Beggar Inc.

Street performance

Each weekday from 8-9 AM I stood on a busy downtown street corner dressed in a business suit while holding a cardboard sign. I repeated this ritual for seven weeks, filming myself each day (video stills below).

First I attained a peddler’s license.  This allows one to accept money in exchange for goods and services on public property. Then I found a second hand suit, briefcase, and umbrella for a total cost of $13.50.

The performance functioned as a living political cartoon, intended to be delightfully humorous and dead serious.  I poked at a range of social and political issues such as consumerism, homelessness, and our commuter culture.

People would see me each morning on their way to work through the frame of their windshield.  The responses were dramatically varied. Some screamed profanities or shot looks of disapproval, others laughed hysterically or just honked. The homeless people that approached me usually were supportive, often advising me on better places to stand.  

I received a total of $22.72, one guitar pick and an indistinguishable metal object.  The money was given to a homeless shelter.