Tag Archives: cuteness

the redditor – diy online magazine

http://theredditorissues.blogspot.com/2011/10/issue-4-october-2011-halloween-special.html

my IAmA was featured in this month’s issue of the redditor. they used a photo i’m not in love with, and they kind of broke up the very thoughtful set of questions from my last blog post. but overall, i’m pleased.


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 meĀ  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.


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.


“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.

+ OMG PUPPY.

– 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.


another year, another waterfire.

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.


“that’s epic!”

mother nature was kind to me. perhaps she was making up for the waterfires i had to miss due to thunderstorms at the beginning of the season. it was delightfully warm on saturday. the beautiful weather helped set the tone for my last waterfire of the season, even though my first tipper tried to set a different tone…

– two women. one, who was obviously familiar with living statuary, says “wanna see what she does?” as she drops a dollar into my tip jar. blow a kiss, wave, settle into a new pose. “…oh. they usually do a lot more than that.” listen, lady. being still is the point of the act. the movements are the statue’s way of saying thanks for your donation. i’m not standing still for extended periods of time on this street corner for the purpose of doing some big dance routine when someone gives me a dollar.

+ i’ve taken some of andrew anselmo’s advice. my tip jar is elevated by a hat box, and i marked personal space boundaries with white ducktape. i can’t say if the former has had much of an effect, but the latter did, especially on my ledge. it was useful for me to have a clear “do not cross” line. i’m always concerned about people sitting next to me and grabbing my legs or whatever, but i’m also concerned about accidentally stomping on someone when i switch poses. with my space clearly marked, i only had to gently ask two people to scoot down, and once they saw the line they realized their mistake.

– well, it didn’t work completely. i had an immitator/mocker, as i usually have every waterfire, climb up on my left and strike a pose. i noticed people laughing, so i turned, and i made eye contact with her. she moved to mirror me. so i shoved her off my ledge. she came back to tip me later, which she probably thought would be an acceptable apology, but i wanted to kick her in the teeth.

+ i had quite a crew of unexpected visitors. my mother brought her friend dianne, who i had not seen in… six years? this woman was like a second mother to me. and for most of my post-sunset busking time, the two mothers sat on either side of me, keeping an eye out and discouraging inappropriate behaviour. i think it’s funny that my mother has no idea how much bullshit i deal with every time i busk, nor does she understand that i generally prefer to deal with it myself. anyway, my brother and his friend becky were there, and my friend matt stopped by on his way back to connecticut as well. it was pretty cool to see so many familiar faces. but it also reminded me that the only waterfire wyatt and my bff brian were able to attend this year was the one i did with ten31. sad.

+ this guy reached for my hand, which i flicked toward him. he jumped, had a “HOLY SHIT!” moment, and explained to his laughing friends that he was trying to find out if i was made of rubber or porcelain. teaching people not to touch things that don’t belong to them, one scare at a time.

– a middle-aged woman reached for my hand, and i grabbed her finger. i held onto it and stared at her as she spewed some bullshit about “yea, i know better, i know you’re real, can i have my finger back now?” if you knew better, why would you grab the performer? dumb twat.

+ i saw my #1 fan, who i have not seen since last year. if you’re ever in my waterfire crowd, and you notice a young blonde girl getting an unusual amount of attention from me, it’s because she’s ridiculously adorable. i kneel down to give her hugs and kiss her forehead. her smile melts my heart.

+ adorable animal moment: a little girl came up to me with a rat on her shoulder. love it! i tried to say hi and pet it, but the rat was not terribly interested in being friends with the statue. s’okay. i still love it anyway.

+ during my last break of the night, another little girl, who had tipped me earlier, silently walked up to me with a big smile and handed me a red carnation. i thanked her and kissed her forehead. she never said a word. she just smiled. aww!

+ when i got home and dumped the night’s earnings on my living room floor to count it out, i found a piece of paper. ” you are a good performer and i sense a strong, good heart inside you”.

and on that note, i will say thank you all for a lovely waterfire season, and i’m already counting down the days until spring. i definitely won’t be busking at the october 9th waterfire. but if you see a blue-haired girl with a bunch of scarves dangling from her waist, say hello!


the end of the busking season draws near.

the waterfire schedule has been somewhat sparse over the last couple of years, due to the economy and lack of funds. it saddens me that, as i feel like i’ve really settled into my art and i’m finally starting to do it right, my favorite busking opportunities are becoming few and far between. but, i’m cherishing every moment, good or bad. looks like my last waterfire will be on the 25th, if i can acquire some warmer clothing by then.

– new england’s transitions from summer to autumn are way too drastic and abrupt. it was so cold! i had on all the layers i could squeeze in without destroying the sleek look of lily. i would’ve tried to put in another hour if my joints weren’t frozen and locking up painfully.

+ i got some serious love from the sweetest beagle puppy in the universe. the owners handed him to me to hold for a photo, and he gave me lots of puppy kisses. cuteness overload. it was impossible to be annoyed that he licked my chin and i had to get down to fix my makeup when the family left.

+ i held a baby, and for the first time ever, it did not result in a crying fit! sometimes it’s okay to touch them while mommy or daddy hold them, but i’ve never been able to actually hold a baby without them being very unhappy about it. not only was this little tyke not afraid of me, he kept trying to grab my face and wig. adorable.

– some particularly persistent teenage douchebags were really pushing their luck. you say something stupid, reach out to grab me, i move to block it, and you’re still going to threaten to touch me? really? probably the same kinds of kids who think it’s funny to poke an injured and dying animal with a stick and watch it get pissed off. you keep on prodding. eventually you’ll get bit.

+ generally, though, there was lots of love from teenagers. there were a couple groups that kept coming up to get their photo taken with me over and over again. it’s nice to be reminded that highschool kids aren’t always disrespectful dingbats.

– it’s amazing how many people put their money in the box that holds my business cards. let’s think about this for a moment. directly in front of me is a big white vase with a dollar bill taped to the front of it. the vase is elevated by a hat box that holds my makeup, drink, etc. the whole thing put together stands twenty-five inches tall. the box that holds my business cards, which sits on the ground, is… one inch tall. anyone who stands in my audience and watches me for five minutes will likely see between two and ten people drop money into the big white vase with the dollar bill taped to the front of it. so, gee, i wonder where you should put your dollar?

-/+ my brother came to keep me company, and he actually had to act as my guard dog for the first time [that i’ve witnessed, anyway]. this guy got all up in my face repeatedly saying something to the effect of “are you a mannequin?” my darling brother, who is about a third the size of this guy, walked right up and convinced him to leave in a way that almost made me break into a gigglefit.

brother: go.
douchebag: where?
brother: away.
douchebag: why?
brother: because!

the guy walked away without saying another word. brilliant.

+ training the next generation of living statues.


the city is frightening after dark.

waterfire. first and second hour were splendid. third and fourth were, with a few exceptions, a little stressful.

+ a wonderful photographer, who i have connected with via flickr [i do ego searches often and favorite every photo of me that i find], took some lovely photos and said some wonderful things in their flickr descriptions. he even managed to capture an adorable moment i had with a baby. the tiny ones are usually terrified of me, if they even notice me at all. but this one was utterly entranced.

check out the rest at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/papadunes

+/- these two kids decided to do their own little zombie walk thing at waterfire. while i am not at all a fan of zombies and don’t really understand the popular fascination with them, i do appreciate people doing weird things in public. however, i do not appreciate them hovering over my tip jar for a few minutes and, uh, groaning at it. could y’all maybe not scare off the people who were admiring the pretty statue? thanks.

+ comedy moment: this group stopped to admire and tip, and as they were leaving, some of them started walking to my right, and some of them started walking to my left. then there was a bit of a debate about how to get to their destination. one of the gentlemen turned to me and asked, “which way should we go?” i crossed my arms and pointed in both directions. he laughed. my immitation of the scarecrow from the wizard of oz was appreciated.

+ some waterfire first-timers told me that i was their absolute favorite thing about waterfire. aw, shucks.

+ another little girl fell in love with me. i love watching the process, from the moment they first notice me, to the moment when they figure it out and bring their family members over one by one to show them the magical statue that moves, to the fifth time they stop by over the course of the evening just to watch me and give me yet another dollar. she was the sweetest thing, and i hope i see her at future waterfires.

– after dark, the crowds started getting kind of… stupid. people hovering over and blocking my tip jar. people dropping money into the tiny box that holds my business cards, because the tall white vase with the dollar bill taped to the front of it wasn’t obvious enough apparently. people grabbing me [some of which i very successfully grabbed back] and climbing up into my ledge uninvited. someone tossed a pebble or something at me, but it came from behind so i didn’t see who did it. there was a lot of “i will kill you if you don’t stop being an asshole” glaring going on.

– this one family in particular was tremendously annoying. it started with dad wanting a picture with me. cool. except that daughter #1 only had a cellphone, and its camera did not come with a flash. it was too dark to capture even a hint of the desired image. after a few attempts, dad suggests daughter #1 goes and finds daughter #2 and tries using her cellphone. repeat numerous failed attempts. so, basically, all they’re doing is blocking my tip jar and preventing other people from getting their photos taken with me. it was the most selfish and inconsiderate display i’ve seen in a long time. they came over to compliment me at the end of the night, and i don’t even remember most of what they said because i was so irritated.

– on the subject of the end of the night, as i emptied out the tip jar and talked to a friend who showed up unexpectedly [just when i needed to see a friendly face, too], this guy was standing about three feet away from me, taking a picture with his cellphone. i snapped. i put my hand up and said “is it really that hard to ask before you take a picture of me?” i don’t mind posing for a quick photo at all when i’m off-duty. just ask. and most people do have the decency to ask. but people like that guy make me sympathize with celebrities dealing with fans and paparazzi getting all up in their faces taking pictures all the time.

+ the mother of some adorable girls i’d seen earlier was talking to me, and the whole time i thought, wow, this woman looks oddly familiar. then she said something that set off the memory lightbulb. her daughter dressed up as me for halloween last year. is that not the coolest thing ever?! i’ve had lots of parents tell me that their daughters constantly practice being a living statue so they can be just like me. but this little girl took it a step further, and it’s the most amazing compliment my art has ever received.


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.