Monthly Archives: August 2010

waterfire tomorrow. 5:00ish to 10:00ish. come say hello!

turns out, this won’t be my last waterfire this year. there’s going to be one on september 11th. woohoo! i’ve decided to not bother with the one in october. it took a few years, but i finally learned my lesson. it’s too damn cold to be out there with the not-so-warm costumes i have. a warm costume is on my to-do list, but first i have to finish the one i started this summer. it’s going to be amazing. and potentially creepy, but i hope not. here’s a hint: feathers. lots and lots of feathers.


flyin’ solo at waterfire.

as far as living statue street performers go, i’ve been pretty blessed. i’ve always had a friend in the crowd when i needed one. i’ve always had someone to help me carry things and hold my bag of essentials while i was performing, and to talk to when i took a break or wanted to take a moment at the end of the night to unwind before heading home. well, almost always. i was forced to go to waterfire alone last saturday. i can’t remember the last time i had to do that.

before getting ready, i ran out to michaels, bought a round box and a strip of suede for a handle, then spraypainted it a nice blend-into-the-darkness black. i now have a place to put things like my makeup bag and bottle of water and snacks when i don’t use my base. this alleviated one source of stress.

a generally nice crowd alleviated my other source of stress. there were a few grabby people, but nothing i haven’t been dealing with for the last six years. it is unfortunate that people see a living statue and think “i can do anything i want, and they can’t do anything about it ’cause they can’t move!” well, we can move. and i will move if you do not treat me with the same respect you would if you just saw me walking down the street in everyday attire.

– this one kid touched my hand multiple times, and it was toward the end of the night so i was about at that point of being fed up with grabby people. i stepped down from my ledge. my foot hit the ground and i was in his face, glaring down at him. this is where my ability to communicate without words can come in handy. i didn’t need to speak. he got the message.

+ one of the other grabby people was a teenage girl who casually touched the back of my leg as she walked by. but once she made contact, she realized that she wasn’t touching an inanimate object. she screamed. she looked back, and i pointed at her in attempt to communicate a “this is why you shouldn’t go around touching every damn thing you see” message. she screamed again and ran away. i think maybe she got the message, too.

+ during my first set, this little boy, who was quite fascinated by what i was doing, decided he wanted to be a living statue, too. he climbed up onto my ledge and stood next to me. i reached out my hand, and he grabbed it, then stood still. he did exceptionally well for a four year old! he even blew kisses when someone tipped me. everyone thought it was the most adorable thing on the planet. and it was, for the first five minutes.

– then i started to realize his father was nowhere to be seen. what the fuck? you seriously left your four year old child with a total stranger on a busy sidewalk? the great thing is, he eventually came back… THEN LEFT AGAIN. dude, i’m a street performer, not your babysitter. eventually the kid got bored and left. all i could do was hope he’d find his family safely.

+ i generally don’t associate with other buskers. andrew anselmo [http://flappingbird.com/] is the big exception. not only does he create wonderful origami, folding and creating beautiful pieces of art for hours in front of a crowd, but he’s also got my back. he helps me protect my pitch. if a freelance statue comes in and sets up too close to my pitch [which usually also means they’re someplace we freelancers are not supposed to be], he gets the waterfire officials involved. we’re completely on the same page with our desire to maintain a certain level of awesomeness at waterfire. the last couple of waterfires, he dropped $2 bill origami into my tip jar. and this time, he also held a sign up to the crowd, stating i am the best statue at waterfire. aww. andrew, if you’re trying to make my cold jaded heart melt, it’s working!

+ while a group of people were talking about how “freaky” i was, i heard a very soft and kind voice say “i don’t think you’re freaky. i think you’re beautiful.” i’m not bothered by comments like the former. in fact, i’m quite amused by such sentiments. but, the latter… my heart continues to melt. thank you, sir. i think you’re beautiful too.

– i couldn’t perform as long as i wanted to. i had a ten31 gig the next day and couldn’t completely destroy myself like i might have done if i had sunday off. i would’ve loved to stay another hour. but i’ll make up for it at the next waterfire. i have to. it’s my last waterfire this year. none scheduled for september, and october is just too damn cold to be standing still outdoors after sunset. where did this season go? it went by so fast. i’m not ready for it to be over.


finally, waterfire.

how depressing that it’s already august and i’ve only been to two waterfires this year. but, whoosh, was this one a doozy. best crowd i’ve had in a long time!

my brother came along to be my assistant for the evening. the only thing i hate about wyatt’s job is his saturday work schedule. it’s rare that he gets the opportunity to come to waterfire with me now, which leaves me sad and scrambling to find other people to come along. my brother’s awesome, he’s a great assistant/bodyguard, but he’s starting college soon and i’m pretty much screwed. i’d fly solo if there were a decent place for me to use my base so i could safely store all my stuff while i perform. using the raised garden is better for that kind of situation, as the ledge is much higher than my base and it keeps me comfortably above the sea of people. waterfire is a very different beast than plymouth.

highlights and lowlights, with illustrations!

– i pushed myself pretty hard, physically. my bad knee is still recovering from all the strain i stupidly put on it…

+ …it definitely paid off, in every way. mostly in love.

– i didn’t see my favorite fan. there’s an older gentleman who has been consistently visiting me at waterfire for a long time. he usually comes by during my first hour up. he tips, i blow him a kiss, and he does the same, always with a very soft sweet smile. i’ve never spoken to him. but seeing his kind face always makes me feel like, now waterfire has started, i am settled in, i am home.

+ i did get a gift from another kind gentleman. a drawing! of me!

– the only real douchebag of the evening was this guy in a lime green zentai suit who, as he was walking by, decided to stop for a moment and strike a pose directly in front of me. yea, it’s easy to be an attention-whoring asshole when your face is covered. i gave him a bit of a “you need to fuck off now” push, he turned and said something to me [i don’t remember what it was], and left. i hope your suit’s zipper catches on fire next time you’re wearing it.

+ i’m getting better at dealing children who are very wary of me when they approach and making them smile. and that warms my heart like you wouldn’t believe.

+ there was a fair bit of silliness. my favorite moment, oh, i wish there was video of it. words probably won’t do it justice. but i’ll try. this will be rambly.

i had a pretty damn big crowd around me for almost the entire night, but as thick as that crowd got at times, everyone always maintained a good sized clearing in front of me. this space, combined with the fact that they’ve been leaving the streetlights around me on this season, gives me a good view of everything i need to see. i may be a bit nearsighted, but my peripheral vision is awesome, and at one point someone to my right caught my attention. he was standing way off to the side, at the front of the crowd. very curious about me, his arms folded and his expression very puzzled, but not wanting to get closer than anyone else was. so instead of stepping closer, he simply leaned forward to try getting a better look. i noticed this movement, and i decided to mimic it. i crossed my arms, leaned toward him, and made eye contact. this startled him a bit, but he was still wondering if he was looking at an object or a person. [trust me, this kind of thing happens a lot. it’d be depressing if it weren’t so damn funny.] so he walks up and leans in again, very close, examining my face. is it real? i tilted my head, maintaining solid eye contact with him, and he finally got the message. yes, this is a real person. he jumped back. the rest of the crowd giggled. i almost did, too.

these are the kinds of things i remember.

since there is no video/photo evidence of any of that, you’ll have to settle for this cute moment:

and this:

the statue is unimpressed with your attempts to be funny. remember that, folks.

so, waterfire has decided, for reasons unknown to both of us, to move mister anselmo to my area. like, i was watching him occasionally while i was performing. what? the organizers know my pitch is right there, i’ve been in the same spot for a few years now, and they’ve always been so kind and generous to me. so why are they clumping us together? i mean, our acts are completely different, so there’s really no competition. but, still. andrew’s very concerned about this new pitch potentially fucking up my groove. and i do so appreciate the respect he has for me and other street performers. most of the freelance statues who wander into waterfire don’t seem to be at all concerned about stepping all over everyone else’s toes. and i know enough about most of them to be left wondering, shouldn’t you know better by now? waterfire is so spread out, there are so many potential pitches out there, there’s absolutely no need for you to be a mere block away from another performer with the same act as you.


waterfire was awesome. it kicked my ass though. my knees are asleep. and so is the rest of me. will write a proper post later. for now, just a big sigh of contentment, and a nudge to anyone who took photos/video of me to put that shit online, or in my inbox, so i can see it!

love [most of] y’all. g’night.