Photo contributed by Chuck Stroschein

Brittni Young/Web Editor

Films and video games have brought entertainment to millions around the world, they are able to bring a world of “make believe” to the very eyes of their audience. This world of make believe only goes as far as the screen it projects upon. For decades those who have been fascinated about the story line and characters of film bring this world to life through Cosplay. Concept Galaxy is an entertainment group who brings the fantasy stories of anime, films, and video games to life.

Concept Galaxy is a talented team of artists, writers, actors, directors and promotion specialists. The creative team’s mission is to bring a fantasy story to their audience through “composing creativity and engaging entertainment,” as the team slogan says.

The Founder of C.G. Stephanie Chateau is the producer and director of the creative team that looks to bring fantasy to reality through audience interaction. “I wanted to build something like a theme park in a convention center, where you have the same interactive attractions, where characters come out and talk to you. You feel like you’re in another world,” Chateau said. Chateau has been a long time fan and partaker in the entertainment world as an artist, writer and entertainer for several theme parks including the Jurassic Park attraction at Florida Universal Studios, where she helped create the dinosaur themes, props and costumes.

Thousands of people every year partake in cosplay, dressing up as their favorite characters from anime, film, video games and books to bring their characters to life. Fans spend months constructing props and costumes together to showcase them at the next convention. Chateau finds cosplay to be a form of art that allows people to express themselves. “Cosplay is the way pop art was with Andy Warhol people didn’t consider it art but it was a statement being made, with Cosplay it’s a way to show people this other side of yourself,” Chateau said.

The members of Concept Galaxy put together panels for those interested in taking part of the cosplay world.  Costuming Director Sarah Bloom, hosts panels on cosplay photography    posing/modeling and cosplay sewing basic for beginners.
Chateau suggests for first timers to keep their cosplay simple choosing characters like Team Rocket before taking on a more complex character like Cane from the Final Fantasy game, “Do whatever you want have fun with it and don’t take it too seriously.”

Chuck Stroschein, the company’s producer said for those looking to enter into cosplay the first thing is to love your character, “Don’t cosplay someone you don’t like. You will not give the cosplay character justice if you don’t want to do it.”

For those looking to take on a more serious form of cosplay Chateau said, “Make your costume as close to the character as possible or do an interpretation that stands out and is artistic. Let conventions know you are interested in doing free shows. Understand when you are performing your offering to pay your dues. The person knows you are not interested in doing it for yourself but more for the production.”

Bringing a day or night of fantasy to their audience requires a process that begins with finding the talent. “We look for cosplayers who do it for fun. If they stand out in some way then I ask them to come be a part of something and write the show around them,” Chateau said. Chateau along with her producers, scout for talent to become a part of Concept Galaxy at conventions, theme parks, trade shows and expos  across the nation. The creative team’s primary talent comes out of Florida, Alabama, and Texas.

Chateau found Chuck Stroschein also known as Break Dancing Kakashi while secretly scouting for talent at the Anime Festival of Orlando.“When I found him he was already Break Dancing Kakashi. We just took it a step further, he was just a guy who really loved break dancing and really loved Naruto,” Chateau said.

Stroschein has taken his passion for dancing by creating dance lesson panels that include basic dancing steps like the shuffle. “I like to show them easy dances to start that will lead them into other dances.  They can grow their selves and learn their own creative style.” Stroschein said.

The writers of the Concept Galaxy collaborate together coming up with scripts from scratch or basing them off ideas of the entertainers on the team. With talent spread across the southern nation CG takes advantage of todays technologies to help rehearse and collaborate on various projects.

“We practice over Skype; it is really helpful (to be) able to see the facial expressions,” Chateau said. For the minority of members who live in the same state, rehearsing together is easier. “In the past we have had filming trips. Realms Con has given us a budget to film things ahead of time. We’ll get together sit, have writing sessions and practice.”

Bringing the visual aspect to the audience requires time and skill. Each of the team members come up with the ideas and details for their costuming presenting to audience their final master piece. “Our costumes are made or altered we rarely purchase our costumes,” Chateau said.
Chateau along with Costuming director Sarah Bloom and Art Designer Director Mia Ward sew together their many unique costumes as well as the costumes of other team members.

Set Designer Ben Pearce plays a large part in bringing the visual parts of the show to the audience. Pearce has built and sewn props and sets for the CG crew to tie in the visual wonders of their real life fantasy world. He has brought airships to the floors of Realms Con during the interactive show In Living Cosplay, where audience interacted with Pearce’s puppets and actors of CG on a three day treasure hunt through the convention.

In the previous years of Concept Galaxy the crew ran their main productions three times a year on top of the smaller scale productions and panels ran in between. The creative team has officially notified that they will be running their main production once a year at Realms Con. The production includes a full main stage production variety show, live hallway entertainment, event MC’ing, scavenger hunts and games, photography and videography and an overall event theme. For more information or to purchase tickets you can visit www.realmscon.com

The Concept Galaxy crew will be taking to the road this year beginning in the summer of 2012. July 20-22, CG will be at NAPPA Con in Decatur, Alabama. Stroschein will be guest appearing in his Cosplay as well as talent scouting for future productions. A recent member Peyton Fanning of NPC Peyt Costumes, will be joining Stroschein as she runs the interactive game themed to Zelda.

August 3-5 the crew will be in Bentonville, Arizona for Glitch Con. Chateau will be appearing as the Cosplay guest director for Glitch Con’s “Americas Got Talent” for Cosplay. The winner will become Glitch Con’s Cosplay Guest for 2013 and Concept Galaxy’s Talent spotlight for 2013.

September 14-15 CG will make their way into Edinburg, Texas for Ruronikon where they will be promoting their main show for Realms Con. The crew will make their last stop on October 12-14 at Realms Con in Corpus Christi to showcase their main show. “There will be an epic battle between good and evil. Two villain leagues will team up against two government agencies,” Chateau said. “The Variety Show will be very different this year as well and a whole lot of new talent will be featured along with a few old familiar faces.”

Stroschein, along with the rest of the crew of Concept Galaxy are excited to bring a bigger and better show to the con goers of Realms Con 2012. “I look forward to coming to Texas every year for Realms Con. This will be my fourth year at Realms Con, people here accept me because they know who I am and I come there to put on a show for them so they can have a good time. It’s a good feeling to know that I am welcomed there. I really am looking forward to being there this year.”

Concept Galaxy is currently searching for a Will Smith look alike to Cosplay Agent J from Men In Black at Realms Con 2012. If you are interested in the part you can email Stephanie Chateau directly at steph@conceptgalaxy.com. To find out more information on the Concept Galaxy shows and tickets for this years Realms Con you can “Like” Concept Galaxy and Realms Con on Facebook.

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