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Author Topic: What not to do around steampunks you meet on cons  (Read 1292 times)
Caledonian
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« on: July 02, 2017, 02:56:43 pm »

Some people on conventions are just...inconsiderate.
Inspired on the many "what not to do around fursuiters" videos i have watched here i decided to make a list of things that will surely annoy the steampunks you met.

So you should not:
  • assume you can jusy try on their hats!
    You can ask, but do not assume you will get it. Some spend a long time on putting it on in a way that looks good , for example with their hair. Or are just uncomfortable letting others wear their clothes
  • assume they are actually posh!
    Steampunks can look a bit snobbish sometimes, but a lot of this is either show or items of clothing forcing them to walk in a certain manner. Of course there are some exeptions that actually think they're better than you, but that's definitely not the majority
  • ask what series their cosplay comes from
    In most cases, steampunk stands on it's own! Unlike cosplay steampunk costuming isn't usually ment to copy a  certain character. So unless there are huge similarities to a a character from pop culture it's better to just roll with it
  • insist on talking in an old fashioned manner to them!
    If they speak normal english to you, you can just speak normal english back
  • tell them they're not steampunk enough/not really steampunk
    Everyone has their own views on what they think makes steampunk steampunk and their views may contradict yours. No biggie.
  • pull on their goggles so they snap back into their face!
    Come on that's just rude.

Just some things i thought off? Feel free to add.
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annevpreussen
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2017, 03:51:50 pm »

Adding to this based on my own experiences. You should not:
  • randomly run up and give them hugs, as we tend to have a lot of dangly metal bits hanging off of us that can easily get hooked on you!
  • ask to take pictures, then try to take pictures up a short skirt (I feel like this is just a general rule though)
  • comment on how a certain accessory isn't authentic/how a real steampunk wouldn't be caught dead wearing that hat/"I bet you don't even know why it's called the Victorian Era"/generally be condescending or elitist over something that's supposed to be fun
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Cora Courcelle
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2017, 05:55:38 pm »

  • ask what series their cosplay comes from
My standard answer to that is a slightly amazed expression together with the phrase "I'm not just one character, I represent an entire genre!"
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Caledonian
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the dragon's called Salmacis


« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2017, 06:34:32 pm »

  • ask what series their cosplay comes from
My standard answer to that is a slightly amazed expression together with the phrase "I'm not just one character, I represent an entire genre!"

I applaud that response. I usually just awkwardly go "it's just random steampunk..."[/list]
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Captain
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2017, 09:23:35 pm »

 Don't reach for their guns or swords.  Props or not. 
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annevpreussen
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2017, 03:21:17 pm »

Don't reach for their guns or swords.  Props or not. 
My first gun was broken at a con by some random Hetalia cosplayer Sad
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James Harrison
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2017, 06:29:29 pm »

Please do not assume we are all professional re-enactors or members of a troupe of street performers. 

A few examples; some fellow members of the WMSA may well recognise the circumstances and (I hope) won't object to my bringing them up here. 

1.  Some of us really don't appreciate, at a steam railway, being told our linen coat is not authentic to May 13th 1927. 

2.  Some of us really don't appreciate being approached in the street and being asked if we are performing, and then being asked when our next performance is, and what the performance shall be. 

3.  Speaking at us in a haughty faux-upper-class English accent.  Don't do it.  It just makes you sound foolish, and you won't get a response in kind.  Not from a certain steampunk anyway. 

Bringing it down to one point, some of us generally don't appreciate being viewed as street entertainment for the mundies and norms. 
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Cora Courcelle
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2017, 06:31:53 pm »

My first gun was broken at a con by some random Hetalia cosplayer Sad

I trust you reacted in a very unsteampunk manner and beat him severely with the broken pieces!
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Caledonian
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the dragon's called Salmacis


« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2017, 08:41:19 pm »

My first gun was broken at a con by some random Hetalia cosplayer Sad

I trust you reacted in a very unsteampunk manner and beat him severely with the broken pieces!

And this is one reasons i stopped doing hetalia cosplay. The Others are rude.
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steampunkitup
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2017, 10:09:47 pm »

Just curious-- do you guys see these behaviors getting worse or better at large cons? I was thinking that people should be behaving better as time goes on because a lot of cons are making rules/etiquette/appropriate behavior known using signs throughout the venue. But as cons become bigger, there's always a lot of first timers who may not even realize what they're doing is wrong.

Are you noticing a trend toward better or worse behavior toward cosplayers?
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annevpreussen
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« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2017, 06:17:31 pm »

My first gun was broken at a con by some random Hetalia cosplayer Sad
I trust you reacted in a very unsteampunk manner and beat him severely with the broken pieces!
No, she was actually really sorry and tried to fix it for me. It didn't work, but at least she didn't just go "oops" and toss it back. Annoying and disappointing, but not so terrible Wink

And this is one reasons i stopped doing hetalia cosplay. The Others are rude.
I feel like there are the kinds of Hetalia cosplayers who are really nice, friendly, fun-loving people and the kinds of Hetalia cosplayers that harass voice actors and try to make out with random strangers because they think Italy/Germany is hot.

Just curious-- do you guys see these behaviors getting worse or better at large cons? I was thinking that people should be behaving better as time goes on because a lot of cons are making rules/etiquette/appropriate behavior known using signs throughout the venue. But as cons become bigger, there's always a lot of first timers who may not even realize what they're doing is wrong.

Are you noticing a trend toward better or worse behavior toward cosplayers?
I think it depends more on the people at the con than the size of the con... but I agree it helps when the convention publishes a cosplay etiquette guide or something so people know it's not okay to do stuff. I think the one for a large con near me has a plea for cosplayers to bathe somewhere in theirs XD
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Prof Marvel
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 01:23:45 am »

Personally I extend common courtesey to all strangers and require the same from them.

That includes "maintain an arms length distance away from me"
and "do not touch me, my clothing, or my accouterments".

Usually a verbal warning will suffice. Usually it is LOUD. it is always in character.

It is usually not difficult to enforce a "personal space" of "an arms length".

Anyone trying to approach closer than an arms length is legally guilty of "assault" ;
Anyone touching me is legally guilty of "battery".
Neither will be tolerated.
Both issues will be addressed appropriately, and the transgressor will not be happy.

yhs
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Dr Fidelius
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2017, 03:13:37 pm »

This is exactly what has caused me to avoid cons. Too many pushy, grabby people. It's as if these con-goers have no social skills whatsoever.

Also, it's too crowded, you can't find your friends in the mob, the lines make you miss anything fun, and the food is terrible.
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MWBailey
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2017, 06:07:56 pm »

Asking me which character I am,  from which anime or movie. I strive to be at least slightly original, and I'm not aware of any banjo-playing regular or main character in anything recent other than Cold Mountain or Gods and Generals;  I try to avoid looking or being like the former (literally a grinning, drooling half-wit), while my tackhead is all wrong for the latter, as are my girth, weight, and hair.

Are there any steampunk-ish characters from anime who play banjos, by the way? I haven't hear of any...



***(I nearly fell over in embarrassment when I re-read this, so I removed the political references. Sorry about that stuff.)


PS: I answered my own question: Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair. There's a supporting character who plays the banjo. I didn't know that until just now.

https://youtu.be/heLiNYFjnKQ



Also, if you'll pardon me going off on a tangent (again), I have several friends in the Texas Living History Association who tell me that it's becoming increasingly common for people to simply assume that they can just walk right into a reenactor's tent and go through the various belongings therein. The reenactment camps are kept to a strict period-specific outward appearance, but many  campsites go deeper than just the surface.

However, one needs to hide one's electronic technology, and we get kind of irate when people suddenly pipes up and holds up one's cellphone or tablet, after having rummaged in a personal bag or trunk (or banjo case, in my personal experience), and makes derisive comments about how "period" it is.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 01:30:35 am by MWBailey » Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2017, 07:29:28 pm »

I have been on the other side of cons, as a photographer.
There are a lot of photographers at cons, who use big telelenses to secretly take pictures.
Personally, I must confess I have done that also, but it is not nice to do.
People have invested research, time and money into their attire.
To "take" from their effort by secretly take pictures, is what one must not do at cons.

One step worse than secretly take pictures, is tailgating a photographer.
Using the interaction bitween a photographer and a Steampunk model as a quick snapshot is also a no-no.
Now the tailgater isn't just stealing the creativity from the model, but also from the photographer.

Someone asked if this behaviour is getting worse. I think it is, but it's not only the fault of the purpetrator, but also from the lack of response they get.
What I'm trying to say is, in general, a lot of people are not able or interested in correcting other people.
For instance, when someone is littering on the streets, almost no one is telling them to clean up. It goes as far as turning the other way when someone is in need of help. Unless we start correcting our fellow men/women, the bad behaviour stays, or gets worse.
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AstorKaine
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« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2017, 07:38:45 pm »

2.  Some of us really don't appreciate being approached in the street and being asked if we are performing, and then being asked when our next performance is, and what the performance shall be. 

Ah, yes. *That* person. I'd tried to forget about that one...

I find outings are a little different, in that we are sort of attracting attention to ourselves, but again, the behaviour raised by all still applies. We're just out for fun, not the amusement of others. Actually, the last WMSA outing, which saw us Dinosaur hunting, was a pleasant surprise in that many of the 'muggles' received our Safari group rather warmly.

I must say, however, that on every occasion I've attended a Comic Book convention, as opposed to a Steampunk event, everyone (photographers included), has been nothing but courteous. The last Comic Con I attended (as Doctor Watson) in Birmingham, back in March, saw me finishing the weekend drinking Gin with Belle, Black Widow, Green Arrow and Batman, and I hadn't met any of them previously.
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Will Howard
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« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2017, 12:23:33 am »

Please do not assume we are all professional re-enactors or members of a troupe of street performers. 

A few examples; some fellow members of the WMSA may well recognise the circumstances and (I hope) won't object to my bringing them up here. 

1.  Some of us really don't appreciate, at a steam railway, being told our linen coat is not authentic to May 13th 1927. 

2.  Some of us really don't appreciate being approached in the street and being asked if we are performing, and then being asked when our next performance is, and what the performance shall be. 

3.  Speaking at us in a haughty faux-upper-class English accent.  Don't do it.  It just makes you sound foolish, and you won't get a response in kind.  Not from a certain steampunk anyway. 

Bringing it down to one point, some of us generally don't appreciate being viewed as street entertainment for the mundies and norms. 

For number two, if they are REALLY persistent & annoying, give them an address some distance away & say that you hope to see them there in 30 to 40 minutes.  The address of a local police station or religious mission is ideal...
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2017, 12:59:32 am »

Yeah, I get it. It's awkward when people ask us of we are Civil War re-enactors, or whether we are in a play.

But let's face it, outside of young people in American conventions, those who don't know Steampunk tend not to be very well versed in history or literature. People will recognize the reference to Jules Verne or Wild Wild West, depending on their level of education. And as far as 19th history is concerned, what the American public tends to know is limited to a very few national events such as the US Civil War. I mean that is the rock bottom you can expect; the Alamo and Gettysburg.

What else did you expect? And we're asking for it by wearing American US Army period uniforms. Not me, since I only started last year (before I was dressed as a mechanic), but my best Steampunk friend in Austin, Arvis, was very much in Civil War attire. I guess it's just the historical default for people around here.

The other is dressing like "cowboys," which is not only obvious, but even still contemporary fashion for some in the US. That is just folkloric attire, technically speaking. Which I imagine is similar to other countries. Realistically, outside of the anachronistic accoutrements, how do you expect people to know better? A golden cog doesn't a Steampunk make. And for the uninitiated spectator, it probably means even less.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 01:20:31 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Peter Brassbeard
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« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2017, 01:18:33 am »

1.  Some of us really don't appreciate, at a steam railway, being told our linen coat is not authentic to May 13th 1927.
(pulls out a pocketwatch.)  Is that the date?  I really must have my Chrono-manipulator calibrated.

Quote
2.  Some of us really don't appreciate being approached in the street and being asked if we are performing, and then being asked when our next performance is, and what the performance shall be.
Performance?  Why do you assume I portray anyone other than myself?
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2017, 01:27:44 am »


*snip*

Quote
2.  Some of us really don't appreciate being approached in the street and being asked if we are performing, and then being asked when our next performance is, and what the performance shall be.
Performance?  Why do you assume I portray anyone other than myself?

But be realistic. If you are intentionally dressing as a living anachronism, is that not a performance in itself? When I'm dressed as an 1870's US Army *elf* (for all practical purposes) is that not a performance in itself? If you are a Neo Victorian and dress accordingly every day, it may not be a performance, but by way of your anachronism you necessarily stand out.

Regardless of whether we are dressing up or presenting in a certain way for the benefit of ourselves or others, you have to admit there is an element of theatricallity to it. How can we avoid a reaction?
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annevpreussen
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« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2017, 03:48:20 pm »


*snip*

Quote
2.  Some of us really don't appreciate being approached in the street and being asked if we are performing, and then being asked when our next performance is, and what the performance shall be.
Performance?  Why do you assume I portray anyone other than myself?

But be realistic. If you are intentionally dressing as a living anachronism, is that not a performance in itself? When I'm dressed as an 1870's US Army *elf* (for all practical purposes) is that not a performance in itself? If you are a Neo Victorian and dress accordingly every day, it may not be a performance, but by way of your anachronism you necessarily stand out.

Regardless of whether we are dressing up or presenting in a certain way for the benefit of ourselves or others, you have to admit there is an element of theatricallity to it. How can we avoid a reaction?
Every time I dress up steampunk for a con or event I perform. One of my favorite things about cosplay and costuming is how easy and fun it is to get into character once you're made up a certain way. I actually love when other people interact with me in character, fake accent or no! It's fun for me, fun for them, and fun for the people watching a steampunk girl and a demon from some famous anime have an impromptu shootout.

And as for the people who wonder what anime/video game/movie I'm from, I take it as a compliment! It means they're curious to find out more based on the way I'm dressed.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 03:59:30 pm by annevpreussen » Logged
Caledonian
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the dragon's called Salmacis


« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2017, 08:38:48 pm »


*snip*

Quote
2.  Some of us really don't appreciate being approached in the street and being asked if we are performing, and then being asked when our next performance is, and what the performance shall be.
Performance?  Why do you assume I portray anyone other than myself?

But be realistic. If you are intentionally dressing as a living anachronism, is that not a performance in itself? When I'm dressed as an 1870's US Army *elf* (for all practical purposes) is that not a performance in itself? If you are a Neo Victorian and dress accordingly every day, it may not be a performance, but by way of your anachronism you necessarily stand out.

Regardless of whether we are dressing up or presenting in a certain way for the benefit of ourselves or others, you have to admit there is an element of theatricallity to it. How can we avoid a reaction?
Every time I dress up steampunk for a con or event I perform. One of my favorite things about cosplay and costuming is how easy and fun it is to get into character once you're made up a certain way. I actually love when other people interact with me in character, fake accent or no! It's fun for me, fun for them, and fun for the people watching a steampunk girl and a demon from some famous anime have an impromptu shootout.

And as for the people who wonder what anime/video game/movie I'm from, I take it as a compliment! It means they're curious to find out more based on the way I'm dressed.
at cons, i can indeed see that you are preforming. those of us that wear steampunk all week, however, will probably get annoyed after a while.
my biggest problem with fake accents is that i cannot quite understand them
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James Harrison
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« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2017, 08:45:54 pm »


*snip*

Quote
2.  Some of us really don't appreciate being approached in the street and being asked if we are performing, and then being asked when our next performance is, and what the performance shall be.
Performance?  Why do you assume I portray anyone other than myself?

But be realistic. If you are intentionally dressing as a living anachronism, is that not a performance in itself? When I'm dressed as an 1870's US Army *elf* (for all practical purposes) is that not a performance in itself? If you are a Neo Victorian and dress accordingly every day, it may not be a performance, but by way of your anachronism you necessarily stand out.

Regardless of whether we are dressing up or presenting in a certain way for the benefit of ourselves or others, you have to admit there is an element of theatricallity to it. How can we avoid a reaction?

I don't see it as a 'performance' per-se; more a- what?  lifestyle/ fashion/ aesthetic choice, speaking as someone who tends to dress vaguely Vicwardian on a more regular basis than purely for local Steampunk outings.  It's not my putting on an act or a performance for the amusement and edification of the general public; it's my engaging in something for my own enjoyment.  Yes it certainly makes one stand out, but that alone doesn't justify some of the more outrageous reactions from the public (though I will admit to a certain amount of gratification when, back several years ago, somebody damn-near crashed their car through taking more notice of a neo-Vic walking down the street than where they were going...)

Theatricallity about it?  Yes, that's a good way of putting it.... but it's worth bearing in mind that actors get very annoyed when the audience start taking 'phone calls in the middle of a play.  If we are going to be viewed as some sort of open-air am-dram performance (and I would hope that we'renot), I think we have every right to lay down some ground rules for appropriate behaviour from our 'audience'.

 
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2017, 01:05:16 am »

Alright, so how do we go about publishing our list of "do's and dont's" to the general public?

Publish an article in a newspaper? Start an advertising campaign, perhaps. Fly a banner behind and airplane? Or better yet have advertising on blimps during local sports games!

I can picture it now... A Steampunk is chased by a mob of muggles through the streets of London. Not even the Beatles had it this good  Grin
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 01:09:35 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
annevpreussen
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« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2017, 04:12:18 am »

*snip*

at cons, i can indeed see that you are preforming. those of us that wear steampunk all week, however, will probably get annoyed after a while.
my biggest problem with fake accents is that i cannot quite understand them

*snippity snap*

I don't see it as a 'performance' per-se; more a- what?  lifestyle/ fashion/ aesthetic choice, speaking as someone who tends to dress vaguely Vicwardian on a more regular basis than purely for local Steampunk outings.  It's not my putting on an act or a performance for the amusement and edification of the general public; it's my engaging in something for my own enjoyment.  Yes it certainly makes one stand out, but that alone doesn't justify some of the more outrageous reactions from the public (though I will admit to a certain amount of gratification when, back several years ago, somebody damn-near crashed their car through taking more notice of a neo-Vic walking down the street than where they were going...)

Theatricallity about it?  Yes, that's a good way of putting it.... but it's worth bearing in mind that actors get very annoyed when the audience start taking 'phone calls in the middle of a play.  If we are going to be viewed as some sort of open-air am-dram performance (and I would hope that we'renot), I think we have every right to lay down some ground rules for appropriate behaviour from our 'audience'.
Oh, I could certainly see how being constantly treated as entertainment based on how one chooses to dress would be annoying... and that's a best-case scenario! I'm more of a closet steampunk myself-- I enjoy dressing up for cons and parties, writing in steamy settings, making/modding props to look more victorian/industrial-y, and I occasionally wear some of my stuff into the outside world, but I don't have anywhere near the level of dedication (and heat-tolerance; those frock coats are hot!) it takes to incorporate steampunk into your everyday life. I agree with you that people should have the common sense not to run up and start prodding someone simply because they're dressed differently. As long as it's not hurting anyone, I think everyone should be able to dress the way they want. Maybe we should do what Admiral Wilhelm suggested and start an advertising campaign  Grin
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