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Pretty Little Liars

Troian Bellasario Performed Shakespeare on NYC Subways for Cash

When we hear "summer job," we think lifeguards, babysitters, and ice cream shoppes. Apparently, Pretty Little Liars' Troian Bellisario (Spencer) is more creative (and much braver) than we are. As she explained during the ABC Family summer press day, she once spent a summer earning cash by performing for the toughest crowd there is: New York City commuters!

Question: Pretty Little Liars is a big summer hit. So I have to ask, what is the most fabulous summer you've ever had?

Troian Bellisario: I had a summer where I got to live in New York and I was actually — I didn't really panhandle. I busked. I busked on the New York subway [with] my boyfriend at the time.

With your guitar?

No, no, no. We actually started Shakespeare on the Subway, and we were Romeo and Juliet. We would enter the car. And it was actually one of the most terrifying summers of my life. But we would enter the car and he would start the scene at one end and people were like, "Oh my God. Crazy boy over here," until I started. And we'd chop down an eleven-page scene into the time it would take to go from one stop to another.

What was the weirdest response you got to that?

Well, here was the funniest thing. So I had women at the end of it who would...there was one woman, she was foreign. She kissed my hands. She hugged me. People would give us twenty-dollar bills. The funniest was we never got an adverse reaction. If people didn't really like it they just kind of, like, sat. Because people in New York are so used to everything.

There's one guy, I'm sure he'd just been fired. He was in the worst mood ever. And he, I will try to censor myself: "Damn it," he goes, "This isn't," and he cursed, "Shakespeare on the Subway." And we all stopped. We were in the middle of a scene and I go, "Actually that's what we're called." And then everybody around us was just like, "Go on. Go. Go on." So we finished the scene and we got a standing ovation at the end. So that was probably my favorite summer.

05.16.2011 / 10:21 PM EDT by Scott Huver
Related: Pretty Little Liars, Troian Bellisario, TV Stars

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