Masquerade Contest: General Info | Registration | Rules 

How to Register for the Otakon Masquerade

To register for the Otakon Masquerade, please read to the bottom of the page and follow the link.

Registration will open for the Otakon Masquerade July 1st, and close July 30th.

Otakon Masquerade Information

We welcome everyone to come see the long-standing staple of anime conventions: the Masquerade! For those interested in seeing what it's all about, it's easy: come to the Masquerade on Saturday night, find a seat, and watch a great show by fans, for fans.

We welcome participants, too! After all, it is by fans, for fans. Interested in performing? Keep reading!

The Masquerade is designed for costumers who wish to perform a short skit on stage, or whose costume would be best presented in an on-stage format. For costumers who wish to have their costume judged but do not want to perform a skit (i.e. a walk-on entry), we recommend entering the Hall Costume Contest.

Why participate in Otakon Masquerade? Here's one reason!

How about a free HD Digital Copy of your performance?  Yes, you heard us right. Each skit will receive access to an HD quality file showcasing their performance as seen by fellow members on the big screen.  

Access to the file for each skit will be e-mailed to each respective group's designated contact in the weeks after Otakon, as our thanks for making the Masquerade possible.

In order to participate, you must have an Otakon Member Badge (Dealers, Press, and other specialty badge types are also valid).

Additional Prize Support provided by:
Ultimate Wireless

We're excited to have Ultimate Wireless provide additional prize support for our masquerade this year.  Prizes may include Cat-Eared Bluetooth Headsets, Wireless Chargers, Mobile Fans and more.



Performance Categories

Entries will be separated into one of four categories:

  • Youth - individual or group consisting primarily of children 13 years of age and under, as well as their parents, guardian, or other individuals deemed appropriate by the Masquerade Coordinator
  • Beginner - contestants who have won zero or one major cosplay award at any convention. This level may be known as ‘Novice’ at other conventions.
  • Intermediate - contestants who have won two, but less than five major cosplay awards at any convention. This level may be known as ‘Journeyman’ at other conventions.
  • Advanced - contestants who have won five or more major cosplay awards at any convention. This level may be known as ‘Craftsman’ or ‘Masters’  at other conventions.

Children 13 years old and under will be judged separately in the Youth category. Entries which include participants who do not qualify for the youth category, such as parents or guardians, in addition to qualifying youth participants may request to be judged in the youth category. These requests are subject to the approval of the Masquerade Coordinator.

Parents are required to accompany children 13 years of age and younger during the Masquerade.

Release Forms

All participants will be required to sign a permission/release/waiver form to participate in the contest. This includes stage hands, stage assistants, and any other individuals appearing on stage. Simply put, any person who steps on stage must submit a waiver.

Minors under 18 years of age may participate in the Masquerade only if a permission/release form signed by the minor's legal guardian is provided. We highly encourage you to print out and sign the appropriate form(s) and bring them to check-in to expedite the process.

Important! Forms will be collected when you check in for the Masquerade. This is the only time we will accept waivers. If signed waiver forms are not present for all members of your cast, we will not check you in. We strongly recommend that you make prior arrangements on your own with your cast members to ensure that all waiver forms are present when you check in. Extra copies of blank forms will be made available at con.

Check back for updated copies of the Masquerade 2021 Release forms.

Costume Eligibility

FOR OTAKON 2021: Unlike previous years, costumers will be allowed to wear the same costume in both the Masquerade and Hall Costume Contest.

Skit Length

Maximum skit length will continue to be determined by the number of performing participants in your skit:

  • 1-3 performing participants: 2.5 minutes (150 seconds)
  • 4-7 performing participants: 4 minutes (240 seconds)
  • 8-15 performing participants: 5 minutes (3000 seconds)

The length of skits is measured from the first move or line until the last move or line.

Participants who do not play an active role in the progression or storyline of their performance, such as stage hands or assistants, will not count towards the number of performing participants.

Remember, short is good, funny is better, short and funny is best.

Stage Entry and Exit

The stage we will be using is large stage but stairs will be involved to get onto, and off of the stage

Exact dimensions of the stage are being finalized and will be sent to contestants during registration.

The arrows through the breaks in the curtains denote the preferred direction of entry and exit at the beginning and end of your skit respectively. We prefer that skits enter the stage for the start of their skit from stage right, and exit the stage from stage left at the conclusion of their skit. During your skit, however, you may use these points for both entry and exit as many times as needed (i.e. to enter and leave the stage multiple times during your skit).

Following this traffic pattern will help minimize crowding backstage, and allow the next skit to properly prepare for their performance. If for some reason you just can't make this traffic pattern work for your skit, just let us know at some point between Masquerade registration and Masquerade rehearsal and we'll try our best to accommodate you.

Please read the Full Masquerade Rules and Regulations for the complete guidelines and more information on this and other rules changes.

How to Register for the Otakon Masquerade

All entries wishing to participate in the Masquerade must register via the Otakon website. There will be no at-convention registration of new entries. 

There will be a maximum of 35 skits performing at the Masquerade. These slots will be filled using the following method:

The first 25 entries registered for the Masquerade will be designated as "Reserved Entries". These entries will be reserved a performing slot at the Masquerade provided that they check-in during their designated check-in period at the convention.

The next 25 entries registered will be designated as "Overflow Entries". These entries are not reserved a performing slot at the Masquerade, but will have the remaining 10 performing slots and any additional unclaimed slots available to them on a first come, first serve basis at the convention.

If you have not done so already, please take a moment to review the Full Masquerade Rules and Regulations.


The Masquerade and Cosplay Contests section of the Otakon Web Boards is dedicated to questions about the Masquerade and other costuming events.

You may have a question that's already been asked by fellow Masquerade participants. You can find answers to the questions already asked and post new questions there.

You must be registered member of the Otakon Web Boards to access the Otakon Masquerade and Cosplay section, but it only takes a moment.

We strongly encourage all Masquerade participants to visit the web boards regularly, as we will be posting information leading up to Otakon to make your at-con Masquerade experience smoother and more enjoyable.

Questions, problems, changes to any skit entries, and requests for additional information may be sent to the Masquerade Coordinator through the Otakon Help Desk.

Masquerade Contest: General Info | Registration | Rules