Performance & Maintenance Tips
You will need someone to assist you in putting on the costume. In order to stay cool, wear comfortable clothing like a T-shirt, shorts, and socks inside. A sweatband or bandana is sometimes useful to prevent perspiration from dripping into your eyes. If the performer has long hair, it should always be tied back. Once the entire costume is on, have your assistant take a look from every angle to make sure that everything is in place– you don’t want cords, clothing, or your skin showing!
With regular cleaning and maintenance of your costume, you can enjoy many more years of use as well as make the costume much more pleasant to perform in!
- We do not recommend dry cleaning mascots.
- Do not bleach any costume made with foam. It will destroy the chemical makeup of the material.
- Cover all Velcro areas with fabric or fabric-covered foam to avoid small snags and tears while in the wash cycle.
To Clean Bodies and Body Components (Including removable foot covers and hands):
- Machine Wash items in Cold Water with a laundry detergent on gentle cycle.
- Do not put in the dryer. Hang-dry all pieces.
- When the items are still damp or have air-dried, brush out the fur areas with a wire brush. These can be found at most wig and beauty supply stores.
To Clean Head and Foot Forms:
- Areas covered in vinyl can be cleaned with a mild soap and water. To remove difficult stains, make a mixture of 10% household bleach to 90% water. Rub gently, then rinse with a damp washcloth.
- Areas covered in fabric can be spot-cleaned by hand with a stain remover.
- A home garment steamer with an upholstery attachment head can be used to clean larger areas.
Always leave all components to air dry. Insides of heads can be wiped out with warm soap and water. For latex rubber features, spray a non-bleach household cleaner on the area, and wipe with a clean, damp cloth. Disinfectant spray can be used to clean and deodorize hands, head, and feet (although be sure to clean at least an hour before the performer wears the costume, so as to avoid breathing in the fumes!)
It is a difficult phenomenon to explain, but one that is automatic the very first time you wear the costume. You are no longer a person in a suit- YOU BECOME THE CHARACTER!
Becoming a talented mascot performer is not an easy task. It takes practice and dedication. You need to be confident and outgoing. This may seem difficult at first, but remember, your audience does not know who you really are! Relax and enjoy yourself.
Analyzing the Character
Take a Moment to consider the following:
- Who will your audience be?
- Where will you be performing?
- Will your audience be stationary or continually moving?
- How long will the performances last?
- What is the purpose of the performance?
Here are some tips to be aware of with children:
- Do not grab children or pick them up. You are awkward and large. You may scare or hurt them, or even drop them because of your large oversized hands.
- Do not play favorites. Children’s can feel hurt if they get left out of the fun.
- If a child is shy or scared, do not force yourself on them. They just want to watch you to make sure that you are friendly. Give them time.
- If a child cries, do not touch them! Instead, bend down low, look them in the eye and cry with them, using your hands to rub your eyes. When they stop crying, warm up to them by waving, extending your arms for a hug. Do not touch or approach them until they initiate the first contact.
- Store the costume in a clean and ventilated room.
- DO NOT store the costume in the carry bag.
- DO NOT store the costume in direct sunlight.
- Allow the costume to air out between wearing.
- Place the head in a position that puts the least amount of stress on its shape. Do not compress the head.
- Hang or neatly fold the body components.
- If there is a body form it must be hung up and the rings removed, as the shape will become distorted if left compressed.
- Place the feet on the floor.
- Cover all hook Velcro areas with fabric or fabric-covered foam to avoid snagging while storing.
- When shipping your costume, if you require a box, it is important to use one that is large enough to easily accommodate your costume.
- If the whole costume does not fit in one box, do not compress it; use two boxes.
- If the head is compressed for a long period of time it may permanently lose its shape.
- When shipping, it is a good idea to use a product, such as bubble plastic, inside of the head to help maintain its shape.