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Cosplayer and local sci-fi fan Angela Street walks us through the process of getting into character

Angela Street is dressed as the Pokemon character Venusaur, in a costume she made herself.
Angela Street is dressed as the Pokemon character Venusaur, in a costume she made herself.

Like most people, when Angela Street is watching a show or movie, she can’t help thinking she’d like to live a day as some of the heroes she’s watching.

The difference is Street does live days as these characters. In fact, she’s lived countless days as her favourites from the Harry Potter universe and Super-Man, to more obscure anime characters.   

Street is big into cosplay, and one of her stomping grounds is the annual Atlanti-Con Science Fiction convention in Corner Brook.

Last year, Street wore the costume of a new character for every day of the convention, and she plans to do the same this year. An arduous task considering Street often designs and sews the costumes she wears.

She says, like most other cosplayers, the process of getting into character all starts with the list.

Cosplayers will add characters to the list when they realize they like their outfit, or the character themselves. But as Street explains, this list will probably never be completely realized as a full set of costumes.

“I was talking to a young girl at one of our cosplay meet-ups, and we were talking about this — the never ending list of cosplays you’d like to cosplay.”

Street says it doesn’t matter how ambitious the costume might be — if she likes the character or the costume, it goes on her list.

Yet Sci-Fi is a genre known for pushing the boundaries on characters and worlds — and the shows and movies Street is referring to often have big budgets to put into costume design. Just think of some of the get-ups in a show like Game of Thrones, or a movie like “Lord of the Rings.” So, how does she pull it off in Corner Brook?  

“The list gets broken down into ‘is it feasible for me to do this?’ says Street. “Some things are more elaborate than others so I might not have the funds to do it. Cosplay is usually very expensive, materials will run me into a lot of money.”

Street says she shops at Fabricville, but also uses the Internet to order certain costumes in. She also makes use of her time when in St. John’s, where she might find a certain item at a thrift store or at Michael’s. She’ll hold onto it if it has potential to be used for a future costume.

Street also tries to make her own sewing patterns. If she sees a costume she’d like to recreate, like a certain character’s trench coat, she’ll try to modify it to make it her own.  However, she says, cosplayers have banded together through the internet, where things like sewing patterns for certain characters are more readily available than ever.

Street will be the character behind Atlanti-Con’s costume contest this year.

It takes place on the final day of the convention, and is a time, she says, when people tend to go full bore with their decoration.

It’s the part of the weekend she’s looking forward to most, she admits.

But is there a time she’s not looking forward to?

Actually putting on the costumes, she says. “With the prosthetics, and all the details, these costumes can take hours to get into – and with conventions you have to be there for 9 a.m. or earlier” says Street.

Sounds like the cosplayers will also be a group of early-risers.

Atlanti-Con takes place this weekend at the Corner Brook Civic Centre. Street’s costume contest takes place on Sunday.

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