this blog post is coming to you from sean michaels salon in pembroke MA. i brought my laptop so i could write while my hair gets bleached and dyed. [my beloved blue returns!] trying to juggle wedding stuff and normal life. i’ll have more time to dedicate to art stuff after the wedding, there’s going to be a flood of big posts, so stay tuned!
first thing’s first: i took a better video of my makeup application! someday i’ll do a full person-to-statue transformation video. i also have plans for a cute little intro video. but for now, y’all just get me painting my face.
my battle with the weather forecast took a different turn than it usually does. i saw rain in the forecast, right in the middle of my waterfire time. this time, for the first time, i did not let it deter me. i packed my child-size white umbrella, went over our “in case of heavy rain” escape plan, and just hoped it wouldn’t be too bad.
my real struggle this season has been my start time. if i get there too early, i’m bored for the first hour, which is a terrible feeling. for this lighting, i arrived around 6:30, which turned out to be its own nightmare. as we approach my pitch, the whole corner wall is packed with people. this happens sometimes, even earlier in the day. usually, justin politely asks them to scoot down and we get a chorus of “oh, of course! no problem! this is so cool!” but such was not the case this time. justin asked if they could scoot down a bit so i could perform on the corner, and while some people in the group started saying “sure!” the woman who was directly on the corner gave us a nasty look and said no, they all needed to sit, they weren’t moving, i could go somewhere else. i try not to speak when i’m at waterfire, because i spent too many years getting trapped in too many conversations when i really just needed to set up/break down and get on with my day. but this bitch pissed me off. i got in her face and said, quietly but firmly, “i’ve been performing in this spot for ten years. could you please move.” and i guess the talking statue is more effective than the statue’s assistant, because she shut her fucking mouth and moved to a spot further down the wall.
unfortunately, the theme of rudeness continued throughout the evening. i had people touching me left and right. i had a guy jump up behind me while his parents were posing for a photo with me, and i would have at least elbowed him in the guy if i hadn’t been concerned about accidentally hitting his parents. if you’re following me on instagram, you’ve seen one of my multiple flip-offs of the evening, as well as the woman who touched my foot in an apparent attempt to “fix” my costume [???] and didn’t seem to understand why i almost stomped on her hand before reaching down to grab her wrist. then there was the young-ish boy who initiated a staring contest by hovering over my tip jar and not going the fuck away, and he still refused to fuck off even after he lost the staring contest. i was visibly exasperated by the time a guy put his hand on my tip jar as he walked around the corner, twisting it and almost knocking it off my gear box in the process. in a pose with my arms outstretched, i instinctively glared at the guy, rolled my eyes, and turned my hands in a “really!?” gesture, which at least some of my audience definitely noticed. it’s never all bad, but some nights are much worse than others in regards to how people behave towards me.
and then the rain came. it was shortly after sunset when the first drops hit my arms and justin stepped in to say i’d need my umbrella, which was hooked on the back of my tip jar for easy access. i grabbed it just in time to protect my makeup. i powered through and continued performing through the next hour or so of intermittent showers. surprisingly, aside from my skirt getting weighed down by the water, and the mild annoyance of trying to pose gracefully with a tiny umbrella, everything went very well. i continued getting tips and photo ops and love and hugs. actually, the rain seemed to wash away the shittiness of people that i had been dealing with up until that point. i ended up having a perfectly average tip total at the end of the night. most importantly, i did it! i didn’t let mildly shitty weather stop me from busking. that’s a huge personal victory.
the best tip i pulled out of my jar at the end of the night, though, was an instant photo. there’s a lovely young woman who occasionally visits me with her instax camera, and she always leaves a photo of me in my tip jar. i’ve received a lot of little gifts over the years, notes and trinkets and photos, but these instant photos are the ones i carry with me everywhere. literally. they live in my wallet.