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Jasper -- San Francisco, CA


Yesterday while out photowalking with Jordana Wright for her America by Rail photowalk I ran into Jasper. Jasper approached me and asked if I would be willing to listen to him. He explained that he was homeless but that he had a unique talent, that he was a human beatbox. He wanted to perform for us and see if we'd help him out so he could get a sandwich.


I told Jasper about my $2 Portrait Project and he agreed to pose but wanted to keep that a separate thing from his beatboxing. After beat boxing for a bit Jasper said we could do a portrait, but he wanted to go out in the sun because he wanted to show us another of his unique talents.


Jasper the beatboxer said he had a unique ability to stare straight into the sun without it hurting his eyes. He said he had rare different colors eyes that gave him this special ability. For about 30 seconds Jasper posed for us with his eyes directly into the sun. He did an encore performance of this but took his shirt off this time because he wanted to show us his muscles.


Jasper was a talkative guy. He kept referring to himself as Jasper the random black dude and kept talking about this sandwich he was going to get with the money from this portrait session. He seemed fixated on the fact that it couldn't have any sauce on it.


Jasper is originally from St. Louis. He said he was a product of the American education system.


After Jasper posed for a while I gave him $10. I usually only pay $2 for street portraits, but Jasper was more of an entertainer to me than a random homeless guy. I told him I was giving $2 for the portrait and $8 for the beatboxing. Others in our group gave him some money too, so hopefully he was able to get his sandwich and a few more today.

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Taken on May 26, 2012