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You can make money cosplaying, but it's not easy

Posted at 6:39 PM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-30 21:47:48-04

Video game fans were at the Venetian hotel-casino on Aug. 27 for GameStop Expo. 

Many came to try out new games before they're released to the public. Ultra-fans dressed up as their favorite geeky characters for the cosplay contest. 

Meanwhile, some cosplayers were there to promote the latest from the gaming industry. Ladee Danger and Stella Chuu donned red wigs and matching outfits inside a ball pit for Nyko while Made of Might and Hendo Art dressed up as "Street Fighter" characters for HyperX. (Nyko makes video game controllers and accessories for consoles, while HyperX makes gaming headsets, keyboards, and more.)

The four have tried turning cosplaying - the art of dressing up as characters from movies, comic books, video games, etc. - into a career. But it's tougher than it looks.

"People kind of assume that if you have a big following on the internet, then the internet gives you money," said Hendo Art. 

"We make enough to put it back into our hobby, but I don't pay my rent with cosplay," Maid of Might added.

Cosplayers sometimes raise funds by selling pictures of themselves at conventions, or using crowdfunding websites like Patreon. 

But Stella Chuu says that working with gaming companies has been the best source of income so far. She and Ladee Danger coordinated with Nyko to come up with the concept for their outfits. At GameStop Expo, they hung out in a ball pit, answered questions from the public, and played video games with anyone who stopped by Nyko's booth.

Ladee Danger says that networking at conventions is key to making money with cosplay. 

"When you get those relationships with those brands... is when you can actually make [cosplaying] into a career," she explained.