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|Sunday, April 6th, 2008|
|Wednesday, September 7th, 2005|
Barb GOH at Arisia
Talking with Barb about her being GOH at Arisia ... should we plan a post-New Year road trip?
|Monday, July 25th, 2005|
Since Barb will be the Fan GOH at Arisia
this coming year, I was thinking a bunch of us could take a road trip down there (ok, there are also selfish reasons, namely that I have costumer friends in Boston). Plus the videos of Arisia's masq that Gord showed us at Ad Astra were quite impressive. Does this sound like a fun idea to anybody? ^_^:
(I realize this would probably mean forgoing ConCept for this year) Current Mood: hopeful
|Tuesday, April 19th, 2005|
Looking for Gord
Gord, would you be able to contact me via e-mail regarding Ad Astra Entertainment and Costuming? I seem to have lost your e-mail address.
Helen Marshall Current Mood: confused
|Tuesday, February 8th, 2005|
Place to live in Kitchener advice needed.
I am posting here because I have noticed some of you have knowledge of Kitchener:
One of my lj friends, Jen the sphinxgirl, has just gotten a job in Kitchener and needs a place to stay.
She could use roomates or advice on how and where to look for a place.
You can email her directly and tell her "Jeff sent me"
redmoosegirl (AT) yahoo.ca Current Mood: hopeful
|Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005|
Ad Astra community
This is to announce the start of a community for Ad Astra,
As Ad Astra 2005 approaches, it will be a source for Ad Astra news. I'm also hoping it can be a place for discussion, ideas and suggestions about Ad Astra and how it can improve. Plus it could be a great place to meet some fellow congoers before the big event.
Everyone is welcome to join, even if you have never attended Ad Astra. :)
|Tuesday, January 25th, 2005|
Ad Astra 2005
Who all is going?
I am hosting a Scotch and Soda party Friday night. Mostly single malt scotch and rare diet sodas from the States.
But what I really wanted to ask was why is Ad Astra inserting a comic book convention into its middle?
Also what sorts of panels or events, if any other than the obvious one, aka the masquerade, do you like to go to? Current Mood: curious
|Saturday, September 11th, 2004|
I've been nominated again!
Will wonders never cease?
I just discovered that I have once again been nominated for an Aurora Award.
I mean, I'm glad that Jason won last year (* looks suspiciously at chanilye
*) ... but it would have been nice to win.
And - oh! - if it were only that easy!!!!
If interested (and to avoid crossposting * nods to eleryth *) you can read about my quandry in my recent Live Journal updates
|Monday, August 30th, 2004|
What a Pleasant Surprise!
So this weekend's masquerade was quite a lot of fun. There was very little drama, practically none.
I see by many message boards that </a></b></a>kaijugal
is receiving much justifiable praise on running a great show. And I woud like to add mine. Bravo!!!!
I also found that the audience was a TREMENDOUS
improvement over last year. They responded well to the contestants, they responded well to me, and everybody seemed to have a good time.
Yes, there were a couple of things that were not what I'd call "good points" - flash photography, and there was one point where someone tried to step on a presentation by shouting something out. But everyone seemed to respond well to being told that acting like that wasn't cool or acceptable. And I even heard MANY people in the audience telling people to behave. So the idea of the audience becoming more self-policing seems to be working. All it takes is time and patience.
However ... the flash photography was perhaps the worst I've ever seen it. I guess we just have to resign ourselves to work on one thing at a time. But I wonder if the people who were taking all those flash pictures would like it if, next year, nobody was allowed to take cameras into the theatre? That's the way theatres normally run ... and it is a safety consideration that needs to be adhered to. I guess we'll see.
But the quality of the costumes was amazingly good! And the presentations were all entertaining! And the audience was very good! And the crew and staff were great!
... And I had a blast.
So kudos to everyone involved and thank you to HobbyStar and Dawn for having me as their host. Current Mood: happy
|Monday, August 23rd, 2004|
Keep Your Arms and Legs Inside the Con At All Times
So ... I'm MCing another masquerade next weekend. SFX/CNA/etc. has their masq on the Saturday.
The audience last year was animalistic at best. And, judging by the tone of some message baords I watch, it doesn't look to be much better this year. But I'm being very good and satying out of the discussions. And I've sort of decided that I just don't care about the drama anymore.
If the younger/less mature/inexperienced/childish costumers (many unfortunately tarnishing the reputation and credibility of the anime camp, but by no means limited solely to that group) want to turn everyone off who is running and staffing the events, I say let them go right ahead.
Pretty soon they won't have any quality masquerades to speak of and they'll be looking at the dedicated costumers reaping praise at the more solid shows.
So let's see if this year's crowd carries itself with a little bit more decorum. And let's see how they react to some of the new controls and guidelines that are being put in place.
Me? I'm just going to have fun. :)
It's Gord's Birthday !!!
Hey Everybody !
It's Gord's Birthday ! So don't forget to wish him a big, Co` latha breith sona dhuibh!, Otanjou-bi Omedetou Gozaimasu!, Quchjaj qoSlIj!, or if you're a traditionalist HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GORD !
|Saturday, July 24th, 2004|
I saw this in a convention LJ community and thought it may be of interest to people. Posting it here since masquerades are so near and dear to Gord :)
--the official announcement--
In the early 90's the International Costumers Guild attempted to codify a bunch of masquerade traditions (particularly those surrounding WorldCon and Costume-Con) in a single comprehensive document to guide future masquerade directors. The ICG Masquerade Guidelines were adopted in 1992.
Arguments over whether the process and result were successful or not continue to this day. The guidelines are not well promoted or understood in the costuming community, and even among those who have invested much time in studying and working on the guidelines you will sometimes hear the faint praise of "well, they're better than nothing" or the damning comment "they've done more harm than good."
Over the last three years, numerous discussions about the guidelines prompted a group of ICG members to form a committee to examine the substance of the guidelines and write a new draft that is more concise and accessible. That's done. It's time, now, for your input. It doesn't matter if you're an ICG member or not; anybody may comment on this draft at http://www.costume.org/guidelines-committee/draft1.html
Committee members are listed at http://www.costume.org/guidelines-committee/
If you run into any one of us at a convention or other costume event, we'll do our best to make time to discuss your concerns and comments. If you would like to email your comments and suggestions, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be accepting comments and suggestions regarding this draft until 11/30/2004.
Please feel free to redistribute this announcment via livejournal, webforum or email.
|Sunday, July 18th, 2004|
Awards and Judging
A recent flame-ish war on a con's message board sprang up about judging of masquerades ... so I felt it was time to post something to the community. (I've been lax lately.)Awards
One of the questions raised was "why do some awards seem to be silly?" ... using the example of Best Use of String
or Best Alien Couple
While it's generally understood that there are some standard awards. "Best in Class", "Best Recreation", "Best Humour" and (of course) "Best in Show" and/or "Judges' Choice". But what's with the other ones?
Generally they are to recognise work done that (usually) is just/almost as good as something that wins an award ... like "Best Humour". Or it could be that the judges just want to recognise something that doesn't really fall into any 'category'. And when it comes to workmanship, maybe the WHOLE costume isn't going to win, but a particular part - like having "Best Fabric Painting" recognised. In fact, the costumer is free to ask the workmanship judge to just look at one particular piece of work. ("Ignore the unfinished hems and look at the beadwork on the breast-piece.")Judging
Judging a masquerade is very subjective ... just like - oh - figure skating. (NOOOOOOOOO!!!!)
There are as many ways of judging as there are masquerades. Let's look at one way ... Each judge rates the costume presentation on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high). Then the marks are totalled and averaged to give a final score. The judges then deliberate amongst all their marks to decide on whish gets what award (if any).
Does everybody win and award? Sometimes. But that is generally felt to cheapen everybody's efforts. Do friends of teh judges win? ... Sometimes yes - somtimes no. It depends on the judge and the competitor.
The judges also have the capability to pull out one of teh presentations that may have been marked poorly but, on second thought, that they'd like to recognise something about.
Then there's the talk of celebrity judges. One reason why many masquerades are getting out of this practice and using experienced masqueraders is the integirty of the judging. When was the last time you saw a "Judge's Room Key" award given out? Some celebrities have a keener focus on what to look for ... and they also have the experience costumer judges to 'help' them if making harder decisions.
Oh ... And audience judging (like for "Audience Favourite")? While it does lend itself more to "fixing" or stuffing a ballot box ... why not? This is supposed to be a fun hobby, isn't it? Personally, I'm for it. I'm just not sure it can be done practically. Many people have come up with different ideas over the years and none really were determined to be somewhat representative and/or relatively quick in returning results. So if anybody can come up with an idea on how ... mention it! :D
|Friday, April 30th, 2004|
The Way of the Stage Ninja
So, Anime North is approaching once again and I just sent in the preliminary stage ninja list. And it got me thinking about the “way” of the stage ninja lately.
The stage ninjas are responsible for more than just taking props on and off the stage. They are responsible for getting costumers up the stairs and on stage, down the stairs and off stage. Ninjas work at helping those big costumes through doors too often too small for the costume. They look after traffic and (to some extent) activity in the backstage areas. A ninja is the costumer’s best friend… providing water, last minute repairs, a kind word, and a calm voice. They are there to provide a comfortable environment within the structure of the show, and help support the experienced competitor and encourage the newbie. They are also the people surrounding the stage to make sure that the competitors don’t fall off the stage and get hurt. In fact, they are most often prepared to catch the person if they DO in fact step off the stage. It’s not required but it does prove the stage ninja’s dedication to the hobby.
Many of the ninjas are costumers themselves. Or some are “Ook-ooks” (I’ll explain that in a later post – I promise) and other hangers-on. Others are simply volunteers who fell into this role because “this is where they sent me” … almost 50% of these volunteers return the next year, many making it onto the dedicated ninja lists. All are there to support the hobby and ensure that the show is the best it can be.
Stage ninjas are supposed to be “invisible”; that’s why they wear black. I know they can’t actually be invisible … it’s more like a theatre thing. Think Kabuki. But lately it seems that stage ninjas are getting a lot more attention. Now, this isn’t a bad thing at all. They work really hard and the work they do is integral in making the masquerade or show work to the best possible advantage. They deserve all the accolades they receive.
Heck! Just a few years ago I had to run an Anime North masquerade of almost 100 contestants with just 6 dedicated ninjas. Thank god we had some regular volunteers to fill the gap. Our AN Ninja crew is starting to develop some dedicated individuals that return year after year. While the team isn’t necessarily growing beyond maybe a dozen, we can usually count on some regular volunteers at the con – many who (as I mentioned before) return year after year.
Should they be as visible as they are? Should they have as much fun as they do? I think yes. The ninja crews (particularly the ones I’ve worked with in the past) are very careful not to be an obtrusive factor in the show. They provide a bridge for holes in the show, a friendly face to the crowd, and sometimes even a reinforcement that the presenter should think about leaving the stage (ask me about “The Hook” sometime ;) ). More and more people are working the ninjas into their presentations. Some ninja crews have their own “routines” that they have developed. The aforementioned Hook is one from the US. And Phil Brown, the Head Stage Ninja for Toronto Trek – and perhaps the best I’ve worked with – has done so much to make his crew a full part of TT’s Masquerade that people talk about them all year long.
So, as I look forward to passing the torch this Anime North to a new Head Stage Ninja, I find myself thinking that the ninja crews I’ve worked with and have had a hand in building are some of the finest and most supportive people I know. They are there to support the hobby because they love the hobby. They are the most fun people to work with and tend to really enjoy their jobs. I will certainly treasure the honorific of "Ninja Sensei" that they bestowed on me a year or so ago.
In fact, sometimes I wonder why I’m leaving it all behind. Maybe they’ll allow me to come back sometime and don the blacks … you never know. Current Mood: contemplative
|Saturday, April 17th, 2004|
|Tuesday, April 13th, 2004|
Ad Astra Sunday ... Thanks for the Memories (or "My Work Here is Done!")
My wake-up call came in at 9 AM and - belive it or not - I got up at that time!!!!
I popped down to the Green Room for a cuppa and a bite to eat before my GoH Panel. What the hell was I going to fill an hour with? Just in case I'd brought stuff to read (I'm told that people - especially the ladies - like my voice). Six stories by Dr. Seuss, a book of Kipling's poems ("Do you like Kipling?" "I don't know. I've never kippled."), and a Winnie the Pooh Storybook. Hey! It was Sunday morning!!!! (Thank you Alex ... I'll get you for that! ;) )
I was pleasantly surprised that I got more than the 6 people I expected. 8 showed up!!! :) Of course, most of them were my friends ... and the numbers more than doubled over the course of an hour. (Tee-hee, Don only got two or three and moved his panel to the bar! ... WAITAMINNIT!!!!) I didn't need the reading material as I opened the floor for questions and the hour was filled. The questions varied from "How did you get started as MC?", "How did you get started in fandom?", "How did 'the stick' get started?", and "If I were an animal, what kind would I be?" (You're a nut, Ruth!) Of course I was asked about my favourites - and my least favourites. I modelled a kimono that one of the costumers had made for me. It was accompanied by the appropriate 'oohs!' and 'aahs!'. And then, at the end of the panel one of the high points of the con happened for me. Another group of costuemrs presented me with "Gord Rose Jr." A custom made teddy bear!!!! :D Well, I certainly felt lurved!
I'll try and post a link to a pic below (thanks Heiko!):( Me and Gord Rose JrCollapse )
Then it was a quick lunch, some more schmoozing, shopping for game stuff in the Dealers' Room (I picked up a copy of Nuclear War and the Munchkin expansion. (YAY!)) and then it was off to get ready for my afternoon panel.
This was a video retrospective of my favourites of past masquerades I'd hosted (from my video collection - 17 tapes!). I tell you, it was hard to choose just one from each show. Some had up to TEN possible choices. A few had more! But I only had an hour so one from each it was (although I snuck a few extra in). The room was small but I wasn't worried. I figured that we'd maybe have as many as we did in the morning so it would be like watching TV in someone's basement.
When the panel started, sure enough about twenty people showed up. As we started into viewing the tapes I looked up and the room was packed!!!! A couple of people were lying on the floor in front of the TV, there was absolutely NO spare wall space with the SRO crowd, and about 6 or 7 people were crammed in the doorway - craning their necks to see the best they could. WOW!!!! I managed to just squeeze in all my tapes and then the panel was done.
Again, there was much laughter and everybody graciously said they enjoyed the videos and my stories about why each selection had made it into my favourites. For some, it was the first time they saw an Arisia presentation and a Costume Con presentation. It was also the first time that Ruth and Julie saw their fantastic Men in Tights presentation from TT a few years ago.
... And of course, I felt warm and fuzzy. ( * sniff! * "You like me! You really like me!" ... or at least my videos. ;) )
It was quite a draw (about 40 people in a tiny room) and my Guest Liaison presented me with a really nice con t-shirt at the end.
The day wound down soon after this and I bummed around in the Con Suite ... more schmoozing with some old friends and new ones. We old salts really sort of took the mickey out of Victoria .. the "unoffical VP of my unoffical fan club" ... It was all in fun sweetie! :) Consider it your baptism of fire. Now you're one of us! ("One of us! One of us! One of us!")
It was off to dinner and goodbye to the con! A bittersweet time at best. Especially bittersweet this time as it marked the setting of my sun in fandom. * sniff! *
But I really couldn't ask for a better swan song. I was treated super-nice. I was wined and dined. I left the con with more stuff than I arrived with (thanks for the scotch and gas Heiko!!!). And I had such a good time.
But it still felt like I should have been doing something more.
Ah well! ;) Current Mood: loved
Ad Astra Saturday ... I should be doing something.
Saturday dawned for me around 11 AM. Hey! I was schmoozing!!!!
Okay, I was swapping gamer "war stories" with some friends (Tom, Ben, and Lorne) til the wee hours.
I felt kind of funny (as in "tummy upset" funny). The coffee I'd had the night before was doing things to my insides. I should take it easy today.
The rest of the day I just bummed around and touched base with more of my friends. I didn't have any panels or anythign until Sunday so I was a free man. I stopped in and visited with some of the gamers in the RPG area (Ad Astra was partnered with Orion). I chatted with some friends from Toronto Trek. I schmoozed in the Green Room and Con Suite. I caught up with Tanya Huff and her partner Fiona. I sort of shopped in the dealers room. It was a good day.
But as the day wore on I started to feel kind of funny ("strange" funy ... I should be doing somethiing right about now. Hmmmmm.
The con chair and our Guest Liasons gatehred all of us in the lobby in time to go to dinner at 6 PM. We ate at the Japanese Katsura restaurant in the Prince Hotel. It was yummy. I stuck with ginger ale and had the chicken. As it turned out this was a great choice as it was nicely cooked and light enough to not cause me any stomach problems. And it was DELICIOUS!!!
I got back to the hotel in time to see the masquerade (which started late) but I missed all the other entertainment. (poo!)
It was odd. The show went well and everybody seemed to have fun. Steve Tassie did a good job as MC (yes - he's also younger, better looking, and more talented ... dang!). For me, it was both odd and cleansing. It was odd that I wasn't doing anything. It was cleansing in that I now knew I could sit through a masquerade as an audience member and not have a panic attack! LOL!
I thought the show was excellent and I'd like to congratulate all the participants. Kudos to Louise and Lyn for their "Pirates of the Caribbean" entry. Lyn was oh-so pretty in her Elizabeth Swan dress (tres elegant!) and Louise was awsome as Vaptain Jack Sparrow (which is doubly amazing for those who've met Louise ... as she happens to be a very yummy and attractive girl - when she's not dolled up as a guy!).
I ducked out to see if I could touch base with any of the contestants but I got tied up with more "face time" in various places of the con. By the time I made it back, the dance had started and so I just chatted with some of my friends from around the area. Jackie was glowing with that "I'm gonna be a mommy!" aura ... and I got to meet Twinks's new beau (a nice guy, I must say!).
Then I was off schmoozing again. I got to see Amy's new outfit (Meowwr! ;) ) and I ended up sitting outside the Green Room with some of the newer "old timers" (does that make sense).
It was an early night and I was off to bed about 1 AM ... thanks to the frikkin' DST loss of an hour. After all, Sunday was going to be a busy day for me. :) Current Mood: happy
Ad Astra Thursday/Friday ... FGoH - Who me?
So Ad Astra was the weekend before last and they had invited me as the Fan Guest of Honour. I was indeed honoured... Flabebrgasted, stunned, amazed - but honoured. :)
My weekend began on Thursday with a Meet & Greet for the guests and staff. I met the author Don Bassingthwaite and his partner and we had a nice chat. Aside from that I touched base with all my friends on the staff and concom. I couldn't stay too late as I had to work the next day so I split around 11 PM and headed home.
I ended up going to the con straight from a job interview and arrived around 5-ish to check in to my room and get ready for the Opening Cermonies at 6 PM. Upon arriving at the main room I ended up sitting beside Mark Asquith - as we had been chatting with people in the hall and thus were the last two to sit down. As such I ended up sitting closest to the podium and - lo and behold - Amanda (the chair) called upon me to introduce myself first.
As the people were there to hear the pros and not me I made a comment such as "If you see me in the hall come up and chat. If you see me in the bar - buy me a drink." That got a small chuckle ... which got bigger as succeeding guests all mentioned the bar (Mark: "I'm with Gord in the bar." Don: "The bar sounds good to me." etc.) Even CJ Cherryh made a similar comment. I felt I was in for a good time.
After that it was off to get ready for The Intergalactic Dating Game
. I was the bachelor who would get to choose a date from three fantasy babes. Yum! (This was one con that I was going to get a girl at! :) ) These days the show is somewhat scripted and the others wanted to practice some. I kept kidding my three potential dates that I had made up my own questions and was going to throw them in all of a sudden. The Lady of the Lake (Heather Dale) made whinging noises at this: "But I've practiced my lines!" Well ... she put one over on me later on!
The game started with the Bitter Princess choosing from her three bachlors and then my group went on. All the girls were in fine form (tee-hee-hee) and I had to choose between Red Riding Hood (complete with knee-high leather boots), the aforementioned Lady of the Lake, and Vampire Willow ... who kept on about "puppies" and things. Intriguing! Suddenly, half way through the show, the Lady of the Lake started making up her own answers ... very enticing answers as well!!!! Here's me - dateless wonder - and a beautiful woman like Heather (a true beauty in person too!) is throwing not-even-vaguely-subtle innuendo at me in front of a hundred or so people. Well!!!!
But all good things come to and end and I ended up choosing Little Red Riding Hood who was glad that at least she didn't get a wolf this time ... Little did she know!!! But everybody had a fun time and there was much laughter! So the evening was a success.
We then vacated the stage for Jason Taniguchi and his ever popular one-man show. I missed it this year as I never ended up making it out of the Green Room and Con Suite in time. So I schmoozed for the rest of the evening. Hey! That's what they kept telling me my job was for the weekend!!! Honest. ;)
I ended up chatting well into the morning (6 AM to be exact) ... and I actually ended up sharing war stories with another old gamer (Good on you, Tom!) and a souple of younger friends. It was nice revisiting my gamer geek roots.
But I tells ya - a night like that sure makes one remember that they're not 20 anymore (as Saturday was to prove). Current Mood: bouncy
|Monday, April 12th, 2004|
So given the huge success of Gord's "Thanks for the memories" panel at Ad Astra, where he showed videos of some of his favourite masquerade moment...
Who here thinks he should see about putting it on again at Toronto Trek? Maybe on the big screen in the main room? ;) Current Mood: curious