Do My Job: Steph and Shawn are street performers - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Do My Job: Steph and Shawn are street performers

Wesley the "SilverMan" Wesley the "SilverMan"
Wes gives Shawn & Steph some pointers Wes gives Shawn & Steph some pointers
Stephanie "Gold Girl" Lum & Shawn "SilverMan 2" Ching are ready to perform Stephanie "Gold Girl" Lum & Shawn "SilverMan 2" Ching are ready to perform
Shawn "SilverMan 2" Ching busts out the moves Shawn "SilverMan 2" Ching busts out the moves
"Awesome job", Wes assures them. "Awesome job", Wes assures them.

By Shawn Ching

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - 

Stand still for hours, don't talk and don't move.  It's certainly not the easiest way to make a living.

Street performers have been around for years in busy Waikiki and, as we found out, if you don't have the talent and the moves, you don't make the money.

My quest with Stephanie Lum took us to Waikiki to where the best of the best do their thing.  That's right in front of the International Market Place on Kalakaua Avenue. 

Our teacher to do this particular job is probably someone you've seen.  Part cowboy, part robot and kinda shy: "SilverMan".

"Okay, you can show my face on camera", he said.

His real name is Wesley and he's the man in these parts when it come to putting on a good show.

Steph asked him, " If you're good, then you're here?".

"Yeah", Wesley answered, "We just kinda look out for each other".

His advice for us was this: "They really feel your vibe so, if you come out with a bad attitude, they won't even stop and say ‘Hi' to you".

Wes should know.  He's been at this for over a decade.

The primetime hours are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m..   It attracts the older people and the kids. 

Wes elaborated, "You'll notice little kids come up and they'll look and, if they can feel the vibe, they'll come and have fun".

Wes is a former U.S. Marine and, that night he took charge of us.

This reporter asked him, "Wes, if we show you our costumes, could you give us some tips on it?".   

"Okay", Wes responded, "let's see your costumes".

We asked, "Will this stuff work? I've got a gold jacket and a gold hat."

Wes explained to us, "It all depends on your theme".  "You got a theme?", he asked.

I detailed, "I got a suit. She's got a flasher thing."  "Oh, boy, is that my theme?", Steph asked, laughingly.

I checked with Wes, "If she's gold and I'm silver, is it o.k. if we come by you?". 

"That's fine", Wes assured.

We ducked into an alley ...

and turned into ...

"I'm not sure", Steph admitted.  "What are we?"

There never quite was an answer to that very question.  This reporter sported a silver mask, top hat, silver tie, silver coat, pants &, of course, some silver gloves.  Steph's mask was gold & her attire was all basically the gold counterpart to my outfit.

Wes gave our costumes the thumbs up & gave us a few pointers.

Then it was time to get busy.  Or, get…still.

"What's the coolest part of it?", we asked Wes.  "The interaction with the people" was his answer.  "A good performance means good tips", Wes noted.

So, it was time to bust a move.

Steph dazzled onlookers with some "isolations" work and other popping moves.  Movement travelled along her arm, to her hand to her other hand, then along her other arm.

This reporter attempted to impress others with what I call the "Cloud 9": fancy footwork that makes one look like he's floating on air.

In this job, if you lose the rapport with your spectators, they are gone.  Audience support makes or breaks your success.

One female spectator praised, "I think they're fun. The guy in the middle is the most fun."

Owen Gough critiqued, "The guy in the middle is a pro, for sure. The other two look kinda hokey with the mask. They don't seem to stand as still as the middle guy".

Gina Snelling quipped, "They're really good".

Terri Boden observed, "You know what she needs? She needs gold body paint."

Gough added, "The other two, I don't know. We might have to take tips out of their can".

Still, when we asked our mentor in this job of jobs, his response was encouraging: "Awesome job", he said.

"But don't quit your day jobs", he advised.


Copyright Hawaii News Now 2011. All rights reserved.

See Steph and Shawn make sausage.

See video of their work with city groundskeepers.

See video of their work at Sea Life Park.

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