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Let’s Be Stomp

Author: Amandya Wells

He’s six feet tall, a blue prehistoric dinosaur. He roams the campus, in and out, all over. Who is he? He is Stomp, the Cuyahoga Community College Mascot, and guess what? You can be the next one to play this mascot! Requirements include being a student in the 2020-2021 academic school year, and an average height of 5’6-7, in order to fit in the costume. We sat down with Stomp where he was very informative about his position as the mascot; “Being Stomp is great! Not only do you get to show off your school pride, but you are able to bring a smile to the face of nearly everyone you interact with. It’s also a big confidence booster, since everyone wants to take a selfie with you!”  

He also told us that he loves supporting the athletic teams at games and seeing the look on the crowds’ face as he does his thing. He also shared with us that it’s hard being the mascot because of how hot the outfit can make you. It is both in part because of the heavy outfit he is wearing, but also the need to constantly move around as the mascot, in order to please the crowds. He is lucky to always get breaks after 15 minutes though. “It’s interesting, the question I get asked most often when in costume is, ‘Does it get hot in there?’ Like I was saying before, it definitely does. Air-conditioned buildings and cool fall days are welcomed, but you don’t always get that. When you have an outdoor appearance on a hot day, your breaks mean the world to you. Fortunately, we do have one thing to combat the heat: we use a cooling vest to keep our body temperature down.” So, Stomp loves indoor events and fall weather games.  

When asked the best thing about his job Stomp shared with us “Hearing our students’ stories. Without fail, if I ever ask a student what they want to do after they graduate, the first thing out of their mouth is, “I want to help people.” So many Tri-C students appreciate the opportunities they have and can’t wait for a chance to pay it forward.”  

Next, we sit down with Eric Wheeler who oversees Stomp for interviews. He first started out explaining to us what it’s like working with Stomp, “Working with Stomp is a blast. It’s like traveling with a rock star. Everyone is excited to see Stomp and pose for a selfie. At the same time, it’s a lot of work, because we get so many requests for Stomp’s appearances, we can’t possibly accommodate them all.” Eric continues with “In costume, Stomp can be seven feet tall with a three-foot-long tail behind them, so letting them know when to duck in low doorways, or when to steer clear of cups and mugs on a table, becomes second nature.” Eric is thrilled that there is going to be a new actor for Stomp because each person brings their own personality for the character. “It’s hilarious to see how people interact with the actor when they are in costume versus when they are in plain clothes. It must be how Spider-Man feels when he is Peter Parker or Wonder Woman feels when she’s Diana Prince. The actor can walk through a crowd without anyone taking notice, but in costume, that same person can snag a French fry off your plate or run down the hall with your backpack and it all seems so normal. When Stomp is in the room, you are going to have a good time.”  

Sitting down with Jarrod Zickefoose for an interview he gave a few good answers. There are multiple hazards of being Stomp those are explained to us briefly “The costume is hot and cumbersome. The College will require the actor to take breaks every 15 minutes to rest and hydrate.” So, you are in a fur suit outside during sporting events of course it’s going to be hot in the outfit”. When asked Jarrod gave us whether being Stomp is a gig or calling and he makes it very clear that it is both, “The College is looking for someone with the technical ability to make Stomp expressive and engaging but with the heart to really sell it.”  

The Integrated Communications Department oversees Stomp, and the College’s marketing arm, oversees the mascot. However, it is a handler that brings him around to events and sporting events. There are a few do’s and don’ts of being Stomp and those are “The actor may not reveal their identity. In addition, we don’t want the actor talking or making noise, showing anger or frustration or lifting children. The actor needs to display enthusiasm and high energy, develop skits, take care of the costume, and be in good physical shape” said Jarrod. There is also a good benefit of being stomp you get a $300 Stipend just for being outgoing and funny! 

Stomp is a great attribute to Cuyahoga community college. He is the personality of the 

college and shows everyone just what our college is made of. 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cccvoice.com/2020/03/22/lets-be-stomp/

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