Whangarei high school technology teacher Wayne Carroll is utilising Northpower Fibre’s ultra fast broadband (UFB) network to bring the local cosplay (a performance art that sees participants, called cosplayers, wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent sci-fi, gaming, anime and comic characters) community together.
Wayne runs ‘Wayne’s Workshop’ technology and cosplay hobby workshops two nights a week from his home. Local enthusiasts gather together to research images and ideas online, through Wayne’s reliable fibre connection, before setting about building their costumes.
Prior to connecting to the Northpower Fibre UFB network, Wayne’s home broadband connection was plagued by ‘drop outs’. His family now have up to 21 devices connected at times, with no glitches.
Since 2017, Wayne has been making cosplay creations. Utilising the practical skills he’d picked up over years helping his father in his home workshop, Wayne set about creating himself a costume of legendary war hero Sergeant Marcus Michael Fenix from the Xbox game Gears of War 3.
Wayne wore the costume to Armageddon, the major calendar event for New Zealand cosplayers.
He left the expo commended highly in the novice section, receiving an award for ‘best technical’ craftsmanship.
“I drove all the way home to Whangarei wondering how on earth that happened. It was amazing.”
Wayne used the same costume the following year at the Whangarei Bernina Fashion Awards and won the best cosplay section.
He quickly became recognised as a legitimate cosplay costume maker, and soon decided others could benefit from his costume-making skill – and Wayne’s Workshop was born.
“I hate sitting in my workshop or my classroom by myself. Life’s best done with people in it.”
He says some people come with no concept or experience in costume making.
“So many young people in our society don’t have the opportunity to have a creative influence around them. They’ll get a little bit at school but when they leave school that’s it. I’m just giving them enough skills to get them going in the right direction without cutting their thumb off. It’s what my dad did for me.”