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Just about any pop culture related convention will have cosplay and skit competitions. For those that want to get their time in the lime light cosplay, there is some research you want to do weeks to months before the convention opens its door.
You are going to want to find out the events rules for your con preferably before even building your cosplay. Most conventions will have a rule about how much of your cosplay you or someone performing with you must build. At most cons this is around 60%-80% . unless you are competing in the masters division which first timers don’t have to worry about. But Masters are expected around 90%- 100% made. If your part of a skit and competing just for Performance this wont matter too much at smaller conventions. but at bigger one fallowing this will determine if you or do not make it to the stage
Performance or Walk-On
Most cons will give you a choice of the two but there are some that are walk on only or skits only. Once again, read the rules for your con before planing.Typically its the well done original comedy skits that are best remembered. Sometimes when doing a group performance the craftsmanship judging will not be mandatory. So if your part of a skit you dont have to make every thing in every costume. but you will have to depend on the others in your group for success or failure. Cause everything rests on the performance. You will also have to have your skit music, and dialogue recorded, and have your skit rehearsed.
This Black Bulter Supernatural crossover is still one of the most loved skits in my area.
One of the simplest but I think one of the best simple comedy skits I’ve seen. Funny little side story, this pair caused a bit of panic in the hotel trying to record this. Watch and you’ll understand.
Music based performances are popular as well especially if its a fun pairing and or a spoof
this is a spoof of epic rap battles of history and a Fullmetal Alchemist and Attack on Titan crossover
Sentimental skits are remembered as well but can be hard to do and not go too heavy in material. This is one of my favorite sentimental skits. It uses Hetalia to tell the American Revolution.
If you’re gonna do a walk on you need to push to really do the best you can with your craftsmanship. Cause you will have very little if any stage time. A walk on is basically a walk the runway. This is what a strictly walk-on event looks like.
For skits your partners need to be best friends or those within your clubs you know well and know are not going to skip out on you. You and your partners need to be in constant contact in the weeks to months before the event especially if there is a vision either one of you have in mind. So preferably minimal drama between you and a good level of trust and dont make yourself or your partner do something either one of you doesn’t feel comfortable with or thinks isn’t safe. You need to collaborate together one way or another. Weither one of you builds all the cosplays and the other does all the tech work or you each take care of your own cosplays and split the tech work. It’s best if each of you have a hand in the final product.
Building your Cosplay
This is something that varies depending on the character and cosplay you choose to bring to life. But there a few universal helpful tips.
1. Document your work.
This is very important if your going for craftsmanship judging. Judges want to see how your costume was created. One thing that I do that has always won me major points with judges was create a binder for my competing cosplay. This binder includes work in progress shots, material samples, reference images, personal sketches, sometimes expenses, if you used a pattern and or tutorial: list the pattern number and sometimes include the pattern or tutorial itself, and finally competed shots with the costume on a display and with you in it. Even if you don’t compete with your costume this is is still good to do with your creation in-case later down the line road something brakes in your costume. If you have the book you can see how you originally put it together and see how to take it apart and put it back together if you have to. Maybe even improve it as your skills get better. If you need to re make a part or prop this can save the creation. If you’d like a post on cosplay documentation let me know.
2. NO raw edges!
Judges don’t like to see the fraying at the edge of your fabrics along your seams. When you cut your fabric pieces leave about half an inch of seam allowance unless its already included in the pattern you are using.
Before you sew one piece to another, fold over the edge of your fabric onto the fabric itself and sew down the edge. Do with will all sides of your piece.
Once this is done, fold your stitch over like you did to the raw edge in the beginning, and repeat the process.
See how much cleaner that looks both on front and back. It’s these little things judges love and will help you keep the costume longer.
You also should double stitch your seams. If you want me to go more into cosplay creation leave me a message or comment and let me know.
Sometimes thinking outside the box is the name of the game but in general using craft foam inside a garment unless its a fursuit is frowned on. I’ve heard judges complain about this in Vegas a few times. Sometimes people use craft foam inside the cuffs and collars of shirts to make them stiff. Craft foam is NOT washable! Before doing this while your at your fabric shop ask for interfacing. It’s a handy thing to have on hand. It can not only be used to make cuffs and collars stiff but I have actually used it as a base for lightweight armor before. Keep craft foam inside props and masks.
Most events will not have microphones and they can be hard to use if your doing dance or combat skits. Therefore, you are going to want to pick up some basic audio editing skills. For a walk on most times you are limited to 30 seconds to 1 minute, skits are 2 to 5 minutes. Unless you already have a good audio program, you are going to want to download Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) and give your self a little bit of play time to figure out the program. In this program you can trim and combine tracks even record your own voice over music if you have a microphone. If you yourself don’t want to record your song or skit try getting a friend to do it for you or you can hold mini auditions through a site like VoiceActingAlliance.
Just cause your doing a walk on does not mean you have to limit your options track. Sometimes a awesome track played well combined with a awesome cosplay will really get the audiences love. One of my first stage cosplays was Nightmare Moon from My Little Pony the first time I had her on stage I had no partner with me. So for the WOW factor I had to put a lot into my track. This is the track that ended up being made using sound clips from the show and Within Temptations “A Demons Fate”.
Tracks for the most part cons will take till the day of the event. Once you are lining up for the stages its generally too late.
At most cons you can sign up on the con floor entries are limited and you often times miss the pre event meeting. Then you have to wait around for your time with the judges and easily zaps all the time you have in the day. You are going to want to sign up online. By signing up online you get the notice about the pre meeting, get your time either at the meeting or the day before. This creates in your already busy day some breaks. A Sign up form asks for the names or stage names of yourself and your partners, Characters, where your characters came from both franchise and category, age, experience, also ask walk on or performance.
The Day of the Event
1. Mandatory Meeting
At most cons your day will start with the mandatory meeting. This is when your given a brief overview of how things are going to go. It is a good chance to test your track and practice on the stage.
All of those competing in Craftsmanship are required to go to their scheduled time with the judges. During this you will meet with your judges in a room just you and them and will be asked how your costume was made. For this you can have as much time as 15 minutes or as little as 2. This is where that documentation comes in handy.
This takes place up to two hours before the event. Here they organize you in the order you are going to go on stage. They will either seat you inside the event hall, line you up along side the wall, line you up just outside the door or in some rare occurrences get put in a brake room back stage to wait for your call.
Well the time has come. Settle those butterflies and ROCK the HOUSE!
If you have any questions or want more info on a topic please message me or comment .
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