My friends and I decided pretty last minute that we would be going to Pop Expo Ottawa for the Saturday only. I had asked them if they wanted to come with me as I really wanted to go and chill with a bunch of cosplayers that I had met previously. One of my friends (Bandit Spurs) was entering in her first masquerade and so I decided that since it was a small con that I should enter too and gain experience on stage and in front of judges.
We left Montreal Friday night and stayed at the Southway Hotel, which was a pretty nice hotel! The front lawn was decorated with shrubs and trees that were all lit up. They even had a creche and a large automated winter village in the lobby! I woke up early Saturday morning to get ready to head to the con. One of my friends woke up with me and accompanied me to the con. We ended up having to wait outside for about ten minutes as the building wasn't open yet. I was wearing my completed Vana costume and no coat. I was glad that I had three warm layers! We were finally let inside and then we had to wait in line for the actual con to open for regular ticket payers.
As soon as I got inside I found the masquerade registration desk (they were only letting 25 enter). I bumped into a cosplayer (Detailed-Illusion) that I had met at Otakuthon and went totally gaga over his Thranduil costume. I saw a bunch of other awesome cosplays while waiting for the audio stuff to work. While registering it was confirmed that Heroes of Cosplay was being filmed at the con. I had to sign a waiver for them to be able to use any footage/images with my face in them. During the day I mostly walked around and check out all the booths in the dealers room. I got to have a bit of a photo shoot done with one of my friends who just recently took up photography. We got some pretty awesome shots in the snow!
At four o'clock it was time to head into the green room. It took a little while to register but as we were only about 25 contestants (not including the heroes of course) it wasn't too bad. Once inside we were put into our dens. I got put into den 2 with Bandit Spurs. We were right after each other as entrants which was pretty cool. At one point the producer for Heroes of Cosplay asked a bunch of us if we wanted to be in the background of some of the scenes that they were going to shoot. We all said sure and headed out. We were made to look like we were getting in line for the show. I got to talk to some awesome local talent as well as some of the heroes! Riddle and I bonded over the metric system (lol what nerds we are)!
As we walked back past the camera to mimic going into the competition, I accidentally tripped a cosplayer behind me, or rather he stepped on my train and I nearly fell on my face! Of course that would happen on camera!
I was much more confident with the masquerade photo shoot this time around. The photographer was really talkative and knew what angles looked best. He guided me through the process (all the while blinding me with those bright lights!). When I tried to get back to the den, they were filming a scene for the show. I had to wait with Batman before I could pass by. I got to exchange a few words with Jesse (I almost asked if I could touch his beard lol) and with one of the set crew people.
The judging was pretty cool. I got looked at by all four judges, one of whom was MeltingMirror and another was none other than Yaya Han. When they asked me what part I was most proud of I showed them my finished seams in my over gown. I hand blanket stitched them as I don't have a serger. As soon as I showed them it all four hands were to inspect. I know the stitches are not even but it was my first time using that stitch so I was still pretty proud. Yaya said that it offered a nice clean finish and even suggested using a french seam in the future.
The masquerade went really well in my opinion. I only decided what I was going to do a couple hours before going on stage and even on stage I improvised. I felt pretty confident as an elf because I've been pretending to be one for years! I used the first thirty seconds of the soundtrack from Beauty and the Beast. It has a very mysterious melody to it and I have always loved it. I knew the song by heart, and I moved with it. My friend recorded it so once that's uploaded on YouTube I'll share it :) I didn't win anything but I didn't enter to win. I entered to gain more experience and just hang out with really awesome people!
So that was my experience at Pop Expo! I had tons of fun with friends, new and old and got to meet some really awesome people. It was a really chill con with lots of room to walk around and lots of places to sit. It makes me look forward to my next con! Maybe I'll attend G-Anime... ;)