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Zhang Guanhui performs on a street in Beijing's Sanlitun area.
A once-frustrated young artist can now get on the floor easily Cheap Men's Air Jordan 1 Retro Jet Black White For Sale , after re-inventing himself as a Michael Jackson lookalike. But it's not all glamour, he tells Zhang Zhouxiang.

The clock strikes 7 pm. Zhang Guanhui takes a deep breath, turns on the music and slowly moonwalks to the center of a clearing near the main intersection in Beijing's Sanlitun area. Passers-by stop and stare, and an audience forms a semicircle around him.

For over three years, Zhang has been portraying the king of pop music, Michael Jackson, on the streets of the capital.

Growing up in a small town in Huainan Cheap Mens Air Jordan 1 OG Royal Black Blue 555088-007 For Sale , Anhui province, Zhang learned street dancing and ventriloquism when he was very young, and he dreamed of becoming a star. The 25-year-old even went to the Beijing Film Studio in 2009 for a chance to show off his skills on the big screen.

At least 300 other candidates, however, were also waiting at the studio gate every day. How could Zhang, with no diploma or recommendation from a renowned director, pass even the first round of selection?

As he was about to leave Cheap Mens Air Jordan 1 Reverse Shattered Backboard Black 555088-113 For Sale , disappointed, somebody stopped him, saying: "We need a doorkeeper. The pay is poor but at least you can stay here and watch them dancing."

Zhang accepted and stood by the gate for almost one year, until 2010, when he first watched a video of Billie Jean.

"It was like lightning bolt to my mind," he says, still excited by the memory. "I was further moved by learning later that Jackson was a great philanthropist Cheap Mens Air Jordan 1 Low NS White White 872782-100 For Sale , too. The star has fallen but we can make his spirit live."

Zhang Guanhui participates in a dance competition portraying Michael Jackson.

In order to learn Jackson's iconic dance moves, he purchased every CD he could find and practiced up to four hours after work every day. Within six months, he had mastered primary skills like the moonwalk and popping.

Zhang learned to do his own makeup and tried to dress like Jackson to offer audiences a physical sense of the late pop star. Such costumes weren't easy to find, however, and even tailors shrugged at his quest for the right jackets, shoes and sunglasses. "It was like hunting for treasure," he says with a smile.

Now Cheap Air Jordan 1 Brown Mens For Sale , as the instantly recognizable beat of Billie Jean blares into the night, he has the complete package: clothes, skillful dancing and heavy makeup.

He attracted more than 120 people on his first night in 2010, and today he can count on a mixed audience that ranges from well-earning foreigners to migrant laborers who live in basements nearby. They do not understand one another's languages but they move their bodies together, tracking the rhythm of Zhang's dance.

Neighboring vendors also watch. One drops a 10-yuan note into the dancer's money box. "The boy's dancing is energetic," says another vendor, packing his cart. "He is a person with a dream."

Not everybody has applauded him Cheap Men's Air Jordan 1 Retro High Flyknit Black Red 919704-001 For Sale , though. When he first began performing, Zhang once found a note in the box that read: "Do not insult MJ anymore." He has also been chased by chengguan, or urban management officials, who wanted to confiscate his cart.

Most of Zhang's performance invitations come from birthday or wedding parties of friends. That means donning his makeup in spaces ranging from public restrooms to table-tennis rooms and hotel corners with a mirror on the wall.

On one such occasion, he remembers the astonishment of a young cleaning woman. "She stared at me for two full minutes without blinking," he says.

He is not so fond of makeup, because cheap chemicals hurt his skin. "Sometimes I get allergies. But don't worry Cheap Men's Air Jordan 1 Retro High Flyknit Royal Black White 919704-006 For Sale , I am already used to that. When more people accept my performance I'll try some better brands."

Zhang Guanhui participates in a dance competition portraying Michael Jackson.

Generally, the coins and small notes he collects amount between 100 ($16) and 300 yuan after a whole evening's dancing. That's far from enough to support a normal life in Beijing, let alone the costumes. His decorated jacket, which he describes as "70 percent" like the one Jackson wore on stage, cost 2,600 yuan. So he works part-time as a doorkeeper. Most of his income is spent on more costumes, shoes and sound equipment.

To lower his living costs Cheap Men's OFF white fragment design Air Jordan 1 Black Blue AA3834-103 For Sale , Zhang resides in suburban districts, so he often has to travel two hours by subway to his stage in Sanlitun. The room he rents measures 7 square meters, barely enough for the things he values most: his costumes, dancing shoes, makeup bag - and a photograph taken with his father. During a ventriloquism performance on Hunan TV, the host invited his father without telling Zhang in advance.

"When dad appeared I almost cried out on the stage," he says. "That's the first time we were on TV."

Like his idol Cheap Men's Off-White Air Jordan 1 The Ten White Black AA3834-101 For Sale , Zhang makes donations to the less fortunate - despite his tiny income.

"I think truly impersonating Michael Jackson means doing it with both body and soul," he says. In 2013, he and a friend helped a lost child wandering in the streets find his family in Guizhou province. It took half a year for Zhang to earn the money necessary while his friend tracked down the family, he says, "but it was worth it. We were so glad to see the child going home at last."

Moments like that make the dancer treasure the supporters who gather to watch him every night, he says. "It is through our joint efforts that the spirit of MJ lives on."

by Denis Elamu

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