A fellow comic wrote his e-mail list about some non-comedy related gig in Time Square that would pay $450 for four partial days of work. Due to a desire to make some easy, quick coin, I followed his link to sign up.
Though the coin was quick, I wouldn't say it was easy (I shoulda been scared when the ad said, "We will supply the jumpsuit")
The job was to, wearing the aforementioned jumpsuit (blue, with "Hyundai" splashed on it), "clean" Times Square. I put "clean" in quotes as we were given brooms, feather dusters, squeegies, and portable vacuums and were told to clean the air in groups of six. Basically, pretend we were cleaning. Thanksfully, I didn't run into anyone I knew, which is more than I can say for an acting teacher I was working with, who ran into a student of his (ouch!).
Try pretending to vacuum the air for five hours...not as much fun as you'd think. It gets old after about five minutes. Especially on the corners where the sun was beating down on us (We spent as much time on corners in the shade, waiting until the next group came by to kick us to the next one)
After cleaning it on one corner, we'd move onto the next, much to the amusement of passing tourists (less to the amusement of passing locals). My favorite responses from tourists were....
1 - While standing at a corner and pretending to dust the air, I smiled at an older Irish guy, also waiting. He looked at what I was doing and asked, "What are ya, stupid?"
2 - This guy asks me to keep doing what I was doing (brooming the air) while he called over his six or seven year old son. The father pointed at me and said, "This is what happens when you dont go to college."
I coulda explained to them that I did graduate college and make a decent living, and how I was only doing this to make extra cash for an apartment that my wife and I are saving up to buy (in the year 2037), but I figured, eh, let him have his life lesson. Actually, it woulda been great if I just told them, "Actually, I did go to college."
Funny he mentioned college though, as the job kinda made me think of my dad. He didn't go to college, and spent his life doing crappy jobs to provide for his family. I often think about what it must have been like for him, doing something I know he disliked for a living, but needed to do.
For one weekend, I walked in his shoes.