your washing machine one stronger haha)


Laurie: Thanks for your comment! I'm so happy to hear your excitement T_T


SOh: ah thank you thank you for coming to physically support us >w< Really appreciate that man T_TAnd I'm so happy to hear you liked our skit T_T

Keng Hou: hahaha remember to say hi to me next time okay. Thanks for all your help! Was nice working with you :D

Justin: oops!

Sour Cheese: Thanks! And no skin irritation! works very well XD or maybe its because I only used a small portion at the side burns

Sese: Pls remember to send it to me XD!!!

Zephy: LOL please don't give me anymore heart attacks! Chrno Crusade and Skip beat yay?

Songster: Aww thanks man!

Cvy: *hugs hugs joo* Thanks for enjoying my doodle and the skit xD


Jac: Hope u liked it ^^!

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