Monday, November 28, 2011

What I learnt about skits at Malta Comic Con

An update on this blog is long overdue. the madness of preparing for Malta Comic Con has kept me away from the computer longer than I thought, but I'm back now. I will be blogging about the convention, but I thought I should post this while it is fresh in my mind.

This year the cosplay contest was awesome. The organisers did a great job. The judges were Sonia Leung (I'm now her newest fangirl: she is awesome, and she mentioned that she was planning a Bayonetta cosplay!), fashion deisgner Petriski; I've forgotten the name of the third judge unfortunatley :(
We were lucky enough to be able to use the theatre in St James Cavallier for our cosplay skits.

And now for some epic news . . . my group won our division in the contest! Our Sucker Punch skit took first place in the group skit contest, even though our sound cut half way through and we had to sing the song ourselves. I'm over the moon. Even better, I feel that I'm finally in a position to post some tips for skits. So here they are.

1. Be original. Our skit was unconventional.Instead of focusing on the action in Sucker Punch, we framed our skit around Sweet PEa, Rocket and Blue working on routines for the show. We didn't use music from the film, but instead parodied Liza Minelli's routine in Cabaret and Catherine Zeta Jones first dance in Chicago, followed by our rendition of Two Ladies from Cabaret. It worked, which proves that there's no need to stick to tried and tested routines, such as yaoi jokes, slapstick and internet memes. Come up with an idea and run with it.

2. Be prepared. IF you're going to record your skit, do so a week or so in advance. Practise, practise, practise, and be ready for problems to crop up in the actual performance. There were sound problems for almost every skit, and if we hadn't known the routine off by heart and known our lines and the lyrics of the song, we would have been in trouble. We knew them, so we were able to keep going. The judges actually told us that this was a major factor in our victory. The same thing happened to the winner of the indivudal skit: she kept on going, even though the music cut.

3. Keep the audience interested. A few skits at the Con shared a common problem: they didn't keep the audience interested long enough. One skit feautured a monologue, which just wasn't that interesting. Another skit began well but went on a bit too long. In general, audiences do not have long attention spans. Grab their attention, and once you have it, keep it. Keep the skit short and sweet, or have the skit develop in a manner that will have them hooked.

4. Do it well. If you are acting, make an effort to act well. Keep in character, project your voice, and face the audience. Practise dance routines and songs until you are sick and tired of it, choreograph our fight sequences to perfection. Seek critique, and strive to improve.

5. Mind the props: if you have them. Props are great: they give you something to interact with on stage, which makes the perfomance all the more interesting, but be wary of malfunctioning props. During dress rehersals I quickly discovered that my paudron and 'holster' were not going to stay on during the dance, so the moment I got on stage I took them off, trying to make it look like part of the show.

6. Be polite to your fellow competitors. You're all there because you love cosplay, so don't bitch backstage.

7. Get someone to have a look at your script to suggest improvments. Actually, get someone to watch your whole skit. Critique is invaluable.

8. Don't compete to defeat other people or make them feel bad. Compete because you love cosplay. 

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