I was recently lucky enough to sit down with Corey Taylor, one of three Mr. Wufs, and ask him a barrage of questions so that you future and current students can truly understand the man (or men, and women for Ms. Wuf) behind the mask.
“T” is obviously me, Taylor. And “C” is Corey. If there’s any other questions you’d like me to ask him (or Ms. Wuf), tell me here!
T: How did you get involved with becoming Mr. Wuf?
C: My senior year of high school I decided to try something different and when my school created a mascot, I was asked to fill the role. It was actually part of my school’s theater program that decided to do it. But I got involved doing that and my adviser in high school was a big NC State fan and when she figured out that State was a school I was applying to she got in contact with the cheer coach and I tried out in May of my senior year.
T: That’s pretty cool. So what was your high school mascot that you started?
C: The Patriot at Arendell Parrott Academy
T: So what was the process like when you had to try out for Mr. Wuf?
C: You go to the NC State cheer team tryouts specifically for the mascot position, but you are included as a member of the cheer team.
T: Are there a variety of other people who are Mr. and Ms. Wuf?
C: There are a couple of Mr. and Ms. Wufs. We’re on a performance scale that determines what [events] you’re allowed to do and not allowed to do. We split up as many private events as possible.
T: Describe a typical event or day as Mr. Wuf
C: A typical day as Mr. Wuf is a very long day. We start, for a football game for example, we’ll get up and we’ll be at the stadium 3 or 4 hours before kickoff in which case we’ll have all the Mr. and Ms. Wufs together. We all work the football games because it’s such a long event. We all get in suit and cycle doing different pregame events. If ESPN is here, we’d go with them, or go wander through the tailgate and do our thing. Then prior to kickoff we’ve got our run out to do, which is where we come out on the golf cart and all that. After that we just cycle in and out between quarters…push up board, interacting with fans, and just interacting with the game.
T: How hot does is get in that suit?
T: Like if you’d compare it to a sauna…
C: I want you to go take a 3-mile jog in a parka, that’s essentially what it is, with a ski mask on. But it’s very enjoyable, not to make it sound terrible.
T: Do you guys get paid?
C: We get athletic status as a part of the cheer team. We’re just like any other cheerleader, wrestler, you know, we get the same access to everything. It does not come with any sort of scholarship, as of right now, like many of the other ACC schools around. But, we are treated very well.
T: How many total Mr. Wufs and Ms. Wufs are there?
C: Three and three.
T: Are you all friends outside of being in-costume? Or is it just a work thing?
C: We’re definitely friends. We all have that similar spontaneous and positive personality and when we’re at events together it just makes that positivity even greater.
T: If you had to tell one thing to a person who was already accepted to State but was on the fence about deciding to attend, what would it be?
C: You’ll never have another experience like you would at NC State. It’s one of the most comfortable environments that you could put yourself in to and with all the opportunities that NC State provides it’s definitely something to not miss out on.
T: Do you actually enjoy being Mr. Wuf or just do it because you did it in high school and decided to continue?
C: I definitely enjoy it. It’s an experience unlike anything else.
T: Would you encourage other people to try out?
C: Absolutely, if someone wants to become involved just go on NC State’s website and check out the cheer team page. You can send in an application all on their site. We hold tryouts in Spring and Fall. We’re always looking for good and energetic people.
T: During a normal academic year how many hours per week do you dedicate to being Mr. Wuf?
C: We get hundreds of requests to do private events every month for sororities, fraternities, alumni, the Wolfpack Club…anything and everything we can go to, and people want us there. We go to as many as we can. Usually about one or two per week. When spring and fall semesters start to roll up we get bogged down with 5 appearances in a week for about a month, but its worth it for what we do. Then during football season you’ve got extra 6 hours tacked on compared to a normal event, which is usually about an hour.
T: You guys go to away games too, right?
C: We do, it usually cycles by performance as well and that determines who gets to go to those events and travel with the team. It’s a fun experience.
T: Multiple Mr. and Ms. Wuf get to go to the away games?
C: No, actually the way the ACC works is they only allow one mascot and x amount of cheerleaders per game.
T: One of you? or One Ms. Wuf and one Mr. Wuf?
C: See, here’s the tricky part, they categorize us as different mascots, not a pair, so we can’t bring a pair, we can only bring one, which we’re trying to fix. But they didn’t really know how to handle us because no one else has two mascots. Hopefully we’ll get that changed.
T: What’s the schedule like in the summer? Do you guys do anything besides training?
C: Oh yeah, its difficult. We come back from our hometown life, or whatever we’re doing, like summer classes, and people want us just the same as in July as they do in December.
T: What do you do personally to mentally prepare for an event or something that you do as Mr. Wuf?
C: I love to blare music. Being Mr. Wuf is one of the most insane things I can think of doing. It’s just a constant go, action, energy…it’s a nonstop production and you’re really acting so you just have to get into that pumped up mindset. Even if no one else in the entire world is laughing or having a good time, you have to be that person. So I’m always ready to go for that event.
T: What’s your best Mr. Wuf memory?
C: Well, I broke my cell phone at the women’s basketball tournament riding on the back of a tricycle with a Florida State mascot recently. But that’s probably not my best memory. I probably enjoy the pregame for football because it’s all of us together [the mascot squad] and we all share that same mentality. You put us all together in one room and it’s an explosion of random excitement. We’re all ready and hyped up for the game and then it sends us out into the tunnel. Even if we’re not in suit we’re still hyped up and ready to go.
T: A lot of people think you guys have headphones on while you’re in the suit…
C: No, we actually don’t have headphones in the suit, or fans, or anything like that. It’s just the suit.
T: Are you allowed to talk as Mr. Wuf?
C: No, we don’t talk unless we have an emergency situation, which doesn’t really happen that often.
T: What’s the policy about taking off the mask while you’re out there?
C: Definitely not. We’re not just doing the Mr. Wuf. Mr. Wuf is an idea, obviously he’s not real, but you have to portray that he’s him and not somebody inside a suit. You’ve got little kids that look at Mr. Wuf and think he’s real and Mr. Wuf can’t be some college student wearing a furry outfit. He’s a representation of NC State University. It’s a 100% dedication to the role. It has to be. Otherwise you lose the allure of having a mascot; you just have some guy walking around in a suit.
T: What sort of training and stuff did you have to do to prepare once you left high school and got into this college level of mascotting?
C: It’s a lot more work actually. You have to dedicate a lot of time to your cardio and you need to stay in physical shape. Obviously we do push ups, but that’s not even the most physically demanding part of doing the Mr. Wuf job. It’s really just because you’re constantly going, constantly moving. You’ve got to be able to maintain your energy level. A lot of cardio work is involved in that.
T: If you had to pick one other mascot to do a team up, whether positive or negative, who would it be?
C: I guess it depends on what kind of production you’re looking for. I’d pick Carolina in a heart beat if you wanted to do something where you want to see Mr. Wuf winning something… and honestly me and the Carolina mascot get along fine, it’s not like we hate each other, but I would probably pick the Carolina mascot because it’d be something with high publicity.
T: How would that go down in your head?
C: Undoubtedly, we’d have Mr. Wuf winning whatever it was, because we don’t lose to Carolina, that’s not an option. But here’s an unlimited possibility of ideas for what Mr. Wuf could do.
T: What’s your year and major?
C: I’m a sophomore in mechanical engineering right now, about to switch to civil engineering.
T: What are some of the other activities and stuff you’re involved in on campus?
C: Mr. Wuf takes up a good bit of time, but I’m also highly involved in my fraternity FarmHouse and Greek Life, and I’ve been a part of that since my freshman year as well. I pledged in fall of 2011 and have been highly active ever since.
T: If you could give one word or phrase of advice to a student who isn’t sure about applying to NC State yet, or isn’t sure if NC State is the right avenue for them, what would you say to them?
C: Do it. Don’t miss the opportunity. It’s the best experience I’ve had so far in my life, I mean I’m only 19 years old, but this is definitely the best so far.
T: Any last words?
C: GO PACK!