Washburn University will hold tryouts to become the Ichabod mascot Feb. 26, all students interested in auditioning must first apply for the position.
Amanda Hughes, mascot program manager, says all students that enjoy entertaining should take the opportunity to try out. The mascot is a paid position. All auditions will be closed in order to keep with tradition and ensure that the individual’s identity is secret.
The audition is a three-step process involving selection by a committee chosen by Hughes. The individuals representing the committee will consist of people who have been around Washburn University long enough to have a true understanding of what the mascot represents. Some members have even been mascots themselves. The prospects will first be interviewed.
“We are looking for well-rounded students,” said Hughes. “These are students that do well academically and are truly interested in what it means to be an Ichabod. They have to be energetic and be able to communicate nonverbally.”
Next, applicants will be asked to put on the mascot costume. During this part of the audition, students will make performances that display their skills in agility and nonverbal communication. Finally, students will be interviewed for a second time before the new man or woman inside the mascot is determined.
The opportunity to try out as mascot is somewhat rare as it only takes place when openings arise. There are two students, one junior and one senior, that currently perform as mascot. In May, the senior will be graduating, leaving the spot vacant. Hughes says it is important that a replacement is found in order to provide training before the fall semester.
Students that perform as mascot will have in-house training, as well as the opportunity to be trained by David Raymond, the Mascot Doctor.
Raymond owns Raymond Entertainment, a company dedicated to mascots. Raymond is an experienced mascot himself, formerly wearing the costume of the Philadelphia Fanatic. Raymond Entertainment trains and creates mascots for universities and sports teams across the country.
“Being the Ichabod takes a lot of hard work,” said Hughes. “Ichabod is not just a mascot. He represents more than that. The Ichabod represents the founder of our school. He is very studious and walks with stride. Ichabod represents our school spirit.”
Applications can be found online at http://www.washburn.edu/about/ichabod/mascot.html