To busk or not to busk: Marino '04 performs for Times

By Emily Fletcher, The Dartmouth Staff | 8/15/11 11:42am



Courtesy Of The New York Times

While most of his peers are likely pur­su­ing more tra­di­tional ca­reer paths, Paul Marino ’04 has been busk­ing on New York City sub­ways since Jan­u­ary. In a New York Times pro­file, re­porter Clau­dia La Rocco de­scribes how Marino and friend Fred Jones in­con­spic­u­ously enter sub­way cars and burst into char­ac­ter, most often per­form­ing scenes from Shake­speare plays.

The duo — who per­form on the F, G, J, L and R lines and call them­selves Pop­eye & Cloudy — met per­form­ing stand-up com­edy in Brook­lyn in 2010. The idea for the per­for­mances came from Marino, an ecol­ogy and evo­lu­tion major at the Col­lege, and Marino and Jones now per­form about 20 hours a week.

Al­though they ini­tially re­fused money from their au­di­ence, they now ac­cept do­na­tions and the per­for­mances con­sti­tute Marino’s pri­mary source of in­come.

Marino and Jones typ­i­cally scout trains for promis­ing au­di­ences and enter cars sep­a­rately from dif­fer­ent ends. One will then begin act­ing to the sur­prise of the other rid­ers, and the other will join in the scene.

De­spite oc­ca­sional drunk heck­lers and run-ins with the po­lice — per­form­ing on sub­way trains is il­le­gal in New York City — Marino and Jones enjoy in­ter­act­ing with their au­di­ence and push­ing per­for­mance art out­side its nor­mal bound­aries.

Emily Fletcher, The Dartmouth Staff