Walking along the Mall of Asia bay area will expose you to a lot of odd sights.A few of them are couples and the so called “Jejemons” watching the sunset while party goers and “barkadas” chill in the many bars dotted along the bay walk. The most peculiar and perhaps the most entertaining of the people you’ll see though are the street performers. They come in all kinds: Dancers dressed up as the Jabbawockeez, singers belting out popular music hits, and the human statues that only move at the sight of the audience’s money. The presence of these people are easy to spot because of the huge crowd they attract when doing their acts.
To some, the performers are an annoyance. A detrimental factor to the ambiance provided by the beautiful and serene environment of the bay walk, especially when they pick you out of the crowd as the primary subject of their performance. What goes unnoticed though is the skill and perseverance needed for the performers to please the crowd and keep performing even if they are already being berated by the audience. It is sometimes easy to forget that these performers are people too, people with lives and families and emotions, not mindless talented robots that so many of the street performers enjoy to personify. Every time I see one of these people I can’t help but wonder what pushed them to enter their line of work, why of all the alternatives do they decide to sing on the streets or dance in costume when there are more dignified and profitable ways of earning a living?
I personally think the primary reason they did was because they wish to follow their dreams, their passion for their art so great that no form of schooling was fast enough to keep up with their talents. I guess there’s a certain amount of satisfaction one can get when showing one’s talent off to the world and having the world react with a round of applause. Especially when there are tons of children dancing along, following your actions, and laughing at your jokes.
Reality, doesn’t make life this easy. Which made me think of another more practical and slightly sadder purpose for which these performers do what they do.It is the sad fact that there are not enough jobs in the country that can accommodate their specific skill set, the depressing truth that this is all the people behind the masks and costumes can do to stay alive.That instead of them doing nothing but beg and starve on the streets they strive to earn a decent living by providing smiles to the on lookers, enough to keep them going for the next day.
I may never be able to tell you the entire truth on why these street performers continue pursuing this line of work because I lack the skill and the tremendous amount of guts it takes to perform in front of strangers. Watching these talented people though has helped me realize how something we take for granted and dismiss as a part of the background noise do in fact have a deeper and more interesting story hidden deep within to those who have the will to look.
If you know anything about the life of a street performer, or if I somehow insulted and demeaned the way of life. Please leave a message.