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Years ago I used to street perform, Buskering as it were. I played mainly throughout NYC but also in cities in Canada, Europe and the UK (Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy was my favorite). Some days I actually made quite a bit of coin and handed out business cards which would now and then lead to a paying gig. It was a way to play and practice and work out tunes, meet people and have a great time of it. Sometimes I would have a run in with the local constables, other performers, and I was even robbed of all my "donations" once. Eventually as luck would have it, I began to be hired by the restaurants I played near or in, by the city of NY, and for years was paid by South Street Seaport in NYC as their Street Musician. I even had a gig at Disney World in Epcot playing on their streets! So my days as a true busker came slowly to an end.

Recently I was hired by Arlington County for the month of August to play at some of their outdoor sponsored markets. People would approach to offer me money but since I was hired I usually refused until I was encouraged by the people who run the markets to open my case and accept . I did so and will donate the money to a better cause than me. Anyway I forgot how wonderful and free it is to be outside playing, meeting and speaking to people. Children especially delight in the sight and sound of the concertina. It has been well over 20 years since I have played like this and rediscovered a part of joy in my playing I have long forgot. I do not know if those who make their living as a busker playing concertina can still do so or find it as joyful as I did, but I hope so.

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Edited by Randy Stein
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I love to busk for craic, and have been offered some coins occaisonally, which I decline and just say I'm doing this for fun. There isn't really any particulr friendly place to truly "open your case" as you put it, in Central Florida, but if there were I would really enjoy giving it a shot.

 

A little later this fall I am going to join some friends from the local Accordion Club and play at a festival here. It's fun to show up with the Anglo as all the piano accordion players are fascinated by the little thing.

 

NNY

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I have given a lot of thought to buskering. I live in Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and there are tons of people walking the streets in the summer. What has held me back was my lack of repertoire and because I am a physician, I have thought that if people who know me, see me, they'll wonder what the H I'm doing in need of money. But, after reading your post, I think that if my impulse is to actually do it, I really should. I think it will give me confidence about playing in front of others and what a great time I might have talking about the concertina!

 

Thank you for your post.

 

Yvonne

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I have given a lot of thought to buskering. I live in Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and there are tons of people walking the streets in the summer. What has held me back was my lack of repertoire and because I am a physician, I have thought that if people who know me, see me, they'll wonder what the H I'm doing in need of money. But, after reading your post, I think that if my impulse is to actually do it, I really should. I think it will give me confidence about playing in front of others and what a great time I might have talking about the concertina!

 

Thank you for your post.

 

Yvonne

 

Go for it and have fun, Yvonne. You can always put up a sign that says you are donating the $$$ to a local charity. Then it's a win-win for you and an organization that needs the $$$. Good luck, Dave.

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Recently I was hired by Arlington County for the month of August to play at some of their outdoor sponsored markets. People would approach to offer me money but since I was hired I usually refused until I was encouraged by the people who run the markets to open my case and accept . I did so and will donate the money to a better cause than me. Anyway I forgot how wonderful and free it is to be outside playing, meeting and speaking to people. Children especially delight in the sight and sound of the concertina. It has been well over 20 years since I have played like this and rediscovered a part of joy in my playing I have long forgot. I do not know if those who make their living as a busker playing concertina can still do so or find it as joyful as I did, but I hope so.

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I have busked occasionally at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria; always fun, not very remunerative. On a nice afternoon, there's always competition for the best busking spots.

 

The reaction is always mixed. Some folks really seem to like it; some treat buskers like irritating beggars. I play with MOrris dancers there and often come early, put out my concertina case with some "seed" money and play. I love the venue!

 

 

Edited by Jim Besser
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Years ago I used to street perform, Buskering as it were.

Busking?

 

It was a way to play and practice and work out tunes, meet people and have a great time of it.

My experience, as well, although -- or perhaps because -- I've never tried to make my living from it.

 

Eventually as luck would have it, I began to be hired by the restaurants I played near or in, by the city of NY, and for years was paid by South Street Seaport in NYC as their Street Musician.

When was that? Often on weekends I used to busk on the pier at South Street Seaport, but I had to quit when it became yuppified and started requiring buskers to audition and then perform in preassigned time slots. At the time, I had a regular, full-time job that I liked, and I wouldn't have quit it even if I had thought I could support myself by busking.

 

Anyway I forgot how wonderful and free it is to be outside playing, meeting and speaking to people. Children especially delight in the sight and sound of the concertina.

Children of all ages. Living in Helsingør, I've busked occasionally of a Saturday, and it's not for the money (I joke that I can make enough to put food on the table, but not enough to pay for the table itself or the room it stands in ;)), but for the human interaction. Not only do people of all ages show an interest, I've also seen children, adults, and even teenagers start skipping to the music, apparently without realizing they're doing so. :)

 

well over 20 years since I have played like this and rediscovered a part of joy in my playing I have long forgot.

Glad to hear you've found it, again.

 

I do not know if those who make their living as a busker playing concertina can still do so or find it as joyful as I did, but I hope so.

I know a few professional buskers who travel around Europe. One is in his 20's, and hopes to eventually settle down in a farming commune. The others are older, and it's their chosen way of life. They have no fixed address, and mine is one of the many floors they've slept on. One of them plays concertina, though he is also a juggler and a clown. He calls himself Concertino (not C.net member conzertino, but they do know each other :)).

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I have given a lot of thought to buskering. I live in Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and there are tons of people walking the streets in the summer. What has held me back was my lack of repertoire and because I am a physician, I have thought that if people who know me, see me, they'll wonder what the H I'm doing in need of money. But, after reading your post, I think that if my impulse is to actually do it, I really should. I think it will give me confidence about playing in front of others and what a great time I might have talking about the concertina!

 

Thank you for your post.

 

Yvonne

 

Go for it and have fun, Yvonne. You can always put up a sign that says you are donating the $$ to a local charity. Then it's a win-win for you and an organization that needs the $$. Good luck, Dave.

 

You can also put up a sign that says you're a poor physician in need of money. It'll get you some laughs.

 

 

 

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What has held me back was my lack of repertoire and because I am a physician, I have thought that if people who know me, see me, they'll wonder what the H I'm doing in need of money.

Go for it and have fun, Yvonne. You can always put up a sign that says you are donating the $$ to a local charity. Then it's a win-win for you and an organization that needs the $$.

You can also put up a sign that says you're a poor physician in need of money. ...

Sure. Tell 'em that due to the economic downturn, there are too few people who can afford private health care, so private physicians are also suffering. ;)

 

Or you could have a sign that says something like

 

Laughter
Music
is the best medicine,

but I also provide more traditional forms of treatment.

:D

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It's something I do for more fun than profit. It influences my playing in other modes,

since the average audience encounter is 15-30 seconds. It's helped me to be a more

outgoing and confident person, and usually give at least one breif history lesson.

 

I never recieved negative comments, but have been chased out of an area by security gaurds.

And the cops made up that 'citizens noise complaint' in the park at midnight.

 

dress; limit yourself to one prop item

I take a careful look around the area. gauge existing noise ,foot traffic, wealthy socialites

and boat owners.

 

I adamantly express that busking is not panhanding

I don't solicit or hang a sign, but my box just happens to be open.

I may have some of my origami work around on display, anything to draw eyes.

make eye contact. sell the deal.

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What has held me back was my lack of repertoire and because I am a physician, I have thought that if people who know me, see me, they'll wonder what the H I'm doing in need of money.

Go for it and have fun, Yvonne. You can always put up a sign that says you are donating the $$ to a local charity. Then it's a win-win for you and an organization that needs the $$.

You can also put up a sign that says you're a poor physician in need of money. ...

Sure. Tell 'em that due to the economic downturn, there are too few people who can afford private health care, so private physicians are also suffering. ;)

 

Or you could have a sign that says something like

 

Laughter
Music
is the best medicine,

but I also provide more traditional forms of treatment.

:D

 

Very cute.........Thank you.........

 

Yvonne

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It was a way to play and practice and work out tunes, meet people and have a great time of it.

Jim:"My experience, as well, although -- or perhaps because -- I've never tried to make my living from it."

 

 

Jim, I was able to make a decent living...at times playing in Little Italy and up in Central Park. As the weather turned I asked the restaurants if I could play indoors, and started getting hired. I played at Mama Leones and the Brasserie for years.

 

Eventually as luck would have it, I began to be hired by the restaurants I played near or in, by the city of NY, and for years was paid by South Street Seaport in NYC as their Street Musician.

Jim:"When was that? Often on weekends I used to busk on the pier at South Street Seaport, but I had to quit when it became yuppified and started requiring buskers to audition and then perform in preassigned time slots. At the time, I had a regular, full-time job that I liked, and I wouldn't have quit it even if I had thought I could support myself by busking."

 

 

In the 70s and early 80s.

Edited by Randy Stein
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One other factor I forgot to mention; I've encountered real hostility from those buskers who actually make their living performing on the street. For obvious reasons, they resent those of us who are just doing it for the chance to play tunes and interact with an audience.

 

Morris dancers busk, in a way - performing on the street, passing the hat, always making it clear it's for beer money. We've found it really helps to have cute little girls passing the hat. Cute big girls don't do so bad, either.

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