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enigma
06-19-2006, 03:12 PM
Hello, Tiffany here! Just wanted to get a bit of a conversation started up on the masquerade this year. First and foremost, I definitely want to give a HUGE thank you to all of the people that participated this year. You guys, by far, are the most amazing cosplayers I've ever been around. This was my first time staffing one and I have to say I was a bit nervous. When it comes to participating in masquerades I've seen a lot. I definitely know how crazy they can get. Not this masquerade! Oh man, I can't stop bragging about you guys. The entire event went so smoothly and everyone was so nice and easy to work with... THANK YOU!! Also, much love to our fearless leader Tikki and the rest of the cosplay staff and techcrew. I had a blast and you guys run awesome departments. I'm glad I was apart of it!

Now, on to the real reason of this post. What did you guys like about the Saturday night masquerade?? What didn't you like? (pleasepleaseplease tell me what can I make better for you guys!!) What about the skits? What costumes were cool and awesome? Discuss please!

-Tiffany
The Pink Cosplay Ranger

AgentOS
06-19-2006, 03:55 PM
Hey Tiffany, we meet in the elevator late Saturday night. I was the guy with the blank tanktop. The one that said you are now very popular due to the name being displayed during the cosplay. Pretty crazy I saw your post on here.

Now about the masquerade, I only stayed for the skits and not for the voting and awards. I heard it was dragged out for the judges and people were getting impatient. However from what I saw, I enjoyed the skits and thought everyone did a great job. There were only 2 really noticable issues.

#1 The microphones were not loud enough. I was sitting in the last row of the front section of seats and could barely understand the cosplayers. Most of the laughter came from the people in front of me.

#2 We got annoyed by the fact that there were two similar skits back to back. I cannot remember exact what numbers, but we felt like we had just seen it done before. Also I recommend letting all the walk-ons go first.

Also one of the best things that happened at this masquerade was that even though it started late (when does it ever start when scheduled), we were able to sit inside and not wait 3 hours outside the main events room.

bamboocactus
06-19-2006, 04:04 PM
Yeah, that was pretty good about being able to sit inside. The line moved along nicely.

As for the masquerade itself, I wasn't too hot on the microphones being all quiet. I didn't get a lot of the jokes because I could hear them, so I kinda chuckled politely along ^^;;

The "Devil Went Down To Georgia" and "Shinigami Shuffle" skits were my favourites!! ^^ I'm glad they won awards. Everybody did a great job I think.

...Except the techies. I've been a performing artist for a long time, so I have great love for techies and I understand perfectly all that they have to go through to make a show work. But those guys just abused Jigen (the MC). Between almost every single act when Jigen would be talking, they'd flash the lights and put on music or whatnot. If it was because the next act needed time or something, fine, but they really just layed it on way too thick. I love Jigen, and I love it when he MCs the masquerades at all the cons I go to, and I'm all for poking fun at him because he always reacts hilariously.. but if nobody else noticed, he said he'd dance if we were GOOD. The techies, at least, definitely weren't, and thus our Jigen did not dance for us. Way to steal that from us, techies!

Other than those things, I enjoyed it. Didn't stick around too long after they started the Who's Line shindig, we had to get ready for the rave. But it was a good Masquerade, even if it was a little short :)

Star_Angel
06-19-2006, 04:32 PM
I thought the Mas. ran really smoothly.
I was in it (skit #5 the Oboe girl) and it was so much fun gettign to talk to everyone backstage and through-out the day! (even if I looked grumpy, that hat was really heavy, lol) All the AMA's I have been to have always had great cosplay (whether it was how they were run or the skits)

Also congrats to everyone who won something, and to everyone who didnt because it always takes alot of nerve to get on stage and do stuff!!!

Shey
06-19-2006, 05:06 PM
I thought the masquerade itself was very well done once we got backstage to line up. The problem I had was with the person in charge of registration. He was obviously uninformed and frustrated because of it. I was never told that I had to be at the rehearsal for a walk-on. When I asked him where prejudging was and when he couldn't tell me, even when looking at the schedule. I had quite a few questions for him when I was signing up and his answer to all of them was basically that I should fill out a suggestion slip for next year. Because of this there was a little bit of confusion when I showed up at the prejudging but luckily it all got worked out. I felt horrible about the whole thing but Tikki was nice enough to let me into the cosplay anyway. My recommendation, (which I couldn't fill out the form for since I'm left handed and Vincent is obviously not) is that someone who is very knowledgeable be stationed at the cosplay registration to avoid the kind of confusion that happened to me. That or move the registration somewhere where people will be able to answer all the convoluted questions people like me have.

As far as the actual cosplay goes, I didn't get to see anything because I was seated behind the stage, it was unfortunate but the bigger problem, as some people have mentioned, was the sound. I couldn't understand a word anyone said because everything echoed, even the MC. Some of that might have been because I was backstage but from other people's comments it doesn't look like all of it was.

Backstage ran more smoothly than anything I've ever seen and I was a theatre major so I've seen quite a lot. The staff did an amazing job and really knew what they were doing. I just wanted to thank everyone, staff and the other cosplayers, for being so nice to me. This was my first AMA and you were all wonderful. I'll defiantly be back next year.

dExtrosien
06-19-2006, 07:33 PM
I thought having the badges with the numbers and times was a great touch this year. Rehearsal was a little bit crazy, but it wasn't too bad overall. Maybe let the groups that need tech stuff put it on the sheet and let those that don't need it do their run throughs while the Tech Crew prepares the rest and the stage will always be in use. I also think that all of the walk ons should go before the skits instead of mixing it. I think it would keep things neater back stage and easier to keep track of for the audience. We've been doing the AMA cosplays since AMA3 and I thought the group this year was amazing on and off stage. Everyone was really friendly and supportive of each other. Also, having the lineup backstage was sooo much help. Soundwise I did agree that more time should've been spent at rehearsal making sure the microphones picked up everyone since I know it could be a little hard to find the right spot from last year. I know the echo was a bit of a problem too, but I don't know what they could do except put sound proofing from the ceiling or something. The tech crew ruled as always and I thought Tiffany did a great job getting us through the rehearsal and the cosplay backstage.

If anyone saw the Dance Dance No Jutsu skit from the audience how was the sound and how visible was the poster?

All I have left to say is Fuego!! This year was the best AMA Cosplay so far and I can't wait until next year. :bigtu:

dustbunny
06-19-2006, 07:34 PM
it was fun. ^^
I've never been on stage before so for my first time it was easy.

enigma
06-19-2006, 08:35 PM
AgentOS - I remember you! How's it going? I was having a super-silly momment that night, but it was definitely interesting to walk into that elevator.

Thanks for responding with some good stuff everyone! I really appreciate it. Lemme try and address everything here. If I forget something, please remind me - I don't want to leave anything out!!

Regarding the microphones - the field mics are probably some of the best you will see at a con. In fact, many cons don't even use field mics but rather put up some wireless mics in front of the stage (can we say fairly useless?) The problem really is that unless you project your voice loud and clear, they aren't going to be that effective. Think about it this way, if they pick up much more than that, you would hear the fabric swoosh in costumes, people breathing, and anything that was naturally loud would be insanely boomtastic! Next year I'm going to try and work with tech crew a little more to hopefully get the field mics up and working durring rehersal so I can work with everyone more on exactly how loud and clear they have to be. :)

As for the similar skits back-to-back, that's kinda just how the skits registrations came in. Once I see the skits in rehersal, the order is already decided and to change it up because the skits are similar can lead to a lot of confusion later on. As for grouping the walkons together and putting them at the front, personally I like having them spaced out durring cosplay. It breaks up the intensity on the audience for having so many skits next to each other and helps us backstage as well to prepare for any special requirements that larger performance groups can have. Also, no matter how good the costumes are, I think a large block of walkons could have the potential a little monotonous and lose the attention of the audience.

Rehersal stuff! This is my first time ever doing any of this. I came into Main Events Saturday morning not having any game plan on what would happen. I just knew I was there to help out and do my best! I think this year went fairly well despite my horrible inexperience (we actually ended on time sorta!!!) Next year I have quite a few ideas already that should make things (hopefully) run smoother and give me more time to work with everyone one-on-one. For example, instead of going in number order, I will probably do skit types... walk-ons first, skits with no music/prerecorded tracks, and then skits with prerecorded/music. That way while I'm running through walkons and such, the others can get their information to tech crew so they can queue it up for later. Also, I'm working on a more organized way to take tech notes and discuss techinical aspects as well. More on that when I figure it out.. finally, I... err... I totally forgot just now. Darn phone calls. hmm, I'll revist this part for sure when I remember!!!

The tech situation. Tech crew wasn't the only one harassing Rob (the MC/Jigen) I was having a lot of fun with the backstage crew throwing trash at him and sliding recycling bins across the stage! We don't really do that to buy time at all, but I think it's more entertaining when there is more going on than just someone announcing the skits and walking on and off stage. I can't speak for Rob but that's a bit of an explanation if it helps any. :)

Oh! And as for running a little behind, we techinically started less than 15 minutes late. We would have been on time, but several things happened... ya saw one of them - not having a podium. Yeah..... that trashcan thing was sooo not planned. ^_^;;;;

I think that's everything, I'm sure I forgot a few bits - I'm definitely not the final word on any of this though, that's all Captain Tikki's department, just some of the things I've been discussing and thinking about to work on for next year. Please keep the suggestions and stuff rolilng, its very very helpful!!

bamboocactus
06-19-2006, 11:12 PM
I thought the Mas. ran really smoothly.
I was in it (skit #5 the Oboe girl)

You were fantastic!! I loved your arrangement, and I thought the performance was quite beautiful. You are very skilled at a very difficult instrument! I noticed in the audience a lot of people talking while you were playing, but don't worry, I gave them nasty looks XD :bigtu:

Valgaav_Xellos
06-19-2006, 11:43 PM
I only ave two complaints...

one was obviously the sound quality with the mics. I was sitting in the second row of the mid section area so yeah. I was like, screwed over on half the skits since i couldn't understand what they were saying. :X

second is I wish next year we can have more entries and make it longer. That and like, set it up kind of like otakons where you have the skits, and then the walk-ons. :x

But i enjoyed it nonetheless. Especially the "shinigami shuffle" too bad there wasn't a matsumoto or hitsugaya in it though ;3;

Reiko
06-20-2006, 12:53 AM
I only ave two complaints...

one was obviously the sound quality with the mics. I was sitting in the second row of the mid section area so yeah. I was like, screwed over on half the skits since i couldn't understand what they were saying. :X

second is I wish next year we can have more entries and make it longer. That and like, set it up kind of like otakons where you have the skits, and then the walk-ons. :x

But i enjoyed it nonetheless. Especially the "shinigami shuffle" too bad there wasn't a matsumoto or hitsugaya in it though ;3;

I think Otakon is the only one that set up walk-ons and skits. lol What its like otakon's 12th ish year I dunno I lost count. lol AMA is still growing :) and doubled (maybe) its size in the past 3 years.

lol Well The Agents thank you for that comment :) lol A vrs B company :) sorta :)

AgentOS
06-20-2006, 09:28 AM
For a first time running the biggest event at a con you did a great job. If the microphone issue is worked out next year then you should be set for life. I agree mixing walk-ons and skits adds variety. I guess after seeing walk-ons win awards at Animazement we find it somewhat of a deal-breaker during the skits. Oh and I had no idea the trash-can was last minute. It seemed like the GRCC was just cheap and did not have a podeum for you.

Tikki
06-20-2006, 10:28 AM
Oh boy, I've got just a little time to address the oodles of stuff here! And keep the comments coming! We had a Forum discussion on Sunday but very few people showed beyond some of my staff and half the judges... so we just hammered away at all the problems.

Info: We had an actual Info Booth at the convention all past 5 years. We did not have one this year... hence all the confusion. I was not given a definite place to put cosplay registration until I got to the con. Ball #1 dropped here, by more than just me. Sorry! So the poor volunteer table got the suggestion box and registration papers and they honestly didn't know what was what. Tiffany and my staff suggested that regardless of where it is next year, we have enlarged print-outs of the rules & reg for both contests and an FAQ attached as signs. And the times of the events and panels. I'm thinking now like a little Cosplay table, because (and I am very sarcastic here at the moment) I think we can all remember to read... However, I don't think I'll be able to get anyone to seriously man it. So anyone with suggestions on what to definitely have on the signs, PM me!

Info in program book: I could swear I corrected the stuff for this year's book but there were some glaring errors. Like the Hall Contest. I've NEVER had Hall Contest registration anywhere but AT the Hall Contest, yet the program book listed it as available at Registration. Argh!

Info in general: Ball #2 dropped. Simple as that. All my paperwork was not printed due to computer errors. The files I sent to our programming head just wouldn't open, but I knew he had a lot of my usual print-outs from previous years that didn't need any changes. Yet, nothing was printed. Including the Masquerade rules... yah. I was sent on scramble mode Friday and at least got the two registration forms (Masquerade and Hall Contest) and my judging sheets printed. As I've got some major adjustments to the rules on both events next year, I don't think that ball will be dropped and rolling any time soon...
I will be going over all the stuff on the website and my own paperwork to make sure they all match as I just saw some major discrepancies when I got home and looked closely at stuff. Mostly it's just updating, but there will be changes and some very clear definitions to the rules coming for next year. So the consistency will be addressed.

Tech stuff: I defer to Tiffany. I know how to speak in a microphone and project. And there-in ends my knowledge... not really, but you get the picture. Tiffany's got schooling in drama and has worked tech crews in the past. So she's got the technichal experience needed to field all those concerns. Which is why I put her in charge of running the stage during Rehearsal... :)

# of Entries: That's totaly not up to me. We'll have more entries when more people actually SIGN UP! However, we had more entries than last year so we are still growing.

Walk-ons: Next years reg form will have a box to mark if you're doing a walk-on. That way, I can plan accordingly with the line-up arrangement. For years 3-5, I had walk-ons at the end to start of judges' deliberations before the half-time show. This year, I wanted the walk-ons to have a chance at still being judged for their walk-on presentation. Tiffany and I suggested to every walk-on that they be IN CHARACTER and they all did. No one streaked across stage. They took their time and some groups did a staggered pose. I was really happy and surprised! The only trouble was the audience was expecting skits and we had more walk-ons than anything. I'd like to keep them staggered through the show again, but that'll depend on the numbers. My other thought would be to put the walk-ons first, so the judges could still see them.

Timeliness: Cosplay was ready to go roughly 10 minutes before the lights dimmed because of a security issue with a missing child. Can't help that. The judges didn't actually take that long. I kept them in the back until all the certificates were signed and written out. As our ENTIRE trophy order was screwed massively this year (that's a whole rant right there... ), the certificates I'd printed as back-up were actually used and I just don't write legibly and fast simulatneously.

Awards: I'm thinking of having the Hall Contest awards being given out during the judges' deliberation, before the Half-time show. What do you guys think? It would space the awards out differently. And yes, I'm going to continue with the winners on file to the Tech crew so we have images to display during Hall awards.
My one major problem this year with the size is that it took forever for anyone to get back on stage to accept an award. I could either have all entries crowd into the back of the stage so they just need to come forward... but that's a safetly issue. Maybe back stage... but then the sound is funny when you're behind the speakers. PM me with suggestions!

Rehearsal: Definitely keeping the entry badges for next year! Tiffany has already mentioned our plans for running it more smoothly, so I don't need to readdress the details...

Backstage: I'm keeping Line-up back there. You guys were wonderful! I'll see about more seating on the side so no one's stuck behind the screen... but that really depends on the head count. Did we have enough seating in the audience for you guys after you finished on stage? And having a monitor has been suggested for those wanting to watch the stage from backstage. That's ultimately up to Tech, but I'll put in the request. We're also gonna work on having more than just a water station. Some snacks... hopefully.

Teasing of the emcee: *laughs* I think Rob didn't mind. He's always playing with those guys and he likes being able to do more than just announce entries. But my staff has suggested that we should have some sort of loose script for next year, just to keep it from being totally random and to space the silliness out a bit more. We're also going to have tighter security (heck, we didn't have any!) around the front of the stage. Rob played off the girl from the audience well, but that's something that shouldn't have happened. And there were people sneaking up to the judges table to take pictures of the Japanese guest, which REALLY shouldn't have happened.

Whew! That's a lot. There's probably more, but I'm headed for work. Keep on talking about the Masquerade! My staff and I need input!
Tikki

Shuichi_Huggler
06-20-2006, 05:28 PM
Hello, Tiffany here! Just wanted to get a bit of a conversation started up on the masquerade this year. First and foremost, I definitely want to give a HUGE thank you to all of the people that participated this year. You guys, by far, are the most amazing cosplayers I've ever been around. This was my first time staffing one and I have to say I was a bit nervous. When it comes to participating in masquerades I've seen a lot. I definitely know how crazy they can get. Not this masquerade! Oh man, I can't stop bragging about you guys. The entire event went so smoothly and everyone was so nice and easy to work with... THANK YOU!! Also, much love to our fearless leader Tikki and the rest of the cosplay staff and techcrew. I had a blast and you guys run awesome departments. I'm glad I was apart of it!

Now, on to the real reason of this post. What did you guys like about the Saturday night masquerade?? What didn't you like? (pleasepleaseplease tell me what can I make better for you guys!!) What about the skits? What costumes were cool and awesome? Discuss please!

-Tiffany
The Pink Cosplay Ranger
Thanks so much for being such an awesome cosplay-staff person! (xD) You really helped me out when I was lost. >.< It was my first year cosplaying, and I had a wonderful time. Your knowledge when everyone else seemed a little lost sure helped. ^_^~

-Shuuichi (skit #15) x3

PS. My only complaint was that from behind stage we couldn't see anything and we were in the cosplay so that was a bit frustrating...and there was a terrible echo. >.<;

Rei2Rei
06-20-2006, 05:42 PM
My major problem was seating. Hardly anyone around me could see a thing, especially the kids. I also noticed tons of people had to stand up to figure out what was going on. I realize this may not be fixable, but there was a whole section on the left side of the room with empty chairs. Though I'm not sure whether or not that would have helped.

Either way, the skits were great this year. Everything else seemed to go smoothly. You did a great job!

enigma
06-20-2006, 06:13 PM
Glad I could be of service to you guys!!!! It was fun being helpful!

As for the seating, could people not see because they were too far away or because there were tall people/people with cosplay in front of them? We treid to seat everyone in the rows directly in front of the stage as sometimes the side views from the angular seating sections can get a little hard to see.

The sound stuff is all on tech. Making a room like that into a main events is super tough. It's not meant for that sort of thing really... the lack of carpetting and such makes it a nightmare for sound anything. The sound bounces off of the floor, cieling, walls, EVERYTHING. They did an amazing job with the stuff they had, and now that they know what's up for next year I'm confident it will definitely be even better. Cause, well, knowing is half the battle!

Shuichi_Huggler
06-21-2006, 11:56 AM
Glad I could be of service to you guys!!!! It was fun being helpful!

As for the seating, could people not see because they were too far away or because there were tall people/people with cosplay in front of them? We treid to seat everyone in the rows directly in front of the stage as sometimes the side views from the angular seating sections can get a little hard to see.

The sound stuff is all on tech. Making a room like that into a main events is super tough. It's not meant for that sort of thing really... the lack of carpetting and such makes it a nightmare for sound anything. The sound bounces off of the floor, cieling, walls, EVERYTHING. They did an amazing job with the stuff they had, and now that they know what's up for next year I'm confident it will definitely be even better. Cause, well, knowing is half the battle!
I sure can't wait till next year. ^___^~

Shey
06-21-2006, 01:42 PM
The sound stuff is all on tech. Making a room like that into a main events is super tough. It's not meant for that sort of thing really... the lack of carpetting and such makes it a nightmare for sound anything. The sound bounces off of the floor, cieling, walls, EVERYTHING. They did an amazing job with the stuff they had, and now that they know what's up for next year I'm confident it will definitely be even better. Cause, well, knowing is half the battle!

Don't some convention centers let you rent carpeting for rooms like that? I know I've been to other types of conventions where they could roll out thin carpeting. That might help if it's an option...

enigma
06-21-2006, 04:25 PM
Don't some convention centers let you rent carpeting for rooms like that? I know I've been to other types of conventions where they could roll out thin carpeting. That might help if it's an option...

Yes, some of them do have that! I'll bring up the option, but alas, I know with some other cons I've worked with the carpeting was $$$$$$$$$$$$$$uper Pricey!!! Good suggestion, though! It can't hurt to ask. :)

dExtrosien
06-22-2006, 02:33 AM
Yes, some of them do have that! I'll bring up the option, but alas, I know with some other cons I've worked with the carpeting was $$$$$$$$$$$$$$uper Pricey!!! Good suggestion, though! It can't hurt to ask. :)

It's a great thought. Sadly, because of the high ceilings I doubt it would help very much. Once the place was full Saturday night the echos were better than they were during rehearsal. The sound was absorbed by the bodies, but the high ceiling caused there to still be a large echo effect. Another option might be to hang or mount the speakers much higher up pointing down to the audience. The directed sound may not bounce around the ceiing so much maybe? Also, maybe some speakers on the sides of the room about halway back facing towards the audience to help those sitting further away.

Shastar
06-22-2006, 06:15 PM
Other than those things, I enjoyed it. Didn't stick around too long after they started the Who's Line shindig...

This makes Big Danny T sad ;_;

SweetRapture
10-27-2006, 11:49 PM
I thought it went over well, since it was my first time actually being IN the masquerade (Group 13: Vader vs Video Games.. w00t w00t.) I did like the badges.. (I knew where the heck I was supposed to be and at what time!!) and the only think I had any problems with were GETTING the mics. Like, Darth and (I think) Link were supposed to have mics... and Darth was supposed to have a clip-on mic so that he could actually use both hands without holding a mic in it. And, we just got a reg. mic whereas groups after us did get a clip-on mic. But, we made due, so, I can't complain, lol. Really -- I loved it. And I wanna thank all those who are crew, tech, whatever... :D