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Old 04-14-12, 10:08 PM   #1
Irina
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Love What the Heaven

Hi, yall, we have a lot of different sections on this forum - where, what, how ethical, how legal etc and we do not have a section for ' WHY". Why are you street performing? What kind of legacy do you want to leave on Earth when you move into different dimention? What did you learn while street performing as a person/soul? What is your highest aspiration? My friend Shawn The Banjo Man from Harvard Square/Pike Market told me "our job is to make people happy" and "Whatever does not kill you makes you stronger". These are still the guidelines for me...
I am really curious - despite all the hardships, insecurities, competition etc etc - at the end of the day - what makes you going?
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Old 04-15-12, 07:10 AM   #2
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The bright smiles on children's faces when I perform magic or make a balloon sculpture for them. They light up and the parents are happy too.

An English busker (Don't remember his name) ends his act with "if I have made you forget your worries & your bills for a few minutes, I have done my job." This kind of sums up my attitude.

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Old 04-15-12, 09:23 PM   #3
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What keeps me alive and afloat is some sort of " zeitgeist" - I think this is the word for 'spirit of the place/time" It's like I AM A PART OF THE CULTURE. Of course New Orleans culture - this is HOME, but wherever i go I feel like I BELONG HERE... It is sooo contrasrt to my usual feeling of not belonging anywhere, being a total misfit, lost on foreign planet, but when I am being a "Rainbow Lady" painting faces - everybody loves me, and tells me how great of a job I do, and do you have a card, we want you for a party etc etc - so even if I am totally depressed it lifts up my spirit! I felt really down yesterday when I posted this thread, but today was really good day, last day of French Quarter Fest, and it was a fun scene in the Quarter! Bless yall!

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Old 06-05-12, 04:35 PM   #4
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Default What keeps me going?

Tourists who seek me out to tell me how much they've enjoyed my show (sometimes ten years later). Kids with obvious musical skills who get wide-eyed when they draw a note out of my low "A" goblet. Folks celebrating a wedding anniversary who tell me they were in my audience on their first date. Getting a laugh out of an audience. Feeling the freedom of being a street entertainer, knowing I can go almost anywhere and eek out a living.
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Old 06-05-12, 04:44 PM   #5
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Peter, you are a New Orleans attraction! It's always a thrill to see you working at night on Jackson Square! Pure magik.
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Old 06-05-12, 07:31 PM   #6
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I'm actually wrestling with this question a lot this year; I feel so drained of motivation. I always say that I enjoy street performing because I like to have as much fun and as little responsibility as possible...but I find myself having less and less fun *on the street*. I wonder: are festivals making me 'soft'? Because...don't get me wrong; I love festivals. I LOVE the atmosphere; I love the people, I love rocking the shows.

I also absolutely love the connections I make on the street, the smiles I put on faces and the emails from fans who tell me how much I've inspired them upon stumbling across my weekday shows downtown...but...this year it's just so damned hard to muster up that desire to put up with all the other unpleasant shit that goes along with hard street. Is it wrong that my highest aspiration is to get off the street these days?

Sorry, low self-esteem day here...
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Old 06-05-12, 08:28 PM   #7
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Hi, Kate, I looked at your site/facebook pictures - you are awesome! Don't put the devide between festivals and street work - it's all street performing, festivals are just MO MONEY! I think street performing on a regular day can have more psychological effect on people, as they do not expect a living statue or a glass harper on a street corner on a regular day - so it's more WOW in that...at festivals there's a lot of fun things going on, more expectations = less amazement. If you feel that it's not worth for you financially to go on the street on a regular day - don't get depressed about it, save your energy for a weekend or festival, but even if you do not make much money you can still have positive effect on people, and that's a good thing in itself, light and happiness! Just taking a city bus in a costume is a lot of fun - everybody start smiling!
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Old 06-05-12, 08:36 PM   #8
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Oh, I make great money on the street...I'm just burning out from it. I primarily work at Yonge & Dundas in Toronto, and with the influx of the religious nuts over the last couple of years, it's become a grind. I think my problem is letting go of a pitch that used to be amazing that is now...not so much.

It's hard to watch the evolution of a place that once embraced your show that is now uncomfortable and afraid to engage.. I feel like on some level, I'm failing the public because I can't get them to ignore the assholes shouting about fire and brimstone all the time...
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Old 06-05-12, 08:56 PM   #9
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Shit, I know what you are talking about...we have tonns of these nut-cases here in New Orleans during Mardi Gras! The city can't do anything about them as they are under freedom of speech...The city forbid megaphones under noise ordinance, but they are loud enough even without loud-speakers...and really bad energy...it is better to stay away from them - unless buskers unite in a 'clown attack"! We had pirates krewe attcking them with confetty cannons - but it was just for a video, did not had any lasting effect. I wonder if buskers can unite and drive them out of a good pitch with silly string and serpantine..At Portland Rose festival managers gave all the strolling performers drums and plastic instruments, and we surrownded them and made a lot of noise, this shut them down, as the crowd paid attention to clowns and not their preaching...
How is Waterfront? Have you ever tried to work on the island at the kids park? Toronto is such a nice city, I miss it! When I lived in NYC I went there every year for Caribana and Taste of Danforth..
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Old 06-06-12, 04:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irina View Post
Shit, I know what you are talking about...we have tonns of these nut-cases here in New Orleans during Mardi Gras! The city can't do anything about them as they are under freedom of speech...The city forbid megaphones under noise ordinance, but they are loud enough even without loud-speakers...and really bad energy...
When I worked downtown San Francisco near the cable car turntable, the religious nuts would show up with bullhorns and speakers of various kinds. I'd IMMEDIATELY call the police and tell them I was an office worker nearby and couldn't get my work done because someone was using an amplifier to shout about something or other. I'd tell them the exact location and the cops would be there within minutes. After doing this about 6 or 8 times, the wackos stopped bringing their equipment.

Yeah, they still try to shout, but it doesn't do much good.
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Old 06-06-12, 07:01 PM   #11
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So, what law is under your actions? Is it San Francisco local NOISE ORDINANCE - or something else? I deal with this issue a lot, and I wonder what we can do in these situations? Kate is in Totonto, Canada - I wonder if she can call police on them as she has city buskers permit (they have permit system in Toronto, one of the easiest ones I ever dealt with...about 40$ Canadian on the spot, and they do not even check your ID or citizenship...) So she paid the city to do her job, and she's probably paying some sort of income tax - is her business protected from noise by the city?
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Old 06-06-12, 07:12 PM   #12
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Street performers versus Jesus-freaks...makes interesting performance/story for youtube or professional media...It has 'reality show" twist to it. Both sides are under freedom of speech... Street performers put smiles on children's faces and Jesus freaks scare them with Hell and Devil... Whom do you like more? Let's vote!

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Old 07-11-12, 04:00 PM   #13
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Ha. Unfortunately, my country is very supportive of it's fundamental rights to freedom of speech... I've had many lengthly discussions with Bylaw about them, and, at best, all they can do is shut them down for an afternoon should any freak be using a megaphone/amplification, etc.

As it is, I've moved pitches for the summer... and instead of dealing with religious nuts, I'm now dealing with a shitty local crate slug who thinks I'm stealing "his" spot. Hahahah. I'll take that conflict over a mass of angry, militant religious people ANY DAY.


And, of course, my summer tour starts tomorrow...thank christ...
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Old 07-11-12, 05:31 PM   #14
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I worked in NOLA some 30 years and when the preachers come for Mardi GRAS , I just tell them in a loud voice "thank the Lord for the Jesus freaks, Mardi GRAS wouldn't be the same with out ya". They usually just leave me a lone after that. On the buskers CD for love of money by Chad Tayler, there's a busker that dances down the street with them ,which puts them in his act. Just saying.
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