[Image shows three spoons laying on a laptop keyboard. Overlaid is a clipart of torn white notebook paper with a red paper clip. On the paper in black text reads, “LARP and Cosplay: A Packed Couple Weekends”. Below is clipart of a medieval sword laying horizontally with ivy growing up from the bottom of the paper up behind the sword.]
Last weekend, I made my way to Hagerstown, Maryland with my over-belt (mentor/friend) and my boyfriend. I was excited and nervous. The weather was not looking promising over the weekend and also this would be my first event using my wheelchair. I was determined to build up my self confidence and arm strength over the weekend and gain some independence. Of course I ended up learning that it is okay to ask for help, especially when it is pouring down the rain and the field is very bumpy.
The first day we got there around 1, after a 5 hour car ride, the rain was light so not too bad, but chilly. Luckily I had the cloak I had made.
[Image shows me in a brightened out background, short red hair with my wire wrapped circlet. Glasses on with my NJ tube but little makeup. I have my brown cloak on with my LARP clothes underneath.]
I made my way from camp to camp for a little bit, learning quickly that arm rests on a wheelchair were a pain in the butt, or in this case a pain in my arms since my arms kept hitting the arm rests.
But regardless I made my way from place to place, with the occasional help when I would get stuck in a small hole on the wet field. I hung out with some friends I hadn’t seen in a while and felt pretty confident about my wheelchair for the first time. It’s amazing how surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people can make such a change in how you view yourself. Nobody helped without asking, which was nice. They all knew I wanted to try to be independent. And to cope with anything awkward I would make jokes. Jokes are sort of my go to when I feel awkward.
I frequently would tell people if they asked if I needed help, “No it’s okay, it’s arm day everyday.” And would flex my non existent muscles.
That evening was one of the roleplay courts ran by our lovely king, Nim Ruin. The rain was pouring and with the help of some great people we made sure I got to attend court by the king!
[Image shows Marcus wearing a green and black tunic with a white belt on the left holding up on the poles to a canopy, in the center is me in my wheelchair being pushed by a guy in all black garb, then holding up two of the canopy poles in the front was a man in a red tunic and black pants and another LARPer in a green and brown tunic with brown pants.]
With my little entourage of awesome and amazing people, we braved the gross wet weather and made it across the field and everyone enjoyed court. We stayed for a while afterwards to chat with people before heading to the hotel where I could take off all the wet garb and get a nice hot bath, which was definitely needed by the lack of feeling in my toes.
The next day, we got up bright and early, my HR was not cooperative at 156 that day, but regardless I gathered my stuff and got ready to enter in the Arts competition they hold at each event. Due to my busy schedule, I only had two necklaces to enter. But regardless I was hopeful for good results, and by that I mean just beating my friend, Ryan. We like to bet each other on who is gonna beat who, for bragging rights.
I hung out mostly with my belted family that day, though my knight was unable to attend, it still is a family to me. They are all fantastic human beings.
After a while, Ryan decided he wanted to head off site to find food. One of the things that Hagerstown has that my town does not is a Red Robin, and while my stomach said “No, Grace, that seems like a bad idea.” My tongue said, “Heck yeah, Garlic fries!”
So I went off with Ryan, we went to Red Robin, where I enjoyed Garlic fries and a clean bathroom. Then we went back to the hotel where the garlic fries got their revenge on my stomach, but it was still worth it. 10/10 Would have done again.
Then to avoid having to change into my court garb in the nasty camp bathrooms, I went a head and changed. I accidentally tore my surgical glue off my port incision but luckily it was closed up and looking healed so I didn’t complain, the glue was itchy anyway.
[Image shows me from the chest up, you can see my brown and cream satin dress and the red part of my chest with my closed off incision. Red hair, glasses, NJ tube with a purple end, and my wire circlet.]
We went back to the camp site and hung out for a while more, before my Uncle Tato invited me to go out with his friends to Five Guys and for Fro Yo. I laughed as he elbow slammed some random guys fries, thinking they were his friend’s. And also as he and his friend Juan filled their cups up with little yogurt and mostly candy. They were a riot, and I laughed so hard my jaws hurt for the rest of the night.
Tato helped me out a good bit navigating over some less than accessible places. Overall it was a blast. We stayed on site that night late, til I got sick in the really gross bathrooms and started feeling really bad. Then we went back to the hotel, I was too exhausted for a bath. And told myself I’d take one when I got home.
The rest of the week was dedicated to college and planning for the upcoming Pop Con at my college, WVUP. My plan was to go as Poison Ivy with my friend Jess as Harley Quinn. Sadly she didn’t get off work til I already had to leave, but I had a great time and met many awesome cosplayers and new friends.
[Image shows me in a long red/orange wavy wig. I have bright red lipstick, green eyeshadow and contoured around my nose and cheeks green as well. I’m wearing a green top covered in faux ivy, I’m not wearing my glasses. Behind me is a photoshop of a bunch of ivy.]
The doors opened at 11 and my grandma took me. I met up with my friend Alexis who was volunteering with various other SGA members. I rolled around looking at all the vendor set ups and surprised at the amount of cosplayers at WVUP. I made sure to take plenty of pictures with other cosplayers.
[Image to the left shows me in my wheelchair in my long red wig, green ivy top and green gloves and green leggings next to a classic style Harley Quinn in a blonde pony tailed wig, and with a massive hammer which is cut off but says “Your Face Here” etched on it. Image to the right shows me with a more modern Harley. In burgundy and black costume and with her natural hair next to me with her arm around me.]
I got to meet a variety of Harley’s. My favorite being the girl in the photo on the right who when I asked for a picture got down and personal and said, “We’re going full homo on this one.” I about died laughing we had to take two photos.
On top of that there were a ton of Jedi’s which made me super happy.
[Image on the left shows a 7-8 foot tall Chewbacca cosplay along with a girl with a blue/green walker/roller in an amazing jedi costume with her hair pulled back into a pony tail, next to me in my wheelchair in my Poison Ivy cosplay. Image on the right shows my friend, Wendy, going all out posing with her green light saber and in her Jedi cosplay next to me who was laughing with my hands up.]
Ironically the girl on the right is in my art class and her and her entire family do Star Wars Cosplay. Her sister is the girl on the left and I think it was her dad as Chewbacca. Made me decide I am definitely gonna join the 501st Legion and join in on the Jedi fun.
On top of the cosplay they had a few artists there drawing cosplayers which was super cool. Me, and two girls got drawn together. Alexis as Fiona from Adventure Time and the other girl as a make-shift Game of Thrones cosplay using a roman esque dress.
[Image shows a caricature doodle of the girl in a roman looking dress with a small dragon, Alexis as Fiona with Cake, and my as Poison Ivy holding a potted plant in my lap. On the paper says JD. Williamson 2016.]
I got my picture taken by a handful of cosplayers who loved my costume, some who even thought my wig was my natural hair which was funny. I had a blast. Even got to run into an old high school friend dressed as a dapper Deadpool or “Dapperpool” as he called it.
[Image shows a man in a tuxedo and top hat with a dapper cane with a purple Deadpool mask, next to him is me motioning towards him in my Poison Ivy costume trying to keep a straight face.]
Overall it was a fantastic time and between the LARP and Cosplaying it really helped build up my confidence with how accepting and nice everyone was. It made it so much easier on me to enjoy an event and not feel dizzy and in pain the entire time.
I think only once did I have an awkward experience and that was with a guy as a ghostbuster telling me how inspirational it was for me to cosplay in a wheelchair and I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit because it took like zero effort and sometimes I can’t help but laugh when people call me inspirational.
Especially since I was cosplaying a villain ;D
But overall it was a fantastic event, and I wish I could have stayed for their cosplay contest but it wasn’t scheduled til late and I hadn’t planned on staying the whole time cause I had plans with my father.
This week will be dedicated to studying biology, showing my friend a game called Oxenfree, planning my trip for Cinci and scheduling my Entyvio infusion with home health care since my insurance will not let me do it at the infusion clinic anymore. Stay tuned for next time 🙂 And thanks for continuing to read my stories and follow along with my life.