Howdy folks–Patrick “werehuman” Barnes here. Please remember that what I'm about to say is based on MY EXPERIENCES. YMMV Mode is ON.
Please remember that malls are PRIVATE PROPERTY. Yes, they have wide open areas for people to congregate. BUT, even on Halloween, persons in fursuits can be considered dangerous.
Why? Think about it. Your identity is completely covered up in a fursuit. And the average fursuit can be a large, padded costume. I hate to say it, but imagine a terrorist walking into a mall with explosives or nerve gas strapped to him UNDER an innocent-looking costume. Sure is enough room in some cases.
All right. That's an extreme case. But, we are at war, folks. Security personnel HAVE to be on high alert for *ANYTHING* suspicious.
If you wish to make an ANNOUNCED appearance in costume, (say, Halloween) plan out EXACTLY *WHO* and how many will be appearing, (prolly want to keep 'suits geared to a family audience) *WHEN* you wish to make the appearance *WHAT* your purpose for being there is (goofing off, posing for pictures, etc.) and work out *HOW* you'll get you or your group there and your route, *WHERE* to head-breaks and the like.
The best place to start is the mall office. Have your proposal, plans and photos ready with a small contact sheet/business card to leave behind. If you can't reach the people in charge directly, you explain yourself on paper. The mall folks'll thank you for one less headache.
When meeting the Ops Manager(s), be polite and professional. Make a good impression to start with, and permission may be granted. Even if it is *not*, be sure to thank the mall personnel for their time. Ease into it and you'll go a lot further. (and maybe even get asked back!!!!)
A written proposal a few days prior also alerts the security folks that you'll be coming around, and to be on the lookout for you. They can also come to your aid if you run into real trouble.
Obviously, due to escalators and trip-hazards, an escort is a *MUST-HAVE*. (…and you'll want pictures, too, I am assuming). Another big reason is protection and an eyewitness with a camera. It's too easy for some wise-guy to complain that you're behaving badly. A good impression goes a loooong way to dispel negative press.
Should you enter stores? No. Unless you are invited by the management, and have your escort to lead you past displays.
Stick to the main areas and keep your contact with the kiddies limited to handshakes. Be ready to pose for pictures. Yes, there will be teenagers and adults present, ready to whack on you. An assertive adult escort is a must as a bodyguard.
Plan your route and breaks carefully. If planned in advance, maybe you can have an office set aside for head-breaks and costume changes. If not, have a safe place arranged in advance (NOT a bathroom!!!!! GERM CITY!!!!) to heads-off, preferably out of sight of kids.
Well, that about covers it. I welcome your additions, corrections and the like. Please post them to the webmaster.
YMMV Mode OFF
To: Mall Operations Manager
Chief of Security
(Any Town Mall/Shopping Center)
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is (_) and I represent (_). I am a costumed performer and with your permisssion, I would like to make an appearance at (name of event and date) for (how much time). My group will consist of (myself and one escort/photographer). Please find attached photos and resumes.
(NOTE: Even if you have no prior experience, list work references…they can vouch for your behaviour and responsibility–gives people something to go on besides “some guy off the street”)
I am asking prior permission due to heightened security concerns. A covered costume does cover one's identity and can be difficult to maneuver in. Hence my escort who will help me navigate and relate to the mall patrons on that day.
If it is possible, may I use a mall office to don and remove my costume and take breaks in? (NOTE: if this is granted, leave it better than you found it!!!!)
Thank you for your time. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me and/or my references.
-aka-Your Real Name
“Part of This Company!” (if you have one)
123 Main Avenue
Main Town, USA 12345