AAC Masquerade Rules 2024


By entering the AAC Masquerade, you are agreeing that you have read, understand, and will abide by all the rules of the convention and event. Failure to meet all rules will result in disqualification and possible ban from entering future events.

-In order to enter the AAC Masquerade, the group leader has to be registered for the convention. The group leader is also the contact person for the group. All notices will be sent to this person and all materials needed, such as scripts, audio tracks, and any questions or concerns, must be sent from this person.

-Your group leader must be 16 years old or older. If no group member is 16 or older then the group will need to pick a parent / guardian to be a contact.

-No Convention Staff are allowed to enter the competitive portion of the masquerade. Even if the group leader is not staff. Staff are allowed to enter an exhibition.

-Volunteers are allowed to enter and compete in the Masquerade.

-If any law is broken you will be immediately disqualified, expelled from the convention, and the proper authorities will be notified. This is including, but not limited to; live weapons, nudity, and any illegal substance use.

-To enter the Masquerade, your character(s) must originate from a media source such as a TV/ Netflix series, film, video games, comic/ manga. This means no original designs. We will need source references during judging as accuracy/ recreation is part of the judging process. Please contact the Masquerade Coordinators with more details or any questions.

-A Performance/ Presentation is required for all Masquerade participants. A walk on counts as a presentation.

-Each person participating in the Masquerade may only perform in one entree. If you choose to participate in two entrees then both groups risk disqualification.

-Only Tech Staff, Masquerade Staff, and participants are allowed in the staging area backstage, unless a minor is participating and their guardian wishes to accompany them.

-No overly sexualized acts or inappropriate language will be allowed. This is a family friendly convention, please keep all Presentations to a PG-13 rating. Failure to do so will result in an immediate disqualification and you will be put in jeopardy of being allowed to enter again.

-All costumes must follow the convention dress code.

-The Masquerade has 20 spots to be filled on a Juried First Come Basis. This means that entrees will be reviewed before accepted into the Masquerade.

-The Masquerade craftsmanship entrees will stay open till all the spots are filled. Performance entries will end 3 weeks prior to the start of the convention. Any remaining craftsmanship spots will be filled at the convention. We do not guarantee that any spots will still be open at the Convention. If you would like to compete, it is highly encouraged that you sign up ahead of time.

-The Masquerade has 2 skill categories, you must select one. If you have a mixed skill level group you will compete at the highest members level. Example; A group of 3 has 2 Novice and an Advanced member. The group would compete at the Advanced level. You are always welcome to select a higher skill level than you qualify for. If it is discovered you are competing at a level lower than what you qualify for you will be disqualified.

Masquerade Categories

~Novice - No more than two major awards won previously at a comparable-sized convention or larger for their costumes or performances. These include “Best of” category awards. Judges’ awards and Honorable Mentions do not count as a major award. Exception, If you have won a Best In Show you no longer qualify for the Novice category.

~Advance- More than 2 major awards won previously at a comparable-sized convention or larger for their costumes or performances. These include “Best of” category awards. Judges’ awards and Honorable Mentions do not count as a major award.

Masquerade Awards

~Judges Awards/ Honorable Mentions

~Best Novice Craftsmanship

~Best Advance Craftsmanship

~Best Novice Presentation

~Best Advance Presentation

~Best In Show

The Best In Show award is for the entry that shows the best skill with their craftsmanship and presentation. In order to qualify for this award you must participate in craftsmanship judging.

The Judges and Masquerade staff reserve the right to bump people up in categories. Example if you enter as a Novice but the Judes are impressed and think you deserve a higher award.

Craftsmanship/ Pre Judging

You are not required to participate in Craftsmanship/ Pre Judging if you only wish to compete with a presentation in the Masquerade. However if you wish to be considered for the Best In Show award you are required to have Craftsmanship/ Pre Judging. Please be sure to select the correct categories on the entree form.

-All costumes and props presented for Craftsmanship/ Pre Judging must have been made by yourself or someone within your competing group. (Exception if your child is wearing a costume you made and you do not wear a costume.)

-Costumes can consist of bought/ found materials that have been 75% or more altered. Example: Found a shirt at GoodWill, to use it for Judging you must alter it such as; dying, painting, alter the neckline, sleeves, and/ or hem line.

-Any bought or commissioned/ unaltered parts of the costume will not be considered in Judging. If you are using any such parts please be up front with the judges.

-If you try to use a bought piece or someone else's work as your own and it is revealed to the Judges/ Masquerade staff, you will be disqualified, stripped of any award received, and future participation will be in jeopardy.

-You are requested to bring at least 1 printed reference picture of your character to Pre Judging/ Craftsmanship. You are welcome to bring a tablet or other device to show multiple pictures and progress work. AAC does not accept any responsibility for a broken device should anything happen to it during judging. A print out is strongly encouraged.

-Progress pictures are not required, but are encouraged.

-Please come 5-10 minutes ahead of your scheduled judging time to check in and be ready.

-If you miss your time, a new judging time is not guaranteed. You may be asked to come back at the end of the judging times and we will try to fit you in.

-If you are involved with another event and would like a specific judging time, we will do our best to accommodate you. Please make sure you notify the Coordinators if this is the case.

Performance/ Presentation

A performance/ presentation group is limited to 8 people on stage at a time. This is for safety reasons and space limitations. Exceptions may be made if you communicate your needs to the coordinator. We do have a very limited amount of space on and off stage.

Time Limits:

Walk on – 40-60 seconds

Performance – 3 minutes

-If you have stage hands/ stage ninjas they will not be counted as part of the overall performing group, but will be limited to 2 unless discussed with the coordinators.

-Failure to stay within your time limit may result in disqualification.

-Your time starts when the lights come up and ends when they fade out/ you walk off stage.

-If you miss your start cue, or feel there was an error, you will be allowed to walk to the side or off stage and communicate this to the staff, and you will be allowed to restart with no penalty. The staff will make an announcement so the judges will know there was a technical error and you are allowed to restart.

-Set up and break down do not count in your time limit, but please be quick. If you require extra help to speed up this process, please let the Coordinators know ahead of time.

-Please plan on bringing anything you need for your presentation with you.

Walk-On Presentations

-A walk-on presentation is limited to 40-70 seconds. Walk on to the stage and give some poses that show off your costume and character you are portraying, then exit.

-Audio for a walk-on is required. If you do not supply an audio track, the Masquerade staff will select music for you.

-Your audio track must be edited to begin at the point you wish it to start playing. The staff will play the first 40-60 seconds then fade out of whatever track you have supplied us with.

-Your Audio is due at the beginning of October, an exact date will be given with plenty of notice.

-No live microphones for a walk-on presentation.

Skit /Performance

A skit or performance presentation must stay within the stated time limit (3 minutes), unless you wish to compete as a non competitive exhibition. This means you want to show off your work without being judged or qualify for an award. We have a very limited amount of spaces for exhibition performances. Exhibition space is open to Convention Staff and Attendees.

-A brief description of your performance is required in the entree form.

-A full script will be required if your entree is accepted.

-Finished Audio must be submitted by the deadline set by the coordinator to allow time to test the audio prior to the Masquerade. Please see Performance Audio Requirement Section for more details.

-All entries are reviewed, we will not be accepting multiple versions of the same dance or idea. If someone has already been accepted with the same idea you have submitted, you will be notified so you may re-enter with a different idea if you wish.

-If your skit or performance is a dance you can not use more than 20 seconds of existing choreography, an example of existing choreography would be dances from existing dance groups including Idols, Vocaloid, J-Pop, K-Pop, or other musical performance. Your dance must be primarily original choreography. Failure to stay within this limit may result in disqualification.

-AAC Masquerade Coordinators and Staff hold the right to ask for changes or refuse entry if the script does not match the description of the entree or contains questionable content.

-All Performances are required to have a technical rehearsal on Saturday morning. These are typically early (7am-11am).

-For your and other participants’ safety, everything you bring on stage with you must also exit the stage with you at the conclusion of the performance.

-No loose glitter, flower petals, or confetti on stage.

-Anything you bring on stage you must also be able to take off with you.

-Do not throw anything off stage. This includes at the audience or off the side of the stage.

-Do not jump off the stage.

-Standard entrance to the stage will be at the back of the stage this year. If you would like different members to enter on different sides of the stage please mention this on your entree form.

-For your and other participants' safety, you must enter the stage from the designated staging areas. No one is allowed to enter from the audience or front of the stage.

-We welcome you to surprise the audience and judges, but please don't surprise the Masquerade Staff and Coordinators. If you are planning something unique, please keep us informed and let us help you.

-AAC maintains a you broke it, you pay for it policy. AAC owns and rents some very expensive equipment. Please always be aware and cautious of your surroundings. If you are found responsible for damaging equipment, you are then responsible to pay for the repair or replacement of it.

Performance Audio Requirements

-You are allowed to use a live microphone for your performance. Please state that you would like to use a microphone on your entree form.

-If you choose to use a live microphone you will be required to have a rehearsal. Failure to report to rehearsal will result in your entry forfeiting their presentation.

-You are allowed a background track to play with the use of a microphone.

-Pre-recorded music/ audio tracks must be sent in ahead of the convention. The sooner the better in case any issues arise. No music will be accepted after this time has passed, unless extraordinary circumstances arise.

-Pre-recorded music/ audio tracks must be on a single track and include any pauses edited in.

-All audio will be screened for content and quality.

-AAC Masquerade Staff holds the right to refuse audio if the content is questionable or the quality presents a clarity issue.

-If a content or clarity issue presents itself, you will be notified and have a chance to resubmit.

-Please send all audio files in an MP3 format.

-No audio will be accepted at the convention unless prior arrangements have been made. No changes will be made to audio after rehearsals. The track you rehearse to will be the track at the show that evening.


-All presentations include a black out at the start and end of the presentation.

-If you would like to make use of multiple lighting cues and effects, you must send in a full script with lighting cues clearly marked.

-If you have lighting cues you will be required to have a rehearsal. No changes will be made to lighting cues after rehearsals.

Rehearsal Times

-All performances are required to have a technical rehearsal on Saturday morning of the convention. Our tech staff pre-programs the audio and lighting cues and this time is when we make the adjustments.

-If you do not come to your rehearsal you will not be allowed to perform in the Masquerade Saturday evening.

-Rehearsals are suggested if you have large props or costumes for your walk-on presentation.

-You will be allowed 1 full run thru of your performance.

-Please arrive at least 10 minutes ahead of your rehearsal time, and be ready to get on stage when you are called.

-If you miss your scheduled time, you are not guaranteed a replacement time. You will be asked to come back at the end, and if there is room we will try to fit you in.

-Rehearsals are held first thing Saturday morning. It is the only time we have access to Main Events and can not be changed. Please communicate with the coordinator if you have any time restrictions and we will do our best to accommodate.

If you are accepted to the Masquerade:

-You will receive an email notification of your acceptance.

-A follow up email will be sent with specifics such as entree numbers, judging and rehearsal times, judging locations, and other information you will need prior to the convention.

-You are expected to respond and send in all needed information and audio files by the dates given.

-Failure to meet these deadlines may result in removal from the Masquerade and your spot will be filled from the waitlist.

-All entries must be checked on Friday or Saturday morning. Failure to check in will forfeit your place in the masquerade. Please communicate with staff if any issues arise.

-On Saturday of the convention, we unfortunately do not have the space to store sets and props backstage during the day.

-If you are found to be in violation of any of the masquerade rules you risk being banned from future entry.

-At the Masquerade itself, we urge all people to please be careful of your surroundings on and off the stage. People have spent countless hours and money on their costumes and props.

-AAC does not hold any responsibility if your prop or costume is damaged at the convention.


Important Masquerade Dates and Deadlines:

-Applications open May 15th 2024 and Close September 15th 2024. At Convention sign ups for Walk-On Presentations and Craftsmanship will be accepted if spots are available. No skits/performances will be accepted at the convention.

-Audio files are due by September 30th to allow for review. If you do not submit audio for a skit/performance you will forfeit your place in the masquerade, if you are a walk-on masquerade staff will select an audio track for you.

 -All entries must be checked on Friday or Saturday morning. Failure to check in will forfeit your place in the masquerade. Please communicate with staff if any issues arise