MarsCon 2011 Days of Magic!

MarsCon 2011 Masquerade Contest Rules

1. Registration

Registration for the contest is from Friday 6:00pm-10:00pm, Saturday 10:00am to 1:00pm. Contestants must fill out a registration form for the costume contest. All contestants in one group presentation may fill out only one form, but all members must sign it. A group may be no more than 6 people, and any person or group may enter only one presentation. All contestants must be registered for the convention. Contestants 12 or younger must have a parent or guardian present with them during the contest and must sign the entry form, though the parent/guardian does not have to appear on-stage with the contestant.

On the form, please PRINT your information except when a signature is required. Include pronunciation guides for foreign or uncommon names and terms, including contestants’ names, to help the MC. If your entry is a recreation, we recommend including a reference picture or two with the form for the judges. If you’re using sound or recorded dialogue, submit a copy of the CD to be played; see “Sound/Music” below.

When you register, you will be asked to sign up for a ‘walk-through’ time slot (between 6:00pm and 7:30pm on Saturday). If you don’t show up for your time slot on time, you will be disqualified. Our tech staff in the Main Stage NEED to go through your presentation at least once, to make sure there are no problems with mobility on and off stage, sight lines, sound, etc.

2. Liability / Photo Release

Every contestant is required to sign a liability/photo release statement on the registration form. All contestants of a group are required to sign separately. The photo release allows images of the contestant(s) to be posted on the MarsCon website, and to be produced into a DVD for sale by MarsCon. This photo release also allows the MarsCon ‘official’ Masquerade photographer to sell any and all MarsCon Masquerade-related photos. The liability statement releases MarsCon and its convention committee members and volunteers from any damages or injuries while participating in the Masquerade contest.

3. Costumes / Props

It is assumed that the contestant(s) have constructed their costume and/or props themselves. If they have not, it should be noted on the registration form. The person constructing the costume or prop is eligible for the costume or prop workmanship award. He or she does not necessarily have to appear on stage, BUT MUST BE REGISTERED for the convention, and sign the Masquerade registration form as part of the group. The only exception is an adult who has constructed a costume for a Young Fan. The workmanship will be judged on the level of the adult indicated on the registration form.

4. Categories and Divisions

Young Fan - 12 years old and younger.

Beginner - has entered 0-3 convention costume contests and has not won any significant awards (e.g. “Best Skit”, “Best Prop”) at any convention. Awards like “Best Jedi” or “Best Use of Duct Tape” are considered minor awards.

Experienced - has entered 4 or more con costume contests, or has won a significant award at a major convention, or are a (semi)-professional costume maker.

Exhibit - for contestants of any skill level who would like to present their costume to an audience but not participate in the judging aspect.

Group entries will compete at the highest level present in their group; if your group has 3 Beginner-level members and 1 Experienced-level member, you will compete in the Experienced category. All Young Fan entries will be given a ‘goody bag’ for their participation, and the medal for Best Young Fan (based on presentation) will be presented. For Beginner and Experienced, medals will be given for Best Workmanship (which may be split between Prop, Make-up and/or Costume) and Best Presentation. Additional awards may be given, or no award may be given, at the judges’ discretion. Best in Show is awarded to the best all-around workmanship and presentation entry between the Beginner and Experienced divisions.

5. Awards

(Awards in each category will be awarded at discretion of the judges.
Not all awards may be given out.
Each person in a winning group presentation will receive a medal.)

Young Fan - each young contestant (12 yrs and younger) will receive a ‘goody’ bag.
The winner of this category will receive a medal.

Workmanship for Make-up x 2 - Beginner and Expert

Workmanship for Props x 2 - Beginner and Expert

Workmanship for Costume x 2 - Beginner and Expert

Performance x 2 - Beginner and Expert

Best in Show x 1

Judge’s choice - (awarded by Guest of Honor judge)

6. Presentations

No fireworks, incendiary, flash, or strobe devices, liquids, or confetti are allowed due to safety/liability/allergy concerns. This is a PG event, please use this as a guide for tone and language. No nudity is allowed—“no costume” is no costume. No weapons play or swordplay will be allowed on stage; this is for your safety and the safety of audience members. Single-person presentations are limited to 30 seconds, and groups (up to 6 people) are limited to 90 seconds. If any actions or dialogue are not presented in rehearsal, they may not be presented during the show—such surprises will disqualify you. Surprise the audience, not us!

7. Sound / Music

No microphone will be provided to contestants. All sound/music needed for the Main Stage presentation must be burned onto two CDs labeled with the entry title. Burn only the selection you need to avoid any cueing up problems. Do NOT submit personal copies or original materials, as they will not be returned. Submit one copy of the CD with the registration form, and bring the second CD copy with you to the walk-through as a backup.

8. Weapons Policy

Per city ordinances, no real guns are permitted in the hotel. Per the convention’s weapons policy, real weapons (swords, etc.) will only be allowed on stage if they are peace-bonded and sheathed. Peace-bonding must be done in OPS (2nd floor). They will NOT be allowed to be unsheathed onstage for any weapons play except for poses, or photos in the photography studio in the Masquerade Lounge. Only hand-made weapons/props will be considered for workmanship awards. The person making the prop (not necessarily the person holding it) must be registered for the convention and will be eligible for the award. Their name and contact info must be on the masquerade registration. All props/weapons must be present during rehearsal/walk-through.

9. Rehearsal / Walk –Through

Saturday 6:00pm to 7:30pm on the Main Stage) Attending the walk-through is MANDATORY, in order to work out any mobility issues and so that the light/sound crew, MC, and stage crew will be familiar with your presentation. You must be present in the Masquerade lounge at 6:00pm. Late contestants may be excluded from the Masquerade at the discretion of the Masquerade Coordinators. If you have an audio CD (see “Sound/Music” above), bring the second copy of it with you.

Workmanship judging in props, make-up, & costumes will be conducted after your walk-through in the Masquerade Lounge, so your costume presentation (props, costume, etc.) must be complete at the time of judging.

Chairs will be set up in the Masquerade Lounge, and contestants will be lined up in order of presentation. A water station will be available as will non-staining snacks (though it is recommended that you eat dinner beforehand). “Den parents” will be on hand to help and guide contestants during the competition. The Costume Emergency First Aid Station will also be available for last-minute repairs. You may have your free con photo taken after your walk-through & workmanship judging, and before the Masquerade (see “Photos” below), but you must be back in the Green Room by 7:30 pm.

It is recommended that all participants attend the “Masquerade 101” panel on Friday evening, especially if you have never entered a costume contest before. Panelists experienced in entering and judging costume contests will be available to lead you through the process, answer questions and give you hints and tips on how to improve your presentations.

10. Photos

(Masquerade Lounge – open to only Masquerade contestants 6:00pm until 7:30pm Saturday and after the contest)

After your walk-through, you are invited to go up to the photography lounge for your free photo of your costume (group entries will be photographed together—no individual pictures of group members). These raw photos will be available for pick-up on Sunday in the Masquerade lounge. Additional photos may be ordered at that time. This is our thank-you for your participation in the Masquerade. For those who don’t get their photos taken before the contest, the Masquerade Lounge will reopen that evening for additional photo-taking.


MarsCon 2011
March 4-6, 2011
Crowne Plaza Minneapolis Int’l Airport Hotel & Suites
(formerly: Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites)
3 Appletree Square
Bloomington, MN

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This page updated 09:55 am April 10, 2015, © 2011 Fans Educational Network for Science Fiction.