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Unread 09-17-2014, 11:18 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Advice for Dealing With Small Children While in Mascot Cosplay?

This sort of piggybacks loosely off a question I asked last night.

I will be dressed as Rocket Raccoon at NYCC. It's very different than an anime convention, in there are a lot of small kids/families. If you're in a costume kids recognize, they want to hug and take photos with you (or their parents want you to take photos with their kids). I've only cosplayed at NYCC once before (I was working the other two times I went) and this happened, but I was in a found items cosplay and didn't mind getting tugged or the kids asking me questions in character (it was really cute and fun!).

Rocket is not terribly easy to move in, has electrical wiring hidden in the vest to make the back light up and a slightly fragile prop (baby Groot made from airdry clay in a flowerpot), plus I'm legally blind (despite being in a full mask, the light screen for the eyes helps cut the excessive light, so my eyesight is roughly the same in or out of costume, but that isn't saying much).

I wouldn't mind being hugged or the costume petted by small kids (and I know it's going to happen anyway), and I'd like to be a minor jerk in character (think the Disney mascots who are villains who gently pull things away or make silly hand gestures behind the kid's back). I also wouldn't mind letting kids hold my gun or Groot for photos as long as they were gentle/ under parental observation.

Any advice for handling kids that say, try to pull the costume's tail/ears, hit me, or are rude?

Conversely, any advice for how to act in character for photos and interacting with the kids? Should I talk/make light snide remarks in character or stay quiet?
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Unread 09-17-2014, 12:21 PM   #2
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Well just as you would for anyone who wants a photo, make sure they ask first and if they do pull your tail or ears tell them politely to stop and if they refuse to stop, just walk away.

As for being in character? Obviously don't cuss or anything but a slightly snarky, funny attitude is good for Rocket. I don't know if you should let them hold your props, especially Groot as you said he is made out of clay. Kids drop things really easily so it might be best to set the props aside for photos or just hold them yourself or have the parent hold the prop if its both kid and parent who want a photo with you.
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Unread 09-18-2014, 07:11 AM   #3
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anyone know any good photographers that's near LA that can help me with my Miku Senbonzakura version shoot?
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Unread 09-18-2014, 06:51 PM   #4
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I'm always clueless on this situation too. I've had my tail pulled before and I'm always worried that if I tell them not to there'll be a defensive parent with them.

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Unread 09-19-2014, 02:53 PM   #5
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Oh boy, who knows how little kids are going to react? I wonder if professional sports mascots take special courses on "How Not to Frighten Children While in Costume"!

I actually did end up scaring a little kid at Anime Expo 2013 while wearing my Kaiketsu Lion-Maru cosplay (see my avatar at left). His mother brought him over and the toddler was fascinated at first, and I thought I was being super calm (no sudden movements or wild gestures...basically, I just stood there and waved at him slightly), but then an instant look of fear came over his face and he started wailing in terror. I felt so bad! I couldn't remove my mask, so there was nothing I could do to let the poor child know I wasn't a huge monster. His mother was so sweet and apologetic, saying he was just tired...I apologized too...but now I have to live with the knowledge that I might be the source of that kid's nightmares for the next few years. (I bet he wouldn't have hollered if I had been a Ninja Turtle though...humph.)

I have no advice other than just hang back and let the parents control the meeting between their kids and your costume. That way you know there was nothing you did to scare the poop out of their children.
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Last edited by MoonWingSamurai : 09-19-2014 at 03:00 PM.
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