Cosplaying is known by everyone as a hobby but did you know that some cosplayers get paid to cosplay too? Yes, that’s right. Because cosplaying has become a growing trend to otakus and non-otakus alike, it is no wonder that the hobby is now turning into something more than what it should be. Because of this many cosplayers now believe that there might be a way to turn their passion for cosplaying into a career. Unfortunately, there will always be that certain argument. If a cosplayer will end up get paid cosplaying, will he/she still be considered a cosplayer or a model? Honestly, nobody can really tell. Cosplayers are like models after all. Whether they get paid or not, they were different clothes and show them off to other people. They pose in front of everyone to get their pictures and videos taken. Cosplayer or model? You decide. Although there is truth in what I mentioned earlier, it is also a fact that cosplaying has long been a career. We just fail to see it. There are actually jobs out there that pay cosplayers to cosplay. Believe it or not, these jobs aren’t what you expected them to be. Maybe because of the whole stating the obvious belief. That is why we fail to even categorize them as cosplay.
The first job on the list would have to be the staff members of otaku shops and cafes. Although some of them are actually the owners of these establishments, some of them are just mere employees. They get paid to promote the products that they sell and at the same time, they get paid to know about them as well. Sure, they might not all look like they are in character because they don’t act and speak that way but those who work for cafes are actually required to be maids and butlers even just for a short time. While on the job, they are required to serve their masters and mistresses without falter. This is because of the customers’ expectations and the employer’s demands. Since this is a job, they can’t really complain. Non-compliance would only mean they would lose their jobs which will be given to others who would be willing to do far better than they did. So, if you want to be a maid like Misaki or a butler like Sebastian and get paid for it, here’s the gig for you.
Did you know that those who wear costumes and make up in theme parks are cosplayers too? That’s right. Remember those Disney Cast Members who are either in the parades or are just loitering around the area? Well, they are cosplayers. They are in costume. Check. They are in character. Check. They get paid for what they do. Check. If you are into cosplaying and you love Disney then why not join the Disney Cast Members? I have heard of many perks included in the job. Perks such as of course, regular monthly payment, standard health and dental packages and who wouldn’t want to have free access to Disney theme parks near you? Besides, it’s not like it is easy to refuse wearing the professionally made costumes. Sure, you need to sign a nondisclosure agreement which is effective even after you get terminated or resign but that is just a small price to pay for everything else so grand.
Celebrity impersonators are everywhere. We have a lot of Elvis impersonators in Las Vegas for crying out loud. We even have some Michael Jackson ones and even Britney Spears. It is not like you haven’t seen some cosplayers who have been wearing their Spiderman and Batman suits in Hollywood as they parade to get their pictures taken. These people are professionals. Only because they wear the costumes and truly embrace their new identities. To them, they aren’t impersonators but living and breathing people who are proud of their idols. Dressing up and acting like somebody else might not be easy but so is cosplaying. At least, these people get paid for it. In Japan, there are even some photography groups who hire these people to take their pictures. If you are lucky enough to be based there, is a good cosplayer and know how to pose well, then this gig is probably for you.
Another job on this list would have to be those so called ‘Otaku Idols”. They are not celebrity impersonators. Usually, these are women who voice act, pose in tiny bikinis for photo shoots and photo books, they act like they don’t know anything on game shows or they cosplay on demand based on the whims of their fans and admirers. Probably one of the most famous otaku idols in Japan is a woman named Nakagawa Shouko or fondly called as Shokotan. She usually dons costumes and acts out different anime characters to satisfy her fans and of course to generate income. She doesn’t really model a lot of things for she only endorses those products which she commonly use. Her brand deals exclusively with anime-related materials which is why she will never be seen doing high fashion and so on. She can be considered a model but mostly, she is a brand endorser and an ultimate eye candy.
Lastly, we have the fast food chain mascots. Of course, they need to wear costumes to entertain children. They also need to act like the following mascots. They can’t act like their usual selves if they need to look like a chummy clown or a perky bee. They need to adapt to the personalities of these characters even if they don’t want to. It is part of the job. Although not all mascot costumes look good, there are still some who like this kind of job because to them it is fun. This is probably one of the most common jobs in this list and to top it all of, you don’t need to be in Japan to do this job. Brilliant idea but definitely not easy.
So, if you really want to cosplay professional then here are some gigs for you. If you think it is easy to get paid while you wear a costume and pretend to be characters that you are not then this job is for you. Whether you will be getting the jobs on this list or not is up to you. Cosplay is still a hobby regardless if people get paid for it. It will forever be that way.