An entertainer of a kind

The story of a man who looks at the world from inside a costume
news Sunday, February 28, 2016 - 01:39

“I can be a teddy bear one day and Tweety the next day. It is the laundry day on the third and it is too early to decide about the fourth” says David, with a laugh.

For the last three years 29-year-old David, has worked as a costume character at a clothes showroom on MG Road in Bengaluru.

Although his family is from Gudiyattam in Tamil Nadu, David himself is a Bengalurean and began to work after he completed his SSLC.

“A friend, who used to work here as a costumed character years ago, told me about an opening. I applied and got the job,” he says.

Meant as an attraction for children, David is one of two shop employees who put on costumes of cartoon characters and animals such as Mickey Mouse, bunny, tiger, etc.

“Some children even get scared, then staying silent or staying away and dance or cheer,” says David, who is around four feet tall.

However, they have clear instructions not to approach children by themselves. “I was told to interact with children only when they come to me. Sometimes I even have to go with them if they call me inside,” David said.

When he isn’t waving and shaking hands with children when they approach him, he talks to Venkatesh, who is also an employee in costume, or the security guard. Otherwise, he says, a good playlist on a fully charged phone and a pair of earphones is the most one can do to shoo away boredom when it comes to this job. "I have a collection of Tamil music and that keeps me going,"he said.

Asked whether it doesn’t get too sweaty in a costume, David says, “The only source of air is the patch of gauze near the eyes. When it gets suffocating, I just lift up my mask for a few seconds. In the winters it is good, but the summers can’t get worse,” says David.

The wardrobe

However, he is quick to add that he prefers this job to his previous one – that of an assistant in an electrical repairs shop, which he quit as he did not like the work.

“There is more interaction on the weekends and some customers also tip me weekends. So that is enough for tea and snacks. I get a decent pay and a day off on one of the weekdays,” he says. He also gets two half-hour tea breaks, and an hour for lunch. After that, he goes home.

David said that many people, who did this job before him, find another job or go to Saudi Arabia to do the same job there. 

 

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