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Unread 08-30-2008, 07:05 AM   #46
The Hag
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Can not sew, I have to politely disagree with your first two. Though I totally agree with the third!

I would say:

DO prepare as far ahead of time as possible. As many people have already said, a good presentation takes practice, practice and more practice. You can only do that if you plan in advance. It seems like the problem you had could have been solved with better communication. Also, a costume is not a waste just because it's not worn in a masquerade. Your effort on the skit may have been all for naught, but your effort on the costumes wasn't.

DO be original (and do take advantage of spellcheck) but DON'T do something "really weird" that has nothing to do with your costume/character. Whether you do a walk-on or a skit should depend on whether you can come up with a good idea for one or the other, not on the quality of your costume.
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Unread 08-31-2008, 01:35 PM   #47
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PERFORM your skit

This is one of the biggies. No matter how funny your script was, if you stand there delivering it like you've just got out of bed at three in the morning, it won't make anyone laugh.

The same goes for songs. I've seen skits of people singing and they werent entertaining at all. Don't just sing the song, perform it! You have no idea how much a little dance or something can totally enhance your performance. Nobody wants to see you standing and singing. If they just wanted to hear the song, they could listen to it on their CD player, probably sung by someone better than you, too. What makes your performance better than a CD?

Does your skit really need to be that long?

Consider how long your skit is. While some cons have restrictions on length, others dont. For the ones that dont, keep it reasonable. For songs, consider if you really need to sing the whole song, or just part of it. At the last con I went to, a girl sang Melodies of Life from Final Fantasy 9. She wasnt the best singer, she was obviously nervous and she stood there and just sang, no performance or anything. By the end of the first chorus, I think most of the audience wanted to shoot themselves, and we still had to sit through however many verses there were left.
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Unread 09-02-2008, 05:33 PM   #48
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Do write for the time limit and
Do build in laugh-time
This one is a big LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES point. This year for PortCon my friend came up with a freaking hilarious skit to do and wrote it up really nicely with tons of great jokes involved. Then we went to record it. Our time limit was 2:00...our recording was 3:30. Several cuts later we were down to 2:00, but everything was packed in so tightly we barely had time to act to it. What's worse, is some of our best material was laughed over, and due to the poor quality of the con's sound system we couldn't even hear the audio and lost our place. It's hard to anticipate laughs, and 2:00 (a common time limit) is VERY short, but you'll save yourself a lot of trouble if you work within those constraints from the start.

I cannot tell you how right this person is. This is also a "learn from our mistakes" for my group as well. Otakon increased their time limit from 3 minutes to 4 minutes. We tried to write our skit at keep it at about 3:30, but that just didn't happen. After we lost two main characters right before the con, our skit was about 4:30, and to top it all off, we didn't have time to rewrite, so we gave all of their lines to us! Then we had to cut and cut and cut and make it about 3:50. So add all of those things together and throw in your skit deleting itself the night before the Masquerade so you have to re-edit the entire thing, which equals a skit that is basically DGJsdGBJKJKSDVJADVSDVJDVKJKSLKJKASHJASFFJAS!!!

No matter what happens, even if you lose main characters right before a con, DO NOT throw their lines at other characters so you can keep in all of your jokes! Either figure out a way to rewrite it, or don't compete[which I'm sure no one wants this option, we didn't after all the work we put into it], otherwise, your skit will be a mess. Four people saying the lines of six characters=a mess, xD.

I think everyone else has cleared up most of the good points. The really important ones are make sure that your audio sounds clear, don't turn your back to the audience unless absolutely necessary, exaggerate your acting. If you feel like an idiot, then you are doing it right.

Another thing I notice is stage-fright. There is nothing wrong with being nervous, it happens to EVERYONE. I was in musicals in high school and have done cosplay skits in front of large audiences for years, and every year, I still freak the hell out, xD. No matter how many times I do it, I still get nervous, even though I know that everything will be fine. In 2007 at Otakon I told my friends that I thought I was going to throw up, but this was our plan. If I had to throw up, I would turn around and do it as nonchalantly as possible, and that everyone else needs to KEEP GOING, and that after I'm done, I'll turn around and continue as if nothing happened. We crack up about it every year, lol. I'm sure the staff would not be pleased with me if that happened. What I'm trying to say is, try not to let it get to you, everything will be fine :].

If something goes wrong in your perfomance, DON'T stop or draw attention to it. Even reacting to a small slip-up and going out of character can ruin the hold you have on the audience. During our 10-steps skit last year Jen lost her wig when we were about to get all "makey-outey", but she waited until we had finished and had a break in our steps to pick it up.
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Unread 09-28-2008, 06:46 PM   #49
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DON'T - plagarise other people's skits

DO- learn from other people's skits about what works and what don't as a future note for your skits.
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Unread 10-10-2008, 01:52 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by The Hag View Post
DO stay in character whenever the audience can see you.
To make a tangent off of this point with a "things I've learned from my mistakes" anecdote: I learned that this also counts when you're leaving the stage. I took part in a skit in May with seven other cosplayers, and after we performed our skit, I was later told that our exit was a tad awkward. We had several bulky costumes in our group and we didn't exactly plan our exit, so we ended up slowly shuffling into the narrow stairwell leading offstage in a disorganized manner. Oops. To remedy this, perhaps we should have made sure that people went off in the order of who was closest to the exit, and done so gracefully. :P
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Unread 10-12-2008, 06:33 PM   #51
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If I watch another skit that involves a rick roll/carameldansen/luckystar dance I will make a personal note of hunting down those responsible with a crossbow.
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Unread 10-26-2008, 10:39 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Leadmill View Post
If I watch another skit that involves a rick roll/carameldansen/luckystar dance I will make a personal note of hunting down those responsible with a crossbow.
Or send The Goddamned Bateman after them:
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Unread 11-03-2008, 12:14 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Leadmill View Post
If I watch another skit that involves a rick roll/carameldansen/luckystar dance I will make a personal note of hunting down those responsible with a crossbow.
Oh god, I have a premonition that ppl are gonna be rick rolling skits where i live next year D=
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Unread 11-04-2008, 05:45 PM   #54
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This is quite helpful! O_O

Very in fact. Thank you all for the suggestions.
I do have an idea for a three man skit for bleach (Nemu, Mayuri and Uryu) And I thought of doing a small story, tiny battle, one attack involving the "I like to move it move it" song, I am still working on an ending. But thanks to this thread, I now know how to make it even better! *claps* Thank you all. and I cannot wait to read more!
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Unread 11-12-2008, 05:15 AM   #55
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Got another one: Don't carry death notes or imply anything of such into your skit if you're not cosplaying death note characters. This has been over done a bit already and to me when you do something like that it doesn't really show/prove that you understand your character enough to create a skit relevant to them rather it's saying "let's take the easy way out and bring in a death note"
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Unread 11-18-2008, 10:51 PM   #56
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Don't create a skit from tired internet memes. I don't care how funny they were, how much you liek Mudkips, etc. If I wanted to laugh at internet memes, I'd hang out on the internet instead of going to a masquerade. Last year's Masq at ACEN was 80% internet memes, and 15% caramelldansen. It got old. If you can't have a funny skit without using internet memes, reconsider entering the Masquerade. We'd appreciate some good comedy for once, not comedy by association.

Don't think for an instant that you're the first group to yaoi-ship Riku and Sora. The first Masquerade I went to, there were two skits that didn't involve yaoi jokes. I don't mind yaoi, but I hate the fact that people use it in place of good material. Squeeing fangirls do not mean you're a shoe-in for an award. It just means you're giving the rest of us headaches. I have yet to see a yuri skit, or even a skit that remained hetero. If you absolutely HAVE to be romantic about something, please consider carefully before shipping the same old tired pairs. If I see a Riku-Sora moment on stage again this year, I might have to vomit all over.

Its been said before but I don't think it can be said enough: Try to appeal to as much of the audience as you can. Just because there are people screaming over your Bleach/Naruto/Deathnote skit and your Yaoi, doesn't mean we're all enjoying it. Some of us might be secretly wishing it would start raining aspirin. Appealing to the audience doesn't mean copping out and doing the same old tired nonsense. Think of something funny and creative, that maybe introduces me to a series I had never considered before. I'll try to keep up, I promise.
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Unread 11-28-2008, 12:25 AM   #57
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Thought of some more after Mikomicon:

For those cons that are Open Mic:
Do know your lines before you go on stage. DON'T ad-lib it. It's obvious to the audience (however small) that you're making it up, and unless you're a master at improvisation, it'll come off as weird. Also, your groupmates will be confused and it'll turn into a trainwreck until you figure out how to get back on track.

Do make sure to address special issues before the Masquerade starts. As Assistant Masq. Director, I was in charge of making sure the actors were ready, and I swear, right before they were about to go on, I was alerted about lighting, microphones, lack of stage ninjas, and group problems. Accidents happen, of course, but most cons have a Masquerade Meeting on the day of the masquerade to talk about these things. Address those problems then, and try and think of anything you might need, even if you don't think there's anything. Because I promise, five minutes before the show, you're going to think of something.

Do be orderly as you exit. Before the Masq, plan how you're going to exit, carry off your props, and return anything to con staff (microphones, etc). It's okay to grab props while you're still on stage, then exit - just don't leave them on there. Don't run off with things the staff has given you - I had quite a few skits run off with our mikes accidentally. Which ended up in me running across stage and through the audience to get them back. Funny, yes, but slows the show.

Don't panic, and do remember that mistakes happen. No human is perfect (sadly), and you're going to make mistakes. The most important part is to not panic!! I can't stress this enough. If someone loses a prop, or a part of their costume on stage, don't pause to pick it up, especially if you have a prerecorded track - it'll be completely weird. Stay in character; try and have someone who's not about to speak push it aside. The audience will get the idea. Don't panic so much before the show, either - accept the fact that you'll make a mistake, and be happy that you can experience going out there and performing!
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Unread 12-14-2008, 12:22 PM   #58
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I was lurking the forums when I ran into this epic thread. Thank you for making this even though it might hurt some peoples feelings. It's tough love people.

Anyway I've seen a few masquerades and the following annoyed me:

-Haruhi Dance
-Lucky Star Dance
-"Baby Got Back"
-"Bye Bye Bye" Dance
-Numa Numa Dance

There's more but you see a pattern here? I'm sooooo tired of hearing the same freaking music/dance at every single con. I know you're thinking "well everyone knows this song!" and thats the problem. IT GETS TIRING WHEN IT'S CONSTANTLY OVERUSED.

I feel the need to express this again even though it's been mentioned several times.

Masquerades = Great Cosplay! It's not all about skits you know. As the audience we want to see some great cosplay along with bringing out the characters personality. I remember seeing some big chick dressed as a really REALLY bad Ryuk (Death Note) and just wore black pants and shirt with a chain wallet along with some face paint bouncing around the stage very out of character. This, my friends, made the whole audience FACEPALM. It was so embarassing...

For god's sake put some effort into your costumes.
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Unread 12-28-2008, 12:20 AM   #59
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I actually just wanna touch up on one thing: DANCE IN THESE SKITS!!

Be original... don't dance to something most people already know about... and if you do use something related to the series, change up your choreography COMPLETELY, find a remix of the song your using (only a maybe actually).

Sorry to say, but I've been disappointed FAR too many times with dance skits that only appeal as a "Oh yah!! Everyone knows of it, let's do this!!"

Be more of a "Oh whoa, I didn't know this song would fit with that choreography so well!!"

Stun your audience. Make the Yuffie in your group bust out a few windmills or something!! lol =p
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Unread 12-28-2008, 02:34 PM   #60
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My buddy Cid (I've been in dramatic and musical theater with him for several years now) did a little ditty on this subject a while back.


My biggest beef is people not over exaggerating their movements so they are boring onstage.
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