MEET BRIGIT FIDDLE
What city are you based in?
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I'm a full-time violinist and performer. I've played all over the world (Canada, US, England, Belgium, France, Hungary and Austria so far) and specialize in playing more modern styles on violin like Top40, hip-hop, rock, Bollywood, and more. I'm also a member of the Canadian Synesthesia Association because I was born with the ability to taste music (which comes in handy for my job haha).
In general, I love dogs, trying new foods, and meeting new people!
What fandoms are you into?
I'm kind of all over the place with fandoms! I fell in love with Studio Ghibli as a kid, then Lord of the Rings as an early teen, then X-Men in high school and got back into anime in the past few years (specifically Demon Slayer, Mob Psycho, Dr. Stone, the first season of Promised Neverland, etc). I also got into DnD as a hobby in my early 20s, which led me to listen to The Adventure Zone: Balance Arc at least 3 times. I'm sure I'll become a huge fan of Critical Role as soon as I start it. haha In every medium, there are so many intensely creative and well-done forms of art to be a fan of and a great community to go along with each one. Right now, what I'm most excited for is the show The Rings of Power and the second half of season 2 of The Owl House. Can't wait!!
Can you tell us about your first cosplay?
My VERY first cosplay was a Harley Quinn Halloween costume I made in 1st year University (aka 2009). I remembered loving her character in Batman: The Animated Series and making a hat and dress in the style of her signature black and red body suit. I even had the frilly cuffs! I wore it at least 3 more times to different costume parties and it was the cosplay I wore when busking outside FanExpo for the first time in 2016.
Do you have a cosplay piece that you are most proud of?
The cosplay I'm most proud of is my Sailor Jupiter look. I was getting ready for my very first Toronto ComicCon in March and sent a message to my friend and fellow cosplayer, Bear Sailor Moon. I asked if he could help me make the basics of the fuku (aka green collar, bows and skirt) and he very kindly agreed. Before I knew it, I was at his house twice a week and running between fabric stores. I had never used a sewing machine before and barely knew how to pin or iron fabric, but by the time March rolled around, I was decked out all in green with a matching gold tiara (made out of a piece of foam I spray painted and glued to my forehead). I even got to wear it for an interview/performance on City TV's Breakfast Television! Jupiter has ALWAYS been my favourite Sailor Scout for so many reasons like her love of gardening, making food for friends, and standing up for others, as well as definitely being the tallest one of her friends. haha I've since upgraded certain pieces of it; I commissioned a resin artist, MiranaDances, to make me a tiara and bow gem, as well as the arm rolls that top off the gloves. It's my favourite not only because of the character, but because I learned so much in such a short time and it really got me started on my cosplay journey.
What do you hope to achieve through cosplay?
I have three main goals I hope to achieve through cosplay.
1) Learning: I want to learn as much as possible about outfit creation and design so that I can create custom pieces for the stage and future conventions. I'm considered very tall for women's fashion at 5'11 and I've always struggled to find things in my size. I now have three separate tool kits for building and creating, each containing at least 4 different kinds of glue and tape. haha
2) Community: I LOVE this community! Every single person is in it because they love something, and through cosplay, they are able to find others to share that with. Every person who cosplays brings something new to the table and makes the community a much more vibrant place. I've commissioned whole cosplays that are too complicated for me to make from creators I've met through the conventions (like the incredible RavenCourt Clothing) and I can't WAIT to wear them! I'm not the best at creating cosplay, but it's so exciting bringing people together through their love of music, specifically theme songs to videogames, anime, TV shows and film. It's especially fun to play for people I can tell are new-commers and they look kinda nervous about everyone's cosplays being "better" or "more professional". As soon as I play for them and they recognize the theme, it makes them feel more invited in and accepted. It's great getting to see those beginner cosplayers come back next time with more confidence and a new cosplay.
3) FUN!: As a self-employed musician who's been working from home before it caught on, I never used to make time for any hobbies outside of...ugh...doing more work? Or networking with other business owners and musicians for future projects and work opportunities. Or practicing. It got to a point where I didn't have a clear divide between work life and any kind of hobby and that got exhausting. But with cosplay, the things I do and make don't have to look "professional" or be perfect. It's all about having fun and hanging out with new people who you can talk to about the newest episode of the show you're both loving.
At one point, I was blacklisted from a few companies and clients because they gave me the ultimatum of "stop posting this weird cosplay stuff on your personal pages or we can't work with you anymore". It was really hard to decide, but I took the financial hit and chose fun over snobs. Funnily enough, most have come back years later to offer me gigs because of the 20+ Million views the convention videos have garnered.
As I continue to grow my business, I'll keep up with the fun and excitement that cosplay and this amazing community offers!
If you could give any piece of advice to new cosplayers, what would it be?
1) Start. Just start. I know it might seem intimidating going to a convention and seeing so many people with incredible cosplays, but just know they ALL started where you are now. ValueVillage and Dollerama are your best friends to buy and modify pieces to create a whole cosplay without the need for a fancy sewing machine.
2) Pick a character you LOVE! No matter if you don't have the hair colour, skin tone, build, or exact right outfit to perfectly fit this character, go for it! There will be a small fraction of snobs (usually not even in cosplay) who will point out the "imperfections" in your cosplay, but just know 99% of the community will be so excited to see you show off your hard work.
3) Go with a friend. When I first started cosplaying, I was nervous to go in there by myself. But my friend Merissa (animation editor on multiple award winning shows) made an EPIC Sailor Neptune cosplay and together, as Sailor Scouts, we had a BLAST! We've since made 15 "Violin Girl" videos together with her on camera/lead editor, her fiancé Evan as PA (aka holding the backpack and making sure we remember to drink water) and me just kinda running around. haha
Going with a friend means you always have someone to talk to if you're nervous and it's double the fun when you get more confident. It also means you two can work on cosplays together to get ready for the next convention!