Friday, July 13, 2012

Street Performers Enrich Our Lives With Their Art Forms

In the summertime, Provincetown will have a tremendous variety of street performers who have come to town to find an appreciative audience in the thousands of people swarming along Commercial Street every day. Street performers are often found in many spots along Commercial Street and in Lopes Square on Standish Street, particularly in the late afternoon and evening.
The White Lady remains motionless,
which is very hard work
Some performers are musicians, some make balloon animals or paint the faces of children, some don period costumes and portray historical characters, such as the pirates sometimes found in front of Town Hall with a big treasure chest to receive tips from people passing by. Others perform by being perfectly still, like The White Lady, standing absolutely motionless until someone puts a tip in the basket on the ground next to her, at which point she will reward the contributor, often by blowing a kiss, and then striking a different pose. She stands absolutely still, unblinking and unflinching despite the antics of kids trying to make her react. Thinking parents will stop their kids from harassing performers and use the moment to teach a bit about boundaries and respect for others, as well as an appreciation for all of the many forms of art that can be found in the world around us.
The White Lady exhibits not only a remarkable talent for her chosen avocation but an admirable forbearance in remaining unfazed by those without the mental capacity to appreciate art when they encounter it.
She and her boyfriend, the very tall man often seen holding court after-hours in the driveway of the Seamens bank parking lot, entertaining large crowds with magic tricks and illusions, each make their living by performing on streets all around the country. They have travelled to Provincetown this summer to enjoy some of the natural beauty that surrounds us, as well as to perform for the large crowds of visitors found on PTown streets on any given day of the summer. Street artists and performers enhance the landscape of our streets, enrich our lives with their performances, and bring more visitors to town as a result. Some of these visitors name the diverse mix of street performers found here as one of the reasons they come to Provincetown. Look for these performers pretty much wherever there is a wide spot in the sidewalk, or any place where they can attract a bit of a crowd without interfering with the flow of traffic, like the driveway or front steps of the U.S. Post Office in the evenings, or under the tree at the old library at the corner of Commercial and Freeman streets. Watch for upcoming posts about a number of other street artists and performers in various spots around town.
And the next time you run across a street artist, whether it might be a human statue, a pirate, a singer or a group of musicians, pause for a moment and be entertained, and be sure to leave a tip in the bucket, basket or guitar case.

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