Lately, I've been busking a TON and it makes me so excited. But I also have been getting so many questions about what happens when I busk and how I feel about it so I thought this would be a good place to put everything down that I know and have learned.
1) I'm not offended if you don't put money in my case. Yes, I'm a little sad when people hang around for 20-30 minutes of my set, clap, compliment and then walk away but I understand. I never have change on me - EVER - so I often don't have stuff to give to buskers. If you don't have money on you, I also appreciate social media follows, and my Instagram handle is always posted when I busk.
2) If I ask questions or try to interact with people walking by, don't be afraid. I do it because it makes my set more interesting and I love getting to know the people who listen to my music. I'm not going heckle anyone, I just want to interact.
3) Not everyone will be happy with what I do when I busk. People are upset by the fact that I don't play a wider variety of genres (specifically reggae???), what I wear, whether or not I wear makeup, that I play too much or not enough original music. I can't win, so I do what feels right for me and honestly, it's been working so far.
4) I really do try to learn all of the suggestions I'm given, I just don't always have time or it doesn't fit with my voice. Songs can take a lot of time to sit well in my voice and I don't want to play stuff that I know just won't work and I'm not excited about.
5) I love Disney, but I don't play Disney music.
6) To all of the lovely individuals who have asked me out while I'm busking. I will always say no. I don't say yes to anyone while I'm busking mainly for safety reasons. It's not because I'm mean or hate you. Busking can be dangerous sometimes downtown and I have been caught in sticky situations before when boundaries have been completely over stepped, so I don't say yes to anyone anymore. Super flattered, and even if I want to, I'll always say no.
7) I am so appreciative of the vendors. They are so supportive, friendly and kind. They feed me and give me presents during and after my shift. They drop money in my case and always support my music career. They have listened to my set an ungodly number of times now and their support means the world to me. On hot stinky days they give me water, they watch my equipment for me when I need to go to the bathroom, and they are familiar faces when I'm having a rough day.
8) I don't get paid by the market I busk for, but I don't need a busking licence to work with them. I'm not fussed though, I'm really content with the amount that I make when I busk, and they give me lots of hours.
9) I love what I do. I am so lucky that I found an outlet at such a young age to do what I want to do. I love meeting new people, hearing new stories, and trying out new music. I love opening myself up to strangers and receiving such positive feedback. Music makes me so happy and even when it's 45 degrees, I'm sunburned and dehydrated I still feel so lucky to do what I do.
I hope I answered some questions or at least you learned something new today. I'm playing at C'est What on July 29th and August 5th so stay tuned for more updates because I'm starting to book in Vancouver now.
From me, with love, to you,
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