It might be preemptive to call CC35 the convention highlight of my year, but it might well have been. Because, while I didn’t get to attend nearly as many panels as I would have liked, or eat and sleep well, or take almost any photos… I managed to finish all my projects on time, enter not one but TWO contests, and run an imperfect but apparently successful panel/demo. And, as always, spend 4 days with my cosplay fam.
We arrived Thursday evening to have time to chill and prep for an early start on Friday. I didn’t cosplay during the day on Friday to save my energy (and outfit reveal) for the evening. I did hit up a couple of panels though, including the always entertaining “Costume Horror Stories” and “Vinyl Cutting” (the latter of which wasn’t relevant to my budget but was interesting as a higher-tech version of my own Freezer Paper demo). Then it was time to prep for the Single Pattern Contest.
My entry for the contest was using the coat pattern option (#M7025), and even though the “costume” was just the coat, I had decided to do some character and runway appropriate(?) hair and makeup which was time-consuming (but worth it). Luckily I still got to the greenroom on time and judging/photos went smoothly. I was really impressed by how elaborate some of the Single Pattern entries were, and was feeling pretty intimidated considering that my own coat felt very simple or too close to the original design once I could check out everyone else’s projects. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was thrilled to see someone else had picked a Marvel character for their inspiration - check out this Loki Coat!
In the end the runway/stage section went smoothly, although I had a hard time hearing the MC and could definitely have timed the “reveal” of my coat’s lining better. Regardless, it was fun and a nice relatively chill warm-up event before the Sci-Fi masquerade. And…. [drumroll, please]..... I won best coat!!! I was really, really shocked considering what everyone else had brought to the contest. I got to bask in the crowd admiration (hahaha) with friends briefly at the social before it was time to pick up Mr Stark and Little Stark and get them checked in to the hotel. We went back to the party, but sadly it was pretty empty by that point in the night.
On Saturday I had a similar plan to Friday - casual wear during the day (this time my twitch-quality Link cosplay) to get me through masquerade tech rehearsal and any panels I wanted to go to before changing for the sci-fi masquerade in the evening. In the end I spent the afternoon socializing and instead of going to panels, but nothing wrong with that. I got into costume a little earlier than greenroom call time to shoot with Dream Land Photography so I have some great photos of the finally-complete Cersei!!!
The masquerade greenroom was chaotic but ultimately everything got sorted out, as it always does. One of the cool things about Costume Con is that very few masquerade entrants are first-timers, so just about everyone knows the greenroom drill. I have to admit that workmanship judging was nerve-wracking, not only because this is Costume-Con, but because the judges really really had their game-faces on and when they didn’t seem impressed by what I thought were the best parts of my costume I panicked just a little. At least the stage portion went smoothly - better than I had expected (especially since I was shocked to discover that I would be entry #5 which meant that I didn’t have as much time to practice as I had assumed). The audience reacted well, and I could hear laughing as soon as the second track kicked in, so that was a big relief that at least some of the crowd knew the song well enough to know where it was going. So without further ado, my masquerade entry “Set the World on Wildfire” (video courtesy of Dan The Video Ninja, as usual).
Luckily, since I was so early in the show, I was able to join the Starks in the audience to watch the rest of the show! That never happens! Once the show was over I joined the line to return to the stage for photo ops, though this time I was at the end of the line (probably because I was coming from the audience instead of the greenroom hahahaha. Once that was done, I ended up chatting with a bunch of people in the hallway about my costume while waiting for the awards announcement. And at the awards…. I WON TWO! “Honourable Mention for Fabric Painting” in workmanship, and “Future Arsonist” award for stage!!! I felt so validated in terms of the hundreds of hours I put into painting, especially since the judges hadn’t seemed to like it at the time. I also hadn’t realized until the awards that one of the workmanship judges is the head of the ICG >_> oops/yay?
On Sunday Little Stark and I both dressed up as Ghostbusters, though sadly we didn’t get to actually spend a lot of time together clearing the hotel of spooks and spectres. I stopped by the Future Fashion Folio to see what people had made, and then took my Cersei dress and belt to the masquerade show and tell panel (where I got to hear praise from the judges so that was nice), and after that the rest of the afternoon was spent preparing for my stencil demo in the last panel time slot of the day.
As for that demo… we started late because the panel ahead ran long, and I’ve never tried to do a stencil in an hour before (the fastest I have done *without* teaching/answering questions is 90 min) so I tried to have as much pre-traced and pre-cut as possible. And while only half the shirt actually got painted I think that I effectively demonstrated the technique, and with minimal derailment. Unfortunately, I hadn’t actually downloaded my photo references to my computer and poor Kurumasha was left with the futile task of trying to get my laptop to connect to the hotel wifi so I could show other examples… and it never did. I felt worse knowing that the wifi had been working right outside the room in the hallway as I did my prep work. In any case, big props to her for trying anyways and helping out where she could. The demo had a full room and everyone seemed to take something away from it.
After that the evening was chill - I watched the Historical Masquerade for the first time and was happy to cheer on my friends who went on stage! I’m also glad to have a much better idea of what is expected of a Historical Masquerade entry now, just in case I ever decide to finish my “in progress” period costume and want to compete at CC38, (which will be in Montreal, as was announced after the show Sunday night! Yes, I have already bought my membership). The night wrapped up with a late but delicious sushi dinner and discussions about fandom, con-running, life, the universe, and everything late into the night.
I didn't get up to any convention activities on Monday - just packing up and saying our goodbyes and being unsure as to how I accumulated so many ribbons over <72 hours.