Actor playing a beggar in China makes more money than new graduates


A professional actor in China has been making a living playing a beggar for handouts for the past 12 years.

Begging as an act: Li Jingang, 38, is a former soldier and chef who became a professional actor at the Qingming Riverside Landscape Garden over a decade ago, according to Sohu. His daily routine involves immersive performances as a beggar, interacting with tourists and showcasing his talent in singing and dancing.

Passion for the job: Li's passion for performing and interacting with tourists shines despite the physically challenging work. He reportedly earns 10,000 to 16,000 yuan ($1,390 to $2,225) per month, exceeding China's 2023 average salary for new university graduates (10,342 yuan or $1,438).

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Method acting: In an interview with the local press, Li revealed that he even fasted for three days to better understand the struggles of real beggars. His commitment to authenticity paid off, with many visitors mistaking him for a genuine beggar. He shared that the outpouring of generosity from tourists who would offer him food has resulted in him significantly gaining weight. As a token of his appreciation, he even prepared large boxes of White Rabbit candy to give away.

Embracing challenges: Li faces long hours, exposure to the elements and even occasional disrespect from tourists. Despite these challenges, Li's dedication to his craft earned his family's support after initial skepticism. He loves his job and the chance to perform, hoping to continue in this role for many years.


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