Originally Posted by Danzikumaru
Music GREATLY helps the Audience get more into the show, given that at contests I have went to where you had the option of music
I apologize; perhaps I wasn't clear - I meant "music the contestants are allowed to provide", with the option that otherwise YOU will be providing music for newbies or last-minute-unprepared entries, not "total silence".
I don't understand the "level playing field" concept of runway music for walk-ons, any more than requiring all skits to use the same music. A GOOD walk-on is actually as much a character description piece as it is a costume display, and generic music, if compulsory, is hard-pressed to cover characters that may vary from sweet and childlike to menacing and evil and sometimes very R-rated.
Here are some classic-type "walk-ons" I've seen (award-winning, BTW):
1) Zelda (Legend of Zelda) walks onstage looking lost, makes a few gestures as if searching into the distance, Link comes out, she sees him, they embrace (while conveniently turning as they do so so as to show all sides of the costumes), they exit hand in hand in apparent happiness. Pre-recorded snippets of the game music play and fade out during this. No dialog, no story, but something short and sweet that shows off the costumes and a bit of personality.
2) D (Vampire Hunter D) stalks out onstage, draws and brandishes his sword in a couple of snazzy moves, holds out his palm to the audience, and stalks off with a determined ferocious glare. Pre-recorded snippets of the movie music play and fade out during this.
3) Akito/Agito (Air Gear) walks out looking innocent and cute in a straightjacket. As the pre-recorded music suddenly swells to a fierce metal rhythm the character breaks free of the straightjacket and does three acrobatic martial arts moves, music quickly fades and he is gone, like a shadow.
All of those were actually "walk-ons", the longest being 20-25 seconds at the most. At some events which make the distinction, I suppose, they might have to register as a "skit" in order to do the presentation they intended.
They are as much "walk-ons" as the graceful Fairy who glides out, twirls, flutters her sleeves, waves her wand, curtseys gracefully to the judges, and spins offstage to a short snippit of "Spring" by Vivaldi, or the poor brand-newbie who hasn't yet learned from observation that a good "walk-on" is not just "walk out, walk off in less than 10 seconds, leave the audience wondering what kind of character you were supposed to be."
Most dialog-less 1-character presentations are going to be "walk-ons", but with a really good "walk-on", the line defining it from "skit" gets blurry - so where do you draw it, and should you draw it at all? A classic excellent walk-on is very likely to be the equivalent of a very, very short story-less "mini-skit" that really just shows the personalit(ies) of the character(s) (as well as of course showing off all sides of the costume), and thus walk-on's cannot really operate under a separate set of "walk-on rules".
And when I have a been a presentation judge, we have not found it necessary to use a separate judging category for "walk-on's" either. An impressively done one WILL catch our attention.