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Old 12-27-00, 06:43 PM   #1
Peter
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Post Canadian or Norther U.S. Buskers

What di you do in the winter? I am a clown and Balloon Busker, but in OH in Jan it is harder than hell to get the balloons sold. Yes I have a couple of restaurant jobs that move the balloons but what about other gigs besides the restaurants for winter work?

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Old 12-28-00, 09:58 AM   #2
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Hi Peter, and for anyone else who wants to know. I'm a street musician from Montréal, Canada. In answer to your question "what do buskers do in winter?", well, there are many things they do.

A good number of buskers who perform in Canada are only seasonal buskers. They usually come from the US and come busk in Canada for the summer only. Also, some local buskers travel south when winter comes.

Also, some crazy street performers (like me) don't mind at all performing on the streets at winter time. There has been some years where the weather was mild enough for me to keep going on the streets until January or February even. But most of the time, December is as far as I can remain playing on the streets.

And finally, in some cities, like Montréal and Toronto for instance, there is the subway. Unfortunately, in the case of Montréal, only musicians are allowed to perform in the subway, since there isn't enough room in the tunnels for a full performance such as juggling act or any performance which requires a crowd gathering.
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Old 12-28-00, 11:43 PM   #3
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Hey dude.

AS you can tell by my other posts to this board I am a part of a northern act. We support ourselves by working our butts off doing shows in the summer, banking some moula, then working corporate, christmas and other shows during the winter months. Generally in Sept/Oct we work fall fairs, trade shows, and corporate gigs, while December is plump with corporate christmas parties. My advice is to get in with an agent or two who likes your work and/or get an ad in the yellow pages. Having had the ad for our act for two years in a row it's paid for itself five times over in December alone.
Hope that helps. Either that or move somewhere warm for the winter months, the scenery is always a nice change.
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Old 03-18-01, 07:53 PM   #4
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All good options, but I feel a need to speak up for those of us who live in another world during the winter. I work four months out of the year on the street, and then spend eight in school. You don't live large by any means, but if you work hard and budget right, you can do it. School isn't the only option either -- write a novel, if you want, or take up some other big project. Personally, I find that the time to do whatever I want is worth many rungs on the economic ladder.

Or if perpetual travel is your thing, take your summer earnings to some cheap place like Southeast Asia. Play the visas right from country to country and you can live well for years there, all on one summer's earnings.

Only problem -- that first show in the spring. You tend to get a bit rusty.
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Old 03-19-01, 07:31 AM   #5
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Hi all,
This summer I will have been doing street shows for 8 years and I have never taken a winter off until this year. Previously I have flown south or as mentioned done just enough Christmas gigs to get through aswell as going out in the freezing cold , William Lee once told me he has actually cleared a pitch with a snow shovel in order to work on Christmas day. This winter I did a Dodger and went to college where I am writing this post from my main reason is I now have a 10 month old son to consider ,I don't regret taking the winter off but it has been extremely frustrating at times especially on week-ends ,
I did my first two shows this week-end in 5 and half months , I remembered St Patricks day being good last year so I thought it would be a gentle re-introduction to my show, apart from freezing conditions , and the first show being as rusty as hell, it went quite well.I don't know what I was worried about, the break did me good.
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