Well, all of my fears were unrealized. The only issue was that Tony's hip pads would not stay on my hips. No matter how tight I tied the belt, if I took a few a steps, they would start sliding down to my knees. So I did without the pads. It wasn't a big deal since I have a lot of my own padding. *lol* Visibility was through the nose and very clear. My handler had limited experience, but she was awesome! She knew how to get kids to come up for a hug or a high 5 (I mean 4). She directed me safely around the store, and she wasn't freaked out if she had to touch the sweat-soaked suit. We worked together for 4 hours.
Kitty left me for most of the gig since it would be boring to stand around for 4 hours. She returned during the last 30 minutes to get a few pics.
Overall it was a great experience. There is a whole new aspect to performing as a well-known character. I had people both young and old coming up to me for hugs and high 4's. The only *facepaws* moment was when some kids started calling me "Tigger." Oh, and I did have a "black woman moment" as well. As I was standing outside greeting people as they entered this car pulled up and a black woman screamed "OMG!!!! It's Tony!!!! I wanna picture!!!" So she stopped in the middle of the road, hopped out, ran at me, stopped just short and asked, "You are a dude, right?" I nodded, she glomped me, then demanded that her boyfriend take a picture of both of us.
OK. Have a few pics!
Ooops! I thought this was a litter box.