Colleen Eliason

What College(s) did you attended? What is/was your major? Year of Graduation?

I went to Plymouth State University, my major was Theater and I graduated in 2005.

Why did you want to become a TIGER?

I was bullied in middle school and I still remember the pain that caused. Knowing there was a program that I could be involved with to help other kids who were being bullied was such an empowering feeling.

Have you experienced any of the issues that TIGER addresses and how did you get through them? And what advice would you offer kids in the same situation?

When you’re being bullied it feels like it’s the end of the world. And it also feels like nobody else understands. I was mostly bullied by the “popular kids” for what clothes I wore and how bad my acne was. I was very shy and didn’t know what resources I had to help myself. I remember telling my Dad who was concerned but didn’t really know how to help. The teachers I asked for help would only help if they actually saw it happening. When I was growing up bullying wasn’t a topic that was as prevalent as it is today. Adults didn’t even have the resources to handle it. Luckily I had a great group of friends that I relied on and who stood by me no matter what…and they are what really helped me get through the tough times. The “It Gets Better” Movement feels so true…while I still remember what happened I am no longer hurt by what those kids said and did. I love who I am and the person I’ve become. Nobody could ever take that away from me.

What reaction or memorable experienced has touched you the most since becoming a TIGER?

The first year I did TIGER we went to a school in Litchfield and at the end of the show we gave the tiger to a boy sitting in the front row. There was a collective gasp from the teachers but we didn’t know why. A teacher came up to us afterward and told us that boy had a rare disease that was leaving him deaf and blind and was progressing quickly. The disease would eventually leave him in a wheelchair or possibly worse. The teacher got the boy and he came and hung out with us for a few minutes. He has this amazing look of joy and happiness in his face. We took a picture with him and I still have it on my dresser. The teacher came back a little while later and told us that the boy had told her after meeting us and getting the tiger that he was “the luckiest boy in the world” I still get choked up thinking about him.

What kind of music is on your I-pod? Name a few artists we’d find or a favorite tune or two…

I have SUCH a wide range of musical interests. Everything from Adele, The Beatles, Daft Punk, Fleetwood Mac, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson. I love music you can either sing your heart out to or music that has a really great dance beat.

What inspires you?

My family, my husband, and the smiles of the children we perform for!

What is your favorite quote or saying?

Mark Twain has some really great quotes, but one that I really like is “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter” Everyone laughs no matter what language they speak! Another quote I really like is “Be Kind, For everyone is fighting a hard battle” It’s so true.

What is your favorite…

TIGER Song: All The Difference. The harmonies are amazing and the message is so powerful.

Musical: Wicked. I’ve seen the show in Boston, New York, and London…I’m a little obsessed!

Movie: Amelie, Hocus Pocus, Best in Show

Recording Artist: Too many to mention!

Actor: Daniel Day Lewis

Actress: Meryl Streep

TV Show: The Walking Dead, Grey’s Anatomy, Once Upon A Time, Happy Endings

And finally, who is your favorite tiger and why?

I LOVE Raja from Aladdin. What other Tiger knows when your sad and lets you cuddle with him?

Performance Highlights

Next Post

 

“There is no way I can adequately tell you how awesome your program is. The teachers were all buzzing about it today. One little 4th grader has already made me a TIGER poster. This was truly an inspiring experience and your cast members were just wonderful with the children. Thank you!”

- C. Puffer, Guidance Counselor, Epsom Central School.