Originally Posted by Danzikumaru
As easy as that is to say, it's far more difficult to execute. A Director's duty is not just to their participants but to their audience as well. And the audience demands skits, at least to a certain extent. We can lessen their importance, but not remove them entirely. Not yet, at least.
That can be a matter of uniqueness from con to con. The anime con culture I came from until very recently dispreferred skits. We gave each cosplayer 30 seconds, because we knew the audience didn't want a 3 hour show. In Minnesota at AD it's not quite so strict, but still I think it's 2 minutes.
It really depends on what expectation is set up, and what the audience is used to. My experience as both a director, a participant, and an audience member is that lots of people also prefer short.
Something that I haven't seen discussed in this thread yet, which is relevant is the cosplay convention that it is okay to wear your costume all day, and then show it in the cosplay at night. At SF cons, this is verboten, because the audience generally disprefers to see the same old at the masquerade. I've tried explaining this to anime fans, and many of them don't get the whole audience accomodation thing in terms of surprise, or length of skits, or so many things. It really does seem to be a more "all about me" culture than many of the SF masquerades, which seem to be more about show biz, entertainment, skill, and the costume.
Of course, SF costume masquerades are NOT paradise. Many conventions in that venue don't have ICG rules, do have bad mcs, and have some problems with long performances, or simply poor execution of costume presentation.
I guess we are all just amateurs trying to have fun, and no masquerade is going to be perfect for a variety of factors.