Let’s talk to one of Brazil’s traffic-light street-performers.
I was curious how much these fellas make after seeing them perform their routines for drivers waiting at busy intersections, so I struck up a conversation with Pablo, a streetlight performer originally from Buenos Aires. He used to be in a circus in Bolivia where he was a stilt-walker but he’s lived in Brazil for the past four years.
On an average day Pablo said he makes 50 reais (about $20, or £13), but on a good day he can make 160-170 reais (about $60, £45). He only works in the afternoons and only for three-four hours. He said he always works alone but he knows all of the other guys in the trade.
Whilst I was there he didn’t make any money. The first traffic-light he didn’t have time to collect anything, the second and third time he was too tired to do it again (he spins and jumps around quite a lot during his routine) and he was talking to me, and the fourth time (that I recorded) he dropped the juggling balls and gave up, even though just out of shot was a taxi full of tourists ooh-ing and aah-ing.