Sadness POPS from the Inside Out

Want to take your mascot performance from “guy in a costume” to a thriving “character”? Check this performance out from a live Disney show and see the importance of doing everything you do in character.

Absolutely love this dance performance from Sadness at Walt Disney World, performing a dance…but doing it totally in character to accentuate the personality.

Taking Mascot Performance from a person just wearing a fur costume all the way to becoming a fully-formed character is what every performer should be striving for.  This effort is highlighted here, showing Sadness (this character from Pixar’s Inside Out) from just another character in an ensemble number to a clearly defined character.

“None of the other Emotions really understand what Sadness’ role is. Sadness would love to be more optimistic and helpful in keeping Riley happy, but she finds it so hard to be positive. Sometimes it seems like the best thing to do is just lie on the floor and have a good cry.” (Sadness Official Bio)

This consistent portrayal helps maintain the character’s believability.  If she suddenly played the song with energy and verve it would disrupt the audience’s immersion in the story.

A character’s traits, motivations, and actions should align with their established personality. Deviating from this can undermine the character’s integrity and the story’s coherence.  The dance performance shows exactly who she is within the story.  It’s not making the collective dance feel like less because she isn’t completely hitting each move, rather is affirming exactly who her character is as part of the larger story.

When this personality is clear audiences can connect and identify with her traits and actions. Acting out of character can break this connection and reduce the emotional impact of the narrative.

In any story each character serves a specific purpose in the story. Staying in character ensures that the story progresses logically and meaningfully.  Characters interact in ways that are significant to the plot and development of other characters. Consistent characterization ensures these interactions make sense and contribute to the overall narrative. The storytelling is stronger, more relatable and engaging for the audience.

Then, of course, staying in character demonstrates skill and dedication. It shows respect for the script, the director’s vision and the collaborative effort of the production.  For sports mascots it also gives the most respect for the character you are performing.  This level of professionalism shows you understand the character, your performance and your place within the broader show.

Just a great example of the importance of knowing your character and accurately performing it (at all times) in the show.

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