Anyone ever drop their phone number in your tip jar?
i’ve pulled hundreds of phone numbers out of my tip jar. i’m baffled by it every time. exactly what do you want me to do with that? call you up and say “hi, i have no idea who you are, but i perform as a living statue and this number was left in my tip jar”? will i be what you imagined a living statue performer to be? would you even recognize me out of costume? probably not. if you really want to talk to me, wait a while…
I’ve never seen a living statue “set up” or stop their performance. Do you try to be sneaky about it or have I just not witnessed it yet?
i’m not sneaky about it at all. all one has to do to see me set up or break down is be there at the right time. i also do not make any effort to stay in character when i am not actually performing. if you see me setting up or getting down, that’s a good time to chat with me if you so desire.
Do people ever just sit near and spend a while chatting to you, knowing that you’ll be a good listener because you can’t move or reply?
occasionally, yes, i get people who just want to talk at the statue, like i’m the new postsecret. as long as the person maintains an appropriate distance while talking to me and doesn’t do anything to interfere with my performance, i’m perfectly happy to listen.
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.
What do your friends/boyfriend/girlfriend/parents feel about this? Does it have an impact on your social life? Additionally, what type of social life did you have before/after getting in to this? Are you otherwise outgoing, or normally a shy person?
my boyfriend and friends have always been extremely interested in and supportive of my art. it works out really well for me, it means i almost always have volunteer bodyguards to hang out in the crowd and step in to deal with douchebags if i need them to. my parents, well, they would have preferred a college degree and a “real job”, but that’s just not who i am, and they’ve accepted that. their attitudes definitely changed for the better after they finally came to see me perform at waterfire. they saw that i have a talent for it, i can make money doing it, and it makes a lot of people happy. before that, they pretty much just saw me as a glorified beggar.
it does impact my social life on occasion. my best busking opportunities are on weekends, and my ten31 schedule is all over the place. it helps to have friends who have similarly weird schedules.
when i started performing at nineteen years old, i had a very small group of friends and was a bundle of social anxiety in groups of strangers. living statuary was unexpectedly helpful in easing my anxieties. my group of friends is still small and cozy, but i’m a thousand times more comfortable chatting with total strangers now than i was seven years ago. it’s hard to be shy when i have dozens of people approaching me, wanting to compliment/ask about what i’m doing. my art is a wonderful icebreaker.
i created an account and posted my IAmA on a whim. after reading an interesting AMA a friend linked me to, i did a search for ‘living statue’, as i am prone to doing anytime i find myself on a new social website. the only result i found for IAmA was a living statue request. surely, it was fate.
i was not expecting such an immediate flood of questions and comments. i was surprised by the overwhelming positivity. i was delighted to have been asked questions i’ve never been asked before.
i want you all to know that i genuinely appreciate your interest and kindness. you are the reason i do what i do.