The Masquerade, the highlight of many a con experience, is a staged show where costumed entries appear in front of an audience. Entries take the form of rehearsed skits which may include, but are not limited to: musical numbers, choreographed dances, comedy sketches, acting, instrumental acts, and parodies. From enthusiastic novices to highly experienced masters, we have something for everyone who appreciates the time and effort that these cosplayers put into creating a costume and writing a skit. The masquerade is scheduled on Saturday evening in the Main Events area of the Garden State Exhibition Center. Seating will start approximately one hour prior to the performances.
Keep skits and costumes to a PG-13 level. There will be young children present. This means no explicit sexual gestures, nudity, or explicit swearing.
No live steel or firearms. If you are unsure about a weapon or prop, bring it to Masquerade HQ or a Con Safety staffer for determination.
Anything you bring onstage with you must come off with you. No toilet paper, tissues, rice, water, etc. Fireworks, pyrotechnics, or any fire in general is not allowed.
Each participant may appear only once on stage. You cannot be a prop in multiple skits.
You may not have more than ten people on stage at the same time in your presentation. You may have more than that in your group, but if either the Rehearsal Director or the Masquerade Director observes a number that deems to be unsafe, your presentation will be cancelled. Your safety is more important!
Stage acrobatics: Because the stage is portable, it cannot take heavy abuse. Full blown stage acrobatics or martial arts are not allowed. We will allow slower, choreographed, dance-like movements. Be sure to indicate such presentations when you register. Again, your safety is paramount to any “cool” thing you may be able to do.
Microphones will not be provided for any spoken line skits. Due to the acoustics of the venue – in order to hear you prerecording your dialogue is highly recommended. Live musical presentations are permitted – however they must be approved by the Masquerade Coordinator prior to the show.
All entries must attend rehearsal on Saturday. Rehearsals will be done by appointment; not showing up to your rehearsal slot is forfeiting your right to perform. You must have your CD with you for the rehearsal; all CDs must be labeled with the correct information; standard CD size containing one track only.
Time Limits: 1-2 People: 2 Minutes; 3-5 People: 4 Minutes; 6+ People: 5 Minutes
As AnimeNEXT is an anime convention, we require all entered costumes to originate from or emulate aspects of Asian pop culture, which includes anime, manga, video games and J-Rock/Pop. Costumes must be a copy of a character’s design. Costumes from Asian online role-playing games (a.k.a. MMORPG) may be entered, but you must have printed references for your costume. Original or fanfic characters are not permitted. Generic “outfits” made up of traditional Asian clothing are not permitted.
You may not wear a costume on stage that was entered in our Hall Costume Contest. You may also not enter a costume that has previously won a major award at AnimeNEXT or any other convention. Awards of ranking, including but not limited to “Best in Show,” “Best in Division,” “Best Performance,” or “First Place,” “Second Place,” etc. in any type of cosplay competition are considered major cosplay awards. “Honorable Mentions,” “Judges’ Awards,” and similar forms of recognition are not considered major awards.
Each entry’s appropriate category will be determined by its participant with the highest number of cosplay awards won out of the group. For example, an entry consisting of 3 participants with zero major awards won and 1 participant with 3 major novice awards won will be placed in the Journeyman category.
Only one person in a group needs to fill out the registration form, but we need the names of all members, plus a liability waiver from each person. If a participant is underage they must have a parental guardian sign the waiver. If it is an onsite sign up, the guardian must be present to sign the waiver.
Be on time – you will be given an appointed time for lineup, your act will be dropped if you miss lineup.
All members of a pre-registered entry must check in at Masquerade HQ during pre-registration check-in times to confirm your entry and any appointments, and to receive your backstage pass. Failure to show up during this time period means your slot will be dropped and made available to another group. Should you need to cancel your entry, please inform the Masquerade Director as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that the Masquerade is a costume competition, not a talent show. Do your best and have fun!
Violating the Masquerade or Convention rules will disqualify you. The Masquerade Director has the rights to cancel your presentation at any time for any reason.
Additional Presentation Notes: Do tell us in advance of anything “unique” you have planned in your presentation. We will do our best to accommodate your requests, but keep in mind that we are not on Broadway and are limited in the special effects department. The more we know the more we can do for you to make your presentation the best it can possibly be.
Background audio: This means any background music or prerecorded dialogue. The only media we can accept are music CDs and mp3 files. All CDs must be burned with one track only – the track for your skit. Flash drives are also permitted – provided that the audio is in mp3 format. Any other format may not work on the equipment that we are using.
Prerecorded Dialogue: Our audio engineer recommends Audacity to do your recording and mixing. There are tutorials for using this program in their help section. There will be no pre-recording done at the convention – so please make sure you have everything recorded prior.
Dimensions: Unfortunately we do not have these yet, once we have these, we will update it for everyone.
If you are planning on being a “Walk-on” do not sign up for the regular Masquerade. Please sign up for the Hall Cosplay; there will be a fashion show during the half time interim of the Masquerade. Music will be provided for you – all you have to do is strut your stuff and be proud of your work.
Awards Note: Awards are broken down by category. The major categories for AnimeNEXT 2011 will be Novice, Journeyman, and Craftsman. Each category will have a Best Presentation and a Best Craftsmanship. There will also be a Best Overall Presentation, and Best Overall Craftsmanship. In order to be eligible for “Best In Show” the entry must show both excellence in presentation as well as craftsmanship.
Entries will be separated into three categories:
Professional costumers may NOT enter in the Novice division.
A contestant who has competed and won in any division other than Novice at any competition may not enter in the Novice division.
A contestant who has won “Best in Show” or “Best Novice” at a competition may not enter in the Novice division.
A contestant who has under 3 major awards in the Novice division at competitions is eligible to enter again as a Novice.
Awards won at regional competitions may be counted towards division placement at the discretion of the costumer and the masquerade director.
Minor awards may be counted towards placement at the discretion of the costumer.
Professional costumers may NOT enter in the Journeyman division.
A contestant who has competed and won in the Master division at a competition may not enter in the Journeyman division.
A contestant who has won “Best in Show” or “Best Journeyman” at a competition may not enter in the Journeyman division.
A contestant who has 4 major awards in the Novice division at competitions is eligible to enter as a Journeyman.
A contestant who has won more than three major awards in the Journeyman division in competition may not enter in the Journeyman division.
Awards won at regional competitions may be counted towards placement at the discretion of the costumer and the masquerade director.
Minor awards may be counted towards placement at the discretion of the costumer.
Any costumer may enter on the craftsman level.
This level is highly recommended for any costumer that has 4 or more major awards at the Journeyman level.