Santa’s Beard- Natural or Embellished?
by Susen Mesco, Master Santa Claus Trainer at Professional Santa Claus School since 1983!
Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 9:20pm
Are “natural” bearded Santas better than “embellished” Santas?
The most recognizable outward symbol of Santa Claus is his beard.Santa Claus starts IN THE HEART! Santa Claus is all about caring and love and tradition… Being a true, earthly representation of this magical and RELIGIOUS season is a lofty and serious responsibility! We cannot forget why we are here, what our job is, and the real meaning of the season!
Most “natural” bearded Santas are very proud of their snowy white beards. (There are even associations geared ONLY for gentlemen who have white whiskers who enjoy dressing as Santa Claus during the Christmas season. ) And YES! A picture perfect Santa Claus is a marvelous sight!
Over the years,many, many men without bushy white whiskers have attended Professional Santa Claus School. For many reasons they don’t have natural beards: military, job safety, wife doesn’t like the whiskers, can’t grow a full beard or they just do not want. Yet their hearts and desires, are exactly the same as fellows with natural beards. When they don the uncomfortable strap on or spirit gum beards, they are constantly (often painfully) reminded they are no longer Joe or Bob or Keith. They are portraying Santa Claus! An entirely different BEing.
The hardest thing for “natural” bearded Santas is, toturn on and REMAIN tuned in to: the different persona of Santa Claus because they are so comfortable in their own beard which they wear year round.”Natural” bearded Santas often rely solely on the way they look to convince their audience they are Santa Claus, while their actions fall back into the characteristics of Fred or Bill. Santa Claus is so much more 3-Dimensional!
Having a clear mindset as to “Who is Santa Claus?” and “How is Santa different and unique from your mortal being?” is essential to maintaining a quality character of St. Nick for a long-term period of 4-7 hours. Being too comfortable allows us to slip back into our daily self after 30 or so minutes of “playing” Santa Claus.
Here are some questions to work on to maintain your character if you have one of the beautiful white beards year round:
Who is Santa Claus? Who SHOULD Santa / I BE?
How am I like Santa? How am I different?
What transformations/changes come over me, when I put on the red suit?
What triggers do I use to help me maintain the transformation over long periods of time and through 500 lap visits?
Do I speak of “myself” as two completely separate personas? Harold & Santa?
Have I spent considerable time developing my Santa Claus persona?
Beyond the basics that everyone knows about Santa Claus, what magical additions have I incorporated?
When I am tired, after 200 lap visits, how do I re-energize myself to keep up the magic of this traditional character?
If I am speaking to someone on the phone, could I carry on a 2 hour conversation with them AS Santa? How would they be aware that they are speaking to Santa Claus & not ME?
Although having a quality natural beard is much more comfortable, it can be so comfortable that it allows you to easily slip back into your personality, rather than remaining as Santa Claus.
The fellows who venture into the chair with the embellished beards are painfully reminded they are NOT themselves every time they move or talk.
ALL Santas deserve respect and honor for the love they share and the magic they bring to the children of the world.
No one type of Santa Claus (natural or embellished) is more desirable than another in the eyes of the child who reveres and dreams of the time he/she will spend chatting with our last mythical hero. It is the love, care and joy that beams from Santa Claus that makes him so charismatic, not the costume or the kind of beard.
Santas! United in your missions to spread the essence of the season of Christmas! Be the best example of the tradition you can be by portraying Santa 100%, 100% of your stage time. Share, with each other, the respect and concern for each other, natural bears or embellished, as you do for the children.
THINK ABOUT how to be the best Santa you can be, even through those long gigs and mall days!
How do you stay in character for the children? Share your thoughts with all of us!
SusenMesco, Master Santa Claus Trainer since 1983.