They Work Hard For The Money
Where I work there are a number of street performers around. There are some who are in costumes, others who play music, some who dance and some who do other things. I have gotten to know some of them a little outside of there act, and they are all really nice people. Most of them come out daily and take photographs with the tourist in town (locals sometimes will take pictures with them, but mostly it is visitors.)
Now the city doesn't pay these people, but they do help to promote the city and make people smile. For the ones who are in a costume, they will spend hundreds to thousands of dollars for them. I was chatting with one guy who is on of the many Elvis impersonators here,and he is a young guy who is going to college and he does it to pay for his schooling and extra money. I asked him how much the costume cost, and to my surprise he said it was around $1,200 dollars, and that he had bought the cheapest one that he could find. It took him a while to make that much in tips, but he them said that when he looked around not that long ago, the cheapest one that he could find was over twice what he had paid.
Another person has a Mickey Mouse outfit, which ran him almost $700 when he got it, and that it took him nearly 6 weeks in tips to be able to cover the cost of the outfit. I also see women dressed in “Showgirl” outfits, and I am sure that they spent a great deal of money on them. I see a bunch of different outfits which I am sure cost the people a lot of money.
The thing that bothers me are the tourist that come here. Now I am not saying this off all the tourist, but there are a number of them who will come up and take a picture with these folks and not even bother to give them people, who gave them a moment of joy, a single dollar. I watch as people walk along and pull out there cameras and snap a photograph. I notice that people get upset when the characters turn away from the camera. I watch as people will rush up to snap a picture while someone who has tipped was getting their picture taken, and I am sure that many of these pictures are being put onto “social networks” with these strangers being in them. Now because of where I stand, I am sure that I am in pictures on the Internet in the background, but I don't worry about that.
Now one of my favorites is a guy called “The Stone Arts Man”, who has no big problem with the ones who don't tip, but with those who do tip him,he makes them feel real special. Yes I have heard about the people in costumes who get very rude and swear at people who don't tip, but there are a large number of these people that are getting shafted who treat people with respect. This reminds me of something from the Bible and that can be found in other religions as well. “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Now would you like to go out and spend a bunch of money for a costume, stand out on a busy street, have people come along and take pictures with and of you, then not offering a single dollar?
With the two ladies in the “Fashion Show” outfits. As I left the office I grabbed two bottles of water and gave it to them as I left. It brought smiles to their faces.