As the Missing Persons song goes, “Nobody walks in L.A.” While it’s true that Los Angeles has historically been known as a driving town, Chuck McCarthy is gearing up to change that reputation. The actor, originally from Atlanta, recently started a business walking people.
For $7 per mile, The People Walker will accompany clients on walks. McCarthy told Circa that the idea for the business came when he wanted to make some extra money. “I thought about walking dogs, but I didn’t want to pick up dog poop.” Clients have been drawn to the service for motivation, safety, or just to talk with another person while they exercise.
“My conversations are confidential, but I can tell you that they are conversations, not confessions,” McCarthy explained to Lonely Planet. “People vent about the usual stuff, like traffic, the weather and work. Just walking and talking and knowing that someone is listening can be amazingly helpful for most people, even if they aren’t baring their souls.”
He admitted that some people think The People Walker is a joke, but now with a roster of regulars and curious new customers, McCarthy understands why the idea resonates with people. “We communicate more and more through computers and phones and we don’t realise how much we are just communicating WITH computers and phones. We are missing human contact and interaction.”
In a city full of people with quirky jobs, Chuck McCarthy is a standout. But could The People Walker grow outside of La La Land? “Some people want to try to define this as an ‘L.A. thing,’ but I think there are people that need exercise and need motivation to exercise all across the country and around the world” he said. “If anything about this is an ‘L.A. thing,’ it’s just that people here are maybe more willing to try something new that might make their lives better.”