We love to share our teams experiences and thoughts, and this blog is certainly no different. Here’s CopyCat Tom and his journey into the world of CopyCat. After finding ourselves short of male team; Tom had an unconventional start! Find out more below;
Hello! I’m Tom, a member of the CopyCat team and here is my CopyCat journey!
My Journey Begins….
I was aware of The CopyCat Party Co. for a while, a couple years in fact, and it always sounded like an amazing job. Paid work as a character performer I feel, is a hard thing to come by in Yorkshire and it seemed a great opportunity.
There was however one thing at the time that got in the way of me applying for it. I was a guy and I believed they only offered roles for female characters! Now, whilst i would look rather fabulous in a dress, it wouldn?t be completely faithful or accurate to the characters.
I forgot about it until 2019 where I met another associate of the business, the lovely Mila! We got talking and CopyCat came up in conversation. Would you believe she notified me that they also had male performing characters! In fact CopyCat were actively looking for male team to fast track into their team! I was super excited – and who wouldn?t be? From a young age, there was always some form of superhero I wanted to be and I just knew I was finally going to apply. But that was just the first step…!
I had never had any formal work experience, or had a real job interview but was informed by Mila that it wasn’t just about experience and the team was led by personality and lots of fun! I created my CV which I sent it off. Surprisingly a few days later I got a reply asking for an interview! I later found out that recommendations for potential cast are a big thing along with a fun personality – Mila had obviously put a word in for me! Laura, the owner, is also a big believer in giving passionate individuals their first step into performing and developing their skills and performance.
The interview didn?t go exactly to plan. I was a little late and felt slightly unprepared but I was made to feel at ease and managed to act confident in my interview. It was an interview with Laura (no pressure) but informal and friendly – enough to relax me and make me feel like I was already part of the team.
I was asked questions such as; Can I keep the attention of 30 plus children at once? Am I a confident person? Can I answer the toughest of questions on my character? I answered them fairly well. I was told I could progress the the next stage which was the costume try ons.
Costume Try Ons!
Next came the best part – the training! This was really enjoyable. The first step to this was filling in the paperwork and having the work guide presentation. This was admittedly long but at the same time, it was interesting learning how the whole thing worked and what my job would entail. The real highlight came from trying the costumes on. My favourite being the red ranger – I was surprised how I transformed into the character. I was shown a few poses to start my transformation journey!
Next to the Mascots…
The second test was mascots (Skin Characters) and this was the really fun part. Please bear in mind that it was summer, July time, so extremely hot, and I was in a large padded outfit. I was stomping around a carpark trying to perfect the mascot walk and learning all the secret codes. Certainly not the most comfortable I had ever been but I laughed a lot and it was a really fun day. Part of the training includes trying the mascots on in all weathers and conditions in accordance to the risk assessments. We have to make sure we have good vision and regularly monitor how we feel in all situations. Can you believe we have our very own codes whilst we are working (see if you can spot one when you next see a mascot!)
Normal training would consist of me visiting a booking fo every kind, followed by a senior team member following me at a booking and giving notes and then my first official booking on my own. This was a little different for me however and I only had chance to see one official booking before it was so busy I was on bookings ready to go! Luckily the training was thorough and I felt confident I could do a great job!
Finally part of the team!
The final test was to go on my first official booking, which was going to be CopyCat Spider. This was and still is the scariest part of the job and for good reason. Live performance is scary enough but with an audience that is completely unpredictable in their reactions, it’s a daunting yet addictive feeling!
Luckily I had the brilliant Rebecca, another amazing member of the team, helping me out being another skin character at the booking. She gave me some awesome tips about the job, such as to arrive around 15 minutes before the party starts, to make sure you stay out of sight. (Seeing your favourite superhero step out of a Skoda might slightly break the illusion). All really useful tips that really helped calm some of my nerves!
As I walked towards the entrance I was excited and anxious! I had performed more times than I can remember on the stage and I had never felt as nervous as this. This was soon over however once I was in, my worries went away! It was amazing! I got on really well with the children and the grown ups even loved having me around. I knew exactly what to say and there were no awkward moments whatsoever. I was so tired at the end but it did feel really good to have tackled such a massive challenge and come out feeling positive.
For the full hour you are the character it is constant energy and interaction with children; even those that are shy. You can never let your character drop and even when parents chat to you, you have to stay in character!
So that’s how I came to be a part of the team! I’ve never looked back! Since my first booking I?ve had so many amazing experiences. The highlight of my time working there being able to be an elf at Cannon Hall Farm. I worked on my own character and played this for The Elf Workshop. Ultimately I have made a number of children’s birthdays just that little bit more special and for that reason makes it such a rewarding job!
A note from Laura.
I remember seeing a flustered Tom slightly late for his meeting and though lateness is not my favourite thing, I remember being impressed by his interview and his passion for the job. I instantly liked Tom and his personality shone. A huge part of being a CopyCat is the personality and the ability to have lots of fun – you can make or break an occasion by not getting this right. Though he didn’t have our usual CopyCat training Tom quickly adapted and fit right into our team. He has established himself as one of our principle male team and gets great reviews from all of his visits! My favourite character I like to see Tom as is the CopyCat Spider. He’s a great mix of hero and dude! I am yet to meet a child that hasn’t had the best time with him!