Tips and Safety information
Your mascot costume
is only part of the experience. It’s
also important to have a great performer wearing it.
To get the most impact from your mascot, here are a few
simple tips to help you perform like a mascot pro.
very important with a mascot. But
certain kinds of communication work better than others. For example:
NEVER speak! It ruins the illusion. The human voice sounds
distorted and muffled through a mascot head. Also, different
performers have different voices which will confuse your audience. If
the mascot has an escort, they can use any of these classic excuses to
explain why it is not able to speak:
He has a sore
throat today from all of the singing he did yesterday.
her voice for the show later on.
He was cheering
so hard for the team that he lost his voice.
Can you show him your favorite cheer?
She’s a bit
shy. Let’s tickle
her a bit and see if she laughs.
He ate way too
much peanut butter yesterday and he’s still clearing it out of
an additional suggestion? E-mail
it to us; we love to hear from you!
Waving – Use your
entire arm for a big wave in situations that you really need to stand
out like a sports game or walking in a parade.
Simply open and close your hand when waving to a smaller child
in a meet and greet mascot situation.
Laughing – Bring
your hands up to the mascot’s mouth and nod the mascot head forward in a
rapid motion to signal laughing.
Blowing a kiss -
Put your hand to the mascot mouth and then flat out in front of the head with
the palm up.
Hugging – Be
gentle when hugging. Remember
that children may feel shy or intimidated by a gigantic furry
presence. Also, if you give a strong forceful hug, especially to an
adult or teenager you run the risk of initiating an aggressive or
I love you! –
point to yourself then use both hands to draw a heart in the air and
point to the recipient.
I’m scared! –
run away, cover your eyes, and shake your knees.
Lifting one hand up to peek out can be very comical.
Aww, shucks! - give
a little sweeping kick forward while hooking your arm in front of you.
Waving - Get the
crowd going by starting a wave!
Goals & points
– When your team scores make sure to give a big jump and rally the
crowd with two big thumbs up. If
the other team scores, then give a little sweeping kick forward with
an “aww, shucks” kind of feel, then shake the mascot head back and forth
while covering your eyes. Just
remember to be respectful of the opposing team.
After all, it’s in good fun.
If the mascot is to participate in the game in any way then you need
to take the time to make sure you can perform safely and effectively.
Start out by practicing without the costume, then try with just
the mascot head on, then the hands, and add the feet. Finally, practice in
the entire mascot costume. This
practice will be worth the effort and will show when the performance
actually takes place.
On the Float –
Make sure you know your boundaries.
You should always try to remain seated on a float but if you
have to stand then try to keep your mascot feet planted in one spot.
Moving around the float could cause you to lose your boundaries
and take a nasty tumble. Remember
that your audience is constantly changing as the float moves so
movements that seem very repetitive to you are fresh to the people
Off the Float –
If music is playing then it’s a great idea to choreograph a little
dance. Keep your movements
small as you may have a long way to go.
Dancing should be limited mainly to arm movements that you can
do while walking. Remember
that it can repeat frequently as your audience is constantly changing.
Taking the time to learn a little movement will make your float
or parade walk look very professional.
Feel free to shake a few hands, give a little laugh every now
and then, and always be waving to the crowd.
Your arms should never just hang by your side!
and Greet Mascots
Different mascots communicate with different gestures. Above
all you should let the personality of your mascot be reflected in your
actions. Are you shy,
boisterous, jokester, tough, etc?
Once the personality is established then you can determine what
actions should be applied while in the mascot costume.
This will ensure that everyone wearing the mascot is
portraying the same characteristics. It’s
a great idea to keep a written reference of your mascot’s
personality and standard gestures with your costume for every
performer to read prior to performing.
In most situations it is ideal to have an escort with you to
keep your back protected and to be your voice.
Adults and Teens
– Shake hands, give a big hug, laugh, and even blow a kiss.
Most importantly, take notice of adults and teens as soon as
they approach you. This
will establish a level of authority.
Your escort should make eye contact and say something like
“Who do we have here?” to initiate a conversation.
This type of introduction and interaction with teens and adults
can diffuse many potential uncomfortable or even violent encounters.
Children – Keep
the movement slower and gentle with children.
Remember many kids are afraid and intimidated by mascots.
Making large fast movements can be very scary to a child.
Hold your hand out and open and close your hand slowly to wave.
Let the child feel how soft your hand is. Let them get to know
you at their own pace. If
a child is scared of you and screams you can do the same by moving
away from the child, covering your eyes and shaking your knees to
signal that you are also a little nervous.
Try to move slowly back towards the child and build a
relationship but if they’re still scared, simply move on to the next
child and let them observe how friendly you are.
They may still come around for a big hug.
Escorts – A
mascot in a meet-and-greet situation should always have an escort as
their eyes, ears and voice. This
person should be alert and always be paying attention to the people
approaching. An escort
should be wearing an official company/event t-shirt or uniform to
clearly establish their role with the mascot.
The escort is responsible for making sure that the mascot sees
everyone that needs a hug and a picture.
Sign language –
Make sure that the mascot and the escort have some hand signals to
indicate that they need to exit. Something
as simple as a thumb down can tell the escort that something is wrong
and we need to get to a secured area.
Schedule – Breaks
and appearances should be established before every performance.
In most meet-and-greet situations a mascot is not in the costume
for more than 30 minutes before having a break of equal time.
In colder temperatures this can be increased and hotter
temperatures this can be decreased but this is a good general rule of
Everyone performing in a mascot should give it a “test drive”
before the big show. It’s
a good idea to start slow and build up to wearing the whole suit.
Walk around with just the head at first and get used to the
vision. Then add the hands
and feet before getting into the entire suit.
This will help the performer to be more aware of the mascot’s
Not a good fit –
Remember that not everyone is suited to be a mascot.
After practicing and taking some time to get used to the vision
and feel of a mascot costume, if a performer is still very
apprehensive about being out in public then find someone else.
The last thing you want representing your company, festival, or
school is someone that really isn’t happy, comfortable or safe.