What was your first statue? How was the experience?
the first time i ever statued was for the dresden dolls boston halloween concert in 2004. my costume was a gothy outfit, and my makeup was very basic. i had a couple dozen white roses that i handed out to random people throughout the evening. even though i had no tip jar, i was still given a few dollar bills, and a pack of candy cigarettes. but more importantly, i was given a lot of love and enthusiastic compliments. this was the first time i’d ever tried doing anything even remotely theatrical and i had a nasty case of social anxiety. it was terrifying and exhilarating. i had set myself up near the merch tables, and at the end of the night the lovely merch folk had constructive things to say. one woman said i was very smart about choosing poses that were easy for a beginner to hold, i didn’t push myself beyond my limits, and i did very well overall. at that point, i was hooked.
When did you decide to do statue-ing for a living?
i don’t think i could pinpoint a specific “this is how i want to make a living” moment. living statuary started off as just a hobby, something i did in my little hometown, and sometimes i made a few dollars in the process. even when i ventured out and busked in more touristy hotspots such downtown plymouth and the waterfire festivals in providence, and had a few freelance jobs under my belt, i never really thought of it as a potential career path. it didn’t truly hit me that i could get somewhere as a professional performer until after i’d been working for ten31 productions for about a year. once i found my niche in the company and started getting gigs through them on a fairly regular basis, it slowly started to sink in. whoa, i could do this for real.
the luxury of having a supportive partner that takes the brunt of the bill-paying definitely helps a lot. if i had to financially support myself, i never would have gotten so heavily into performing arts. in order for that to be even semi-realistic, i would have to really step up and whore myself out as much as possible. the moment you switch gears from having fun to paying rent, it starts becoming a chore. and i never want art to become a chore.