Masquerade Staff Positions

Some positions that may need to be filled, depending on the size and style of your masquerade. Modify the list of suggested positions to fit the needs of your convention.

Position/Title Responsibility Description
Masquerade Director The person ultimately responsible for running the masquerade. Gets the people to fill the area positions needed, gets the judges who decide the winners, and sets the rules for the masquerade. The masquerade director is also responsible for setting the running order of the contestants. A really good masquerade director can make the masquerade more fun and exciting by making sure that visual and stylistic breaks happen. For example, you do not want a run of all black costumes and then all white costumes. That would be visually boring for the audience. All decisions of the masquerade director are final and cannot be appealed to anyone else. The masquerade director is the final and ultimate say for anything concerning the masquerade.
Judges These are the people who decide who wins awards, and are typically asked by the masquerade director to participate. Usually picked for their costuming knowledge, they can also have special areas of expertise, such as guests of honor selecting costumes for special awards. Something to keep in mind is that the more judges you have, the longer the decision process takes. Two standard types of judges are used in American and European conventions are:

Workmanship
These judges take a look at how the costume was made. Did someone do an outstanding job on a particular technique that deserves recognition? Did someone come up with a new or novel way to make or create something? Did they do anything special that deserves recognition that won't necessarily show on the stage?

Presentation
These judges decide on what they see presented on stage. Did something catch their eye? Did someone create a presentation that was magical or special? Did someone do something that left the judges and the audience breathless or wanting more?

Judge's Clerk This person helps keep track of the judge's discussion and decisions, so that the appropriate awards can be made. A good clerk helps the decision process go quicker, so that people can find out sooner rather than later who wins what.
Green Room Manager This is where the contestants wait to go on stage. Many things happen here that make it so that people get on stage smoothly and readily. This is also typically the place where workmanship judging happens, but not always. However, since the costumers are in this space, it makes sense to have the workmanship judging in one part of the green room.

Den Parents
Within the green room, den moms and den dads help the costumers directly by helping with last minute repairs, and making sure that they get processed properly, so that the show can run more smoothly. The typical ratio is ten contestants to one den parent (10:1).

Changing Room Typically done in Japan, a place for people to change into their costumes when they don't have a room at the convention hotel. This avoids people trying to change in the bathrooms and making it so that the people who need to use the facilities can't. Also, the Japanese have some social conventions which make it so that people do not wear costumes outside of the convention space.
Photography Where costume photographs are taken. Typically, divided up into two photography areas at larger conventions.

Fan Photo
An area (or sometimes two or three depending on the space available), for most anyone to take photographs of the costumers. Sometimes, since the space is limited, the number of photographers is limited. Other times, it is not. Fan Photo areas can be as simple as "here's your space," to having a backdrop and lights provided - typically by another photographer who is willing to let them be used by other photographers.

Professional Photography
An area where, typically, one professional or semi-professional photographer takes high-quality photographs of the masquerade contestants, so they may be purchased by the contestants or anyone else interested. Some photographers make their convention photos available online, some only do it at the particular convention where they photograph.

Stage Manger This is the person who makes sure that people get on and off the stage in order, and they keep the show flowing. This person typically has a headset that makes it so that they can communicate with the tech crew (sound and lights) and the masquerade director in case a problem comes up. The most frequent problem is the wrong music gets played because a mistake was made. The stage manager needs to have the ability to tell the sound person that the wrong music is being played, so that the correct music can be found and played.
Tech Crew The people responsible for lights and sound plus setting up the stage if anything needs to be done. The tech crew typically puts tape and small lights on the stage, so people can know where the stage edge is, and where to hit their mark for best effect. They frequently have a long day because they have to setup the lights and music playing equipment. This may not be as much of an issue for conventions that have permanent setups.
Safety Compliance Sometimes part of the masquerade director's job, but sometimes a special individual who makes sure that all local laws are complied with. This includes making sure enough entrances and exits exist for fire safety, that the aisles are wide enough, that people with mobility problems can get out safely, and that people with mobility problems can also see the show. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes this a consideration in the U.S.
Stage Ninjas The term "ninja" is not perjorative in America in this use of the word. These are the people who make sure that masquerade contestants do not fall off the stage. They are part of a safety component to help make the event safer. The term stage ninja frequently refers to the fact that they typically wear all black, so you (the audience) do not see them while they are doing their job.

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