Well, I'm counting this as my first official ACen, as the previous two I worked on staff, and didn't get to see much of the con. Overall, I had a great time - things were slow on Friday, but by Saturday things were going smoothly! I dunno, it seemed like at 7 pm on Friday, there was a massive FLOOD of people - every place became so crowded! As for the yaoi panel incident, I had NO control over that whatsoever. It makes me cringe as to what Dom has planned for Anime Expo...
The masquerade, as usual, could've been handled better. I for one was not expecting it to be so cold outside, but I held up pretty well, and for the girls that were shivering, that's where tablecloths save the day! The audience was rowdier than last year, almost to the point of disbelief. My friends there recall them even heckling the wedding that took place while judges were deciding winners! No doubt, the rudeness was encouraged by the huge gong at the front of the stage. I'm sorry, the gong in theory is nice, as a way of enforcing a time limit, but it will never turn out that way. The gong will always be interpreted as, "If a skit sucks, use it!" This is the absolutely the worst thing that could happen to a cosplayer. Granted, some skits I'm sure were expecting the gong - they might've incorporated the gonging as part of the humor, but for the majority of the cosplayers, it totally destroys your self-esteem.
Some of these people, myself included, spent weeks crafting their skit. They put time, and effort, to entertain the audience. To have it be cut off midway, or to even have the audience urging the judges to cut it off, is the worst thing you could possibly do. Rather than saying that skits have no time limit, but the judges can cut it off whenever they want, I think it's better to have a time limit, and be absolutely adamant on it, like Anime Expo. Two minutes, no exceptions. Good skits CAN be done in that amount of time, and if a skit is bad, well, that's only two minutes of your life.
Anyway, as far as our skit goes, I was annoyed, to put it lightly, that even after I talked with the staff and convinced them not to cut off our music, they did anyway. But, everything seemed to work out for the best regardless. Though it makes me wonder, had the skit worked out perfectly, would we still have won anything? Competition was pretty fierce, and I'm sure it was hard for them to choose. But, I guess we'll never know.
One thing that definitely made me happy though, was that I proved I could make and direct good skits on my own. Those who know me usually see me cosplay with the west coast groups, like AGSMA and AMC. This whole time, I kinda felt that it was only because I was tagging along with them that everything worked out so well. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do things on my own.
So what's next after this? It's time to start preparing the big guns, for Anime Expo 2001. Witness furious and dramatic cosplaying Genri action, possibly more vibrating sheep, and more DDR! Don't miss it! Until then...
(Oh, and for the record, I only DDRed TWICE the whole weekend)