Thanks for your interest in the DemiCon 26 "formal" Masquerade and Cosplay! Unlike the Friday night "Hall Costume" contest, the Saturday evening event gives you a chance to strut your clever and cunningly-crafted attire in front of a captive (although voluntarily so) audience. Prizes will be awarded for the costumes deemed by our judges to be the best of the best.
If you've participated in masquerades before, then you're already familiar with the thrill of hearing the "oooohs" and "aaaahs" of an audience eager to appreciate your handiwork and presentation skills. If you've NOT tried your hand as a contestant in the past, then get ready for one of the biggest endorphin rushes one can experience at an SF con. Once you've walked across that stage in your jaw-dropping Renaissance garb, or Steampunk finery, or as your favorite anime character, or wherever your creative muse has taken you, you'll be hooked -- we promise!


We made a few changes last year that really ramped up the energy and fun of the event, and as a result, DemiCon enjoyed its largest masquerade/cosplay ever. This year, we're looking into making some further additions that we think will add even more to the excitement. As of this writing (24 November 2014), things have not been entirely nailed down – but here's a look at what we did last year (for those of you who hadn't heard), and the possibilities we're exploring for this year. 

- Last Year: We added the term "Cosplay" to the event title, to make it clear that cosplay-style entries are welcome in the Masquerade. We also lifted the rule barring hall costume entries from the mainstage masquerade. We relaxed the registration/paperwork deadline, moving it from noon on Saturday to 6 p.m. instead and removing the requirement that all entries must attend the informational meeting and schedule a tech rehearsal (although both will still be available for those who wish to take advantage of these services). Finally, we added online registration, for anyone who wants to spend less time during the weekend doing paperwork and more time enjoying the con! (You can click here to access the online registration form.)

- This Year: We're looking into adding workmanship judging, as well as the possibility of handing out ballots for an "audience choice" award. We also hope to be providing some resources, workshops, and tutorials both on- and off-line in advance of the con, to help folks understand what a Masquerade/Cosplay is, and how to make the most of your presentation to win audience praise and possibly the big awards. And we're attempting to expand our greenroom space, so that things will be less cramped for everyone.


- The masquerade will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday evening. Adult participants should report to the green room (Ballroom D) by 7:15; junior participants (ages 13 and under) should report to the green room by no later than 7:30.

- You must have a DemiCon 26 membership to take part in the Masquerade and Cosplay. If you like, you can follow this link to register for DemiCon 26.

- There is no private dressing facility in the green room -- so if modesty is an issue, you'll need to don at least your lowest layer either in your hotel room, or in the nearby hotel restroom facility, before reporting in. Both the men's and women's restrooms have a large "handicapped" stall suitable for clothing changes.

- DemiCon recognizes three entry categories: Apprentice (a.k.a. Junior -- for contestants aged 13 years and younger), Artisan (ages 14 and up), and Exhibition (for show only; not entered for judging consideration). There will be "Best of Apprentice" and "Best of Artisan" awards presented, as well as a "Best of Show" that can be selected from either category. In addition, the judges will be given leeway to present a few "honorable mention" awards, which may include things such as: Best Presentation, Best Media Recreation, Best Use of Materials -- or whatever else they deem fit in order to recognize our contestants' outstanding work. If we add workmanship judging and audience balloting this year, then there will be awards in those categories as well.

- For those opting to avail themselves of a tech rehearsal, you will be granted a 10-minute slot to practice with the emcee and tech crew on Saturday afternoon. You can sign up for your tech rehearsal time when you submit your entry paperwork -- but in order to be granted tech rehearsal time, we will need your paperwork no later than noon on Saturday. (Remember: if you like being super-efficient, you can get your "paperwork" to us in advance of the con at this link.) It is not necessary to come to your rehearsal in your full costume -- but for best results, we do recommend bringing along any special props, headgear, and/or footwear that are part of your ensemble, as those are the items most likely to cause unexpected challenges during a presentation.

- Persons scheduling a tech rehearsal should bring any special music or audio files with them if the presentation requires it. Preferred format is .mp3 or .aif files on a flash drive or CD. Our sound crew may or may not be able to accommodate other formats, so deviate from these guidelines at your own risk. With or without a tech rehearsal, however, we can provide you with some kick-ass background music if you need it. Just let us know the general type of mood you want to set, and we'll select something great for you accordingly.

- We will have a photographer available to take studio-quality pictures of you in your masquerade garb. You should plan to be prepared for your photo shoot during the pre-event green room time, although our photographer MAY be available for a brief period after the conclusion of the masquerade if you don't get around to having your portrait snapped earlier.

- After your time on stage, we recommend that you remain in costume until all entries have been presented (although you can certainly temporarily remove pieces if some "breathing time" is required), so that you may participate in the post-masquerade "photo run" across the stage for the photographers in our audience. This is optional -- but after having gone to all that hard work to make the costume, don't you want to give everyone else as much opportunity as possible to enjoy it?

- After the photo run (or sooner, for those who opt not to do the "catwalk" thing), participants may remove any or all portions of their costume, and are invited to sit in the audience to enjoy the halftime show, and to be present when the judges return from deliberation to announce the awards. 


Questions? Suggestions? The sooner you contact us, the better. Please direct all masquerade-related correspondence to Jeannette Roth -- your humble DC26 masquerade/cosplay director -- at

And once again, if you've decided to join us with an onstage presentation – and we hope you have – you can help yourself and help us to make things run more smoothly and efficiently by registering online here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I will be attending a business conference in New York the weekend prior to DemiCon, with a scheduled return date of approximately two days before the convention. Therefore, I will not be around to answer questions for approximately a week-and-a-half prior to the con. I'll be around at the con itself, of course, and you can grab me there. But if you have a logistical or other complex question, 'tis best to try to reach me well before the last minute, so that I can be prepared, and give your inquiry the attention it deserves.

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