Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 101: "How Could it Hurt You When it Looks so Good" -Hollywood, Madonna

(Hollywood Blvd., December 2009) 

While my friend was in town, we took a trip to Hollywood Boulevard for her to see the area and the stars on the sidewalk. As we were driving there, I warned her that Hollywood Blvd. is more gritty than glitzy. How it's portrayed on television is completely different when you see it person.

To me, Hollywood Boulevard is where dreams come to die. It is evident in the faces of many of the street performers who don on costumes and pose with tourists. Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Catwoman, Yoda, Spongebob, Indiana Jones, etc. These characters gather in front of the famous Chinese Theater and solicit visitors to take pictures with them. After a picture is taken, a tip is usually given for their "services." They do not work for an agency and are there on their free will.

Cat Woman became hostile because nobody wanted to pose with her. She started demanding people take her picture and said "Are you going to make me stand here all day? Somebody take my picture and pay me."

The more popular characters had plenty of people to take pictures with them. Others, walked around, edging their way closer to big crowds, many did not understand the boundaries of personal space. There were more than 4 Spiderman, all standing a few feet away from one another.

As the sun was setting and we were getting ready to leave, a man who was we had seen earlier jumping around in Spiderman costume, pull his mask off. He was not the 19 year old Peter Parker we've seen in the movies, he was a rail thin 40 something year old man with straggly hair, deep set wrinkles and pale skin with unfriendly eyes. He saw someone filming a project and yelled at them saying, "You are not allowed to film me, I don't want to be filmed. You have to pay me!"

Taking a closer look, I saw the costumes were not as bright and new as I had thought. They were tattered and dirty and many did not fit properly. But they continued on, walking the street, making their rounds with the thinning crowd.

"Ready, smile!" Flashing lights, picture after picture, these people are a part of many families vacations pictures which they will show their family and friends. And their friends will think of Hollywood as a wonderful and fun places because you can find Spiderman and Batman readily available for pictures.

When I pulled out of my parking spot, I wonder, what is the story with these street performers and do they enjoy doing what they do?

Honeysuckle, she's full of poison
She obliterated everything she kissed
and now she's fading
Somewhere in Hollywood
I'm glad I came here
With your pound of flesh

-Celebrity Skin, Hole

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