I wanted to talk about Cosplay because Fundy Fan Fest is coming up and we are hosting a Cosplay Masquerade! I think that’s pretty exciting, even if I won’t be taking part (cause I’ll be on staff). Shushuwafflez will be judging for us! That’s even more exciting to me. I may or may not have fangirled over her the first time I got to see her in person.
Funny thing though- I’ve never attended or participated in a cosplay Masquerade or contest under any other name. I got a little curious about it. Also added it to my cosplay bucket list. Maybe ECCE 2018 will be my year!
What happens at a Masquerade?
So, hopefully by the time the convention rolls around your costume is done (I say this in all seriousness because while I did not participate in a competition, I did sew the last bits of a costume by hand, in a car and it is not fun! I also have friends who have spent the evening before a convention sewing on the floor of their hotel room. Again, doesn’t sound like fun. Give yourself enough time is all I’m saying.).
At the convention you will need to register for the Masquerade. You are not able to just strut on stage and be entered (I seriously thought that was all it took- show up and look pretty, but I was wrong). Check the registration times and sign in! It is pretty simple once you get down to it.
Once you’re registered you may be given a time for “pre-judging”. You’ll meet the judge(s) and they will assess your costume. Then you’ll meet back in time for the Masquerade to begin!
You’ll be expected to be in the “Green Room” before the Masquerade begins and then it’s showtime!
But wait! What’s a Green Room? Don’t fuss- it’s not fancy. It’s a waiting room or lounge where you can chill with other cosplayers before you are called on stage to show off.
Some conventions will allow time for you to perform an exceptionally short skit (I would assume preferably as the character you are cosplaying- though how funny would it be to be dressed as Popeye and do a skit based on Frozen?), sometimes they allow music and lights.
Standard Judging Division System
The Standard Division System, in accordance with the International Costumers’ Guild Guidelines as follows:
Any contestant under the age of 13 the day of the convention.
Any contestant who didn’t win any award other than the Junior division.
Any contestant who won less than three (3) award at any masquerade when in the Journeyman division.
Any contestant who won three (3) or more awards or any contestant who wishes to be in this division and is not in any higher division.
Any contestant who won more than three (3) awards in any masquerade in the Artisan division or any contestant who won an award in the Master division in a national masquerade. Also, any contestant known as a professional in the costuming industry must enter in this division. For this competition, a professional is someone who derives 50% of his/her income from the costuming industry.
Out of competition division
The masquerade is a non-professional competition. Costumes bought or rented cannot be entered in the award divisions, but they can be showcased in the Out of competition division. Costumes created for professional purposes are not eligible for the award division but can also be showcased in the Out of competition division. Also, anybody who wants to enter in this division is welcome.
Note: Any contestant can enter in a higher division than his/her current division. However, if he/she wins in this division, he/she will have to compete in this division in future masquerades.
Workmanship judging happens in the Green room, before the masquerade. These awards, for excellence in construction, will be given in addition to the masquerade awards. You can be judged for your costume as a whole or for a specific part of your costume. The evaluation of a costume’s workmanship is only mandatory for the Novices doing a Walk On, Artisans and Masters, but it is strongly advised for any division (Except Out of Competition). Great construction deserves to be acknowledged, no matter the division. Judges must know which parts have been made by the contestant and which parts have been bought, if any.
It is strongly advised to bring documentation to the judges showing source material for your costume if it comes from an existing medium, especially if it is something the judges may not know. This can be any image where your costume is shown. Please bring only copies or digital copies of these images, not originals.
These are based on the convention you attend. Bigger conventions sometimes offer cash rewards, gift cards, physical prizes, certificates of placement. You can usually check it out before the convention.
*Please note that anything I’ve written today may or may not be pertinent to the Cosplay Masquerade at Fundy Fan Fest. The rules and judging are determined by the Cosplay Director and will be released at a later time. But I hope you’ll join us for a fabulous evening!