How to be a Competitive Sign Twirler

First off, I’d like to say that this article was intended to be exclusively comedic, but I was amazed to see how many resources there are regarding ‘Sign twirling/spinning for beginners’. I don’t know now how to approach this subject…I guess I’ll play it by ear, here’s how to be a sign twirler in the competitive, cut-throat market of human billboards.

What Does the Profession Involve?

Well, you stand on a street corner and wave around a sign in the attempt to get people’s attention. If you’re lucky, it might involve a costume that hides your identity and protects your already fragile dignity.

Hazards of the Profession

Sign twirling is a job that is spent outside, for the most part, thus you’ll be exposed to the elements and so will your equipment. You will need to take precautionary measures for personal health/hygiene, water, food, raincoats, and other protective clothing will be beneficial. Also, as people enjoy aggravating other people’s misery, expect things to be thrown at you, from takeaway cups to fistfuls of change.

The job sucks only as much as you let it

Sure you main job description is: “Stand with an arrow shaped sign, pointing at the object/business of interest” and your job title is “Human Directional” but that doesn’t mean the job has to be boring. Many sign spinners do elaborate tricks, involving martial arts, dance moves and baton twirling skills.

How much does it pay?

Sign twirling can earn you between $15-$20 dollars an hour. However, if you are a sought-after trick master sign twirler or a sign spinning instructor you can expect gains in the neighborhood of $60 per hour. I’ll do the math for you: that’s more than $100.000 a year.

The technical side of things

A promotional company named AArrow Sign Spinning claims a portfolio with 300 attention grabbing tricks. The company makes all its employees go through a sign spinning boot camp. The company’s services are used by a multitude of businesses and individuals from Fortune500 companies to celebrities.

The Sign

Your sword on the battlefield of attention will be a six foot long arrow shaped placard, that you flip in the air, twirl over your head and spin behind your back. Feel free to breakdance, backflip or perform acrobatics during your shift.

It’s Actually a Competitive Sport too

So not only will you join the ranks of fantastical commerce-motivated street performers, you will also be able to compete in annual Sign Spinning contests. Also you will be able to take advantage of “tricktionary” (that is a direct quote from the website) and use some of the 500 tricks that have been “spinvented” by the company (again taken from the official website). These people use spin based puns with the frivolity of a coked up bank executive that lights his cigars with hundred dollar bills. Finally you will have access to a “spinstructor”…who writes these people’s website? Groucho Marx?

OK, so I want to join the Elite Spinning Force

Right so I have convinced you via densely vocabulary-ed rhetoric (at least I’d like to think so) to become a sign spinner, how do you go about it? There is an online application form on AArows website. It seems pretty straight forward, except the enigmatic entry: “Eggs to Order” with the option “One or Two Dozens” and the less enigmatic but very asinine (for a job application) “Food you Like” with the options “Pizza, Cheeseburger and Bottled Water”. I would have preferred if one of the options were “Unicorn Farts and Candy-Land inhabitants” a joke gets a little creepy if it’s posed in all seriousness. Think of Christopher Walken looking you dead in the eyes and asking: “Why…did…the chicken…cross the road?”. OK, actually that’s hilarious, but you get my point.

Are you a sign spinner? Feel free to tell us a bit about your experiences in the comment section below.