"You see a lot of people out there just waving the paper, saying, "Real Change, Real Change." I can't do that. I have to sing. If they can't hear me way at the top of those stairs, I'm not doing my job. That's what I do."
As a child, Vendor of the Week Isaiah John would sing along to classic rock songs on the radio. Now he takes popular tunes and replaces the words with an endearing sales pitch to passerby. "I take songs and I Real Change them."
From Colorado via nine different states, John hopes to make his home in Seattle. "I was drawn here ever since I was little." In Colorado he appreciated the beauty of the summer and the ability to go up into the mountains. "That's what I love most about Colorado, the mountains. Naturally I moved to the Northwest where you have mountains all over the place."
When he first arrived in Seattle, John was prevented from getting full time employment because he lacked the proper identification. Now he is pursuing work in the electrical trade or fisheries. "I want some experience fishing on a large scale because I've never done that before."
John considers himself a jack of all trades: "Whatever you ask me to do, show me how to do it, and I'll do it."
In the meantime he sells Real Change, preferring to sell the paper instead of washing dishes. "It's a good experience for me, I'll probably do Real Change for a few more months at least because it's so much fun. I make it fun."
Listen to Isaiah's songs at Ninth Avenue and Westlake Street in downtown Seattle.