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Topic: The first time I ever Busked...Really
Message: Posted by: BAH1313 (Jan 10, 2006 08:49AM)
I was asked recently when the first time was that I ever performed on the street. I answered that it was about 5 or 6 years ago and continued to talk to the gentleman that asked.
It was later that I had a revelation of sorts. I had answered incorrectly. When I was about 12 years old, my mum was in a terrible car accident which left her bed ridden for over a year, then she couldn't walk for a couple more. Needless to say we were not doing well for money. My brother and I were "hustlers" of sorts, but never really took to mowing lawns or the like. We would do all kinds of stuff for money (since mum couldn't afford alot), play in pool tournaments at the teen clubs and hustle the arcade games. Some things illegal, some not.
But what hit me like a ton of bricks and became quite an emotional thing for me was when I remembered that my brother and I would do a dancing and comedy "routine" at some of the local festivals and fairs for prize money/goods (like new bikes or a chance to be on local tv). The funny thing is once we were practicing near the "show-tent" and we got a crowd, then we got tips! Suddenly, we realized that we could make money like this. So, we did it for a couple of years during the fair and festival seasons, and we made our pocket money. We werent even very good, and what we thought was funny probably wasnt. Mostly, I think people gave the money because we were kids, and they could maybe see we needed it. Even the police left us alone. I guess the figured as long as we were not breaking the law...
It's funny how you kind of forget about the bad times and sometimes the things you did. Now I see them as good times. Whether it was because I was embarrassed or what I don't know, but now I know that I will never be embarrassed to tell this story again. In fact, I'm a little misty-eyed writing it because looking back and replaying that in my head, I really miss my brother and I need to call my mum.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Jan 10, 2006 12:03PM)
Well you chocked me up.
Keep on keeping on.
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Jan 10, 2006 12:26PM)
That is a real inspiration. If you carry that experience in your heart, you will have an element to your performance that no one can ever duplicate, no matter how many books and DVDs on street performing they buy.

Thank you for sharing this!


Message: Posted by: BAH1313 (Jan 10, 2006 12:35PM)
Thanks for the kind words guys. I think it's just the new year that makes us all think of our pasts.
One way or another, it's important to remember where you came from and how you got where you are. That in itself will lead you to be who you are.
Message: Posted by: Arkadia (Jan 11, 2006 07:33AM)
Well said BAH313! I also believe that the new years a time for reflection and inspiration. It is a break-even-point where I can look back at the year that has pased and see what developments one self has done.

Message: Posted by: Paolo Venturini (Jan 12, 2006 12:26PM)
Hey BAH313, thank you for share your great story!

Paolo Venturini
Message: Posted by: BAH1313 (Feb 15, 2008 09:41AM)
Hey fellas, I forgot about this post. Just thought I would push it back up and get more replies. Mainly as to how you look at yourselves and what motivates you.


Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Feb 15, 2008 06:25PM)
This one slipped under my radar last time around Bobby.

My buddy and I would play guitar with the case open just about everywhere/anywhere we were while in high school. I don't think we ever made more than $3.00 no matter how long we stayed and played...but the gallon jugs of ice tea that the cash payed for never tasted better.

For me it wasnt' that early busking-esque experience that made me wanna actually busk though. It was the guy at the Cleveland Rib Burn Off every year in the late 80's and early 90's. I would go there and watch that guy show after show.

By then my older cousin had already taught me Dai Vernons' cups & balls routine...but I had forgotten most of it by 16 or so...he taught me the routine when I was 8 or 9.

Anyway, after watching that guy one year, I began carrying my scotch and soda, my flash paper, my thumb tip, and my 3 cards around. By then I had visited the magic shops in Cleveland and one in Traverse City, Michigan (of all places) and had started to develop a routine...or sorts. At least one that got me some attention during lunch at school and on the picnic tables on the Lake Erie beaches.

Funny how life gets in the way of your callings though. It wasn't until I was in the Peace Corps that I began practicing and performing again. Then, even after I began working as a pro-entertainer I still didn't think that my magic hobby had a part in my new part time job. It wasn't until a year or 2 later that I realised that I could be doing magic at birthday parties and restaurants instead of balloons.

Man, there was a lot of time lost there.

Ya know who of all people really helped set my act straight? Well, yes Bobby...but also FRANK the "face-man" STARSNIC. Who the feck woulda thought that guy was good for anything?

I would email this poor guy pictures of my table hopping set up and he'd kindly make suggestions about how I could improve...even when it was beyond the scope of his products. Ha!!! What a saint. What a face-man.

So, now I'm hooked, cursed, blessed, I dunno what. Frank, Bobby, that dude from the rib burn offs, my first agent, my buddy who prefers to go by Juggler Scott...unles he's dressed like a pirate and then he likes to be called Holden Demast...

They all warped me forever. Luckily, I've all but dropped the birthday parties and have focused my full attention on busking. I don't even table hop anymore.

Dern buskers. Warped all of 'em. Feckin' scoundrels, every last one.
Message: Posted by: ttorres (Feb 16, 2008 07:26PM)

Thank you for sharing your story. The human spirit it is amazing.

Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Feb 24, 2008 07:48AM)
I want to change my story.

I think yesterday was the first time I ever really busked. At least, yesterday was the first time I felt qualified to call myself a busker.

Sorta like the difference between a fly caster and a fly fisherman. Until you can catch fish on a regular basis...ya just a fly caster.

...and no, that blue gill 3 feet from your knees don't count as a catch on your pretty, new rod. Ya gotta catch some fish, some real fish.

Well, to swing the analogy back to busking. I haven't caught any real fish yet...but I did finally figure out how to and a caught a couple pretty decent sized ones. Keepers at the very least.

Now, I just gotta play more hooky and get back to that waterin' hole more often so I don't forget what I learned!!!