It was a curious sight: Four homeless men wearing identical T shirts and waving signs at a heavily traveled intersection near downtown.
The reason had nothing to do with Gasparilla on Saturday and everything to do with a comedian and a radio station promotion.
Steve Miller is trying to win the Tampa Bay's Got Talent contest sponsored by radio station 102.5 FM The Bone. To gain support, he took to the streets on Friday afternoon and got help from four homeless men.
Miller paid the men $10 for an hour of work at the intersection of Platt Street and Plant Avenue. He had the men carry signs asking people to vote for Miller at www.theboneonline.com. He dressed them with Miller Low Life T-shirts that a friend designed and he sells after his comedy shows.
"My hope is that they (motorists) see it," said Miller, a Tampa comedian. "It sticks with them. And then (they) go home and check it out."
"I had to do something different and something that would draw a little attention," Miller said.
Miller is one of five finalists in the contest. The winner gets a 90-day contract to host a radio program on 102.5 The Bone, Miller said.
If he wins, Miller sees it as a career opportunity.
"It's good exposure for me," Miller said. "I want to be in entertainment."
Miller chose the intersection because of the heavy traffic. Living near the intersection, he had spotted the men in the past and knew they would be there.
"This is where they were," Miller said. "I was hoping to find some guys and I found these guys."
Miller said he's going to continue the campaign each day until the voting ends. On Saturday, he's heading to St. Petersburg to avoid Tampa's Gasparilla crowd.
"I need the focus to be on me," Miller said. "I'm a self-centered comedian."