2018 Contest Rules
Each year during the International Ms Leather (IMsL)/International Ms Bootblack(IMsBB) weekend, a Contestant is chosen to represent the women’s alternative sex positive community (Leather/kink/BDSM which we will call leather from here on out!) both locally and internationally on behalf of the IMsL Productions, LLC and IMsL Foundation. They will be chosen based on their ability to articulate their views, passion and dedication and how they plan to live out their title year. They will act as a mentor, educator, a role model and a spokesperson during their title year. We are looking for an individual who can be articulate, professional, and capable of communication and outreach both to leather and non-leather communities worldwide.
II. Contestant Requirements
The IMsL Contest is open to persons regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity (as long as Contestants are comfortable representing the Ms Title for the year). We also honor other dimensions of diversity such as race, religious/spiritual beliefs and/or political affiliation. The IMsL Contest is a competition for a women’s title. Each Contestant must self-identify as part of the women’s leather community and must be willing to represent the title of IMsL during their title year.
To be eligible to enter IMsL, a Contestant must be at least 21 years of age by Thursday of IMsL/IMsBB Weekend (April 20, 2018) and have a valid form of ID that is current through Monday, April 24, 2018. Contestants need to have or be able to obtain in the first 90 days of their title, a valid passport for international travel.
Please note that by becoming a Contestant for this title, Contestants will become public figures as brand representatives of IMsL. This visibility can impact a Contestant’s personal life and career. Contestants may wish to use a scene name to compete but realize that the visibility of competing and winning the title can bring to light a Contestant‘s private and professional life.
Contestants may (but are not required to) hold a local or regional title to compete. They can hold this local title during their IMsL title year if agreeable with their local producers. However, they may not hold another international leather title during their IMsL title year.
Sponsorship is optional. Contestants are not required to have a title or sponsors to run for the title. It is encouraged to create a support team to help the Contestant to help manage the actual contest run.
Part of the fundraising efforts for the travel fund comes from the silent auction and items brought by the Contestants. Contestants will be required to contribute item(s) to the silent auction, which will benefit the IMsL/IMsBB travel funds exclusively. It is not about the quantity of items but how items reflect the Contestant’s personality, hometown or region, sponsors and/or a theme of the Contestant’s choosing. Contestants are allowed up to two six foot tables to display their items in the silent auction. Once items are dropped off at silent auction, they become the property of IMsL Foundation for auction or use. Contestant team members (1-3 people) will do the actual set up, based on the Contestant design, from 6:45pm-8:45pm on Thursday night. On Friday morning, the Contestants will be able to walk through and check the display. The judges will then walk through the silent auction area before it opens and score the display as part of the public image score. Remember, it does not matter how many items are on display, the goal is to create a visually appealing display that represents the Contestant!
Contestants must agree to be photographed and be referred to by legal name or chosen scene name (as specified on Contestant Application) in future publications as decided by IMsL Productions, LLC (such as the media releases, a video of the contest, on the web, and in internet/print promotional/publicity materials for IMsL/IMsBB Weekend). All images are the property of IMsL Productions, LLC. Each Contestant shall be required to sign a photo release.
Contestants must also agree to be interviewed by media after they have submitted their application so that it can be announced after the Contestant application deadline.
Applications for the class of 2017 are due by January 15, 2018 at 5:00pm Pacific Standard Time (PST).
A series of online calls are scheduled which Contestants are required to attend prior to the contest. Please make arrangements to attend these meetings (dates listed below).
There is a block of rooms for Contestants that will be assigned after their application is submitted. ? Please do not book a hotel room until directed by the Contestant Coordinator. Contestants must arrive at the hotel by Wednesday, April 19, 2017 and be ready to meet on Thursday morning at 8:00am PST. The winner of the competition will need to stay through Sunday evening 7:00pm PST of the weekend, so it is recommended that Contestants book an open return ticket or stay through Monday, April 24.
Consider that the contest is a job interview. The winner will be required to sign an agreement for the title year concerning the rules and requirements. IMsL Productions, LLC and IMsL Foundation will work with you during the title year. A copy of this contract will be sent for review after Contestants complete their application and payment process.
III. Structure of Contest
Once the application and payment are made, you will receive details on the online calls. Contestant’s numbers will be drawn online during the first Contestant online meeting. These four (4) pre event online meetings will give each Contestant all the details needed to compete for the contest. Here is the meeting schedule to accommodate global Contestants:
Jan 22, 2017, 2:00pm PST – Draw #’s, Overview, Social Media
Feb 26, 2017, 2:00pm PST
PART 1 2:00 p.m PST IMsBB Only Tech Boot, Boot Lounge
PART 2 3:00 p.m. PST (IMsL + IMsBB) Speech, Introductory #, Release BB then start Fantasy.
Mar 12, 2017, 2:00pm PST – Silent auction and any final items
TBD – Fantasy Production Private call
It is a busy weekend and everyone will be provided with a Master Schedule: A full itinerary which includes where and when Contestants need to be for the entire weekend. You will receive a link to this schedule pre-event.
The categories for the competition are listed here but more detail will be provided in the FAQ that you should review and will be covered during the Contestant calls on each area.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
First orientation meeting occurs onsite at the host hotel (8:00am breakfast, 9:00am Contestant meeting – one handler should attend with the Contestant)
Judging begins: Judges and attendees can be anywhere in the hotel and are looking at how Contestants are responding to them as well as other people. Being friendly, open and enthusiastic is contagious. Contestants will also be judged on how Contestants interact with the other Contestants (both IMsL and IMsBB).
Contestant Photo Shoot (Thursday afternoon): Contestants will be professionally photographed by the IMsL staff photographer. Please dress in your best image as these photos will be used at the event, in social media and will appear on the website. They are also provided to press. They will also be the winner pictures for the first press releases.
Silent Auction Set-up (6:45pm-8:45pm): Contestants set up the plan on how to display their silent auction items. They are allowed up to two six foot tables to display their items in the silent auction room. No items can be placed on the floor, hung above the table or propped against the table. Items should be onsite by Thursday, April 20, 2017. One to three (1-3) Contestant team members will do the actual setup of the display without the Contestant present, based on the Contestant design. This setup will be Thursday night from from 6:45pm-8:45pm in Donner Room (silent auction room).
Raffle Ticket Sales (Thursday 6:30pm – 8:30pm): IMsL Contestants will be asked to sell auction tickets during the Queer Happy Hour event. How much you sell is not judged but your overall attitude and enthusiasm are part of the public image score. All monies raised from the sale of raffle tickets goes to the IMsL/IMsBB travel fund. This is also a chance to meet the attendees and judges so they may observe you interacting with the attendees.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Contestant Interviews (Friday afternoon – depending on the size of class may include Saturday morning)
Contestants will be part of rehearsals during the day for the opening number, speech practice and blocking/run through of fantasies (all fantasy participants must attend this rehearsal as well)
Contestants will be introduced on stage and compete in the speech/formal wear category during the opening ceremonies on Friday night*.
*In the event of 12 or more IMsL Contestants in a given year, only the top 10 Contestants, based on the interview scores, will be selected at the start of the contest to continue in the competition on Friday and Saturday night.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Contestant Interviews as needed (depending on the size of the class).
Contestants will be part of rehearsals during the day for opening number and blocking/run through fantasies (all fantasy participants must attend this rehearsal as well).
Contestants will be introduced on stage and compete in the pop question/hot wear and fantasy categories during the contest on Saturday night.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
All Contestants are expected to attend the brunch on Sunday morning regardless of winning or losing to support the new titleholders.
Winners will meet with the IMsL Productions, LLC Executive Producer and IMsL Foundation Board President on Sunday afternoon to review the contract and begin planning for the title year.
IV. Judging Criteria
- Personal Interview/Teaching (40 points) – 25 minutes
Interviews are open to weekend attendees (note: Interviews are not open to other Contestants or primary handlers for other Contestants) and will be held on Friday and Saturday. Both the IMsL and IMsBB judges will be part of the interviews for the IMsL title.
(10 Points) Each Contestant will be asked to present a short demo/teaching moment (7 minutes maximum) when they come in for their interview. This can be on any topic and does not require PowerPoint’s, handouts or any other materials. The judges want to see how Contestants present and respond in front of an audience. You will have 5 minutes to set up if needed prior to your interview.
(30 points) The judging panel will interview the Contestants for a period of 15-18 minutes. Questions may include (but are not limited to) community contributions, personal history, leather history and current events.
- Fantasy (20 points)
Fantasies will be performed on stage during Saturday’s show. The fantasies are the highlight of the contest and our production team works with Contestants to provide the best possible production.
The performance may not exceed 3 minutes and must be completely performed within a 10’x10’ area on the stage.
Contestants should mindfully plan for ease of setting up/taking down of any props being used (must take no longer than 30 seconds to set up and 30 seconds to take down).
Contestants may use audio (music, spoken word, voiceovers) to enhance their performance (though this is not required).
If music/sound is used (the production staff will try to support live music but no additional equipment will procured for live performances); Contestants will be responsible for using music/sound that MUST be copyright free, open source, or actually original and recorded by you or for you. We believe in an artist value for their music to be used at fair value and copyrights cannot be purchased recorded media for use at IMsL/IMsBB Weekend. For a selection of copyright free songs, use can use websites like https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music You may use other websites to find songs as well, as long as it is copyright free. You may use multiple songs that are mashed together as long as they follow the parameters above.
Contestants will provide the Ballroom team with an edited final version of the music (according to guidelines contained within the Fantasy Form – no longer than 3 minutes or it will be returned to the Contestant for editing).
Fantasy Form link will be sent out well in advance so that Contestants have time to prepare all requested information
Performance parameters, tips and best practices will be discussed during the Contestant pre-calls
An additional pre-event call will be scheduled to talk with the production team one-on-one about fantasy details if the Contestant requests the call.
Final Rehearsal: Prior to Saturday night’s show, the stage (complete with professional lighting and sound crew) will be available to Contestants for their final rehearsal. (Final rehearsal is for the Contestant and their performers to run through the Fantasy on the actual stage, with actual lights and sound on Saturday of the weekend. Everyone should arrive prepared, dressed, and ready to perform as stage time is very limited)
Details on this will be provided at the Contestant pre-calls. Thinking about the fantasy, originality scores points with the judges. One of the online calls will include the production team describing best practices for the fantasy.
- Speech/Formal Wear (20 points)
Contestants will present a ninety (90) second prepared speech (on any topic of their choice) on stage during the contest on Friday in their formal leather. This is designed to showcase your ability to get up in front of an audience, connect with them and motivate them! Although mics will not be turned off, judges will be informed if the speech exceeds 90 seconds which may impact your potential score. Fifteen (15) points for speech and five (5) points for formal wear are available.
- Hotwear/Pop Question (10 points)
The Contestants will be asked a Pop Question on stage on Saturday night and will have the opportunity to show the audience and judges the outfit that captures their leather image and makes them most confident! The tweet from the Contestant application will be read as their introduction. Contestants will draw a pop question, be given a chance to read it, then the MC will read it to the audience and Contestants will have a mic to answer the question! Avoid simply saying yes or no; Contestants should show off a quick wit and spontaneous side! Seven (7) points for pop questions and three (3) points for hotwear are available.
- Public Image (10 points)
Throughout the weekend the judges will observe how the Contestants present themselves and interact with the general public. Whether rehearsing or socializing, the judges will be looking for a Contestant with strong communication skills, politeness, a willingness to share knowledge and a genuine desire to help build community. Additionally, the Contestant Coordinator will track your deliverables prior to the event and on site (getting materials in by due dates, on time for meetings etc) and provide a report to the judges on Contestant compliance. Judges can award up to six (6) in this area.
Judges will also review your silent auction display and can award up to four (4) points under the public image category.
Heart & Soul Award
In addition to the IMsL/IMsBB title, each Contestant is considered for the “Heart & Soul Award”. One Contestant out of the entire Contestant class (IMsL/IMsBB) is selected for this award on Saturday night. During intermission on Saturday night, each Contestant votes by ballot for the Contestant who was most giving of time, energy, heart and soul during the weekend. The ballot is collected by the Contestant Coordinator. In the event of a tie, the den staff will also vote by ballot to select the winner.
If you need more information, contact the Contestant Coordinator.