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Re: [ICG-D] Why the Masquerades are Small Today

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  • Alix Jordan
    Gentlebeings: You re addressing part of the problem; namely that things have gotten too expensive for people to attend a lot of conventions, especially
    Message 1 of 52 , Apr 1, 2002
      Gentlebeings:

      You're addressing part of the problem; namely that things have gotten too
      expensive for people to attend a lot of conventions, especially worldcon. I
      know that Jacqui Ward has to choose every year between Worldcon and
      CostumeCon and that CostumeCon usually wins; she just can't do both.

      However, you still have a problem which no one ever faces up to. Fifteen
      years ago a large presentation was six people (on an average), now that's a
      small presentation. People put together these huge presentations with
      upwards to thirty people. Now do your math.
      One hundred people doing presentations: three groups of six; several
      singles; a lot of twos and threes. One hundred people doing prestations:
      one thirty; a coupld of tens; a fifteen or two; a handfuls of smaller
      presentations. Same number of people but a lot less presentations. If you
      want to get the numbers up then start going back to smaller groups; stop
      putting all of your eggs in one baskets. I keep having nightmares about the
      day that fifty people will sign up for a masquerade and there won't be more
      than two presentaions...if that.

      As far as Toronto goes there is no one to teach these people. There is
      no formal guild that holds classes. Toronto Trek is just beginning to hold
      costuming panels, but no workshops. People simply don't know how to sew
      these days and are afraid to try until someone tells them that they can;
      that it's easy. Oh and those costumes that Karen and Ricky wore to Toronto
      Trek were made from flashy materials; anyone not used to fabric will
      automatically assume that they could never do that sort of thing. It's like
      dollmaking. I make dolls out of lame and people wonder how I did it because
      you can't do that with tissue lame, however these are the same people who
      will paint a cloth doll gold to get the same effect. Sewing with lame is
      difficult; paint cloth is easy. I've never under stood this, but
      appearances are everything...after all that's what a masquerade is all
      about...apparences.

      Peace
      Alixandra
      eddana@...

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    • Ricky & Karen Dick
      ... An unfortunate side effect when the group leader is the driving force that makes the others costume. ... I know that September 11 had a serious financial
      Message 52 of 52 , Apr 5, 2002
        At 09:43 PM 4/4/02 -0500, you wrote:
        >Unfortunately, no one else from the groups with whom they usually costume
        >even showed up at the con.

        An unfortunate side effect when the group leader is the driving force that
        makes the others costume.

        >Some people have blamed the September 11 mass murders and others have said
        >that the economy was a cause of the poor turnout. I wonder if that's true.

        I know that September 11 had a serious financial impact on me personally
        (20% loss in income the last quarter of 2001), and countless others around
        the country. Often, the cost of attending a convention (travel, hotel,
        food) is worse than the cost of putting a costume together (I'm sure I
        could compete for *years* if I put my mind to it and used my fabric stash
        in a creative manner). And, frankly, it took a few months for people to
        decide that it was OK to have fun again.

        I think this year is going to be an "off" year for conventions, even though
        the economy seems to be picking up. We just attended the big Halloween
        trade show in Chicago (aka TransWorld Halloween, Party, Gift, and Costume
        Show), and attendance was off 30%, and sales by most vendors were off 50%
        or more.

        >I'm not in New England, so what little I could do in the month before the
        >con was by remote control. (I won't be doing it again next year.)

        Running a large event by remote control is very, very difficult, even if
        you are intimately familiar with the hotel or other venue. Might be helped
        if the long-distance Masquerade Director has an extremely competent and
        knowledgeable "lieutenant" who is local.

        --Karen
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