4 September 2018
UCCS is currently accepting applications for students interested in transforming into our mascot, Clyde.
The position of Clyde, while rewarding, has expectations that place constraints on the position. Clyde applicants must: maintain a semester and cumulative GPA greater than 2.5; be able to work in both the uniform and as a mascot handler; and most importantly must maintain discretion. Clyde performers will not be able to provide their name or contact information to anyone outside of the department in relation to their performance.
Clyde is different based on the performance, according to Gwen Rosenkrantz, former Clyde performer.
“Each of us likes to put our own personal flair into making Clyde and his personality and who he is but there’s some consistency that we like to keep the same,” said Rosenkrantz. “We each try to keep the same walk with Clyde, some of the same personality traits. He’s a very confident mountain lion. He’s very proud, he’s got a little bit of swagger but personally I like to go the silly route with Clyde. I think Clyde can definitely be a little silly and mischievous, he can pull pranks and be kind of funny guy. But that’s just personally how I like to play Clyde. It’s a lot of fun, I think each performer plays him a little differently.”
Specific traits are sought in a new Clyde, according to Rosenkrantz.
“So for tryouts we look for people with a lot of school spirit and people that can put a lot of energy into their performances, being Clyde is super super difficult,” said Rosenkrantz.
Rosenkrantz clarified that the difficulty comes from hours of physical activity in a hot suit.
“It’s super difficult, that suit is insanely hot and it’s super heavy as well so we look for that your athletic and you’re able to do that and have that much strain on your body for long periods of time, said Rosenkrantz. Rosenkrantz further noted that a potential Clyde cannot be embarrassed and has to be able to be silly and fun.
Previous performers have become some of the top performers for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox and Colorado Springs Switchbacks Football Club.
The difficulty of being Clyde comes with its benefits according to Rosenkrantz, including two pairs of shoes, access to Mountain Lion programs, and a $1,000 a semester scholarship with hourly rates in the summer.
Rosenkrantz found specific joy in interacting with kids as Clyde.
“I mean the magic in their eyes when they see a giant talking, walking mountain lion walk up to them,” said Rosenkrantz. “It’s unbelievable and so unique. You will never see a kid look at you the same way they look at Clyde. I think there’s a huge magical aspect to that, it’s bringing something alive that can never happen before like the character of Clyde…”
The face behind the mask for Clyde may change, but the position continues.