There are more Santa Claus impersonators than ever, but there is only one Santa Rick.
Rick has been playing Santa on and off since he was a teenager seeking to entertain his classmates (and maybe impress a few girls) and has been doing it full-time for the better part of the last decade. The part has become his livelihood and his life — he travels the world making appearances as Kris Kringle and teaches aspiring Kris Kringles at his Northern Lights Santa Academy in Georgia; when he gives interviews, it's full-on as Santa Claus, never once breaking character, a commitment to a fantasy that defies the cynicism of even the most hardened podcast host.
On this special Christmas episode of The Fandom Files, Santa Rick offers his advice to aspiring Santa wannabes — he's the real Santa Claus, of course, but he can't be everywhere — and how people can be approximate St. Nick for children. Think of it as the original cosplay.
A few pointers right off the bat: First and foremost, you've got to look like Santa, which means a snow-white beard is mandatory, and then, nearly as crucial, you've got to know your Santa backstory.
Rick calls it your personal "North Pole story," and as a former drama major, he cannot emphasize its importance enough.
"There are certain truths: Santa is a toymaker, he wears a red suit, he has a white beard," Rick noted. "But he also has a life all year long, not only at the North Pole, but all over the world. He needs to know what he's doing in those places, why he's there, and what's going on in his daily life."
He also ran through some of the logistical requirements of playing St. Nick, from dealing with costume suppliers to how to handle children of all ages. Listen to the entire podcast, or end up on Santa's naughty list.
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