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View Poll Results: Whaddu U Du?
Musician - amplified (some inst. need to be) 3 8.11%
Musician - Acoustic (that sounds so crunchy) 10 27.03%
Juggler 9 24.32%
Magician 4 10.81%
Fire-Eater 1 2.70%
Statue 2 5.41%
Telling cool hokey stories'n'jokes 0 0%
Acrobat 4 10.81%
Sword-swallowing, the blockhead, etc 3 8.11%
(motioning this meaning with my hands) Mime 1 2.70%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-24-10, 05:23 PM   #1
Lex Brodie
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Default How many are musicians? Jugglers? Eat stuff?



Let's pigeonhole ourselves! It'll be fun!
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Old 07-26-10, 06:52 AM   #2
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What you can only pick one? Man, I should have stayed in school.
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Old 07-26-10, 11:49 AM   #3
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I guess ppl can only click on one.

I consider college a HUGE scam and waste of time but that's for another thread.

I should have put this in the general busking thread but it's nice to see people responding.

I'll personally, always teach a homeless person to perform or busk if I can, and I can generally always afford a harmonica or pennywhistle or something for them, generally the problem is, they don't wanna "change their tune" lol but I always have that offer open.
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Old 07-28-10, 05:52 PM   #4
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I saw this one park bench advertizing. "If you were homeless, you would be home by now."

This year I have experienced several pitches that have been closed down because someone played one or two songs badly for the whole day, annoyed the locals enough that they complained enough that the commune made rules against anyone playing anything.

Teach them to change their tune before you give them a weapon that can damage yours and my future working places.

Collage is just one of the Hoops one has to jump though to join the real world.
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Old 07-30-10, 03:16 PM   #5
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You have a point about the bad music.

fortunately the uke, recorder, harmonica, or Irish whistle are all fairly soft-sounding instruments. The Irish (or Penny) whistle is the one I'd be most likely to go out and buy, since a rather decent one is $8 whereas a rather decent harmonica is going to be $15-$30.

More fortunately, so far no one's taken me up on my offer. In fact, I'm on a homeless forum, and I've started a couple of threads, one on performing and one on making crafts and the silence is deafening. The homeless folks seem to have their groove down and it's NOT performing as we think of it (I think holding a sign, looking hang-dog, or panhandling IS a performance, just not one I'd like to do personally).

And how do we explain Bad Sax Guy? Anyone who's spent any time on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz knows Bad Sax Guy. He's not homeless, he's been out there for years, and he STILL can't play the sax for shit. He'll sound almost musical when he's jamming with someone else, but on his own .... that same .... I can't even call it a riff .... over and over and over.

Another story that comes to mind here is that of Ricky. Now, Ricky started out as a panhandler and a nasty, foul-mouthed one at that. He and I became enemies, lol. He'd cuss at me and I'd growl "Ricky...." or sing "Ricky Don't Lost That Number..." when I walked by. Well, the last time I saw him, he was singing, and you know what? He lacked volume, but he sounded good. I actually complimented him, I said he ought to try singing a bit louder, because he's really sounding good. He said that well, the cops would not get off his back when he was panhandling, so he was forced to work on his music, and he's glad he did, because he feels better about himself and while he's not getting rich he's getting by. Now we were friends.

So here's a guy who started out as a panhandler and a nasty one at that, who I'll give a dollar, and a guy who's not homeless, and who's had years to practice, and plays the sax so bad, I just want to stick a potato in the bell.
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Old 08-02-10, 02:32 AM   #6
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Good stories!

I was just a bit sour for pitches dying. It could also be pan flute south americans with their generators, huge speakers and playback music.

It is not just pitches that are dying, festivals here are learning to abuse us. This one fest hired some really nice creative shows that you wouldn't normally find on the street. And this year no one is hired, instead they are invited (just travel money) and depend more on the hat.

and the org said something that I don't like, "next year we want more artists!" I think then they will even stop paying travel money and with more artists less times to play and less money for each. Then it makes it not worth coming and the first that will leave are the good shows. So this festival that I loved because of the quality is turning into quantity, just so they can pocket more money. I understand, but I don't have to agree with it.
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Old 08-02-10, 03:09 AM   #7
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hey bob...
in italy its' happening more and more... all the festivals are stopping to pay the performers and offering only hatting for payment... Robby just went to one in northern italy where he got there to discover the festival needed each perfromer to pay 15 euro to join an association, then the performers were obliged to give their hats to the festival... the amazing thing is people apparently gave their hats away....
and if it's not a work for hats festival it's a Competition with one prize... even a juggling convention isn't paying the Gala performers but making it a contest.
and besides that alot of the pitches we used to work alot are being shut down due to obnoxious performers with exagerated sound systems pissing everyone off....
is it me or does it seem to you as well that the louder the PA the shittier the show... it's ridiculous in italy now.... pitches being killed left and right ...
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Old 08-02-10, 12:07 PM   #8
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I think it's cyclic
My view is they [festivals] need us more than we need them. It may take time for that to sink in on both sides because there's a generation of performers, starting in the 90's who's focus has been entirely festival based.

Festivals do have larger hats for sure and the hang's an additional bonus.
Still, before festivals there was always meetups on international pitches and the good thing was it was like a month or two long festivals where you made your own schedules.
my 2cents
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Old 08-02-10, 02:49 PM   #9
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The festivals and farmer's markets do indeed need us ....

Heh heh another story coming on .... at the Mountain View CA farmer's market, there was a lady there who'd rented a booth, had her karaoke-type machine or amp or whatever setup is was, had CD's for sale, and was marketing her vocal talent .... all well and good, horray for her, but ..... well, first it was a bit loud, secondly apparently one of her "showcase" tunes was ....... wait for it .... "How Much Is That Doggy In The Window" complete with barks. Yep, a middle-aged woman, barking. It was hard to ignore and as I wandered around, when I was near her it was fun to call up "Yip! Yip!" right in time with her barks. Now, I'm a bit of a mimic and I can imitate dogs rather well, as with most animals, it just requires doing the bark or call or whatever, from the bottom of the chest. It even works for calling quail! I thought this was hilarious, she .... less so. Good times, good times.

I think the reason venues are paying less is, firstly, I think more are trying busking lately, and secondly, there's a Depression on and they simply don't have the money. City tax revenues have plunged so the cities are squeezing everyone tighter, so venues are paying higher fees, but they're getting less paying sellers I'm sure. I find this descent into Depression fascinating (And yes, my business, life, etc have falling downward as hard as just about anyone's, I live on about $300 a month right now) and so I look all over, at all different types of people, all economic sectors, and it's amazing how universal the squeeze is. The only people still living like they use to are the top 10% in the US and even they are starting to get a bit nervous.
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Old 08-02-10, 05:14 PM   #10
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It is funny, because I grew up (performer wise) with the fringe fests in Canada. The first time I performed, ever, I first paid $20 for the pass to perform. After a few years the price of the pass went up and that made me happy. The compitition went down and the quality of the the shows went up. Then I left for Europe.

My first compitition I placed 4th. No money, no award. But I really don't understand how people can judge different forms of street performing. Most of this summer I have been around three different styles of shows that work very well. One doing all kinds of circus stuff, one focuses on making the audience clap often and louder and the third (mine) packed with jokes. Each works great for different reasons and can not really be compared.

I am totally against giving hats to the festival. Just like when ever anyone asks how much I make in a hat, I avoid the question. People see how much we make per hour and think holy shit. But my yearly income would classify as under the poverty line. As soon as audiences learn how much we get in the hat, they give less.

I like my job and protecting this info is important. Festivals benifit from us enough. They don't need our hats.
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Old 08-02-10, 11:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Carr View Post
But my yearly income would classify as under the poverty line. As soon as audiences learn how much we get in the hat, they give less.
Last year, I worked my ass off and my yearly income, averaged over the year, was $10 a day.

Bums out holding signs by the freeway onramp make more than that, as a yearly average. I know some bums downtown who panhandle just a little, collect cans, all the great wonderful New Economy careers, and they make more than $10 a day.

So I've decided to work less hard this year, by cutting out some things that were "money leaks" like owning a motorcycle, drinking any alcohol, etc. I may average $5 a day this year. But, I am doing this for what I see as a worthy long-term goal, if I can get to be a good trumpet player, ultimately my hats should be good, and I may get up to (gasp!) $20 a day. Imagine that! About 1/3 of minimum wage!

This Depression sounds depressing but well, it's not good or bad, it just is. The best way to cope with it to learn to live on very little. Things that will always be useful, like tools, supplies, etc., and skills which are hard to have stripped from you.

I personally would NOT expect things to get gradually more lucrative, although for an individual, things may get more lucrative. And it's not what you make, it's what you can save.
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Old 08-27-10, 02:28 AM   #12
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Im a sword swallower, fire eater and breather,, poi spinner, juggler, i do brain floss, lift weight with my tongue, close-up slight-of-hand parlor magic.
I do everything lol
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Old 08-27-10, 10:57 AM   #13
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man sure sounds like you do.

A guy I know who repairs, tunes, moves, buys/sells pianos and who plays good enough to perform in bars, tells me he's up for any gigs I can get for us, he just won't do it for less than $100 so that tells me how much I can charge, now I just have to learn "standards" which it turns out I know some of, he's impressed with that.
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Old 12-30-10, 12:06 AM   #14
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"Robby just went to one in northern italy where he got there to discover the festival needed each perfromer to pay 15 euro to join an association, then the performers were obliged to give their hats to the festival... the amazing thing is people apparently gave their hats away.... "

Ha. Was that in Milan? Because when Victor and I did the Milano Clown Festival earlier this year, they took our hats and counted them for us. I refused to allow any of the volunteers to touch my hats.
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Old 07-15-11, 05:45 PM   #15
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Default Sing-along with Kevin M.

Hi,
I'm a musician, mostly busking the subways these days, sometimes with a very good fiddle player, sometimes solo on guitar, harmonica, and voice.
kevin m
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