Channeling your character: Marie Meade, cosplayer

‘Don’t limit yourself because of what other people say.’


Cosplay is defined as the practice of dressing yourself up in costumes and accessories to look like a character from a movie, book or TV show. People cosplay mostly as characters from a Japanese anime or manga. Marie Meade grew up in Fredericton. She’s a third year Anthropology student at St. Thomas University. She’s a cosplayer and a member of Capital Cosplay. She has cosplayed as Regina from Once Upon a Time, Tohru Honda from Fruits Basket and will be cosplaying next as Princess Serenity from Sailor Moon.

Marie Meade cosplaying as Regina from Once Upon a Time. Credit: Akemi Productions
Marie Meade cosplaying as Regina from Once Upon a Time. Credit: Akemi Productions

When did you first start cosplaying?

Officially, I started seeing myself as a cosplayer about a year ago, because that’s when I started going to conventions. Mind you, I’ve always loved putting together costumes.

The first costume I remember doing as a specific character, I was six. I really liked this pink belly-dancer costume for Halloween one year and she was like “OK, yeah.” Like, it’s not an evil character, because my mom had something against me doing villains. And then she was like “Oh, look, you’re a belly dancer. That’s a really nice belly-dancer costume.” No. I am Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie.


What events have you cosplayed at?

I’ve cosplayed in Christmas parades for Capital Cosplay. I mainly do cosplay for conventions but I have cosplayed for fundraisers. I cosplay for fun; I cosplay for work. Cosplay can be for everything, whenever, wherever.


Where’s the best place to buy items to make your own cosplay?

I get stuff where I can find it. There’s not really one magical place that has everything that you need. It all depends on what you’re doing, what accuracy you want, and what quality you want.

I can go to Walmart during Halloween season and I could get a cheap $10 wig, or I could go to a convention or order online a $60 wig that I know I can curl, I can style the way I need it, and it doesn’t look like a wig.


What’s your best memory during a cosplay event?

There’s not really one best, I have a best memory for every event I’ve gone to. I guess my best memories are meeting new people.


What does cosplay mean to you?

For me, it really started out as like, I’ve always had a passion for costumes, and I’ve always had a passion for putting together costumes. For me, it really is a hobby that I am passionate about. It’s really the feeling that I get from cosplay because I’m actually a generally shy person.

I have social anxiety, and I have general anxiety. I don’t like going out; I don’t like being in groups of people. But when I’m in cosplay, I channel the energy of that character. Even when I’m acting like Regina, I tend to speak up more often and I’ll interact with people and I’ll stand up for myself more when I’m in cosplay.


What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of cosplaying but is nervous?

Do it. If you want to do, do it. If you want to modify a character, do it. If you want to gender-bend, do it. Cosplay has no boundaries. Don’t limit yourself because of what other people say. As long as you feel comfortable.