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Tell us about your first cosplay experience.

My first cosplay experience was AWA6 since it was my first full-fledged anime convention.  Though I had been to conventions before this (Megacon for 2 years), the thought of me wearing costumes intrigued me.  Since my mom never really liked Halloween much, I didn't ever get to do a lot of costume stuff for it, so I figured this would be good payback for all those missed years. 

But anyway, I finally decided on a costume I wanted to do. Not having been exposed to anime long, I hadn't seen many shows, so I was really into Sailor Moon at the time (Who hasn't been at one point or another?). But instead of being Tuxedo Mask like I had seen other people do a lot, I was Tuxedo Melvin.  Plus the fact I didn't have contact lenses back then so wearing glasses was easy to work into the costume. 

After we got done buying half of it from thrift stores and such, we traveled the long road to Anime Weekend Atlanta, and there is where my cosplay fun began.  I mean, going from just getting your picture taken by your parents to having tons of people doing it, who wouldn't want to keep making costumes?

What is your favorite thing about cosplay?

Well of course, thinking the way I do and how I am just in general, I would say it would be for the attention/recognition.  But not just for winning stuff. I mean, when someone comes up and takes a picture and says "cool costume," that's a really cool feeling for a stranger to come up and do that.   Also, getting to "act" on stage is a really fun thing to do, in my eyes.  Though I may not be an actor, I do like to get up on stage and entertain people once in awhile.  And some of the places that have the cosplay contests can be really overwhelming, such as Anime Expo or Otakon. Though I have been to both, I have only been in Otakon's cosplay contest.  This was one of the most thrilling experiences in my life; getting up in front of 4,000 anime fans and acting like a fool was really fun!

What don't you like about cosplay?

Personally, there isn't much I don't like, though other people seem to think that it's evil, or stupid, and some think that its just a waste of time and money. Though they may be right, that's their opinion, so they can have it.  But I think the thing I don't really like about cosplay is that some people think it's a life or death situation to win.

I mean, being competitive is cool and all, but if you base your life on whether you win or lose, it won't be a fun life.  I don't have a real fret with cosplay. People all run their contests how they want, and since they are at their con, I assume they can do that.  I just like to have fun; that's all there is to it.

What's your favorite part or step in the process of creating a costume?

I would have to say the best part of creating a costume is this: when you are finally starting to get it together and try it on for the first time, it's great to see your handi-work actually on you which makes you start to think how other people will like it. 

How about your most dreaded part?

One of the things I hate most about doing costumes is the detailing. In most of my costumes, I do have a good bit of detail, and that's because I get really picky when it comes to the small things, since I think that's what makes the costume.  So trying to think of how to do the little things and actually doing them is the hardest part since I can be so anal about it.

Favorite anime and why?

Actually, some may be surprised to find out that I have recently changed my favorite anime.  After being Trigun for many years, it has now changed to One Piece.  I simply love everything about this show. Though some people don't like it because of the weird animation, or the length of it, I just can't find anything bad about this show.  I mean, who doesn't like pirates?  Having a cast of kids about our ages it makes it even cooler, and not all the crew has special powers so it adds a kind of actual feeling to it.  It's totally ridiculous and makes no sense at times.

Tell us about your anime music video background.

I'm a part of Cucumber Studios with a few of my friends. I've been making AMVs since 2001 and have only produced 6 in my first 2 years.  With school being demanding at this time in my life, it's been really hard to sit down and come up with something solid for an idea.  Hopefully, I'll have a few new things this year for the fans.  This is a real passion I have now for some reason. Personally, it's just something funny to do at cons, but it can be really deep and thoughtful to others.  So the diversity of it is a really cool aspect, and there are so many other editors out there; it's fun to meet them all.  Editing can go into other things as well. *cough* documentaries *cough*

What's the story behind the cucumber?

You guys really don't know how often I get asked this question.  Well anyway, it all started back at JACON 2001, where, after being friends with More Than Toast (an anime music video group) for awhile, we had really grown to like "I'm a Cucumber" video. We thought, "Hey, why don't we have cucumbers when they play it, it'll be funny." So after we did that, we decided to put it into our cosplay for some odd reason that I don't really remember, but since when has my cosplay made sense?  Then after JACON, we started making anime music videos and came up with the studio name, Cucumber Studios.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? 10 years?

I'll be in college until 2008 or so since I'm not really sure what I want to major in yet.  In 10 years, I would like to maybe live in Japan, or at least be working here in the States on video editing for some big company.  I will still, hopefully, be going to conventions, but I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to do the cosplay thing, though I said I was going to quit a few times now and it just never seems to happen.

Tips and tricks for costume or prop construction?

I would say that paying attention to detail is one of the key factors in doing any kind of costume.  Even if you've chosen an uncomplicated costume, you should try to think of something that you could add to it that would make you stand out from all those other same character costumes.  Also, when trying to find things to use, keep an open mind.  You can make things so many different ways, or just find things similar to what you need, and adapt them to how you want.  And never throw anything away, there are many uses for random junk lying around. 

As for making props, try to find someone who knows what they are talking about and knows how to make different things before you try to do something yourself. It's always best to be prepared, or at least have an idea of what you're getting
into.  With the internet nowadays, you can almost always find someone with the knowledge you need.

What is your source for strength in life?

This would definitely have to be my parents because without them, I wouldn't be who I am.  Both in life and costuming, they have been a really big help and inspiration.  My mom, knowing how to sew and teaching me what she knows about fabrics and such, has really helped me figure out a lot of things during the actual construction of the costumes.  Not only that, but she is the one that takes me and my friends to the conventions every time.   And my Dad...without him, my costumes would have been just "OK," but with his insight in so many different areas, my costumes have really turned out way better than I could have ever thought.  But hey, I don't think it's cheesy to say I love my parents. Without them I wouldn't be anything.

What would be the ultimate cosplay for you to attempt?

Though I have talked to people about some things that I would like to do but probably couldn't with the materials I have now or without spending tons of money on the things I would need, there isn't really a costume that I "couldn't" do or at least attempt.  I mean, there is a way to do everything, so I'm sure if I just took enough time and effort, I could get anything done.  I would really like to have a Guyver suit; those are just so awesome.

View Brian's Cosplay Lab profile here

Any rumors to dispel?

I'm not gay; I have a girlfriend.  I don't have some weird fetish with cucumbers...that's just sick.  I like video games more than anime.  I'm going to keep going to conventions for a long time after I stop cosplaying.  Aside from that, I don't think there is anything else I need to dispel, but if you have some questions about me or what I do, feel free to email me.

Brian, you are a fantastic cosplayer and I've enjoyed your stage shows and witty antics. Your costumes and personality really convey how fun cosplay can and should be. I believe anyone who puts forth as much effort as you into something important to them, they will have great success in life. Having a tight relationship with your parents is also significant. After all, a family that cosplays together lives longer, or something like that. Good luck!

Garry aka Prof

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