One of my real jobs is to on occasion be a mascot, usually inside a very sweaty and smelly over-sized character suit. I’ve done this job since 2014 and have had the honour of being inside some very famous characters like Moshe (Takalane Sesame) and Tjiff & Tjaff. I’ve also been a handler for Ben 10. The handler’s job is to blind lead the mascot around because when someone is in the suit, they can’t see nothing!
This type of work is not for the faint of heart and I can tell you many stories of how doing a simple children’s theatre show or meet and greet at a kid’s party can turn into a comical, technical nightmare. Like when one of my colleagues smelled cigarette smoke while in the suit, only to discover that his head was on fire! Some drunken moron tried to extinguish his cigarette on the mascot’s head. Or when this really attractive girl happened to be my handler at Cape Town Marathon – since I couldn’t bend down to put my mascot shoe on, she had to lead my very smelly (and I guess sweaty foot) into the the shoe’s already soggy and vinegary sock (needless to say I did not get her phone number).
We’ve had frequent moments when the mascot suit would malfunction during a performance, either the helmet would break causing the mascot to walk around with no neck, or a mascot would accidentally headbutt his handler (made of fibreglass) in the nose or some other body part during a performance – try explaining why blood is all over an actor’s face to a bunch of five year old’s! The irony of this whole thing is, at primary school Bibo came to our school to give use free juices and probably about 50 kids ended up beating the mascots up. I was one of them, not proud.
I wrote a song, somewhat of a sequel to Real Job called Man in the Mascot Suit, which was also performed at my 10 Seconds EP Launch and I had two videographers (Roger Williams and Kelly Ernstzen) capture the whole event from two different perspectives. I have to thank them for coming on board completely free of charge and helping us capture the very special event (need video work done? Use them). Again, I put my DIY video editing skills to good use.
Check out the video and let me know what you think.