We had the good fortune of connecting with Jay Fett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jay, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
I think folks not directly involved in the cosplay community probably underestimate how challenging it is, both physically and emotionally. Building anything is a challenge, but it’s also challenging putting your cosplay on, going out and dealing with it for 6+ hours at a con. There’s always the struggle of “is this accurate enough” or “do I look good as this character,” not to mention how uncomfortable and difficult some of these things are to wear! It’s really taxing, not just slipping on a Halloween store-type costume and going out.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been doing this for almost five years now, and I’m completely driven by my love for the characters I portray and their designs. I think my best quality is my absolute refusal to take any project as a lost cause. My greatest work, I think, is my Din Djarin (The Mandalorian) cosplay. It took me over a year, and pretty much everything had an obstacle. Like some of my other projects, there were sizing issues, paint failures, tons of mistakes along the way. But I’ve always sat back and told myself “we’ll cry and be upset for a bit, but that won’t solve anything, so let’s get back in the saddle and get it done.” And I have. I’ve learned I can be my own worst critic, but I also have an immense amount of faith in myself, which I think is really important. It sounds corny, but believing in yourself is so vital to getting anything done. I’m a nerd first and a cosplayer second: when I’m building, the main thing that drives me is my love and respect for the characters, and I take a lot of pride in paying tribute to the characters I cosplay.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I spend more time hanging out in Coral Gables than anything. Walking Miracle Mile or Giralda- it’s just the right vibe for me. It’s maybe not the best example of the “nightlife” in Miami, but I like the vibe there. Depending on when payday is, I’d totally take them to Hillstone. It’s probably my favorite restaurant in Miami. Other than eating and walking around, I think my favorite place in Miami is Vizcaya. It’s a tourist spot, but it’s just so pretty and probably one of the nicest historically significant places here. I recommend it to anyone who’s never been here before- it’s so worth it for a little taste of elegance.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I really never expected to make it as far as I have in this hobby, and I couldn’t have done all that I’ve done without the support of the community. I’ve met some really kind cosplay builders who have gone above and beyond in helping me through challenges, and those folks have remained my friends to this day. I’m also super grateful for the support of both my parents. My mom, who’s my self-proclaimed “biggest fan,” and my pops, who takes such awesome pictures of me and has helped me with more than a few challenging projects.