Confessions of a mascot talent: Keep smiling

Confessions of a mascot talent: Keep smiling
Miss Pristine Lim, who plays friendly pirate Captain Palawan on Sentosa’s Palawan beach.

She gets rapped on the head by complete strangers and has to endure children tugging wildly at her hair.

Although Miss Pristine Lim's mascot suit takes the brunt of the action, she still feels the thuds. But to remain professional, the 24-year-old cannot show her annoyance or irritation.

"Instead, I turn around, put my hands on my hips and pretend like I am angry but I still have to look cute," she says with a laugh.

It's all in a day's job for Miss Lim, who plays friendly pirate Captain Palawan on Sentosa's Palawan beach.

The 1.58m-tall woman puts on a bulky mascot suit on the weekends to bring cheer to children and their families. The removable head of the Captain Palawan suit alone weighs more than 2kg.

The part-time degree student at a private university has been doing this for the past four years. She works from 1pm to 5pm each time.

On the beach, Captain Palawan is a bit of a celebrity.

Children and teenagers swarm around her, wanting a picture, or simply to throw their arms around her waist.

But babies sometimes burst into tears.

"Those who bawl are usually about a year old or younger. They get scared. When that happens, giving out a sticker can work wonders," says Miss Lim.

Mascots like her get paid between $50 and $200 a day, depending on the kind of assignment they are given.

But this is not a job for just anyone.

"When I put on the suit, I can hardly see anything outside. There is only a small opening that allows you to see the ground, but not be eye-to-eye with the person in front of you," she explains.

Usually, a colleague - also an entertainer - is with her, to make sure she does not trip and fall. She also has to constantly deal with humidity and profuse perspiration.

"I take to work a few sets of T-shirts and shorts because after every session of dancing, playing and taking photographs with the kids, I end up drenched," she confesses.

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