Forty-eight-year-old Xie Shui Ping holds down no ordinary, nine to five job: He is a “professional victim” who gets hit and beaten up for a living. Over the course of 13 years on the job, he has taken a total of 100,000 punches, according to china.com.cn.
He stumbled into the profession in 2001 with a modest performance that showed off his rudimentary knowledge of kungfu. Since then, most of his shows have taken place in bars, pubs and nightclubs in Guangdong city. He considers himself as one of the people who depend on entertaining the nightlife crowd for a living, such as singers, acrobats or freak show actors.
Mr Xie has a regular audience base, and from his nightly appearances is able to earn an income within a range of a few hundred to a few thousand.
Forget smacking inanimate objects to destress. The ones who hit him range from the curious ones who want to try out how it feels to be able to unabashedly pummel another, the youths who are looking for an outlet to vent their stress and anger, or even the drunkards that are high on alcohol.
While Xie assures potential employers that they will not be held responsible for any injuries that he sustains, many of them, especially the nightclub owners, still express safety concerns. As such, the venues who do eventually engage him are quite limited.
What makes the journey such a lonely one for him is the low opinion that his family holds of his job. They feel that he is a husband and father who is unworthy of respect. But Xie continues adhering to the disciplined and regulated life of a professional victim. “I will be able to make it big one day,” he says.
By Yuen Sin