You see them on practically every street corner, the royalty of human billboards, those iconic Liberty Tax rump-shakers and sign-wavers. But with Tax Day looming on April 17, they will soon vanish, leaving commuters with no one to stare at while stopped at red lights, except for those Statue-of-Liberty wannabes spinning arrows for mattress stores, open houses and other businesses. It’s just not the same.
So before they’re gone, we indulged our curiosity and cornered one. We had some questions to ask:
Name: James Evanson
Hourly pay: $8
Typical shift: Two to four hours
Day job: Trains sign-wavers for a variety of businesses
Hopes and dreams: To open his own human billboard business after the tax season, Signs With Legs
Hardest thing to get used to: “A lot of people don’t like to wear the costume, and they’re kinda nervous and timid at first. Then of course you gotta deal with rude people shouting things. You get the finger a lot, people yelling ‘homo,’ things like that.”
Got any signature moves? “I do a little bit of everything. You can do it one handed, two handed. You got the stair-stepper, the behind-the-back. You just gotta love your sign. The more you play with your sign, the better you’ll be.”
Essential gear: An iPod (but only with one bud inserted—“You have to be aware of your surroundings”), sunscreen and gloves to protect your hands.
Nemesis: The wind
Best music to listen to: Country
Tell us something we don’t know about sign-waving: “It’s great exercise.”