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My love letter to cosplay | Adam Savage

64439 ratings | 1092213 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 (1641)
Doukz (2 hours ago)
See, _that_ is how I want to be able to present myself when I cosplay.  I don't want to just be a girl dressed up as some 40 year old hero, I want to be believable as that hero despite my otherwise petite appearance through my voices and actions. If I'm cosplaying a villain a want to be able to _play_ that villain- all in lighthearted fun, of course. If I'm a squid sister I want people to walk up to me and be able to believe I am a piece of that core character when I pose and when I perform in competitions I want to be good enough that people can set aside reality and truly believe I'm that character, if only for a minute. Of course that's pretty deep... and I'm not great at staying in character but still I think what I'm really striving for is to be able to dress up as a villain, stand up for someone, and still be thought of as that villain because I know the ins and outs of that villain and how to portray them even in heroic ways.
Mr. blag (2 days ago)
10:14 I agree, spirited away is a very Underappreciated movie
Alonzo Branson (4 days ago)
He understands....HE REALLY UNDERSTANDS...!
End Nitro (4 days ago)
I wonder if Adam ate anyone during that comic con
Erik Bojay (4 days ago)
So deep😭
lykke (5 days ago)
i had shivers through this video, and started crying when he was talking about no face. this really spoke to me, and I feel so inspired, and grateful to Adam. Thanks for spreading your wonderful light and hope.
Dragon maid (5 days ago)
Spirited Away is legendary.
Don Mega (6 days ago)
the ending was better than any miss universe speech for sure. didn't even need to mention "children" and none of the crap those airheads are told to say to get the applause.
Don Mega (6 days ago)
that noface head is way too big.
ano Anonymous (7 days ago)
Wtf
Ryan Rousseau (13 days ago)
wow
gisselle (17 days ago)
Adam savage is such an amazing human being god I would love to meet him someday
Kuhoo Not Kuhu (18 days ago)
Ok I cried
Mr. Koala (23 days ago)
I AM NOT CRYING, YOU ARE CRYING
5:58 - the good days
espy-ninja (30 days ago)
as a cosplayer, I just started wanting to cry as I watched this because....because it's just so TURE He hits on everything that makes cons and cosplays great! He put this deep feeling that so many cosplayers have into words that anyone can understand and it means so much to me! thank you, Adam Savage. Thank you from me and all the other cosplayers you touched.
xXBattleBlazeXx (1 month ago)
That no face part was adorable
RoraOnline (1 month ago)
this was beautiful
Devon Carey (1 month ago)
I've always adored Adam since I was little and watched Mythbusters, but I never knew about him and cosplay ! I'm a cosplayer myself and I love how he talks about the community. ❤️❤️❤️
miester rhovanion (1 month ago)
he is like my best friend is supposed to be.....wonder if adam drinks like me...if he did then really he would be my best friend ...if he wanted...maybe.
Artist (1 month ago)
Wonderful! I love it, that you love it sooooo much! :) Thank´s for telling us how you feel, it brings me back to the time I made and wore Cosplays myself.
It is so cute, how he loves, what he doing
Cliché the Cat (1 month ago)
Furries unite
Maru (1 month ago)
Studio Ghibli is the REAL Disney. I think every film made up until Howl's Moving Castle are TRUE masterpieces
lance allison (1 month ago)
A beutiful story told well and simply , I wish I was younger and fitter so I could cosplay too, But I'm too old and too big now so I'll just watch the younger ones have the fun and wistfully sigh.
Krogan Popy (1 month ago)
Spirited Away is great.
Jewel Robinson (1 month ago)
Cosplay has always been my life
Ambi Cahira (1 month ago)
Whoa, what a great ted talk <3
NovaComputing (1 month ago)
I liked this so much, I clicked the like button twice!
VaellieTheAngel (2 months ago)
I will say that this is how he is all the time. for the inagural NOMCON, he sat and watched as my crew and I painted the giant NOMCON backdrop that would continue to feature in every NOMCON in the future. He watched, chatted with us, took video, and he did it all as ADAM FREAKING SAVAGE. he sat there, in a giant ballroom with a bunch of kids and some adults (I'm 16, I met him when I was 15) we finished the mural, we signed it, and the day went on. the first day of the actual conference he came to the front desk, said hi, thanked all of us for helping out, and went into the ballroom, the second (main keynote day) he congratulated us on the mural, on stage, with a live audience of almost 500 people, each of us were given an award for our work by the board, and each of us got a picture with him. He is actually, genuinely, a kind, geeky dude. he deserves all the love he's gotten over the years and he is incredible. I urge anyone who doesn't know who he is to watch his TESTED episodes, all of them, watch mythbusters, watch the mythbusters JR. show coming out, watch it all because this guy is amazing.
Vanny Agustina (2 months ago)
Adam "Savage" Savage :')))
LUCY XD (2 months ago)
I only watched "Spirited Away" because my friend made me XD I enjoyed it though.
rgnestle (2 months ago)
A BROmance in the making! I tell you, Adam (Mr. Savage)!!!
debdras (2 months 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 months ago)
I constantly come back to watch this video. It's beautiful!
Bubbles (20 days ago)
I'm back, and tearing up just as much as the first time... dang it...
Kristoff Cain (2 months ago)
This is what a blessed man looks like, no doubt about it
Joshua (2 months ago)
yes
Melchor Paete (2 months 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 (2 months 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 (2 months ago)
i love him <3
Deranged TV (2 months ago)
Anyone else pissed off by his crooked glasses? XD
Elizabeth Comes (2 months 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 (2 months ago)
I once dressed up as a potted plant and scared a ton of kids.
Commandrogyne (2 months 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 (2 months 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 (2 months ago)
welp this was beautuful
Fatzoo (2 months ago)
Adam Savage is a really cool cat. I'm glad I found him!
Trenton Abel (2 months ago)
ADAM *SAVAGE*
ice1200man (2 months ago)
Totally thought the chocolates were melted. Need to see spirited away
Benjamin Lane (2 months 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 (2 months ago)
lmao i wonder how my father, who both idolizes adam savage and despises cosplay/conventions would feel about this video
banaantjexx164 (2 months 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 (2 months ago)
I so wanted the person handing him back the coins to turn out to be a little girl cosplaying Chihiro.
ToastyDehmer (2 months ago)
PREACH!!!!!
Darren's Workshop (2 months ago)
This is the only TED talk we ever need
Garpet Flarpet (2 months ago)
I didn't think Adam Savage could get any cooler than he already was in my mind
KingZ (2 months ago)
Adam Savage? Vandal Savage? Exposed.
pandansoda (2 months 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 (2 months ago)
I need to go to comicon some day
Iordan Chis (2 months ago)
Man I love this guy. Not just for his love of Cosplay but his entire life's work!
cometpowell (2 months ago)
Chills at the end
tecums3h (3 months ago)
What an enjoyable guy.
yeet it's ya boy (3 months 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 (3 months ago)
I don't know why I'm feeling nostalgic.
arklanbk (3 months ago)
his glasses r lopsided
Brian Kasslin (3 months ago)
James Hetfield, is that you?
zanderman15 (3 months ago)
I would personally thank this man for this TedTalk if i could
- Leia To The Rescue - (3 months ago)
I LOVE Adam Savage, but I also want to fix his crooked glasses.
Holofish (3 months ago)
Ugh, refusing the coin is like spoiling a magic trick. Just enjoy the experience idiots.
SweetsOverload (3 months ago)
Im not crying youre crying.
Paul B (3 months ago)
3:51 Little Adam saying: "I want to wear armor all the time" broke my heart a little
Ceramic Quill (3 months ago)
This is a cool man.
B Elmore (3 months ago)
Brilliant!
Five (3 months ago)
Adam, your glasses are crooked.
modernorpheus (3 months 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 (3 months ago)
I swear someday I'll meet this man he's one of my idols
dandy dasyt (3 months 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 (3 months ago)
Lol milfbusters 6:00
Plexicon (3 months ago)
let your freak flag raise let your freak flag flyyyy
Zirkumflex (3 months ago)
This is sooo freaking awesome.
Maybe The Best (3 months ago)
0:15 but then furries came along
razorwire music (3 months ago)
Like-minded people don’t you mean autistic smelly unhygienic weebs
Mike Whitfield (3 months 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 (3 months 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 (3 months ago)
Spirited Away is the best movie!!!
John Doe 878393719 (3 months ago)
Degenerate scum, and so many fascists among them moreover! Put on a shirt, you degenerate scum!
mias nieuwoudt (3 months ago)
This is why i love Adam Savage and anime!!!!
LunarWolfLumina/Lumine (3 months 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!
Kay-D (3 months ago)
I could keep listening to Adam for ages. Love this man!!!!! ❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜❤️💜👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼
Otto Gonzalez (3 months 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 _ (3 months ago)
*wipes tears* thanks for the validation this was fookin dope
Marcus Bartier (3 months ago)
whatta weeb
United States of Anime (3 months ago)
【MMDけもフレ】ハクトウワシちゃんVer0.53 Bald Eagle USA ANIME!!!
BionicleC4 (3 months 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 (3 months ago)
It's said that "Imitation is the purest form of flattery", I'd add that Cosplay is a form of love!
Mark Kramer (3 months 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 (3 months ago)
At least he didn't insult someone that would be too Savage
Gordon Slamsay (3 months ago)
dude's just so sincere
Mz. Fandom (4 months ago)
Chiho is at a bath house not a theme park

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