Dressing up in costumes to celebrate fandom has been a part of Worldcons ever since Morojo and Forrest J Ackerman wore costumes to the very first one in New York in 1939. The Chicon 8 Masquerade will offer a venue to show off your costumes with great lightening, sound, and the stage to display them to their maximum effect. Whether you have never created a costume before or are considered in the Master class of costumers, this will be your opportunity to shine and present your creations (and recreations) to an appreciative fandom.
Although awards will be given out for both workmanship of the costumes and the presentations, based on the experience level of the creators, the main goal of the Masquerade is for the entertainment of the audience and for appreciation of the time, efforts and creativity that go into making every costume. We encourage everyone to come and enjoy the Masquerade, whether as an entrant or as a member of the audience.
If you choose to participate, please carefully read the rules below and make a note of these important dates:
- Online registration will begin in the early summer. Please check back after June 1, 2022 for registration forms.
- In person registration will be available at Chicon 8. Exact location, times, and dates will be posted here when confirmed.
- There will be a tech run through prior to the actual Masquerade. Time slots will be assigned as registrations are submitted. All entrants must attend a tech rehearsal in order to appear onstage.
- The actual Masquerade is scheduled to be held on Saturday September 3, 2022 at 8:00 p.m.
- All entrants must complete the registration forms either online or in person at the convention. The online form must be completed by midnight on Wednesday August 31, 2022. After this date, only in-person registration will be accepted. In-person registration will be accepted at the Masquerade table at Chicon. The exact times and location of the table will be posted when available.
- Changes to the registration forms can be made in person at the Masquerade table and/or at the tech run through. No changes will be accepted after the run through.
- All online entrants must check in at the Masquerade table at Chicon and can confirm their tech run through times there.
The Registration Form
Whether you fill out the form online or in person, you will need the following information to complete the registration:
- Primary contact information, especially an at-the-con phone number that we can call or text you. This will be important if there are any last minute changes in rehearsal time or questions about your entry.
- The title of your entry.
- The genre, skill division, category, the name(s) of the person(s) who designed and made the costume, and the person(s) on stage for the presentation. This information will be read by the Master of Ceremonies (MC) as part of your presentation.
- Genre. This is the category the costume falls under (i.e. science fiction, anime, fantasy, etc.)
- Skill Divisions. Chicon 8 will use the guidelines set up by the International Costumers’ Guild. If you are unsure of what skill division is appropriate for you please email the Masquerade team.
- The Young Fan Division is for persons age 12 and younger at the time of the Masquerade (born after September 2, 2010) in costumes designed and created by themselves and/or their parents. Parents may be part of the presentation on stage as a “prop.”
- The Novice Division is to encourage beginners in costuming. Anyone who has not won a major award is considered to be a novice. Young fans may enter as novices at the discretion of the entrant and the Masquerade Director.
- The Journeyman Division is an interim level to allow further development of costuming skills. If you have won a major award at the Novice level you may consider yourself a journeyman. If you have won three awards as a journeyman you should consider yourself in the Master level.
- The Master/Craftsman Division is an open division for anyone to enter. Those who have won three major awards at Journeyman level must enter in this division. Professionals are considered masters. Professional is defined as someone who earns a majority of their income from fashion or costume, including university faculty members.
- Group entries should compete at the level of the group’s most experienced member who is an essential element of the entry. If in doubt, consult with the Masquerade Director.
- Out of Competition. If you have presented and received awards for this costume at any major national or international convention masquerade, then you should consider presenting out of competition.
- Original. This is a costume made from an original design, either a concept created entirely by the creator or inspired by non-visual sources such as characters from literature.
- Recreation. This is a recreation of a costume from a visual source including TV shows, movies, graphic novels, or published art. All costumes in this category must supply at least one image of the original source.
- Historical. This costume is a recreation of a piece of historical clothing or an original costume interpreted from or created in the style of a specific historical time period. Documentation of the original clothing or style is required.
- Assembled. This costume is created by the combination of multiple made, purchased, and/or repurposed items. For example, an off-the-rack trench coat could be used as part of the costume instead of sewing one from scratch. Commercially purchased or rented costumes are not acceptable for presentation in this category.
Documentation is the presentation of materials, images, etc. that demonstrate the original sources of the costume and/or details of the construction of the costume.
- Recreation costumes must submit at least one image.
- Historical costumes must also submit at least one image.
- Any costumer that wants to be considered for the workmanship awards may also submit any relevant documentation.
- Documentation must be printed as it will be handed to the appropriate judges.
- Multiple pages of documentation should be in a folder or binder.
- Documentation materials will be available to pick up the day after the masquerade.
- The MC will introduce all entrants. You have the option for a standard introduction or can submit a personalized into for the MC to read. The MC may be willing to take a part in the presentation by reading a short script or interacting with you on stage. This would be worked out at the tech run through.
- Audio spoken by entrants on stage will not be heard. All audio tracks—both music and speech, must be pre-recorded and submitted before the tech run through.
- Audio must be prerecorded & submitted in advance.
- Audio can be submitted in advance of the convention by emailing the audio to the Masquerade team. We will confirm receipt
- Bring multiple copies in more than one format (i.e. a CD, on a memory stick, etc.) of the audio to the convention in case there is an issue with one.
- Stage presentations are limited to 60 seconds. If there are 5 or more individuals in the presentation, the presentation can be extended to 90 seconds.
- Each person may appear only once as an entrant on stage, except for parent-child costuming. Adults may appear as part of or supporting a Young Fan costume in addition to their own entry.
- All presentations must be PG-13.
- No flames, fires, or sparks.
- If you are carrying a weapon on stage, we will need to know about it ahead of time. All weapons must adhere to the Chicon 8 Weapons Policy and be approved ahead of time. No projectiles are permitted.
- Do not use smelly, messy, or slimy components on your costume. All parts must come in and leave stage with you. Stage ninjas will be available to bring in and remove small props or dropped costume pieces, but cannot clean up wet/messy things or hundreds of little pieces that could be a hazard to other entrants.
- A rehearsal time slot will be sent to you after online signup. This time should be confirmed at the convention Masquerade table before rehearsals begin. If there is a time conflict please reschedule prior to your scheduled rehearsal time.
- All participants must take part in the rehearsal or will be removed from the Masquerade.
- Talking to the tech crew in advance of rehearsing will allow them to help you make the best presentation of your costume.
- The tech crew, MC and Masquerade directors must be completely aware of what you plan to do on stage. No exceptions.
- Ninjas will be available to discuss presentation assistance including getting on and off the stage and help with props.
- All special effects and weapons must be cleared by the Masquerade staff prior to or at the time of the rehearsal.
- Rehearsal time is limited—please arrive early and be ready to rehearse.
- There will be a professional photographer taking pictures at the event. Photos will be available for purchase from the photographer.
- Audience members will be taking non-flash photos during presentations.
- There will also be an area for fan photography during judging.
Masquerade Green Room
- Check in begins at 6:30 p.m. Please be there no later than7:30 p.m.
- You will be given the presentation order for the show when you check in. You will be assigned a den and a den parent. If you need anything, please let them know.
- There will be a repair table available to cover last-minute emergencies.
- Workmanship judging will be done in the Masquerade green room.
- You can opt into or out of being workmanship judged. You can ask that only a specific part of your costume be judged. Commercially produced unaltered items cannot be judged for workmanship.
- Please plan to arrive earlier, rather than later, so that there is sufficient time to judge the workmanship of all entrants appropriately.
- Young Fan entrants will do their presentation first. They will be judged and awarded before the rest of the presentations begin.
- Your den parent will make sure you are ready in time and lined up in the correct order. Please listen for their instructions.
- There will be stage ninjas to help you on and off stage and to help with props as previously arranged.
- After you leave the stage, please return to the green room. You will be able to watch the rest of the Masquerade on TV.
- When all presentation are done, the judges will leave to deliberate and a halftime presentation will occur. Each entrant will be asked to go to the non-professional photo area for photos. Please stay in the green room, ball room, or immediate area until judging is finished and awards are announced.
After the Masquerade
- A list of awardees will be published.
- There will be times available on Sunday to pick up documentation from the Masquerade table or other location. Exact times and places will be confirmed in the green room during the Masquerade.
- You will be notified via email when the professional photos are available.
If you have any questions, please e-mail the Masquerade team.