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My love letter to cosplay | Adam Savage

62641 ratings | 1056843 views
Adam Savage makes things and builds experiments, and he uses costumes to add humor, color and clarity to the stories he tells. Tracing his lifelong love of costumes — from a childhood space helmet made of an ice cream tub to a No-Face costume he wore to Comic-Con — Savage explores the world of cosplay and the meaning it creates for its community. "We're connecting with something important inside of us," he says. "The costumes are how we reveal ourselves to each other." TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more. Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/translate Follow TED news on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tednews Like TED on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TED Subscribe to our channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDtalksDirector
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Text Comments (1603)
debdras (1 day ago)
Loved it!!! Although I would've never taken the money from No Face in the first place, like, at all lmao I know the story!! I don't want that gold just to get eaten :P Silly people taking money from No Face...
Bubbles (2 days ago)
I constantly come back to watch this video. It's beautiful!
Kristoff Cain (2 days ago)
This is what a blessed man looks like, no doubt about it
Joshua (4 days ago)
yes
Melchor Paete (4 days ago)
I’m in theater class when I was in my college days and most of the time I am in charge on the costume and production designs. I totally agree with him saying that costumes is not only a one way interaction between the actors/cosplayers to the audience, it’s much more than that. It’s another level of communication that gives us empathy towards other people by wearing their shoes, or in this case, costumes. P.S. Spirited Away is my all time favorite animated movie, too!
phil zphil (5 days ago)
seeing this guy getting so much attention an wealth and talking about such a mediocre thing like dressing up fancy seems a bit out of touch with the real world out there. travel more and spend less my friend...
Kobe Robinov (5 days ago)
i love him <3
Deranged TV (6 days ago)
Anyone else pissed off by his crooked glasses? XD
Elizabeth Comes (6 days ago)
I'm so happy to see this, and I only started cosplaying semi-seriously recently. It felt wonderful to have people actually stopping me for pictures, complimenting me on how good I looked in the costume, and THEN I actually helped run a panel. It was Voltron: Legendary Defender for Otafest 2018, I was Hunk and by that point my costume was too big (as I had lost a significant amount of weight since first getting the costume). I remember being so nervous, hoping that I wouldn't fall flat on my face and ruin things for people. I had a BALL with the panel, and with some rules set in place to keep it from getting too crazy, it turned out amazing. I had so much fun, all the pictures, all the people who loved what we did, it was just amazing. And everyone telling me that I was great and in character and doing one of their favourite characters justice made me happier than I can express. Next year, as the timing is just too perfect to me, I'm going to try and dress up as Nico Robin from One Piece for a cosplay. My body might still be scarred and stretch-marked from weight loss, but I'm still going to try because it'll be fun and amazing. Not to mention a much-needed break from school. But I'm going to get out there, I'm going to get into the role, and I'm going to have fun.
Cameron Scott (9 days ago)
I once dressed up as a potted plant and scared a ton of kids.
Commandrogyne (12 days ago)
an incredible talk!! as a cosplayer, the character that you get into and the posing and practicing are so accurate. my favorite part about cosplaying is always the young kids who recognize me, their absolute joy when they see team avatar or a Steven universe character is incredible.
Animaker (12 days ago)
True words indeed, old man, I, the mighty Kassandra of greece, am not a women of many words, but a simple mercanary, ready to kill for my goals and stepping into the footsteps of my grandfather leonidas.
iki (16 days ago)
welp this was beautuful
Fatzoo (16 days ago)
Adam Savage is a really cool cat. I'm glad I found him!
Trenton Abel (17 days ago)
ADAM *SAVAGE*
ice1200man (18 days ago)
Totally thought the chocolates were melted. Need to see spirited away
Benjamin Lane (19 days ago)
I love adam’s story about getting coins handed back to him as no face, it really captures the spirit of cosplay - you’re not just dressing up in a costume, you’re embodying a character and people will treat you as though you ARE that character. what a cool community
crimsonGalaxy (22 days ago)
lmao i wonder how my father, who both idolizes adam savage and despises cosplay/conventions would feel about this video
banaantjexx164 (24 days ago)
Watching Adam Savage explain something he genuinely loves with unmasked child-like excitement is the greateat thing I've seen in my life...
ringosis (24 days ago)
I so wanted the person handing him back the coins to turn out to be a little girl cosplaying Chihiro.
Hayden Dehmer (24 days ago)
PREACH!!!!!
Darren's Workshop (24 days ago)
This is the only TED talk we ever need
Garpet Flarpet (25 days ago)
I didn't think Adam Savage could get any cooler than he already was in my mind
KingZ (25 days ago)
Adam Savage? Vandal Savage? Exposed.
pandansoda (25 days ago)
as someone who is going to cosplay fully for the first time next saturday this has just filled me with a sense of pride and emotion to the point where i am going to study my character and damn well be the best i can be
Andrew Appleton-Clark (25 days ago)
I need to go to comicon some day
Iordan Chis (27 days ago)
Man I love this guy. Not just for his love of Cosplay but his entire life's work!
cometpowell (27 days ago)
Chills at the end
tecums3h (30 days ago)
What an enjoyable guy.
yeet it's ya boy (30 days ago)
I cosplayed as Sherlock Holmes last year (the original, not the BBC vers.) and Ventus fom Kingdom Hearts this year for our school's No Uniform Day. It was sweltering hot but the smiles and the wide eyes of people around me made it so worth it. I wasn't the only one that cosplayed and that was what made those days so fun. Wherever you looked you could see Snow White, Kylo Ren, Naruto, even Youtubers like MirandaSings and video game characters like D.va from Overwatch coming together and we would walk in formation and people would stare and it was honestly the best feeling ever.
Ravi Tiwari (30 days ago)
I don't know why I'm feeling nostalgic.
arklanbk (1 month ago)
his glasses r lopsided
Brian Kasslin (1 month ago)
James Hetfield, is that you?
zanderman15 (1 month ago)
I would personally thank this man for this TedTalk if i could
- Leia To The Rescue - (1 month ago)
I LOVE Adam Savage, but I also want to fix his crooked glasses.
Holofish (1 month ago)
Ugh, refusing the coin is like spoiling a magic trick. Just enjoy the experience idiots.
SweetsOverload (1 month ago)
Im not crying youre crying.
Paul B (1 month ago)
3:51 Little Adam saying: "I want to wear armor all the time" broke my heart a little
Ceramic Quill (1 month ago)
This is a cool man.
B Elmore (1 month ago)
Brilliant!
Five (1 month ago)
Adam, your glasses are crooked.
modernorpheus (1 month ago)
"We are, all of us, injecting ourselves into a narrative that meant something to us, and we're making it our own. We’re connecting with something important inside of us, and the costumes are how we reveal ourselves to each other."
nobledonkey17 (1 month ago)
I swear someday I'll meet this man he's one of my idols
dandy dasyt (1 month ago)
Making a sword or a rifle has always been my favorite hobby but the thing that makes everything worth it, at the end of the day for me, was the expression and reaction from other people who shared my interests. The way both their face and mine lit up the minute we both know that they know that I know that they know about what I was having, never fails to light my heart like a burning sun. And the way they admire the work, the way that we share with one another moments of silent awe in one another's presence, makes all the grueling work worth it. I have yet to truly put on a costume, but just the way everybody share what they know and learn what they don't really pushes me forward to making something for myself; the sense of belonging that is so hard to describe yet at the same time almost tangible.
Simon Levin (1 month ago)
Lol milfbusters 6:00
KoalaFarfalla (1 month ago)
let your freak flag raise let your freak flag flyyyy
Zirkumflex (1 month ago)
This is sooo freaking awesome.
Maybe The Best (1 month ago)
0:15 but then furries came along
razorwire music (1 month ago)
Like-minded people don’t you mean autistic smelly unhygienic weebs
Mike Whitfield (1 month ago)
Never cosplayed, but thirty-plus years ago when I went to Scifi conventions a moderately hot young lady in a tiny black string bikini and little plastic devil horns won the Dragoncon costume contest over dozens of intricate costumes. Now there are tons of extremely beautiful women doing cosplay, but in amazing costumes. So I’d say that young men indeed don’t realize how well they have it.
Carats Ritzy (1 month ago)
I started cosplaying as a love letter to a fellow artist who wrote this beautiful story of a character that was "barely" part of the canon material from the canon material in Undertale. It was WD Gaster from a heartwarming webcomic called "Man who speaks in hands"(by Spirtednug) and it got me through a rough time in life. In the canon, he is a cut character that you wouldn't encounter without some hacks. He is a blank canvas with little backstory and little material to go on. He is that average stranger that you bump into on the pathway, then gone like the wind sort of guy. But the fanon takes it further, he becomes whoever you think he would be. With the given context of the canon references. I started working on my Gaster cosplay around Halloween 2016, first one was a dumpster fire of 20 layers of paper mache that survived a bake in the oven. The third one was a size for all that I took to Mardi Gras Sydney. It wasn't until the seventh attempt that I found the Goldilocks zone for the mask, reworking between two Supanovas and SMASH. Is it finally over? No. But I have learnt a lot from the trials and errors of this one project. Plenty of kids scared and plenty more to be entertained. The journey never ends. Friends to be made, places to go and costumes to be improved on. [Progress post] https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17956257172192417/
Nathaniel Stewart (1 month ago)
Spirited Away is the best movie!!!
John Doe 878393719 (1 month ago)
Degenerate scum, and so many fascists among them moreover! Put on a shirt, you degenerate scum!
mias nieuwoudt (1 month ago)
This is why i love Adam Savage and anime!!!!
LunarWolfLumina/Lumine (1 month ago)
Adam Savage... one of my childhood heroes. I loved him in Mythbusters and I love him now. I had no idea he was as into cosplay as I am and his story about No Face almost made me cry. Thank you, you beautiful man. Thank you for existing and reigniting my passion and love of costume design and cosplay!
DeezNutz133 (1 month ago)
I could keep listening to Adam for ages. Love this man!!!!! ❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼
Otto Gonzalez (1 month ago)
Omg i love ld this!!! I never seen someone so passionate about cosplay.. he is a very professional and passionate guy!. Much respect.
This is the best ted talk i've seen so far
Kanra _ (1 month ago)
*wipes tears* thanks for the validation this was fookin dope
Marcus Bartier (1 month ago)
whatta weeb
United States of Anime (1 month ago)
【MMDけもフレ】ハクトウワシちゃんVer0.53 Bald Eagle USA ANIME!!!
BionicleC4 (1 month ago)
Oh god i remember when i made my first ever set of Halo armor. Just like his story, I made it out of cardboard, it looked awful to anyone else who saw it, but I loved it!
Jekub Fimbulwing (1 month ago)
It's said that "Imitation is the purest form of flattery", I'd add that Cosplay is a form of love!
Mark Kramer (1 month ago)
Spirited Away is also one of my All-time favorite films, it's so beautiful and magical that it bring wonder to me as if I was a child again no matter how many times I see it. My other all-time favorites are The Grand Budapest Hotel and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
anonymous unknown (1 month ago)
At least he didn't insult someone that would be too Savage
Gordon Slamsay (1 month ago)
dude's just so sincere
Mz. Fandom (1 month ago)
Chiho is at a bath house not a theme park
Isobel (1 month ago)
I started crying while watching this. He does such an incredible job at explaining what is so special to him about cosplay, and it hit me so hard because I've never been able to articulate what is so important about it to me. He is so passionate about the creation and making everything real, and I am in awe that I never knew that he was interested in this stuff before, and am so thankful that I saw this TED talk.
Jazhua Vanboven (1 month ago)
Same, lonely child--little to no childhood friends. Made my own fun, invented ways to have fun!
somekid (2 months ago)
take that, anime haters
とり (2 months ago)
cosplay is a amazing experience its so fun and its great to become a character you love and the look on people faces when they spot you is so amazing
Galatic Blue (2 months ago)
I forgot who Adam savage was and when I remembered my brain just though "he blew stuff up and experimented things"
Exploding Crow (2 months ago)
ADAM PLEASE FIX YOUR GLASSES HOLY FUG
Hi Im Andicus (2 months ago)
I really loved this, I never went to comic con or cosplayed or made costumes. But I love anime and I loved Spirited Away. As a teen, watching anime or playing games a lot while not going out that much because you aren't social.. seeing someone like Adam Savage who is an adult but also loving the same things as you is just.. awesome and relieving. He spoke with so much passion and enthusiasm my heart was warmed watching this. I feel so hyped now but its 11PM
Easter Morgan (2 months ago)
I had to show this to my roomie, b/c she doesn't understand my love affair and I could never find the the words. Thank You
THE ULTIMATE POTATO GIRL (2 months ago)
MORE ADAM
Asger Vestbjerg (2 months ago)
Thanks for sharing👍😀
sad ive never seen Spirited away. oh wait its bad luck to take gold from no-face?
Layton pro 🎩⚡ (2 months ago)
That no face story is something really special
Layton pro 🎩⚡ (2 months ago)
Much respect for Adam Savage, he totally gets it where as most people would look at us weird for it. Adam just became x10 cooler than I already thought he was
Erin Is Lonely (2 months ago)
I’ve been cosplaying since I was 11, it brought me closer to some friends and made some amazing friends, cosplay is the best thing that have happened to me.
Aarons' Vlogs (2 months ago)
absolutely loved this speech. i'm definately going to start cosplaying for cons now, even if i don't go as elaborate as he does lol
Alamsyah desu (2 months ago)
Why I shed tears about people giving back the gold :') God... it was really masterpiece
Travis Cummings (2 months ago)
I never really was into the whole putting on costumes and pretending to be somone else thing, but this definitely makes me want to go to Comicon! Not sure who/what I would go as, though...
Rachel Frumkin (2 months ago)
Wouldn't be Adam if his glasses were slightly askew.
Louise GaryAVBl (2 months ago)
I love that man so much <3
BART Maling (2 months ago)
i was crying the whole time as if he was telling my story. love u adam
Annie Goldberg (2 months ago)
Do you guys have any cool cosplay materials for beginners???
MassDynamic (2 months ago)
No Face just wanted to be accepted....sadly, showering your friends with gold doesnt always work. :D
George Bestman (2 months ago)
That was beautiful.
Purple Skinned Potato (2 months ago)
HOLY HECC IMMA START COSPLAYING
T.J. TheTomato (2 months ago)
I never really understood why people did comply and never cared for it. Now I see beauty in it and it's like woo look www www! Thanks for the awesome insight of such a fantastic world!
Sleepy.Magii (2 months ago)
💙
Old Grumpy Bear (2 months ago)
And here I thought that I was too old to do something like this. I'm inspired now!
Nerun _san (2 months ago)
I'm wonder that nobody here told him the real reason of NO FACE to give Chihiro money, If you don't know search on Google. ^^ (just if u r old enough)
Nyctophora (2 months ago)
You Sir are a legend. And I saw Excalibur when I was far too young too.
Disgusted Batman (2 months ago)
fictional characters became more than just some make-believe character in a made up story. They became part of our lives and perhaps cosplaying is a dedication to how much these characters mean to us.
FireLilyrulez (2 months ago)
Adam I just stumbled upon your video. You made me cry with joy because I have been bullied for loving anime and loving to cosplay. Knowing that its okay to be an adult and cosplay has really helped me!! Thank you!!! :)
dafuq guy (2 months ago)
As a cosplayer I know the feeling when you sweat, your eyes hurt and some people ask if you're okay, but because of the costume you're wearing, you feel amazing.
Julia Garriott (2 months ago)
He sounds so beautiful. He almost made me cry.

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