A little after 7:00 PM on a Saturday night – splitting headache, the aftermath of a Friday of playing mascot for the semifinals, (a human incubator that mascot is), all day Art Fair – Saturday – of promoting Repentino., my body at this point is in crash mode – yet some things needs to be said…
When I agreed to do the bear mascot for ASF – I thought, wow, I know I am getting into a human incubator after the experience of being a Blue Jay mascot for only 1 hour at Kate’s wedding….yet – once I slipped the suit on, I had the challenge of getting children to not be afraid of the bear, as well as promoting the crowd into the action…mission accomplished…despite the tragic loss in the semifinals last night, the boys played bravely in a 40-something score to an even higher 60 something opponent, and the ASF troops hung in there every step of the way. I had to give it to the football team, they fought valiantly and did not roll over at any point, this was an amazing season to watch.
During the course of this semifinal night, a freshman from the stands who I had remembered vaguely asked if he could “be the bear.” I was reluctant due to the amount of sweat building up in the suit, and to be honest, I liked the fun of being the bear, but I thought, why shouldn’t he have a shot at it?….sure enough, after the first period we met at the stands, and we switched places….slowly the legs of the suit, arms, then feet and hands… and I was off in the stands and he was the bear, no one knew the wiser…yet…it is a gradual learning curve to be the bear and this I knew… the bear didn’t dance, he didn’t do funny things, he just occasionally moved, waving, and after the second quarter he was ready to switch out. Being the bear is more difficult than it obviously looks, when he took the suit off, his face was BLOOD red from the heat, and I had to agree on all counts, this was not an easy gig!
The point of this is, many of us can be the dancing bear, fully running around when a song comes on you like, yes it is hot, “UNBEARABLE” at times, yet the funny antics I could do in it and interacting with children, this was/is one of the most memorable aspects that will either keep you coming back or not. “Being the bear” is like anything we do in life – with practice, you realize, there is a cost, yet, is that cost worth it?
Some people are the bear, others are not. I feel that people have a choice be the bear in life and others just go the easy route and sit back and let others experience something different. Others look at me and say, “Wow, you are being used!” by being the mascot. Truly this was voluntary, but being able to be the mascot and have fun with the crowd, friends, I have come to know, and more, I loved it. No, I did not love the sweat, the difficulty of the suit after the first 20 minutes, yet push those away, and the fun arises to the occasion.
I love the fact that even though this student, who asked to be the bear, was more than after about 50-20 minutes to say he was out of the suit, HE AT LEAST TRIED. He attempted and did realize he incredibly hot it gets, YET, he tried it and realized how awesome it was in the time to try. How often do you get to be a mascot?
Not that it is a magical suit, but seriously, being a mascot is more than just putting on a suit, it can transform a game if the mascot is attentive to the plays , the players, the action of the game, it can certainly add to the game no doubt.
It is exciting to see the potential of so many of our students as ASF – perhaps it was walking home and seeing the usual monkey bars in front if the hospital, being used as a pinata and children were singing as they took turns at knocking the pinata, yet seeing the children at this spot turn a Saturday afternoon as a pinata hitting contest, this was just exciting and brilliant to see. This very simply is a different look on things I took for granted. Same with the mascot. The art that I witnessed at the art fait, I mean, I do not even see this kind of talent in museums half the time, this is amazing, and I am grateful to be surrounded by it.
I have to say, being alongside an army of creative students this year known as Repentino., I have been sucked into admiration of the creativity, strength, and go to this group has – their comments can be missed in the blink of an eye if you don’t listen carefully, yet, they command respect from their commitment and ability to reach all groups of people, and their moral stand on promoting art and the talents of people all round us in this adventure called, Life. I am taken aback from how quickly I have become attached to his group – and am amazed and what they have the power to do…
When I went into the Art Fair, a parent pulled me aside and thanked me for being the bear, she said it made the games sensational. It was funny, I was still coming off of recovering from the night before – but thanked her and realized, anyone can put on the suit. Once that occurs then what? What will you do with that? THAT makes all the difference in the world…
By the way, check this out and be changed forever…:)