Monthly Archives: July 2011

waterfire tomorrow! with the rhode island philharmonic orchestra playing, it’s sure to be a big crazy awesome night.

also, i have two big costume projects i’m working on, but my budget is very tight. to more comfortably afford all the supplies i need, i’ll be selling a lot of clothes, shoes, and other wearables. starting with vintage stuff on etsy!


you’re not as clever as you think you are.

whether i’m performing, taking a break, walking between my car and my pitch, setting up or breaking down, certain types of people have a tendency to say whatever stupid thing immediately pops into their heads when they see me. here are a few things i have heard tens of thousands of times and would love to never ever hear again.

looks like you need some sun! you sure could use a tan!

oh my god it’s a ghost! hur hur

i see you breathing!  OMG REALLY?! maybe because… i’m alive, and as a result, i need to fill my lungs with fresh air every now and then.

i wonder what she’d do for five/ten/twenty dollars. wink wink nudge nudge!  thank you so much for talking about me as if i’m a prostitute. i hope your female companions find your comment as enlightening as i do.

i wonder what she’d do if i stole her tip jar.  such intelligence! no one else would ever think to steal a living statue’s tip jar. since i’m a statue, i’m physically incapable of tackling you, slamming your head onto the pavement, and breaking your hands. and none of the other people in my audience would do anything but watch as you ran off with the money for which i have worked so hard. it’s not like i ever have decent people or even friends in my crowd, y’know? you could easily get away with it! great idea.

people give her money for just standing there?!  this is usually exclaimed by the kind of person who is endlessly entertained by those cheap plastic toys with flashing lights that are sold from carts on the outskirts of waterfire. i don’t think anything else really needs to be said here.

also, i never want to hear anything to do with lady gaga. i am not lady gaga. i am not the lady gaga statue. i was not inspired to do something “weird” because of lady gaga; i’ve been busking four years longer than she’s been a pop artist. i know it’s news to you, being so sheltered and all, but people were doing “weird” stuff before lady gaga existed.

tonight’s zooartyssey has been cancelled due to the apocalyptic heat. next date is august 12th.

waterfire masochism

either i’m getting better at this whole busking thing, or i’m really just crazy. i started at 5:30pm and stopped at 10:15pm. i did not take any breaks. if i’d known it was going to be so damn busy [i suppose i should’ve known, being a ballroom night and all], i would’ve started a little later. the crowds were still bustling at 10, but i very reluctantly accepted the fact that i had to get down for the sake of self-preservation. my knees can only take so much standing-on-concrete abuse.

+ i had THREE dog encounters. a little dachshund that was brought up onto my ledge to say hello, a large poodle-type dog that was surprised but curious when i came to life, and a tiny little chihuahua wearing a purple lei was thrust into my arms. i love love love dogs, and these encounters always make me happy.

– lots of pokes. most of them were tiny children who really didn’t know any better when they put their hand on my shoe. one adult, who really should have known better, but the sound of my hand hitting his arm was oh so satisfying. then a young girl who definitely knew better, because she bolted right after she poked me. i tried to chase her down, but she was moving too fast [never even looked back, little bitch], and without an assistant i can’t leave my tip jar unattended so i was forced to abandon the chase.

+ lots of very positive baby and toddler interactions. the line between scared and happy is so fine, but i’m learning how to sway them toward the latter more often than the former. major props to the quietly encouraging parents/guardians who let children approach the weird statue lady on their own terms instead of trying to force interaction.

– had to put quite a bit of effort into maintaining my personal space. people really need to stop jumping up onto my ledge to pose for photos. the camera will see both you and me if you stay on the ground. i promise.

+ i’m getting pretty good at reaching out to block people after they’ve gotten a foot up on the ledge but before they fully land and find their balance, sending them back down to the ground with minimal effort.

+ at the end of the night, when my energy was really starting to dwindle, i had the most wonderful group of enthusiastic people in my crowd. once they figured out what my act was all about, they turned into my own little advertising team. someone new would walk by and i’d hear a chorus of “put a dollar in the jar and see what happens! go pose for a picture with her and see what happens!” it was beyond cute.

– while i was dumping out my tip jar on my living room floor, i found a note. it’s officially the dumbest note i’ve ever pulled out of my tip jar in seven years of busking. i’m going to frame it and add it to the collection.

“just a suggestion put some color on your hair as contrast it would look much better. good job!”

let’s take a moment to break this shit down. any time you tell an artist anything that begins with “just a suggestion”, and your criticism is uninvited and scribbled on an anonymous note, you’re being a bit of a twat. when i want your suggestions, i’ll ask for them. well, maybe not your suggestions, specifically, since you seem to have completely missed the point of living statuary. i’m trying to, y’know, look kind of like a statue. hence the head-to-toe whiteness. and the standing still. like a statue.

also, tacking on a “good job!” doesn’t really make you any less of a dumb twat. nice try, though.


fridays evenings. july 22nd, august 12th, and august 19th. [rain date: august 26th.]
admission from 6:00pm – 8:30pm, event ends at 9:00pm.
adults: $15 [$10 for rwp zoo members]
seniors & children: $10 [$5 for rwp zoo members]

ten31 is invading roger williams zoo. there will be approximately twenty characters – statues, botanicals, fairies, and more – throughout the entire zoo. yours truly will be greeting guests as the butterfly fairy. there will also be music playing in a few areas of the zoo, a lot of which was suggested by the performers. my area will have some of my favorite music. so excited!

y’all have seen what i do for play, now you can see what i do for work. this is a great opportunity for people to see what ten31 is all about. i am so grateful to be part of this company. it’s been an amazing five years, i work for and with amazing people, doing amazing things. they have made my life bizarre and i wouldn’t have it any other way.

“there’s a lot of weirdos around here!”

waterfire. much better crowd than the last holiday weekend, thankfully. i guess more people stay home for the fourth so they can see their own city’s fireworks? whatever the reason, i’m grateful for it. i did four hours, with one break that was just long enough to get some water and get right back up again. apparently i’ve become a glutton for pain. but it pays off in the end. no pun intended.

– i was hassled by a persistently stupid sailor boy early in the evening. i generally don’t cut people much slack when they start off being a douchebag then try to be nice to make up for it, but this is especially true for douchebags in uniform. thankfully, his buddy was very sweet, so dealing with the pair was a balanced experience.

+ here are some of my favorite little girls from the evening. the one with curly blonde hair was very shy, but she and her mom came over to chat with me at the end of the night, and she is just precious. her mom said “we’ve been waiting all year to see you!” aw, shucks.

– it was motherfuckin’ windy in providence. for the first couple of hours, i was having trouble staying steady on my feet. i kept swaying in the wind. so annoying.

+ there was this unbelievably adorable little boy who i really really wish had been caught on camera. he came up to put a dollar in my jar and pose with me for a photo, and was comfortable enough with the statue lady for me to lift him up onto my ledge for the photo. but after the photo was taken, i bent down to kiss his forehead, and apparently i crossed the not-scary/scary line. he shrieked and scrambled away.

– i was grabbed and poked at a few times.
+ i successfully grabbed or slapped them all.
– one girl jumped up onto my ledge to pose with me for a photo, which is something i’m not comfortable with people doing unless i explicitly invite them up, and even then i prefer it just be small children.
++ before she had fully landed on the ledge, i reached out and very successfully clotheslined her. don’t invade the personal space of the ninja statue.

– this dumbass teenage girl came up and tried to take the blue glow necklace someone had given me earlier. i’d put it around the neck of my tip jar [this is especially handy when it gets dark and people are more likely to walk right into the 32″ tall white vase], and she reached for it, looking up at me asking “can i have this? do you want it? no? okay i’m gonna take it.” i had to reach down and physically shoo her away.
+++ but then, much to my surprise and delight, a gentleman from the back of my crowd walked up and started to lecture her! and he’s doing it the same way i would do it, saying if she wouldn’t do something like that to just anyone on the street, why would she do it to a performer? kind sir, if you are reading this, i want you to know that you’re amazing. THANK YOU. very very few people stand up to the douchebags in my crowds. i wish there were more people like you around.

plymouth on monday was not quite as enjoyable as waterfire. i fully intended to do three hours, but got down after an hour and a half and decided to not get back up again. i was too tired and sore, and the crowd was too slow for me to maintain whatever momentum i had left. still, overall i’m glad i went.

+ my favorite thing about plymouth is adorable children. i had a very positive encounter with a baby. his father brought him up to say hello, and when i put out my hand, he reached out to grab it. i saw a big grin peeking out from behind his pascifier. he held on tight to my fingers for a solid minute. my heart, it melts.


– remember the most obnoxious kid in the world from last year’s fourth in plymouth? yea. he was there again. he didn’t do anything overtly obnoxious this time, but he was sitting on the benches next to me with a couple of his friends, whining incessantly. “oh my god, she yelled at me last year! she’s so mean! SHE YELLED AT ME!!! she’s so creepy! SHE YELLED AT ME LAST YEAR!!!” apparently, all this kid wants in life is to be a victim. he spends so much time whining and crying and desperately seeking pity. the great thing is, nobody’s giving him any. i have listened to him repeat the same sentences literally dozens of times to the same person, and they never have a response. so you really think you’re the victim here, huh? why don’t you explain to your friends WHY i yelled at you, and see how much pity you’ll get from them then. whiny little bitch. i bet he’ll be a real charmer in adulthood.

– i had another bratty young boy who kept blowing one of those stupid plastic horns at me. after the tenth time or so, i’d had enough.

+ the “step down, loom, and stare” tactic seems to be very effective. i wish the video captured the look on the kid’s face. the determination to avoid eye contact. the awkward, uncomfortable laugh. oh, it was wonderful, i assure you.