I was at YALC (Young Adult Literature Con) in London last week and it was amazing! Books, authors, publishers, workshops, lectures, three days were just too short! I was cosplaying as Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games at the convention, because I was on a quest to find my Katniss Everdeen there and give her some bread. Because so many people talked to me about my cosplay, I decided that weekend that I want to make a blog about my cosplay and the story behind it. I never blogged in English (I am from the Netherlands and I only blog in Dutch), but I want to share this story with all the people from YALC! Writing in English is kinda new to me, so I’m sorry when I make some incorrect grammatical sentences!
For the people who don’t know about YALC: It’s a part of the London Film and Comic Con and it is all about books. Many authors are signing their books there, you can buy a lot of books and there are lots of other things to do! YALC2016 is my second visit at this convention and this year I wanted to go all three days. I was at Friday and Saturday with some friends, but on the Sunday I went on my own. I was so excited about the authors I was going to meet and all the books I was going to buy (spoiler alert: I bought a lot of books…). Because I was one day on my own, I wanted to have something with me that could easily start a conversation with other people, so I brought clothes with me to cosplay as Peeta Mellark from the Hunger Games with his baking-outfit.
Some people recognised my cosplay at YALC on the Friday, but I didn’t have a bread with me all day. Every conversation was like this:
Someone: OMG you’re Peeta!
Someone: Where is your bread?
Me: Oh, well… Not here…
So, I needed bread. It just makes the cosplay complete, so I brought a baguette with me on the Saturday, with the idea I could give it to someone cosplaying as Katniss Everdeen. Katniss was hard to find (most cosplayers were Rey from Star Wars or Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad), but I was sure Katniss was somewhere. Although I couldn’t find Katniss that day, I still got a lot of reactions from many people. I got so many compliments about my cosplay and people took a lot of pictures of or with me. It was so nice that people recognised my cosplay and that they almost screamed from excitement. People said that I had the best cosplay at YALC this year and people admired that I had a baguette with me all day without eating it! I had so much fun talking with all those people, but my quest to find Katniss was still a thing!
I had one day left to find Katniss. I was excited to be another day at YALC, but I was also a bit scared, because what if I can’t find her? I still had a great weekend at YALC, but that would be a disappointment. Many people from YALC were also talking about me and that I really have to find my Katniss. I got pretty early in line for YALC and I walked a lot of times at London Film and Comic Con. When I bought some buttons, the seller told me that she saw a Katniss walking around and that she was so beautiful. I got some hope that everything would be great, I just had to look many times!
So, I did. I signed some book at authors, but most of the time I looked for Katniss. My legs were hurting so much and I was so tired, but I could do everything to find Katniss that day! Some girls talked to me and they said they were looking for a Katniss as well. I was so happy with all the people that wanted to help me, I felt so blessed with all those wonderful people around me! I was alone at YALC, but I wasn’t lonely at all, thanks to you guys!
Well, I walked a lot, but at the end of the day I still had my bread and Katniss was nowhere to be found. I got all my books signed and there was nothing to do for me, so I decided that I had to go. I felt a bit sad, but all the reactions from the people at YALC made me really happy. Dani (one off the girls that tried looking for Katniss with me) said that every guy at YALC looked really stupid next to me because I was such a great person. Everyone at YALC talked about me and well, I couldn’t find Katniss, but I sure made a huge impression on people and that’s really nice! I still got some hope to meet Katniss, so after my goodbye with Dani I walked one more that at London Film and Comic Con. I still had some bread with me and it felt to wrong to take it with me. I just had to give it to someone! So when I was walking around, I decided to give it to Dani and her friends for their help. I got upstairs, walked to Dani (who was looking at her phone) and just when I wanted to start my talk about giving my bread to her and her friends, she looked me right in the eyes and said: ”She’s here!”
I was shocked for just a second. What? She’s here? Could that mean… Other people walked to me and I ran to the other side of YALC. I was almost screaming for Katniss, I was shaking from the excitement! And yes, there she was. Katniss Everdeen, the girl on fire with her red costume from the Mockingjay-movie. Her cosplay was so amazing and she really looked like Katniss from the movies. We hugged immediately, laughed so hard and we made so many pictures together. Many people got to us and also made pictures of us, everyone was so happy because we finally were together at YALC! I thanked Katniss so many times, she made this weekend complete! Twitter exploded when YALC tweetted about us and I loved all the messages and tweets about how happy people were. At that moment, I was one of the luckiest guys of the world.
My weekend at YALC was one of the best days in my life and I really got more confident at YALC. All those compliments were so overwhelming and I wish I could give everyone who visitted YALC a big slice of bread!
The lesson I learned at YALC? Don’t give up! I was almost losing hope, but just at the moment my search was over for me, I found Katniss! I was almost leaving the convention, but I was probably destined to find the girl on fire. Even when you are looking for something or someone, don’t give up your search and just keep looking! Eventually you can give ”your bread” to ”Katniss”, or someone is giving the ”bread” you were always looking for. Everything will be alright at the end!
I want to give a shoutout to the Instagram-account eliza_jones86, the gorgeous Katniss Everdeen at YALC! Follow her, she deserves a big bakery full with the most delicious bread! I also want to thank everyone who wanted to take a picture, talked to me at YALC or were talking or tweeting about me. If you have a picture of me (or with me) or talked about me in your blog, I would love to see it! You guys are the best. I will visit YALC next year, probably as Peeta (maybe another version of Peeta). Maybe I’ll bring me own Katniss with me if I have one! Who knows. The ultimate goal is a YALC-wedding of course. With a lot of bread. And fire. But most of all: you.