Friday, February 14, 2014

The Peculiar Person of the Month: The Naked Indian

David Rondinelli

He can be found on 45th and Broadway all day in his trademark aqua blue  headdress, tomahawk, and tighty whities. The Naked Indian, born Adam David, has become a staple of the Time Square characters who populate the area. There, people from every walk of life can share a sight seeing experience that they can shake hands with.

Seen by many on a daily basis, the Naked Indian opens up to This Peculiar Life NYC about his real Native American heritage and his hopeful future as an actor.

While some might smile and snap pictures of him as he towers down Broadway, many might be surprised to learn that he has his own unique history. A history that includes a six-year study in the field of psychology as well as once being a possible contender for boxing in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Find out more about the Naked Indian below as he is occupies late February and March as the Peculiar Person of the Month.

This Peculiar Life NYC: How did you come up with the idea to become the Naked Indian?

The Naked Indian: The Naked Cowboy influenced the Naked Indian.

TPL NYC: How long have you been performing as this character?

NI: A little more than a year and a half.

TPL NYC: Do you perform all year round? How do you perform “naked” in the winter?

NI: I perform all year round. Last year I was in Vegas!

TPL NYC: Is this your full time job, or do you do this on the side?

NI: Full time gig.

(The Naked Indian posing in Time Square)
TPL NYC: Do you have a trademark on the character?

NI: Yes.

TPL NYC: Are you the first guy to be the Naked Indian, or are there other naked Indians?
NI: There was never another Naked Indian performer, although, there once was a parody.
TPL NYC: How did you put your costume together? Where did you get it? Also, how did you decide on the war paint patterns?
NI: The costume was put together mostly from my imagination. I ordered the pieces from Secret Providers and also gifts. The war paint was influenced by other Vegas entertainers.
TPL NYC: As a costumed person in Time Square, is the competition fierce between the other performers, or do you all get along with one another?
NI: The competition can be fierce, but as the Naked Indian I have a huge intimidation factor. 
TPL NYC: Take me through your day as the Naked Indian. What do you do?
NI: I get up and travel from New Jersey by commuter bus. I travel with mostly business people. I get to the gym for a work out, shower and put on my costume and take pictures until I’m tired. On average, I put in 8 hours in costume.

(Happier days with the Naked Cowboy)
TPL NYC: What does the Naked Cowboy think of you? Are you friends or foes?
NI: The Naked Cowboy admires me, but he is very jealous, so I do not speak with him.
 TPL NYC: How much can a performer in Time Square stand to make?
NI: A cool $1,000 if you are the Naked Indian or Cowboy on Christmas and other big holidays.
TPL NYC: How often do you have to be out in Time Square to make good money at this type of performance?
NI: Five days is plenty.

TPL NYC: How do tourists know to tip you? Do you charge for photos and such, or do people just give it to you?
NI: People will give you money, but I often suggest tips.
TPL NYC: What does your family and friends think about you being the Naked Indian?
NI: Most people I know respect the Naked Indian.

TPL NYC: Do you share any actual Native American heritage?
NI: My mother is a full-blooded Cherokee from Oklahoma. We have some customs we stick to, one of which is synthesizing to nature. Often times, we had to keep it a secret that we are Indians. Revealing our heritage often made us black sheep. My father is Jewish though.
TPL NYC: What are some of the customs you would practice to synthesize with nature?
NI: I learned from my cousin about the Great Spirit. It protects a native when he or she is very well behaved and is evident in all aspects of his or her life. I have awesome protection from it. Anyone could connect with the Great Spirit, just be on your best behavior.   

(The Great Spirit)
TPL NYC: You sometimes carry Tomahawks and arrows, do you make those yourself?
NI: I do know a lot about arrow head making as well as finding arrowheads in old Indian camps and in shallow creeks. When it comes to making arrowheads, Flint rocks and deer antlers are the basic tools. Digging in old camps is best for finding Native American artifacts.
TPL NYC: Do you have an Native American name?
NI: I do, my Indian Name is Moves with the Wind, which was given to me by a native from Canada while I was in Las Vegas, which is perfect since I am a dancer as well. Another Native American once called me a Spirit Warrior and it is the truest statement and most accurate description of the Naked Indian. It is also the secret to his success.
TPL NYC: What the most peculiar thing that you’ve experienced while doing this in Time Square?
NI: CNN approached me to tell me that the Naked Cowboy was suing me for copyright infringement.
(The Naked Indian being interviewed for the news)

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