Giorgia tells us about the magnificent world of Disneyland parks around the world. How she transforms her passion in her work. Let's talk about Cosplayer. And we'll have advices on how to combine real life and internet/socials usage.
Me: Hello everyone and welcome to a new episode of “I’m Luna Dolph – Life & Reality”. I am Luna, and I thank you for being here with me. In the last episode we talked about the role of the director in independent cinema, together with director Gianluca Santoni. We are dwelling a lot on the study of art at 360 degrees. Personally, it is a subject that fascinates me a lot and, on which I believe there is always something to learn. Today I would like to analyze another artistic field, that of Cosplay. But with a little fun, thanks to the Disney world.
Not everyone knows these worlds. Precisely for this reason, I called a Cosplayer who had the courage to take her life in hand and change it, leaving her job to follow her passion, Giorgia (giorginadee on Instagram).
Giorgia will tell us about the magnificent world of Disney, about the parks dedicated to it, that is, the Disneyland placed around the world. She will tell us about her change from law studies to photography. But not only that, she will explain to us what it means to be a Cosplayer, the major fairs related to this figure. But most importantly, she will give us some valuable advice on how to use the internet and social media in a more detached way.
Giorgia, a girl with many passions
Hi Giorgia, it’s a pleasure to meet you! The colors of your profile immediately caught my attention. I am very curious to find out what you do.
G: Hi Luna, the pleasure is mine. I am Giorgia, or as everyone calls me, Giorgina. The name comes from my social networks, where everyone knows me as Giorgina, or as DisneyBoundItalia.
I deal with photography and content creation for different types of social media. But, I’m also a huge Disney fan and a Cosplayer.
A magical place called Disneyland
Me: Wow Giorgia, you really have many interests! I’m curious about one thing, in particular, about what you said. You talked about Disney. This makes me think of a wonderful place I have seen on the internet, Disneyland. Have you ever been there? Can you tell me more about this place? It looks truly magical! How is it associated with your passion for cosplay?
G: Yes Luna, Disneyland is my great passion. And it is the real reason why I fell in love with the world of Disney, as well as the various cartoons I saw when I was little.
First time at Disneyland Paris
G: I went to Disneyland Paris for the first time in 1992, just the year the park opened, and I was very young. But I remember it, like it was yesterday. In fact, it was a unique emotion to enter the world that I only saw through television. From there, I got really passionate about all this wonderful world behind the Disney brand. Then, I kept going to the park, several times, even throughout the year.
For a period of my life I also lived in Paris. This made it easier for me to go there. And I made my first annual subscription there, which I have been renewing for a few years, so that I can come back as often as possible.
Disneyland around the world
G: I’ve also been to other Disney parks besides Paris. There are others, placed around the world.
I have been, in particular: in Tokyo twice, and in Shanghai. I have never yet managed to go to the original parks, that is, the American, California and Florida parks. Unfortunately, I had a trip planned last year but, due to Covid, we had to postpone it.
I hope that next year we will be able to conclude this journey.
What is Cosplay?
G: As for the Cosplay instead, it doesn’t really have to do with the world of Disney, or rather, not only with Disney.
Cosplay at Disneyland
G: Cosplay is a hobby, a passion, in which you create a character that refers to a character from cartoons, films, but also a totally original character. Many of my Cosplay are inspired by Disney characters. But, in reality, you have to think that in Disneyland parks it is absolutely forbidden to enter Cosplay. This is because it could confuse the children who are there.
But, we Disney fans, we have found various ways to overcome this problem.
Define the Cosplay
Me: Excuse me Giorgia, we said that Cosplay is a passion, a hobby in which a character is recreated. So, we’re talking about a person who copies, exactly, a character down to the smallest detail, right? I would very much like you to better explain to me how this creative process takes place and, above all, how much effort lies behind it.
G: So, Cosplay, literally, is the union of two words: costum and play, that is, playing with costumes. The foundation of Cosplay is to be able to recreate, in the most perfect way possible, a character you take from a film, from a cartoon, from a Japanese or American-inspired comic.
Inspiration can come from anywhere. A different thing are the “Originals” which, on the other hand, may seem Cosplay in appearance but, in reality, are completely original characters. In this case, a person creates from the project on paper, up to then create the suit, the armor and the rest.
Different types of Cosplay
G: Cosplay can only be tailored, so maybe it’s just a sewn dress. What then, to say only, is an understatement. Because: usually they are monumental clothes, and in any case very complicated to make. Then, the Cosplay is inspirated by an armor, so it does not have a lot of tailoring, but it has a part made of materials, which can be of the most disparate types.
The fundamental thing about Cosplay is that: it should not be confused with carnival or halloween costumes. This is due to the extreme precision that the Cosplayer tries to have. That is, the closer the costume is to the character, the more it satisfies the Cosplayer himself.
It is not easy to explain because, in reality, it is a hobby, a game, but for some also a real job.
The difficult preparation of a Cosplayer
G: For example, styling a wig is something extremely difficult. Often, to have something good and similar to the character, since often the various characters have very particular hairstyles, you need to contact an expert in the sector, so to a wig stylist. As you can see, in this area, which comes from a hobby or a passion, a real job has also developed. There are many tailors who deal with Cosplay, many Prop makers, who are people who make pieces of armor or accessories for the same Cosplay. Even these objects are made of the most disparate materials.
Cosplay is a world that comes mainly from the passion for nerd culture, for pop culture, and which then also evolves with a passion for lobbying, for crafting, for creating something. Or, on the contrary, if you let others create the costume, the passion is that of interpretation. So, you have to be a bit of an actor who plays a real character, created by someone else.
So, there are different types, different branches of Cosplay. There are those who only do Disney-themed Cosplay, those who make Cosplay inspired by superheroes. The theme is free, actually, and that’s the great thing about this world. You can identify yourself, each time, in a different character, therefore, not focusing only on one character. Anytime, you can be whoever you want and, in my opinion, this is the coolest part. You can be a superhero, you can be a princess, you can be an alien, you can be anything thanks to Cosplay, and then go back to being yourself.
Spreading the knowledge of the Disney world
Me: You are very knowledgeable, Giorgia. But above all, you talk about the Disney world as if you have known it all my life. It seems you’ve always done this job!
G: So, as I told you, I was passionate about this world, both of Disney and of Cosplay, already when I was very little. In particular, I started with Disney. I was very young when this love started. And I’m trying, through my social networks: Instagram and Tik Tok, to bring this passion a little further. But, above all, to make it known in Italy, where, unfortunately, Disney is still conceived as something limited to children.
The birth of the Disney world
G: While, in reality, in the rest of the world, it is a cultural phenomenon, a pop culture phenomenon, designed especially for adults. Just think that the American Disney parks, therefore the very first to open, were conceived by Walt Disney himself, and created specifically for adults.
Cosplay, a passion born thanks to Japanese culture
G: As far as Cosplay is concerned, it is a passion that was born when I was a little older, I was around thirteen, fourteen. I was mostly passionate about Japanese culture. So, by reading manga, which are Japanese comics and watching anime, which are Japanese cartoons.
There, a world opened up to me a little, thus discovering the comic fairs. And, I was then able to link these two passions for Cosplay and Disney, creating a Disney-themed Cosplay.
Passion and work, close universes
Me: So, you have become passionate about these themes over time. At first you probably thought of something different for your future. In studying people I have noticed that they often change their mind about what they want to do. Children dream of becoming doctors, pilots, dancers or entrepreneurs. Life, however, often leads these people to change their minds as they grow up. Many abandon their dreams to find something more material. Sometimes even hiding behind a screen.
Have you followed your passion to make it a job?
G: So, my passion for Disney, and everything I do on social media to spread the love for Disney, as well as Cosplay, are not my job. I take care of photography.
Over the years, I have then combined my passion for photography with these two other passions of mine, for Disney and for Cosplay. I actually started photographing Cosplayers.
A different initial project
G: Actually, I come from a totally different course of study. I studied law. I was supposed to become a lawyer and I also started that career path. So, an office job, certainly interesting.
But, at a certain point in my life, after a few years of doing that job, I realized that I was missing something. Being locked in an office for too long was not for me, although the work was very interesting and always an active and dynamic job. However, it was not an artistic work. I wanted to do something more artistic.
The first steps towards Cosplay and photography
G: In my spare time, while I was still working in an office, I started going to trade shows. Here, in addition to being a Cosplayer, so in addition to dressing up as my favorite characters, I started photographing the other Cosplayers, alternating a day in Cosplay and a day as a photographer.
From there, my passion evolved, also thanks to the support of my family and my husband. I was then able to definitively change my career path. In fact, I left office work to devote myself completely to photography.
Now, as I told you, I deal with various fields of photography. I started from Cosplay, but mostly as a hobby, and then I evolved in a completely different way. Now I mainly deal with fashion photography, e-commerce and family photography. Hence, I photograph small babies and pregnant mothers.
Two great passions come together
G: Then I managed to combine this love for photography with Disney too. Because, during all my travels, in the various Disney parks around the world, I have always managed to carry my photographic equipment with me. Thus, I was able to photograph the park and everything that was going on, then the parades, the shows. But, also the details of the various parks in the world.
And then, I created an Instagram channel, in which I spread these photographs. And from there, my passion for social media was also born, which I have developed over time. I also studied “social media managing” and everything related to creating your own content. So, always linked to photography and also to video content, I started studying as a video maker, to create videos.
I’m still studying from this point of view. The beautiful thing about my work is this, it is a work that evolves over time, which has been digitized more and more. It allows me, in addition to working in the strict sense, that is working with clients, also to use and exploit my great passion, which has, in fact, become a job, tying it to everything else I like to do. Hence, it ties into Disney and Cosplay.
The advice of a brave girl
Me: I find your choice really brave, not everyone decides to follow their passions and make it a job. In fact, I would like to ask you for some advice. I’m sure many listeners have the desire to follow their passions, but you don’t always have the opportunity to do so. What would you recommend to these people?
G: So, actually, making this decision wasn’t easy at all. It has been matured it in a very long time, indeed, in many years. I had started, in fact, to do this course of study, and then, this office job. I always felt very tight. At the end of the day I was always very dissatisfied, even if it was still a good job.
Study as a stimulus to change
G: I felt like I wanted to do something different, something more dynamic, something that was mine. So, not an employee job, but a freelance job. So, a job where I had to depend only on myself. This was what I wanted.
Doing an artistic work in one of my passions, therefore of photography. What have I done? I didn’t give up my job immediately and threw myself into photography. So, I started studying. I have been studying photography for many years, and I have continued to do so. And, thanks to the salary I took with the other job, I took the liberty of buying my first equipment. But, also to continue my photographic studies.
The sacrifices to be able to reach the goal
G: From there, then, I started doing both jobs at the same time. That was a really stressful time, even if it was still very good. I worked, a bit like Superman, during the day in a studio, and then in the evening I went to take pictures. At first I did them in clubs, then, on the weekend, I went to do events.
So, I started in steps.
Follow your dreams, but step by step
G: What I can advise people who want to change their life, is to choose to follow their dreams, as I did, is to go step by step. Do not jump. You have to follow your dreams, and I am an example, and I am sure it is the best way for everyone, to follow your heart and your aspirations. However, you must always and, in any case, do it with the right times and with the right ways. So, studying and getting there step by step.
When you are sure you can support yourself with the second job, or in any case, when you are sure that you have studied enough, even if in reality it is never enough, then absolutely try it, go for it. In this, the people around you help a lot.
Having the support of your family, your friends, who push you and encourage you to do more, to do better and, in any case, they tell you every day that they can do it. This is certainly the most important thing and the thing that was absolutely fundamental for me.
If I had been alone, most likely, my path would have been completely different. Without the support of the people who have been close to me, I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to make this decision.
And now, instead, here I am.
The virtual world, a way to get away
Me: A really nice teaching, Giorgia. I, personally, have lived in a different world than yours. My life was very often apathetic, lonely. When I saw the opportunity to have more, to be able to discover everything around me, and to be able to get in touch with your world, I threw myself. I went headlong without knowing exactly how to do it.
In fact, initially I also studied a lot. When I discovered the internet, I studied people, nature, geography, art, everything. When I realized that I could really know in person what I was looking at, then I decided to take the plunge and expose myself.
Many people, however, prefer to escape from this world and take refuge in mine. I believe that your work can help many of these people to reconnect with reality. What do you think about it?
G: So let’s say I agree on this fifty percent. In the sense that: it is true that in recent years there has been an abuse of computers or especially cell phones. But, also that you are always with the phone in front of your eyes, to check social networks, emails, or even to play, or for work reasons. There is a huge one.
A direct experience with the world of social media
G: However, it is also true that I have had a positive direct experience with the use of the internet, social media in general or in any case the PC. All this technology has helped me, however, just the opposite. That is, to develop social relationships.
Initially, I was extremely shy: I wasn’t on social media, I didn’t even talk much with people when I was at birthdays, dinners, social gatherings, for example. I was very shy. Instead, social media allowed me to unlock myself in this sense. And, photography also allowed me to do it.
Why this? Because, thanks to social media, I started to unblock myself, to meet people. Writing, instead of speaking, allowed me to open up a little. From there, I finally broke this shyness, and then I threw myself one hundred percent.
In this, my work with photography has also helped a lot. However, knowing how to talk to the people in front of me, who are usually very ashamed to have their photos taken, if they are not professional models, has allowed me to break up and help me with social relationships.
Knowing how to use social media to benefit from it
G: But social media did the same. For example: about four years ago, I opened my Instagram profile dedicated to Disney. In Italy it is something, as I said before, still niche. But, by posting my photos of Disneyland, Disney, my Cosplay, I extended my network of acquaintances. I have come to have real friendships with people from all over the world. People, of course, like me, fond of Disney or Cosplay.
This has been wonderful because, in all these years, even if there are not many, many ties have been created in Italy, or even outside Italy, with people with whom there is a passion in common. But, not only that, we also have the opportunity to meet off social media, right during our trips to Disneyland.
We have created a small Disney family, as we call it. And therefore, as you can see, the use of social media in this sense was certainly positive. As well as it has been in the last year, in which, due to Covid, we necessarily had to be separated. Social networks have allowed us to stay united, or at least the internet in general with Skype and video calls. All this allowed us to remain united even if we had to be forcibly separated.
Tips for using the internet conscientiously
G: Also, just to avoid that the use of the mobile phone or computer can alienate me from reality, I have imposed two rules. The first is to have a weekly deadlift. When the weekend comes, I rarely look at my cell phone, except to reply to some messages from friends. I’m not on social media, rarely public, because I have to have a completely mental break from this thing.
Another rule: when I’m with friends, I don’t look at my cell phone. I rarely ever get my cell phone out of my bag. This is because I believe that human relationships are much more important, rather than always being there to entertain, perhaps, human relationships but through the mobile phone.
There are ways and times to use it and to make the most of it. If we can understand this, if we manage to give ourselves rules, to put small breaks, stakes, surely the use of technology can be very useful for developing social and working relationships.
Spread the Disney message
Me: Coming back to Disneyland, I think it’s a very, very interesting place to get away from the internet a little bit. I saw some photos and I noticed that there are many people having fun and exchanging words, hugs, smiles. Your work, as you said, is very dedicated to making this conviviality shine through. I would like you to explain, specifically, what message you wish to convey through your dedication to this world and, above all, why.
G: So, as I told you, the primary purpose is precisely to spread my passion to make the whole world behind Disney better known. There is talk of a real philosophy of life for many people, not just for me in particular. Because, the message that Disney films, and Disney parks, want to convey is always a positive message of aggregation, of acceptance.
They want to convey a message of respect towards other people, or in any case, of cultural exchange. So, all that is positive, I try to spread it as a kind of sounding board, to the Italian public. Although, as I have already said, the public in Italy still believes that membership is something closely related to children, which in reality it is not.
Disneyland parks from their origins to today
G: One thing I often tell in my various social networks, is just how the Disney parks were created.
Walt Disney often accompanied his daughters in a carousel of those with horses, on which he was forbidden to go because he was an adult. So, he had to wait for his daughters outside the carousel, sitting on a bench. And it is on this bench that he had an idea.
Feeling excluded, in fact, from all that fun that he saw in the eyes of children, he decided that he would create a tailor-made park for adults. So, as you see, we see cartoons as something for children. In reality, then, the culture and philosophy of the parks and what lies behind even the animal cartoons themselves, are often important messages addressed to an adult audience.
When Disney created the first park, among other things, he bought that same bench where he was sitting and where he came up with the idea of creating this park for adults. Later, he placed it in Disneyland, California. It can still be seen today. I find all this, to be absolutely wonderful, that is, to give adults the opportunity to live a carefree day as if they were children. This is certainly the most beautiful and most important message that Disney transmits and that I try to convey by spreading all this through social media.
Go to Disneyland and catch up with people
G: Then, as I told you, this little Disney family was created, a little placed all over the world. There is always the pleasure of meeting in the parks. So, the photos you see of people hugging, of exchanging happiness is precisely because, actually, traveling to Disneyland also allows us to connect more with family, with friends, to meet new people, to do of cultural exchanges. All this is extremely important, especially nowadays, in which these relationships, as I told you before, we can keep them closer also thanks to the responsible use of the internet.
Me: Really interesting, I didn’t know the origins of the Disneyland parks. I really thank you for telling me this story! I’m sure it will also be of great interest to our listeners.
Events related to the world of Cosplay
Me: Since you are very knowledgeable about this world, I guess you know if there are any events related to Cosplay! Can you recommend the main events related to this topic, where maybe you can also take beautiful photos? Have you been to any fair? I’d love to hear about your experiences!
G: This question is really interesting, because it allows me to explain something that I am really passionate about, and that I haven’t talked about until now. This is the “Disney Bound”.
As we said, in Disney parks it is absolutely forbidden to enter Cosplay above a certain age, if I’m not mistaken from 12 years upwards. This is because: if an adult dressed up in Cosplay, for example, of Cinderella, the princess could confuse the children. Especially if she held attitudes that were not suited to a princess. Disney is very keen to maintain the image of the princess, and the appearances of the princess. Guests who go to Disneyland must experience the magic of Disney.
So, finding someone grown up dressed as a princess, as a villain, as a superhero, as any character, with an attitude that is not in line with the guidelines of the park, could confuse children. This is the main reason why it is absolutely forbidden to enter Cosplay.
Special events at Disneyland
However, there are days, or rather, evenings, when it is possible to do this. Mostly, these are special events, such as: Halloween or New Year, or just the theme nights in which the park opens at night. In this case, it is a time when children usually do not go. In those days, at those times, it is possible to enter Cosplay.
Personally, I have never done this because I usually wear very large costumes and walking around the park would be uncomfortable. So, I don’t, but I still use the Disney Bound.
The Invention of the Disney Bound
G: The Disney Bound is an invention that an American girl had, just to overcome this problem of not being able to enter Cosplay at the park. It is, quite simply, a Disney-themed clothing method, but with everyday clothes. This does not mean wearing a printed t-shirt, as I am doing now, but just taking advantage of the colors, the accessories, something special that makes you similar, a little bit reminiscent of a Disney character.
For example, in the last trips I made to Disneyland, I dressed up as a Donald Duck, a Mickey Mouse, a Pluto using their colors. So, for Mickey Mouse I used a red shorts and a black tank top, and I wore some mouse ears. For Donald Duck instead I created a specially designed suit that recalled his own sailor suit, using a white skirt. I can say that it is particularly fun to do it, first of all because it is common, everyday clothes, therefore clothes in which it is easy to get around and, above all, to go on the various rides.
But, above all, because: the various Cast Members, that is the people who work in the park, or the Face Character, that is the people who play the characters, recognize themselves in you. They can recognize a Disney character in the clothing you are wearing and, in that moment, they throw you tons of parties.
They interact a lot more with you and that is hugely fun. Once, I went dressed like Princess Aurora and, walking around the park, everyone greeted me in princely style, and it was really very very funny.
The passion for the Disney Bound in everyday life
G: I have tons of Disney Bound examples both on my instagram page and on my tik tok profile. Here, I explain how to do it.
I am so fond of Disney Bound that when I got married, I wore a wedding dress inspired by the character of Elsa from Frozen. On that special day, I “forced” all my guests to dress up in Disney Bound. Fortunately, they were all Cosplayers, so they strongly supported my decision.
We therefore talked about two different things, which express, however, the same common passion or for Disney, or in any case for the interpretation of a certain character.
To transmit the passion for the Disney world
Me: Giorgia, I want to thank you for your words, for what you explained to me and for your availability. You are a very busy girl, between work and passions! I really learned a lot with this chat!
G: Thanks to you, it was a pleasure to get to know you and, above all, to be able to talk to you about these passions of mine. I hope I have also transmitted to you a little passion for Disney, for Cosplay and for photography. And why not, maybe see you in Cosplay once of these!
See you next time, and thank you very much for this opportunity.
Rate and comment my podcast
Me: Thanks also to those who listened to this new episode of “I’m Luna Dolph. Life & Reality”. I learned a lot thanks to the chat with Giorgia, and I hope to have helped you to better understand the world of Cosplay and Disney. Write me to let me know if you have ever been to one of the many Disneyland parks or if you plan to go there! I am really curious to visit them all!
Leave me a good review on my web channels, to encourage me to continue this journey. Subscribe to my podcast and on Instagram and contact me on lunadolph.com for advice, criticism or just to get to know me. See you next Friday for a new episode! And don’t forget: live and enjoy the real world!