Putting on the Ritz

Almost as long as I attended conventions I’ve been participating in skits, or masquerades if you want to get fancy. They have ranged from “last minute hokey” to weeks of preparation, practice, and refinement. While I do not consider myself a thespian in any respect I do enjoy the art of performing in front of others. Few things deliver such a rush. Mostly for my own reference, I have compiled all of my performances in one spot for easy viewing (ascending order)

Ohayocon 2001
Skit Name – None
Character – Akuma
Type – Solo act of me doing a few karate kata on stage.
Inspiration – None, really. It was my first convention ever and a few girls who were running the masquerade came up and asked if I would do a skit. They must have been fishing for entries to fill in the time, but I said yes all the same. Years later I saw a VHS recording of it, and I blushed beyond reason. I am not sure it’ll ever be put on the internet. Thanks a lot, Kat and Dommi.

Katsucon 2002
Skit Name – Marvel vs Capcom
Character – Akuma
Type – Me and a friend dressed as Megaman duke it out.
Inspiration – When you love fighting games it’s not hard to come up with a skit that pays tribute to them. So, newly minted friend Derek and I came up with a fight skit. Theme music, half-assed choreography, and a painted hotel room blanket with the kanji symbol Ten on it made this a significantly better outing than my last. He wins, though.

Big Apple Anime Fest 2003
Skit Name – Legend of Mana
Character – ???
Type – Four or five of us dressed as various characters from Legend of Mana
Inspiration – This was a significant one for me. I had recently friended a budding costume maestero named Jez, who didn’t have to convince me hard to do this skit he was orchestrating. I also met Carrie, who only 2 seconds post-introduction was told we were going to spar on stage. It was my first taste of a master level masquerade, one of many that I would participate in in the following years.

Sadly, no video of this has ever been found. I believe we won, too.

Katsucon 2004
Skit Name – Marvel vs Capcom, again
Character – Akuma, yet again
Type – Five of us duel it out in a more formal battle stage
Inspiration – Not one to let a good idea lie idle, Derek (now as Captain America), Paul (Guile), Brandon (Ryu), Evan (Dan) and I brought a large sweat bead, and stop sign to whack an opponent Super Gem Fighter style; we also had the painted blanket make a return. Derek won again, against me. I sense a theme…

Otakon 2004
Skit Name – Super Magical Cooking Time / Space Channel 5 vs DDR
Character – Jaguar
Type – The hyper popular Dance Dance Revolution characters face off against Ulala and her Space Channel 5 allies.
Inspiration – My next skit with Jez, and I also met a future good friends Cheryl and Tom. The overall skit was only half as long due to a costume not being done in time, but it still turned out to be the most fun one I can recall. Also, everyone that did this skit was/is a huge fan of both game series we represented.

Anime Next 2006
Skit Name – Revolutionary Girl Utena
Character – Touga
Type – A summarisation of the manga storyline of Utena and her life and times in a school full of professional swordsmen.
Inspiration – Skit number three with Jesse, but this time we added in a group of eight or nine for this. Carrie, Sonia, Cheryl, Stefan, Renee went all out with the wigs, costume details, choreography, and ultimate took home Best in Show. This is the first one I received as part of a group, and wasn’t to be the last.

Anime USA 2007
Skit Name – To Catch a Predator
Character – Tuxedo Mask / Predator
Type – Satirization of the older men/younger woman fetish portrayed in anime and manga.
Inspiration – I was a substitution at the last minute, but it was worth it. The source of this skit is self-explanatory at this point. Friends Sergio, Cristi, Krys, Evan, Becky, and Jon made this a pretty slick sendup.

Katsucon 2008
Skit Name – Cowboy Bebop 10th Anniversary
Character – Jet Black (Jebediah)
Type – An overview summarization of Cowboy Bebop for the fans.
Inspiration –┬áBebop is one of the most well-known and critically praised anime series in a very long time. So to show our admiration for it, we somehow managed to get a dozen people in a well-rehearsed skit with music, backgrounds, and great costumes. I was introduced to Morgan for this skit, as this was her project. I met a lot of new faces here with half of the troupe being familiar faces like Dustin, Carrie, Kevin C., and Krys. I was this close to actually clocking Kevin W. in the middle of the skit. Thankfully, that didn’t come to pass.

Otakon 2010
Skit Name – Darkstalkers
Character – Dimitri
Type – A dance and fight routine showing a majority of the characters from the fighting game series Darkstalkers.
Inspiration – Dancing to the beat of “Boom Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas, this was the most complicated and rehearsed skit I did up to the time. Krys introduced me to her friends Deanna and Christina who welcomed me into their skit to portray one of the main antagonists. Dustin and Moira were the only other familiar faces but we all got along very well. We missed Best in Show by a hair, but that hardly matters. A Top 3 for me.

Katsucon 2011
Skit Name – Nostalgia
Character – Lupin III
Type – A dance throwback to anime series gone by.
Inspiration – We initially started the skit as a serious one for the series Hetalia, which I haven’t seen but people were going batty for. Then, “The Safety Dance” by Men with Hats started playing, and we all came out in timed sequence with overhead banners showing the series we each represented. The skit ended with us going around a maypole. We did it for the fun, and nothing else. At this point everyone in the skit I knew from previous skits: Dustin, Carrie, Senator Harrison, Krys, Danitra, Moira, and new face Alicia.

San Diego Comic Con 2011
Skit Name – Saligia: The Court of Sin (Acrynym of 7 Deadly Sins in Latin)
Character – Lust
Type – A dance of the seven deadly sins and their corruption on Innocence
Inspiration – All my previous skits paled in comparison to this one for many reasons. Eight of us had to coordinate being scattered around the country to rehearse, get the costumes done, fly to San Diego separately, reahearse in person, and get all the background props set up. Any of a dozen things could have gone wrong and it would have all fallen apart, but it did not. ┬áThis idea was conceived after our Otakon 2010 skit (see above), and immediately we went into production mode. The rest of the group included all friends: Dustin (Wrath), Kat (Pride), Krys (Envy), Moira (Greed), Carrie (Sloth), Marty (Gluttony), and Jennifer (Innocence).

Not only was this my final masquerade, but we also took Best in Show. For most of us, this was our finest hour, and nothing else would top it. All those years of collective skit knowledge worked its magic.

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