The centerpiece of the Gallifrey One convention is the Masquerade of Mandragora, our annual Saturday night costume competition and fashion show. For over two decades, Gallifrey One has featured the best and brightest from the world of costuming on our main stage, which also features a live “half-time” presentation (while the judges go about their deliberations) that has previously included such spectacles as band performances, video events, Mysterious Theatre 337 and the Just a Minute game show.
The 2019 Masquerade of Mandragora will take place on Saturday night, February 16, 2019. All convention attendees are welcome to the event, which runs usually around 2 1/2 hours.
If you’re interested in participating in the Masquerade as a costumed entrant, the following rules and guidelines are for you.
Masquerade Contestant Entry Qualifications
- Costumes must be handmade for competition purposes. Purchased accessories (shoes, wigs, jewelry) must comprise less than 50% of the costume. A purchased costume that has undergone extensive (75% or more) altering/transformation may also compete.
- If you purchased your costume online or in a store, or paid a person/company to custom-craft your costume, you may enter in the Exhibition category. (No awards, just being able to present on stage.)
- Costuming/Presentation must be kept to a PG-13 rating.
- Entrants must have a ticket to this year’s convention. If the maker and entrant are different people, both must have a ticket.
- You may appear on stage once, in one costume, for competition purposes. You may appear on stage a second time, in a different costume, as a “living prop” in another entrant’s presentation. (Tell the Masquerade Director in advance you’re being a prop, though!)
- Please note: due to time restraints, the Masquerade Director will cap the entries allowed based on number and size of entries and length of presentations. Get your form in as soon as possible to guarantee your space.
Those interested in being a contestant will need to do the following:
- Fill out the Masquerade Registration Form and turn in at the Masquerade Desk in the center hallway, prior to or at the Masquerade Participant Meeting (see below). If you’re under 18, a parent/guardian must sign off on the form. The Registration Form can be downloaded on this website in the weeks prior to the convention (details TBA), so you can have everything done and simply turn it in on site. We will not accept forms via the Internet.
- Attend the mandatory Masquerade Participant Meeting on Saturday February 17 at 10:00am. If you’re part of a group, only one group member has to attend. Note that missing this meeting entirely will result in your removal from the Masquerade presentation list entirely! (Talk to the Masquerade staff prior to the meeting if you absolutely can’t make it.)
- Report to the Masquerade Green Room no later than the time announced at the Masquerade Participant Meeting. The Masquerade Green Room will be located at the very back of the western hallway past Program C/D/E, usually opening around 7:00 pm.
Presentation and Technical Information
- You may incorporate up to three people as living props in your presentation. These living props cannot be a prop in more than one presentation.
- Time Limits:
- Solo entrants: one minute
- 2-6 in group: two minutes
- More than 7: negotiate in advance with Masquerade Staff.
- Please note that living props do not add to the time limit. (i.e., if one one person in a group of 4 is competing, then the presentation has a 1-minute time limit.)
- Not allowed as part of presentation at any time:
- Materials/effects that will leave a mess on stage, in the Green Room, or on another entrant’s costume
- Living animals (except for service animals)
- Pyrotechnics and open flames
- Anything deemed to violate the convention’s terms with the Marriott
- When not on stage, weapons must be peace-bonded. In addition, weaponry must follow the Gallifrey One weapon policy for size, appearance, etc. If you want to wield your weaponry as part of your presentation, you must let the Masquerade Director know beforehand. (Weapons policy can be found on the convention’s Policies page.)
- No live microphones, no exception. Do not try to project from the stage—it’s a huge room and no one will hear you, no matter how much experience you have at it.
- Music/soundtracks for presentation must be submitted prior to or at the Masquerade Participant Meeting. Provide the Masquerade an electronic file (one that can be played with VLC) on a CD or flash drive drive labelled with your name and entry name. (Bring a back-up, just in case.) Do not bring a commercial CD; we will not use it. If you don’t provide music/sound, you will walk across the stage in silence. Unless otherwise requested, all CDs and flash drives will be recycled after the Masquerade.
- Lighting: nothing beyond “lights down” and “lights up” will be accommodated.
- Our Masquerade Host will be happy to read brief remarks about your costume or a short script to aid your presentation. Print neatly on the form or provide a script to attach to the Host form.
Skills Divisions and Judging
- Novice: You have not won a major prize in any other Masquerade. (A “major prize” is an award that doesn’t involve the words “Honorable Mention.”) Perfect for first-timers.
- Journeyman: Have won “Best Novice” in presentation or workmanship at a prior Gallifrey One Masquerade (or other conventions), or 4+ smaller awards as a Novice at these conventions.
- Master: Have won “Best Journeyman” in presentation or workmanship at a prior Gallifrey One Masquerade (or other conventions), or 4+ smaller awards as a Journeyman at these conventions. Professional costumers should choose this division.
- Young Fan: Entrant 16 or younger who participated more than 50% in the design/construction of the costume.
- Exhibition: For those who don’t want to (or don’t qualify to) compete, but still want to show off their costume in front of a large, captive audience.
Types of Judging
Workmanship judging is a close examination of costume and/or props, inspecting construction and detail work. This judging is optional; you can also opt to have just one part of the costume judged.
Again in 2019, Workmanship Judging will take place in the Convention Center Patio on Saturday morning from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Because this judging is during the day and out in a public area, we encourage you not to wear your competition costume for this process. Bring your costume on a hanger, in a bag, or whatever suits it best. By having your costume (or costume parts) separate from yourself, workmanship judging can encompass the insides as well as the outsides fully. Fit/tailoring will still be accessed in the Green Room Saturday evening; but with everything else already looked at and asked about, it will be a much shorter process. (You might not even notice it happening!)
Because of the limited time available, and to assure that you don’t have to wait around long and potentially miss other events during the day, you will be able to reserve a specific time slot for workmanship judging. Sign up at the Masquerade table on Friday (after you turn in your paperwork) or at the Masquerade Participants Meeting on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Masquerade Staff will be happy to answer any/all questions at the Masquerade table on Friday. If it rains that Saturday, Workmanship Judging will be moved to a corner of the hotel lobby. (You will be informed at the Participants Meeting that morning if this is the case.)
How does the costume work on stage? Is the presentation appropriate to the character(s)? Does the entrant stay on stage too long—or not long enough? How does the audience react to the entrant? All these questions come into play. Presentation judging takes place on the stage in Program A starting Saturday night.
The following items we encourage you to pay attention to, to enhance your experience (and the audience’s) in the Masquerade:
- If you have a large prop or a costume that inhibits your mobility, please provide your own assistants to get you on/off stage.
- If your costume is a recreation (i.e. a costume copied from a media source), bring along some form of documentation for the judges. A few photos will suffice—or, go whole-hog and give us a report on how you researched and put everything together. Our judges may not be familiar with the source costume. Turn in documentation before or at the Masquerade Participant Meeting. (Unless you tell us otherwise, the Masquerade Staff will recycle the documentation after the show.)