October 21, 2016 steven

Busking, Silver Buckets and Sting

Back in the day I would go up town and busk.

I grabbed my little amp, spare rechargeable batteries and my cheap guitar that kept going out of tune.

I used to busk for about 8 hours and make about £3.44.

I played the vocal melody line on the guitar to some backing tracks I’d made.

A couple of the tracks I remember were…

‘Come Back and Stay’ by Paul Young and ‘Englishman in New York’ by Stink.

When I played those tracks people would stop, stand their and really enjoy the songs.

I knew they were enjoying it, you can tell.

As soon as the music stopped, they’d nod, smile politely and get back to some serious shopping.

The music was good, the people enjoyed it…

But no money.

Ten years later I was in Covent Garden and watched this guy perform some kind of magic acrobat routine, I don’t remember exactly.

I do remember he had a large crowd around him watching him do his stuff.

When he finished he didn’t say thank you, sit down and wait for people to give him money.

At the end of his routine he picked up a painted silver bucket and went on to explain it was audience participation time.

“I want you all to put your hands, doesn’t matter which one into your pocket…”

He pulled out a pound coin.

“Take out as many of these as you like, walk towards me and put them into this bucket.”

He then straightened out his arms with the bucket on the end and said ‘GO.’

The big crowd all started to reach into their pockets and move towards the bucket and drop their money into it.

I could see his arms wobbling from trying to keep the bucket straight.

I thought ‘that’s how you do that.’

My experience has taught me that no matter how good you are at what you do, in one way shape or form at the end of your routine…

If you know you’ve provided great value it’s okay to ask for the sale.

If you don’t ask you don’t get.

Ask and it’s given.


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