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RobD 07-02-12 11:19 AM

Performance Poetry for Busking
I'm a performance poet from the U.S., and I'd really love to try my hand at busking (in Europe right now, about to go to Dublin). Everything I've done to date has been to a specific audience (poetry events, etc.), so I'm really not sure how to proceed.

The poetry I do is very lively (think of Rives, not T.S. Elliot), and physically/vocally "performative." Poems range in length from 1 to 6 minutes.

Is performance poetry viable for busking? Is is necessary to build a crowd before each set, and if so, how might one go about doing that?

I'd love any tips you happen to have.



davidkaye 07-02-12 11:32 AM

Given that you are performing pieces that require the audience's attention for the whole piece I think you'd need to develop a crowd first. With music people can walk by in the middle of it and there's no problem. I think with poetry there'd be a problem. I have no idea what crowd building techniques you'd use, though. Lemme think...

Maybe arranging home-make poetry pamphlets, adjusting a mic, adjusting costumes (which may or may not have to do with your poetry), some kind of "business" you could do that would cause people to stop...

RobD 07-05-12 07:40 AM

I normally go without a mic, but I figured that a mic might draw more attention and make it more obvious that I'm performing. I don't own a mic/amp right now---but do you figure it would be worth the investment?

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