One of the first subjects of New York on the Clock was a street performer — and not just any performer. Late one summer afternoon near The High Line, producer Bijan Rezvani saw Boba Fett-masked Nathan Stodola squeezing his accordion. Nathan more or less supports himself with his accordion and mask while pursuing a graduate degree in engineering from Columbia. Watch the film now. Inside THIRTEEN spoke with Rezvani about this unique busker.
Q. There are a lot of street musicians out there … What compelled you to pick Nathan Stodola for New York on the Clock?
We saw him in a Boba Fett mask playing Star Wars music and were instantly charmed.
Q. What kinds of songs does he play?
He plays mostly but not exclusively video game and movie music. Some music (Amelie) comes ready for accordion but most of it he has to adapt. I think my favorite thing I’ve heard him play is the Mario swimming music. (For those of you feeling nostalgic, listen to the underwater Mario Bros. theme music here. – ed.)
Q. How much money does he make in a typical day? Enough for a Columbia tuition?
He makes enough to pay rent and eat. Now that it’s cold I doubt he’s out as often.
Q. In the film, Nathan verbally thanks people who give him money … Shouldn’t a guy in a Boba Fett mask stay true to character and not speak?
Interesting point. It would’ve been more exciting if he lured the guy to Bespin and had him frozen in carbonite.