How to Interact with a Human Statue

Dude above is making bank—check out his "tips" lining the railing.

Above is one of the human statues that are to be found all around the Strip in Las Vegas, or for that matter, anywhere with a steady stream of tourists with coins jiggling in their pockets. This guy at The Venetian—imitating a generic Italian historical figure (we thought maybe Dante, then thought better)—is someone making a living from just standing still and being entertaining for doing just that.

We’ve seen human statues all over the world (the greatest concentration seems to be on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas), and we’ve seen tourists make complete asses of themselves in the attempt to tip and get a photograph with the statue. So, for your future reference, we present:

The Etiquette of Interacting with a Human Statue.

· Make eye contact. If you’re tipping with the aim of getting a photo with the statue, it’s a great idea to look at them as you’re dropping coins or bills into their tip box. Mime taking a picture or just watch their response to your tip. Often they will simply nod or offer their hand to hold, but occasionally they will shift positions for a more photogenic angle, and by watching them you’ll be able to follow their lead for a less awkward image.

· Don’t ask them questions, or speak to them. Breaking character in front of other potential tippers is something they’re not likely to do, but questions with yes or no answers are usually alright. Feel free to direct them a tad bit, like to get a better photo because after all, that’s why you’re tipping them.

· Assume the position. The standard photo-with-a-human-statue pose is basically you standing in front of and slightly to the side of the statue. No arms around the shoulders or touching really at all, because hello they are covered in hardened, painted clothing that needs to stay a certain way.

· Be prepared for a kiss. Guy statues like to kiss the hands of ladies and the rare girl statues may mime kissing a guy’s cheek. It’s a cute move that may bring more tips, but it also means some weirdness if you aren’t expecting that. Bunny ears may also happen.

· Don’t steal their tip box. Duh. Unless you want to be seen running down the Strip, chased by a guy in chaps and cowboy gear painted totally bronze….also it’s a crime.

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