I have read this question more than once on several forums, a few blogs, and a couple of groups, and while I answer all of them when I find them, it occurred to me, that I should just write an answer of my own, that I can just refer people to, so I don’t have to keep repeating myself. And this is it, this article you are reading right now.
The question is always worded differently but basically it’s this: “I’m a girl. I want to CosPlay a guy. I’ve never cross-played before. How does a girl learn to act like a guy?” I don’t know if this will be any help to you or not, but I’ll say it anyways and if it helps you out, great! If not, oh well…
For starters, I’m a CosPlay girl. I’ve Cross-Played: Doctor Who, Darkwing Duck, Uncle Scrooge McDuck, Willy Wonka, and Naraku. I’m currently working on costumes for Lord Sesshomaru and Professor Snape. I guess it’s safe to safe I’m a CrossPlayer more than a CosPlayer, since I do male characters more often than female characters.
First off, you have to pay attention to how real guys act: friends, brothers, father, uncles, etc. You must have a few male folk around the neighborhood you can watch. Maybe at the local mall or a beach? The beach is a great place to watch men make fools of themselves too by the way. There are always a high rate of showoffs on the beach trying to impress girls and proving they are idiots in the process. Go watch how men on the beach act, just to have a good laugh if nothing else!
I’ve been told that I act too much like a boy, because of the way I walk and sit and talk and act. My boyfriend even once tried to give me lessons on how a girl should walk! He started sashaying around, swinging his hips, and telling me stuff like:
“Girls swing their hips when they way… like this, see… you gotta learn to swing your hips, stop walking so stiff and rigid… only boys do that…”
“Girls walk on their toes, not their heels… stop walking heel to toe, start walking toes to heel… here, wear some high heels so you can learn to walk right…”
I blatantly refused to torture my feet by wearing heels and told him as much, and I tried his walking toe to heel… ick! It’s too hard, I’m just gonna keep walking heel to toe like a guy!
“Look, girls don’t spread their legs out when they sit down, you got nothing between there to have to spread your legs out for, only boys need to do that… see, cross your ankles, like so, you’re not a boy…OMG! put your leg down you got a skirt on!”
I sit on the ground cross-legged; I sit on chairs with one foot under my butt and my knee inches from my chin, while resting my arm on my knee; I sit facing the back of chairs with my legs on either side of the chair; I guess, from what I’m told by my boyfriend, that only boys are supposed to sit like that?
“Look girls are supposed to look delicate and frail… see…”
Me? *interrupts boyfriend by picking up boyfriend to prove I LIKE being strong and NOT delicate and frail* … I am NOT going to be a prissy wimp just because he says so! Than he had to prove he was stronger than me, but he couldn’t pick me up! LOL! and said “Well that’s not right a girl is not supposed to be stronger than her guy!”
Uhm, okay, I guess, whatever. But yeah, when CosPlaying a male character, it’s more than just binding and wearing the costume, you got to walk, talk, and act the part as well. Remember, the difference between wearing a costume and CosPlaying is in CosPlaying you are becoming a stage actor who has taken to the streets.
Don’t know if that is of any help or not. Best advice I can think of, though, is not to watch real men, but to watch the man you plan to play: You really need know your character if you are going to become an actor who plays him on the streets.
Get an image of him *inside your head*. If he’s from an anime, cartoon, TV show, or movie, than watch it over and over again, paying very close attention to your chosen character: Watch how he acts, and how he walks, and how he talks, and how he carries himself, things he does, things he says, and try to mimic the character when you act. (I watched Aristocratic Assassin 8 times, along with all other Sessho episodes 4 times each, and the movies, and read and reread all the Sessho chapters of the book… so, yeah, getting into character with you character involves really knowing you character!) You want to be in character with your character more than trying to be in character with guys you know. Guys you know, may not act enough like your chosen character, esp if the chosen character is on the “girly” side to begin with, as most bishie boys are, or if the guys you know are on the *girly* side but your character isn’t a bishie.