Inside the furry suit: NYU Bobcat

NYU
Gaby Marano as the NYU Bobcat. (Provided)

Some New York University students might not even know until graduation that the school has a mascot, but they always want a photo with the school’s Bobcat, says Gaby Marano, 20, one of seven people on the New York University Mascot Team. She made the team at NYU and now helps pick new members, judging them on raw talent and how they might handle certain situations, whether a drunk fan or scared child. She talked to Metro about her responsibilities.

How did you start being the Bobcat?

At NYU, I was walking around a club fair … and I saw the mascot head and I ran over, and I was like, ‘What is going on?’ … I auditioned, and I made it. The auditions were comprised of making a 90-second skit. You had to do the skit yourself, you couldn’t wear the costume, just to test your confidence and make sure you could do it. A big part of being a mascot is you can’t talk, so you have to use body language.

What makes a good mascot?

At auditions, we primarily look for raw talent, and that usually comes out when you’re very confident. The bigger, the better. Once you are on the team, we teach you more technique and the logistics and how to handle certain situations.

What kinds of situations?

A little kid who’s really upset, you don’t want to scare them, [or] if you have a drunk fan.

How would you handle that situation?

Bobcat security. We have shirts. It’s legitimate. Half the time they take pictures for you, and the other half they just make sure the performers are as safe as possible.

What do people not know about being a mascot?

I think one shocking piece of information is that we count as a varsity sport at NYU. We go to nationals. … There’s a whole society of mascots. We’re in touch, we talk, we try to get better every year.

What can you do to improve?

I would say practice makes perfect. There’s no perfect way to be the mascot, a lot of it has to do with the personality and how you’re trying to portray [the character]. Every mascot has a different character. What works for one suit might not work for another suit.

How would you describe your character?

I would describe a bobcat as fierce. We try to give him fierce and peppy and just a lot of confidence, a bit of swagger.

Do you think there’s anything different about being a mascot at NYU?

Even though people know about [NYU], our sports program might not be as famous. Whoever comes to the games knows. It would be nice to have a bigger crowd, but that’s another thing that we’re going to work on next year.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @reporteralison



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…