Ordinary People

Patrick Kraft is a cosplayer with a difference: rather than recreating the costumes of fantastic characters from comic books, movies and TV shows, Patrick chooses to dress up as a thirty-three-year-old data entry clerk from Braintree.

"I tried dressing up as a wizard once," Patrick admits with obvious embarrassment. "It wasn't for me. It just seemed so phoney, so pointless. Cosplaying as a real person is much more exciting - I feel like I'm really walking in this guy's shoes, living his boring life, eating his shitty breakfast. Lovely."

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It seems strange to us that someone would actually want to experience that level of everyday tedium, but when you consider that Patrick is by profession a stunt pilot, who risks his life every day, it starts to make sense. And he's not alone: there are plenty of others who feel the same way, including Formula 2 racing driver Colleen Vee, who relaxes by adopting the persona of a divorced, middle-aged cleaner from Huddersfield. Colleen is a regular at many of the specialised cosplayer conventions that take place around the country. She recently attended a two-day event at a plush hotel in Manchester, where she spent most of the weekend scrubbing out the toilets.

"It was great," she told us, still smiling joyfully and smelling of bleach. "My day-to-day life is full of fast cars, glamour and excitement, so the opportunity to spend a few precious days up to my elbows in shit was not one to be missed."


It's a sentiment echoed by many - such as Super Explodoman, for example. By day he is a regular superhero: righting wrongs, leaping tall buildings and doing all that superhero shit that you people seem to like; by night he revels in anonymity by becoming 'Gavin', a mild-mannered car park attendant with a limp, an official-looking hat and an unfortunate habit of reducing you to ash with his laser eyesight if you make the mistake of parking in a reserved bay. Hey, each to his own.

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