Bouldering Blues

Getting stoned and getting sends in Morrison.

Maxwell Ries

The Quarantine shut down all the climbing gyms in Denver along with almost everything else. People flooded out of the gyms and into the crags and boulder fields around Denver. Suddenly more people were climbing outside more than ever before, and it put a lot stress on the nearby areas.  

It was not just climbers though, hiker’s, mountain bikers and basically everyone was eager to get out of the house and find a cure for their boredom. Weekend warriors were suddenly weeklong warriors. The climbing areas around Morrison were hit particularly hard. Several boulders on Mt. Glennon were vandalized with spray paint. Climbing holds within the Black Hole cave were deliberately destroyed with a tool and chisel. 

“Weekend warriors were suddenly weeklong warriors.”

While everyone agrees the graffiti was just high school kids being kids, there is still debate about who destroyed the holds in the cave. Locals from around the area have finally gained approval from the Jeffco Parks board to remove the graffiti on several of the boulders on Mt. Glennon.  

Despite this, the climbing community around Denver has remained open and friendly. You can still go to any crag or boulder field around Denver and strike up a conversation with whoever happens to be there.   


about the author

MAxwell Ries /

BACKSTORY

I have been climbing in Morrison since I moved to Colorado. I have met some of my best climbing partners there and have gotten to know several of the locals. As I have become more familiar with the area I have also seen it change significantly. Preserving these areas for future climbers is important and watching these areas be destroyed and vandalized breaks my heart.

Where the F*** are all the Magicians?

How niche performers are managing uncertainty.

Sarah Smalley

Claire Voyant by Dave Wood

This year, the pandemic shut down the live music industry. Fans were refunded for canceled world tours, and artists apologized, sharing hopeful messages of returning to stages in the Fall. But what happened to entertainers with niche talents? What was the fate of the industry for sideshows, magicians, and circuses? Some found ways to host safe and socially distant events, and others had to make dramatic career changes and shift focus to entirely new jobs.

Claire Voyant, a mentalist magician performing under the title Mistress of Mentalism, was performing at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park when things began to go south for the live events industry. When the tourist economy in Estes Park crashed in March, Claire and her assistant, Jenna, found themselves without work for months and had extremely limited access to assistance due to work and contract technicalities. The fear of losing the show became a reality, and the two were unable to return to Estes Park. This meant not only losing a job, but losing a creative space that the two felt passionate about.

Luckily, later in the year, some venues began to reopen with strict social distancing and safety rules. In October, Claire performed in the Oriental Theater’s Carnivale de Sensuale, a comedic burlesque show that the Oriental hosts a few times each year. There were 90 tickets available to this show. The Oriental’s typical capacity is about 550. 

Claire Voyant (left) and Jenna Stone (center) in the Oriental Theater’s Carnivale de Sensuale by Dave Wood

Opportunities like this are obviously few and far between, so Jenna and Claire are always looking for other ways to stay creative and connect with their community. 

The two decided this was the time to pursue other creative endeavors while they hoped for an eventual return to The Stanley. Claire started up her own small business, Foot Clothes, selling sideshow, circus, and magic themed socks. Owning a sock company selling unique and quality socks is something Claire had always wanted to do, and she took her time away from the stage as an opportunity to pursue this dream project. Claire and Jenna have also begun selling ghostly antiques under the name Something Wicked Antiques at Wheat Ridge’s Brass Armadillo antique mall. 

say yes first and figure it out later.

In uncertain times like these, Claire’s advice for performers wanting to go further in their career becomes especially relevant. “Make friends, be professional,” she says. Making friends and maintaining community ties is more important now than ever before. Her next piece of advice, “say yes first and figure it out later,” also speaks to the importance of taking risks and trying new things. 


about the author

Sarah / 22

Backstory

Hi!  I’m Sarah. I’ve been studying Communication Design at MSU Denver since 2018. When I’m not staring at a computer screen, I love seeing live music or going outside to hike or climb. I have several friends in the music and events industry, and I want to use Zeromile to highlight their experiences and bring awareness to what’s going on in the industry.

Performing Through a Screen

Although live theatrical events are postponed, it does not stop Dixie Krystals.

Anniston Craddock


The treacherous Corona Virus has swept its way through America, taking with it the freedom of going out, communicating in person, and the sense of normalcy along with it. Due to all live events being canceled, the performing arts industry has been struck especially hard by this virus. The need for an audience and in person collaboration is essential to theatre events in order to create a groundbreaking experience. The question remains, how do performers transition to an online space and still be successful? This sense of doubt didn’t stop Dixie Krystals, an influential Drag Queen of the Denver community, from being extremely successful during these challenging times. Dixie has been performing in drag for over 22 years in both New York City and Denver. She has experienced performing in many different locations, but this is the first time she ever had to perform within the comfort of her own home, replacing the energy and joy from a wonderful audience with a still dead video camera propped on a tripod.She admits this time was challenging, but it granted her with numerous opportunities that weren’t there before. Dixie took this opportunity to fully transition online and get involved more with social media. She has hosted numerous online shows and events, along with starting her popular podcast, Spillin’ the Tea with Dixie.

“There is so much to share and for me it’s really nice to just sit and talk. It’s like I’m just sitting and talking to some of my friends and everyone is just listening in… It’s been a really fun process and I just kind of roll with the punches.”

–Dixie Krystal

says Dixie. Dixie Krystal enjoys giving her audience an authentic experience when they tune in to see her perform. She tries to keep it as real as possible, instead of putting on a fake persona. She focuses on live vocals and deep conversations with her friends and the audience. Most individuals trying to transition in this space fall short due to a lack of connection with their audience. If anything, this opportunity has allowed Dixie to shine and connect with her audience on a deeper level. With Dixie’s positive personality, you will leave her show feeling happy and abs hurting from all the laughter. She has successfully brought joy back into the internet. If you have not yet seen a drag show, I highly recommend checking Dixie out on social media or following her podcast on Apple Podcasts.


about the author

Anniston Craddock / 21

Backstory

I am a designer at Metropolitan State University of Denver. I believe design can inspire change. It forges motivation and enthusiasm throughout society within minutes after observing a single concept. This kind of power should not be taken lightly, but instead be treated as a tool to prompt a cynical nation to take action and make a difference. The idea of change drives me to become a designer. I want my designs to spark change in the world and persuade a call to action. Over the past few years, my design experience has been derived of artwork expressing my emotions as a visual release. By utilizing the ability of incorporating emotion into a composition and removing individuality from the concept, I’m able to reach further and produce work that speaks to a larger audience and play off their emotions instead of my own. I am incredibly influenced by Jenny Holzer’s work and her ability to force society to recognize and respond to her ideas on a grand scale. Holzer questions ideals through the delivery of words in large public spaces. This forces the audience to acknowledge her work that could never be ignored. Her inspiration drives my motivation to create work that touches peoples hearts and could make a difference, even if that difference is small. I am excited for the adventures ahead and I hope my passion continues to inspire change in others.