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Unread 01-25-2005, 11:58 AM   #1
Kaijugal
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Post Rotsler's Rules for all Masquerade Paricipants

Often there are basic questions asked by new costumers on what to do, and what not to do. If you are in the costuming community for some time you will probably hear Rotsler's Rules reffered to. I'm posting them here for sake of interest. They are in general a good guideline. (I'm not fussy on rule 1)

These are what are known as Rotsler's Rules, which has been laid out by a costuming community from Times Long Ago.

ROTSLER'S RULES FOR MASQUERADES

There should be a weight limit for the purchase of leotards *(I'm not a big fan of this rule, but I included it to be true to the original text. Costuming for your bodytype covers the point quite well.)

Every contestant should first see himself/herself from the rear.

Learn to manage your props, accessories and music.

Select costumes and characters suited to your personality and/or body type.

No name tags on costumes.

Thy shoes shall match thy costume.

Parts of your costume should not be edible or smell. Parts of your costume should not fall off accidentally, brush off against other contestants, or be left lying around on the stage.

Kathleen Sky's Corollary: Multiply any discomfort you have wearing the costume by the number of hours you are going to be in it.

Consider carefully before going nude or semi-nude. What looks good in the bedroom or bath may not be spectacular on stage.

Numbers alone do not make a coherent group.

Bjo TrimbLe's Corollary: A group is only as good as its weakest costume.

No fire, explosives, loud noises or dangerous weapons without full and proper clearance from the masquerade committee.

Marjii Ellers' Corollary: Effect is everything.

Carry a repair kit with appropriate tools and materials.

Whether prince or pauper act like it. Stay in character.

Speak distinctly, but not at length ... or at all. Learn to use the microphone -- or don't.

Do not lecture your audience. This is show biz. You are not there to make long statements about your particular passions, but to entertain yourself and others, to show off, to exhibit a character and/or a costume, not to convert, harangue, or bore.

When in doubt, keep your mouth shut.

Remember! Some people can grow a beard and some cannot.

Hand in a legible entry card, even to the point of writing out phonetically any difficult or unusual words. Do not assume either the narrator, the judges or the audience know all these words.

If you have the slightest doubt that your costume -- based on a cover, a story description or media origin -- might be unfamiliar to the judges, do not hesitate to supply them with visual materials or a copy of the passage in the text. (reference material)

Give the judges sufficient time to examine your costume from all angles, giving special time to any particularly interesting aspect or design or construction.

If you have something for the narrator to read keep it brief, eliminate as much as possible all unpronounceable, incomprehensible made-up names and terms.

Do not duplicate on microphone what the narrator has already said.

If you are thinking of doing something you intend to be amusing, try it out on honest friends.

Craig Miller's Corollary: Short is better than long; funny is better than non-funny; short and funny is Best.

If you are going to try a costume cliche, you must either do it better than ever before, or have a good variation, preferably comic.

Presentation can make a mediocre costume and break a good one.

Keep all presentations short. Action is better than words.

Do not commit the one unforgivable sin: Do Not Be Boring.

Rehearse! REHEARSE! REHEARSE!

The quantity of labor has nothing to do with art.

Len Wein's Law: Those who think these rules do not apply to them are wrong.


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Last edited by Kaijugal : 01-23-2009 at 07:46 PM.
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Unread 01-25-2005, 12:17 PM   #2
Zell Chan
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Wow. Good rules to keep in mind. o.o

*takes notes*
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Unread 01-25-2005, 12:22 PM   #3
Hime no Toki
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I live by a few of those. XD Especially staying true to the characters I cosplay, and choosing characters that suit my appearances and personality. Also you're right, you should always supply ref. pics but especially when it's a version that's rare, I have to do it for my floral Kenshin or else the judges wouldn't recognize it...takes a hardcore Kenshin fan to recognize his artbook costumes. ^^; But all those rules are handy, and true!

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Unread 01-25-2005, 01:59 PM   #4
Romann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijugal


Kathleen Sky's Corollary: Multiply any discomfort you have wearing the costume by the number of hours you are going to be in it.


Oh yes... I CANNOT stress that enough. Especially with a heavy costume, lack of costume pieces, and SHOES.
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Unread 01-26-2005, 01:32 PM   #5
Sarcasm-hime
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EVERYBODY should read this. Perhaps change the title of the thread to "Rostler's Rules for all masquerade participants" or some such.
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Unread 01-26-2005, 03:14 PM   #6
Karisu-sama
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Quote:
Do not commit the one unforgivable sin: Do Not Be Boring.
I wish more people who THINK a good skit "requires more than 2 minutes" would study enough of them to see that even the best skits usually start to get BORING after about 1.5! Lots of people just don't seem to want to make the effort to "tighten, tighten, tighten" until it flows snappily.

I have seen soooo many wonderful skits "miss their timing cue" to leave the stage and start to bore the audience, with people around me in the audience losing interest and starting to chat with each other. Believe me, boring the audience is going to leave a worse impression of your skit behind, whether it was a great skit to start with or not.

Even sensory-overload movie theater trailers cap at 2.5 minutes, BUT the large majority of them clock in at only around 1.5 minutes. The last thing movie-makers want is their trailers to bore the audience into not going to see the release!

Last edited by Karisu-sama : 01-26-2005 at 03:17 PM.
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Unread 01-26-2005, 03:55 PM   #7
Dany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karisu-sama
Even sensory-overload movie theater trailers cap at 2.5 minutes, BUT the large majority of them clock in at only around 1.5 minutes. The last thing movie-makers want is their trailers to bore the audience into not going to see the release!
...and trailers usually have a LOT of things going on at once. Just imagine how many people pop up in the LOTR trailers..

I was told once that 40 seconds is about as long as you can be up there if you're a lone entry without starting to wear on an audience. My Mina presentation was around 55 seconds, but I technically had a second "person" in it, so I kind of bent the rules a little bit because I treated it as a two-person presentation.

I am now working on something that has three people and will run at one minute on the nose. It might be too short, but the music piece I want to use (no dialog) has the ideal cut off at that point, and I decided to take advantage of it. Besides, I assume that masquerade audiences have the attention spans (and sometimes the behaviors) of a room full of kindergarteners, and I would much rather leave my audience wishing they saw more of us than looking at their watches and wishing we were shoo'd away.
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Unread 01-26-2005, 04:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dany
I am now working on something that has three people and will run at one minute on the nose.
That also describes my last WorldCon entry (Boston 2004), which won a "best presentation" award in its category.
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Unread 01-26-2005, 05:50 PM   #9
Kaijugal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karisu-sama
I wish more people who THINK a good skit "requires more than 2 minutes" would study enough of them to see that even the best skits usually start to get BORING after about 1.5! Lots of people just don't seem to want to make the effort to "tighten, tighten, tighten" until it flows snappily.!
Heh. ^_^ Notice how I underlined that one? ^_~
These past few years of judging made me cry out to have that one noticed.
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Unread 01-27-2005, 01:07 PM   #10
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heeheee I love reading these guidlines, they amuse me. I've never participated in a masquerade, but as a watcher I know that assuming we have the attention span of a kindergarten kid is quite fair... and probably truer than most are willing to admit. XD
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Unread 01-27-2005, 08:09 PM   #11
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Those 'rules' are great advice! They're also entertaining. Thanks for posting those, Kaijugal!

There should be Rotsler's rules for Masquerade Attendees, as well, I think. ^^ Some people just don't know how to behave at a masq.
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