BY Advocate Contributors
February 10 2010 9:00 AM ET
Los Angeles // 36
One day, Eros Biox ran off to the circus. Once a college student considering medical school, he quit when he developed an addiction—to stilting. Originally from Michigan, Biox had left school and was living in Seattle when he joined MagmaVOX, a troupe of dancers specializing in pyrotechnic performance art, and within their first year together they were performing for large corporate gigs. Meanwhile, Biox was looking for any and all opportunities to stilt, from stocking high shelves to cresting Washington’s Squaw Peak on four-foot stilts—setting an undocumented world record. When Cirque du Soleil came calling, Biox, who has a background in break dancing, acting, and gymnastics, answered: “I played the principal character in the Delirium tour in Europe.” Biox says it “was a wonderful experience,” if a bit treacherous, he says, “running around the stage for two hours, avoiding hidden trap doors on a smoke-covered stage, all while looking up into bright stage lights!” Now working with Le Studio, a “private by-referral-only program” teaching aerial arts in Santa Monica, he is developing stilt-walking programs for children with severe illnesses and people missing a limb, hoping to combine stilting with advanced prosthetic technology. “When you get a kid on stilts, you can see how much fear is in the body,” he says, then after a few minutes, “you can watch the fear disappear.”
Denver // 41
It’s cool, or at least novel enough, to still be employed by a newspaper, but to get paid to eat out and write about one of life’s greatest pleasures—well, they need a new adjective to describe Tucker Shaw’s job as food editor for The Denver Post. Shaw shared his intense love for food in his 2005 book, Everything I Ate, an unusual project that chronicled every morsel Shaw consumed for a year—breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. After the Post published an article on Everything I Ate and its then–food editor departed, the paper invited Shaw to join the staff. Originally from Denver but living in New York at the time, the gay writer—who pens children’s books—jumped at the chance and has been eating well ever since. After the copious amounts of sashimi, rib eye, and Pinot Noir routinely sent his way, Shaw says the forced anonymity of his work—waiters and chefs aren’t supposed to know they’re serving a critic—is his next favorite part of the job. “The CIA element,” as Shaw puts it, requires him to use credit cards with fake names, wear baseball caps at casual establishments, and blend in quietly at upscale eateries.