My son has been doing a few gigs for me over the years.
He's 17 now and started doing a costume character for me a few years ago. So, when I get called to be Rudolph at a street parade or be the Easter Bunny and take pictures, I can sometimes line it up for him. He's very good at it. We always go over character movements and finding a repeatable interaction with kids.
On Easter, he was the fancy bunny at a fancy fancy hotel here in San Francisco. So, this is one of these $100 a person buffet things, really nice.
I wasn't working, so I went as his handler. I've dealt with handlers, good and bad, mostly lazy over the years, I've come to realize what an important job it can be.
The job is to ensure the safety of the performer. They can't see real well and they are sweating a lot, it's your job to keep them healthy.
Here's the part that people miss. Keep your eyes open, there are probably kids really exited just out of the performers limited view, you have to quietly say to the bunny, "turn to the left". Then they get a great big hug.
Being a handler is a job. You have to pay attention and be really really friendly and act like you are working for the country club or hotel.
It's cool to take care of performers especially when they are your life!