Many cosplayers may know from experience that mishaps with costumes are absolutely a possibility, despite our best preparations. This is especially true at conventions, where bumping into things, getting caught on something, or even simply moving a certain way can cause a “wardrobe malfunction.” Fortunately, there are unsung heroes that call themselves cosplay medics, who exist to remedy these mishaps and help cosplayers keep their work maintained while on the go. One such person is Scott Sergeant, also known as 1UpMedic.
Scott is an experienced con-goer from Texas, and after spending time out over the years with his cosplayer friends, noticed a community-wide need for a medic service. He said, “As a cosplay medic, I want to make sure that these amazing cosplayers that have spent countless hours making their gear don’t show up to a con to realize that something didn’t make it in transit or realize that they forgot something to put one of those last minute touches on.”
Scott was originally inspired by a former cosplay medic named Sergeant Swift Stitch, whose work went viral and featured while at San Diego Comic Con. Getting a start as a cosplay medic was ultimately inspired by Scott’s closest cosplayer friends, who encouraged him to go for his goal. He had said at that point it didn’t really take much convincing, because he was already very willing and excited to help how he could. Since Scott had already been so involved in his community, he was able to take a poll from creators to find out what supplies would be needed most in his pack, the number one answer being hot glue. Other common repair supplies include sewing materials, safety pins, Velcro, hairspray, and different types of glue among others.
1UpMedic described a typical day volunteering his time helping cosplayers, toting his signature enamel pin-covered camouflage backpack, his trusty Ryobi hot glue gun at the ready. “For the most part, my day consists of walking (power walking sometimes?) around cons trying to meet up with people for quick fixes. Whenever I do my fixes, I try to do it as quickly and efficiently as possible, because it always seems like the breaks happen right when the meetups and photoshoots happen. I am a crafty and handy person, and that really helps translate into repair work.”
As a repeat attendee of PAX South, a former gaming convention in San Antonio,TX, Scott has several memories of doing cosplay repairs and the people he helped. “One of the biggest memories I have, I was at an Overwatch meetup, and a pretty big one at that, and as people started showing up, someone had broken their gun for their Ashe cosplay. They came over and while I was working on their gun, someone yelled, “HEY! THIS GUY HAS A HOT GLUE GUN!” and before I knew it, I had a line of people needing repairs for this meetup. It was awesome!”
Future goals for Scott and his medic work include streamlining his pack to be more efficient and getting more experienced with hand stitching. Along with keeping his pack full and supplies refreshed, being a medic means constantly learning what works best, improving his own repair skills, and staying in touch with cosplay trends to know what they need.
“My hope is that cosplayers can always be assured that no matter what convention that they are at, that there will always be someone there to help out or provide supplies for a repair,” he said. “Hopefully stories like this and others inspire more friends of cosplay to become cosplay medics.”