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Unread 08-25-2013, 12:27 PM   #1
Amanita
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Costume contest/masquerade etiquette?

When it comes to costume contests, what etiquette/how not to be a dick pointers would you give to would-be contestants, judges, or audience members?

I would start with the following:

Contestants
-Don't be rude to, or trash talk other contestants. It makes you look bad, and some judges might consider it poor sportsmanship if they see or hear it.
-Don't be rude to the judges- you're trying to make a good impression, remember?
-Don't make an entrance into the green room by coming in and saying dumb things like "All the rest of you can go home, the REAL WINNER is here!"
-Don't be a poor sport
-If you have concerns about how the contest was run or how judging was done, there are ways to express that without coming off like a sore loser or a dick. An email/con forum post/ con facebook page post explaining your concerns and suggestions for improvement will come off much better if it's not written like melodramatic rage porn.

Judges
-Don't be a dick to your contestants- whatever you think of their workmanship, refrain from making rude comments to them, or where they can hear you. (I've heard stories of a few con judges being heard talking trash about contestants, where the contestants could hear it- NOT good!)
-If for whatever reason, you can't give a fair assessment of somebody's skills, bring over another judge who can. For example, if you're a sewing expert but know next to nothing about fabrication/armor/hard kit, get another judge who does know that stuff.

Audience
-Don't heckle. Seriously, you're not as funny or witty as you think you are.
-Don't boo (Although exceptions might be made for really hideous behavior on stage, like a contestant yelling rude things at the audience)

Anyone have some more good pointers, or anything I've forgotten?
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Unread 08-25-2013, 01:17 PM   #2
JediofTime
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I like this alot.
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Unread 08-25-2013, 01:18 PM   #3
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Some of this is more 'General', but it's stuff that helps me a lot.

~If you're involved with Masquerade in pretty much any capacity, take some time to learn stage directions. You don't have to be perfect, but knowing the difference between Stage Left and Stage Right will be helpful. (Also, if you need help with basics, don't wait until the day of tech rehearsals/Masquerade to ask someone.)

~Food and fluids. We all know from hall cosplay how vital these two things are. Check with the coordinator to see if food and/or water are provided, and plan accordingly. Additionally, check with the venue to see if you can bring in food if it isn't provided. Even small snacks can help you stay on your feet until it ends and you can get real food.

~Make sure you bring any and all vital things (band-aids, sewing supplies for last-minute emergencies, etc.), or have someone who can bring them to you. Remember backstage and green room areas are limited to contestants, so plan accordingly if you need something delivered to you.

~If the Masquerade director says something is mandatory, make sure you either a) attend, or b) make alternate arrangements. Don't simply skip out and figure you'll still be permitted to go on.

~Venues can range from comfortable to chilly. On stage, the lights can make things rather warm. If you're sensitive to cooler temperatures (like me) and/or you have a cosplay made of thinner materials, make sure you bring a light sweater or something you can wrap up in.

~Remember tech people are human, too. Snags will happen, it's the nature of live performance. When minor snags happen, don't throw a fit. Just do your best to take things in stride.

~Have fun, and take care of yourself! Post-Masquerade, go out for a treat (regardless of if you win anything or not), spend time with friends, and celebrate that it's over!
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Unread 08-25-2013, 09:35 PM   #4
ardhri
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If the masquerade has stage ninjas to help you on and off the stage, make full use of them! If the con doesn't have their own stage ninjas and you need help with your costume, tell the masquerade directors and they may be able to find someone to help. It's worth it to have those extra hands when you're wearing that huge armour or giant hoopskirt and can't see your feet!
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Unread 09-02-2013, 08:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardhri View Post
If the masquerade has stage ninjas to help you on and off the stage, make full use of them! If the con doesn't have their own stage ninjas and you need help with your costume, tell the masquerade directors and they may be able to find someone to help. It's worth it to have those extra hands when you're wearing that huge armour or giant hoopskirt and can't see your feet!
if the con will not provide help or you would prefer to have your own. ask if its ok to have your own helper. most cons I have been at are good about letting you have an assistant if you need it. don't abuse this to just have friends get backstage. same if your working for the con don't use your postinion to get friends backstage so they can see the costumes before the contest.

unless its stated else where most cosplay contest are family friendly so keep it PG. there are little kids watching with there parents
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Unread 09-02-2013, 12:02 PM   #6
Amanita
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^Good call on the PG thing- a lot of cons have rules about that kind of thing.

I would add talking to the masquerade director and clearing whatever you're planning to do before going on stage. Somebody here posted a video of one group which did a wicked choreographed fight scene with lots of acrobatics. They probably would have won an award for sure, had they not busted out silly string as fake blood and gotten it all over the stage. A lot of cons forbid silly string at all, and many costume contests frown on messy things on stage!
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Unread 09-02-2013, 07:17 PM   #7
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I have a section in my forms for any help required-including minders. The only restriction we have is that they are either- part of your group or not in costume because to be honest the audience cannot differenciate between minders and actual entrants. I like to make sure all the focus is on contestants so I run off stage and we announce over the speakers the next contestants (we have minders at the sides of the stage yes).

At the start of each presentation we are able to remind the audience that while the hall is full of costumes these people have had to jump through a series of hoops and had to make their work entirely themselves and that deserves a round of support, so lets give a round of applause to everyone!
This up front lets people know this is special and to not be rude. If there are hecklers oh you bet we shut it down fast.

I'm a bit harder on my own self and any staff I have- no matter how much I love them for what they do- so that all the stress is taken off the contestants. I take a 5 minute breather and clear my head time before the contest starts and once my computer and pens and paper and forms are set up. This allows me to put on my happy face. It's not fake, it just is a conscious understanding that even a blank face (on me especially) tends to look concerned or worried and that is such a burden on contestants, especially new people.


All good thoughts! I'm going to see if I can subscribe.... so I can come back to this to help create a general public cosplay guideline page!- for my own con I mean!
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Unread 09-03-2013, 01:52 AM   #8
Amanita
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^I'm glad the thread I started has been helpful
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