Photo: Brian Mackey
Part avocado, with a brain the size of a shelled cashew, Mr Quasi Moto is a unique part of Westminster Street folklore. A member of the performance troupe Big Nazo, based nearby on the corner of Fulton and Eddy Streets, right now he is doing his rounds.
“Someone’s got to walk the streets. If you’re a legend, you have to be a living legend.
“I’m just remembering when Westminster was a pedestrian street. It was mid, late 1980s, when I started doing some street performances here with my little pals. We would set up on the corner of Union and Westminster. We needed a place to come and test the waters, work the crowds, get out to where the people were at and test their response to the more bizarre denizens of this fine city.
“In the early days, we’d come out for an hour or two, work through material. People reacted positively, mysteriously, oddly. People didn’t know what was going on, but it made sense.
“Providence was a great incubator to do these kinds of things. It had a great street setting that was very conducive to improvisational hangout street theater.”
Word spread, and soon Mr Moto and his friends were invited to take part in events in New York City, then in Canada and Japan. This February, they will perform daily as part of the Winter Olympics celebrations in Vancouver, BC.
“I try to instill a culture of absurdity for the locals. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of absurdity in life already. We just want to manifest it in an abstract, external sensibility.”