Enter Goldman

Picture 086Kenan ChristiansenThe Goldman at Union Square Park.

On a drizzly day like today the weather couldn’t be more dreary. The sky isn’t offering a speck of color and besides puddle-dodging, people barely have a reason to look up. How shocked they all act when they come to Union Square Park and find the Goldman quietly shining. He peers into a small mirror and empties a can of Gold 4100 spraypaint on his face as carefully as if he were shaving.

“Does that hurt your skin?” they ask him.

“I use special paint,” he says. He gets this question a lot.

The Goldman has been practicing his “statue mode” for more than 10 years and isn’t deterred easily by weather. He worries more about putting out the right energy and being at the right place, in the right time.

“I go where the people go,” says the Goldman. “The weather does not matter. If it gets too bad I go underground to the subway. But you have to follow the money.”

He insists that being a mime requires as much physical conditioning as it does mental. He says that he has kept a running tally of his personal records and he rattles them off with pride — longest time standing in one position: 70 minutes; longest time without blinking: 30 minutes.

“I trained by letting the shower spray into my eyes,” he says. He says that he also uses eye drops and takes his practices to another level by holding staring contests with himself in the mirror.

Picture 073Kenan Christiansen The Goldman — in the zone.

There are two tricks to standing motionless. You have to find a comfortable posture and allow your mind to zone out. For his poses he looks at photographs of famous statues — Rodin’s “The Thinker,” Michelangelo’s “David” — but the mental discipline only came with experience. It took him years to learn how to ignore people’s attempts to goad him out of “statue mode.”

When asked what he thinks about while in “statue mode,” he doesn’t have an answer. He tries not to think. The goal is to make people believe he is solid, lifeless gold.

“Nothing gives me more pleasure than fooling someone into believing I am real,” says the Goldman. “Especially, when it’s a grown man.” Then he quietly drops into fixed posture and doesn’t speak again.