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Unread 07-08-2014, 09:19 AM   #1
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What rank am I?

Skimmed through the sticky thread, but wanted to get some direct feedback anyways.

I'm new to cosplaying. I have built one costume and competed in 1 cosplay contest.....but took 1st place. Does that automatically make me a Journeyman/the next level up from beginner? ....I realize different conventions have different definitions, etc. (some say "one award at the state level" -what does that mean?).

The convention I went to was in its 2nd year of operation. Total attendance was maybe 200 and the number of cosplay entrants was only 10. There were NO rules for the competition (except like no live weapons/steal) ....it was super informal. No categories at all, no prejudging, no specifics about walk-ons vs. skits, nothing.
Here's a link (courtesy of Moses photography) of the competition: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152277616217713.1073741860.26403627712&ty pe=1

So my main question; even though I took first in this contest....does it really count as winning given the type of event it actually was? ....I'm super excited I won, but it also doesn't feel like a "real" win to me

Secondary question....since the competition I have done touch-ups/changes on my outfit. Whats the protocol for entering the same costume in a different contest -is that taboo?
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Unread 07-08-2014, 01:18 PM   #2
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If it was that informal, and the next masquerade you're entering is much larger (over 30 contestants, say), you would probably be okay to be novice again.
As to the re-entering a costume; it's not that uncommon. Many cosplayers will "test" a costume and entry at a small con before entering it again at a large convention where the chances of winning are much harder (e.g., first in a small masquerade of 30 entries and a con of 1000 people, then at a big 20,000-person con with a masquerade of 50-60 entries). However, if you won an award with it, it's considered to be in bad form to enter it again, with no changes, at the same level, unless it's a much larger competition. How did they judge that contest? If there was no workmanship judging and it was largely by audience applause or performance only, you would probably be fine to enter it in novice again. When in doubt, check with the masquerade director to make sure you're not breaking any rules. Worst case scenario they'd ask you to compete in Journeyman instead of novice.

Also, I'll explain "one award at state level". Conventions operate on "regional" rankings or ICG (international costumer's guild) rankings/judging systems. ICG rankings are limited to just a few big conventions (Worldcon, costumecon, Anime North) with BIG masquerades, whereas regional rankings are what just about all other cons use, especially if small. If you're entering into conventions that aren't one of those big three, where you enter in the masquerade is based on what you've won at regional OR ICG-run conventions (one award in novice at a regional would make you a regional journeyman). ICG masquerades are a lot tougher and bigger competition (think of it as something like a state competition versus a national championship) and thus allow people who've never won an award at one of their masquerades, even if in a higher division regionally (long as it's not master), to compete in novice division. But if you've won a major novice award at an ICG-standard masquerade you're definitely a journeyman at both levels.
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Unread 07-08-2014, 02:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback! I honestly have no clue how the contest was judged. There was a single host/judge and she did not inspect or ask questions of any of us entrants. Like I said, there were no categories or levels for awards and specifications regarding skits and/or walk-ons.
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Unread 07-08-2014, 08:25 PM   #4
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With a contest that informal, at a con that small, I'm pretty sure you'd be okay entering again at Novice. Especially if the contest didn't even technically have skill divisions at all.

If you do re-compete, though, make sure to mention at least to the director that it did technically win a prize at a very small con, just in case. And then make sure to document and explain all the changes/improvements you've done since then. Altering the costume with the intent to improve it overall is always a happy thing, when you plan to re-compete.

It's not to say that one's very first costume can't win you a major award like Best in Show regionally, because I've seen it happen. Poor Novices catapulted straight into Master class that way. But it is fairly rare. Mostly what people would be concerned about is sandbagging, which is taking a costume that has won a major award to other competitions with the intention of racking up as many major awards as you can. Generally, that's not kosher in the cosplay competition circuit. But we judges and directors DO weigh the size of the convention and the type of contest when we see re-competes: we know that there are some little teeny cons out there that hold a masquerade for no reason other than tradition, where the judge doesn't actually look at your costume except from a distance and doesn't talk to you, or worse, the judging is done by audience or by celebrity opinion. We know not to weight those kinds of awards as heavily as we would weight a best in class at CostumeCon.

Still, congratulations on taking first with your very first costume! That's still a big accomplishment, so go forth and compete again with great pride!
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Unread 07-09-2014, 10:14 PM   #5
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Thank you CapsuleCorp. Lets just say I'm already hooked on cosplaying!
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