Being a mascot performer goes far beyond simply putting on a costume — you need to create a personality for your character and interact with your audience to make a lasting impression. You can’t just stand there like a statue but you also can’t just be overly rambunctious either unless of course your character calls for that in their personality. At Hogtown Mascots, we have compiled this list of tips to help new mascot performers get started and veteran performers improve their act.
The combination of the oversized costume and the fact that you never speak means one thing: you must be over the top in all your gestures and movements. There are several standard gestures you should master including laughing, waving, blowing kisses, “aww, shucks!” (kicking out one foot), and shaking your knees (to show that you are afraid). In addition to these, you may like to create some movements of your own to develop your character’s specific personality traits.
Interacting with the Audience
How you interact with your audience will depend on the type of event in which you are performing. If you are making contact with individuals, you can engage with people by hugging, shaking hands, and blowing kisses. Always ensure that the person is happy to engage with your character to avoid a confrontation.
At events with large crowds, such as sporting events and shows, you have a very different role as a mascot performer — your job is to encourage audience participation and add to the overall entertainment. If a dance squad is present, you may be able to join in their routine and make the audience laugh with your clumsy antics. Just make sure it is obviously intentional if you decide to fall in order to maintain a sense of professionalism.
In other cases, you may need to motion to the audience to have them cheer on cue, or you may be required to throw freebies into the crowd. In either case, add to the act by exaggerating all your movements.
Another situation you may be in as a mascot performer is a parade. If music will be playing, plan a dance that mainly involves your arms. When music is not playing, or if you prefer not to dance, keep moving all the time by waving to the crowd, shaking hands, or using other gestures that fit with your character’s personality.
Interacting with Children
A giant mascot may seem intimidating or even a little frightening to children. Keep your distance and wave, allowing kids to approach you to ask for hugs and photos. Your movements should also be slower and less dramatic than when performing in front of a large crowd. As much as possible, try to get down to the child’s level – shrink to their size so that you don’t seem too overwhelming.
Contact us at Hogtown Mascots to find out about our performer training, tips and tricks or to purchase a custom mascot costume.