every waterfire is better than the one before it. the crowd was phenomonally awesome. only one mildly bratty kid, no stupid drunks, very few perverted comments. wyatt filmed my first set, which was a solid hour and fifteen minutes, using a tripod. the video quality is better than usual and only a couple of people got in the way of the camera. when people see a tripod, they keep their distance. highlights of the evening:
+ this really really adorable little boy hung out with me for a long time. he would wave and jump around and say “HI!” frequently. twice, i gave him hugs. the first time, i lifted him up and set him down on the ledge next to me, and kneeled down to his level. the second time, i picked him up and held him on my hip. he was actually keeping really still like he was posing with me. so damn cute. i probably made his mother nervous. usually parents are okay with me handling their children. i’ve had a baby thrust into my arms more than once. but sometimes, they get a little freaked out, probably thinking i’m going to drop the kid or something.
+ a few times, when someone came up to pose for a photo with me, i unintentionally managed to “trap” them. some managed to awkwardly escape the grasp of the statue. others had to give me a tip so i’d move and they’d be set free. one little boy saw me kneel down to pose for a photo with him, then decided that i was scary and backed away. so i sat there with my head in my hands, looking all sad and rejected because he didn’t want his picture taken with me. i heard a few pitying “aww”s from the crowd. i love being silly and having fun with my audience. performance art doesn’t always have to be serious business, after all.
+ even though i was sore and thoroughly beat up from a long work week, i managed to do two full sets, first an hour and fifteen minutes, then an hour and a half, before deciding the intelligent thing to do would be to quit before i inadvertently crippled myself. the atmosphere just so pleasant, everyone was being so awesome, i wasn’t even paying attention to my poor back.
post-performance, i often hang out at my pitch for a while and chat with my friends, and inevitably end up talking to people who a] saw me perform and wanted to say something / ask a question, or b] did not see me perform and want to know why the fuck i look the way i do. this waterfire was no exception. lots of compliments, two people asked if i was supposed to be a statue of someone specific, had a lovely chat with one of the police officers assigned to waterfire [they’re always way cool]… even though i was no longer performing, there were still some very noteworthy moments.
+ as i was chatting with wyatt and our friends jon and matt, this man who had been watching me perform earlier was hanging out just a few feet away. at one point – in the middle of a conversation about sex, no less – he came over and said i was very eloquent and real and he appreciated the fact that i didn’t sugarcoat anything. somewhat surprised to be getting such a compliment in a situation in which i’m more likely to get dirty looks from offended mothers, i thanked him, and we had a very brief conversation. as he left, he said i’m “a diamond, and not in the rough!” a little strange, but the sentiment is fabulous.
– another man approached me later, and asked if i was “one of the costumed people, or is it just an emo thing.” an emo thing? alright, yes, it’s an emo thing. all the kids are walking around in prom dresses and button-up shirts with thick white makeup completely covering their faces and necks. that’s the hip look right now. how’d you know? you’re obviously way cool, dude.
+ while we were chatting with the aforementioned policeman, this couple approached me. they wanted to tell me that they met at the previous waterfire. they were both watching me perform, ended up talking, and were now dating. hearing their story totally made my night. the guy was one of my annoying hoverers on the 25th, but, that’s okay. the important thing is, my art brings people together! how rad is that?