Tag Archives: Street performer’s guide

A Street Performer’s Checklist – A guide to street performance the right way

by Heidi Montgomery

Ask any true extreme-sport enthusiast the reason for hurtling headlong down steep, snowclad mountains or clinging to stony precipices, and the response will undoubtedly have something to do with thrill and challenge, glory and achievement. Ask any musician, whether soloist or fourth-chair cellist, what makes him or her walk out on stage time and again and the answer is essentially the same. Whether racing around boulders and trees or through a string of rapid-fire 16th notes, the heart can pound and the adrenaline pump. And both can be addictive.

As addictions go, the lure of performing is no great cause of distress, unless, of course, the addict has insufficient access to concert halls, coffeehouses, or bar gigs. The solution? Hit the pavement! Create your own venue and go where the people are. I’m talking about street performance or, as it is more commonly known, busking.

As well-seasoned a performer as you might be, busking takes a different set of skills and tests a different set of nerves in comparison to stage performance. It is one thing to play a venue where you have been contracted to appear (that alone offers more security and confidence than you may realize). It’s quite another matter finding a spot in the middle of a busy pedestrian thoroughfare where neither shoppers, nor storekeepers, nor police will object to your presence.