Friday, July 29, 2011

Who are the Faces Behind the Mascots?

By Cheang Hoi Yee, First Year, Diploma in Digital & Precision Engineering

Hurray! NYP is celebrating its 20th birthday. A number of mascots celebrated this joyous moment by walking around the campus during July to bring more excitement to the students.

But who are those mysterious faces behind the costumes? Are they different from the characters they played? Cheang Hoi Yee, year one Digital & Precision Engineering (DPE) student interviews Donald Duck and Super Mario, both year one DPE students, Darren Lim and Chow Yi Feng respectively, to find out what they are like in real life.

Q1: What character did you play?

Y: I played the Shark in the mascot parade and Super Mario during the Friendship Day.

D: I was the Donald Duck in the Friendship Day.

Darren (right) plays Donald Duck and likes to "act cute" too

Q2: How did you come about being a mascot? Were you invited or did you volunteer?

Y: I am a member of Student Union (SU), the main organizer of these events. I volunteered myself because compared to the other roles, this is funnier.

D: Same as Yi Feng, I am member of SU and I volunteered myself as well because this job looked fun to me.

Q3: Why did you choose to be this character?

Y: (Super Mario) Actually, we did not choose the characters but they chose us! It depended on how well the sizes of the costumes fit our bodies. I was supposed to be Kung Fu Panda but unfortunately, the costume was spoilt at that time, so I turned to the alternative, Super Mario.

Q4: Which character would you choose if given the chance to choose?

D: I think I would still choose to be Donald Duck because it is very cute, especially its actions.

Q5: What was it like being under the costume?

Y: It was much better than I thought and the costume really fitted me. I had a lot of fun. However it was very hot. I played Super Mario throughout the event and only rested for an hour. I really wished there was a fan in the costume.

D: Yes, it is funny but hot. The ‘Duck head’ was heavy so I had some difficulty balancing myself. Nobody would like to see Donald Duck fall with legs in the air, right?

Q6: How did you try to get into character? Was it difficult for you?

Y: I only played Super Mario once when I was small so I don’t actually know how this cute little man acts like. However, I tried to copy his actions.

D: I didn’t try to get into character. I was just myself and acted cuter than usual without being shy.
Q7: Did people generally prefer you in character?

Y: Yes, people like Super Mario. I could see many eye-opening reactions from different people: some of them became very excited, some snapped photos as if they saw a superstar while some cool ones behaved normally, as if mascots appeared everyday.

D: People are crazy about Donald Duck. They pointed at Donald Duck from far away, and some kept on laughing. Some of them reacted unexpectedly; they looked scared and ran away the moment they saw me.

Q8: Any funny encounters?

Y: Many people hugged me without asking for my permission. I felt okay, I won’t reject them when they hug me as Super Mario.

D: Yes, but some of those people were quite scary though. I was shocked when some of them ran towards me and looked like they were going to bang into me. My first reaction was to run away from them, but with those heavy big shoes, it was difficult to run. There were some who chased me and whacked my tail. Once they successfully caught my tail, they refused to let go. I had no choice but to stand at there and act very sad and hope they feel sympathetic enough to set my tail free.

Q9: What is the weirdest treatment you ever got when you are in costume?

Yifeng plays Super Mario and gets hugged without permission
D: There were ‘shocking’ moments when some curious babies peeped inside the ‘eyes’ to try to find out who was exactly inside the costume. When this happened, my vision was covered with blackness and it was quite terrifying.

Q10: Are you anything like your mascot character?

Y: I am not sure of his character. However, I think I am smarter than him.

D: I think Donald Duck and I are quite similar. Both of us like to act cute and are friendly. However, I’m not as short-tempered as him. In addition, I’m more shy in real life.

Q11: If you could be anyone/anything for 24 hours, who would you choose to be. Why?

Y: Perhaps someone powerful in heaven. I will slack in heaven, blank out my mind and then take many photos of the heaven. That would be funny and memorable.

D: I would be myself. I am happy to be myself and I am the best person I could have ever been.

Q12: If you were given 24 hours to live, how would you choose to live it?

Y: I will travel to the tips of Earth (But you only have 24 hours?). Then I will go to New York City. I have never been there. It looks interesting and I know somebody who is living there. It is a nice city.

D: Hmm……I would spend the precious 24 hours with my family members. I don’t spend enough time with my family currently. I just want to have a normal time with my family. We will have dinner and watch movies together.

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