Young people have many challenges to overcome as they face their dreams of employment. For some it’s external challenges, like access to education and finance that hold them back. For Galeforce Cosplay‘s Gail Stacey, there was an inner struggle that had to be transcended before she could arrive at doing the work she most wanted to do.
Gail turned to her passion for arts and crafts, making Cosplay with a friend, as a way of recovering from self harm. As she turned her life around, she taught herself how to mould shields and armour from clingwrap and expanding foam. She bought glue guns and wig heads with her day job earnings and studied Youtube videos on hot glue casting and wig styling. While working her day job in a pet accessories shop, she took night courses in sewing and pattern making in order to qualify to work as a costume designer.
Cosplay facilitated her recovery from self harm and opened the door to her work in theatre. She is the costume designer and wardrobe mistress for two Hungry Minds Theatre productions, ensuring that the cast of Fabulous Nothing by Callum Tilbury, and People Beneath Our Feet by Katya Mendelson and Kiroshan Naidoo will be suitably and beautifully attired at the National Arts Festival.
The inspirational video below was shot by a husband and wife team. Photographer Jay Caboz and videographer, Caryn Caboz, have chosen to focus their project, Cos We Play on this fascinating aspect of youth culture. Jay says, “I first heard about Cosplay at the end of 2014. Research has shown that the gaming industry in South Africa will hit $300 million by 2018, a sure sign that his growing culture is here to stay. Cosplayers now number in the thousands, where a few years ago you would have been lucky to have found 10. From botched glue gun burns to monstrosities in armour, Cosplay has become a new way of exploring identity for a generation comfortable with the virtual world of computers. It is as much a part of their lives as reality. Looks like Gail has her work cut out for her!”