It just occurred to me that it’s been a while since we last spoke! To those of you who don’t know me too well, I think it’s time I introduce myself.
HI. I’m Allegra! I’m a a 24-year-old New Yorker who moved to Seattle this year, so can someone explain to me why people around here are so passive-aggressive why don’t they just scream expletives at strangers like we do back home
I’m an Italian-American who went to a French school for twelve years, which kind of makes me Fritalian-American. Je ne regrette RIEN. I speak both French and Italian, though I’m pretty damn rusty at this point.
I have a degree in theatre and minor in Italian from Northwestern University. The degree in theatre means that I’m a certified professional at being a goofball in front of other people, and the minor in Italian means that I have a boner for Leonardo da Vinci. I don’t have a writing degree, but I do write for a webcomic!
I’m a trained voice actor, though I’m currently pursuing a somewhat more realistic career as a marketer. Even if acting isn’t in my future, it will always be a part of my life. As it turns out, I like to randomly use different voices at people, especially my long-suffering cosplay partner, Bethany. (Plot twist: I’m actually the long-suffering one.)
I have lots of Feels about video games, social issues, and how these two combine in the geek world, especially in cosplay. I can be pretty outspoken on the subject. I want to make sure that cosplay is a safe space for everyone, and not just people who fit a specific visual mold. After all, I value creativity, craftsmanship, and crazy, passionate people who really love and embody their characters—not whether your face and body are suitably attractive to cosplay x or y character. That sort of attitude fosters a culture of shame instead of a creative community. Also: I cosplay for myself, and cosplay != consent.
While I can be slow to respond sometimes (usually because I read something at the office and forget to answer it later), I try to take time to answer anyone who addresses me, at least in asks. (I try not to spam people’s dash with replies to comments) Please feel free to drop me an ask! I love saying hi :D
By the way, I’m drinking a prickly pear margarita in the photo, which I mostly ordered because HOT PINK MARGARITA. Usually I put the lime in the coconut. Also, I really love duckies and puppies ;3;
I am very cross at Twitter right now
I’m trying to help Mom get access to her twitter account, but at every turn, Twitter’s support page goes: “Oh well we can’t help you with that”
“You have no access to the e-mail address linked with that account? Oh we can’t help you with that.”
“You want to change that email address to another? Well we can’t help you with that.”
“You just want the old account deleted? Oh well you still can’t access that email so we can’t help you with that.”
I know they’re capable of changing account information on their end, and I know they probably don’t want just anyone sending an e-mail and going: “Hey I can’t access this account can you change the email for me >:D,” but jfc all I get from their support site is ear-plugging and “I can’t heeaaaaar youuuu” every time I want to just fill in a goddamn support form, idek.
YEAH SO THIS HAS BEEN MY MORNING.
I’m having one of those days….
where I’m overcome by insecurity and can’t help but think: “Fuck, everyone must hate me.”
“Everything I stay is stupid.”
“My work is stupid.”
“I have nothing of worth to contribute, nothing valuable to add to conversations.”
And I’m just here like: “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
I’ve gotten to a point I can pinpoint—not all the time, but sometimes—when it’s just that nagging voice in my head telling me that I’m a failure, and not the truth. When I’m just needlessly comparing myself to people who I have no reason to believe are any better or worse than me, only different. When I shouldn’t talk shit about myself because that’s not helping.
Why am I sharing this? Not because I’m asking for love or validation, but because this is normal. I’m a week away from a convention, I’m not done sewing, and the self-doubt is trying to set in. I have every right to be stressed, and every right to think blue thoughts. The challenge, then, is to move past it and keep going.
If someone charges through life without any fear, any self-doubt, any moment of hesitation because, by George, what if something goes wrong? I would sincerely worry for that person. Misery is human. Doubt is human. Without it, we would be incomplete.
So this is what I’m getting at: you probably have gloomy days. Maybe you’ve never seen a silver lining. Maybe you never expect to. I know that this is hard, and nobody, nobody should expect you to just snap out of it. With patience, you can work towards a more positive outlook. Anyone who says it’s easy is wrong. Anyone who tells you that there’s one road to happiness is wrong. It’s taken a mountain of very personal, individual work for me to tell that nagging voice to shut up, and I will keep trudging down that path for the rest of my life.
This does not make you a bad person. Anyone who tells you that is wrong.
But one day, in your own time, you’ll think something mean about yourself—but then think: “That’s not me,” and you will be so proud of yourself. That’s the most satisfying feeling in the world. Don’t stop fighting for it.
My friend @subitoallegra is moving away. Last night we hung out with a large group in the NYC and it was a blast but as always when friends part ways it was bittersweet. As Visiblespectre, Ongaku, and I stepped into the subway last night after saying our goodbyes I commented that I should have done something as a going away present so here it is.
I met Allegra at Pax east with a brief discussion about her insanely awesome Isabella Cosplay and that was it. I later met her again at NYCC as Ongaku and Spectre both had known of her cosplay through the internet, they got along famously and I soon found myself pleased to be a 3rd wheel on many a city outing with her. (can you be a third wheel with 4 people? I found a way I think.)
I hope you have a blast in Seattle. Maybe one day you will convince me why bubble tea is awesome.
you probably will not SEE YOU AT PAX EAST!
PS: I know a person would not appear that large on the space needle. if it was to scale it would not be interesting.
…and I am having … so many feels right now, I don’t think I can even … words. So … here goes.
I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t remember the exact moment at PAX East when I first met Smitty, mostly because it was my first major cosplay at a convention and I was so damn overwhelmed that I feel like I only remember brief snippets of the overall experience. So needless to say I was mortified at our reintroduction at NYCC later that year! Prime moments where I feel like a supreme asshole: not remembering meeting someone.
I think what makes it all the more embarrassing is that I should have remembered someone who I would quickly count as a friend, albeit someone who I don’t get to spend nearly as much time with because he’s not able to make the trip into the city as much as we’d all like. That said, the time I get to spend with him is always well-spent, usually not getting kicked out of Just Sweet for whatever reason because hot damn they just let us sit there for hours, don’t they? I’ll make you enjoy those bubbles someday, Smitty. SOMEDAY.
If there’s anyone who I see as a perfect compliment to Kevin and Tracy, it’s Smitty. His talent as an artist, his quiet kindness, his warm hugs (that sometimes lift me into a spin, and I am happy to tell you I did not kill Tracy with my feet in the process)…. And I’m so, so fucking excited to see his Wreck-It Ralph cosplay because HE’S GONNA WRECK IT and it’s going to be so incredible and SOBBING, GUYS
I won’t even pretend that I’m even being remotely coherent right now, because I’m not. I’m just … so overwhelmed and grateful and basically want to print this out when I get to Seattle and post this right above my desk when I’m freaking out about my future and need a reminder that my friends have my pack. I am … I can’t even. Thank you, Smitty. This gift is really beautiful.
I’m unashamed to admit how hard I’m crying
There are moments in life where the right decision won’t always be the easiest one. Leaving New York City is definitely one of those.
I’m still two days from my big move to Seattle, but tonight we had a big dinner with my extended family—my Big Fat Italian Family, or to use our word for it, FA-MI-LY—as one last goodbye for the people who’ve known and have stood by me for my entire life. Like any good Italian girl, I am notoriously attached to my family, and saying goodbye to them tonight has hit me the hardest so far, and will be second only to saying goodbye to my parents on Monday.
As I told them this evening, I’ve spent the past three or so weeks clinging to New York and its people so hard that I’ve almost forgotten that I’m leaving. I’m putting so much effort into enjoying my time here that I’m ignoring all the good things that I’m looking forward to when I arrive in Seattle.
Their support means the world to me, because knowing that they believe I’m making the right decision makes me sure that I’ve made the right decision. I know I’m doing the right thing, and I’m confident because they’re standing by me.
I just read through their cards now, alone except for my sleeping dog next to me, and wept. From the money they gave to make sure I can still eat while I’m unemployed, to the words and well-wishes, to my widowed aunt signing the card with her boyfriend’s name as well—knowing how much I’ve accepted him as one of ours and encouraged her when things have been tough….
I’m rambling, I know. I’m flooded with memories, with family feels, with warmth and laughter and Proper Italian Food. Even though I know I’m trying to make it back for Easter Day since I’ll be in Boston that weekend for PAX anyway, it’s hard for me to say goodbye. And yet I know that these are the people who’ve encouraged me through all of my dreams and will continue to stand by me, no matter how far we are from each other, and even after our deaths.
Or, as my cousin Richie said: “You’re making the right decision because you’re doing something that you want to do, not something that someone else wants you to do. You’re going to be happy, and we’re happy for you.”
La mia famiglia. My fa-mi-ly.
my schedule needs to be more manageable
Since when am I a social human being? Since when do I do things after work other than hide myself away at home and play video games?
I DON’T UNDERSTAND
I mean the upside is seeing all of my friends! Like nextian last night, who I haven’t seen in ages. Plus the sheer gloriousness of the DA meetup on Saturday! And apparently I’m seeing an old friend tonight at a Backgammon party (I don’t even), and tomorrow I’m training then grabbing dinner with the woman whose purse I returned, and on Thursday I’m determined to train some more because I need to wear Trish’s stupid corset in two months….
The downside to all of that, of course, is that I’ve been so downright exhausted lately that I end up sleeping when I get time to myself. I can’t even pass the Mako section at the beginning of Virmire, because I keep ragequitting every time a damn Geth rocket drone kills me. Ragequitting and then sleeping.
Plus there’s writing I need to do. And I have to get back to work on Trish.
a bloo bloo
As usual with my more personal posts, I’m stating this for the sake of being honest, not because I need advice.
Between my “I think I’m ugly” Manifesto on Sunday evening, the body image issues I’ve been having in general and due to Trish’s costume (not sure how much I talked about that), and how Jessica Chobot’s inclusion in ME3 makes me feel as an actor, I haven’t exactly been rainbows and sunshine lately. I don’t know how much I’ve been talking abou that, but suffice to say that in my experience, self-confidence is not a lengthy visitor. (don’t mind my altered Into the Woods quote over here) I’m in kind of a pit right now where every woman is prettier than I am, every cosplayer is prettier and more talented than I am (and don’t even get me started if I’m looking at someone who made a costume I made/am making), and I have the utmost doubt in my ability to … well, anything.
But that’s kind of unfair for you guys to have to read, imo. Nobody likes wangsting, particularly if it seems like it could be fishing for compliments—which it’s not, in my case, but I can see how people might look at it that way. So we’ll return to your regularly scheduled tumblr content from now on, albeit somewhat infrequently as I’m selling my soul to the ball for the next three days….
Before I drop the subject, I want to thank those of you who reached out to me in some way in response to my Sunday night post. I’m sorry I haven’t answered you guys individually because I guess I don’t really know what to say? It’s not an easy subject for me to discuss, honestly. Even though I’d love to thank you individually, please accept a general thank you instead, since it’s all I really know how to do right now.
Now here, have a picture of my dog in the snow from a week and a half ago:
much cuter than my whining, anyway
I honestly don’t know why I’m sharing this. But I am.
See that picture up there? Every once in a while, I take a picture of myself without makeup or styling or whatever, just to see what I think about myself. There are times where I’ve looked at myself and thought: “I’m pretty.” But more often than not I think: “I’m ugly.”
For context, this is one of those times when I actually started crying at how horrible I feel. The more I stare, the more my image looks misshapen.
I have struggled with my appearance for the longest time. The darkness under my eyes, the crookedness of my nose and face, the sharpness of my jaw, my prominent chin, my large forehead, my uneven eyes, the skin that can only be clear with a lot of medication. My boyish hips (which I have been reminded are small and unfeminine), my flabby bits (made flabbier by two months of recovery, and boy do I feel hideous in my own skin right now as a result), the length of my calves, the waist that barely exists, that you can only see because of my inconveniently large chest—which is still, in many ways, not large enough.
The color of my skin. I hate my skin. I wish my skin were a richer shade of olive like my mother’s, that way I could feel farther away from that Caucasian ideal of beauty that I’ve never identified with despite being Caucasian. Instead, I’m stuck in a middle, a not-quite-white-enough where I just end up feeling like I should be conforming to stereotypical white beauty but nope, not pretty enough. Not soft enough. Too hard and sharp and sickly yellowy green.
I’m not asking for a diagnosis or for your opinion on how to manage this. It’s a psychological issue, I know. I don’t want your approval.
I just want every person who’s told themselves that they’re not pretty or skinny or whatever enough to cosplay to know this: I am a cosplayer and I feel the same as you do. I face the same emotional barriers that you face, and there are moments where I look at one of my cosplay pictures and want to weep at how grotesque I look. But that hasn’t stopped me. I cosplay because I love to cosplay. Despite how tempting it is to stop working on Trish because all I can see is the weight I have to lose, or put away Izzy because all I see are my boyish hips and pale olive skin, or put away the Smuggler because of how oddly exposed it makes my face feel….
I don’t. I keep going. I try to make beautiful work because it helps me to feel beautiful, even if it’s just a little. And I hope you can do the same too.