'You can do this': Sask. cosplayer bringing characters to life and building community
MeggiiCosplay is one of the cosplay judges at Saskatchewan Entertainment Expo in Regina this weekend
Some days she's a comic character, others she looks straight out of an Anime movie.
Meghan Huget is a cosplayer and she's hoping to make it a career.
Huget, who goes by MeggiiCosplay online, is one of the judges for this weekend's Cosplay Contest at the Saskatchewan Entertainment Expo in Regina on May 4 and 5.
The expo is at the International Trade Centre and has national and international guests that include Star Trek's LeVar Burton, Walking Dead's Laurie Holden among others. The event also has a variety of vendors and comic book artists to share their work.
Huget started cosplaying about eight years ago. She's now reached a point where it pays for itself and hopes to turn it into a full-time gig.
It started when her friends were going to a convention in Saskatoon.
"We stayed up basically all night the night before making these costumes for the fandom that we loved," she said. "It was an absolutely amazing time. We had a huge group. Everybody cosplayed kind of the same thing and it was just very positive experience."
The group went together as characters from Homestuck, a webcomic. She said it was intimidating at first because she had never done anything like it. Growing up, she didn't know too many people who liked things like this, she said.
"Just stepping in costume, seeing all these amazing people, it was really overwhelming," Huget said. "But throughout the day I talked to people got to meet others who love the same things as me — I don't think I've ever been happier than that moment."
Huget decided to try to go professional after looking at her future and trying to figure out what she wanted to do. She found she could make money on social media through prints and similar items, and by companies paying for ads.
"Even just walking through the convention in that costume, all the comments of the people — Just like the attention, it was really outstanding and crazy," she said. "I thought I would never be able to do something like that really."
Huget isn't sure how much she's spent through the years, but when she first started each costume was around $200, she said. Huget estimated she has around 50 to 80 costumes.
"I'm working on something right now that so far has cost around $500. And I'm looking to invest a lot more into it," she said. "So it's not a cheap hobby."
She said it is no different than people dressing up to watch sports, just more nerdy.
"It's a chance to bring characters I love to life," she said. "This gives me a chance to really like express myself to show everything I can create."
Huget has also met many different people through cosplaying, she said.
"Seeing the light in their eyes when you like bring their favourite character to life — you really get to have a connection with them," she said.
"I wish more people would kind of realize that it's so much about connections and making friends. Like you're not alone and you can do this."