It’s the Sunday of an Anime convention. The con is about to end and everyone is packing up and getting ready to leave. The attendees around you are thinking the same thing, “I don’t want to go to work tomorrow! It’s back to reality on Monday!”
We all talk about post-con depression or cosplay ideas for the next con. But we never think about what jobs that all of us cosplayers have. And that’s a shame because I think you and I are definitely interested to know what kind of jobs cosplayers have.
That’s what this article is about!
Today, I wanted to share 10 cosplayers who have interesting gigs. All these cosplayers were generous enough to tell me their story, what their jobs are like and whether their career impacts how they cosplay.
Let’s get started!
1. Rae 小雷 Cosplay (Animal Care Technician/Client Advisor/Brand Ambassador/Model)
So I mainly was a
- Client advisor at the bank
- Brand ambassador
- Animal care technician
I first worked at the bank as teller/client advisor dealing with a lot of people’s finances. It was a full-time job and gave me zero wiggle room for vacations, which meant I couldn’t go to cons or do photoshoots. I quit and did work as a brand ambassador while also modeling and acting.
Brand ambassador work is in experiential marketing and super flexible while paying quite well. (I) highly recommend anyone who wants to make some quick cash to do BA work.
I (also) used to be an agency model back in university but quit the agency after graduation. I didn’t quit modeling though and went more freelance so I could control my own projects and schedule. Been in some magazines and runways. I took up acting more recently and do background work on show (previous ones include Handmaid’s Tale, Disney) and commercials (like Pizza Pops).
Funny thing about my modeling career is that I actually got scouted through my Facebook cosplay page and signed with an agency there. I already knew how to pose from cosplay and being able to model at runways or photoshoots helped me learn more about emoting with my body and face and moving it more fluidly. The first time I did a magazine publication, there was an entire team of makeup artists, hair stylists, a wardrobe stylist, lighting tech and a photographer. And I actually felt so spoiled because in cosplay, you manage all of that yourself.
I have better endurance for being a mascot because of all the cosplay I do. I’m so used to uncomfortable costumes and being sweaty in them that mascot work is a breeze to me. Same goes for long hours on set for background work. (For example), I was on Handmaid’s which started at 2pm and ended at 6am and being in a loose costume for 12+ hours was no sweat because I’ve endured worse.
Now I started work at an animal hospital to forward my career in veterinary science! I mostly clean up poop and pee, but also get to pet a lot of dogs and cats.
To be honest, being a brand ambassador and pursuing acting with cosplay on the side is the most flexible. I didn’t have any time or room at the bank as a 9-5 fulltime (I also worked Saturdays) and currently taking a slight break from cosplay as I get more into the flow at the animal hospital.
2. Pastreflections (Geologist)
So as a geologist my job is to help find and help extract minerals and rocks that are used in everyday life.
My favourite quote that one of my teachers told me was:
“Stop and take a really close look around you: from the floor, to your clothes, to the glasses on your nose. Everything you seen that wasn’t grown was mined.”
So that’s my job to help find material that eventually helps with everyday life.
Balance in geology can be either very easy or hard depending on where you work and how long your shift is. Most of the time, where I work is literally the middle of nowhere (I have lived in a tent for up to 4 months with no electricity). So cosplaying on the job is a no-go but if I have a good shift (e.g. right now I am working 8-10 hour days no breaks and then get 6 days off), I get a section of days which I can just really work a lot on cosplay .
I don’t think my cosplays are influenced by my job at all… However they are limited. I have to be very careful in making sure whatever I cosplay is not overly revealing. Or the character isn’t too… I am not sure the right word but something like…“feminine?” Since the industry is dominantly male (my work has a higher than average female presence and it’s still 90-95% male), I have to be very careful when portraying myself. Because it could very well be super damaging to not only my career path but also how I am seen in the workplace by co-workers, subordinates, contractors and bosses. Since I am working in isolated areas, it could make the environment uncomfortable at the best and hostile at the worst, for extended periods of time.
3. Neveneter_ (Tool and Die Maker)
I work in a Tool and Die shop. This career tends to be split into 2 parts: the building of dies and the maintenance of dies. In my shop we build Automotive dies for companies all around North America. Dies that I help build at my work are used in large presses (generally 600-3000 ton presses) to form and cut steel sheet into automotive parts.
4. Heather Starsailor (Registered Nurse)
I’m a registered nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit, where I provide care to sick and/or premature babies. I’m also a first responder to high risk deliveries and newborn resuscitations.
I’m also a grad student and doing a master of nursing degree in order to become a nurse practitioner.
My work schedule is 4 12-hour shifts in a row and then 5 days off, so I do have some long stretches of time available to work on cosplay. Due to this schedule, I’m also prone to crunching cosplays during my time off instead of working on them a little bit at a time.
I’ve never cosplayed anything that relates to my work! I generally like to use cosplay as a way to escape from work and express myself artistically.
5. Bamzy Cosplay (Automotive Technician Mechanic)
26 year old from Toronto Canada!
I have been cosplaying for 9 years!
I am a licensed Automotive Technician (Mechanic). I currently work for Porsche!
(Balancing work and cosplay is) actually a hard question to answer. Time management is really the only way for me to: balance working full time, mixing in time to craft new costumes for conventions, do photoshoots for my Patreon content, have time left over to just do normal adult errands/house work and finally spend time with friends/family and relax! Some days it’s hard to find the balance, but you gotta do what you are comfortable with and not over exhaust yourself of burn out creatively. Breaks are important! Weekends are the time I get most of my (cosplay) shoot stuff done; weeknights are typically when I do most of my crafting after work, watching shows on Netflix in the background to get into the vibe of crafting.
There definitely are days where I know I’m in a time crunch to finish a costume for an event But I have to remind myself, that rushing and over exertion shows in my work, and I’ll end up hating the costume at the end of it since it won’t be my best work. (NOTE: That’s something I talk about in my con crunch article!)
Being a mechanic, I work a lot with tools and equipment so I’m comfortable using them for props. Problem solving to figuring out rigging/attachments/ framework is something I can do easily too. I also am definitely attracted to the strong female type characters, and if they have a fem mechanic, I absolutely add them to my “want to cosplay” list!
I’m really lucky that my coworkers and my manager all know that I cosplay, and all are super supportive of my work; cosplay and Boudoir alike. It was definitely a little awkward at first when I posted some of my more ‘sexy’ content, knowing that they all see it. But I figure: if it’s my work, and I’m proud and confident in it, and if I’m showing it to strangers online, why not show my friends/ family? They are the ones who will always give me honest and productive feedback!
Remember to always do what makes you comfortable!
6. Kitkatacos (Actor/Stage Dancer/Dance Instructor)
(I am) an Actor/Stage Manager by trade and a Dance instructor (mostly Tap) currently, as I have an 8 month old. I teach dance to younger kids (ages 4-14) at a studio in Dorchester. I teach Tap and Music Theatre dance. So I teach steps and technique, and I choreograph numbers for them to put everything into practise. I also went to school for acting and professional stage manage, mostly theatre shows.
How she finds time to cosplay while balancing your job/career adulting life…
LOLOL well, I try to include the little one now, at least. It definitely makes it financially harder. I honestly have had to cut out a lot of cosplay because of baby. But career wise, not really something that impacts my cosplaying.
Does her job or career affect the way she cosplays?
It does some(what). I’m trained in music theatre, so I love doing anything that has to do with dance and singing (i.e. why I was in 2 Love Live! dance groups…). BUT I do cosplay a lot of characters that are not “in my field.”
7. witch.cos (Bartender)
I am a bartender and server. I go to different resorts and hotels and work as an independent contractor for them. Finding time to cosplay is always difficult, especially since I sew all of my own costumes, style my own wigs, etc. I try to find a few days a week where I can sit down and work on them.
My job doesn’t truly affect the characters I cosplay, but my past experience in college has. I studied art, and am quite proficient with sculpting, sewing, and painting.
I would say (cosplay) definitely has altered my perception of people. I am open about my sewing projects and cosplaying, but I’ve grown used to phrasing it in a more accessible way due to the people I work with and serve at my job (such as “Oh, I sew outfits for fun” instead of “I’m an active cosplayer who makes costumes based around fictional characters“).
8. Alex Lin (Preschool Teacher)
As a preschool teacher, my job is to make sure my kids are safe and happy. I plan program activities to their interests.
My work environment can
be a bit stressful but the kids are worth it. I love working with the kids. (There
is) nothing that I really dislike, (aside from) sometimes I give ideas and
suggestions and I’m ignored…but that’s about it. I love teaching and it’s not
just a job to me; it’s my passion.
I work during the week, so weekends if I’m not too tired I work on cosplays. And I book time off when I want to go to conventions.
My job career does not affect the way I cosplay; as a teacher we encourage kids to play dress up and I have shown my kids my cosplays that I have made and they have loved them all.
9. Nisaba.Cosplay (Astrophysicist)
I am an astrophysicist. I research galaxies and use telescopes around the world to analyze how they have evolved over time. I use computational modeling to figure out how galaxies are made and how the Universe works!
I try to set aside time for hobbies so I can relax and unwind after my research work. Cosplay is one such hobby and I’ll only choose to focus on it when I have free time or when I can travel to see friends on a weekend.
I am naturally more drawn to cosplay characters involved with space and astronomy like my Rosalina & Luma or Earth-chan. Cosplay allows me to express my passion for astronomy in a different way! I try to avoid lewds and really sexy cosplay, because I don’t want to do those types of cosplays a lot. And I don’t think it would be looked on positively if it was seen by my colleagues.
10. simply.hanji (Teacher/Violin Performer)
(Balancing life/work) It’s a little challenging but I make some time – it helps when Halloween is on a work day because then I can show off my cosplays and my students love it! Most of my students know I go to Anime North and Fan Expo, (so) they tend to ask me for cosplaying advice too .
(My job) does affect my cosplays. Since I’m a teacher my cosplays still have to uphold my practice in some way.
As an example, Female Rick’s language is more creative and not vulgar. She never swears like Rick does, but uses creative twists like “Morty, you piece of salad” and she drinks A&W Root Beer vs. Rick and his alcohol. When I pick a cosplay I always ask if it would be something that I would be okay if my boss saw.
In random order, I’ve cosplayed: Hanji (Attack On Ritan), Jirou (My Hero Academia), Touka (Tokyo Ghoul), Female Rick (Rick and Morty) and Yuuki (Vampire Knight).
Thanks for creating such a great thread!
Those are some interesting gigs for sure! Just goes to show that we’re not all basement dwellers and adulting is real. But when I was reading what they had to say, here’s what I found interesting:
Their jobs/career influenced or limited who they can cosplay.
Some of these cosplayers mentioned that because of their job, they have to be careful with who they choose to cosplay. So that probably means no sexy cosplays are allowed. Some of them said it’s because of their coworkers that they don’t want to affect their reputation. Others mentioned that they don’t want to affect their future job prospects.
While of course this is obvious with some careers, this is definitely important to note for you guys looking to pursue careers where your image or reputation plays a big part. For some of these cosplayers, these are things that have thought about and therefore they chose not to do certain cosplays because of their job. I’m not saying you can’t do sexy/lewd/extreme/exotic cosplays, because after all you can cosplay whoever you want. But you definitely want to ask yourself if doing a particular cosplay will negatively affect your chances of landing a specific job in the future.
Using cosplay to help you advance your career or with other skills in life.
Cosplay making is a hobby but it doesn’t mean you can’t use those skills for other things in life!
For cosplayers such as Rae 小雷 Cosplay and witch.cos, they use the skills acquired from cosplaying into other realms of their job. And that’s really cool to see. Skills you use in cosplay such as modeling, sewing and crafting can definitely be used and transferred to other areas of your life, including future jobs and careers!
Almost all of them embraced the cosplay life and weren’t afraid to show it to their coworkers.
Another interesting thing to see was how almost all of these guys do not hesitate to show off their cosplay hobby! Whether it’s for their students (Alex Lin and simply.hanji)or for their coworkers (Bamzy cosplay), cosplay is something they weren’t afraid to show off. In my experience, some look down on cosplay as “weird” or “childish” because cosplay/geek culture may not be understood or as accepted. So it can be difficult to explain to someone what cosplay is about. However, a lot of people these days know what “Comic Con” is about, so that’s a sign that cosplay is fairly mainstream now.
A Bunch Of Other Job/Careers/Gigs That Cosplayers Have
Initially, I made a post in my cosplay group asking what kind of profession they had. There were so many different kinds of gigs that everyone had, from hairstylists to software engineers! On top of that, I have friends in the cosplay community who work all sorts of jobs, which is fascinating. So here’s a small list of all the different jobs and careers that everyone posted:
- Baker and Pastry Chef
- Chief operations of a Software consulting firm
- Computer Science Teacher/Makerspace owner
- Digital Designer and Project Manager
- eSports manager
- Event Coordinator
- Fast food restaurant
- Film Industry Makeup artist
- Fitness Instructor
- Freelance Journalist for an Esports and Entertainment website
- Garbage man
- Licensed producer of medical marijuana
- Learning Coach and Campus Administrator
- Media/Event Consultant
- Oil Engineer Technician
- Photography business
- Race Car Driver (I’m serious!)
- Registered nurse
- Retail/Axe throwing coach
- Social worker
- Software engineer
- Tutu creator
- UX Designer / Developer
- Vet Assistant/Receptionist
- Wardrobe for film and TV
- YouTube Personality
Isn’t it great we have a hobby that brings all sorts of people with different job backgrounds together? That hobby is called cosplay. 🙂
P.S. Even if you don’t have a job, or you’re just a student. It’s all good, cosplaying is for everyone. Just be sure to spend your money wisely on cosplay though!
Summary of the 10 most interesting gigs that cosplayers have
Here they are:
- Rae 小雷 Cosplay (Animal Care Technician/Client Advisor/Brand Ambassador/Model)
- Pastreflections (Geologist)
- Neveneter_ (Tool and Die Maker)
- Heather Starsailor (Registered Nurse)
- Bamzy Cosplay (Automotive Technician Mechanic)
- Kitkatacos (Actor/Stage Dancer/Dance Instructor)
- witch.cos (Bartender)
- Alex Lin (Preschool Teacher)
- Nisaba.Cosplay (Astrophysicist)
- simply.hanji (Teacher/Violin Performer)
And that is it for this article! Let me know if you enjoyed this post and whether you want me to write more posts like this. If you’re a cosplayer and want to share your job or career as well, post in the comments!
My name is Roger Senpai. I’m a cosplayer that’s been in the community for well over a decade now. I’ve traveled all over the world to Anime and Comic conventions and hosted my own cosplay events. Now I’m writing articles for new and experienced cosplayers like you to help inspire, save you money and improve your cosplays!