Sperduti, Clemente. “L. R. Badeau on Being a Full-Time Unicorn.” Hopewell Democrat-Tribune 4 Apr. 2013, University ed.: A2+.

Lots of children adorn their folders and lockers with unicorn stickers, and Lisa Frank’s cosmic vision of the creatures was long haute couture for elementry schoolers. Lynn Ruelle Badeau of Hopewell has taken that fascination a step further: she has become one of the nation’s few full-time unicorns.

Ms. Badeau spoke to the Hopewell Democrat-Tribune earlier this week: “I’ve always been fascinated with mythological creatures, not just because of their beauty, but also because of their potential to do good and serve as a symbol,” she said. “I was an equestrian and a hiker, and loved nothing more than long wilderness hikes and off the trail rides.”

Badeau had long been an admirer of books like Peter Beagle’s The Last Unicorn and its 1982 film adaptation, but it wasn’t until she graduated from Southern Michigan University’s Monaghan School of Business and began working as an accountant’s assistant that she began thinking of making her fascination into a full-time job. “I thought of majoring in something that involved chasing unicorns, but the closest thing the school had–art history–had a really awful placement rate. So I made the ‘grownup’ decision and became an accountant.”

Five years of clock-punching at the Hopewell accountancy firm of Heliotrope, Burgher, and Mendicant changed her mind. “It’s a good thing no one saw my expense account sheets,” Badeau laughs, “I covered every inch of empty space with unicorn drawings. I got the work done, but 90% of my time was daydreaming about being a unicorn.” She maintained her equestrian and wilderness hiking pursuits on the side, but holds that “it just wasn’t enough.”

It was a Motion magazine article about Venado un Cuerno that really opened Badeau’s eyes. “I read about Mr. un Cuerno in SoCal, who’d been a unicorn full-time for almost a decade, and realized that there might be a way to live the dream.” She struck up a correspondence with un Cuerno, who she credits as her mentor, freely sharing tips on how to live and work as a full-time unicorn.

At first, things were difficult. “Being a full-time unicorn is tough!” Badeau says. “You really miss your opposable thumbs, and a diet of grass and rainbows is a difficult adjustment for someone used to burgers and fries!” She started with part-time unicorning, on weekends and after hours, but soon found the courage to quit her 9-5 job and move into 40-hour unicorn weeks.

“There are some challenges,” admits Badeau. “You need people to help brush your coat, and driving anywhere requires a trailer and hitch. It’s difficult for people with hard hearts to see me, and I have an instinctive fear of non-virgins that I have to control with special veterinary medication.” But it’s all worth it, she says. “Especially with children. Asking if they can ride me or touch my horn and then seeing their faces when they’re able to…it’s the best feeling in the world!”

Lynn Badeau now lives and works full-time as a unicorn, taking only the occasional weekend or holiday off to “wear clothes, use fingers, and watch Netflix” for a change. While she’s coy about how much she charges per appearance (Badeau’s website has a price quote generator), she often works for free or at the behest of the Department of Natural Resources, teaching children about conservationism and the environment.

“I’m a nerd at heart,” Badeau says, noting that she has appeared as a guest in such respected shows as Dr. What, Blade Runner: The Series, and Star Trek the Third Generation. “I’m able to make a living with my dream and educate besides. What could be better than that?”

From an idea by breylee and this article.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!