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Everything About Mascots
Everything You Need To Know About Being a Great Mascot!
- By Jenna Maxwell

So you wanna be a mascot? We have tips on how to be your best PLUS important information to keep your mascot costume looking good.
You've seen them at sporting events getting the crowd all riled up. You've seen them in front of restaurants trying to lure customers into the establishment. You've also seen them joyfully marching in parades. You've even seen these whimsical characters dressed up at your local mall as well, to the utter delight of excited youngsters. Let's face it-these days mascots are virtually everywhere! Mascots are being used for a very wide variety of functions, from advertising, marketing and promotional purposes to the creation of characters that are a fun and integral part of celebrating holidays and other occasions. It's very likely that the most well known mascot in your own neighborhood may be that crazy guy being rambunctious at your local high school's sporting events. With the popularity of mascots ever growing, it's no wonder that folks in mascot costumes are popping up all over the place--even in a neighborhood near you.

If you are reading this, you may be considering becoming a mascot yourself. Mascots are one of the most dynamic and exciting characters found at sporting events, but these days their purposes go much further. Clever marketers are discovering the value of having a mascot to give their business increase exposure and to further brand their company name. An exciting mascot can quickly engage a community in your business and will naturally get all sorts of media exposure. Mascots do attract attention in the news and lets face it, lots of folks love to be photographed with a mascot as well. A good mascot with an exciting personality can add character, charisma and specific and recognizable traits to your brand as well. Most of the time, mascots are just a really fun and high-energy way to inject some life, excitement, and not to mention silly entertainment into any event.

Wearing a mascot costume and being a good mascot requires some basic knowledge. Knowing how to be a great mascot, how to wear a mascot costume comfortably and safely and how to care for your mascot costume, all will help your experience to be much more positive as well as fun.

Uses for Mascots

These days, mascots are popping up at a wide variety of events throughout communities. Some of the more popular places you will see mascot characters are:

New Business Promotion Mascot

How To Wear a Mascot Costume

Mascot costumes are very unique, and unlike other types of costumes, they allow the wearer to hide their identity while completely adopting the personality of the mascot. This can be the biggest part of the fun of being a mascot! Many people who have experienced being a mascot have said that being able to entertain and perform under the guise of anonymity is absolutely the most exciting part of the job.
Animal Mascots

In order to perform to the best of your ability while wearing your mascot costume, there are a few things you must take into consideration and prepare for. First of all, mascot costumes by nature have a few challenges of their own.

A Mascot Costume Can Be Heavy.  A mascot costume has much more bulk to it than a normal costume, and this can be particularly noticeable in the headpiece. You will definitely want to get used to the additional weight of the costume and practice moving around in your mascot costume. Good mascots move around in a very energetic and enthusiastic way, so you will want to make sure that you feel entirely comfortable in your costume and can not only move freely but feel safe doing so.

Practice Makes Perfect!  Practicing wearing your mascot costume cannot be over-emphasized. Wearing this type of costume does take some getting used to. Besides getting used to the weight (and perhaps some visibility issues) you will also want to practice your mascot moves!

A Mascot Costume is Hot.  The heat factor is one of the definite downsides of wearing this sort of costume, but it is a fact that is unavoidable. There are great ways of preparing to wear a hot mascot costume though that will make your experience a lot more comfortable. Here are some suggestions:

Miscellaneous Wearing Tips

Game On! How To Be a GREAT Mascot!

Photo with the Fans

If you are going to be a good mascot you have to think BIG! Every movement you make must be done in a very exaggerated way in order to be seen. This may take some practice. A good way for beginners to get the idea of how a good mascot stays in character is to watch video of professional mascots while they are in action.

Remember that whenever you are in costume, you are in character. When you take breaks (and this is important) take them out of the public eye so that you can rest without being seen. When you are in public, you should try to always remain in character. Mascots need to do every action much "bigger" than a normal person. Even walking should have some swagger or character to it, so that your mascot's personality is injected into every single movement that you make.

Mascots Do NOT talk! You will need to learn to convey your emotions with your body. Practice all sorts of emotions so that you know how to do these without thinking. Happy, sad, angry, excited, etc. are all feelings you may want to convey to your audience. Having a thorough understanding of where the facial features are on your costume and how to use them with your hands to convey emotion is a great idea. Practicing in front of a mirror is perfect so you can see how you look to the outside world. Mascots can get away with a lot of eccentric behavior; so don't be afraid to really get into your character. Jumping up and down with excitement, having a silly temper tantrum, waving your arms wildly--all these things are good to have in your arsenal of mascot moves. Be creative and have fun, and no matter what you do, do it BIG!

Political Mascot Showdown

Mascots have to be very energetic. If you are a newbie, don't burn yourself out too fast and then run out of gas for the rest of the event! Make sure you can maintain your pace, even if it means starting out a little more slowly. Drinking plenty of water throughout your event as well as taking appropriate breaks, as needed, will obviously facilitate maintaining a good amount of mascot energy.

Behavior. Mascots always have people watching them. Make sure you never cross the line and do something that could be construed as inappropriate or that demonstrates a lack of good judgment. Never be crude or unsportsmanlike. Remember that your biggest fans are likely going to be children! Sadly, sometimes there are those fans that will target a mascot and may try to antagonize him/her. Stay away from these sorts of individuals and don't react out of character. Never, ever allow someone to let you lose your cool and if you must respond, do so in character while you remove yourself from the situation.

Taking Care of Your Mascot Costume

A mascot costume that is properly cared for will last twice as long as one that is not, so it's a worthwhile investment of time to take good care of your costume. Proper care will help the costume look better in addition to making it last substantially longer. It's very important to hang your costume out to dry after each time you wear it. Don't be tempted to pack it away when it's still damp! Allowing your costume to air out and dry thoroughly is very important. DO NOT ever put your mascot costume in the dryer. This will damage the fibers of the costume. Many costumes have washable components, but this will vary widely depending on the costume. It is important that you follow the manufacturers recommendations for your individual mascot costume.

Generally speaking, the gloves and feet covers can usually be washed on the gentle cycle in cold water and then be hung to dry. The costume itself can be washed according to the manufacturers instructions after every third or fourth wearing. This is usually accomplished by machine-washing the costume body on the delicate cycle. Mascot costumes must be hung to drip dry. It is helpful to brush the costume while it's still a little damp to fluff up the fibers. Unless specifically recommended by the manufacturer, mascot costumes should never be dry-cleaned. Make sure your costume is thoroughly dry before putting it away. Never store a damp costume!

Have fun with your mascot role

The headpiece of your mascot costume should be brushed regularly if it is covered in fur. You can clean the headpiece as needed by hand with a gentle detergent (like Woolite) with a soft cloth dampened with cool water. You can spray a bit of a disinfectant solution on the inside of your headpiece in order to keep it fresh smelling. Try a 50/50 mix of Listerine and water, this formula is safe to use around your face and head. Don't use cleaning solutions inside your headpiece!

Storing Your Mascot Costume

Make sure your costume is clean and thoroughly dry before storing it. The best place to store a mascot costume is in an area that is very well ventilated. Do not store your costume in its carrying bag. Airing out your costume between performances is critical and keeping it aired out while its being stored for any length of time is also of utmost importance as well. Store the hands, feet and all the remaining components of the costume in a clean and dry area. Hanging your costume is always preferable to folding it up.

Are you ready to become one of the most exciting and dynamic costume characters of your life? Then get ready to become a mascot!
Jenna Maxwell Halloween Author+Jenna Maxwell
Halloween Author for HalloweenExpress.com
You can follow Jenna on Google+ as well as our costume blog where she's a frequent writer about all things Halloween including Halloween costumes, trends, decor, and party ideas.

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