How to Register for the Otakon® 2018 Masquerade

To register for the Otakon 2018 Masquerade, please read to the bottom of the page and follow the link.

Registration begins on June 22, 2018 at 9 PM Eastern Daylight Time and ends on July 27, 2018 at 9 PM Eastern Daylight Time or when all slots have been filled, whichever comes first.

Otakon 2018 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 2018 Masquerade? Here's one reason!

Best in Show winners will receive free, complementary memberships for 2019, which includes attendance to Otakon 2019.

Please note that these memberships are non-transferable and apply only to Otakon 2019.

Still not convinced? 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 2018, 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).

Judging 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
  • Novice - contestants who have won zero or one major cosplay award at any convention
  • Journeyman - contestants who have won two, but less than five major cosplay awards at any convention
  • Craftsman - contestants who have won five or more major cosplay awards at any convention

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.

Masquerade Judges

Jacqui Collins

Jacqui Collins of Alchemical Cosplay created her first costume in 2003, took a hiatus to learn how to sew, and resumed the hobby in 2013 with much better results. With a degree in fashion design, she specializes in fine sewing, and drafts her own patterns to achieve accurate silhouettes with couture finishing. Learning about new techniques and materials is one of her favorite things about cosplaying. She enjoys choosing projects that will expand her crafting repertoire, and her award winning costumes combine multiple techniques including leatherwork, thermoplastics, foams, resins, and electronic systems. She has competed in cosplay events across the East coast and been honored with multiple awards, including the title World Champion of Cosplay at C2E2 in 2018. Jacqui loves helping to share knowledge and tutorials, and has been a content contributor to SyFy’s Fantorials series and Cosplay Culture magazine.

See more of her on:


From Maryland, DizzyLizzy is no stranger to the world of Costuming.  For over 20 years, she has been creating costumes for herself and others. During those years, Lizzy has been awarded several Best in Shows for her workmanship and performance skills.  When she is not creating costumes, you can find her still behind her sewing machine creating Bridal gowns for K&B Bridals.  Lizzy believes in Cos-Positivity and stays active in the community by hosting workshops, judging, running Cosplay Departments such as Zenkaikon and AnimeNEXT, and being the curator of The Magic of Cosplay Exhibit.  She is very excited to be attending Otakon this year and looks forward to meeting everyone!  (Flynn Lives!)

See more of her on:

Shushuwafflez Creative Cosplay

Shushuwafflez, or Su as she is known by her friends, is a cosplayer, seamstress and costume designer based out of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Cosplaying and creating her own costumes for over 9 years now, Su always strives to be an advocate for body positivity. she hopes to show people of every background that Cosplay is for everyone, regardless of size, ethnicity or sexual preference by using her own personal struggles with body image as an example to those struggling with their own challenges.

Su has had the honor to travel to conventions on both sides of the US-Canada border. Known for large gowns such as her Queen Esther as well as smaller cosplays such as Chinese New Year Mei, Su focuses on detail and quality craftsmanship in every cosplay she produces.

Su is proud to be a guest at this year’s Otakon, don’t be shy to come say “hello” and snap a picture or two!

See more of her on:

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.

Costume Eligibility

Costumers may not 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 minutes (120 seconds)
  • 4-7 performing participants: 3 minutes (180 seconds)
  • 8-15 performing participants: 4 minutes (240 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 to the backstage area.

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 2018 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. 

Registration begins on June 22, 2018 at 9 PM Eastern Daylight Time and ends on July 27, 2018 at 9 PM Eastern Daylight Time or when all slots have been filled, whichever comes first.

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.

Masquerade Registration

Open: June 22, 2018, 9 p.m. - July 27, 2018, 9 p.m.


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.