I believe that public performers improve the urban experience. By becoming a street performer, you not only have the potential tomake a substantial amount of money in a short amount of time, but you also may end up touching someone else’s life in a truly positive and unique way.
The experience of being a busker is an amazing one which can lead to great and rapid personal development. Internally, the performer becomes more aware of his own self-consciousness and self-confidence as he willingly exposes his talents to be judged by, at some times, hundreds complete strangers each minute. Along with this, the street performer also has the incredible opportunity to become an observer as well as a manipulator of the environment in which he exists.
Performing in a crowded place for hours on end, the performer witnesses thousands of interactions from a steady vantage point. Fights, kisses, proposals, tears, discomfort, silence, loneliness – the performer is witness to all of them. Using one’s artistic abilities to manipulate these elements and actions is a beautiful and fulfilling thing.
Playing a sad melody and then slowly drawing it into a joyful one as a way to lead and coax a fighting couple into a hug is both a rewarding experience and a tribute to the power the public performer possesses. This power is sometimes recognized by the listeners, and memorable and formative conversations can occur between the artist and the audience. Because the busker’s stage is often a sidewalk or a park bench, his audience is from all walks of life. Rich or poor, black or white or brown, lawyer or janitor – all of the audience is invited equally to share in the enjoyment of the art.
Last year I met a late-stage cancer patient who told me that he could only hear the high notes of my cello. Whenever I saw him come by my tune would fly up to the higher strings and he would smile as he passed by. Last week a couple came and thanked me for the music – they had just proposed under the bridge upon which I performed. I have had many life-changing interactions through this unique work, and I am forever grateful for having stumbled upon it.
I remember back six years ago when a brave and loyal friend of mine made our first trek into Harvard Square. I had my cello. He had a snare drum. Overall it was a fine experience – a good ice breaker. When I look back, I think to all of the valuable lessons I learned over the years. I have placed these lessons in this website with the hope of creating a world with more public performers touching the lives of people throughout the world.