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Mascot Tryouts and Camps

None of us have all the answers, but we may have some tips that we can share with the beginning character performer concerning trying out and getting a job. The information below may NOT apply to your situation, so if
you don't make it don't yell at us! (however, if you DO get the job feel free to heap credit on us, or send a monetary donation..... just kidding.) In all honesty,tips on how TO and how NOT TO try out are valuable!
-Erin

High School/CollegeTryouts
Do some research. Find out what the old mascots did, and copy some of their best schtick. Some schools require pushups after each touchdown. If you're going to a football powerhouse you'd better start practicing your pushups!
Try and talk to some of the cheerleaders. See if there is anything they know the cheerleading coach liked to see the mascot do.
While you're at it, see if any cheerleaders might be willing to tell you what kinds of cheerleading partner stunts they've seen mascots do. Even a small stunt can be impressive in a tryout.

Professional Tryouts:
Put together an employment resume, mention high school, college, corporate and/or minor league work. Have your resume focus especially on creating realistic goals and objectives for your team's mascot program. Create a video resume, even if it's you in a rented costume, dancing in your living room. The more teams can see what you can do the better your chances are of promotion.
Talk to your employer, find out what the most recent mascot did that was good, what things they would like to see the mascot continue to do. A good question is "If you were able to have any other mascot from any other team who would it be and why?" Finding out what performance skills your team is looking for is key!
Call Up mascots from the league and see what the team mascot did. Ask some advice from those league mascots.
Try and wear a suit or professional looking clothes. Even if they say dress casual, try and be as formal as possible without going too far.

Mascot Tryout Checklist!!!
-costume (if you are expected to bring one)
-change of clothes
-sweatband
-water
-resume (if necessary)
-video resume (if necessary)
-props you want to use
-audio tape or CD of your tryout skit (if necessary)
-sneakers

SKITS:
When choosing a skit, try to stay true to the personality of the old character, or develop a personality for a new character. Some teams and schools frown on violence, so make sure your skit follows the correct "rating" for your team.
Many times you will have 2-5 minutes to show your physical skills. During this time make sure you get your best stunts in!
Practice the whole stunt before your tryout, preferably in front of a mirror, or use a video camera to judge your performance. Practice makes perfect!  Practice in front of a mirror how you would respond to different situations, like "your team is losing bad" or "you've just scared a child", etc.
The skits more often effective are those that compact a number of music clips together, showing diversity in flavor, speed, emotions, etc. Mix 15-30 seconds of song clips that you can perform from. Show lots of energy and positive gestures.

Corporate/Park/Zoo Tryouts
"Usually if there is a large group of people trying out they will have you do a choreographed dance. I was never any good at learning the dance, so when they said go practice, I usually find a person that picked up the dance well and had them help me.  Also, if I mess up then KEEP MOVING. Even though you are not in costume, make large movements, facial expressions. If you have to do a kick do it with authority.  Pretend as if the people that you are trying out for don't see you and you are in a costume. Plus, try and do the dance that they make you do. You may find it odd that they are making you do a dance, but they just wanna see how you move andif you are shy or not. -Tiger Bunny (Towson Tiger, and Bugs Bunny at Six Flags)

From Our Mascot Speak Members
"For the UConn Husky tryouts, the process was a grueling, a 3 week one. Essays, personal interviews with Cheerleaders, current mascot, athletic Director and University President (finalists only). We had 30 trying out for one spot then. Also, minimal acrobatics (pyramid climbing, tumbling), improv situations, our own skit, and stand up comedyin front of a small crowd. Pay was nada, BUT I was sponsored by Nike, so received all sorts of free gear, and all my traveling and lodging was
covered by the teams. When I gave up the gig, I then received 2 very sweet scholarships for my final 2 years at UConn, due to my antics...so it really did pay off in the end." - UCONN Husky

"At our school, it was a week long process, the first two days were very laid back, people trying out were given all the equipment that the mascot uses. <unicycles, trampoline, rollerblade ramp, stilts, etc.> They were told to practice a bit, and also that they were being observed. The third night everyone performed tumbling in front of the judges in suit. Fourth night, everyone performed on the equipment in front of the judges. The fifth night, there were interviews and a short interaction
event at the intramural basketball games, the sixth night phone calls were made and three of the ten that originally tried out were chosen to perform at the senior grad party, for about 30 mins each. Two were selected from the three. Although the mascot position is a full-tuition scholarship, both mascots currently have donated their scholarships to the team, and are doing things voluntary." - Kid Simba (Brigham Young)

I used to be the Syracuse Orangeman for three years and this was our audition process consisted of:
1. An elevator (when two guys lift you up from your feet)
2. Short informal interview (5 min) with judges (old Ottos, alumns, coaches, etc.
3. 1-2 minute skit
4. Crazy tumbling
5. Performance during Spring Football Game (7 minutes in costume)
6. Quick Improv. In terms of the position itself, it wasn't a paid position but did receive Nike shoes and warm-ups. - Dan (Syracuse)

"30 people tried out, no compensation besides a duffel and shoes (Nike) until a previous mascot got an inheritance and set up a 150$ per semester fund... Tryout was a written application, panel interview, (athletic director, mascot advisor, cheer advisor, previous mascot, 2 female character mascots), then the four that made it through the interviewperformed in costume for 10-15 minutes at a mens basketball game." - University of Arizona


"In recent years, Boston University has had trouble getting people to try out, but for the first time this year, we put a small ad in the student paper and had 20 people call for more info. Previously, we only would have four or five people come to tryouts when we did poster advertising. We hold tryouts in Sept, and it is sure to be our best turnout ever." - Boston

"University of Kentucky also runs advertisements in the school newspaper. However, the best way to get people to come and tryout would just be word of mouth in my opinion. Tell everyone that seems interested in the position that you know, especially if they would be someone that you could work well with. If your school offers scholarships to the mascots, then make sure to advertise that point. Kentucky only had ten people tryout my freshman year. I think that ten is a good number because with too many people trying out, the process can become very tedious."

"I guess my biggest peice of advice would be to have your routine down pat. Doing a lot of practice runs might help you eliminate some mis-cues or errors that the other applicants might run into. All the skit stuff sounds great but the hardest part of our tryouts was the running and pushups. Make sure you are physically fit to do the job. if you get that down you will be set. Keep it real...Real FUNNY
"

"Just to give it simply and briefly, the people are wanting someone with LOADS of energy, a creative imagination, school spirit, improvisational usage, athletic knowledge and skills, ability to create and appropriately use props, responsibility to uphold school values and image, ability to work well with others, affection for children and sports fans, toleration for totally bizarre situations and activities, care for school and others' property, ability to withstand high temperatures for
long periods of time, charisma and little to complain about, and...did I mention LOADS of energy? " - Boss Hog
Spotlight Blog:

Critter Crossing
Mascot Ministry

Tryout and Audition Information:
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