Marty Gear Memorial Masquerade logo - MGM movie style

See the Balticon Chair’s message regarding COVID-19.


Masquerade General Information

Our participants represent all cultures, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, and ways of life. We strive towards friendly, fair, respectful competition to showcase costumes and cosplay. To better showcase the diverse costumes and people attending Balticon, there will be the traditional Balticon Marty Gear Memorial Masquerade.

The Balticon Masquerade will be held in the Main Ballroom beginning at 8:00 pm on Saturday. Seating begins at 7:30 pm.  For the safety of the participants, no flash photography is permitting during the masquerade event. A photo opportunity will be available outside of the masquerade and a video of the masquerade will be available for sale.

Marty Gear Memorial Masquerade

Group costumes and individual entries are welcome! Entrants are permitted a maximum of one minute (60 seconds) on stage. Any additional time must be approved by the Masquerade Director (masquerade@balticon.org)

The Masquerade will be based on the current International Costumers’ Guild guidelines. There are four skill divisions designed to protect less experienced contestants from being forced into competition against more experienced costumers before they are ready. All division entries are at the discretion of the Masquerade Director. All competition entries are eligible for Best in Show. 

Please refer to the Masquerade Rules page for detailed information.

Masquerade Registration

All entrants are required to sign-up in advance and to participate in a rehearsal.

On-line Registration

Entrants may register in advance through the on-line Masquerade Registration Form .

On-site Registration (on the 5th floor)

Entrants may register in person at Balticon. Masquerade sign-up hours are:

  • Friday:  4pm-7pm
  • Saturday: 10am-2pm 

Masquerade - Fairy Group

What you need to know in advance

Sound

Only the Master of Ceremonies (MC) is allowed to speak from the stage.  Please record your audio in advance.

  • MC Script: Submit any scripts with your online or on-site registration. If you are bringing a printed script, use 18-point Arial, double-spaced. If you are bringing a handwritten script, it need to be PRINTED large and neatly.
  • Audio & Sound: Please provide your audio or music as a single file in .WAV or .MP3 format on a USB flash drive. Include your name as part of the filename. Edit the file to start exactly at the point where you want the audio to start during your presentation. Unless you want the sound to definitely stop at a specific point, it is OK to make the sound file longer than you expect to need – we will fade it as you leave the stage. Please DO NOT expect us to be able to stream your music from the web or download it for you – experience has shown that internet connections fail at the worst possible moments and we may not get the correct version of the song you want.

We CANNOT provide music for your costume presentation. You must provide your recordings to the Masquerade Registration table staff. To make a music file, you can start with physical media, a file already on your computer, or any one of the many online music ripping tools (search “youtube mp3 converter”). If you wish to start anywhere other than at the beginning, you will need to edit the file. You can use any sound editing tool that you are comfortable with, or download Audacity (https://www.audacityteam.org/). If you are using Audacity, you will want to select the part of the audio you intend to keep, use the Edit -> Remove Special -> Trim Audio to remove everything else, and then File -> Export -> Export as MP3 or File -> Export-> Export as WAV to save the edited sound clip. Again, include your name in the filename. Copy the file to a USB drive (thumb drive). If you are unable to create a sound file, you may bring the music file or physical media to the Masquerade table as early as possible and we will try and help you edit and save it in the proper format.

If you have any questions or concerns, email the Masquerade Director (masquerade@balticon.org) or talk to the director or tech staff on-site at the Masquerade Registration table.

Rehearsal

The tech team, who provides the sound and lighting for the masquerade, takes pride in making you look good. Everyone appearing on stage for the masquerade MUST have a tech rehearsal. You will sign up for a rehearsal time at Balticon during your masquerade registration. Tech rehearsal is for your benefit; it allows tech to check your sound and lighting, and for you and the MC to rehearse. Take this opportunity to get familiar with our stage and review your presentation.

Judging

Judging is available for both presentation and workmanship. If you would like to be judged for workmanship, please bring a printed document which you can leave with the judges to familiarize them with your character, including information about the character and source. Please also bring any documentation about the techniques used to create your costume that you would like to highlight. The judges may get up close and personal to see the details of your work. Refer to the rules for more details.

Green Room

The Masquerade Green Room will be open for contestants starting at 6:00 pm Saturday. You will sign in and get your entry number, workmanship number (if applicable), store props, and make last-minute repairs. 

NOTE: The Green Room is not to be used for making your costumes. There will be a group of experienced “Den Parents” to assist you with any problems and to keep an eye on your belongings. Please eat before you arrive at the Green Room. There will be a live video feed of the Masquerade in the Green Room.

Photos & Video

Flash photography and videography are not allowed. There will be a dedicated fan photo area outside of the ballroom where photographers may take pictures of the contestants. A multi-camera video of the complete Masquerade will be produced by the convention and will be available for sale after it is edited. Professional photos will be taken during Green Room hours and will be available to purchase on Sunday. Contact information for professional photos and the video will be provided at the Masquerade Registration table during the remainder of the convention.

Masquerade - Snitch


Introducing the Masquerade Director for Balticon 54

Dr Karen - Masquerade Director

Dear Masquerade Fans,

My name is Karen Purcell, aka Dr. Karen, and I will be your Balticon 54 Masquerade Director. My Mom taught me to sew as a child, and I have been making my own costumes since my tweens. Over the years, I have been involved in many Masquerades, and look forward to being your director! I love to support my fellow costumers in the best ways to share their wonderful creations. Contact me via email: masquerade@balticon.org