Tag Archives: jackassery

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.

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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.


the importance of protecting personal space

people love to fuck with street performers. living statues are seen as particularly easy targets, because it is assumed that a living statue can’t move no matter what happens. as i’ve said countless times over the years, i firmly believe that protecting myself is significantly more important than holding a pose, and i am completely baffled by anyone who thinks otherwise.

i read a story, ages ago, about a female living statue and a drunk man. it was a pretty typical scene of jackassery. he’s making lewd comments, inching closer, gaining bravery with every second that passes. soon enough, he was all over her, grabbing her, flat out sexually assaulting her. she held her pose. eventually he wandered away, and her audience was impressed that she never reacted to anything he did to her. i read this story, and i wanted to track her down and slap her. why would you do that? why would you allow anyone, intoxicated or not, to treat you that way? i am not impressed.

if you give people an inch, they will eventually take a hundred miles. there’s a performance artist, marina abramovic, who is mentioned often when wyatt and i have conversations about my busking and the bullshit i have to deal with from my audience. here’s why:

To test the limits of the relationship between performer and audience, Abramović developed one of her most challenging (and best-known) performances. She assigned a passive role to herself, with the public being the force which would act on her.

Abramović had placed upon a table 72 objects that people were allowed to use (a sign informed them) in any way that they chose. Some of these were objects that could give pleasure, while others could be wielded to inflict pain, or to harm her. Among them were a rose, a feather, honey, a whip, scissors, a scalpel, a gun and a single bullet. For six hours the artist allowed the audience members to manipulate her body and actions.

Initially, members of the audience reacted with caution and modesty, but as time passed (and the artist remained impassive) people began to act more aggressively. As Abramović described it later:

“What I learned was that… if you leave it up to the audience, they can kill you.” … “I felt really violated: they cut up my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the audience. Everyone ran away, to escape an actual confrontation.”

now, obviously, her performance was very different than mine. but i do think the basics of humanity are exactly the same. people will test you. that is a fact of performance art. and if you do nothing, they’ll keep going, they’ll want to know exactly how much they can get away with. that’s why i don’t let people get away with poking, grabbing, slapping, or crowding me. i know that if i let people get away with seemingly harmless actions [that certainly wouldn’t be considered harmless under normal day-to-day circumstances], inevitably i will find myself in a much more serious situation. it’s fucking absurd for anyone to expect me to tolerate invasions of my personal space just because i have chosen to perform on the street as a living statue.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.