Photo: Canadian Press
Some people like to play golf, others like to hike, but Ann Bruin’s hobby is making someone else’s day by entertaining passersby in costume at the end of her driveway. It’s about adding a little spice.
The aspiring Mrs. Dress Up likes to call herself the “Queen of the Cosplay Corner,” referring to the fun of costume play, a performance art in which people dress up as different characters.
Bruin said he has wowed audiences driving by by playing everything from “Star Wars” stormtroopers to “Beetlejuice.”
“I’m captivating the audience because there’s nothing else to watch…I’m the star of the show, even if it’s anonymous attention,” he said on a busy corner of Vancouver’s Southwest Marine Drive. said Bruin, who regularly dresses up to greet people.
“I know it can be boring between here and where you go, so I hope I can make your day a little more interesting,” Bruin said.
“I don’t care who they are. They don’t care who I am…It’s a really sweet and innocent moment,” she said as she and her children googly-eyed. Bruin said, recalling drivers and passing passengers honking at him.
The stay-at-home mom recently watched a YouTube tutorial video to create a replica of the Iron Throne from the hit TV series Game of Thrones using tree stumps, plywood, aluminum foil and foam.
Once the chair was completed, she put on a long white wig, dress and crown and “took it out and passed it around,” and the reaction was priceless, she said.
“One guy came and I knelt down and I had a sword so I could make him a knight. That was really funny. Then a guy driving by yelled ‘Khaleesi’.” He mentioned one of the main characters in the series.
Grace Penn, who lives near Richmond, often drives by Bruin’s house to take her son to school. The first time she stopped was to take a photo of her in her Khaleesi costume and sitting on her sword throne.
“At first I thought she was just a wax figure, but then I saw her suddenly move around as I was walking towards her. I thought, ‘Oh, she’s real,'” Peng said in an interview conducted in Mandarin. ” he said. She said: “It was really unexpected and Ann made it a really fulfilling day.”
Since then, Penn said he has looked forward to seeing the Bruin costumes as he passes by.
“She never ceases to amaze me. And I wonder how many outfits Bruin has at home, how much time she spends on makeup, and what the story is behind her.” I started it,” Penn said.
Bruin’s “costume-making journey” began three years ago when she was standing at the end of her driveway watching her children come home from school.
“As I was waiting, I noticed people looking at me, because really, there’s nothing else to look at. Right? You’re probably wondering why that person is standing on the street corner. You’re thinking,” Bruin said.
“So I thought, wouldn’t it be fun if I put on a costume? Then my kids would think it’s funny and it would give people something to pay attention to.”
Cosplay is now Bruin’s favorite pastime.
With the goal of bringing free and silly fun into people’s lives, Bruin’s costume changes from time to time depending on his mood. Sometimes she dresses up every day, but the frequency of her outings is dictated by the weather.
If it’s sunny, she might be a Barbie doll wearing pink clothes or a cute dress and standing inside a giant handmade pink paper box.
On International Women’s Day, she rolled up her sleeves and performed “Rosie the Riveter,” complete with her iconic red headband and flexing her arm muscles.
She dressed up as a member of the rock band KISS when concert tickets went on sale earlier this year, and used the costume to pay tribute to actor Betty White, who passed away in December last year.
Bruin has several ideas in the works for Halloween, including a Barbie zombie.
“Beetlejuice is so popular that we do it multiple times in October,” Bruin said.
“Sunday I was out as Beetlejuice and so many people stopped by to take pictures and just tell me they loved walking by me, so I was very honored.”
Dressing up as celebrities and characters from popular movies and TV shows is fun for Bruin, and he hopes people feel the same way.
“I’m just adding a little weirdness to your day, because you’re probably having the same day over and over again,” she said. “You never know what can help change someone’s day.”
Bruin said most people appreciate her costumes with smiles and waves, but she’s not sure if her neighbors like it as much.
“I’m sure the people across the street don’t appreciate the honking,” Bruin said.
“Not everyone is a fan, and that’s okay. I’m here for the fans,” she added.
She makes some of the costumes herself, with help from local thrift stores. Bruin said she doesn’t consider herself that creative, but she’s “brave enough” to stand on a street corner in a costume with an open heart to make people happy. said.
“It’s been three years, but I’d like to continue doing this for even longer.”