Masquerade Rules

Masquerade Rules & Information

  • The RavenCon Masquerade is open to any costumed individual or group, but all participants must have valid RavenCon membership badges.
  • The event will be held on Saturday night. (See our program book for the time.)
  • Masquerade sign-up will be active online until noon on Saturday. No entries will be accepted after that time.
  • If you have audio material to be played while you are on stage, please have it recorded on an otherwise blank CD, which is labeled with your name, your badge number, and the name of your costume (or group). There should be no more than ten (10) seconds of blank time before your audio begins to play.  The Registration Staff will collect audio at our Registration Desk. RavenCon cannot guarantee your audio will be played during your presentation. We reserve the right to review music before allowing it to be used. CDs can be reclaimed after the Masquerade awards are presented.
  • There will be no live microphone for contestants to use on stage.
  • There will be no spotlights or other light effects available on stage.
  • If you plan to draw or otherwise “use” a weapon during your presentation, note that on your Masquerade sign-up sheet. Judges will make any necessary determination of suitability and safety.
  • If you are taking part in a group entry, only one Masquerade sign-up sheet is necessary for the entire group, but the name and badge number of all group members must be listed on that sheet.
  • The contest is open to all ages. An adult must accompany children under 12. Non-costumed parents of young entrants will be able to accompany their children at all times except while children are onstage. Costumed parents can accompany their children onstage.
  • Entrants under 12 will not be judged, but will receive certificates for participating.
  • Awards categories may include: Best Costume, Best Presentation, Best in Show, Best Re-Creation, Top Novice, Top Journeyman, Top Master, and Judge’s Choice. Depending on the number of entrants, other awards may be added. Participants will be judged on costume construction, originality, and presentation. Decisions of the judges will be final.
  • Novice costumers are those who have won three (3) or fewer major (Best-, Top-, 1st Place-in category) awards in costume competitions. Journeyman costumers are those who have won more than three major awards in costume competitions, but have won fewer than three (3) Best in Show or Best Overall awards. Master costumers are those who have won more than three (3) Best in Show or Best Overall awards. Any entrant may choose to compete in a higher category.
  • No individual may present more than one costume in the contest. You cannot wear a costume onstage, then change into another costume and present it, too, for competition.
  • Individuals are limited to one (1) minute on stage. Groups entries are limited to one (1) minute plus thirty (30) seconds for each additional member up to a maximum of three (3) minutes on stage. There will be no extended songs, skits, monologues, or conversations.
  • Any of the following on stage will result in disqualification and ejection from the Masquerade: smoke effects, open flames, squirting liquids, firing projectiles, throwing objects into the audience, use of obscene language, pornographic representations, full or partial nudity. Help us keep RavenCon a safe and family-friendly convention.
  • Judging will incorporate a weighted system, meaning that the standards will be stricter for a Master-level costume than for a Novice entry. This helps encourage participation by newcomers.
  • Points may be deducted for missing costume parts, poor makeup, inaccurate accessories, or outfits that disintegrate onstage. Wholly purchased or professionally constructed costumes are not eligible for the Masquerade competition.
  • We ask that anyone with a costume which has won three (3) or more major (Best, Top, or 1st Place) masquerade or costume competition awards elsewhere not enter that particular costume into RavenCon competition unless it has been significantly changed or improved.
  • Masquers need to be in the Green Room (see our Announcements Board at the con for its location) at least one (1) hour before Masquerade time to be pre-judged and assigned a place in line. If you have a re-creation costume, bring any supporting photos, illustrations, text passages, models, or other reference materials with you for judges to examine. Latecomers may not be allowed to participate, even if they have registered by turning in a sign-up sheet.
  • The Green Room will be secured while the Masquerade is taking place. Only identified contestants or their parents will have access to the Green Room in that time period.
  • RavenCon reserves the right to remove anyone from the contest at any time for any reason, including but not limited to: indecent costume, unprofessional conduct, tardiness, and disruption of the contest.
  • Participants must stay within the contest area (the Masquerade room, Green Room, or designated meeting area) until judging is completed and awards are presented.

Tips to help you win

  • Begin putting your costume together well before the convention. Everything takes longer than you may think it does.
  • Pay attention to detail. If your character is supposed to have red hair, you should, too. If that ray gun is supposed to be brass and steel, paint the green and blue plastic.
  • Construct what you can and buy what you have to. Nobody expects you to make Wellington boots from scratch, but that cape might be something you can do. Try to have a costume whose parts go together. A space captain should not be wearing ratty cross-trainers with his spiffy uniform.
  • When you are onstage, you are not supposed to look like you are wearing a costume. You are supposed to be the character you are portraying, wearing what that character would normally be comfortable wearing. Practice walking the way they would walk and making any distinctive gestures they would make.
  • If you will be speaking on stage, practice what you will say until you have it memorized and can say it convincingly.
  • When deciding how to portray your character on stage, keep in mind this dictum: Short is good. Funny is good. Short and funny is best.
  • Try on your entire costume and practice the moves you will be making on stage to ensure the costume does not come apart or leave a trail of pieces.
  • Make a list of everything that will be used in your presentation and check the items off as you pack them. This includes makeup, wig, belt, footwear, props, gloves, etc. If you have spares or a repair kit, pack those, too. RavenCon will have some basics, such as safety pins, and tape on hand in the Costume Triage Room, but it’s best to have what you may need with you. (You know what your costume needs!)
  • Don’t forget the little things. Tuck your membership badge out of sight before you get on the stage. Do not have a visible wristwatch if your costume belongs to a long-ago era.

Hall Costume Contest

Hall costumes are those worn by fans for fun rather than created especially for Masquerade wear. A hall costume can be any garb with a science fiction, horror, or fantasy flavor that is not entered for stage competition. Many fans live in these clothes throughout the convention.

Maybe you have an otherworldly outfit you like to wear, but you’re not comfortable with facing formal competitors. That doesn’t mean you can’t get kudos for your work! RavenCon will have secret judges roving the halls and evaluating costumes that may not be in the Masquerade. The Hall Costume Contest will run from the convention’s opening on Friday afternoon to an hour before the Masquerade begins on Saturday.

If a judge thinks your costume is a standout, you’ll receive a special ribbon to be attached to your membership badge. You may also be asked to come up on stage during the Masquerade judging to be recognized for your accomplishment! Let the crowd enjoy what you’ve done. There are no forms to fill out and no reference materials to be presented. Just wear and be there.

 

Frédéric El Maafer

Frédéric El MaaferFrédéric El Maafer hails from the legendary city of Paris, France. He has been a cosplayer since he was but a wee lad of four years old, being raised properly of course in the ancient arts of Geek.

In 2008 he specialized in his love of Warhammer 40k, Star Trek and steampunk. He is one of the founding members of the Parisian cosplay group Paradox Riders (facebook.com/Paradoxriders/).

Monsieur El Maafer shall marry his love, Mademoiselle Jennifer Koutou the week after RavenCon at the Steampunk World’s Fair. He is an avid purveyor of rum, a fierce advocate of cinnamon, and high priest of the color purple.

He is very honored to be a judge for this year’s Masquerade and shall uphold the law of Zantac!

 

Dave Lee

David Lee is the principal artist at Hatton Cross Steampunk, located in Gloucester, VA. David’s steampunk art has been featured in numerous art exhibits such as “Steampunk Bizarre Exhibit” with Dr. Grymm and has had exhibits in steampunk conventions, festivals, and art galleries throughout the US, Europe, and New Zealand. He has received numerous nominations and awards for his costuming and props. David played Steampunk Darth Vader in Trial of the Mask and Mask of Vengeance, two steampunk Star Wars fan films from Unruly Mile Films. In July of 2013 he teamed up with other authors, artists, and professional editors to establish HCS Publishing, a non-profit publishing house dedicated to publishing high-quality, great stories. In 2013, his steampunk western novel, entitled Country in Ruin: 1865, was published and its sequel World in Ruin: 1870 is due out in 2017. David is also a contributing “DIY” author for the Steampunk Chronicle and has been featured in three published books about steampunk fashion and costuming as well as the 2014 summer edition of Victorian Homes.

Chris Shrewsbury

Chris Shrewsbury has been attending conventions and cosplaying for almost thirty years. Growing up in West Virginia, he’s attended, volunteered at, and been staff at literally dozens of cons along the east coast.

While studying Speech Pathology and Deaf Education at Liberty University, he became a nationally certified sign language interpreter and has worked with many notable entertainers, educators, and government officials. He also served a tour in the U.S. Navy as well as teaching both hearing and hearing-impaired students at the pre-school through university levels.

In recent years, Chris has developed a progressive degenerative neurological condition affecting mainly strength, balance, and increasing pain levels, causing him to spend increasing amounts of time wheelchair-bound. Also known as Rolling Thunder Cosplay, he is a vocal advocate and encourager of the disabled, especially within the fandom convention and cosplay communities. Still an active cosplayer, many of his costumes incorporate his disability. For one of his more notable creations, Chris built a detailed mobile replica of the TARDIS around his wheelchair, earning him first prize in the Doctor Who division at North Carolina Comicon 2014.

Chris is a past member of the 105th Squad, the largest costuming organization in North Carolina. In addition to cosplay, he is an avid convention guest, panelist, writer, prop fabricator, costume judge, and is currently volunteer staff at Fayetteville ComicCon and Accessibility Coordinator at Animazement.

 

Angela Pritchett

Angela Pritchett is an actress, author, musician, costumer, and makeup artist. She has been seen in films such as Plan 9, The Porkchop film trilogy, Pig Girl and many others. Angela is the author of Shut Up and Eat! The Unofficial Doctor Who Cookbook Series. She also plays covers of movie, tv, video game, and anime themes on the ukulele. Angela went to UNC Greensboro and has a BS in Music Education and a Masters in Liberal Studies and Ethnomusicology. She does the podcasting segment “A Geek Girls Take” that can be heard weekly on the Earth Station One Network, and when she has free time she spends it sewing or playing with her Pug, Jimmy.

You can find her online at:
youtube.com/c/angelaplaysukulele
angelapritchett.blogspot.com
amazon.com/author/angelapritchett
imdb.com/name/nm4250551/
instagram.com/angalese/