Monster on Main St. - Ryan Stanton

Monster on Main St. - Ryan Stanton

There I am at the beginning, or pretty close to it at the least. In June of 2011 I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know how humans would react to me. I didn't know if I could completely control my Hunger, and I didn't know if I could make enough money on the street to pay the bills. But I was outside, enjoying the warm summer days, and fiddling tunes for anyone who would listen.

Four and a half years later, I still don't know what I'm doing. I don't know if I can keep this up indefinitely, or if outside pressures will collapse upon me and blanket me with too much doubt to shake off. I don't know if I'll ever be financially successful, by American standards. I don't know if I'll have big opportunities somewhere down the road, and I don't know if people will continue to watch and listen to my simple songs. But I do know I have the determination to give it my best shot.

For the past four winters, I've traveled south to continue to perform where the climate is warm enough for steady foot traffic. It's difficult to travel so much. Cherished relationships seem to change drastically when there are months in between. New ones sometimes aren't given enough time to blossom. But I've embarked on this journey, and I haven't yet reached my final destination.

I'm trying to hang onto what's important in life. To remember what it's like to be human. To believe that ten tender smiles are worth more than ten hundred dollar bills. But it's just so difficult sometimes.



A Fresh Start

Photo by Judy Nanney

Photo by Judy Nanney

Hello! I promised last night that I would write about what happened yesterday that was bumming me out a bit. I will revisit this post later this week with some expansions and edits, as I'm planning on ushering in the new year in style with friends at Corner Brewery. I am certainly looking forward to 2015! 2014 was far from a bed of roses, but in a few short hours it will be history...the type of history that no one remembers a decade from now.

Yesterday I embarked from Michigan in my Monstermobile, heading for New Orleans, and a warm and festive environment that is ideal for me to perform in. On I-75 in Sidney, Ohio, my car blew out, and I luckily veered to the shoulder and avoided a far worse catastrophe. While waiting for AAA to arrive, I took a look under the hood, noticed a piece under the engine was ripped apart, and oil was pouring out onto the asphalt. I don't know much about cars, but I knew this was bad. When I got to the mechanic, he immediately told me that it was unfixable, and so that was that.

I'm not in the mood to write much more than this at present, but I don't want to end this post on a sour note. I was excited to finally have a vehicle, and I was looking forward to traveling to and performing in more cities around the country than I was previously able. But this is only a minor setback. It doesn't change who I am, or my determination, or my ability to do my thing. I've made my way around the country the previous three years without a car, and I can do it now. There are many difficulties and fears I have about being an artist, but it's all worth it to me. I can't imagine doing anything else. If you are reading this, you are a big part of the support I feel that keeps me going through the tough times. Thank you. I'm ready to embrace a fresh start for 2015, and I'm primed to move forward in a big way. Awwwwwwwwooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

Life in the Moment

VM_New Orleans Church

I'm starting this blog much too late, but it's better late than never. In the three and a half years that I've been a professional full-time street performer, I've had some delightfully weird experiences and met some colorful characters along the way. I'll be writing a lot of stories about my past in the future, but for today I'd like to focus on my present. We've all been told by people older and wiser than ourselves to live in the moment. Being a street performer has allowed me to do this more than at any other point in my life. So where am I? Right now.

Well, I'm in New Orleans. More specifically, I'm sitting on a white couch at a coffee shop in the Marigny neighborhood called the Orange Couch. The wifi password here is rickjames. I usually order ice cream, and I've been indulging in the peppermint bark flavor this holiday season. Sitting next to me is my friend, a magician named Dartagnan. He is a man of grand stature, sleekly dressed in light grey slacks, black shirt, dark grey blazer, and a light grey top hat to go with his black and silver hair and grizzled beard. We've been talking a lot lately about how our performance has evolved, our goals and aspirations, and the places we want to travel to. He prefers to work at night, on a corner of Jackson Square at Decatur Street. He does time travel magic that warps the very fabric of reality.

These days, I'm commonly out performing at night as well. I like a spot in Jackson Square right in front of the St. Louis Cathedral. There's a streetlamp at the entrance to Pere Antoine alley, which runs along a side of the cathedral, and I love to stand under its glow and howl up at the moon. During the day, Jackson Square is bustling with activity. There's always at least one brass band blaring. Tarot card readers line the perimeter. There is often a queue of magicians taking turns with large circle shows. Tourists meander about, checking out some of the performers, often with drinks in hand.

At  night the scene is much different. Some of the tarot card readers are still out, but their tables are flickering with candle flames. Ghost and vampire tours meet along the gates of Jackson Square Park, which is about fifty feet away from where I'm lurking. I fit right in. It's one of my favorite places in the world to perform, and I connect with people while shrouded in ethereal mystery. I'm a phantom werewolf, only fiddling for a fleeting moment before vanishing into the midnight mist.