Busking is a performance art, usually involving musical talent out in public who play in exchange for a modest price. Paying the price and knowing one's worth is the busker mentality. It is a balancing act between you and the public, but the art stands dead center, waiting to be animated. To busk successfully, here are some ways to make your busking debut..
1. What's in a name?
Brent M. Wiggins
Calling a person by their name shows that you care to remember them. On a commute, people rarely ask for each other's names. Being a busker means putting your name out there. It could be your given name or a stage name, but the goal is to have people remember who you are and what you do.
One of the perks of being a busker is that people will come up to you. Interested parties will want to know more about you and may return for more. Prepare information on your performances, where you attend events, host a website to showcase your work, and make business cards. You never know who you'll meet or what opportunities will come your way.
Sometimes you have to smile through a salty person or two. Bring your thick skin and deaf ears for such occasions. Stay for the support and don't let anyone who doesn't understand stop you from your efforts. If they wanted to understand, they would have stuck around. Since they've walked away, you have nothing to worry about. Keep your heart in the art.
Real estate rules apply to busking. Wherever you go, you want to make it feel like home. You want to be where the most traffic is but sometimes you have to create traffic. Go to places that match your creativity, that would welcome what you have to offer.
Travel plans can make or break your busking debut. You don't want to carry too much equipment on you at once. You also want to be able to carry what you need if you have to. Less is more and easier on your back and feet. Pack light if you can and organize your tools of the trade for a smooth and inviting performance.
Experiment with different times when you go busking. Don't limit yourself to just the morning or afternoon. See how the night life responds to you as well. There is never a wrong time to busk, but there is always a right time.
Every now and then, nature calls. Be sure to know where the bathrooms are and where you can grab a bite to eat or have something to drink. Familiarize yourself with the venue and if you have to leave your equipment briefly, make sure to have someone you trust standby and attend to your absence. You can't rush perfection on an empty stomach or full bladder.
Be mindful of your surroundings. You don't want to be directly in the way nor do you want to be too far away. Set up on a street corner or against a wall. Try a park or a nearby museum. Using your environment to your advantage will give you and everyone easy access to your performance.
Now that you've gotten a hold of the busking bug, it's time to make yourself a regular. Plan to attend events, see how people react, gauge how much business you can make, and decide on any new course of action. Prepare, perspire, push with care.
10. Busk your way.
Brent M. Wiggins
You decide your style of busking. From one busker to another, the creative potential is endless and keeps changing every day. Now, get out there and busk!
Put your heart into your art.