Street performance a stepping stone for local artist

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Kane McLean, 19, of Williamsport, has caught the eye of many a local as the “air guitar tax guy” along Hepburn Street this month.

During tax season, McLean dresses up in a Statue of Liberty costume and walks the city’s streets, playing air guitar with his tax sign and drumming up new customers for his employer.

But McLean is much more than a guy in a goofy suit. For him, the passing motorists are his audience; the street provides his stage.

“It’s amazing,” McLean said. “People I’ve never seen before drive by and wave. They see me out here acting goofy, jamming out with my sign, and they smile for a moment.”

McLean, who has a musical bent, focuses much of his creativity on writing song lyrics. He hopes to meet like-minded individuals and form a band.

“Air guitaring is something I’m always doing anyway. I’m full of energy,” McLean said.

He started using his sign as an air guitar more often, and saw a positive response from the public.

“I think I’m learning a lot about getting people’s attention and how to make people smile,” he said.

McLean has spent many hours watching street performers along San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. He’s drawn inspiration from the showmanship of those practicing their art on the street.

“It’s amazing the level of talent you find out on the wharf. You could sit and watch them for hours and there are such a wide variety of artists,” McLean said.

In addition to the entertainment value of performing on air guitar, McLean said the activity does something else for him – the constant movement keeps him warm on cold January days.

“Once my fingers get going, my hands stay pretty warm,” McLean said.