Slapshot Interview!

31 12 2009

A while back, I promised my readers the most exciting post of my blog to come. And today, your wait is over! Earlier in December, I had the privilege to interview the man behind the Caps’ mascot, Slapshot. This guy, Kevin, happens to be the roommate of a friend of mine through kickball, and let me tell you, it is really cool to have connections like these. I have always been intrigued by the idea of being a mascot, and I have imagined the job as being pretty fun! I was able to have the remarkable opportunity to interview Kevin about his job as Slapshot. I hope you enjoy this, and if you have any additional questions you would like me to ask him, please let me know!

I understand you were a mascot at your college. Can you explain how you got started with that? How did you get interested in being a mascot?

I applied the first day I arrived at Delaware. It wasn’t until later that I realized what a stellar program I was in. Delaware has two facilities for the mascots, one van and over four separate costumes. All in all, the situation is better than most professional organizations. Not to mention that YoUDee is the most recognizable person/thing in the state. That’s right, look it up!

I would imagine that to successfully work as a mascot, you would need some training in acting. Did you ever study acting? Or did you take acting classes in school?

No, acting classes don’t really help you here. When you are in a costume your body needs to be able to move outside the fur and fuzz. Every action has to be HUGE; not small, HUGE. Even a small wave has to be a HUGE wave. The biggest change is facial expressions aren’t made. Actors would have a hard time with that. So overall yes, actors aren’t as talented as mascots.

What are the requirements (if any) by the Washington Capitals organization to be a mascot? Can you tell me what the audition process was like?

The audition was similar to most mascot auditions, interviews, out of costume improv and in costume interaction. The out of costume work is always the toughest and they really work you to find what your cardio looks like. As for the in-costume, that’s easy, be the mascot and the job is yours.

Can you be female to play/work as Slapshot?

Sure, and if you really were a special reporter you would know of a DC mascot that is female!

Was the Capitals organization the only team you had your sights on working with/auditioned for?

I originally applied for a few other jobs, but staying home was great.

Where are you from?

I’m from DC originally. That’s right, I’m the real deal- born in Friendship Heights and graduate of St. Johns CHS on Military RD NW.

When you told your friends and family about your career path as a mascot, what was their reaction?

Overall they loved my job. Heck imagine someone getting a job in this economy that they love, and pays!

How long have you been working as the Caps’ mascot?

Two years. Man I’m tired.

What would you say the average age is for mascots in the pro sports leagues?

30

How old is too old to be the mascot? Are you planning on having another job after this one?

I think at this point in time, too old doesn’t exist. Imagine a career field that still doesn’t have retirees! I would love to win a cup, host an all star game, and then see what life looks like. I always wanted to be a high school principal and I think that’s my next move after the fur world.

Is the job of being the Caps’ mascot a full-time job? (If not, what do you do in addition?)

Over 200 appearances, plus 50+ games…this isn’t a job you get a rest. I mean didn’t you see Slapshot on the Price is Right?!

Does one person play all the different Slapshots or are there different people for different costumes? (For example, in one Caps game, you may see Slapshot the ref during a Mites on Ice game, Slapshot in the crowd and on the concourse, etc.)

One?

How many different costumes/looks does Slapshot have?

Tons, the holidays really bring out the costumes.

How long does it take to get into the costume?

When there is only two minutes to get ready, One minutes and fifty nine seconds!

How much harder is it to ice skate in costume?

No vision, big shoes, and 18,000 people hoping you fall…YIKES!

Are you ever tempted to talk while being a silent character like Slapshot?

Never.

Do you get to interact at all with the Caps players?

Ahh who cares, I’m here for the fans and the community. To be honest I like the Red Wings.

What is your favorite memory of being the Caps mascot?

Opening night: goose bumps and the chills as the team is announced to a crazy 18,000!

What is your favorite part about being the mascot for the Caps?

Being able to joke with people. One time I told a blogger I liked the Red Wings. But really I think traveling to other arenas and seeing how other teams and mascots operate is the best. The mascot world is a strong fraternity of very knowledgeable and creative people. Some of these mascots are my best friends and I think when you are in a job where only 90 people in the world can brag I’m a “Pro Mascot”, that’s special.

What do you like least about this job?

Emails.

What is the hardest part about this job?

Staying up so late for appearances and games. I like to hit the hay before nine o’clock.

How are you similar to Slapshot? How are you not like Slapshot?

Slapshot is funny and entertaining a lot like me. But Slapshot is also scrappy and ready to fight for his team which is not something I’m up for.

Who is your mascot hero? Who is your favorite mascot?

Clutch the Bear is my favorite mascot. I also like Reggy from Raymond Entertainment because he TALKS! But Clutch is the best in the country and I look up to his business creds as much as his in-game videos that would make anyone laugh.

Do you have any advice to those who aspire to be a professional sports mascot?

Go to school, get a business degree and get a scholarship. If you are from around here, these schools are the best at what they do: Delaware, Auburn, Michigan State, Tennessee, Florida, Minnesota, and George Washington University. As for scholarships call up your prospective school’s PR, Alumni, Cheerleading programs for more information. Plus, make sure you do your networking, this world is all by talk. I don’t know if I would be so successful without the help of alumni including Delaware mascots that now work for the Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, Houston Rockets, Washington Nationals, Durham Bulls, Reno Aces, and Reggy from Raymond Entertainment Group.

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3 responses

1 01 2010
Richard

This is really awesome, Jessie! Let’s hope he doesn’t get a call from Leonsis tomorrow asking why he’s publicly announcing his love for the Red Wings!

4 03 2010
New Caps Mascot « C.A.P.S.love.

[…] Fly.” Anyone else got any good suggestions? You know, I’ve already got an “in” with Slapshot, so maybe if we come up with a cool enough name (or just say that a kid came up with […]

5 04 2012
Interviews Ahead! | C.A.P.S.Love Two: The Girl On The JumboTron

[…] reflection of my most exciting/successful/news-worthy blog posts past, I decided that this interview possibly takes the cake. It was one of my favorite blog posts to write. I realized it didn’t […]

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