113 degrees? All in a day's work for Vegas street performers - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

113 degrees? All in a day's work for Vegas street performers

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Street performers need to find ways to stay cool in high heat. (FOX5) Street performers need to find ways to stay cool in high heat. (FOX5)

Las Vegas and Disneyland aren't the same thing. In Las Vegas, there isn't anyone else in a costume waiting in the back when the actor gets tired and wants to switch out. If street performers want to get paid, they have to tough it out until the tip jar fills up.

Sure, they make their own hours and they don't have to "call in sick" to their boss, but a lot of them don't take many days off. They need the money.

"EDC is over! It's time for the heat wave, right?" Dave McBride yelled to his audience, impersonating Tony Montana from Scarface. "Say hello to my little friend!"

This week's weather in Las Vegas will be one of the biggest tests of 2017. Monday's 113 degree temperatures kept some people away from work, but not everyone. 

Pee-wee Herman was at home fixing his air conditioning.

"Some of those guys are my good buddies," McBride said. "They really suffer sometimes, but they like to give the people what they want."

McBride said he impersonates a few different characters, but the "Las Vegas Scarface" seems to be the most popular. He also appreciates the fact that he doesn't have to wear a mask or helmet.

"Once you step in the sun, it's like hanging out with the devil," he said, still in character. "Keep the electrolytes high, you know?"

Street performers in the downtown area said they prefer the Fremont Street Experience because of the shade and air conditioning spilling outside from the casinos. They also said the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has been trying to get rid of street performers lately on the Las Vegas Strip by giving them tickets for blocking the sidewalk.

Brian Patrick, who sings and plays the violin, said he feels bad for all his colleagues wearing the big, hot, sweaty costumes.

"Pikachu. Mickey and Minnie; they should be coming this way pretty soon," Patrick said. "I can only imagine how hot that is ... I just advise people to stay hydrated."

"Watch out for the Minions (from 'Despicable Me'). Man! Those guys are hardcore," McBride laughed. "They're probably losing plenty of weight every day."

Performers don't try to hide the fact that they're staying hydrated. The "assassin" drinks large sips out of a Big Gulp and has bottles of frozen Gatorade under his armor.  Patrick said he makes sure to keep water next to his equipment. He's heard stories of people dying from heat stroke.

All of this is a full-time job, for tips. They can't name a price for their entertainment. They can't demand money. They can't enter the casinos to use the bathroom while in costume. 

"This is what Las Vegas is all about," McBride said.

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