I was lucky. I got to play Santa a couple of times on stage before I decided I might want to pursue this. Then in December I had my first professional paid gig. It went well so I’m seeing if this can be one of the retirement jobs.
I’m still working on it, but if you’re considering the same, here are some things to work on.
1. Decide if you really want to do this. Children and animals are difficult to work with. They cry, the pinch, they fight, they have bodily fluid issues. Being Santa takes a lot of patience.
2. Consider whether you look the part. I would never advocate anyone put on weight for this job. In fact I’m working for the day when they’ll have to add padding. But consider hair color and whether you can grow a beard. Some fake beards are better than others.
3. Look for opportunities. Most likely the mall will post a notice that they’re hiring. Check local job listings and Craigslist (that’s how I got the pet store gig). But consider private events and corporate parties.
4. If you’re serious, really serious, you can go to Santa School. We’ll talk about those options in a different post.
5. Network with the other Santas. Find other guys who are already doing this.
6. Set up a website. You’re here on this blog aren’t you?
7. Buy your own suit, boots, and beard. You can buy the less expensive costume store version. But if you’re really serious, you’ll need to plan on spending some bucks. In another later post we’ll talk about some of the retailers that offer Santa costuming.
Chances are if you’ve done this or are doing this, you’ll have some ideas of your own. Share them in the comments.
And, I’ll see you at the North Pole.