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Talent show on Beaver Creek

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado
HL Talent Show 01 TS 04-02-08
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BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” On the slopes, Beaver Creek skiing instructor Scott Loss knows how to carve on his tele skis.

Off the slopes, you can find him freestyling on the guitar.

On the slopes, Kenny Wander has been known to launch off cliffs.

Off the slopes, he coasts onto open mics around the valley.

If you think Vail and Beaver Creek skiing instructors have skills on the mountain, just wait to see what they can do on the stage.

During their annual talent show, snow sports teachers will morph into comedians, musicians and filmmakers in the name of charity.

“Talent Beyond the Slopes” emerged three years ago when Loss and Wander realized their coworkers harbored secret talents.

“From seeing each other at open mic nights, or just in the locker rooms you’d have people singing or doing different things and you’re like, ‘Wow, that guy’s really talented,'” Wander said.

Loss said he’d be hanging out with friends when they would confess to having artsy alter egos.

“I found out that one guy won the most prestigious award in the Sundance Film Festival for film score, choreography and other miscellaneous things,” he said. “I mean, very highly decorated guy. By day, he’s mild-mannered Clark Kent ski instructor and by night he’s this incredible producer.”

Harnessing this talent, the show brings together 16 instructors from the Vail and Beaver Creek Snow Sport Schools. With an art display, silent auction and performances that mirror a 1970s variety show, the event promises to leave audiences amazed ” or at least amused.

A pair of comedians will return this year to tell rated-PG jokes.

“These guys tell the driest, least funny jokes in the world but their delivery is so good that the place is in stitches.” Loss said.

The comedians are a good illustration of this year’s theme, “Everybody Be Yoself,” a phrase borrowed from blues singer Keb’ Mo.’

“One of them did, like, a bunny fart joke or something like that and I was backstage going, ‘Oh no, where is this gonna go, and luckily it didn’t go in the wrong direction,” Loss recalled.

Contacted this week, comedian Andrew “Killer” Kilburn explained. “What’s invisible and smells of carrots?” he asked. “A bunny fart.” Kilburn, a 36-year-old instructor at the Beaver Creek Children’s Ski School has an uncanny memory for jokes.

Asked what he has been doing to prepare for the show, he confessed to doing “intensive research.”

“I don’t think it would be appropriate to write that down,” he said. “I usually drink copious amounts of beer and sit in the bar and tell jokes all night.”

Along with jokes, musical performances will abound. Loss and Wander will team up for a duet. Loss belongs to a folk/rock band while Wander has been known to sing cover songs at ski school parties. Other peformances will range from Lisa Witty, who will sing tunes from her album, to the alpine skiing team, which will debut footage of syncronized skiing competitions.

Proceeds from the talent show will go to families of two skiing instructors who passed away in November.

Avon resident Mike Janelle died unexpectedly at the age of 40. His wife, Maribel Janelle is pregnant with their first child. Jeff Patterson died of a stroke at the age of 43, leaving behind his wife, Kristina, and 11-year-old daughter, Hannah.

The deaths have left the ski school community reeling. Loss and Wander said they were close friends with both fallen instructors.

“They’re particularly inspirational people and great athletes,” Loss said. “We consider our entire community just filled with people like that, and when we thought about this show, we did think about showcasing our talent and getting some stage time but we also thought: what’s a good cause to give the money to?”

Loss and Wander hope to raise $5,000. Kristina Patterson said the community has rallied around her family in the wake of her husband’s death.

“Quite honestly, the outpouring by the community has just been a Godsend,” she said. “It’s been wonderful and I’m not overly surprised by it because I think it’s a really great community that we live in and people really pull together for each other.”

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 748-2938 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.


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