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Unread 08-22-2013, 02:50 PM   #1
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Masquerade judges

Hi all,

I'd be curious to know what's the process involved in becoming a masquerade judge. How did some of you acheive this? What's it like on masquerade day?
Is this something that needs to be applied for or is it an «invitation only» type of thing?

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Unread 08-22-2013, 03:12 PM   #2
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Most of us have years of experience and some awards under our belts. Most of us also compete at the Master level, if not that at least high Journeyman. I was invited to judge my first competition, and since then I've judged numerous competitions as well as been a cosplay department head of a small/medium sized convention.

Some conventions do open applications, but others hand pick their judges privately (usually from the acquaintances of the staff).
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Unread 08-22-2013, 04:55 PM   #3
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I didn't begin to judge until I had been cosplaying for three years and was at Master level. Sometimes I get an invite to judge, other times I apply when there are open seats on the jury. In this case, I always provide background info on my resume - awards I have won, previous conventions I have judged at, skillsets, etc. along with links to my works so they can review what I have made and how I made it.

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Unread 08-22-2013, 09:13 PM   #4
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In general judging is left to veterans, the selection of judges and the mix of judges is one of the more difficult pre-event decisions for a masquerade director. Often you have to deal with personality mixes and understanding of the politics of the day. If you want to become a judge the three receomendayions I would have are;
1. Compete, don't have to win but you need the respect of your fellow judges and competitors
2. Get to know the masquerade directors, let them know you want to judge
3. Get a mentor, it always helps to know what your doing and how to make that decision. I learned from a few great costumers, one of which had been doing it since the 50's.
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Unread 08-26-2013, 07:52 PM   #5
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MOST of the time, you have to be asked by the director of the masquerade to be a judge. I have never personally seen it where people can volunteer to be judges, aside from letting a director know that they would be available for such-and-such con if they happen to need any more judges. The majority of the time, the director is in charge of staffing their judges, and if they aren't privately asking people from the area or region or a particular club/guild/organization/business who they know to have the experience, they're putting out a call to the places or organizations where experienced costumers hang out.

Often, the masquerade director wants to stay with a certain pool of judges who they know personally, but good directors do at least change up the judging panel from year to year to prevent favoritism and such. The key to choosing a judge is finding people with experience, who can ask the right questions and have a keen eye for both technique and detail, who also have the people skills to be able to handle contestants who may be nervous. So, first and foremost, a judge has to be a skilled costumer. Once you actually know your stuff, see if there are any quality masquerades where you'd be allowed to shadow the director or the judges to see how the actual process goes.
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