Category Archives: performance summaries

the great social media resurrection

sometimes life just gets in the way of the things one wants to do. my blog may have gone silent for a few years, but it has not been forgotten. i’m resurrecting all of my poor neglected social media pages, and i also added instagram to the list. make sure you’re following me wherever you are, links are in the “greetings & introductions” sticky post!

i’m going to ease my way back into blogging with a good ol’ fashioned waterfire recap. in the coming months, you can expect to see other types of posts, including a revival of my living statuary tips, focused rants, philosophical type musings related to my performance experiences, behind-the-art blurbs beyond performance recaps, and maybe some more “the person behind the statue” type stuff.

5.27.17 waterfire. the changing, the heartwarming, the annoying, and the infuriating. check out my youtube channel for three videos from this evening.

every year, waterfire seems to sneak up on me. the season inevitably begins when i’m also busy with the horses, and still broke from the winter’s financial lull. this year i was more prepared than usual. i had relatively fresh cakes of paradise and starblend. i had two fresh pairs of gloves [the costume component that inevitably gets destroyed within a season or two]. i had my new head scarves [more on that in a bit]. i had new business cards and card containers for my tip jar. what i failed to check was the string of lights on my tip jar. they were dead. oops. i slapped on my backup set, which are that harsh blue-white instead of the pleasant warm-white. not ideal, but at least i had lights. those things have done so much to prevent people from crashing into my tip jar, as well as helping people figure out where their tips should be placed [because the giant vase with a dollar bill taped to the front isn’t obvious enough].

a few months ago, i decided i wanted to move away from my white wigs and try head scarves instead. while i have enjoyed my wigs over the years, i find myself less and less willing to deal with the pitfalls. my real hair has grown quite a bit longer, and getting it all flat under a wig is time-consuming and exhausting. wigs are hot and itchy in the summer heat. makeup inevitably gets all over the fibers covering the back of my neck, and it slowly turns the wig into a ratty matted mess. while i love the look of the bangs, they’re often either poking me in the eye or blocking huge portions of my peripheral vision. it’s also less statuesque to have individual hairs flying around in the breeze. so, i bought some comfortable head scarves, matching the aesthetic of the rest of my costume [a while back i switched from pants to maxi skirts, which flows better with the draping of the top]. i was nervous about making such a big change in lily’s appearance. i was nervous about how i would look without all that hair framing my face. i didn’t feel fully confident in my decision until i returned home and looked through some of the photos and videos justin had taken. i LOVE the new look. i finally feel like lily is finished, like this is how she was supposed to look all along. the comments have gone from “she looks like an anime character” to “she looks like venus de milo” and i’m okay with that.

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my next challenge was the weather. the forecast looked cold, as has been the theme all spring. even with my thick fleece layer, which makes me feel like a marshmallow, i wasn’t sure how long i’d be able to perform. i went in thinking i’d maybe be able to push through three hours before quitting. what i forgot about the fifty to sixty degree weather is that the fires actually help warm things up, even as far away from the canal as i am. i was struggling in the hour before sunset, but i ended up feeling much more cozy and staying out until about 11:00. not bad!

overall, the crowd was fabulous. i only had to shove two people off my ledge. of the few people who tried to grab my hands, none were successful. i held a baby for a photo [and the baby didn’t cry!], i received many hugs from some very sweet children, and i received flowers from four kind souls of varying ages. flowers are among my favorite non-monetary tips when i busk. i even appreciated one little girl’s repeated trips to stuff leaves into my business card holder.

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my favorite, though, was the man who gave me my first two tips of the evening, and came back later for another round. he was very nice, both to me and to my crowd. he was also very loud, because he was very intoxicated. he slurred and stumbled his way through explanations to his fellow spectators “give her a dollar and she moves!” repeating himself several times, to make sure everyone understood the instructions, and following up with a demonstration. i couldn’t help but silently chuckle. thank you, dude, for being a kind drunk.

there’s one big personal rant for this waterfire. i have somewhat mixed, though mostly negative, feelings about one interaction. well after sunset, this guy comes up with a large snake. i love snakes. i have five of my own, with many more in my future. this is one of my pet-related hobbies that i’m pretty passionate about; i spend a lot of time helping other snake owners when they’re having husbandry problems, i write care sheets, and i’ve been chipping away at a project building a reptile pet information website with some friends. so when this guy brings his 9′ burmese python up to me, i have two simultaneous gut reactions: YAY! and WHY!? it was very cold that night, in the mid-50s, which is bad news for a tropical snake. the guy let me hold the snake, and once she was wrapped around me i realized she was in the middle of the shedding process, which meant she couldn’t see very well and being handled was uncomfortable for her, and her skin was very flaky because she was dehydrated. after returning her to her owner, he hung out right in front of me. showing off the snake, encouraging people to hold her for photos, and generally taking over my audience and blocking the path to my tip jar. i waved justin over to have him 1] ask the guy if he had a business card or anything, because i wanted to talk to him later, and 2] to move along. he didn’t give any contact information, so this rant here will have to do. so, snake dude, if you’re reading this… you are the kind of person from whom i have rescued snakes. you need to stop treating your snakes like accessories and start taking better care of them. you may think you’re doing the hobby a favor by trying to show people how not scary snakes are. but you’e doing everyone – especially your snakes – a huge disservice by risking their health, causing them immense amounts of stress, and spreading misinformation. there’s a time and place for show and tell, and a chilly waterfire night in the middle of the snake’s shedding process is certainly not the time or place.

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the show must go on

my poor little blog, i apologize for neglecting you. the summer was such a whirlwind of riding and gigs and busking that i fell behind on my writing, and now i just stare blankly at the little blurbs i managed to jot down before details of individual busking adventures began to fade. i’ll have to attempt filling in the blanks soon, before the halloween rush begins. but, for now, i need to skip all of that and talk about the labor day weekend waterfire.

i left my apartment feeling wonderful. i wore my new wig, which is now absolutely fabulous and functional thanks to tom st. germain at suite tart. my makeup was flawless. the weather was perfect.

the drive to providence was a battle, as it so often is, when the sun proved to be too bright for my night owl eyes. being stark white from head to toe tends to make the glare of sunshine unbearable. my left eye began to water. but that’s happened dozens of times before. normally by the time i get to providence it settles down and with a quick makeup fix i’m good to go. this time, i had no such luck. i give up on my parking lot makeup fix and head to my pitch, hoping that the shade of the tree behind me will be enough to calm down my tear ducts. but no. still watering. i spend forty minutes trying to keep makeup out of my eye, waiting and waiting and waiting for it to stop gushing. eventually i decide i have to give up on it. busk or go home. i have to busk.

finally, at 5:40, i took to my pitch and tried so hard to forget about my eye and the fact that the makeup around it was washing away. i stepped down twice within the first hour to do quick fixes. it still wouldn’t let up. after that, though, it was too consistently busy to justify stepping down to deal with the makeup issues that nobody seemed to be noticing anyway, so i accepted my fate of imperfection and soldiered on.

shortly after 7:00, a teenage boy snuck up behind me, grabbed my shoulders, and shook me as he shouted in my ear. by the time i turned to face him, he was already out of reach. i watched him as he walked briskly around the garden and returned to the sidewalk, heading toward steeple street. i hesitated. none of my beloved bodyguards were there to chase him down for me. i grabbed my tip jar and gear box and went after him. but, of course, he is now on his skateboard, and there’s no way i’m ever going to catch up with him. feeling defeated, i return to my pitch. i notice a cop walking toward me. exasperated, i say “please tell me you saw that.” he did, as did at least one other cop. he goes after the kid, and moments later i have a slew of people coming over to express their sympathies and inform me that the kid has been arrested. soon enough, the cop returns, and points out that his handcuffs are currently on the wrists of my harasser. we step over to one of the vendor tents where there’s a table so i can fill out a report. at one point he said he and the other officer who witnessed the incident thought maybe it was a friend of mine just trying to be funny, which they realized was not the case when he ran off and i attempted to follow. i told him that no friend of a living statue would do something like that. planting seeds for the future.

upon returning to my pitch, i called wyatt and told him what happened, said i was having a shit night all around, and i might ditch waterfire and go home early. but after taking some time to calm down, tending to my makeup-destroying eye, and chatting with some of the folks who stopped to express their sympathies, i realized i needed to stick it out. i returned to my performance and was immediately showered with love from pretty much the best audience i’ve ever had in nearly eight years of busking.

well, it wasn’t entirely rainbows and happiness after that shithead got arrested. there were two other noteworthy assholes. i first encountered the guy when he walked by and decided it’d be funny to lean in and yell BOO as he passed me. already being so rattled by the earlier incident, i jumped down, grabbed his arm, and told him to not do that shit again. i thought i got my point across, but no. he returned much later in the evening, this time with his girlfriend who greeted me with a full force ass slap. i hit the back of her head, and for a split second thought she was drunk and unbalanced enough for that hit to send her face into the concrete ledge. i was not so lucky. she starts going on and on about how much she loves me and how awesome i am and she keeps reaching out to put her hands on me and all i want to do is kick her in the teeth. i try to carry on, but i’m watching the pair out of the corner of my eye because i absolutely don’t trust them at all. sure enough, she was determined to let me know exactly how intoxicatedly grabby she was, and she keeps trying to put her hands on me. i lost my cool. i grabbed her fingers, firmly bending them backward [which she didn’t even notice], and i bent down to inform her that if she didn’t knock this shit off i’d have her arrested. a nearby cop saw that i was distressed, and he came over to talk to her. i don’t know what came of it, as i only heard “excuse me, miss” before the three of them wandered out of earshot. i hate that i got so flustered. i hate that they made me break.

not too long after, a woman loudly stated that i deserve respect as she dropped a tip in my jar. thank you. i do deserve respect. i just wish people were as likely to actually confront the people who disrespect me as they are to say something about it. i wonder how far a person would need to cross the line before a stranger would step in to defend me.

it’s not all bad, though. four people gave me carnations. i received hugs from as many children, and one from a teenage girl who asked if she could have a hug and as i extended my arms i heard her friend say something about all she had to do was ask. i guess she’d been fussing about how to approach me for a while. there were a few dog encounters, but more importantly, there was the girl with the african grey parrot. i love birds, and i particularly admire the personality and intelligence of african greys. i knelt down and put my hand out to pet her, and before i knew it, the girl gave the command – “up!” oh my jesus i get to hold a parrot while i’m performing this is awesome. she was a little unsteady on my hand, what with my two pairs of gloves made with slick materials, and the girl said she’d probably be more comfortable on my shoulder. i brought my hand up, and sure enough, my little feathered friend stepped onto my shoulder. i was in heaven. i wish i had a picture.

i was also visited by corvus, who had been absent from waterfire for the last couple of seasons. he dresses all in black a venetian style bird mask. he wanders from garden to garden, reciting poetry and giving feathers to curious strangers. mostly he just creeps people out. i think he is absolutely delightful. he’s been visiting me for almost as long as i’ve been busking at waterfire. i know he’s approaching when i start hearing “LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU” from my concerned crowd. fear not, for the masked man is a friend. he’ll hop down from the garden behind me and come ’round to greet me, and a mix of relief and confusion inevitably washes over my crowd as corvus and i bow to eachother. he would usually drop a colored feather in my tip jar before vanishing into the darkness of the garden across the street. i still have most of those feathers – the ones that didn’t get destroyed before i pulled them out of the jar at the end of the night – and i keep them on display in my living room. i was thrilled to see my old friend again, and such a reunion could not have come at a more perfect time. i needed that.


murphy’s law – the waterfire edition

the last waterfire was definitely my most stressful ever. it started with the weather. more threats of thunderstorms, to which i said, “FUCK YOU NATURE, I’M BUSKING TONIGHT.”

i arrived in providence just after 5:00, aiming to begin at 5:30. that didn’t happen. despite taking my usual precautionary claritin, my eyes caught enough glare from the sun and enough wind to start watering as i was doing my final preparations in the parking lot. i gave up on trying to fix my makeup and figured if i left my eye alone it’d be fine by the time i arrived at my pitch. but the wind was picking up, my eye was gushing, makeup streaming down my face refusing to be fixed. ducked behind the building across the street to try finding some relief from the wind, waiting it out. tents and trash bins were beginning to get tossed around. mike, one of the waterfire staff folks, is bouncing between chatting with us and chasing down the stuff being tossed around in the wind. shit was looking pretty grim.

it wasn’t until 7:00 or so that i returned to my pitch. my eye was still watering some, but it had settled down enough, and it was late enough, that i didn’t care much anymore about whether or not my makeup was pristine. i just needed to get out there and perform. i was hoping it would be one of those awesome waterfire nights filled with cool people. alas, ’twas not one of those nights. by the time i settled into statue mode, i was in a pretty foul mood. i had a decent start, but the downward spiral of jackassery was in full swing in by the time the fires were being lit.

the most noteworthy douchebag of the evening, i’m sad to say, was a little boy who couldn’t have been more than four years old. i went three rounds with this kid over the course of my four hour performance. round one, he ran up to grab at my legs. instinctively, i shot down to grab both of his arms and held on tight. he’s laughing and cackling, “HA! YOU’RE NOT A STATUE! YOU’RE A GIRL!” i let go, hoping that momentum would take over and the force of him trying to pull away from me would send him flying backwards to fall on his ass as soon as i released him. unfortunately, someone was standing behind him, blocking his path to blood spatter. he did not hit the pavement. he continued taunting me for a while. i chose to ignore him and return my focus to the rest of the crowd. he disappeared, but not for long. he was back about an hour later, shrieking a steady stream of “I’M ON TO YOU” exclamations sprinkled with laughter, lunging toward me threatening to grab me again. his fat fuck of a father had plopped his ass down on the wall just off to my right. i glared at him, pointed at the boy, and gestured to get him the fuck out of my face. no response. i turned toward him more, folded my arms, and stared into his eyes with the burning hatred of a thousand suns. he got the message eventually and pulled the boy away. he returned soon after, with his fat fuck of a father nowhere to be seen. i was reaching my breaking point. never in my life have i so badly wanted to kick a child full force square in the face. if he’d been fourteen, or forty, this all would have ended after the first grab. i would have been able to properly defend myself and ensure no return visits. but how am i supposed to defend myself against a child? i can’t use physical force. that sort of thing is frowned upon. what would i tell a cop? “this tiny creature is harrassing me and i’d like you to arrest him.” yea, right. all i can realistically do is pray that this boy dies in a fire before he has the opportunity to become a true menace to society.

on top of the trials and tribulations of dealing with the epitomy of brattiness, i had costuming issues, which is something i shouldn’t still be dealing with after eight years of busking. i wore the wig i’d just bought, which turned out to be a mistake. it’s too long, too straight and thick, the fibers too soft and prone to tangling in the slightest breeze. i’ve ordered another wig, much more like the old one, feathered and messy in style, but longer over the back of the neck where caked makeup tends to tangle the fibers and makes the shorter styles stick out in a funky unpretty flip. but the one i wore that night, ugh. in addition to being a hot mess from all the wind, it gave me a blinders effect – my peripheral vision was so limited. i’m grateful that no one snuck up on my side. lessons learned.

overall, though, i have to say that my performance time was decent enough. i had lots of hand-holding moments with sweet doe-eyed children. i startled some folks coming up to pose for photos with me. i’ll never tire of the jumps and shrieks. i got to hold a toy pomeranian who was fully grown and approximately the same size as my chinchilla. the cute was overwhelming. andrew anselmo came to visit me late in the evening with a dollar bill origami pinwheel and a sign he held up to my crowd that said “best statue ever”. aw, shucks. wyatt and his daughter came with me, and there were unexpected visits from my brother and some friends. thank baby jesus for the friendly faces in my crowd. i might not have survived the evening without them.

we won’t talk about the world’s most obnoxious drunks who absolutely would not leave me alone post-performance while wyatt’s daughter and i were chatting, waiting for him to bring us some indian food. i think i’ve ranted enough for one post.


how time flies

busy busy busy. wyatt and i moved to a new apartment at the end of march, and my to-do list has been about ten miles long ever since. i didn’t even order a desperately needed batch of business cards until this week, in addition to new gloves [i can only attack a pair of gloves with a bleach pen so many times before i have to give up] and a new wig [lily’s getting a slightly longer and much whiter hairdo]. doesn’t help that i’m working a LOT more than i usually do at the barn, taking up more of my productive hours and leaving me drained at the end of the day. [did i ever mention that i work with horses? training polo ponies is exhausting.] i can’t believe the first waterfire of the season was two weeks ago and i’m just getting around to blogging. the only reason i’m even getting this written today because thunderstorms have brought me an unexpected day off. i’ll ignore the fact that i went out busking in plymouth weeks ago and never even mentioned it. i don’t have time to get into that.

memorial day weekend waterfire. i was nervous about the forecast, thundershowers creeping in and out. normally, if there’s any chance of getting rained on, i’ll stay home. but i was determined to get out and busk. my new bathroom was a little problematic for makeup application. the light above the mirror doesn’t work. thankfully, wyatt and i have accumulated a few clamp lamps over the years for the pets we’ve had and i was able to rig something up. i’ve also figured out a totally foolproof method of getting 100% solid non-streaky opaque coverage with paradise and starblend. it’s about time, i suppose, considering how long i’ve been playing with this makeup. so, i paint myself white and get into full costume. check the forecast, looks okay. drive to providence, sky looks a little grey, but it’s dry. park, walk to pitch… get to the risd auditorium and it starts raining. lightly, but any rain is bad news when your face is covered in paradise makeup and you don’t have an umbrella. i took shelter under the gazebo and waited it out. thankfully, the showers passed quickly, and the rest of the evening was clear.

i didn’t intend to do a five hour shift. it just sort of happened. time flies when you’re standing still. i was surprisingly steady for the beginning of busking season. part of it is that i’m in better shape than usual, part of it is that i’ve stopped doing difficult poses when traffic is slow. the crowd was good, mostly. i got my dog fix. i was visited by bill, john with his son and granddaughter, andrew with his usual $2 bill tip for me, and the lovely waterfire crew guy i talked to before i began whose name i don’t remember. i’m pretty good with faces, terrible with names. i was most amused by bill and his companion, encouraging kids to put a dollar in my tip jar to see what happens. thank you, sir. i think you are personally responsible for at least 5% of my tips.

there were pests, as always. first was the middle aged leathery woman who went to grab my hand. i grabbed hers instead, which she found amusing. i flipped her off. the woman with her – sister? – pointed out that i flipped her off because she wasn’t supposed to grab me and she was ignorant for doing so. thanks for standing up for me, lady, but too little too late with the lecture. then there was the guy who, uh, shoved his bald sweaty head into my hand. i guess he wanted me to lean on him for a picture? i don’t even know. he was gross and rude and i shoved him away. there were a few folks who needed to be shoved off my ledge. no creepers, the ones who sit on the ledge next to me not noticing my line of white tape. but there were a few who tried jumping up next to me for photos. i’m pretty good at spotting them before they get a foot up, which allows me to simply put my hand on their shoulder and brace my arm to stop them. but sometimes they jump up before i even see them. i have no reservations about promptly pushing them back to the sidewalk. if i can’t easily lift you up myself, you have no business being up there with me.

the youngsters weren’t much better. the teenage boy who wanted to know my name, but knew he couldn’t ask me, so he just started shouting random girl names from the back of the crowd to see if i’d respond to any of them. my only response was to shush him. and the younger children, the 4-8 range. the little girl who kept poking at my leg, and thought it was hilarious when i stomped my foot at her, with her parents watching silently. the boy who was crowding me, poking me, saying stupid shit. i don’t even remember most of what he did. but i remember that it warranted stepping down to get in his face about it. i’m grateful that this method of communication is, for the most part, extremely effective. saves me from so much bullshit.

but then there were the children who quietly came up to for a photo op. i’d extend my hand and they’d cautiously reach out and let me gently stroke their little fingers. or i’d playfully poke their faces to make them smile for the camera. my favorites are the ones who forget all about mommy and daddy and the camera. i become the only thing worth any thought in the world at that moment. the crowd disappears as they stare up at me in awe. what is this sourcery, this statue that moves. they stare at me desperately trying to figure me out. this is what i live for.

eventually my knees started screaming at me and i stepped down to find john et al waiting for me. it’s so nice being able to step down and instantly be greeted by familiar friendly faces when i don’t have wyatt or any of my friends tagging along for the night. we hung out at my pitch to chat for a while, sporadically interrupted by the usual passing hellos and quick compliments and parents bringing their little ones over to see that i actually am a person and maybe i’m not so scary if i’m moving and can talk. one of these interruptions was a very handsome young man who told me that my art is enchanting, and that he’d love to take me out for coffee sometime.

i smiled and said i had to tell him something. then i hesitated. not because i considered saying yes, of course. wyatt is my world. i hesitated because my first instinct is to ask, why? why would you ask me out based solely on my performance? i could understand it more, maybe, if he had first sat down to talk to me for a minute or two. but this boy only saw the statue. he was asking lily out on a date, not me. he doesn’t even know what i look like under the wig and the thick layer of makeup. i’ve never understood why people do that. instead of dragging him into this inevitably awkward-for-him conversation, i opted to be kind, and simply told him that i have a boyfriend. he disappeared seconds later.

waterfire again this saturday. my new gloves arrived today, but my new wig won’t be here until next time. this is going to be the summer of updated costumes.


october warmth

usually, october waterfires are cold and miserable. if i’m dumb enough to try to busk, i’m forced to step down after an hour or two at most, muscles shivering and joints locking up. but not this year. i’d bought a warm underlayer and a scarf, brought extra gloves and shirts, and didn’t need them at all. i performed for four hours without breaks. i don’t know where all this stamina is coming from, but i’m grateful to have had it this season.

– from the start, i was plagued by vendors who sell plastic crap that lights up and blinks and costs eight cents to make and eight dollars to purchase.  they were all over my area, much more persistent than usual, using the glora gemma breast cancer awareness theme of waterfire to sell pink shit to anyone dumb enough to buy it. i sent wyatt to chase a couple away because they were unreasonably close to me. i stepped down to tell one to stay away from my pitch. but whenever one left, another came in to take their place. it amazes me that there are so many at waterfire, considering how much barnaby and the entire waterfire staff hates them, and the cops hate them, and most of the non-parent people who attend waterfire hate them. can’t you leeches go make a buck elsewhere? how can you care so little about the vibe of an event? i want to grab each one of them by the shoulders and shake them.

+ PUPPY IN PINK!

there was another dog that walked towards me earlier in the evening, but as i knelt down to see if he’d let me pet him, he gave me a rather dramatic “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU?!” look and promptly backed away from me. sorry, puppy! i did not mean to scare you. i just wanted to say hi.

– a few people, when talking about me to their companions, referred to me as male. one guy was particularly persistent about it. i know i don’t have D cups or anything, but, seriously?

+ one of my favorite things that happens within my crowds is adults giving money to children they don’t know so they can make the statue come to life. i see this happen a handful of times every busking season. it’s refreshing and heartwarming to see that kind of spontaneous generosity, to see grownups understanding and appreciating the importance of the magic between a child and the statue.

+ love this little girl.

+ i ended the night perfectly. there was a little boy, as tall as my tip jar and just old enough to be able to walk independently, staring with the slightest hint of awe in his eyes. i knelt down and extended my hand. he ran to his father. i waited patiently. his father very gently encouraged him to approach me. there was no force, no pressure, only reassurance. i watched the boy as he made his decision. holding his father’s hand, the anchor that would keep him safe, he stepped toward me. as he moved closer, he forgot all about his anchor, and put his little hand in mine. he and his slightly older sister were each given some money to put in my tip jar. their faces lit up as i blew them kisses. their father thanked me, quietly, sweetly, repeatedly. i want to extend my most heartfelt thanks to you, sir, for being the kind of person that helps make street performance the anchor for my soul.


lily and the creep

real post and videos coming on wednesday. for now, i’ll leave you with this year’s #1 douchebag. his first approach was a threat to tickle me. his second comment, which you can sort of hear if you crank up the volume, was “i’m gonna be the first one to grab your butt.”

he came back a second time later in the evening, knelt down in front of me for a couple minutes, mumbling what was probably quite a string of lewd comments, but he was too quiet and slurry for me to understand 90% of what he said. i desperately wanted to kick him in the face.


“i’ve seen 26 mimes in my life, and you’re the best!”

i’m not a mime. regardless, thank you.

overall, waterfire was pretty meh. i put in three breakless hours before shivering off my ledge. under armour does NOT work so well when you’re stationary for long periods of time. need to find a non-bulky fleecey underlayer for the next waterfire. to make matters worse, attendance seemed to be very low. i remember scanning my area sometime around 8:00 and thinking it was much later than it could have possibly been, the crowds were so sparse, it seemed more like 10:00. aaand the music for most of the evening was very funeralish. such a downer.

+ the highlight of the evening was very early in my shift. i had a very hard time not giggling.

+ one of my favorite things ever is when i blow a kiss to a small child, and they blow a kiss back. especially when they were not encouraged to do so by the adults with them. it melts my heart.

– one of my least favorite things is people grabbing or poking me. i had more douchebags trying to touch me in those three hours than i’ve had the rest of the season total. at least i’ve honed in my ninja skills and can successfully slap a hand away before it touches me and i can’t even see said hand.

+ another bouquet of flowers from george, and a red carnation from a young lady. i also received a $2 bill other than the one andrew anselmo folded into an arrow for me.

– i also had, according to wyatt, four fake tippers. all adults. seriously, what the fuck? if you want the statue to blow you a kiss that fucking badly, surely you can find a penny or two to drop in the tip jar. fucking douchebags.

+ at least there was no trash or religious crap in my tip jar.

+ no one called me lady gaga the whole night! not that i or wyatt heard, anyway.

+ children do strange and silly things sometimes.

photo by justinblau.com


zooartyssey was an incredible experience. hoping this becomes an annual event!


waterfire has gone bananas.

the bananagram bananaganza. quite possibly the most interesting waterfire i’ve ever busked. kids walking around in bananagram suits, banana-themed music [i was very happy to hear day-o], the bananagrams car [which i was given a ride in, hopefully photos will be coming soon], all kinds of craziness.

– people are never, ever, ever funny when they think they’re being funny.

+ overwhelmingly adorable kids. i held two little ones for photos, and they did not cry! others played with my outstretched hand, some tried to touch my face [which i had to intercept just for the safety of my makeup and wig, but damn, so cute], and i got some hugs. i was also visited by my #1 fan. the last time i saw her was… september? the first time she came over, i almost didn’t recognize her with my wig all up in my face, but i realized who i was looking at when i bent down to blow a kiss. second time around, i made up for it, and gave her a kiss on the nose. i remember you. i’ve been watching you get taller, look older, but your eyes never change. i hope to see that same sparkle of magic in your eyes for many years to come.

– i started having some problems maintaining my space. i’ll invite kids to come up onto my ledge for photos, but if you’re over the age of ten, please keep your feet on the ground. you’re plenty tall enough to be seen in the picture with me. there is absolutely no reason for you to be up on my ledge. it’s amazing that people are so slow get the message when my hand is planted firmly on their shoulder the second i see them thinking about climbing up next to me. they keep pushing against my hand for a few seconds before realizing they’re supposed to stay on the ground. or, if i can’t catch them before they lift a foot, they’ll get all indignant about me shoving them back down. don’t give me a fucking attitude when i defend my personal space, you self-centered twat. i will slap the stupid right out of you.

+ MORE PUPPIES! two were brought up to me. i don’t know if y’all are bringing your dogs to me because you read my blog, or you see my reactions to dogs while i’m performing, or if it’s just a big awesome coincidence. either way, i’m lovin’ it.

+ gifts! george brought me another bouquet of carnations, as well as photo prints. sir turner gave me a print of one of the photos he emailed me a while back. of course, andrew anselmo [who had a terrible terrible night, poor dear, so you should go show him some serious love at the next waterfire] gave me a $2 bill folded into a little bowtie. and long after i’d finished busking for the night, while i was hanging out at my pitch with some friends who had come to visit me, a teenage boy gave me a carnation. so sweet.

– james stopped by to say hello. james is one of the most irritating fans i’ve ever had. very clingy, very tedious. after an inappropriate conversation he had with my mother the first time she ever came out to see me perform, i lost all patience for him, and let him know it. i hadn’t seen him since. until saturday. i hope this is not the sign of a triumphant return, because i really don’t need to deal with such dolts anymore. it’s such a difficult line to walk, the line between being friendly to my audience without trapping myself into polite-but-unwanted interactions.

-/+ while i was gobbling up some indian food and hanging out with my friends, this woman started barking at me to get up and do my thing so she could see it and get a picture. i kept telling her no, i’d performed for four hours, i was done for the night, come back next waterfire, take pictures when i’m performing. but she kept holding up her camera. so i held up my hand to block the view. she kept barking at me. i don’t even know how many times i told her that i was not going to pose for a photo and she should just come back next waterfire. finally she accepted the fact that she was not going to get her picture. but before she left, she said i should stop eating so i don’t get fat. wtf? so rude, so baffling, so oddly hilarious.


listen to the music.

i thoroughly enjoy it when the rhode island philharmonic orchestra plays at waterfire. they pump the music throughout the canal, which means i get to hear it even though i’m nowhere near the orchestra. such a wonderful change from the usual playlists [that are getting a little too heavy on the opera, in my humble statue opinion]. the problem, though, is that everyone’s watching the orchestra, and my crowd is thinner as a result. still, it was a lovely evening.

– very early on, i had a group of teenage boys off to my right, and as they talked amongst themselves, every so often i would hear things like “no, you do it!” i kept an eye on them, waiting for them to do something completely douchey. they huddled there for so long, never doing anything, just arguing about who should do whatever it was they were talking about. i didn’t know what they were talking about, but i knew it involved me. they freaked out every time i looked at them. it was very stressful and it turned out to be nothing. they just tipped and left. suggestion: if you don’t want the statue to stare at you suspiciously, then don’t fucking be suspicious. dumbasses.

+ an exceptionally sweet gentleman, who also saw me last summer, tipped me  a couple times. and gave me a small bouquet of carnations. not the carnations that everyone at waterfire gets for free because of michael grando’s performance. no. he went and bought flowers for me. he also gave me his phone number, which is something i really don’t understand. why do people do that? either way, i have pretty flowers sitting on my windowsill. that’s the important thing.

– a little boy, maybe 5 or so, walked up to investigate my tip jar, obviously not realizing that there was a person standing above the jar. so he’s leaning over and looking in. not a big deal. then he bends down and sticks his entire arm into the jar. fucking unacceptable. i shot my hand down and grabbed his shoulder with what was probably a little too much force, but fuck damn, kid needed to learn to not touch shit that doesn’t belong to him. and obviously his parents weren’t going to be the ones to teach him that lesson. his father was just standing there laughing. asshole. the boy looked up at me with this mix of surprise and fear and indignation. i removed my hand, he pulled his arm out of the jar, and walked away clutching his shoulder not knowing whether he should be upset or if he should just accept the consequences. he was quiet, so i guess he decided on the latter.

+ the best hug ever. this adorable little girl walked up, tipped me, and before i could get into the motion of blowing her a kiss, she had her tiny arms wrapped around my legs. so, of course, i knelt down for a proper hug. words cannot describe what it feels like to be on the receiving end of such a quiet and spontaneous gesture of adoration. the crowd disappears. in that moment, it’s just me and the child.

+ MORE PUPPIES! had the cutest little dachshund ever thrust into my arms. he tried to give me kisses. i do so appreciate the sentiment, and i am usually one of those looney dog lovers that allows face-licking, but not when my face is covered in makeup. later, this woman brought up her yellow lab. she had him jump up onto my ledge and lie down for a photo. he was so calm and friendly and well-behaved. kudos, m’lady. you have done a beautiful job training your dog.

– had to flip off a boy who, after seeing a small child who didn’t know any better try to poke me, decided he would pretend he also didn’t know any better. but because he did know better, he approached from the far right side of my ledge, so i didn’t see him coming, and he took off running back to his buddies as soon as he made contact. i had no opportunity to slap him. still, a middle finger is, surprisingly, a great crowd pleaser, and sometimes an effective way to send a message. i guess it was effective this time, because i didn’t see or hear him again.

+ scared the bejeezus out of a man who reached out to touch my hand, not realizing it belonged to a person. i moved my hand for my usual “i don’t fucking think so” gesture, and he shouted, leaped, and ran a few strides before turning around to be like “wtf was that?!” i almost giggled at that one.

+ when i came home and emptied out my tip jar, i found no trash, no religious bullshit, none of my own business cards, no sticks or leaves or pebbles. only money. i think that’s a first.