Could you guys give me some tips for my first mascot audition?
Assuming you’ve watched the video above, here are some tips we would add:
- Be confident! Believe in yourself and your ability to portray the character effectively. Confidence can make your performance more engaging and motivate those around you.
- Research your mascot in order to understand the character you’ll be portraying. Learn about its personality, mannerisms, and any specific actions or poses associated with it. Look up the history of your mascot. After all, the more you know, the better you can embody the character’s spirit and personality.
- If your mascot is new to the world, be prepared to engage in character development. Create a backstory or persona for your character. Knowing who your mascot is beyond the costume can help you stay in character and make your performance more convincing.
- Be open to feedback. If you don’t make it on your first try, ask for feedback and use it to improve for the next audition.
What can I do in my free time to become a better mascot performer?
- Get yourself in shape. Being a mascot becomes infinitely easier when you have the strength and endurance to keep up the show. Costumes are often cumbersome and heavy.
- Get involved in theater or take some classes to enhance your acting ability. Understand that when you are taking on the role of a mascot, you are taking on the role of an actor. Thankfully, you don’t need to speak or sing as a mascot, so you can really focus your acting on expressionism and character building.
- Strengthen your support network. Build relationships with those currently managing and directing your mascot. Look to those around you for mascot handler candidates, and if your mascot is part of a school, get to know the members of your school’s dance and cheer teams, as well as your coaching staff and school administration. Building relationships early improves communication and will open up new opportunities for you.
As a first-time mascot, what kind of stunts should I do?
Whatever stunts you’re comfortable doing, and if that means no stunts at all, that is totally a-ok! We understand that you have probably seen hundreds and hundreds of videos of mascots doing insane dunks, flips, tricks, and high-flying acrobatics. These stunts are certainly impressive, but they are done by trained professionals. Nobody should reasonably expect you to be able to do these sorts of stunts immediately or on a regular basis. Never feel pressured to do something you don’t feel 100% safe doing. If you do have a background in something that will aid you in pulling off stunts, remember to practice, practice, and practice again! Remember that your mobility and vision in a mascot suit will be severely limited, so be sure to practice with the mascot costume off to start, and then on when you feel confident in your abilities.
Outside of stunts, dancing and cheer routines are a huge part of mascot entertainment. Learn a few cool dance moves on your own time or if you’re part of a school or organization, coordinate with your local dance or cheer team. They often will have some routines that your mascot can easily follow along with.
How old do you have to be to be a mascot?
While anyone can be a mascot, we need to note that the biggest drawback to being a young mascot performer is limited size and strength. Mascot suits can get rather heavy, especially in the head area. Plus, if you’re younger than 13, there is a high chance that you are still growing. There is no guarantee that a mascot suit that fits you at age 10 will fit you at age 11. Most mascot suits are built with certain performer height ranges in mind, but thankfully these ranges are common heights that young adults reach. If you’re not yet at the point of being a mascot performer, you can still prepare for the role. See the next question on how!
Can you direct an aspiring mascot to more videos on how to be a mascot?
Mascot TV has a great interview on the subject, and the CFL (Canadian Football League) has a good video that centers on being a mascot in a sports context.
Outside of these videos, it may be worth reading some of our other blogs. We cover a wide range of topics and chances are you’ll find several reads that really round out your mascot knowledge. Knowledge that will help you to become a mascot pro!
What is a “handler”?
We have a blog for just such a question! In short, the mascot handler is basically a mascot’s security guard, guide, and confidant all in one. Mobility and visibility are limited inside a mascot suit, so having someone outside the suit to warn you of obstacles, take pictures with fans, and help you suit up is a HUGE help. We highly recommend you pair yourself with a handler anytime you get in the mascot suit, even if you’re just practicing.
How do your mascots get so fluffy?
A huge portion of the fluffiness can be attributed to the length and type of fur a mascot uses. To maximize fluffiness, brush your fur! It’s really that simple, as hair getting tangled and matted is one of the biggest contributors to a mascot suit looking old and tired. Avoid using shampoos and conditioners on your fur if you don’t know what you’re doing, and NEVER put any part of your mascot suit in the dryer. Performing regular maintenance on your suit is an important aspect of being a mascot that many people don’t consider at first.
How comfortable is it to be in a mascot costume?
It totally depends on the mascot suit itself. As a general rule, the bulkier the mascot, the more uncomfortable it will be. The best way to make yourself as comfortable as possible is to:
- Take breaks when needed, and get yourself some cold drinks that are high in electrolytes.
- Wear athletic clothing. Mascot suits get extremely warm, no matter what level of activity you’re doing you will sweat. Be prepared to change shirts often and pack yourself a towel and some good deodorant. It’s also a good idea to wear longer forms of athletic wear, as there are suits out there that can rub in certain areas, and friction burns are no fun for anyone.
- Consider purchasing a cooling vest to keep you cool. Over the years, we’ve found that mascot performers start to sweat inside the costume at any temperature above 55°F (12.7°C). Some mascot costumes come equipped with a fan built into their head, but we’d recommend utilizing a cooling vest instead. A cooling vest disperses the heat around your core, which is a much more effective way to cool the entire body, whereas a fan only targets your head.