Sometimes you just can’t give it away…

The truth pales next to your colorful interpretations.

I traveled to Scotland in August of 2005. It was at the height of the Edinburgh International Festival. Part of the joy of the festival is that it is more than one festival intermingled. The core events include ballet, operas and the Military Tattoo dotted around the city. The connective tissue to each grand event are fringe events…avant guard theatrics of one act plays, comedic movements, modern dance. Walking from event grand or fringe there is a stream of street performers. Some street performances were shilling the fringe events performing scenes for free to the punters to lure them into their formalized for fee shows. Other street performers were selling cds or dvds for cash…dazzling gather crowds with their trickery or fine music. And finally there was this man…a guy out to get a few sheckles without much of an act. A Hugh Laurie like fellow who approached to his street comedy with the same warmth and care that House would utilize in his bedside manor. I can’t even remember one trick or joke he made…he was hostile and crass. Angry when people would not laugh…he told his sad story of being a failed artist and that he now made his living every year at the festival. I can’t even remember why he was changing. The sign was meant as a cheap laugh while he awkwardly dropped trow on the Royal Mile. He was grimy…in thought and deed. Look at the spectators’ faces…they could be viewing any array of things…but the emotion they display is far from entertained. It was such a weird feeling entertainer and crowd at odds with each other…the very moment that the act bombed. I took a few shots and then moved on to dinner.

The salmon was fabulous.

Another in a series of found Photos.

free.jpg

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15 thoughts on “Sometimes you just can’t give it away…

  1. Ok, this is a seriously great photo in that it really provokes the viewer. It leaves me with so many questions and makes me want to keep looking at it to figure it out. Why are all (well most) of the people looking at him men? Why do several have cameras with them as if they expected to be taking photos (they don’t look like tourists)? Is he putting the “free sex” sign in his pants or taking it out? What’s in the silver suitcase?

    I honestly don’t have a clue as to what was going on. Can’t wait to hear the real story!!!

  2. I’m sorry, I’m just now processing the fact that, if it hadn’t been mentioned, I wouldn’t have noticed the guys pants halfway down.

    Then, after mentally scolding myself for not being too observant, I am now distracted by the irony of the words “Shine, Sparkle, Fresh, Clean, Bright” on the right side of the photo.

    Will try to come up with an imagined context for this as soon as I can stop laughing.

  3. Ok. Ok. We’ll try harder.

    So let’s see… The man works for an AIDS awareness organization. The suitcase is full of condoms. He was doing a performance art piece to warn the great citizens of London that they shouldn’t have unsafe sex. His performance was so compelling that people (including a bus driver) gathered to watch.

  4. Ok, I’ll play.

    The dude is Arnaud. Arnaud was recently let go from him mime troupe because of some inappropriate gestures he continued to pull on women on the street. Distraught from losing his dream job and life’s passion, he decided to go it on his own and to embrace his “uniqueness”.

    This picture was caught on his first (and only) day as his own boss. He knew he needed an angle, something different and something that would keep him from getting his arse kicked by all the mime-haters (like me). Then, the proverbial light bulb went off.

    How better to get people to stop and watch than to lure them with the prospects of free sex? He knew it would work for him. While a little “different” in his mime interpretation, Arnaud isn’t really a pervert, he’s just freer in his performances.

    So, Arnaud the Magnificent Mime brings his prop case to the busy corner of Rue Toulouse and Rue La Trec and goes to work. He starts with the Free Sex sign to gather a crowd, and then begins to strip down to his costume. To create anticipation, he uses the sign as “cover” until he reveals his black Borat thong, a la John Mayer.

    A collective, “ooh la la” goes up from the crowd. Arnaud then goes into his “freeze” mode, striking a Hercules pose with both arms up “making muscles”. There he stays all day, where he draws curious onlookers but alas, no dough. He couldn’t even get arrested….because this is Paris. Nearly naked man on the street with a Free Sex sign? pffft. Takes more than that to capture the attention of people who have bathrooms out on the street.

    Dejected, Arnaud decides that being an exotic mime just may not work out after all and the next day, applies for and becomes the Minister of Commerce for President Sarkozy.

  5. He wasn’t done pulling the sign out from his Magic Pants.
    The WHOLE sign reads:
    “Free Us From Watching Another Season of Untalented,
    Sexless Losers on American Idol!”

  6. The truth pales next to these colorful interpretations.

    I traveled to Scotland in August of 2005. It was at the height of the Edinburgh International Festival. Part of the joy of the festival is that it is more than one festival intermingled. The core events include ballet, operas and the Military Tattoo dotted around the city. The connective tissue to each grand event are fringe events…avant guard theatrics of one act plays, comedic movements, modern dance. Walking from event grand or fringe there is a stream of street performers. Some street performances were shilling the fringe events performing scenes for free to the punters to lure them into their formalized for fee shows. Other street performers were selling cds or dvds for cash…dazzling gather crowds with their trickery or fine music. And finally there was this man…a guy out to get a few sheckles without much of an act. A Hugh Laurie like fellow who approached to his street comedy with the same warmth and care that House would utilize in his bedside manor. I can’t even remember one trick or joke he made…he was hostile and crass. Angry when people would not laugh…he told his sad story of being a failed artist and that he now made his living every year at the festival. I can’t even remember why he was changing. The sign was meant as a cheap laugh while he awkwardly dropped trow on the Royal Mile. He was grimy…in thought and deed. Look at the spectators’ faces…they could be viewing any array of things…but the emotion they display is far from entertained. It was such a weird feeling entertainer and crowd at odds with each other…the very moment that the act bombed. I took a few shots and then moved on to dinner.

    The salmon was fabulous.

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