Have you ever noticed the guy rocking out to his guitar right in front of Carey Hilliard's? Whether you're having lunch, shopping at TJ Maxx, or just driving by, it's near-impossible to miss his perpetual rocking moves.
The mystery man is Nick Leone, and he works for Little Caesar's Pizza at Statesboro Crossing. Every day Nick stands on the sidewalk playing his "Little Caesar's" guitar, hoping to attract customers to the pizza joint. Little Caesar's opened in March of last year, and Leone has worked there since August.
The phrase, "it's all about connections" is relative in Leone 's case.
"My uncle is friends with members of the Little Caesar's corporate team. Their boss called my boss, and that's how I got the job," he said.
The 19-year-old Detroit native graduated from Chattahoochee High School near Atlanta. He is now a sophomore IT major at Georgia Southern University. He said he loves playing video games, listening to music and hanging out at Don Corleone's.
The very convincing street player explained that he tried to learn guitar once, but it was much harder than he expected. Having no luck with that, he decided to stick with his Little Caesar's musical gig.
Leone admits there are some downfalls that come with his job.
"It does get a little boring at times standing out there from 2-5 p.m. every day by myself," he said. "But my girlfriend brings me Sonic and comes to hang out with me to help pass the time."
While most people who stop and talk to him are affable, there are some who prefer to toss out foul objects instead of friendly remarks.
"I've been hit by change, rocks, and even cups of water. But during the summer when the humidity is sky-high, I sometimes don't mind the water," Leone said.
One can only wonder what motivates Leone and keeps him occupied. But if you look closely you'll notice he's not rocking out in silence, but to actual music on his iPod.
"I listen to a lot of Coheed and Cambria, Jimi Hendrix and The Allman Brothers," he said. "My favorite band of all time is Rebelution."
Leone's quirky, fun-loving attitude doesn't let anything get him down. He loves his job and says getting paid to listen to his favorite music and jamming out to a guitar is far better than a real job.
"I'd rather be outside than inside any day," he said.