I talk to Thea, age 9, who had the quirky idea to become a 'Living Statue' – and executed it boldly and brilliantly.
What gave you the idea to be a Living Statue?
I’d seen them in London quite a bit and I said to my mum, “I really want to do that.”
So where and when did you do it?
My school’s summer fete was coming up and my mum said, “So, do you want to do it there? It’s a good chance.” And I said, “Yes!”.
How did you decide what to look like?
The fete had a circus theme so I dressed like a gymnast, all in white. My mum painted my face white and bought me a white wig. My mum and dad talked for a long time about the best thing for me to do when people gave me money – like skipping or waving a gymnast’s ribbon. They decided hula-hooping was best. I can do hula-hooping anyway.
Were you nervous?
Yes. Very nervous. Not about doing it, but about what people would think about me doing it. I practiced a bit in the morning.
So, how did it go?
It was raining that day so the fete had to be indoors instead of on the field. I stood in a corner of the school hall. I had a bucket for people to put the money in – a white bucket! – and my mum had made a sign which said: Our school's first living statue! Can you guess who it is?
How did you feel?
Everyone was looking at me so it was quite embarrassing, especially because Mrs. Bott kept making announcements about me, like “Go and see the girl in white”.
Did people recognize you?
Not really. I could hear people saying, “Who is it? I think it’s Thea.” Some people kept putting money in so I would move and lift my head up.
Was it difficult keeping still?
No, but my face paint went a bit stiff.
How long did you do it for?
An hour and a half. After that I felt dizzy and I had to go and sit down and have a drink.
How much money did you make?
£35.86. One person emptied their whole purse into the bucket at the end. All the money went to the school’s Friends Association. I didn’t keep any!
What did your friends say to you afterwards?
When I went back to school, everyone crowded round me. They said, “You were great,” and stuff like that. I felt proud.