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Unread 06-06-2017, 12:31 PM   #1
vonjankmon
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I have some questions about Cosplay contests

In 10 days I will be attending AwesomeCon in Washington, DC and participating in their main stage costume contest on Saturday. I'm in full on project panic right now to get everything done but I have never participated in a cosplay contest before and was hoping someone might be able to answer some questions for me. (Ideally if they have been to AwesomeCon before but I imagine a lot of the contests are run similarly.)

My costume is huge, it's Space Marine armor and I am just over 7 feet tall in it and do not fit through small doors. (If I have the whole thing on I am trapped in whatever room in my house I am in.)

Because of the size of it I have a friend coming along as a handler but is it going to be a problem with him coming along with me to craftsmanship judging (which is separate from the main contest) or getting me situated ready to walk out on stage during the actual contest? Is there some general etiquette as far as needing a handler goes?

Also, I can't walk up stairs in the armor (I'm basically on giant 11 inch platforms, the front of the feet are not load bearing, and the feet are far larger than what would fit on a normal step) and am a bit concerned about actually getting up on stage and such during the contest. Am I being overly anxious here or is that something I should bring up to the organizers sooner rather than later?

Any other general recommendations people may have to make things smoother would be appreciated and if anyone is attending AwesomeCon I hope to see you there, look for either the giant dark green Space Marine or Link escorting an adult and kid Zelda around(My wife and daughter), I'll be the Link.
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Unread 06-06-2017, 03:20 PM   #2
belligerent
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Those are probably questions that nobody here is going to know the answers to as well as people from the convention, so while we can offer opinions and conjecture, we can't tell you definitively how the con will respond to you. Asking them your questions also prepares them for the issues involved in what you're bringing
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Unread 06-06-2017, 08:08 PM   #3
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Like Belligerent said, the people running the show are better equipped to handle these questions. I would see if there is an email address you can send these questions to, along with maybe some snapshots of your amor so they can tell you themselves what to expect.
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Unread 06-07-2017, 07:37 PM   #4
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Doubling (tripling?) that. There aren't many "general" answers to "how does I get on a stage in something cumbersome" because every location is different. Only the con can tell you how big the stage is, what their clearance is, what their on/off situation is, and how much staff they have on hand backstage to assist. The smaller the con, the less likely it is that they're going to have even thought about accessibility issues let alone prepared for it, but it's possible to be pleasantly (or unpleasantly) surprised by cons of all sizes.

What you want from them is not just stage dimensions but how they expect people to get on and off stage, how they expect people to get from the green room to the stage and back, and what kind of backstage helpers they've planned for. Bringing your own handler is most likely to be a plus but you should ask them what kind of ninjas they have for handling contestants. And, if their answers aren't satisfactory, impress upon them what YOU need from them in order to participate in their contest. It could be as simple as a patch of glow-tape on a step so you don't miss it in the darkness, or it could be as complicated as using their helpers to get you on stage before your entry starts. Also, their staff may have a particular routine setup which they never deviate from even for cumbersome entries, and only they can tell you that.
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Unread 06-08-2017, 09:15 AM   #5
gypsy_girl
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Talk to Masquerade staff!!!!! There are ways around it. At ColossalCon this year there was a large, awesome costume. She got suited up right back stage and then just walked out in front of the stage. There are ways. Staff wants to show off awesome cosplay, they usually find a way.
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Unread 06-08-2017, 09:48 AM   #6
loz64
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Hello! I participated in the costume contest at AwesomeCon last year. There was a guy in a blue Space Marine costume, and he and his handler ended up walking across the floor in front of the stage to avoid stairs. Shame he didn't win anything, because I thought the construction was well done and he was pretty mobile for how large the costume was. Last year the judging room was pretty far away from where the main stage was, so if they do the same thing this year you'll have to plan ahead to ensure you are able to transport yourself between both areas.

That being said, I would reach out to the coordinators now to make sure they are aware of your situation. Good luck to you!
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Unread 06-08-2017, 11:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vonjankmon View Post
I'm in full on project panic right now to get everything done...
I know exactly what you mean. My house is in the same situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vonjankmon View Post
...if anyone is attending AwesomeCon I hope to see you there, look for either the giant dark green Space Marine or Link escorting an adult and kid Zelda around(My wife and daughter), I'll be the Link.
On Saturday, if you see a Sweeney Todd, Mrs. Lovett, and Link, that would be me, my wife, and my 19 year old daughter. This will be our very first cosplay attempt. Fingers crossed. Good luck in the contest!
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Unread 06-09-2017, 12:34 AM   #8
TunaSpleen
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From my experience talking to contest judges, they love handlers. As long as your buddy's not somehow being obnoxious, he takes most of the burden off of the contest coordinators to help you look your best, and he'll already know how to reposition your armor/what your blind spots are/helping you change and so on. As far as stairs, some conventions have backstage areas where you can change at stage height, I've seen some with wheelchair lifts, or you might just have to get up there and stand to the side super early and wait for them to call your name. Definitely ask the contest coordinators.
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Unread 06-09-2017, 09:38 AM   #9
vonjankmon
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Thanks for the information everyone, I'll reach out to the organizers and see how it goes.

I'll keep an eye out for you Check. I'll be with my family (Kid and adult Zelda) as Link and/or my friend/handler dressed as a Council of Ricks Rick from Rick and Morty. Put together a quick portal gun with LED's for him last week to go with the rest of his costume. I figure he can just claim that he traveled over to the 40K universe and brought me back when I'm in my space marine armor.

Looking forward to AwesomeCon but I'm a bit concerned about the announcement they're only allowing one entrance to the con, I really hope they have a ton of staff there to get everyone in without huge lines.
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Unread 06-15-2017, 01:29 PM   #10
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I attended Awesome con last year. There were loads of people. Where you pick up your pass and the hall was a very long walk. I remember going down stairs, too, but there must be an elevator option. There were long lines, but they got everyone in - in a quick manner. Highly recommend this con.

We drove up for the day, so had to park about 1/4 mile away, too.
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Unread 06-18-2017, 03:45 PM   #11
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VonJankmon: How did the contest go? We were there from around 3 to 7. Posted a couple of pictures a few minutes ago. Saw some pics of your costume on Tumblr and it looks amazing!
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Unread 06-19-2017, 12:17 PM   #12
vonjankmon
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As suggested above I contacted the contest organizer about my mobility limitations and cleared my friend to act as my handler ahead of time. They took his name and said that they would work something out for my mobility limitations.

Lots of ups an downs over the weekend but overall the Con went really well, I tripped and fell over on my way into the Con Saturday afternoon for craftsmanship judging. Through some miracle of luck or over engineering on my part my 7 foot fall didn't actually damage the armor that badly. Took 3 people to get me standing back up and after getting everything back in place (for the most part) I made it to the judging just barely in time. Quick shout out to both the DC Convention staff and the AwesomeCon staff, after my fall 4 different people approached me to make sure that I was alright and to see if I needed any medical attention. Really appreciated it folks.

So after that I asked around at the Con and the very kind women running their program room allowed me to stash the undamaged parts of my armor there (Again staff at AwesomeCon lived up to the conventions name) while another really great cosplayer named Xavier helped me and my friend get all of the damaged pieces back to the hotel room so I could begin repairs. Hour or two later and just about everything was fixed up and we hauled it all back to the con where I got into the armor right outside the main stage for the cosplay contest. (Much to the amusement of the attendees around me, getting into this thing is a production) I was running a bit behind at this point and two more cosplayers helped me haul all of the pieces from the program room to outside the main stage in one trip to I actually arrived on time.

The contest itself went well but they only had stairs to get up to the stage, which I cannot do in my armor so I wasn't able to partake in the promo photos ahead of time and for the actual contest they had me stand in one spot where the cameras could see me and spot lighted me. Which on the whole I was alright with but it kind of left me wondering about what they would have done had someone in a wheel chair or unable to do the steps (for reasons other than making a suit of armor that had ridiculous proportions) had wanted to participate.

By the end of the night I had worn the armor for about 4 hours straight and I have the bruises on my shoulders to show it. I will be making some design changes to the shoulders before I try and wear it again. With the whole falling over and repair mess I wasn't able to just walk around the Con in it which I was bummed about but I did win the Judges award from Maki Roll and got to see all of the other really fantastic cosplayers up close while they did the promo photos and we waited for the actual event to start.

Real bummer is that I don't really have any good photos of me all suited up. Just one my wife took in the hotel room before I walked over the first time. Once I get all of the damage from the fall fixed up I'll do a proper photo shoot.
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Unread 06-19-2017, 01:43 PM   #13
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Thanks for sharing your experience! Sorry you tripped and had bruises but it sounds like folks stepped up to help you out which is good to hear. And congrats on your award
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