Meet your Weekend Workshop Cosplay Instructor!
Want to know more about MMA's Cosplay Weekend Workshop? Learn more about it straight from the instructor's (Bridget Hennigan's) point of view.
Not only can you get more information about the Cosplay Weekend Workshop, but get to know your instructor before classes start on April 13th and 14th.
Without further ado, here is the transcript from my conversation with Bridget Hennigan.
Interview with Bridget Hennigan, Weekend Workshop Cosplay Instructor
Getting To Know Bridget
(Photo by Don Dolce Photography)
Matt: How did you get involved with multimedia Makeup Academy.
Bridget: It was quite a long time ago I think I was 16 years old. And it actually had to do with cosplay makeup. I wanted to run a cosplay makeup booth a Youmacon that year, and I had to have a makeup license to do so because of sanitation issues and what-not. So. I decided to enroll here.
Matt: You heard it here first, folks! Certification and sanitation are essential!
And what is cosplay?
Bridget: Cosplay is essentially just dressing up as a character. A lot of times people associate it with comics or Japanese anime and manga. But it really can be any sort of character you can ever imagine.
Matt: Well if I could, let's let's jump into something I wanted to know about you on a personal level. Do you remember what your first cosplay was?
Bridget: I would say the first cosplay I ever wore to a convention was Tenten from Naruto. And I didn't wear any makeup with it. It's kinda ironic.
Matt: That brings up my next point, though. I did want to ask if there is anything you know now, that you wish you could fix from your first cosplay. I'm guessing that answer starts with adding some makeup?
Bridget: This character, she's a female ninja. Like she doesn't wear makeup. She's just, you know, she's all natural, so you know that doesn't really make sense why would I put makeup on?
But, again going back to the whole character look alike thing, even though she doesn't wear makeup there's a lot I could do to my face to make myself look like her. And to look like a cartoon character. So that's something I wish I would've known. Also, I wish I knew how to better manage my expenses. I didn't know what I was getting myself to.
Matt: I actually have done some cosplay, but it was constrained. I was Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly if you've ever seen it.
Bridget: I'm kind of familiar with it.
Matt: It was just me trying to get like the costume-thing going. I didn't do anything with the makeup.
So where does your class come in for someone like me? Are you taking someone with limited knowledge, and getting them to the next level?
Bridget: Yes definitely.
I think this class would be fantastic for anyone who wanted to take their cosplay...maybe to a more professional level. Perhaps it's also great if you just want to have some really nice looking photos. This class won't be for ONLY the novice or the professional.
The thing with makeup in cosplay is that...what we're trying to do is make you appear character-like in your photos. For example, let's say you have a little redness on your face in real life. That might be amplified in the photographs! Whereas this class will help you to be able to tone those things down. You will appear more like what you would be to the naked eye AND look more like a character. And there are lots of different styles of cosplay makeup, but this class specializes in that character look-alike makeup.
Matt: I've seen some cosplayers that do like a shaded cell sort of look. Is it something to that effect or is your class all-encompassing?
Bridget: I think I would say all-encompassing. We're more going to focus on how a lot of people will apply their cosplay makeup in Asian countries. So lots of emphasis on the eyeliner and kind of trying to make your face shape appear close to the characters. Trying to match those sorts of like just general shapes on their face. I'm doing that in a highly realistic way but also in a way that makes it look as though you've popped off the screen.
Matt: So the phrase we're talking about here is "super-authentic."
Bridget: Yes we're pulling everything from that side of the world, and that's where it all started, right?
Matt: Is cost-effectiveness something that your class and the knowledge you'll share, will benefit?
Bridget: Yes actually! It definitely depends, but you just have to plan well and stay focused.
You know becoming pro in and focusing on the craftsmanship side of things...It can be costly, but that's not to say that you can't make a costume that you know looks like super legitimate and still have it be cost effective. It's just it's all about budgeting and watching for sales knowing where to buy things that are work. But knowing the direction you want to go and knowing more about makeup is the best way to start.
Matt: Does any of that go into the conversation for this class or do you expect to take a moment and explain any of the financials?
Bridget: Yeah definitely because I think when people get into cosplay they feel they have to spend like tons and tons of money on things. But there's actually a lot of very cost-effective products that you can use. The products appear just as good as something say that's like fifty dollars.
You can have something like...(Christina, fellow MMA instructor, gives Bridget a look and a smile) *Laughing* Oh My gosh she's just making fun of me because I use bougie makeup but you know there's a lot of things I use that are pretty low cost too.
Like for example I use a drugstore mascara, and it works perfectly fine, and it lasts all day. It doesn't bleed everywhere.
That's also what we'll cover in the classes is how to make your makeup last. Because I think something I wish I would've known before I got into cosplay, is ensuring your work lasts an entire day. If you're doing photo shoots at a convention and you have one photoshoot at 9 a.m. and one at 7pm. There's gonna be a big difference in the way your makeup looks if you don't keep it up and you don't know how to strategize. So we'll definitely go over ways to make sure that your makeup lasts as long as possible.
Anyone Can Learn from the Cosplay Weekend Workshop
Matt: What do cosplayers...I don't know if I want to say get wrong...but what have they overlooked? Is there anything else that comes to mind that you feel is missed by "Do-It-Your-Self-Ers" and will help them take the next step?
Bridget: I think I would definitely say that cosplayers probably overlook the cruel nature of the camera. When I first got into cosplay and stuff, I would spend a fair amount of time on my makeup, and then I'll get a photo back, and I'd see that there was like a little dot of mascara somewhere maybe.
The foundation on my jaw didn't match my neck quite well enough, or maybe there was a little more eye shadow on my left eye than my right. And these things are going to be picked up by the camera. Ask yourself: Do you know how the details of the makeup really do show up on camera?
Matt: And that's definitely something where if they're taking your course they're going to get into the nitty-gritty of what those details are and how they're going to be able to go step by step.
Bridget: Yes! Exactly! I'd say it's about taking time on your makeup and not rushing. That's probably the most important thing about any kind of makeup application, in general, is taking your time. Making sure to blend any hard set harsh edges to ensure that harsh edges that you want to be there are very clean and crisp.
Matt: That's something actually I know I'd need to hear because I know I don't do a lot of makeup, so I do need all the general (ideas I can get).
What would you like to say to potential students when it comes to someone deciding whether or not they're going to take this class.
Bridget: I think people should remember that this class is definitely going to be fun. I think it's gonna be informative too. This is gonna be a class that's a lot different than say a YouTube tutorial that you could look up on makeup.
You know I think...a lot of times nowadays people think they can go on YouTube and find the answer to everything. But actually, I would say that the cosplay makeup tutorials on YouTube are very sparse and definitely don't go over more professional makeup techniques.
I would say the central core of these classes is that we're going through cosplay makeup with someone who's been involved as a cosplayer since they were a child. But also has professional knowledge of makeup and beauty trends. I'll be able to show you how to create informed-makeup-looks, for any character possible.
Matt: For anybody that would say YouTube videos are good enough, what would you respond with?
Bridget: I think I would definitely say the experience of being able to help people with specific problems and specific characters they're wondering about. Being able to ask me questions specifically about their skin type or the way that their body works or how their face takes a unique makeup.
Matt: Do you think there's going to be an excellent opportunity to network with other cosplayers?
Bridget: Oh yeah definitely! And I think being able to connect with cosplayers through makeup and crafting is definitely one of the great things about the hobby or the endeavor in general.
I mean it's not like it's not like people have a ton of options for like talking to cosplayers. Unless you go to a convention.
I'm sure if you're going to take this class you're probably really into cosplay or at least genuinely interested in it. So you know it would be nice to be around a group of people that you know are all like *WOO* *Dances* "YAY COSPLAY!"
Cosplay is a Truly Special Experience
Matt: I'd have to imagine one of the things that makes cosplay so unique is that performance aspect of it. How do you how do you feel personally and emotionally with those performance aspects of cosplay? What Does that mean to you as opposed to any other beauty or makeup exercise that you've done?
Bridget: Well I think just being someone who's always been involved in theater and Singing and stuff, I just enjoy taking on like another person's personality, like just for the fun of it and the interest of it.
I like being able to Transform myself into being someone that I'm not. And To have fun playing that person.
And going outside of the norm is incredible! I cosplay a lot of male characters who are cool with like the swords and things. Like Gaara from Naruto or...
Matt: I'm guessing Naruto is your favorite?
Bridget: Actually I'm a pretty big Death Note girl! Mello was my man back in middle school. Oh yes! Who I also cosplayed. That was another one of my first cosplays.
Matt: That would be fun to see.
Bridget: I did wear makeup for that one, but it melted off.
Matt: Oh no! More reason to take this class though! You learn best from making those kinds of "happy accidents."
Bridget: But I like being able to take on that sort of persona and sit back in the chair and you know? Like how it's just... it's interesting. Being in somebody else's shoes is Interesting.
Matt: I know for myself, I'm an introvert. And I like to say I'm an introvert who plays an extrovert on TV, so I can at least pretend to get far enough in life. But the couple of times that I've done cosplay, I feel like a whole new person. And I'm walking around like I'm 10 feet tall myself and...
Bridget: YOU FEEL SO GOOD!
Bridget: I don't know what it is?!
Matt: [00:17:06] But you know I think I think it's like a mix of the camaraderie that comes from cosplay. Where you're at these events and you are cosplaying and not only are you doing that performance but everyone around you wants you to perform and do well in that performance. If you're a comic book hero, they want to see you do those comic-book hero things.
Bridget: It's just like the one person who's cosplaying this super niche character that nobody knows about, and then you see the cosplay, and you're like. OOOOOOOH! I loooove this character!!!! It's a unique moment for the two of you!
Join us April 13th and 14th for the Multimedia Makeup Academy's Cosplay Weekend Workshop
Matt: I'm guilty of trying to wear T-shirts where I can get that sort of reaction. Where I can have just that one person go: "I love that T-shirt!"
So with that, I don't know if you have any parting words, but it'll be April 13th that the exciting and unique class will take place!
Bridget: [00:18:02] Awesome. Oh yes. Well, I think I just want to say that we're gonna have some cosplay fun.
Bridget: We're gonna get down and dirty with those makeup brushes and really have a ball!
Don't forget! If you want to sign up for both classes, you must sign up for both separately!
Classes will take place at the Multimedia Makeup Academy
200 Kirts Blvd, Troy MI, 48084