The time when a hobby was just a way to relieve stress is now a thing of the past. Hobbies are now treated as an opportunity to earn some extra cash. After all, most hobbies at least require a little investment moneywise, and so the rationale nowadays is that if you can earn money while doing something you love, it’s a win-win situation.
Take, for example, cosplayers. The amount of dedication they put into their craft is amazing. Bringing a fictional character into life is not easy. It takes hours just to conceptualize exactly how to recreate outfits, what material to use, and how to make it work for the person who will wear it. Usually, a huge amount of money is also needed.
Furthermore, a good cosplayer knows that looking the part is only the beginning of the battle. Knowing how to act like the character they are portraying is also essential so cosplayers spend time studying their character – how they move, how they talk, their mannerisms, etc.
Despite all these efforts, cosplaying was mostly seen as just a simple hobby. Of course, there are a few exceptions; there are famous cosplayers all over the world who were reported to be earning quite a huge sum, but most of them are independent artists. It’s difficult to find clients and events interested in cosplayers so many of them just stick to small-time gigs.
Now if you think about it, cosplayers are essentially models. As such, they need an agency to help them bridge the gap between them and clients. This is something that was missing in Japan. Until recently.
DWANGO, the company that operates Japanese video streaming service Niconico, recently launched an agency in Japan solely dedicated to cosplayers, which they aptly named “Cosplay Agency.”
The process in this agency is that the cosplayer will register and then create a profile page on Cosplay Agency’s website. They will basically create an online portfolio, posting their best shots and listing down any special skills that may appeal to prospective clients. Example of skills includes singing or dancing. In some cases, the ability to speak English is also a plus.
The good thing is that even though Cosplay Agency is stationed in Japan, cosplayers of all races are welcome to register. So if you’re not Japanese but you’re living in Japan and you’re a cosplayer interested in making money from your craft, you might want to give this a shot
As for the side of the clients, Cosplay Agency makes the process easier for them. The trouble with scouting for independent cosplayers is that it can be difficult to find a person with the skill set you’re looking for. Other times, there could have been someone who would have fit the role better but the client did not discover them in time or they were not able to hear about the offer.
With Cosplay Agency, clients will now have options by looking through cosplayer profiles. There is also a ‘filter’ option on the website which clients can use to narrow their search for the person they need. For example, if they need a female cosplayer who is proficient in English and can sing, they can filter their search and the website will only show the profiles of cosplayers who fit those criteria. Fast, efficient, hassle-free.
Joining an agency usually provides a safety net for artists since they are less prone to exploitation if they have an agency speaking for them. Also, things are kept more upfront and professional on both the side of the artist as well as on the side of the client. There are a lot of benefits in having an agency for cosplayers so I have high hopes for Cosplay Agency and I’m expecting to hear good things about them soon.
Cosplay Agency Website *Japanese only