The 2014 WonderCon Anaheim Masquerade: An Evening to Celebrate Costumes!
WonderCon Anaheim is a celebration of the popular arts, of artistic creativity and imagination. There’s a thousand ways to tell a story, countless ways to paint an alien world, limitless future technology to conjecture about, infinite alternate histories we can devise, and no end to the types of characters we create to entertain us or make us think. And similarly, there are countless ways to clothe the human (or non-human) form. Whether your interest at the convention is centered on comic books movies or fine art or fantasy figurines or steampunk hats or collectible trading cards or meeting the creators of those things, costumes play a vital role in what we all enjoy about the popular arts. WonderCon Anaheim is proud to once again present a special night dedicated to giving costumes the spotlight they’re entitled to and our talented costuming attendees the recognition they deserve: Our 10th annual on-stage Masquerade Costume Competition!
Not a dance or party as the name might imply, it is a show upon a stage, featuring theater-style lighting, enhanced sound, and a giant high-definition video screen displaying great close-up views of the many astounding and entertaining costumes our convention attendees create. Most of the presentations are accompanied by specially selected music, some with special effects and elaborate choreography. A Master of Ceremonies introduces each presentation, and the panel of guest judges selects the winners in various categories. The event is set in our largest venue at the Anaheim Convention Center, the Arena, due to the crowd of nearly 3,000 it draws, an audience that starts lining up long before the doors open. The fun evening will also include other special entertainment, including just-released movie previews and live entertainment for the judging intermission.
Our guest Mistress of Ceremonies this year is Ashley Eckstein. Actress and entrepreneur Ashley Eckstein has appeared in a wide variety of TV, movie and stage roles, most recognized as the voice of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. She’s starred in feature films including Alice Upside Down and Sydney White, and television shows including That ‘70s Show, Disney's That's So Raven, Nickelodeon's Drake and Josh and Jeff Foxworthy's Blue Collar TV. Ashley is the Founder of Her Universe (www.heruniverse.com), a licensed fashion merchandise company for Star Wars, Doctor Who, Marvel, Transformers, The Walking Dead and Star Trek loving Fangirls! She’s married to former Major League baseball player, two-time World Series Champion and World Series MVP David Eckstein.
The special entertainment during the judging intermission will include another Star Wars battle extravaganza by the popular Saber Guild 20-member performance group. This year’s performance: The Great Purge: “After the fall of the Jedi order and the rise of the Galactic Empire, the last of the Jedi are being hunted down by the dark agent Darth Vader, whose mission is to eliminate the remaining Jedi group hiding on the planet Estasar. The Jedi have gathered there for one last hope, to purge Vader and his agents from the living Force. Jedi and Sith face one another with their lightsabers in this epic fight. Which side of the Force will prevail to influence the galaxy thereafter?”
Always new and different each year, some costumes will be impressive re-creations from the genres of movies, TV, anime, comic books, fantasy, and history; others will be completely original designs from the imagination. Some will be solo entries, others will be groups with a shared theme. If you've crafted a costume you think our audience would like to see up on the stage, we encourage you to sign up and share your work, create lots of smiles, and perhaps take home a trophy or other award as well. Entries must not have been purchased or otherwise commercially obtained, but be of original construction or show significant modification of pre-existing materials. All genres are welcome, as are all levels of experience, from the novice to the seasoned convention costumer.
The Masquerade event will be 8:30 PM Saturday, April 19, in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena. The event is free to participate in, or to be in the audience, only a 3-day or Saturday WonderCon Anaheim badge is needed. Doors will open for audience seating at 8:00 PM, and the event will run between two and two and a half hours. As with all our events, special seating will be available for the disabled as well as for special guests of the convention. Special Masquerade tickets are not required, as the Arena has plenty of seating.
Complete information, rules, and an Entry Form are available as a download here on the WonderCon Anaheim website (click here to download the PDF now). A limited number of contestant slots are available, so interested costumers should obtain the rules and entry criteria and sign up to request a contestant spot in the show as soon as possible. The deadline for advance entry is April 5, 2014. After that date, contestants can sign up at the convention (deadline is 1:00 PM Saturday) unless we fill up all the contestant slots before then, which sometimes we do, since there is a limit on the number we can accept. Our volunteer staff has been running Masquerades for over 20 years, so we promise you a great time.
No flash photography is allowed in the Arena, and any photos or video taken must be for non-profit personal use, only. There will be a flash-allowed posing area with backdrop in a nearby room where the contestants will go after their stage presentations, but spaces are limited, and photographers who wish access to the Photo Area must reserve a spot in advance by writing to the coordinator at email@example.com.
Special WonderCon Anaheim trophies will be awarded in a variety of categories by our panel of guest judges, in categories of Best In Show, Judges’ Choice, Best Re-Creation, Best Original Design, Best Workmanship, and Best Presentation.
In addition to the beautiful trophies given by our judges, the following companies will be presenting their own prizes to winners they select: and more companies may join this list as the convention approaches:
Frank & Son Collectible Show of the City of Industry, California, “The first and last stop for ALL your collectible needs”, will present generous $500 cash prize for what they deem to be the audience favorite.
DC Comics will bestow a very special DC Direct collectible item to what they deem as the best re-creation of a DC Comics character or characters.
Lucasfilm Ltd. will present an impressive collectible Star Wars prize specially selected from the Lucasfilm Licensing Archives, bestowed to what they choose as the best costume entry from the Star Wars universe.
Geek Magazine, the bestselling magazine devoted to popular culture, technology, music, gadgets, movies, comics and everything geek, available at newsstands and digitally though Apple, Kindle, Nook and GeelExchange.com, will award to the best movie or TV character a digital subscription to Geek and a prize package worth over $250 from Geek Magazine advertisers and sponsors!
More companies may join this list as the convention approaches, so check back often for updates on WCA Masquerade awards, and get started now on that great costume idea. The stage is set for YOU!