In the Winter of 2011, Susan Adams, wife and mother of 3, took her 12 year old daughter to a Cirque du Soleil preformance at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This was her birthday gift to her daughter, as she loved Cirque du Soleil.
At the first 15 minutes of the performance, a call was made from an unknown number to Susan’s phone. She texted back: “I’m sorry, I’m not available at this time, I will call you back later”. A text was returned, “Your husband fell and broke his leg”. Frantic, Susan left the auditorium and called the number back immediately. The Ambulance had already made it to her house and was rushing off to a hospital with her husband. No one could tell her anything, including what hospital he was headed to. Her son, who was 14, and her other daughter were left at home. After driving around town and calling both hospitals, she finally found her husband.
Michael had cleanly broken his ankle and required surgery. The surgery went well, but blood clots developed and created serious complications that threatened his life. That week, Susan and her tween daughter were to participate in a local Spring play. Susan has been a costumer for several productions and her daughter loved to participate as well. The surgery of Michael’s leg caused them to miss the first couple of weeks of the play practices.
They both were so disappointed. Susan’s daughter is shy and the participation in the play brought her out of herself. Susan felt so bad they had missed the window for being in the play, so she offered a suggestion up to her daughter to participate in the Colorado Renaissance Festival. She was excited and thought the idea was a fantastic one. The whole family always dressed up every summer and attended as playtrons at the fair in Larkspur.
The day of tryouts in Boulder, Colorado on the college campus came. Susan was more nervous than her daughter. The owner of the Fair loved her daughter’s sweet disposition and decided to ask her as a guest performer.
They spent the remaining Spring of 2011 practicing at local parks in Colorado Springs. A crowd and fan following began to grow. The Facebook page they created grew quickly with a loyal following. Soon, Susan had a website up and ready for the Summer performance.
Susan was from a disfunctional family growing up. She was often scolded or punished if caught playing instead of working. She eventually lost her ability to use her imagination. You see, Susan was a bit of a work-a-holic. She only knew work, and no play from that experience growing up. So her greatest challenge was finding her imagination again. Many times, she struggled just to sit on the floor with her children and play with them. But when her imagination began to grow, it was a whole new world for her and she was not going to let go of it, no matter what other people thought.
The day came and performance went off without a hitch. Photographers gathered and came from everywhere. Susan had named herself Aurelia and her daughter was named Anwyn. Aurelia means golden. She considered herself of the higher court of fairies, the good fairies that were, in some cultures, considered to be angels. Anwyn was gaelic meaning “She inspires”. She inspired her Mother to find her imagination again.
The days performing at the Colorado Renaissance Festival were very hot. Crowds gathered around her that were in the hundreds at times. Her fans grew to 700 in just a single summer. Soon, requests from all over the world came in for making costume pieces. Susan finally opened a store online to handle the orders. Soon, there were so many, She could not keep up.
The end of the summer was finished off with performing for the Santa Fe Renaissance Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Susan played an alternate character named Dorada Mariposa. Her name meant “golden butterfly” in Spanish(appropriate for the culture of that area). ”Dorada” and her husband Michael performed together. She wore a black, tangerine and lime pastel renaissance style dress and velvet butterfly wings. She fashioned her costume after the New Mexico State Butterfly, the Sandia Hairstreak.
Susan was featured on the front page of the Santa Fe and Albuquerque Journal papers. She won first prize for costuming from the Queen herself! It was a grand finish to a long summer in 2011.
Through the winter, Susan worked on costume orders. As Spring fast approached, the time for deciding what to do in her acting career came to pass. The experience of being a butterfly was so exhilarating. Susan wanted to be a more educational and productive character on behalf of children, the Colorado State Butterfly was her favorite color, purple. So the Colorado Hairstreak it was. She named her character after the state flower, the Colorado Columbine.
Susan has dedicated herself to kids. She spent much of her time volunteering (in costume) reading to grades K-3 at Vera Scott Elementary School. She also takes time to participate at the Denver Botanic Gardens and Rocky Mountain PBS events across the front range. You will see Columbine at many large events this year blowing her famous big bubbles.
Columbine hopes to work with the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs and bring some joy and smiles to the children. She would like to spend more time, enhancing birthdays all over the Colorado Springs area as well. Birthdays are the Best!
“The Possible’s lit by the Imagination”
by Emily Dickinson
**Have you had a magical moment with Columbine? Could you spare a minute to share your experience with her and others? Thank you so very much!
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