Masquerade Rules

Arisia 2013 Masquerade Rules

Masquerade - What to Expect


Important Announcement

The Arisia 2013 Masquerade will be on Sunday, January 20, 2013, at 8PM, not Saturday night as has been traditional in past years.

Before the Convention

We'd like to be able to plan the best possible Event for the benefit of our audience. We've put together a great staff both behind the scenes, like me, and out in public. Our judges are very experienced artists in their own right. Our Master of Ceremonies, Tech Crew, and backstage crew are all here to make sure you get everything you need to give your best to the audience.

Before the Masquerade


Fill in as much information as you can ahead of time and submit it along the way. We will make provision for you to change that information until Masquerade Registration closes at 6pm on Saturday.

All entrants must check-in at the Masquerade Registration Desk prior to your rehearsal slot even if you filled out the online form. By talking to the Tech crew in advance, they will have a better idea on what you plan to do, and that will give you more time to rehearse!

Your presentation will be limited to 60 seconds. Entries with three or more people should discuss presentation plans with the Masquerade Director.

Contestants competing in the Re-Creation category must provide at least one photograph of the original work at Masquerade Registration. Some Judges may not be familiar with the work you are copying.

Please provide documentation sufficient for the Workmanship Judge to fairly and impartially evaluate your work. The Judge will have a limited amount of time to review your work and your documentation, so please don't write a novel. Photos, design sketches, screen shots, and short written descriptions of your work are encouraged.

The only person allowed to speak from the stage is the MC. He will be happy to work with you in reading a short script or to interact with you as planned ahead of time.

All your speech and music must be pre-recorded and handed in to Tech through the Masquerade Registration Desk as early as possible. Provide your recordings as an uncompressed wave file on USB (preferred), CD or CDR (no CD-RW's) but not commercial disks. It is strongly suggested that you put only the music and/or speech that you want us to play on the USB or CD you hand to us. Please make and bring multiple copies so that you won't be out of luck should your USB or CD become unusable prior to the competition.

Special effects must be cleared with the Masquerade Director and Stage Manager before the competition. The best time to do this is before the Tech Rehearsal so that we can schedule enough time for that rehearsal for all of us (and you!) to feel comfortable that your effects will work.

NEVER surprise the crew. ALWAYS surprise the audience. Together we can insure that both these goals are achieved.

Restrictions on Costumes and Props

There will be absolutely no flame, fires, sparks, or other sources of heat the Fire Marshal might care about.

If you are carrying a weapon on stage, we need to know ahead of time. Clear all weapons before the convention with the Masquerade Director. There will be no sharp edges allowed on weapons. No weapon will be allowed if it ejects or shoots projectiles. If you are pointing a weapon at each other or at anyone in the audience, it must be demonstrated to NOT WORK and not shoot before the Masquerade.

Any weapon allowed in the Masquerade but otherwise restricted by the Convention must be carried to and from the Masquerade Green Room under cover and peace bonded.

Do not construct or decorate yourself or your costume or props with anything messy, smelly, or slimy. All parts of your costume must come in and leave with you.

Each person may appear only once on stage.

Purchased or rented costumes may not be entered in competition. It is possible to show those costumes OUT OF COMPETITION.

There IS NO restriction on costumes being worn at this convention or prior conventions before the competition. We ask that you use your best judgment about whether to enter in or out of competition. If you have won an award at an International Competition with this costume, please consider competing up one level or presenting out of competition. We do want to see your costumes here.


At the Registration Desk there will be a chart to signup for rehearsal times. (10am-2pm on Saturday; TBD on Sunday.) Every Masquerade entry MUST show up for rehearsals. Please consult the Masquerade Director if not all of the participants in your entry are able to rehearse.

It is not necessary to rehearse in your full costume, but please bring parts that have a significant color for our tech crew to work with you.

The online registration form has a question for signing up for Saturday rehearsal slots. Sunday slot signup will be available at con.

Reasons to signup online for Saturday:

  1. Saturday slots are longer (10 minutes vs. 8 minutes.)
  2. More time for Novices to get help, and ask for advise for improvements.
  3. More time for group presentations to rehearse their choreography.
  4. You'll have more time after the rehearsal to refine your presentation.


There will be Official Photography and Fan Photography. We also expect audience members to be taking non-flash photos during the presentations.

In the hallways many fans may wish to take your picture. It is entirely your choice whether to allow people to take your picture. There will be NO FLASH photography from the audience. Your friends will be ejected from the room should they be found to be taking flash pictures from the audience.

In the Masquerade Green Room

You will find out the presentation order for the show when you arrive at the Masquerade Green Room. Sign in at the desk with the person in charge.

You will be assigned a den and given over to the care of your assigned Den Mom (may be male or female). If you need anything, please let them know.

There will be a Repair Table available for your use. Please do not abuse this privilege. It is here to provide safety pins, a little glue, or a dab of makeup. Do not expect to use the table for large projects; it is here to cover last-minute emergencies. The Official Photographer will be located in a part of the Masquerade Green Room. As soon as you are ready for your photos tell your Den Mom. They will insure that you take your turn for official photos. One will be attached to the judges' forms and will help them identify you when they are in deliberations. Official Photos may be made available for sale both to you and to any convention member on Sunday.

Your Presentation

You may surprise the audience and we would be happy to help you. It is imperative that the Tech Crew, the MC, and the Masquerade Directors are completely aware of what you plan to do on stage. No exceptions.

Young Fans will appear first in the Competition. All Presentation Rules still apply. Entrants will be returned to the Masquerade Green Room following their presentations. Their awards will be awarded before the adults' entries start. After Young Fan Awards, entrants will be free to visit Fan Photography, go to bed, watch from the audience, or return to the convention at large in the charge of their parents and/or guardians.

Not only is this Masquerade rated PG-13 - it is also highly rated for safety.

Your Den Mom will make sure that you get into the Hall in the right order and on time to make your best entrance.

There will be Stage Ninjas (people in black) both at the entrance and exit from the Stage. They are there to help you with a hand up, to move your props onto or off the stage, and to catch you if you stumble. It's up to you to tell them how much assistance you need. The more assistance you need, the earlier you should let them know. So, if you have big props, please tell them all about it at rehearsal. Tell me in your Masquerade Registration as well. That way we'll have the right people there to help you.

There will also be Stage Ninjas at key points around the stage to try to stop you from stepping off the stage by mistake. Do not run, skip, jump, or dance so fast that the best they can do is let you go. You are ultimately responsible for your own safety. Your presentation will be limited to 60 seconds. After 60 seconds your lights and sound will fade, or we'll find a hook to remove you. Entries with three or more people should discuss presentation plans with the Masquerade Director. Remember, SF fans are easily bored. You will make your best presentation by making sure they have enough time to see your whole costume, see what you can do once, and then leave the stage. A good costume and presentation can be ruined by taking too long on stage.

After your presentation you will be led to Fan Photography by your Den Mom. Fans must sign up for the privilege of taking pictures in this area. Some may also be offering free or paid copies of their pictures to you and others. Make direct arrangements with any Fan Photographer you wish to do business with. We will make a list of as many Fan Photographers as possible available to you after the convention.

After you are finished in Fan Photography we advise you to return to the Masquerade Green Room. Feel free to get comfortable. Watch the competition on TV. Watch half time entertainment in the Masquerade Green Room or from the audience. Be available. Awards will be given when the Judges are ready. Be prepared to be called back onto the stage for awards. Workmanship Awards will be given, then Presentation Awards. You may be called onto the stage more than once for different awards.

Workmanship Judging

This judging will be to evaluate the best parts of your costume, up close and personal. Please indicate to the Workmanship Judge specifically what you are most proud of in your costume. Tell her a little about how you made your costume.

If in doubt, visit with the Workmanship Judge even if you're not that impressed with your work on your costume. Leave it to her judgment whether your work is special in the context of this competition.

The Workmanship Judge usually joins the Presentation Judges at the beginning of the show so try to be sure you see her before the show starts.

Presentation Judging

This judging will be to evaluate your overall quality from the point of view of the audience.

Tactile Masquerade

During halftime, there will be an opportunity for audience members to see and touch costumes up close. Please let us know if you wish to participate in this. (Totally optional!)

Skill Divisions

These divisions are based on Guidelines published by the International Costumers' Guild and have been modified for this competition. As always, when in doubt check with the Masquerade Director before the competition.


Anyone who is considered a Master in International Competition, or

Anyone who is considered a Craftsman in Regional Competition, or

Anyone who is a professional costume maker, or

Anyone who has won three or more awards as a Journeyman at the Regional or International level, or

Anyone who chooses to compete in this division


Anyone who does not need to enter as a Craftsman or Master or

Anyone who has won at least one award as a Journeyman at the Regional or International level, or

Anyone who has won at least three awards as a novice at the Regional or International level, or

Anyone who chooses to compete in this division


Anyone who does not need to enter as a Journeyman or

Anyone who has won fewer than three awards as a novice at the Regional or International level, or

Anyone who has just become old enough to NOT qualify for the Young Fan Division

Young Fan

Anyone who is under 13 on the day of the competition (born on or after January 20, 1999), and

Anyone who is also not part of an adult group.

A group should compete in the skill division of the group's most experienced member.


Original, a costume inspired by a Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mythological, or other original source, but whose design is the creation of the contestant.

Re-Creation, a costume whose design is copied from a film, television series, art, comics, theatrical presentation, book illustration or other medium showing at least one good view of the costume. Recreation costumes are duplicates or design adaptations of the published design work of someone other than the contestant. Recreation costumes require documentation of source. A picture or written description must accompany your registration forms.

After the Masquerade

On Monday you will have the opportunity to retrieve your CDs, CDRs, any documentation we can return, and order Official Photos for purchase. Please make sure to drop by the Masquerade Registration Desk. We reserve the right to NOT mail your stuff to you after the convention. Important Announcement Reprise

The Arisia 2013 Masquerade will be on Sunday, January 20, 2013, at 8PM, not Saturday night as has been traditional in past years.