I have always wanted to be a character mascot…even tried to be a Smurf once.
I had taken my first job after college, writing commercials for an NBC affiliate television station. During a “Family Fun Day” at a local horse farm, the station brought in Smurf mascots to help entertain the kids.
As soon as I heard the station’s plans, I tripped all over myself to volunteer. I didn’t care if I was Smurfette or Papa Smurf or Generic Smurf; I just wanted to wear that costume and ‘Smurf it up’ for all the people in attendance at the park.
The day of the event, I arrived early with the other mascot volunteers to get fitted for my suit. And that’s when I made a gut-wrenching discovery –
I was too tall.
At 5’8″, my torso was about four inches too long to wear the suit. When I put it on, the costume’s head and body didn’t meet. Smurfette would have been sporting a most disturbing midriff.
My dreams of mascot glory ended that day.
But if you’ve ever been curious about the mascot game, there are resources available today that I didn’t have — mascot schools like Keystone Mascots in Pennyslvania.
They have mascot costumes that fit…even if you’re 6 feet tall. And they teach you tumbling skills that you can accomplish when you’re head is grossly over-sized.
Ah, Keystone — where were you 20…I mean…two years ago?