Being new to San Francisco, I am trying to experience everything the city has to offer to get a real feel for the city – and maybe make a buck on the side! I started looking on Craigslist for odd jobs that might be more exciting and give some insight to the range of activities happening here. After applying as a kayak instructor, county fair jeweler and undercover bar patron, among other things, I got an email back about a corduroy pants performance request.
I really had no idea what I had applied to, but the description was pretty simple “wear corduroys and sit on your hands”. After emailing a few times, I found out some more pieces of the puzzle – I would be an art exhibit at a show and was to display the corduroy imprints on my hands while sitting in a chair…. sounds easy enough, the only problem was that I didn’t actually have any corduroys.
Luckily I had spotted a pair of yellow corduroys while second hand shopping a few days earlier. Having found out I was to be the “performer” only the evening before the event, I had to run out during lunch break to buy the pants. I had one hour to catch the bus uptown, about ten minutes to find the corduroys and get back for the afternoon meeting. It was all going swell until my returning bus was running super late, so when a transport truck pulled up to the stop and hollered out the window “need a lift?”, I hopped right in!
I was so excited to have gotten a lift back to work, especially since it involved pulling the horn on a huge truck (that was still on my bucket list). The driver was pretty nice and even went a bit out of his way to drop me off right at the front door to my office, I was just hoping that nobody would catch me jumping out of the front of a transport truck!
So I had my pants and was ready to be art. I was warned by the artist that he may not be at the show but told me who to speak to, and it turns out that none of the other artists had ever seen him either, but they really liked his work. The art show was pretty abstract and I turned out to be the only “living” piece, but that didn’t stop me from putting on my performance! I sat in what felt like a recently salvaged street chair with my hands under my legs for about 15 minutes before revealing them for people to look at. I was titled on the gallery layout, but I think most people just thought I was taking the only seat in the middle of the place. After the lines faded from my hands, I would go to the bar and get a drink before doing it again!
So that was my first paying job in San Francisco!
The weirdest part I only found out about later, since I never met the artist who hired me, I figured he wasn’t at the show. However when I looked him up online and was looking through his work, I found a picture of myself sitting in the chair… a very creepy phone looking side shot – not one of the many the other artists took, so maybe he did come after all!