Keeping comfortable when working as a professional character performer can sometimes be a challenge, particularly when it is cold and you’re working outdoors.
With the prospect of snow knocking at our door in February and even March, some character performers (especially those with little experience in the field…) may be concerned about how to keep warm in costume. Afterall, you have to feel comfortable in order to give a good, in-character performance and interact with your audience.
Don’t worry, we can help!
Rainbow Productions offer comprehensive mascot training where anyone looking to become a character actor or mascot can get a feel wearing a costume and how the weather might affect the experience. Need the advice urgently? Check out our top tips below.
- Plan ahead – Whatever the occasion and whatever the costume, make sure it has been tested with various clothing options underneath. Look at long range weather forecasts to get a feel for just how chilly it will be and plan accordingly.
- On the move – Think about how much you are going to be moving during the event or promotion. Even on the coldest days, you’ll warm up as you get more active in costume. After interacting with your audience for an hour, you’ll be keen to get rid of a layer or two.
- Keep your head warm – Heat escapes from your head more quickly than from anywhere else on your body. Despite most costumes including a full head, another layer could make all the difference. Try a thin skull cap.
- Layer up – We already mentioned getting rid of a layer or two. That’s because several thin layers offers more thermal protection than one thick one. Start with a long sleeved layer which will allow your arms to retain some heat, even if any additional short sleeve layers are removed. On really chilly days, consider a pair of thermal tights or leggings.
- Don’t neglect your hands – Because hands are one of the bodies extremities, once hands become cold, it will be hard to warm them up. That’s when the chill will start to spread through your body. Often if wrists and ankles are warm, the rest of the body temperature raises too. So, if your costumes’ hands (or paws) are loose fitting, make sure to get a pair of gloves to protect you against the cold.
- Drink fluid – Drinking fluids can be neglected in cold weather by performers as there is less heat to drive thirst. However, performing in a character costume does require a lot of activity. Actors in-character should stay hydrated when wearing their costume. Many brands will offer costume performers hot drinks like tea and coffee throughout the day which will keep you hydrated and warm.
- Don’t get cold feet – Particularly if the costume doesn’t incorporate actual shoes, be sure to layer up your feet. A thin pair of socks inside a thermal pair should help your feet stay warm. If you are designing a brand’s custom mascot, you may want to consider where your character will be performing and choose footwear accordingly. A mascot that will be on show outdoors in winter may be better off with actual shoes built into the design to provide maximum comfort for the performer.
While more extreme weather conditions can be challenging for professional character performers, at Rainbow Productions, we train our performers meticulously so that they’re prepared for anything and everything, including snow.
Whatever your concerns about your mascot or costume, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to hear from you.