Hello!

      I'm convinced!

      With that, I want to see about getting the basics first. Where should I start? The mask? Body forming?

      Already have a character concept forming, but am wondering if it's a good idea to perhaps act as a handler first. That's should the opportunity arise. There was an anime convention in my area not too long ago. Sadly, I heard about it too late to attend. Are animegao kigurumi performers found at comic conventions often? There are a couple of them being held nearby.
      Getting the opportunity to meet actual kigurumi performers, is always a great way to learn. Even if all you do is tag along and observe the Kugu and their handlers in action.

      It's hard to say. Performers show up where they feel welcome and at events that are close to them. Anime Cons for certain, Comic cons based on proximity, Toy shows, even literary events if there's a cosplay tradition. If you let us know here, which comic events you are talking about, maybe someone will respond?

      The only solid advice I can offer, is one of the KIgu Rendezvous. Anime North in Toronto Canada, has developed into almost into an event containing a mini Animegao Kigurumi Convention, being held same place same time. I know this May, there will be several Kigurumi performers from around the world in attendance. That may seem like jumping into the deep end of the pool for the first time, but it's a confirmed "They will be there " event.

      If the participants are willing to actually talk with you outside of their "Performing activities" You could ask direct questions.

      Kiki

      Dottore wrote:

      I want to see about getting the basics first. Where should I start? The mask? Body forming?


      Body body body! Always always always!!!

      Sorry for the repeat but this is one of the most overlooked part of building a kigurumi for yourself. All too often I've seen players/users buy a cleavage suit, discover they have boobs and they're good to go.
      WRONG :P

      Others drop $2K+ on an expensive character and highly crafted cosplay and still don't build the body. Trouble is when you look at the total build something is missing. Can't quite put your finger on cause it just doesn't look right.

      I realize this is truly up to the individual. I've heard all the excuses too of why these individuals don't invest the time into the body build. Anyways :P

      Dottore wrote:


      am wondering if it's a good idea to perhaps act as a handler first.


      Handling is a great way to get introduced to the ways of kig. If you're lucky enough to have local players in your local that will entertain the notion of having a "non-player" handle for them, you get the golden ticket. Trouble with being a non-player handler is gaining the trust of the kigurumi. Most won't allow you to handle due to their fear of being outed and/or letting the non player gain access to their private areas. By that I mean the changing areas.

      If this is where you'd like to start; GREAT! But bring something to the table. A handler that takes great photos along the way is always a good asset.



      Dottore wrote:


      Are animegao kigurumi performers found at comic conventions often?



      Yes they do attend those venues ( At least I do )

      Also, Local Cosplay meetups, parades, children's hospital ward visits great venue.

      Basically this all comes down to how far you want to push pour performing and what your comfort levels are @Dottore

      cici wrote:

      Body body body! Always always always!!!


      Body shaping it is!

      The concept is now solidly in place. I want to make a character so very opposite of what I've been playing for years. As fun as it can be to play the bad guy, and I almost always end up as the "Big Bad," I need to work on something different. And the plague doctor character isn't winning any "bright, happy, and shiny" awards.

      Basing her off the first picture I posted, I want to make a maid character: cute and well-meaning, but goofy and bumbling. In no way in charge or evil. Nope!

      Now, being a complete novice at this, where's a good place to start with the body shaping?

      BritKig wrote:

      I can't answer your geographical questions as you haven't shared any details about where you live yet.


      Regarding location, I currently live in Michigan, but I do move around a lot.

      cici wrote:

      Trouble with being a non-player handler is gaining the trust of the kigurumi. Most won't allow you to handle due to their fear of being outed


      Saddens me that such a thing is necessary, but I see the reasoning and understand. Might not be worth too much since anyone can claim to be, or have been, anything on the internet, but as a former newspaper editor, I did have to maintain the anonymity of sources; as a freelance writer, respect the multitude of NDAs I've accepted and am still under.

      cici wrote:

      If this is where you'd like to start; GREAT! But bring something to the table. A handler that takes great photos along the way is always a good asset.


      Damn, I had photographers for that at the paper. Any other skills that would make for a good handler?

      Forgot to ask on my last post, is there much, or any, crossover between kigurumi animegao and fursuiters?
      Forgot to ask on my last post, is there much, or any, crossover between kigurumi animegao and fursuiters?


      There certainly is Dottore. When you look at both groups from the performance aspects, there are many similarities. Limited vision, excessive heat buildup, limited ability to hear, lack of ability to communicate verbally, some tactile loss. But then again there's probably roles on the stage which have the same limitations.

      If you check on Youtube, there are actually video clips, on how to be a "Handler" for performers in Fursuits. There have been panels held on the subject at the major anthropomorphic conventions. Much of the material provided, carries over to Kigurumi Performing. Maybe some day a video will be produced specific to Kig, as there are some minor differences. But for now, the best way to see how it's done is attend a local Furry convention and take in some panels. The big conventions are only a state away from you. Just don't let them know that you have a "media" background.


      There are no dress rehearsals when it comes to Kigurumi performing. You don't meet with your co- performers, go over a script, get to know them by running lines, block out choreography. Then finally work up to full dress rehearsals in costume. It would be nice if you developed a Kigurumi Troupe and were capable of getting together at events, similar to the Pretty Cure stage shows in Japan.

      Eventually you just have to do it.

      The only way to get instant credibility in the community, is to go to an event and perform. Design your maid character, collect the wardrobe and props. Practice. Then show up at an event where your character can be seen and photographed. With luck you will run into other Kigu performing as well.

      Or with better luck, they will be in street clothes and offer to handle for you.

      This happened at a convention several years back. I was in the dealer's room with a couple of my Kugu friends, shopping in street clothes. I noticed someone cosplaying as a rather popular anime character at the time, standing still and looking around. The fact that when I saw she was wearing a Kigurumi mask, not just a wig, only amplified the fact that she was in distress. We approached her and determined that she had been separated from her friends who were also shopping. We, shall I say, dropped immediately into handler mode, and set about rectifying the situation. The fact that a couple of us were still wearing our "Ask me about Kigurumi" Buttons went a long way to communicating our intent to her.

      Turns out she was brand new to the hobby, and had not thought through the situation and had not explained to her room mates, that she would require more assistance than the average person cosplaying at the event. But as I say she was immediately adopted into the sorority, gaining both credibility with the group, and access to 'in person' support.

      Keep us informed on your progress, and don't be afraid to ask us anything.

      Kiki

      Miss Kiki wrote:

      If you check on Youtube, there are actually video clips, on how to be a "Handler" for performers in Fursuits.


      I'll watch those as soon as I can. Thank you.

      Miss Kiki wrote:

      Just don't let them know that you have a "media" background.


      I knew when I wrote it that revealing my background in media could cut both ways. Yes, it means I know how to keep my mouth shut regarding anonymity, but also that it might seem I'm one of this modern breed of journalists who think exposing and endangering people for sales makes for good writing. That, and the "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality, is why I left journalism for freelance writing.

      Miss Kiki wrote:

      Eventually you just have to do it.


      As someone who dives in headfirst once I've set myself to a new experience, I assure you this won't be a problem once I get over the hump of getting the physical aspects of the character set. Not having a background in costuming (other than the spot repairs all stage actors should learn) will make this the most difficult step.

      Miss Kiki wrote:

      We, shall I say, dropped immediately into handler mode, and set about rectifying the situation.


      This is what I love to hear about a community. Very encouraging!

      cici wrote:

      Oh we NEVER do crossovers!!


      That's brilliant! I'd love to create a raccoon character someday.