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stilt walker

Diary of a Unicorn - Part 1

Diary of a Unicorn - Part 1

Last week, I was a nine-foot tall unicorn. Allow me to explain:)

Lifestylez, a travel agency that organizes winter resort trips for college students, is one of my clients. A few years ago, they booked a pair of parkour athletes and myself to provide roving entertainment for three of their Colorado SnoDaze events: Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Keystone. Each night, as the headlining DJ filled the dance floor, I roamed through the crowd in my four-legged stilt unicorn costume. Mariah, my then-Unicorn Whisperer, occasionally rode atop the silver saddle strapped to my back. If what's left of my memory serves me correctly, I skied a half day at Breck with my dad in between show dates.

When Lifestylez' owner Steve Smolinski inquired if I'd join SnoDaze for another jaunt in early January, my interest was piqued. Having gotten tired of the awkward posture necessary for performing Unicorn version 1.0, I was chomping at the bit to upgrade. Also, I needed to enlist a new Unicorn Whisperer, as Mariah had recently moved to California. I commissioned a white bodysuit from my seamstress friend Sophie, and tasked my longtime fabricator/performance buddy Nate with fashioning new fur stilt covers and a unicorn head designed to sit atop a bike helmet. Michelle, a lovely go-go dancer I'd grown to know through Denver's Team Ez Entertainment, was invited to play Unicorn Whisperer on the week long mountain tour featuring sibling EDM duo Hippie Sabotage. The trek would include four stops: Crested Butte, Telluride, Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs.

Departure day dawned. With my gun metal grey Toyota Corolla Tetris'd to the brim with stilts, food, costumes and makeup, Michelle and I set our sights on Crested Butte. Although I've been skiing since I was a wee kumquat, I don't recall ever having been to the tiny Colorado resort town before. I enjoy driving long distances even when I sometimes have the option of flying instead – many of my best ideas come to me while my body is fully engaged with motor vehicle operation. Case and point: a unicorn name brainstorm produced a great new contender – Hornelius. My transmission gave me a little trouble on the trip, but we arrived alive, checked into our digs and set about applying makeup and shimmying into costume. Michelle's Unicorn Whisperer wardrobe consisted of white boots, a bellydance hip scarf, a fur shrug, fingerless gloves and a long blonde wig. I wore a spandex bodysuit with a tail, fur covered leg and arm stilts and the aforementioned unicorn head.

TO BE CONTINUED