Costume Contest Masquerade
Please note: The Anime St. Louis Cosplay Masquerade will feature both the Walk-on Competition and the Skit Competition in one show.
We are setting a limit of 80 contestants for the Walk-on competition. Cosplay registration will begin on Friday, May 4th, when the convention center opens and main registration begins. Registration will be closed at 2pm on Saturday, May 5th, or when the limit of 80 has been reached.
The Walk-on Competition is similar to a fashion show. Contestants will walk the stage in costume, allowing the audience to see their costumes, and then exit. These costumes will not be judged for performance, only workmanship, if they qualify (see Judging Information below). We will have a prepared medley of Anime soundtracks to play in the background during the Walk-on competition.
The Skit Competition is for 2 or more people who want to present a scene from a Manga/movie/comic/anime/game or a parody of such. Skits will be judged for performance and are eligible for workmanship judging if they qualify (see Judging Information below). For more information on Skits, see Rules for Skits below. The limit for skits is 5, and registration for them will run at the same time as Walk-on registreation.
Recent Update: Costumes that are purchased or commissioned are not eligible for judging in the Anime St. Louis Cosplay Masquerade. You may, however, still participate as an “Exhibition” entry.
Recent Update: Your body may appear only ONCE in the competition. No running back to the green room and changing will be permitted.
Please remember there may be children in the audience. No nudity will be allowed, and if we feel you are in danger of flashing the audience, we will ask you to modify your costume in the Green room. If you couldn’t wear it at a public pool, you can’t wear it on our stage. Entrants who violate this rule will be disqualified and asked to leave.
Do not throw anything into the audience, or at the Judges or M.C. Do not leave any confetti, glitter, general debris, or liquids on our stage. If you do, you will be handed a broom/mop.
All weapons must pass a security check by our stage manager before you will be allowed to bring them onstage. Prop (fake) weapons are encouraged, real steel swords or knives are not allowed. No nunchaku will be allowed on stage.
Everyone entering as part of the Cosplay Masquerade should be a registered member of the convention by the time they are needed in the Green Room. Badges are not required at Masquerade registration, but you do need them in order to get into the Green Room. Lack of a badge by that time can result in losing your place in the Masquerade.
Rules for Skits
All vocals must be pre-recorded. Lip-synching is encouraged. There will be no live microphones. If you choose to say your lines out loud, remember this- there is a vast difference between the sound of one voice in your living room, and one voice in an exhibition hall with 30 foot ceilings. No one will hear you- trust us on this.
We will be able to play WAV or MP3 files off of a thumb drive, or CDs during your skit competition. No custom mixing will be available. Please have your disc or drive labeled with your name and costume title, as well as the track number you wish to be played. You may turn your disc in at the Cosplay Masquerade registration table. We cannot get files from your phone or tablet device.
All lighting cues for the Cosplay Masquerade will need to be minimal. We will have full stage coverage and some color wash ability, but no spotlights will be available. Tech rehearsals will be scheduled as time permits in the hours before the Cosplay Masquerade.
There will be a 3 minute limit for skits. If you have a large group and think you need more time, please contact the masquerade directors BEFORE the night of the masquerade. There is a fine line between “just long enough” and “too long”!
Please remember there may be children in the audience. Excessive swearing, nudity, or sexual content is prohibited. If you couldn’t wear it at a public pool, you can’t wear it on our stage. Entrants who violate this rule may be disqualified and asked to leave.
All skits must take place on the stage. There will be NO jumping off the stage.
Do not throw anything into the audience, or at the Judges or M.C. Do not leave any confetti, glitter, general debris, or liquids on our stage at the end of your skit. If you do, you will be handed a broom/mop.
Due to safety concerns, all fight scenes and stage combat must be pre-approved by the Stage Manager. We will ask to see your routine at the tech rehearsal, and the Stage Manager may ask you to change your choreography if he/she feels you are a danger to yourself, others on the stage, or the audience. All weapons and props are subject to approval of the Stage Manager.
The Anime St. Louis Cosplay Masquerade will be run under the skill division system of Junior, Novice, Journeyman, Master, and Exhibition. This prevents costumers with less experience from having to compete directly against those with more. If you have a group, the group should compete in the division that best represents their skill level. For instance, if one person (who normally competes at a Master level) has made all the costumes for a group, they should all compete in the Master division, even though they have never entered a cosplay before. If your group consists of people who have all made costumes for themselves, and the skill levels are all different, then it would be appropriate to compete in the Journeyman division (it is the middle ground).
Here is the breakdown of the divisions. Remember that this is a recommendation, not a mandate. You can always compete at a higher level, but in the interest of fair play, you should not “play it down”.
Junior: Costumers 12 and younger can compete in this division.
Novice: Anyone over the age of twelve who has never done cosplay, and has never won any major awards (like Best in Show) at a large Anime or regional Sci-Fi Convention.
Journeyman: Anyone with some experience, who has won a few awards at large Anime or Sci-Fi conventions.
Master: Anyone who regularly wins major awards at large Anime or Sci-Fi conventions, or one who makes their living in the costume/sewing/theatre fields.
Exhibition: This category is for entries that are ineligible for judging for various reasons, such as purchased or commissioned costumes, or for costumes that are considered “retired” due to previous awards.
We are enforcing rules regarding costumes that are purchased or commissioned! Costumes that are purchased or commissioned are not eligible for judging in the Anime St. Louis Cosplay Masquerade. You may, however, still participate as an “Exhibition” entry. Workmanship judges will be looking at the design, construction, and fit of your costume(s). They will also consider makeup and personal prop construction, such as weapons. This part of the competition is done in the Green Room area, usually before the show, by appointments set when you register for the AnimeSTL Cosplay Masquerade.
Documentation! All entries must bring a picture or pictures of the original source of your costume, like a photocopy of a DVD jacket, or image from the internet. This is referred to as “Documentation”, and it would also be great if you included photos of the costume in progress. Do not assume the judges will know the manga/movie/comic/anime you are re-creating. Put your name, source information, and costume title on the paper(s), maybe in a binder or document cover if you have a lot of pages, and turn it in when you register for the masquerade. We will collect them and show them to the judges. We will return them to you after the show.
We know how hard it is to wait to see if you have won anything. Since we refuse to rush the judging process, we are planning on simply posting the winners names on a board outside of Con Ops and also at the Masquerade office. Winners can pick up their prizes and certificates at the Con Ops room. Any prizes/certificates not claimed at the close of the convention will be mailed to the winners.
For Skits Only: If you are entering as a Skit, there will be a panel of judges out in the house who will be awarding prizes for Best Skit, among others. They will be looking at your performance, characters, and how well you entertain the audience. Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse some more!