Hello! My name for the purpose of this blog is @Operadivablock. I began cosplaying in college when my partner, @Sky_berry_13, introduced me to this incredible world of “costume play.” At the time, I was a music major and no stranger to dressing up, though I had never been able to enact my dream science fiction characters on the opera stage. Of course now there are innovative productions featuring Star Trek characters in LA opera companies, but in 2014 my hopes of ever getting to do so were pretty slim. So, when my sci-fi heart encountered the art form of cosplay I was sold!
@Sky_berry_13 chose our first cosplay from her favorite anime: One Piece. If you’re unfamiliar with it you likely never watch anime or have been living under a rock as I had. It is on season 18, the number of episodes I cannot even began to fathom. Anyway, this pirate ship sails over an absurd amount of arcs, but during one of them I had related pretty emotionally to Nico Robin’s story and my partner had a close resemblance to Nami, the ship’s navigator. As the ship’s navigator she, of course, has a compass like device. In this anime it is called a Log Pose and is a clear three dimensional globe with the needle floating in the middle. I had dabbled in jewelry design in college and figured that I could reasonably create this Log Pose without too much trouble.
I began with a white leather cuff strap with snaps and detailed on the wood with brown sharpie. I then took a clear plastic globe ornament that came in two pieces and inlaid some stiff beading wire on the rims. I crafted and cooked the needle out of white and red polymer clay with a hole in the middle only as big as the beading wire. I attached both the needle and the ornament sides with E6000 and sawed the hook of the ornament off. One would have thought that the dangerous part of construction was out of the way…T’was not the case. To preface and maintain some dignity, I must explain that I have never till the ripe old age of 20 required a visit to the hospital for any reason since my birth.
There I was stupidly punching through the face of a watch to get the silver rimmed case with my naked fingers. Normally, for I had done this before in my youthful ignorance, they popped out in one piece. Now I cannot tell you how many pieces this one came out in, for I could not bear to watch the medical procedures it took to retrieve them from the insides of my thumb. What I can tell you is that my thumb was suddenly spewing blood like I was Julia Childs or something. Despite the quite unexpected gore, I calmly stood up, wrapping my thumb in my other hand and walked down the hallway to run it under water in the bathroom sink. Maybe it was just a scratch? The graphic scene which ensued in the bathroom disproved that theory and my calm was at an end. I started screaming and hyperventilating as my partner, trying to assess the situation and be the adult asked where all of my important items were. Now when you are heading out the door to work you go through a checklist and the four pocket butt pat to make sure you are set for the day: car keys, drivers license, phone…etc. I was not in the mood for this routine. So, bounding out the door with only one thought in mind, my throbbing thumb, which was wrapped in a paper towel I must have grabbed sometime in my hysteria, I was waiting for no one. It is a wonder that my partner somehow managed to lock the door.
Anyway, I hyperventilated the entire drive, talking myself into hysterics and begging my partner (who at the time was desperately trying to figure out where the hospital in our college town was located) to tell my family I loved them. When we wheeled up to the Emergency Room she ran out in search of a nurse and I, raving hysterically with very little between me and the pavement leaned out the car window whispering (for that is all I was capable of at the time) for aid in my last hours. The nurse who came out with a wheelchair for me was baffled that, what to him must have been a minor injury, had reduced me to such a state. If you have ever suffered from anxiety passed down through at least four generations of the women in your family, you know that I was beyond sense. We sat in the waiting room for what seemed like hours. I had my partner call everyone I knew and our good friend came right around the time they were ready for me.
I was to receive an X-ray first for them to locate all the glass in me. I do pity the X-ray technician who had to negotiate the terms of unwrapping that paper towel from my pitiful excuse for a thumb. When he finally did and I watched the thumb part unhinge from the rest of my hand it is a wonder I did not faint as my lungs had been preparing me to do for hours at that point. But I somehow remained conscious and so was wheeled into the Emergency Room where I was met by the nurse who was to stitch me up. While I did give him a time that he was not an MD I allowed him to proceed. The most painful part of the process was the infusion of that which was to numb my thumb in the bony base of the poor digit. While I forcibly recited the plot of The Magic Flute to my friend, who was desperately trying to calm me, my partner watched in unadulterated awe as glass was dug from the depths of my flesh. She is a biologist and endlessly fascinated with this stuff. Needless to say I survived my first brush with cosplay and, though, Robin had a rather large thumb that weekend at Dallas A-Kon I was still asked for pictures. I can now say, years after this dark incident that cosplay, particularly that first one, was worth it.