Monday, April 4, 2016

Hanadoki Con 2016

I attended Saturday of Hanadoki Con this year, and participated in the Masquerade competition with Utena. It was my first real Masquerade experience, and I'm glad I chose a small convention to do it at. And guess what? I won an award for Best Craftsmanship!

I signed up online for the Masquerade a few weeks prior to the convention, and didn't get any kind of confirmation until I messaged the organizers the week before the con. After that point, they were very responsive and in contact, but the whole process wasn't without hiccups.

Participants were supposed to be there at noon on Saturday for pre-judging, so I got there around 11:45. After standing around for a bit, they said that they were postponing the judging to 1:00, so I went to get lunch with my best friend. Halfway through getting food, I got a text that they wanted everyone back at the Masquerade office to get started immediately. I was able to get back in time, but not without some serious annoyance. Thankfully, that was the worst of the problems for the most part, and the rest of the process was pretty smooth.

Pre-judging was fine--I wasn't nervous since I know my work is very clean, and one of my friends was actually one of the judges (I didn't know this beforehand) so I was very relaxed and comfortable with them. They jokingly asked me to "flip my seams", and of course I was happy to show them the full lining, tailoring, and mitered corners!

I spent the afternoon checking out the exhibit hall, hanging out with friends, and shooting with Carl Pangi Cosplay Photography. At 4:00, we all headed back in for a tech rehearsal, and then had to be back at 6:00 to wait in the green room for the show to start at 7:00.

It turns out that I had somehow been the first person to sign up, so I was also the first person in the show. I had prepared a few poses and sent them the music, but after the tech rehearsal was so short I thought of some more poses to add and practiced bowing with the sword. I wasn't really focused on the performance aspect, though, since I know my skill is in the sewing and overall look.

Everything went quite well, and as the halftime show was finishing up, I was asked along with three other participants to stay back for awards. I ended up being presented with the Best Craftsmanship award! I felt like everyone who got awards were very deserving, really--the Best in Show and Best in Show Runner-Up were both great, and the Judge's Choice was also very good. I definitely felt like I was in good company!

Overall, it was a really fun and educational experience. Obviously things will be different if (when?) I choose to participate in a larger Masquerade that is more professionally run, but it was fun, and good practice for the future.

With Wondercon the next weekend, I decided to forgo Sunday of the convention for a Lolita event, but I hope that Hanadoki Con can continue to be successful in the future. It's nice to have a casual, accessible local event, and I look forward to next year!

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