Photos: Hollywood Boulevard Street Performers Unmasked

Welcome to the superhero world of Hollywood Boulevard.

18 photos
1/18
AP
In this Tuesday, May 16, 2017 photo, superhero impersonator Justin Harrison, left, rides a Metro train wearing a Superman costume on his way to Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. "I always go out in a costume," said Harrison. "I love seeing people happy and seeing them smile." (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
2/18
AP
In this Tuesday, May 16, 2017 photo, superhero impersonator Justin Harrison, left, rides a Metro train wearing a Superman costume on his way to Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. "I always go out in a costume," said Harrison. "I love seeing people happy and seeing them smile." (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
3/18
AP
In this Sunday, June 4, 2017 photo, wearing a $5,000 Iron Man costume, actor Paul Louis Harrell leaves his apartment building, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. "I'm successful because I have the best costume on the block and it's the most expensive one on the block," said Harrell. Longtime street performers like Harrell have concerns. They say business used to be more lucrative until the boulevard became overpopulated with costumed characters. What's worse, some look grungy, while others turn off tourists with aggressive demands for money. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
4/18
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In this Thursday, March 2, 2017 photo, wearing a Superman costume, Toly Shtapenko, of Ukraine, takes a long stride along the Hollywood Walk of Fame to impress tourists, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. While the Hollywood we see in movies is a place of glamour and beautiful celebrities, the cast of superheroes filling Hollywood Boulevard is frequently anything but. Many are people struggling to make a buck as they pursue their dream of stardom. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
5/18
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In this Thursday, May 25, 2017 photo, Donte, a musician who only gave his first name, straightens out dollar bills on his first day in a brand new Chewbacca costume purchased from eBay for $441, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Donte said he replaced the old one because he wasn't making any money with it. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
6/18
AP
In this Tuesday, May 16, 2017 photo, Superman impersonator Justin Harrison, center, high-fives a commuter wearing a sweatshirt with a Superman symbol printed on it as he and his roommate, Reginald Jackson, in a Red Power Ranger costume, head back home after working on Hollywood Boulevard, in Los Angeles. "When I put on any costume of any character, I automatically feel like I am that character," said Harrison. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
7/18
AP
In this Thursday, March 2, 2017 photo, Batman impersonator Matthias Balke is silhouetted while standing on Hollywood Boulevard near the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Wearing his $3,000 Batman costume, Balke said he doesn't grab tourists or crack a joke to get their attention. Instead, he waits for them to come to him. "My way of soliciting is the quality of my costume," he said. "People see it, they come to me to ask me for a picture. I'd never walk up to anybody." (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
8/18
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In this Tuesday, May 16, 2017 photo, wearing a Superman costume, Justin Harrison kisses his wife, Hope, in their apartment before heading out to Hollywood Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles. Harrison said they rely on help from the government to pay their rent because his income as a superhero impersonator isn't enough. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
9/18
AP
In this Thursday, March 2, 2017 photo, superhero impersonator Matthias Balke poses with tourists on Hollywood Boulevard near the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The screenwriter-producer-actor, who put $3,000 into his elaborate Batman ensemble, said he doesn't grab tourists or crack a joke to get their attention. Instead, he waits for them to come to him. "My way of soliciting is the quality of my costume," he said. "People see it, they come to me to ask me for a picture. I'd never walk up to anybody." (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
10/18
AP
In this Monday, May 8, 2017 photo, Captain America impersonator Henry Hodge, a cinematographer from England who lives a stone's throw away from Hollywood's Dolby Theatre, opens his apartment door in Los Angeles. "The boulevard is the only thing that gives me the freedom to do what I really want to do," said Hodge. "I never have to miss a film meeting. I'm always available to shoot." (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
11/18
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In this Friday, June 2, 2017 photo, superhero impersonator Omar Budhoo stands in front of Thomas Suriya's mural depicting iconic Hollywood celebrities while waiting for a green light to cross the street in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. "My dream is to entertain. My dream has always been to entertain. I'm an actor," said the 48-year-old impersonator. "I'd probably die doing this." (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
12/18
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In this Thursday, May 25, 2017 photo, two Spider-Man impersonators, Rashad Rouse, front, and Juan Carlos Banegas, an immigrant from Honduras, change in the alley next to the TCL Chinese Theatre after working on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. The boulevard is a place of diversity with a cast of superheroes from all over the world including Ukraine, England, Mexico, Germany and Nigeria. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
13/18
AP
In this Monday, April 17, 2017 photo, covered in sweat, impersonator Belnarr Golden enters a public restroom with his SpongeBob SquarePants costume folded in half after working on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. While the Hollywood we see in movies is a place of glamour and beautiful celebrities, the cast of superheroes filling Hollywood Boulevard is frequently anything but. Many are people struggling to make a buck as they pursue their dream of stardom. "I crack jokes on them. That's my trick. I make them laugh," said Golden. "If I stand still, I'm not getting paid." (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
14/18
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In this Monday, May 22, 2017 photo, a young tourist tips Justin Harrison, wearing a homemade Captain America costume, and Harrison's roommate, Reginald Jackson in a Black Panther costume after taking pictures with them on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. While the Hollywood we see in film is a place of glamour and beautiful celebrities, the cast of superheroes filling Hollywood Boulevard is frequently anything but. Many are people struggling to make a buck as they pursue their dream of stardom. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
15/18
AP
In this Wednesday, May 24, 2017 photo, superhero impersonator and actor Dan Inigo, left, uses a tourist's smartphone to take a selfie on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. "It's a place of diversity, it's a place of drama, it's a place of illusion … a place of broken dreams," says the 25-year-old actor who prowls the boulevard dressed as Spider-Man. Although he barely scrapes by, Inigo says it's still a great gig for a struggling actor who needs to keep a schedule open for auditions. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
16/18
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In this Thursday, May 25, 2017 photo, Rashad Rouse, 27, whose dream is getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, hangs upside down from a traffic signal pole in a Spider-Man costume to get attention from tourists on Hollywood Boulevard, in Los Angeles. Rouse is a musician and sometimes works as an Uber driver when he is not working on the boulevard. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
17/18
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In this Friday, May 26, 2017 photo, Ramiro Rodriguez in a Bumblebee costume, a character from the Transformers movie series, shakes hands with young tourists on Hollywood Boulevard, in Los Angeles. The 39-year-old former restaurant worker from Guadalajara, Mexico, changed his career after watching a film on Hollywood characters. Rodriguez and his brother invested all their savings in the costume. Even on bad days, Rodriguez said they still make enough to buy dinner. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
18/18
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In this Monday, April 17, 2017 photo, Belnarr Golden, wearing a SpongeBob SquarePants costume, dodges a tourist trying to pull the nose of his costume on Hollywood Boulevard, in Los Angeles. Longtime street performers say the business used to be more lucrative, until the boulevard became overpopulated with costumed characters. "I crack jokes on them. That's my trick. I make them laugh," said Golden. "If I stand still, I'm not getting paid." (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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