I do funny things, like once I convinced a girl that if she licked a drinking horn enough she could stick it to her head, or the time I did a front flip in a dance tournament and ruined the game. I got told I was epic for that, and I had to convince myself that's just gratuitous praise and not to smack them with a dictionary and rant at the unconscious crumple that if I were "Epic" I'd have summoned the forces of Heaven, Hell, Asgard and a Gurhka Soldier to aid me in said dance tournament (let's be honest, I'd have still lost).
Someone uploads a video to youtube, with no obvious talent or skill, yet throws out crap about their fandoms as if they wrote/drew/animated/slept with the sponsors/printed the media themselves. Someone, obviously lacking in proper judgement, tells them they are epic. Sound familiar? Unless the youtube video has a clip of the talker in a dimension where one must fight a centaur to the death with a Klingon Bat'leth in order to win the right to talk about their fandom, then no my fuzzy plebeian, no, this is not "epic".
I was recently told of someone at a previous convention who got drunk, danced then had a funny picture taken of them sitting at a table in a cafe/shop/homelesss shelter/kennel (I didn't give two flying shits) in full cosplay, and that it was epic. Okay, maybe some folk see things differently in their heads, but if you want to know what it's like to get Epic at a convention I'll introduce you to my friends Cid, and Crimson. You'll wake up with a head full of regret, and feel like you've lost several years of your life span. "Epic" is not without consequences, that's why it's Epic.
There's also the debate on "epic cosplayers", so I'll lay out my basic guideline on how to rate them, starting with the base line, the standard cosplayer.
These guys may or may not buy their stuff online, and look like every other cookie cutter cosplayer of that character. Nothing special, just that character. But that's okay, if somewhat chronically lacking in imagination and aspiration, they set out to tick the minimal amount of boxes and that's what they did, as if they have a quota on how much ink to use in their box ticking pen. They look like that character, job done, look at me, I'm a fuckin' sheep. Nothing "Epic" about it, just "A Cosplayer", nothing more, nothing less, doing exactly what you should do and unable to break past that.
A little bit of imagination goes a hell of a long way, and it's a risk that the brave or the stupid take, mostly the stupid. I've mentioned before on how hit and miss this is, but when it hits it'll hit hard.
I'm going to use a Cosplayer who most of us know of, I hope you don't mind me writing about you Xaerael. He's won some big time prizes for his stuff (go look them up, you ass) and this is my personal opinion of why; he not only takes on some ridiculously tough projects but two in particular; Nina Tucker and Skekskil hit a nerve; Nina because her story is incredibly sad, tragic yet so very twisted, the sight of that particular version of her evokes an emotion many individuals would rarely feel. In layman's terms it's like feeling like wanting to cry, vomit and get angry at the same time... I'm so sorry for that analogy, Xaerael. Skeksil is from a movie that uppercuts a fistful of nostalgia right in me taint, seeing that reminds me of that epic fantasy movie and thus evokes that rare emotion. Putting aside that Xaerael is a master of props and all that shenanigans, I'm not talking about the quality of the cosplay, but what the cosplay is. The quality part of the cosplay should already exist from the base of the Standard Cosplayer.
There's nothing wrong with looking exactly like your character, and in the process like every other person in that costume. You're all doing a fantastic job of showing your love of the character/costume, no really, well done.
I don't have the answers on how to stand out from the crowd, or how to enhance your cosplay. All I can say is think about what other fans of that character love about it, but not the yaoii/yuri weebs, or any weebs. A little imagination, and love for what you do goes a long way. If you're fulfilling the minimum criteria there's nothing wrong with that, you'll just fade into the background.
It might just be me, but I find that sometimes some people talk about things as epic when they want it to be so much more. It's only highlighting their own disappointment.