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View Full Version : Same Costume, Different Masqs...


DeadLegato
05-03-2004, 10:50 PM
Does anyone have any feelings about what the etiquette of this is? If you have a costume that won a prize at one convention, is it fair/ethical to enter it in the Masquerade at another convention? If you have a costume that DIDN'T win but was entered at another con, is it okay to enter that costume twice hoping to get a prize the second time?

Sorry if this has already been discussed, but I haven't seen anyone talking about the etiquette behind entering the same costume in multiple masquerades

Ali
05-04-2004, 01:28 AM
Some cons have specific rules against this sort of conduct, but generally, it's a courtesy thing.
I'm personally bothered to see a costume that won any major awards make another appearance at a different con, but that's me. I understand that some costumes are incredibly labor-intensive and the costumer may want to get as much glory as possible from their costume. I don't like it, but I can deal with it.
What I am INCREDIBLY annoyed with are people who take the same *performance* with them. This is just courtesy to the audience. If the costumer is attending both cons, there's probably a good chance that some people at the audience are attending both cons, and seeing the exact performance twice is boring. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure that this is the aspect that there's not a rule against. ^^

Sarcasm-hime
05-04-2004, 03:45 AM
It's generally considered bad form to take a costume that has won a major award and compete it at another convention of equal or lesser standing. Like if you've won Best Performance at Anime Expo and then you take the same costume to a small local con, that's considered a no-no.

If it hasn't won any major awards then take it wherever you like, or if it's only won at a smallish local con you can take it to a large event and you shouldn't ruffle any feathers.

However, it is also considered in poor taste to compete with the same costume year after year, even if it hasn't won anything. 2 (or at the absolute max, 3) times is plenty for any given costume--past that it's just tacky.

felicity869
05-04-2004, 01:52 PM
Personally I think you shouldn't enter it a second time if you have won an award. If you didn't win an award then go ahead and enter it a second time. If you haven't won an award twice why would you want to try to enter it again? The only exception I can think of is if you have updated the costume/made some serious improvments to it.

senshi_meiousei
05-04-2004, 05:49 PM
I agree with the majority. If you've won before, let someone else take the glory. If you want to show off your costume so badly, then just wear it to the convention but DO NOT put it into any competitions. I have only been in one competition and have not won, so I feel that with improvements, I am allowed to be in another. But, if I win, I'll start a new costume and try again. It's all about being fair and respectful to the other cosplayers. Like with the Miss America Pagent: someday, you have to give up the crown to another girl.

KusanIvy
05-04-2004, 11:05 PM
I've heard quite a few people complain about other cosplayers who, after winning at one con, then proceed to wear the same costume (sometimes with the same skit) to another masq.

I think the polite thing to do, if one really wanted to be in the masq but had already won a major award is to enter Out Of Competition (in fact according to the rules at several cons this is the only way you can enter a costume that's previously won major awards).

I actually have a question similar to DeadLegato's - What about a costume you've worn to several consecutive cons but never entered in competition? I know under the rules it's perfectly OK to enter the masq but what do you think the reaction would be, considering it's an "old" costume and therefore a lot of people in the audience may have already seen it?

Sarcasm-hime
05-05-2004, 03:28 AM
In that case I think it would depend on your presentation. A simple "look at my costume" walk-on would probably not be ideal; perhaps something a bit more showy/funny would be better.

Xanthix
05-07-2004, 01:47 PM
It seems the general consensus is that this is bad form, but I have to disagree. If you've sunk months of work and hundreds of dollars into a costume, why shouldn't you be able to compete in more than one masquerade?

It seems that this is frowned on because you should "share the glory." While it's true that everyone should have a chance to enter a masquerade and be recognized, it's also true that a masquerade is a competition. A prize is given to the best cosplayer (according to whatever standards the con sets). Why should anyone be refused the chance to compete, based on what other contests they may have entered or won?

Broadway shows, figure skaters, and baseball teams take their shows on the road, even after winning awards/games. No one seems to mind, it's just how the system works. In fact, I can't think of any field where people are all trying to do the best job they can, but where the victors are expected to retire after any amount of success. And I don't think they should have to.

If Super Cosplayer X has won all the cons in America this year, I don't think they have bad form. Masquerades are for showing off great costumes and skits, and that's what they're doing. If they're better than everyone else at each con, then I'd say they deserve their victories. If I'm upset that they beat me, what I'll do is work on my costuming skills and compete with them, at every con they go to if I'm that determined.

Note that although that's my opinion, I agree that if a con's masquerade has rules against costumes/skits that have won awards, or that have entered in past years, then those rules should be respected and followed. Also, although I talk about cosplay as being competitive, I mean the kind of competition that's about striving to produce your best and be recognized, not the kind that involves being petty or ruthless about winning.

Maybe I'm alone in this opinion, but consider this: I know that seeing a costume or skit repeated at another con can seem tacky. But look around you: I bet most of the audience (and the judges) are seeing it for the first time, and enjoying it.

senshi_meiousei
05-07-2004, 06:44 PM
Well you have to take into consideration the person who wins it one year say, at Otakon, and then the next year comes back and tries to win it again. I can see your point about winning at other conventions during that YEAR, but after that year, it's truly unfair to everyone else. If someone keeps winning year after year, that's just not right.

Dany
05-07-2004, 07:24 PM
Broadway shows, figure skaters, and baseball teams take their shows on the road, even after winning awards/games. No one seems to mind, it's just how the system works. In fact, I can't think of any field where people are all trying to do the best job they can, but where the victors are expected to retire after any amount of success. And I don't think they should have to.

I'm not sure here, but comparing masquerades to these things is kind of comparing apples, oranges, and bananas.

Figure skaters tend to change their routines from time to time. And even the components of one routine will frequently change depending on where they are being performed so the judges have something new to see. After a while, the same costume, music, and tricks gets pretty dull.

And baseball games? It's obvious that no two games are going to be exactly alike, so if a team wins several years in a row, it's not because they did the exact same thing that they did the previous years.

Honestly, if I were judging and I saw the same costume that won something the previous year brought out again? I'd skip right over it. It's that feeling of "been there, done that, saw it, awarded it, show me something new", I guess. Showing the same costume over and over sort of makes you a "one trick pony"...and if you've won a very high-ranking award and then take it to a very small convention, it's like being the Olympic gold medalist asking to swim against the junior high swim team.

CapsuleCorp
05-07-2004, 09:46 PM
I'd have to agree with Dany. Apples and bananas. Costume competitions are inherently about seeking and gaining attention, as well as recognition for accomplishment in a skill. If you want to compare it to anything, compare it to folks at a county fair offering up their quilts, honey, and cows to be judged. They don't enter the same thing year after year or fair after fair...unless it hasn't won anything, then they might try again. It's more alike to those kinds of contests, and art shows, than anything else. In a hobby where attention-seeking is part and parcel of the reason behind its existence, it DOES start to look tacky if you're entering the same thing over and over just to heap up your awards. That's what makes costume contests incomperable to most other competitions.

I too am of the opinion, both as a competitor and a judge, that you can re-enter something that hasn't won an award, keep trying for some recognition, but it would be majorly offensive to other cosplayers in the competition to re-enter something that HAS won. After all, they took the time out of their schedules to make a new costume for this con, why couldn't you, o ye of such mega-skill that ye win all the Best In Show awards? :) And as a judge, I get sick of seeing things after a while, it does do my heart some good to see attempts at new and different, even if the effort was there but the result fell short. Ganbatte, and all.

Xanthix
05-08-2004, 06:08 PM
Good points - I agree about winning multiple years in a row. Masquerades are about who can MAKE the best costume/skit, not who OWNS the best costume/REMEMBERS the last skit from last year. I think when you make a costume/skit, you're welcome to enter it in every masquerade you want, but entering it at the same con 2 years in a row is a repeat, and it's against the rules at many cons.

Dany, good point about my examples not being quite valid. Here's some better examples: A rock star may sing the same exact concert in different cities, and no one complains. She'll probably have new tunes next year, but for now, it's fine for her to take her show on the road. Or a football team may have designed a really great lineup and playbook. They can use this all season, winning game after game, without being considered to have bad form.

That's all I mean. If you make a great costume or plan a great skit, you shouldn't have to feel guilty performing at more than one con. In my opinion, you're following the rules and keeping in the spirit of the competition. Yeah, no one wants to see Super Cosplayer X dominate the stage in the same costume every year, but that's the reason figure skaters redesign their routines, sports teams get new players every year, and some masquerades have rules against repeat costumes.

Dany
05-08-2004, 08:24 PM
Dany, good point about my examples not being quite valid. Here's some better examples: A rock star may sing the same exact concert in different cities, and no one complains. She'll probably have new tunes next year, but for now, it's fine for her to take her show on the road.

Exactly. Mind you, a concert tour is kind of intended to be relatively the same for each city (give or take song order or whatever..I've seen bands three nights in a row and had them flip the schedule on me). You play the same sort of gig for about a year, then go in, make a new album, and then go back on the road with the new album's stuff being blended in with the older material. The more albums you make, the more material you have to choose from.

Or a football team may have designed a really great lineup and playbook. They can use this all season, winning game after game, without being considered to have bad form.

Same playbook, with different plays depending on the tactics of the other team.

In costuming terms, this would be something along the lines of say, using the same characters because you're already really good with them (either because you look close enough to not need a lot of extra makeup or whatever) but putting them into a different outfit and having them do a different routine. You want the judges to have something fresh and different to see, otherwise they're going to say "THIS again?" This, of course, will not help you much if you are looking at competition.

dressdragn
05-19-2004, 03:33 PM
On the other side;one of the things that bothers me alot, is seeing the same losing costumes/skits over and over. If the costume/skit wasn't good the first time, it's not going to be any better the thrid time with out major revision.

As for winning repeats, I think genraly it's best to stand asside after one major win. However there are acceptions, I wasn't at all upset when that fiberglass red armor cyborg took best in show at 3 consecutive cons this year. But I was a little miffed at the wich hunter robin who did the same thing in a less impressive costume.

~Anna

Kaijugal
05-31-2004, 12:09 AM
It seems the general consensus is that this is bad form, but I have to disagree. If you've sunk months of work and hundreds of dollars into a costume, why shouldn't you be able to compete in more than one masquerade?


I have to agree with Xanthix on this here. Some people make extremely labour intensive and expensive costumes and I think expecting them to just show such a costume once is unreasonable. I find nothing wrong with a person that has such a costume competing at a few different masquerades of comparable size in the same year.

(The exception of course being Worldcon where if you win a major award you are expected to retire the winning costume or only show it 'Out Of Competition.'

*Shiva*
05-31-2004, 10:13 PM
I agree that the same costume and skit can and should be performed at multiple cons if its the same year, and I have a better example from my own life - dance competitions. Each year, we choreograph ONE routine and build ONE set of costumes to compete in for the season. We take this act to as many competitions as we can around the country, and that is exactly what all the other teams do that we're competiting against - spending the off-season getting an act together and then taking it on the road. It's considered distasteful to try and come up with a bunch of shottily thrown together performance peices as opposed to one polished act that is the representation of your year's worth of work.
I feel the same way about masquarades - lets say a cosplay group spends the winter coming up with an idea for a large FFX performance, puts it together and makes the costumes specifically for that performance, why should they only put it onstage once? If that's what they've planned for this "season" than that's what they have, and I'm not insulted by that.
If they put the same thing on again the NEXT year, now THAT'S ridiculous. Show us something new.

KimikoChan
06-05-2004, 03:39 AM
As a figure skater, one short program and one long program are choreographed for the entire season and those are entered in multiple competitions. So it's the same type of thing as seeing a routine over and over and over. Usually the following year new routines are created, but it does occur where routines are repeated for another season.

However, for masquerades, my personal opinion is that I'm fine with seeing repeated skits/costumes for the duration of the season, but the next season, I don't want to see that same skit/costume combo again. BUt I think that you worked hard for what you've created, and there are usually two parts, costume construction and performance, so I say go for it all and see what you can do. I'ts all about fun and some people just like to perform for the sake of performing. Winning is just an extra bonus ^^.

Anyways, we won't all agree and that's fine. Just go by what the convention rules are for the ones you are attending and have fun with it!

Eleryth
06-05-2004, 06:45 AM
This type of thing works fairly well with cons that use the ICG guidelines for judging their masqs... for example, if someone is a novice, and they won a major award, they'd move up to Journeyman. This frees up the novices, and allows the person to compete at a higher level. So, in effect, the costume is entered in a "different" competetion, because the skill level of journeyman is higher than that of novice, so the competetion is tougher. If they win again, well, then they outright deserve it, ne?

It's a bit different at other levels, though, because of the number of times you're "supposed" to win at journeyman to move up a level, and so on. But it's a start.

So far, I like making costumes too much to wear/enter the same one more than once, but if I had my dream costume completed, and a good presentation, you can be sure it'll be entered as many times as possible. ^^