How to Act Immortal (Cosplay)

As a human, you are most definitely mortal. But that doesn't mean you can't put on a costume, change your mannerisms and act as though you're immortal — or at least very long-lived. Acting immortal is a great way to augment a vampire or other immortal look.


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    Dress in old-fashioned clothing. The exact era does not matter, but the quality is very important. A subtle Victorian fashion is ideal for giving the impression that you've already been around for some time. You can find little pieces of Victorian style garb at thrift stores like Goodwill, or you could always buy online. Don't forget to use your creativity to vamp up clothing in the Victorian style – think lace, brooches, brocade, velvet, etc.
    • Look for vintage brooches, particularly cameos. They can go on sweaters, dresses, and more to give the impression of an earlier age.
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    • Sweaters and shawls are great, because they look old-fashioned and they match perfectly with vintage brooches.
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    • Wear older style dresses and frocks.
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    • Don't forget your old-fashioned modesty! People of your time didn't wear super-tight tank tops or skimpy little cut-off shorts. Why, back in previous centuries, baring your ankles was unheard of! Of course, after living through different eras, you've probably modernized a bit, so it's no big deal to wear a skirt that reaches your knees rather than your ankles, or to wear a top that doesn't touch your collarbones; just remember to dress somewhat modestly.
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    Have a collection of "things that work" - You want your clothes to be serviceable and designed to last (You assume that you're going to outlive the lifetime guarantee on most things), whichever era it's from. Your clothes should be the best examples of their type, however old they are - If you bought a good suit in 1930, you could still be wearing it now, likewise your car, or your bureau. This ties into the idea of refined taste - What you knew you enjoyed ninety years ago is still something you can enjoy now, regardless of modern fashion.
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    Act like you have many secrets. Leave around some "accidental" clues so people will believe you are lying about where you are at night. Then, deny it half-believably, but not so well that they will actually believe you. Slight suspicion is the key.
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    Seem to have been there. Brush up on your history or, at the very least, get a wistful look in your eye when somebody brings it up. Try working extra hard for a history test about the place and time you were born. If your teacher asks you something and you really don't know the answer, just say that you’d prefer not to talk about it. Or, if you think you know but make a mistake, act slightly confused when the teacher corrects you. (You might even throw in a line about how history is written by the victors.)
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    Become familiar with classical music. Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Chopin, Bach... all the greats. It's impressive and unusual when a young person has an intimate familiarity with music from eras long before his or her own, so people will most likely pay quite a bit of notice to your extensive (and uncommon) interest.
    • Couple this interest with clear and verifiable knowledge about the composers. Depending on how good you are at storytelling, you might even like to sprinkle your conversation with anecdotes about "the time that Mozart did X." Keep in mind that there’s a huge difference between dropping a "that one time Mozart…" and a "that one time 'Wolfgang and I…”
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    Take hospitality seriously. When you entertain guests, do it properly - Invite people around for supper, have a few decanters at the ready, be willing to play parlor games.
    • Pursuant to this, learn to cook. Your simple, comfort foods will be cheap things made from leftovers - Cold roast sandwiches, soups made from dried stores. Try not to be too dependent on the fridge and freezer - you might store potatoes in the cellar, but the concept of frozen fish is a convenient novelty rather than a staple.
    • Know your spirits, and know when to serve tea. Sometimes, your guests will want a refreshing gin and tonic on a hot afternoon, sometimes they'll be arriving for the night out of a bitter snowstorm and need a stirrup cup as soon as they get out of their overcoats. Provide, be generous, and make them feel welcome.
    • Good manners are timeless. Don't make a show of hospitality, just be genuinely welcoming and accommodating. Putting your guests on edge by insisting on formal protocol when it's not needed isn't going to make you seem ageless, it's going to make you seem immature.
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    Develop a slight accent. As an immortal, you may very well be an immigrant; a subtle 'accent' will show this. If you're American, try to add a slight British or French speech pattern to your pronunciation. Pronounce your vowels slightly differently and try your best to subtly imitate an aristocrat in your speech. Alternatively, use the next step to make your English sound old-fashioned.
    • Remember that you aren't necessarily going to be an aristocrat. Not everyone in the past was posh, most people were just ordinary people.
    • Talk fondly but vaguely about where you grew up; Sometimes drift into melancholy at the fact that you can never go back. Even without revolutions, wars and political sea-changes, the character of most of the world has change over the past hundred years. What had once been your gamekeeper's house is now probably an outward-bound holiday center. Your lovable young grandson is buried in the churchyard, along with his wife, and their sons, and their sons. Time has moved on, and you've been left behind.
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    Improve your vocabulary. As an immortal who has seen much of the world, you most likely know and use a lot of uncommon words and phrases. Reading classic literature will help you to become familiar with terms that are less common in modern speech. (Ex. Shakespeare coined words like "ghastly" and "tongue-tied" as well as phrases like "All that glitters is not gold.") Incorporating obscure, complicated words and phrases into your speech will make you seem wiser and, therefore, older, depending on where you live.
    • Consider studying Old and Middle English. These originating forms of modern English contain wonderful words and phrases that you can use. They're fun to learn, they increase your understanding of English grammar and they're historically useful, enabling you to read old English texts such as Beowulf in the original English.
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    Take up hobbies from eras long past. Hobbies that have less appeal today but were once thriving are excellent ones to take up and learn, and the more intricate and labor-intensive, the more likely that your skills will astonish people. Think about hobbies such as lace-making, tatting, building exquisite wooden toys in the Victorian style, embroidering wall tapestries, etc. In addition, a number of hobbies that have a fresh revival can also be relied upon but take an old-fashioned slant on them rather than the more modern versions, with such hobbies as knitting, taxidermy, and tatting.
    • Sports hobbies that were once very popular but are less so now include badminton, croquet, and side-saddle riding. For sports such as tennis, resort to wearing older style fashions and playing only on grass courts. Hold garden parties with badminton and croquet as major forms of entertainment; movies like Merchant Ivory's "Room with a View" will help give you a good sense of such events in the past.
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    • Prefer card and board games over video and electronic games. Hunt through antique or secondhand stores and look for original versions of board games (with wooden, Bakelite, and glass pieces), chess sets, and cards, etc.
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    Be mature. If you want it to seem that you have lived through many ages, behaving in a mature fashion is a must. You have seen many things and learned a great deal, so aim to present an aura of wisdom without being arrogant or know-it-all. The longer you live, the more you learn how little you know!
    • Be thoughtful of others and listen to them with attentiveness.
    • Offer advice only when it is asked for; avoid bossing people around.
    • Be generous; someone who has lived a long time would know the value of giving back to others in order to lead a fulfilling life.
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    Read books from many historical eras. Western classics include The Divine Comedy, Paradise Lost, Pride and Prejudice, The Scarlet Letter, Little Women, Wuthering Heights, Leviathan, and Rebecca, but be sure to round out your knowledge with works like Gilgamesh, The Art of War, or I Ching.
    • Vampire fiction is a very Victorian, romantic choice, but avoid Twilight and all of the recent vampire novels written especially for teenage girls; instead, opt for vivid, horrifying vampire fiction like Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles.
    • Line the walls of your shelves with old, dog-eared books. Many old books are sold very cheaply or even tossed away at auctions, antique stores, and used book stores. They look amazing when filling a bookshelf and will definitely give the impression you've been around for a time. Funk it up with a mixture of books in between the beautiful of old books, such as interestingly covered books from the 30s, 50s, 60s, 80s, and modern ones to give the impression you've been an avid reader for centuries...
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    Take up calligraphy. Fancy penmanship is generally associated with past eras when people were taught to write in elegant scrolls using quills. Learn a penmanship suited to your style and personalize it with little loops here and dashes there. This might require some practice before you settle on a style that works best for you.
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    Write letters by hand. Letter writing, in lieu of text messaging or emailing, is a very immortal-ey pastime. You can put your newly learned penmanship to good use too! To really enhance the immortal effect, you can even seal your envelopes with red wax seals and write with a feather quill, as many people did in past eras.
    • Be sure to use very formal forms of address. This links back to an era when formality and manners were deeply observed. Read an old etiquette book, such as an early version by Emily Post, to get a good idea of the more formal types of salutations and content.
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    Develop a profound fascination with art and architecture from across all different ages. An eye for true art is a skill that many young people do not yet have, and so, your maturity of taste will most likely strike others as odd but intensely fascinating.
    • Borrow books on art and architecture from the library. Study as many images as possible and become familiar with the terms associated with specific eras of art and architecture so that you can use them with ease. This could come in handy when traveling through Europe, as you could point out the architectural styles effortlessly!
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    Keep your distance. Stay polite but reserved. (Don’t be too unapproachable, though, or else you won’t be able to drop all those hints you’ve been working on.) Act as though you’re not interested in developing any serious attachments. After all, you’re only passing through…
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    Be good with animals. Until about the 1950s, people had animals in their lives more than we do today. Cats were kept as mousers, horses were still used as draught animals (although they stopped pulling carriages much, much earlier). Rural people would be used to dogs as retrievers, as well as companions, and urban dwellers tended to keep chickens or rabbits for food.
    • Tend towards being affectionate but unsentimental. A good horse is a good horse, but it's not a person. There's no dichotomy to you in giving a rabbit to a child to play with for an afternoon, then serving them the same rabbit in a stew a few days later. As long as the poor beasts don't suffer unnecessarily, it's all fair.


  • Have a large collection of various items from throughout history. Anything from old chess sets to Super Mario will do. The collection of items might give off the impression that you have been around for a long time.
  • Talk about how you wonder what the next century will bring and how you are looking forward to it. Make sure it's only a passing comment. Talk about how good it is you don't have to deal with smelly peasants any more.
  • Mix up old technologies with the new. Have lots of classical music on your iPod, tons of classic books on your e-book reader, a collection of old videos next to your Blu-Ray Discs, or really old-fashioned shoes next to popping modern ones. Dress up your modern gadgets as old-technology "steampunk" wonders. Tell people that you're in the mood for "old" or "modern" technology today, and make a show of pushing aside the older or newer items when looking for the things you want.
  • Say words like glorious, dashing or absurd. If you're just starting to do this wait till school break ends then go back to school with this new lifestyle.
  • Try to make a habit of observing your surroundings carefully, or at least pretend to do that as if your "super-senses" are alert or catching something on radar.
  • If you are a good storyteller, sometimes think back to the olden times. Don't go 'oh, I had lunch with Marie Antoinette!' People will think you are silly. If somebody is talking about her, you could go 'Mm, they made very good lunch at Versailles.' If anybody asks what you meant, act startled and say you read it somewhere.
  • If you get something wrong in history, frown and mutter "Nobody gets anything right. Books have it all wrong."


  • When talking about people who lived in the past, be careful not to make it sound like you knew the person unless you're a top rate story-teller with all the facts down perfectly. Even then, realize people will easily dismiss your fantasies.
  • Telling people that you're 752 years old will bring about laughter or pity. The idea is to give the impression that you've lived over the the ages, not to actually spell it out.
  • Going overboard (i.e. "How do you do, guv'na?" every time you walk in a room) will not make you seem immortal; it’ll make you seem like an idiot.

Things You'll Need

  • Vintage or retro clothing (good quality)
  • Copies of the classics
  • Dictionary (for older words)
  • A slight accent (British etc.) or obscure vocabulary

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