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Aquarussell

Am I a Professional Now?

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Hi,

 

I was practicing, sitting on the sidewalk outside of the Laundromat. My girlfriend came by and dropped some quarters into my hard case, laughing. I laughed too. But as I continued playing (Valentine), A guy came up and dropped a quartere in! I laughed and kept playing, and another guy came up to do the same. I was between songs, so I told him that I was just practicing. He looked a little dissappointed, so I said "Go ahead!", and he threw in a quarter too.

 

Does half a buck make me a professional now?

 

Also, I heard not one word of complaint, all I heard was people who thought it was nice to hear. Are people getting tired of hating "Accordions"?

 

Aquarussell

Russell Hedges

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Hi,

 

I was practicing, sitting on the sidewalk outside of the Laundromat. My girlfriend came by and dropped some quarters into my hard case, laughing. I laughed too. But as I continued playing (Valentine), A guy came up and dropped a quartere in! I laughed and kept playing, and another guy came up to do the same. I was between songs, so I told him that I was just practicing. He looked a little dissappointed, so I said "Go ahead!", and he threw in a quarter too.

 

Does half a buck make me a professional now?

 

Also, I heard not one word of complaint, all I heard was people who thought it was nice to hear. Are people getting tired of hating "Accordions"?

 

Aquarussell

Russell Hedges

Edited by SteveS

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Hi,

 

I was practicing, sitting on the sidewalk outside of the Laundromat. My girlfriend came by and dropped some quarters into my hard case, laughing. I laughed too. But as I continued playing (Valentine), A guy came up and dropped a quartere in! I laughed and kept playing, and another guy came up to do the same. I was between songs, so I told him that I was just practicing. He looked a little dissappointed, so I said "Go ahead!", and he threw in a quarter too.

 

Does half a buck make me a professional now?

 

Also, I heard not one word of complaint, all I heard was people who thought it was nice to hear. Are people getting tired of hating "Accordions"?

 

Aquarussell

Russell Hedges

Half a dollar in half an hour??? I only dream of such riches! Professional? Hell yes! Lead me to that laundromat immediately!

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Nice one...

I probably should give a little 'busking' a go... the only place I play 'publicly' is on camping... and even then I have people asking me for a cd. :blink:

 

 

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Russell,

Greetings from another Jackie player in SD!

I wish I could have been there to hear you play and add my quarter to your pay!

I am glad that people liked your music.

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Thank you all.

 

And Mary B, you are welcome to come by some Tuesday night for Moreton Bay Fig Morris practice! Shoot, all of you are welcome.

 

http://www.moretonbayfig.org/

 

I do intend to declare the half buck of income on my 2011 income tax form. It will be interesting, I think it will count as a tip.

 

Aquarussell

Russell Hedges

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I busk for fun frequently, but the environment around here is not very friendly to try for money. In Central Florida it is considered begging. They can stop you from begging, but not playing for fun.

 

I have had it offered, but I always turned it down. I would love to try somewhere where I could leave my case open for change, just to experience it and get the feedback that my music was enjoyed.

 

NNY

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I busk for fun frequently, but the environment around here is not very friendly to try for money. In Central Florida it is considered begging. They can stop you from begging, but not playing for fun.

 

I have had it offered, but I always turned it down. I would love to try somewhere where I could leave my case open for change, just to experience it and get the feedback that my music was enjoyed.

 

NNY

I've done very little in the past 2 decades, but for several years in the 70's I made my living busking in Boston MA. As you can guess, I lived rather frugally. There is a certain satisfaction though in seeing the $ roll in, bit by bit... and it did add up. As an exercise in connecting to an ever changing audience... there is nothing like it. Connection can be subtle and most times just playing from the heart is all that's required. Counting and rolling all that loose change was a substantial part of the job. These days, inflation has increased the % of bills, thank goodness, coins are so heavy.

 

Now, in NYC I've found a sweet spot that works for me and I think I'll do a bit more when the weather warms up. They seem to allow the cash transaction here if your box has a slit where the $ goes in and hides the $ that's in there and if the word "donations" is clearly printed on the box. What a weird society we live in.

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Now, in NYC I've found a sweet spot that works for me and I think I'll do a bit more when the weather warms up. They seem to allow the cash transaction here if your box has a slit where the $ goes in and hides the $ that's in there and if the word "donations" is clearly printed on the box. What a weird society we live in.

 

Jody,

Yes, the native culture pervades every aspect of life, even the authorities' attitude to buskers!

Here in Germany, that means that there are typically thorough rules about it. I've busked in Stuttgart, my nearest big city, which has a long, wide straight pedestrian precinct with all kinds of shops, stores, malls, churches, the former royal palace with gardens, cafes, etc. - and thousands of passers-by. Buskers with a very wide range of competence are frequent.

 

One day I thought I'd like to try busking some time, and chanced to meet a Policeman on that street. I asked him if you needed a permit, and what the rules were. He hadn't a clue. He would only step in if someone was causing a disturbance. If I really wanted to know, I should ask at the Office of Public Order. So I did. No permit is needed, and they have a magnificent hand-out for buskers, with a street-plan of the pedestrian precinct with eight points marked where busking is allowed - more or less the points that a busker would choose anyway. The rules are simple:

 

- Busking is allowed at each full hour, for half an hour. No busking between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

- Busker must move to a different site after each break

- Groups of more than 3 musicians are not allowed.

- Loud or annoying instruments are not allowed, especially

- Brass (trumpets, trombones)

- Drum kits and similar percussion

- Bagpipes

- Amplifiers and audio equiment of all kinds must not be used.

 

If you observe these rules, the police will not take action unless you're obstructing traffic or causing a distrubance.

There's no mention of money - it is just tacitly assumed that a street musician will have a hat or instrument case, and passers-by are free to do what they like with their money.

 

To me, this is German bureaucracy at its best. Very concertina-friendly and singer-songwriter friendly, but also conducive to youngsters who want to try out what they've learnt in violin or flute lessons in public. The rules could be adopted by folk clubs - I especially like the prohibition of amplifiers!

 

The main thing is that you know you're within the law, and with the aforementiond cluelessness of the Police, you're not likely to go to prison for playing for 35 minutes instead of half an hour, or 50 metres away from the spot on the street plan B)

 

Cheers,

John

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When I first started playing music, one of my older mentors said that he would consider himself a professional when his earning from music overtook the costs of all his instruments. Unfortunately, he said, he had spent 40 years falling further and further behind. Now here I find myself 40 years later following his example to a tee.

 

Dan Madden

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I keep intending on trying some busking...but have never quite got the courage to do it on my own....and have yet to find someone who'll busk with me locally. (I have had someone say they'll busk in London with me...but gotta get that arranged)

 

Plus the rules for local high street last time I emailed seemed...well confusing. The had 'no policy'...so they couldn't say yes or no if it was allowed.:huh:

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When I first started playing music, one of my older mentors said that he would consider himself a professional when his earning from music overtook the costs of all his instruments. Unfortunately, he said, he had spent 40 years falling further and further behind. Now here I find myself 40 years later following his example to a tee.

 

Dan Madden

Dan.

I know exactly how you feel!

I like the quote "Earning from music"

Not sure I understand it though!

Music?.....Earning????

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Busking is catered for by Einsteins Third Theory of Relativity. You actually need 45 minutes of material to fill your alloted 30 minute Stuttgart spot.

Speaking from experience as a professional busker during 3 Miners' strikes in 1972, 1974 and 1985.

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Plus the rules for local high street last time I emailed seemed...well confusing. The had 'no policy'...so they couldn't say yes or no if it was allowed.:huh:

 

LDT,

 

There's a nice little joke about the attitudes to bye-laws in various European countries:

 

In Germany, everything is forbidden unless it's expressly allowed.

In England, everything is allowed unless it's expressly forbidden.

In Austria, everything is allowed, even if it's forbidden.

 

You're in England, and the vagueness of the Authorities indicates that busking is not expressly forbidden - so just go ahead and do it!

 

Cheers,

John

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You're in England, and the vagueness of the Authorities indicates that busking is not expressly forbidden - so just go ahead and do it!

 

Cheers,

John

Just discovered one of the George Inn (not seen recently..)crowd busks on the Underground :) :) :

 

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Back in the 70s and 80s I busked in Battery Park and eventually the newly built South Street Seaport. I also played in the cafes around the Village and Soho and in Little Italy at night in different restaurants. In addition to building up a pretty extensive repertoire I made enough coin to eat drink and get close to paying rent. I was eventually hired by South Street Seaport and several restaurants and it went from there.

I still periodically play at the Alexandria docks on weekends or at the Arlington Farmers Market. There is something very satisfying and free when I play outdoors and meet and greet children and passing wayfarers.

rss

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The only time I've done anything resembling proper busking was last summer in Toronto when I was playing music on the docks, mostly for the enjoyment of a handful of shipmates. One lady came by, listened and talked to us for a bit, and then, despite my protest, put a $5 bill in. I thought it was far too much, which is why I'll never be a good busker. The only other thing I brought it was a coin (it was some sort of euro, I can't remember what the denomination was) that someone threw from across the (wide) sidewalk, then cheered when he hit the case. I was somewhat less amused.

 

This past weekend I was hired to play music (fiddle only, alas) outside of an art gallery for an event, which was fun. One guy tried to give me money for it, which I turned down because I was getting paid already. (Exhibit B on why Fern is not good at this whole making money thing.)

 

As for your question though, definitely professional. :P

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