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Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question about CosFest? Need clarification? Here are some Frequently Asked Questions that may help.

Updated: 10-25-10

-- Someone else made my costume. Can I still enter?

Please read the rules for the answer; specifically, Section I (Eligibility), rule #6.

You may not compete, for either craftsmanship or presentation, unless the person who made the costume is entering with you. It's perfectly acceptable for one person to construct all the costumes in a group entry, but the creator must be part of the entry with the models.

If the person who made your costume(s) is not entering with you, you may only go on stage as a non-competitive Exhibition entry. (Display only, no award eligibility.)

-- Do I have to pre-register for the con before signing up for the masquerade?

No – you can register for CosFest online and buy your PMX badge later. We do not screen entries in advance to check for proof of con membership. We will ask to see your con badge when you check in with us in person at the CosFest Office.

-- How long must my skit be?

There is no minimum amount of time you have to fill, but you cannot exceed 2 minutes. If your presentation is longer than two minutes, you must cut it down to fit. But you definitely don't have to fill all that time either; if you want to do a skit that's only 30 or 45 seconds long, you're totally welcome to do so.

Walk-ons have up to 20 seconds on stage. This is enough time to enter the stage, do a few turns or poses, and exit.

-- Can I have more than 2 minutes for my skit?

I'm sorry, but no, we cannot make exceptions. Two minutes is your maximum limit.

-- But my skit is awesome and it's already done and it's longer than 2 minutes =( Can't I have more time?

Absolutely not. Sorry, but we have to be strict about the time limit for schedule reasons. You must cut down your audio so that it is no longer than two minutes in length. If you show up at the con with a file longer than 2 minutes, we aren't going to make exceptions for you. If you really want to do a longer presentation, you are welcome to request to be an exhibition entry.

If you aren't sure what to cut out, try listening to your audio for any sound gaps or silence between lines. There's a theatrical saying that "silence screams", because to the audience it's really obvious when nothing is going on! So, look for excess silence to remove, leaving only enough of a pause to make sure your lines aren't stepping on each other. You'd be surprised at how much time this can save you.

Also, look over your script and ask yourself: which lines really matter? Which lines don't have much effect (if any) on the point of the skit? Identify lines that don't really have much of a point, and don't be afraid to cut them out.

-- Can I enter a costume I've already worn at another con?

Yes. You may wear costumes you've worn at other cons or even in other masquerades. The only requirement is that you cannot have used it to compete at a previous Pacific Media Expo masquerade.

-- Will there be food/water backstage?

There will be water available for the contestants. However, we unfortunately cannot provide food due to hotel contracts. Please plan your meals before the show with this in mind and bring snacks if you need to.

-- Do I have to be wearing my costume when I go see the craftsmanship judges?

It's completely up to you. You may go in wearing your costume, or you can bring it in on hangers, in a box, over your arm, etc. The judges will see you physically wearing the costume when you're in the show either way. (Judges often like being able to handle costumes and look at construction detail when they aren't being worn - it's far less awkward than poking and prodding at a person!)

-- What are the stage dimensions? Where do I enter and exit?

I anticipate the stage to be 24 feet wide by 24 feet deep. Plan on having 18 feet of depth available, because some of the stage will be taken up by tech equipment. (Exact usable dimensions may be subject to change depending on how the tech is set up.)

All entries must enter AND exit at stage left. If you are unfamiliar with theater terms, imagine that you are standing on the stage and facing the audience. "Stage left" will be to your left.

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