If you've ever been to Hollywood & Highland, you've undoubtedly encountered the "actors" of Hollywood Boulevard. They are a brave band of drug addicts/homeless people/schizophrenics/criminals who spend their days and nights dressed up as famous characters from movies, posing for pictures, and guilting tourists into giving them money. At first glance, one would assume the great city of Hollywood pays these broken souls to stand outside all day and enhance the tourist experience for the foreign masses coursing through Los Angeles on a daily basis. But upon closer inspection, the Hollywood Boulevard "actors" are just dirty, crafty, angry entrepreneurs. There are a select few "actors" who actually look pretty good. There's a Batman who has a full, very accurate costume, and a guy who looks exactly like Johnny Depp from Pirates of the Caribbean. And to be honest with you, I might actually pay 2 bucks to get a funny facebook picture with one of these guys. On the other hand, 99% of the Hollywood Blvd "actors" look like this dude.
My friend Fat Spiderman raises a couple of points: 1) There are at least 3 other guys dressed up as Spiderman in a 1 block radius, why would he enter an already saturated market with an inferior product? 2) Why would he choose a costume that so generously shows off his junk? The answer to both these questions is the same: a potent mix of poverty and brass balls. If he had the financial means, Fat Spiderman definitely would have purchased a movie replica Spidey suit. And if he didn’t have the figurative balls of a lion tamer, he wouldn’t so freely prance around a international tourist attraction with his actual balls so brazenly on display. And while the "actors’" income depends on the kindness of strangers, it is impossible to have a pleasant exchange with one of them. If you were to inform an "actor" you just took a photograph with that you don’t have any cash on you, you’re going to hear either A) a nasty combination of street slang and obscenities or B) The sound of a grown Mexican man dressed like Sponge Bob Square Pants quietly weeping to himself. The answer to both these questions is the same: a potent mix of poverty and brass balls.
But you know what? I kind of admire them. They’ve got a special kind of gusto. The kind of gusto that can just as likely lead a man to becoming the CEO of a Fortune 500, or dressing like a Storm Trooper and posing with Mid-Western tourists in 100 degree heat. God bless ‘em.
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