What’s It Really Like Being a Performer in Times Square?

Outside the Theatre   What’s It Really Like Being a Performer in Times Square?
 
Meet four actresses who make some extra money promoting Broadway shows in the theatre district.
Paige Espinoza, Flavia Sgoifo, Mariana Bravo and Tatiana Birenbaum
Paige Espinoza, Flavia Sgoifo, Mariana Bravo and Tatiana Birenbaum Monica Simoes
Rockettes Stopped Outside Theatre 2
Paige Espinoza, Flavia Sgoifo, Mariana Bravo and Tatiana Birenbaum Monica Simoes

How did you get into this kind of work?
Tatiana Birenbaum: I’m an actress, and I wanted to find a job that was performance and theatre-related. I was introduced to TheatreMAMA, where you work to promote Broadway shows, and I just loved it. I have a chance to perform in Times Square, which is the place to be. You never now who’s watching you, and you get to meet a lot of people every day. It’s really fun and if you think about it, I’m performing on Broadway! It’s great.

What does it involve?
Mariana Bravo: We’re promoting different shows all the time. While we’re on the job we need to stay in character.
TB: Once we’re in costume, we are that character. If we’re promoting Chicago, for example, it’s all about being in Fosse mode and acting just like one of the girls from the show.
Flavia Sgoifo: You're also expected to know the area really well! People keep asking us for directions.

It must be fun when you can work together as a group?
MB: It’s definitely more fun because we can interact with each other, as well. But when you’re on your own, you can really focus on promoting the show and interacting with people; I like to look everyone in the eye.
TB: Making eye contact is really important.
MB: I like being able to give something to them; even if it’s just a smile.
TB: And when they smile back, you get something in return—even if they don’t take a flyer!
Paige Espinoza: It’s my first day on the job today, and I’ve noticed that some people will grab the flyer and look you in the eye, but then other people just walk on by. It’s such a weird, human thing to just walk by somebody and not acknowledge them. When you can actually make somebody stop and smile, it’s a bit of an adrenaline rush in a weird way.

What is a highlight?
FS: The kids who run up and hug me—that’s so sweet. You feel like you’re a princess or something. Some people are so kind and polite; they say good morning, or “I love your costume.” I love that.

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