The first piece that I did embodied as the busboy persona was in Havana, Cuba in November of 2000. I convinced a local family owned restaurant to let me work for them for a couple of nights as a bus boy. My goal was to earn one American dollar (which was the preferred form of currency used by Cubans at the time). I worked for about 18 hours and earned 19 pesos (at the time there were 21 Cuban Pesos in 1 American Dollar). Close but no cigar…

More information about busboy pieces:

When I arrived in San Francisco in the fall of 1999 I took a job in a restaurant as a busboy. Prior to my arrival in San Francisco I had been working as a cabinetmaker in Boston for three years. Since I was going to school full time during the day I was unable to find a cabinet shop that would allow me to work nights. Thus, I started working in restaurants.

My first body of work dealt with furniture and cabinets (as shown in up coming pictures), but slowly my “research” as a busboy started to infiltrate my pieces. I began to either perform or interact with people postured as a service person, busboy, or attendant. I was usually a silent, sculptural element in those installations, interventions or performances.

The Service Series (as seen in the images below) was my attempt to deconstruct the persona that I was adopting those performance pieces by investigating the uniform that I would were: black shoes, black socks, black pants, black belt, white shirt, black tie and (sometimes) black bag.

Busboy, Havana, Cuba, 11/00 | 2000 | Busboy