On Sep 6, 2013, at 7:03 PM, Byron P Connell <byronpconnell@...
> Some comments below.
Byron commenting on thoughts by Susan Toker and Carole Parker.
> Byron: Many potential entrants decide not to enter because they perceive (perhaps incorrectly) that the level of quality is beyond them. I couldn't possibly. . . " is something I hear all too often. Beyond clear information for entrants, perhaps what cons need to post on web sites is images of the entries that didn't win an award, and/or "testimonials" from "average" costumers about their experiences in the masquerade. We costumers ought to address this when we'e promoting cons.
Agreed. We you see such fantastic stuff on the stage, it is very easy for a newbie/novice to think that they couldn't come up
with the quality of stuff that appears on the stage. I know that I had that thought for a very long time. That's why I was a den mom for so long. It gave me an opportunity to see stuff up close, and potentially how to construct costumes to be seen on the stage rather than in the hallways.
I saw this at Costume Con 2 with the historical masquerade. Fans dressed up in wonderful historical garb but were afraid of the stress and criticism involved in competition.
My first thought of seeing costumes on stage at NASFIC in 1979 and Worldcon in 1980 was “I can do this”.
>>> Susan: (p.s.) Having a Masked Ball (with possibly a theme) would be a good addition to the convention nighttime program and asking a local cosplay "DJ" might even be better.
>> Carole: While a potential good idea, the problem comes in with how the conventions use their space and timing. With a lot of conventions seeming to be "anti-masquerade," that idea might get some resistance.
> Byron: Many cons (e.g., worldcons, Arisia, Philcon) have dances. One might be masked without changing much.
Great idea. I'll have to see whether we can get something similar incorporated into out local steampunk convention (Clockwork Alchemy).
At Polaris in Toronto I started a Friday Night costume party somewhat similar to Costume Con’s Friday Night Social. There was a theme for each party with decorations, a door prize, free photos against theme backdrops, and contests. We have done vampires, pirates, Doctor Who, Star Trek, and last year the Mayan Apocalypse with Zombies. One big change is that we encourage fans that are not costumes to dress up in purchased or rented costumes and give separate prizes to this category. Rather than divisions we give out costume prizes such as best male and best female costume etc. When cheaper commercial
costumes from China started to become available the adult Halloween market exploded. Lots of fans want to dress up and party and there should be a place for them at some costume events. It also makes it easier to get a lot of con attendees together for a social event rather than having the perception that the event is just for costumers. Many cons have less going on Friday nights and it’s easier to get space to hold a party.
>>> Susan: 4) It might take some research on judging time needed (and the time to print out awards), but setting a time for when the awards are announced would allow people to roam or party for a while. I suspect some people don't or can't wait until the next day.
> Often, calligraphy is used for the names, entry title, and award titles, making it virtually impossible to have cerrtificates available the same evening.
With laptop computers, you can create a certificate form before the convention, and then fill in the blanks by typing in the name, entry title, and award titles. A lot of form capable programs have calligraphy-like typestyles available, so that can speed things up if you have a good quality printer available. I believe Kevin and Andy have done something along those lines for their masquerades, and TorCon III did that process, I
I still have the certificate that says I got an award for dieing rather than dyeing as a humorous reminder to myself. I also have the corrected form up on my wall, too.
We have been doing this for years at Toronto cons. With easily portable laptops and printers the job of certificate preparation takes much less time and looks professional. We no longer have the judges sign the certificates we just print their names in a calligraphy type font. We use parchment specialty paper, about $10 for 100 sheets. Any needed corrections to certificates can be done easily and fast. For Reversed Polairity our November Doctor Who con, I have arranged for the art dept to print the con logo in colour on the top of the paper and we will add
the certificate info after the masquerade.
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