When she was informed that she won both the Best and Least Favorite Busker/Street Performer awards, Jessica "Silver Drummer Girl" Smith only had one word to say: "Awesome."
You may not know Smith by name, but if you've walked around downtown Asheville on a nice evening in the last few years, odds are you know her work. Busking as a metallic-paint covered living-statue who plays a short drum solo when money is placed in her tip jar, she's hard to miss.
"It takes a while," she says about getting into the full costume. "It's like any job where you have to put on makeup and get into your work clothes."
And like any job, working as a living statue has its challenges. "I get reactions like 'Oh! I didn't know she was real!' Or people telling me bad jokes, or trying to get a rise out of me."
The real question: Does it ever work?
"Maybe twice in the last eight years," Smith admits. "Once was during the Fourth of July, when a 5-year-old kid said 'Send her to the British!' It made me laugh really hard, because he was really spirited."
— Steve Shanafelt