Forums > Social Discussion > The worst busker i have ever seen

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DoktorSkell
DoktorSkell

addict
Location: Van Diemans Land
Member Since: 11th Jan 2005
Total posts: 475
Posted:Has this ever happened to you?

I was walking down Salamanca square to get a sandwich for lunch down at the bakery. And along the walkway was a man who looked probably in his late forty's with a chest full of juggling prop's.
Now, the thing is, these props looked well used and the chest was well decorated and looked like it had seen some travelling in its time.

The point of the story is.... This guy could not use ANY of the props in this chest, all he was doing with the balls and clubs and such was the basic three item juggle.. no tricks or anything. He was even dropping the balls while doing this as well.

It was seriously like this man had just inherited this chest of props only the day before.

I practise two disciplines every day. Poi and Juggling.
Now i am not pro at either of them by any means and i wouldnt feel comfortable busking or performing specialy for an audience. But i know for a fact that i can juggle phenomenonaly better than this guy.
if i had showed up next to him with say four clubs i would have made him a laughing stock.

Needless to say i didnt say anything to him. But do you think that someone should have? i mean he has every right in the world to stand out there in a public place and perform.
But there are some buskers who really dont have a clue.
i have seen an old man just stop at a seat put his hat on the ground and just blow and suck into a harmonica. Not really playing a tune at all.

What are your thoughts?

Also, i am completely self taught juggler. Is there a good juggling equivalent of Home of Poi that has good resources that i can check out?


Fair luna bright, fair luna moon
it shines at night but fades too soon
fair luna moon, fair luna bright
forever we dance
we dance under starlight

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dafunkymahn
member

Member Since: 30th Jan 2005
Total posts: 54
Posted:In your example you really did not know the busker's situation, it would not hurt you to toss him a few coins. Do not get me wrong I am not saying what you did was right or wrong, just it never hurts to toss a few coins. Now if the guy was in danger of harming himself or others then I feel you are required to suggest that he practice a bit more.

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Pyrolific
Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Member Since: 10th Jan 2001
Total posts: 3288
Posted:eh I've seen heaps of buskers who certainly dont have the prop skills of many an amateur, however its not how well they juggle, its how well they entertain. You might think he would be the laughing stock, but honestly, there is a lot more to busking than just skillz.

Josh


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:he might just be doing it for the attention, i know theres a guy in adelaide that sits and pretends to play tunes on an electronic keyboard until he gets enough money to try something new. each unto their own smile

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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TheBovrilMonkey
TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England
Member Since: 3rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 2629
Posted:The best busker I've seen wrapped himself in cling film while talking to the audience smile
Anyone could do that, but it's how you hold the audience's attention and make them laugh that's the hard part.


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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JauntyJames
JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA
Member Since: 22nd Dec 2004
Total posts: 3533
Posted:toss him a beef burrito! biggrin

-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Dude, that was ME! wink

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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dafunkymahn
member

Member Since: 30th Jan 2005
Total posts: 54
Posted:You wrapped yourself in cling film as a busk... man if you filmed that you could have one 10 grand on AFV! (Is that show even still on the air?)

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Flame
Flame

addict
Location: VIC, MELB
Member Since: 12th Jan 2004
Total posts: 435
Posted:Written by: ...Lightning...

Dude, that was ME! wink


LMAO ubblol ubblol ubblol


*In the car while Pink is playing on the radio*
Tristan aged 4 : "Mum is this Pink?"
Flame:"Yes mate this is Pink?"
Tristan:"Are you going to Pink?"
Flame:"Yes i am"
Tristan:"Cool well I'm going to BLUE" smile

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Spontaneously Combustable
Spontaneously Combustable

The cuter FRD
Location: London, Brixton
Member Since: 19th Jun 2004
Total posts: 214
Posted:You have to give them so credit for even trying sumthing they arn't veery good at. I sucked when i even attempted to juggle 2 balls. But you r right about the whole thing about learning how to juggle along with tricks and all.


----There are no opportunities, only problems----

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_pOp_
Playing OldSchool Poi
Location: amsterdam
Member Since: 22nd Aug 2003
Total posts: 593
Posted:i totally disagree...
too often I just get asked for money on the street. just to give it. mostly with some lame excuse about the christian shelter costing 6 euros a night, or something, when you can clearly see they are waiting to spend some money on the local dealer around the corner.
now I think it's everybody's own choice where to spend your money on: food or drugs, whatever. but the nerve to just ask for it!!!
I would love to see a junky, wino, or genuinly poor person do something for their money instead of just ask. at least the guy with the balls made an effort, and that's worth a gift I'd say. (I had a long discussion with some guy in barcelona about this, and after that he still refused to take my hacky sacks as a gift to take up juggling).

and some buskers are there to really earn their day of bread, not to show of some fancy skill with the props that their rich mom bought them.
I feel guilty doing a fire show on the main square with the other performers, because I'm taking away their show-time too, and I don't really need the money that much, I basically do it because I like doing it.

some people deserve getting money for their skills and others should get money because they need it (and make an effort).


meditate eRic.

I'm not normally a religious man, but if you're up there, save me, Superman!

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ImmortalAngel
Scientist!
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Member Since: 19th Jan 2004
Total posts: 578
Posted:When ever I get bored I bust out what ever props I have, no matter where I am. I usually get a few people watching, or commenting, then they'll start asking about learning, and then I'll start teaching basics, giving them info on it, and hopefully they'll start it up. I've never taken money for what I do, I do it because I love it and I love to see other people loving it, either watching or trying it them selves.
Some people just don't want to try it, but would rather watch it. Others want to try it them selves and will come up and ask questions. Both are very cool.

I have seen many people make 100-200 a performance on a busy day. A 15-30 minute show in downtown toronto gathers a crowd fast and it keeps building. Then they will say "Now if I showed you a good trick in a bar you'd buy me a drink. I just showed you a dozen tricks, so all of you can pitch in enough for a drink from each one of you, and I can make enough to come back another day" or something like that. Usually it's never anything really that tricky, but the showmanship they display always does wonders.
For example, one busker's final and incredibly big trick was no more than a regular 3b cascade with flaming torches. Not really incredibly impressive for anyone who can juggle, but he hyped it up really well, did it while on a rolla-bolla (which is a bit impressive as those things are a bit tricky). He couldn't keep it going long, but the crowd loved it.


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> STAY SAFE! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug.gif" alt="" />

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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:I've seen so called fire performers in Berlin who can't even do the weave. They also have a habit of setting up in the same area as fire performers who do actually have some skill and bothered to make a show, then they spin once, go and collect money from everyone, so when the people doing the real show try to collect afterwards, everyone says, oh, "we already gave for the fire show".

There are some good buskers in Berlin, but also a lot of crap ones. For the most part the crap ones are not only bad, but obnioxious too.

I'm all for people putting an effort into entertaining on the streets and trying to make a living from it, but if all you are doing is begging with props, then go home and stop bringing down the public appreciation for the people who really are trying.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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ado-p
ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland
Member Since: 13th May 2004
Total posts: 3882
Posted:Last week i saw this guy, who was maybe about fifty. sit in front of this little hand painted back drop in the middle of a load of mechanical puppets playing instruments to trad music. He had a little mike that made his voice sound funny and he didnt really do anything but he was incredibly entertaining. He interected with kids and his dog caught a biscuit that he threw. And the thing is, it looked like he made every bit of it himself and whats more, it look like it was 20 years old. Brilliant , i hope he made a furtune. i doubt it though.

that night i saw four crazy looking guys playing the most mangled type of irish trad music i've ever heard. they looked as likely to throw their instruments at passers by.

i can see how alot of people would have a go at busking, especially if they were hungry. i love it myself, theres nothing like a circle of faces lit up, stunned and smiling.

as for the chancers. i say ignore them, or show em up wink


Love is the law.

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Kyle McLean
Kyle McLean

Living it up
Location: Brisbane/Berlin
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2003
Total posts: 364
Posted:Written by: DoktorSkell


It was seriously like this man had just inherited this chest of props only the day before.




Who knows? maybe he did, and is just starting out. Not arguing with you, but just as a thought experement. Have you ever noticed how young children make a killing when they busk. They'll take in loads if they are good, but will still do very well even if they are not. Cute factor aside, I think people also admire thier guts to get out there and give it a go. A forty year old might not have the same advantage, but might still be showing the same guts as the cute little kid. I'm always moved when old people are open to new learning, the more so the older the person is (NOT saying that forty is old here wink)

I think having newly developing skills and observing busker's etiquette are two seperate issues. As long as somone is observing etiquette I reckon it's great that they are busking. Even if they are horrible, they will learn to be a good busker much faster by doing it then not.
Just my 2c
smile


Contact without dance is like sex without wiggling.
A) it does feel as good
B) it does not look as good on film

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newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:Yeah it;'s true about kids. This year at WFF someone HighUp made a decision anti-busking.. it had ramifications for 'genuine' skill based dudes ( eg Zanzibar) and also for the kids... there were security guys stopping kids from busking... Anyway, I happen to know that HEAPS of people made complaints about the security guys and it underlined for me that people really like buskers... they appreciate the give-it-a-go ism of it.

And yeah, thanks for the nice words re old folks wink welcome I like to bring a spring to the heart of young pixies hug

And yeah, about you wearing a dress. I reckon kimono with flowers inthe dreadies. Monday night, eh wink


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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_pOp_
Playing OldSchool Poi
Location: amsterdam
Member Since: 22nd Aug 2003
Total posts: 593
Posted:Written by: vanize

I've seen so called fire performers in Berlin who can't even do the weave. ... then they spin once, go and collect money from everyone, so when the people doing the real show try to collect afterwards, everyone says, oh, "we already gave for the fire show".




and if that doesn't encourage you to make a proper show with costumes and choreagraphy, what will?!!!
I bet you that then they won't compare you to the "other fire show".


meditate eRic.

I'm not normally a religious man, but if you're up there, save me, Superman!

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Adya Miriyana
Adya Miriyana

*slou?
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 4th Feb 2005
Total posts: 6554
Posted:Well I've seen some interesting buskers along the mall - and yes Ben, I've seen the 'keyboard guy' also. I've seen a guy that plays a vacum cleaner like a didgeridoo [interesting]..could have been the same guy, as he likes to try new things...

As a busker myself [I play the sax], I've had a bit of competition with other buskers. Namely an older fellow playing a banjo. And recently a guy playing an accordian. Now, i don't have a problem with these guys performing, but they should stick to the rules. "Banjo-man" sits in one spot all day, when stipulated you must move every 1/2 hour, and "accordian-man" brings his dog along to get sympathy/attention from children, when stated in the permits that no animals [aside from guide dogs] are to be involved in an act. It's not really the fact that he stole my 'turf' lol, but that he was exploiting an animal to get money that annoys me. I feel sorry for the dog - sure, he gets patted by little kids covered in icecream, which could be a good or bad thing, i'm not sure.. but perhaps the pained expression on his face was because he had a better tone sense than the player wink


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pineapple pete
pineapple pete

water based
Location: melbourne
Member Since: 20th Sep 2004
Total posts: 5125
Posted:the worst busker i seen was in sydney, last weekend. the guy was doin ye olde standing still routine. and screwed it up. he was moving. not the slow, or ocasionaly fast movements you do to scare little kids. but inadvertant movements. it was hilarious.
i prefer to go for the stupid. get a roll of industrial glad wrap (its thicker and stronger) get someone to wrap u up, get someone else to hold u up to a light pole, then to gafa or continue glad wrapping you. suspending you in the air, stuck to a pole. continue to juggle, or if you're brave, get a mate of urs to put fire sticks in ur mouth and fire eat.


"you know there are no trophys for doing silly things in real life yeah pete?" said ant "you wont get a 'listened to ride of the valkyries all the way to vietnam' trophy"

*proud owner of the very cute fire_spinning_angel, birgit and neon shaolin*

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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:playing with fire while wrapped in saran wrap... hmm that could go bad wink

#homeofpoi -- irc.newnet.net Come talk to us we're bored frown

Warning: Please Do Not Jump On The Seals

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ferrous
ferrous

member
Location: brisbane, queensland
Member Since: 4th Jan 2008
Total posts: 55
Posted: Written by: newgabe

Yeah it;'s true about kids. This year at WFF someone HighUp made a decision anti-busking.. it had ramifications for 'genuine' skill based dudes ( eg Zanzibar) and also for the kids... there were security guys stopping kids from busking... Anyway, I happen to know that HEAPS of people made complaints about the security guys and it underlined for me that people really like buskers... they appreciate the give-it-a-go ism of it.



way old thread, i know, but i just wanted to comment about the kids busking thing.

this year at the woodford folk festival (07-08), i read in the programme, or in some documentation somewhere, that there wasn't any busking allowed, but i saw heaps of kids (& a couple of adults) busking. everyone loved them & i even saw a security guard go past one or two & not say anything. i figured they were turning a blind eye.

my own son did some busking with his diabolo & yes, people were definitely paying for the cute factor of a gorgeous little, blond four year old trying his best with the diabolo, not for the skill.


when i grow up, i want to be a circus freak.

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ElectricBlue
ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra
Member Since: 11th Feb 2002
Total posts: 810
Posted:Yeah i think the have a go attitude is great. But at some events i think that is great when they require buskers to ask for permission first.

We have done that at floriad a couple of times and it is great beacuse there aren't amillion people doing it and there is a bit of quality control. Also the made sure that the kids got a fair go in there as well.

Regarding the first post. I think it is a very silly think to go up to a busker and tell them that they should practice more, If you don't like it just move along.

You need to remember that busking is probably %10 about the skills you have and the rest is all showmanship, so the only way to get better at it is to keep practicing with a really crowd.

ferrous: your son sounds really cute, good on him for getting out there and having a go.


I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />

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Rouge Dragon
Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 13215
Posted:I totally agree that it's not about your technical ability but you're ability to hold an audience and entertain.

Which is why the worst buskers I have ever seen are magic statues. Oh how I hate them!!!!


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:By magic statues, do you mean those people who stand there motionless in costume with a hat out in front of them and only move when someone throws a coin in the hat ?

If so, I've got to say that's one of the most lucrative busking gigs I've ever had experience with. Also, if you work around buskers, you quickly come to appreciate the silent acts


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Rouge Dragon
Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 13215
Posted:yeah those. can't stand them and refuse to give them money. for me they have no talent except the ability to stand still.

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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rin_666
rin_666

enthusiast
Location: cambridge
Member Since: 30th Jul 2006
Total posts: 223
Posted:there's a guy in norwich that's called the puppet man and literally all he does is stand there with glove puppets on his hand waving it about and mumbling into a mike. It's awful, yet the guy has become something of an institution here in norwich I know I get quite upset when he's not there because he's ALWAYS there. There's something inherently wrong about him not being in his usual spot. There's loads of videos of him on youtube AND there's a postcard of him as well.

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newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:hmmm Rougie. Have you ever tried to stand still for that long? And then move, just that little bit? It's not easy!!!
Though personally I don;t like it as much as clever patter and stuff... Saw a great busker at Exodus festival. He did a 30 minute show leading up to one acrobatic trick. But his character, use of the audience volunteers, set ups to jokes, were fantastic. used so many of tghe old lines, but htey were brilliantly done. And then when he finally did his trick 'the camel of death'.. it was superb.


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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ferrous
ferrous

member
Location: brisbane, queensland
Member Since: 4th Jan 2008
Total posts: 55
Posted: Written by: newgabe

Saw a great busker at Exodus festival. He did a 30 minute show leading up to one acrobatic trick. But his character, use of the audience volunteers, set ups to jokes, were fantastic. used so many of tghe old lines, but htey were brilliantly done. And then when he finally did his trick 'the camel of death'.. it was superb.


the camel of death? rotfl!! even the name is hilarious. hehe. ubblol


when i grow up, i want to be a circus freak.

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Rouge Dragon
Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 13215
Posted:Yeah I agree that standing still and not scratching your arse for so long would be pretty hard! but I grew up with street theatre where people actually *did* something to hold an audience and I suppose I see people who can stand still as cop-outs because they want money but lack stage presence.

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:The statue gig shouldn't be about the standing still. if a performer is making it all about the standing, yep, then it's lame.

Ideally when the statue is just standing, he's hoping that passers by will figure out what he's all about, which is more of a "coin operated" kind of thing where, you, put in money, he moves in friendly, inviting, and entertaining ways.

The standing part is mostly down time, why is why this gig is best suited to crowded areas where, hopefully people just appearing on the scene will see what's going on and reach into their pockets for their turn. Sometimes you see crowds around these guys , saying things like" this is lame" or "what a slack gig", meanwhile, the performer's thinking...come on.....come on....figure it out people...

And when they do, hopefully it starts things on a roll. smile
cash, movement, photo op
cash, movement, photo op


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ElectricBlue
ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra
Member Since: 11th Feb 2002
Total posts: 810
Posted:newgabe: Ha cammel of death, That sounds very much like your talking about Hemlock, He's such an awsome dude. Yeah if you what to see how a great busker can gather a crowd go see one of his shows.

Plus he taught us rad acrobalance stuff. Whoot!!!


I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />

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Page: 12

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