IN ONE of the most surreal moments of David Borenstein’s short career as a “white person for hire” in China, he pretended — in front of hundreds of people — to be part of an internationally renowned band despite the singer not being able to sing and the musicians barely knowing their way around an instrument.
At one event, they dressed up as British beefeater soldiers, some in ill-fitting fancy dress suits, and simply stared ahead, mute. Other foreigners would sit in fake houses in fake cities pretending to lead fake lives, where people would look at them longingly, eager for some of that fake international pizzazz to rub off.
“It was absurd,” said Mr Borenstein, who lived in Chongqing at the time in south west China.
“They didn’t care if we had any skills or talent. We used to call them ‘white monkey’ gigs.
“The feeling of being ogled at must have been like the early days of anthropology when you could go to the zoo or a World Fair and see an African tribesman or an Eskimo next to an igloo.”
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