The Masquerade has always been a big part of MidSouthCon, and it has grown over the past few years into a truly wonderful event.

The Masquerade will be held Saturday Evening
(Time to be announced- generally at 10:00 pm– small children will be presented first)

We have cash prizes, certificates, convention memberships and hall costume awards.

Tech Rehearsal
The rehearsal will be on Saturday (time TBA – usually 5.p.m.). This is not a dress rehearsal, so you do not have to be in costume — it is meant to allow you to become familiar with the stage and work out sound and lighting issues with the tech crew.
Note: coming to the rehearsal is extremely recommended, but not mandatory.

Workmanship Prejudging
Any contestant wishing to have their costume judged for the craftsmanship used in creating the costume may enter into the Workmanship Judging portion of the Masquerade.
Pre-judging will take place prior to the Masquerade.

Masquerade Registration
To ensure a place in the Masquerade, entrants should register at the MidSouthCon Masquerade Registration table BEFORE 4:00 pm on the Saturday of the convention.
If you are a part of a group presentation, one member may register for the entire group (but all of the other members will need an entry/waiver form) waivers are be required for each of the participants, however.

You may pre-register for the Masquerade by e-mailing the information on this form to This is discouraged, due to “Murphy’s Law Concerning Electronics”, but allowed. You should still check in at the Masquerade registration table and fill in the full forms (if for some reason you won’t be able to, please inform us beforehand).

The following rules were adopted for MSC 24 forward:

Masquerade Rules: Categories, Divisions, and Judging
To insure a level playing field Masquerade entrants are divided into several categories and divisions.
Note: a group costume will compete at the division level of the highest member, and will be judged as a group. If you are unsure of which Category and Division you should enter, please ask the Masquerade Staff.

Workmanship: Entrants in this category are judged on the costume(s) (but a good presentation certainly helps). If you built or have sewn your costume and want to show off your skills to the judges. You may choose a particular part or parts to be judged instead of entire costume.

Performance: Entrants in this category are judged on costume(s), skit quality, originality and presentation. If your costume is store-bought or professionally made, you must enter in this category.

Divisions are based on the International Costumer’s Guild Classes and Divisions, and are as follows:

Junior Costumer: Any Contestant under thirteen years of age at the time of the convention. The Junior Division is divided into two sub-divisions: Adult Made and Contestant Made.

Novice: The Novice division is open to anyone who is not required to compete in the Master or Journeyman divisions. This means you have won less than three major prizes in costume competitions (other than as a “Young Fan”) at any major convention and no awards in any higher division.

Journeyman: The Journeyman division is open to anyone who is not required to compete in the Master division. You must enter this division if you have won three or more major awards in the Novice division or one to two major awards in the Journeyman division.

Master: The Master division is open to anyone who wishes to compete at this level, but you MUST enter this division if you have won three or more Journeyman division awards or have won one or more Master division awards, or if you make a significant portion of your income as a costumer.

Within each division there are two classes:

Re-Creation: A re-creation is a costume copied directly (or with minor modifications) from a visual source, such as a live-action or animated motion picture, television program, stage presentation, comic book or strip, or any form of artwork, including book covers.
TIP: Examples (photos, pictures, etc.) provided to the judges– so that they have some idea of what you are supposed to look like– are encouraged (multiple examples/copies wouldn’t hurt).

Original: – Any costume that does is does not fit the re-creation criteria listed above.

Workmanship & Technical Judging (“Pre-judging”)
Workmanship judging is optional, and if desired, may be limited to ONE (or more) part of your costume.
If you do want your costume judged for workmanship, please make sure you check the appropriate box on the sign-up sheet.
Any workmanship judging will take place in the Masquerade Judging Room before the show.
Time to be announced—usually 8-10pm. (ONLY those contestants wishing to be judged on Workmanship are required to attend the 8pm Showtime.)

The MC will announce your division and title at the beginning of your presentation, and your credits when your presentation is complete. The MC will also happily read an introduction before and/or a narration during your presentation, so long as the script is typed or neatly printed.

No live microphones will be available, and talking from the stage is discouraged (only the first few rows would hear you, anyway). All dialogue, narration, and music included with your presentation should be pre-recorded. Background music of some sort will almost always improve a presentation and is highly recommended.

Acceptable Sound Media
USB stick/MP3 is the PREFERRED media
We will transfer the music to our computer and return your media.
CD/CD-R: If you burn your material to a CD-R, please make sure it is in standard audio MP3 or WAV format, and only burn the track to be used.
Note: Sound media must be turned in no later the than the start of the Tech Rehearsal.

Presentation Time Limits
Presentations (skits) are allowed a maximum time of two minutes, but shorter is usually better.
(Judges/audiences are notorious for short attention spans)
TIP: You should try to plan your presentation to give the judges a view of your costume from all sides, and to draw attention to any particularly interesting aspect of the design or construction.

Remember, a good presentation will have a positive effect on the way your costume is perceived by the audience and judges.

General Rules

  • All presenters must be members of MidSouthCon.
  • All presenters must sign the liability and photography waivers. NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • No open flame, fire, flash powder, or flash paper is allowed. If you are using an electronic strobe effect, please note it on your form so the MC may warn the audience. No pointing of laser pens at the audience or tech crew.
  • No messy substances on stage. If you are leaving something on stage, it must be able to be easily picked up by the stage crew or your helpers. If in doubt, ask the Masquerade Director.
  • The weapons policy of the convention must be followed. While weapons are allowed during the presentation, they must be sheathed before leaving the stage. No real firearms or projectile weapons are allowed.
  • No flash photography will be permitted in the ballroom during the Masquerade. We will have a photo area set up where people can take flash pictures. Note to contestants: you will make people very happy if you stay in your costume for pictures.
  • (Complete) purchased or rented costumes may be entered in the Masquerade as exhibitions only, and are not eligible for prizes or awards. This contest is to exhibit your costuming skills, not your pocketbook.
  • The Masquerade is rated PG-13, but due to local ordinances no nudity will be allowed. Questionable (adult) aspects of your costume will be subject to a decision of the Masquerade Director – there will be NO appeal. We are a family con there will be young kids in the audience.
  • Costumes worn in the hallways during MidSouthCon may compete in the masquerade, but we do encourage you to save your best creations for the stage and wear them in the halls after the Masquerade is over.
  • Contestants must report for the masquerade on time. Failure to appear on time, or to be ready to go on stage, may result in disqualification.
  • Surprise the audience and judges, not the Masquerade Staff. Please let the Masquerade Staff know if you are planning to do anything strange or unusual.
  • The Masquerade Staff has the authority to eliminate anyone from the competition on the grounds of taste, danger, rules violations, or any other reason deemed sufficient.  
  • There will be no appeal.


As always, the above rules are subject to change without notice.

For more information, contact