These are the personalities. The so-called "characters" who found a way to eke out a living being odd. They played a role and performed an act, seldom on formal stage or bally, but in the streets and barrooms, in public spaces, but an act sure as any other. Though sometimes the act was a life deliberately, inadvertently, or accidentally, concocted to elicit a reaction. Laughter, shock, or something else-- it mattered only in that each emotion that made these brave actors a spectacle that brought people round to take a look. The spectacle, minor though it might be-- seen for free, or seen with a voluntary small contribution-- a nickel thrown in a can-- was truly entertainment of a sort.
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