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Unread 07-29-2012, 12:25 AM   #1
Emerald_Star
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Otakon 2012 Masquerade feedback

Post your feedback for the Masquerade here. This is a thread for how the Masquerade functions, not a "the skits sucked" thread.
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Unread 07-29-2012, 11:14 PM   #2
Devkyu
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Sadly I missed out on everything before Skit #3, so I can't comment on how that was run, but I enjoyed the rest of it. The intermission was absolutely great! Also, it seemed the awards flowed much more efficiently this year than previous ones (and I like how the photos were shown on the screen for the winning costumes).

My only real comment would be maybe varying the placement of the skits? I'm not sure if it was for technical reasons or not, but it seemed all of the ballet skits were placed VERY close to each other, so maybe moving skits around next year so very similar performances aren't essentially back-to-back?
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Unread 07-30-2012, 02:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Devkyu View Post
Sadly I missed out on everything before Skit #3, so I can't comment on how that was run, but I enjoyed the rest of it. The intermission was absolutely great! Also, it seemed the awards flowed much more efficiently this year than previous ones (and I like how the photos were shown on the screen for the winning costumes).

My only real comment would be maybe varying the placement of the skits? I'm not sure if it was for technical reasons or not, but it seemed all of the ballet skits were placed VERY close to each other, so maybe moving skits around next year so very similar performances aren't essentially back-to-back?
We were actually allowed to pick whatever spot we wanted when we checked in. It just so happened that the ballet skits all chose skit numbers close to each other. ^^,

From my prospective though, the staff and judges were extremely helpful, organized, and just overall awesome. Everything ran smoothly, and the staff and even other cosplayers went out of their way to help us whenever possible. We broke a guitar string right before our performance and couldn't get the pin out to replace it. The staff and even some cosplayers from another skit immediately came over to help us. Everyone was just so supportive of each other. It was wonderful! We had a blast back stage with everyone!
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Unread 07-30-2012, 02:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Devkyu View Post
Sadly I missed out on everything before Skit #3, so I can't comment on how that was run, but I enjoyed the rest of it. The intermission was absolutely great! Also, it seemed the awards flowed much more efficiently this year than previous ones (and I like how the photos were shown on the screen for the winning costumes).

My only real comment would be maybe varying the placement of the skits? I'm not sure if it was for technical reasons or not, but it seemed all of the ballet skits were placed VERY close to each other, so maybe moving skits around next year so very similar performances aren't essentially back-to-back?
I'd agree with this idea. It not only happened with the ballet skits, but the two guitar performances as well.
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Unread 07-30-2012, 05:50 PM   #5
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I didn't go myself but I wanted to share the feedback that a friend of mine gave. She participated in one of the costume contests and won a prize. She was really excited about it... until she was told she had to be at the Masquerade to accept the prize. Our group has always skipped the Masquerade because it's not our thing and my friend was very bummed to hear that she had to go to it, especially because it meant she missed something else she had really wanted to see that evening. She said that, besides the very talented dance numbers, she was really bored and would have rather just gotten her award at the office.

We have no idea if presenting the costume awards at Masquerades are done at all cons (it's only the second time she's entered in a contest and the first time she's won) but if there's any possibility to skip presenting them at the Masquerade, I know she would be very appreciative.
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Unread 07-30-2012, 06:14 PM   #6
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I didn't go myself but I wanted to share the feedback that a friend of mine gave. She participated in one of the costume contests and won a prize. She was really excited about it... until she was told she had to be at the Masquerade to accept the prize. Our group has always skipped the Masquerade because it's not our thing and my friend was very bummed to hear that she had to go to it, especially because it meant she missed something else she had really wanted to see that evening. She said that, besides the very talented dance numbers, she was really bored and would have rather just gotten her award at the office.

We have no idea if presenting the costume awards at Masquerades are done at all cons (it's only the second time she's entered in a contest and the first time she's won) but if there's any possibility to skip presenting them at the Masquerade, I know she would be very appreciative.
This is not true at all. It's actually in the rules this year (and posted at the entrance to the HCC office) that all prizes were handed out Sunday. The winners were announced at the Masquerade first, but then posted in the HCC office and announced again at closing ceremonies. We were in the office until about 12pm handing out prizes and giving feedback to participants and then we still gave out prizes for those who stopped by before we had to lock up the room. The rest of the prizes I have here at home sitting in a bin and they will be mailed out in a week or so. Not all our winners were present at the Masq to accept their prizes, it's not a requirement.
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Unread 07-30-2012, 06:20 PM   #7
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So I've decided to give Melissa a bit of break and break my silence on Coscom. I figured it was about time anyway, so please be gentle so it doesn't hurt.

With that said, I've checked in here and there over the years, and the feedback has been very much appreciated.

In regards to the back to back skits:
I guess if there's ever a time that "you never stop learning" applies, I think it's this one. After 9 years of doing this, I have either been fortunate (or oblivious admittedly) to stacking very similiar skits in terms of content. It happened one year with a bunch of Naruto skits, and I even programmed something in my management system to tell me when that was going to happen. Looks like I'll be doing it again.

There's a number of factors we consider in placing a skit, but a lot of it comes down to where a group is comfortable. Skits check in out of order, and we assign numbers out of order to determine the placement in the show and to give participants preference, as mentioned prior. The trouble tends to start when we start getting an influx of check-ins that prefer right in the middle.

So in the end, I'll say it wasn't deliberate, which I think most of you trust it wasn't anyway. I think some back to back same-genre placements are going to be inevitable by virtue of remaining slots, the variety of skits we ultimately have, wind speed, barometer, etc. etc.

It's something that I can try to put myself in a position to keep an eye on better, and even if it's not perfect in practice next year, it sounds like any improvement will make a difference.

Thanks to all our participants and everyone for the support our events.
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Unread 07-30-2012, 06:34 PM   #8
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Emerald_Star > Then it wasn't made clear at all. Of course, I wasn't there, all I have is the knowledge from my friend. She said that she stopped by the office at some point after the contest and asked if she really had to go to the Masquerade. Whoever she talked to must have checked the list of winners because she was told that yes she had to be there. She said the person she talked to was hinting very very very strongly that it was because she had won something, and she was told point blank to go to the Masquerade.

And while she enjoyed hanging out with the other costume contest people and receiving the award on stage, she was really bored. She would have been thrilled to just swing by the office to get her prizes, which she did to get the stuff that wasn't given to her at the Masquerade.

At least now we'll know the rules for future contests. But just a tip: make it clear that the Masquerade isn't a requirement, and please don't have staff say so. Thanks!
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Unread 07-30-2012, 07:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Litwolf View Post
Emerald_Star > Then it wasn't made clear at all. Of course, I wasn't there, all I have is the knowledge from my friend. She said that she stopped by the office at some point after the contest and asked if she really had to go to the Masquerade. Whoever she talked to must have checked the list of winners because she was told that yes she had to be there. She said the person she talked to was hinting very very very strongly that it was because she had won something, and she was told point blank to go to the Masquerade.

And while she enjoyed hanging out with the other costume contest people and receiving the award on stage, she was really bored. She would have been thrilled to just swing by the office to get her prizes, which she did to get the stuff that wasn't given to her at the Masquerade.

At least now we'll know the rules for future contests. But just a tip: make it clear that the Masquerade isn't a requirement, and please don't have staff say so. Thanks!
That was actually me, and I know who your friend is now. I said I highly recommended she be there (she had one of the highest scores in the entire contest) and told her that if she couldn't make the whole thing, the awards would start around 9, but I didn't say it was required.
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Unread 07-30-2012, 07:24 PM   #10
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Emerald_Star > Must have been a slight miscommunication then because she came back to our group with the impression that she had to go. Oh well, at least now we know better for future years. Sorry for the confusion!
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Unread 08-01-2012, 07:58 PM   #11
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Thanks for the opportunity to be a performance judge, it was really cool to be on the other side after being on the Otakon stage so many times. I liked the points system, it was clear and intuitive. I also liked having the hall cosplay fashion show first, so the judges could see it before they had to go deliberate.
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Unread 08-02-2012, 08:06 AM   #12
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As a first-time cosplayer, Masquerade attendee and Masquerade performer, I think this year's event went pretty smoothly. (My skit was the "Thrilling My True Self" one with the Protagonist from Persona 4, by the way.) I only have one minor complaint; the audio team had a huge delay in starting the prerecorded audio for my skit, which probably made it look crappier than it actually was (and I imagine it looked pretty crappy to begin with; I say imagine because I can see dozens of photos from most of the other skits on the Internet and literally only ONE of mine, in a moment that really wasn't even the crux of the performance itself).

Other than that, good work!
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Unread 08-02-2012, 09:25 AM   #13
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Sorry to double post, but I wanted to say that my wording above was not meant to be as biting as it might sound. Really, you guys did an excellent job of keeping things afloat, and I look forward to performing in the future!
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Unread 08-02-2012, 01:06 PM   #14
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I was so happy with how the masquerade went. I was chaperoning my younger sister who was the Princess Tutu cosplayer who danced to Michael Jackson. It was her first masquerade and first time I have ever chaperoned for an event like that. I was apprehensive that it would be a little tense backstage--however, I couldn't have been more wrong. All of the people who were competing and who were not competing were amazing and helpful. Everyone was so encouraging to one-another and it was probably one of the best competition atmospheres I have ever seen.

It was merely just coincidence about the ballet skits being close to one-another. My sis picked skit 18--since she wanted to end up in a half-way point of the masquerade. It seems that the other dancers had the same idea. Haha. Though it might have irked some of the audiences members all of the dancers very much enjoyed performing in close proximity of one-another. My sister was able to share her rosin with the rest of the dancers before they went on that stage--which was quite slippery if you were wearing pointe shoes.

All in all we had a great experience and plan on returning with something else.
If anyone knows a Deviantart account or FB for the one pointe dancer who had the beautiful wight wings please let me know. We forgot to exchange contact information with her before she left and we were quite upset.
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Unread 08-02-2012, 02:22 PM   #15
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All of the people who were competing and who were not competing were amazing and helpful. Everyone was so encouraging to one-another and it was probably one of the best competition atmospheres I have ever seen.
That is wonderful to hear and I absolutely cannot take credit for a single ounce of it. We do our best to make sure everyone is comfortable, but it's our participants that have really made that backstage atmosphere something great, and it's become even more prevalent as the years have gone by. You all really respresent something amazing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asako021 View Post
It was merely just coincidence about the ballet skits being close to one-another. My sis picked skit 18--since she wanted to end up in a half-way point of the masquerade. It seems that the other dancers had the same idea. Haha. Though it might have irked some of the audiences members all of the dancers very much enjoyed performing in close proximity of one-another. My sister was able to share her rosin with the rest of the dancers before they went on that stage--which was quite slippery if you were wearing pointe shoes.
Good to hear the coincidence worked out. The traction issue has come up a couple times this year, so we're going to be looking into what we can do to improve it. Marley has come up a couple times in conversations, but I've also been told we may have to downsize the stage in the process (which I'm not a fan of). Rosin is definitely going on my shopping list though.
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