Santa Wants You!
Performances (Interactive), Video & Performance Art
Background: At holiday time in 2013, I did an unannounced performance at two cafes. The project was called “Just Because,” and it was really simple: I went to two coffee shops and gave out wrapped presents to the surprised patrons. When questioned as to my motivation for bestowing gifts at random, I stated, “Just because.”
It was so much fun to have this experience of giving. So, in 2014, I wanted to allow other people to experience the joy of giving things to strangers. Consequently, I arranged to be at the Peekskill Coffee House with a stash of 100 wrapped gifts. (Yes, 100! These items ranged from silly gag gifts to some pretty nice things.)
When people entered the coffee shop, I told them that they could take any gift they wanted from my colorful pile. Then, I explained that they were not allowed to keep the gift! Rather, they had to give the present to someone else — a stranger in our midst.
My system worked perfectly! So many happy participants. People who had given gifts and people who received them thanked me warmly. It was one of the most gratifying performance experiences of my career.