Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Is there a rivalry between the different street performers?

There’s no rivalry between the statues – we’re all buddies. We’re particularly good friends with the windy people, and we’re also friends with Chaplin. The windy people are musicians and are also in a reggae band.

We all met doing this work, and became friends through the art of statuing. Outside work we all go to eat at each other’s houses.

What do you think of the other acts?

The tropical pigeon man gets his birds to pick out cards and give them to you. They’re meant to tell your fortune. The pigeon thing is old school.

If you had $10 to give to the street performers on a Sunday, how would you divide it?

Our favourite act is the windy people. There’s also a Chilean puppeteer with drunk puppets who we like.

Can anybody just turn up on a Sunday and start performing on Defensa?
We have the legal backing backing of the council, so we’re legitimate. We have a license now. We used to be able to simply arrive and just set up, but then we had problems with the police. Depending on who was on the beat we used to get various problems – but now with the license system it’s more secure.

So you don’t get hassled any more?

Yes and no – this is Argentina. There’s a police station round the corner, and another down the road. Depending on who’s working they may give you trouble – or not.
For example, one weekend the police changed and they didn’t let the windies work.

What do the locals think of you?

The local restaurant owners and businessmen like us, so we’re allowed to stay. Not because everyone gets money – it’s because it’s pretty. We’re not in competition with the businesses.

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