i can’t believe how quickly summer snuck up on me. regardless, i was much more prepared for waterfire this year than i ever have been before. no searches for costume pieces. no last minute scrambling to buy makeup or spraypaint or business cards. it felt a little strange to not be stressed about the beginning of busking season. nice, but weird.
the weather was perfect. the flow of the crowd was a little slow, but steady. i ended up doing a solid four hour shift with no breaks, first time i’ve ever statued for more than two hours straight. part of it was because i stupidly left my water bottle in the car and didn’t have anyone to fetch it for me. part of it was because i was just feelin’ it.
+ oh, the children. one little girl, brought onto my ledge by her father who wanted a picture, was so unsure at first. but i just gently reached my hand toward her and let her come to me. she came up again later, and this time did not hesitate to touch my hand. i seem to have figured out how to convince the little ones that i am, indeed, not a child-eating monster.
+ another young girl brought her dog up to see me. looked like a poodle cross of some sort. i reached down to pet it. my glove was very enthusiastically licked. down side: my right hand smelled like a dog the rest of the night. oh well. the cute was worth it.
– the douchebaggery ran the gamut. my hand was grabbed twice. the first time was a large slow-moving man, and i slapped his hand. the sound of it was satisfying. the second was a young woman who took off before i could grab her, so i waited for her to turn and look back [they usually do] and flipped her off. i had to shove a guy off my ledge when he jumped up to pose next to me, too close for comfort. a young boy kept getting too close and waving his hands at my face, which i eventually handled by stepping down towards him, though i think his friend was more nervous about it than he was. still, it’s an effective method of telling someone they need to back the fuck off. the worst of the evening, though, was a group of young teenage girls. standing in a line blocking my tip jar, spewing stupidity all over the place, trying to make me laugh, trying to insult me, etc. i brought my finger to my lips to shush them. that was successful for approximately ten seconds. they inched closer. i waved my hands at them, motioning them to back away. no response. so, i stepped down, right into the heart of the group. they screamed and scattered. i didn’t see them again the rest of the night.
+ i was visted by several loved ones. my brother, a few friends, my ten31 bosses and a few others from the crew, and, of course, mister anselmo made his usual pre-performance stop to say hello. waterfire is that much more enjoyable when familiar faces pop up in a sea of strangers.
+ when i finally stepped down at 10:00, i hung around at my pitch for a while, chatting with friends and allowing my knees to recover before walking back to my car. our conversations were interrupted several times by some very kind folks wanting to say hello, tell me how much they enjoyed my performance, pose for photos, and drop a dollar into my tip jar. it was the most overwhelmingly sweet post-performance crowd i’ve ever dealt with. usually at the end of the night people are just shoving their cameras in my face while i’m trying to eat and hydrate and stretch and relax a moment before heading home. it’s nice to be reminded that people are capable of being sweet and polite.
second waterfire is tomorrow. despite the mountain of work i have to do at home [spring cleaning is a bitch and a half, especially if you haven’t done it in a few springs] i am thoroughly excited and eager to get back to the streets of providence. when the winters drag on forever, i sometimes forget that summer is made of awesomeness.