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Topic: Busking and Begging
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 1, 2006 12:02AM)
Many members of the general public associate busking with begging. I even heard of performers being moved on under anti-begging laws! Whilst it is insulting to consider that a hard working, skilled street performer would have anything in common with a busker, after a recent trip overseas it got me thinking about the relationship between these two types of people.

Essentially, I can think of two main similarities:

1) They both work primarly on the street.
2) They both rely on people's generosity in order to get money. (i.e. Even if you watch a busker's show, you don't HAVE to pay him or her.

The single difference between a beggar and a busker is that a busker performs some sort of creative, artistic or entertaining services before asking for the donated fee thus lifting him above the status of a beggar.

Whether a person is homeless, a drug addict, clean, dirty, employed, unemployed, well dressed, polite or any other characteristic does not necessarily place them in either catergory. I've met buskers who spend their hat on drugs and beggars with jobs. Only the performance of an artistic skill clearly defines the two catergories.

Whilst travelling I came across the following buskers/beggars. Would you try and place them in a particular catergory or is that impossible?

-A homeless man, complete with bottle of beer in brown paper bag, playing the mouth organ on Grafton street. He wasn't playing a particularly tune, just making random noises so quiet you could barely here them

-A magician in covent garden performing card tricks for a couple of tourists then asking for donations so he could buy lunch because he hadn't eaten today.

-A stiltwalking in Edinburgh stiltwalking two feet high holding out his hat as he walked up and down the street. He had little to no personality and made few people smile.

-A man outside the toilets in Mumbai handing out paper towels to people coming out. His colourful personality, joking and generally comical demeanor was increasing the number of people who gave him money.

and closer to home...

- A man I know with no arms (just hands attached to his shoulders - his nickname is T-Rex) used to play the piano accordian as a 12 year old in Sydney and would make more then any other busker.

I would have once said that a busker gets donations because he made his audience happy where as a beggar makes people happy because they gave a donation.

But I'm not so sure that is true anymore?

What do you think?
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Aug 1, 2006 01:54AM)
[quote]
2) They both rely on people's generosity in order to get money. (i.e. Even if you watch a busker's show, you don't HAVE to pay him or her.

[/quote]

I disagree with this completely. I do not want nor will I accept charity, "donations" or "generosity". I am performing a service and it is the most honest service in the world because my customers decide what it is worth AFTER they receive it. That is what I ask for, I ask for them to pay me what they think my show was worth. If they do not think it was worth anything that is up to them. If they think it was worth something but they are broke, not a problem give me a hand shake and an atta boy.

I am a professional and that is the impression I try to leave my audience. Anybody who has a hard time distinguishing the difference between what I do and what a beggar does after seeing my show and hearing my hat line is too dim witted to have any money.

Now if you are talking about the perception of people before they have seen a professional busker that is another story. That is ignorance, you can cure that with education.

Best,

Dan-

Posted: Aug 1, 2006 3:02am
Also for the record, everyone you described sounds like a bum.

What about the well dressed professional entertainer with a sound system and choreographed music cues who builds an audience of over 200 people and performs a professional quality 45 minute show that would be welcome on any cruise ship or night club? Because for the most part those are my peers around here. These are the types of acts I see busking in Boston. Maybe you need to come to North America and see what it is all about.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Aug 1, 2006 02:29AM)
Danny is right...the true busker isn't a begger or a bum.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 1, 2006 02:44AM)
Danny -I would think that your example performer would rarely, if ever, be confused with a begger. I gave examples of people/performers who blur that boundary for the purpose of discussion. Trying to decide whether to put a performer like you or I into the catergory of 'Busker' or 'Begger' is like trying to decide whether Paris Hilton is "Genius" or "Idiot" ! These are all people who might call themselves a busker but who are called bums by others.

Can your audiences think your show is worth a lot of money but still give nothing?
If so, what impels some give and others to not?
If the quality of a show determines what the audiences gives, why do some performers with a great show make less money then a performer with a bad show (but a good hat line)?
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Aug 1, 2006 08:05AM)
A Beggar relies solely on charity and preys on the guilt reflex of the average citizen. A Beggar is a blight upon an otherwise pleasant day. A Beggar invokes a "Let's cross the street." response in passers-by. A Beggar is a broken excuse for a human being with little to no self-confidence, pride or motivation...or a conniving conman too lazy to work an honest job for honest pay. [My opinion - I detest Beggars]

A Busker provides a desirable service in expectation of a fair offering or tip. A Busker offers a pleasant distraction in an otherwise hectic pace. A pleasing sojourn for those involved in the routine hustle of business and shopping. A Busker invokes a "Hey look! Let's watch!" response in passers-by. A Busker is bursting with self-confidence and pride. He or she screams, "Let me entertain you and make this small part of your day a little bit BETTER!" A Busker EARNS every cent and bill passed into his hat.

[quote]-A homeless man, complete with bottle of beer in brown paper bag, playing the mouth organ on Grafton street. He wasn't playing a particularly tune, just making random noises so quiet you could barely here them [/quote]

Beggar - He's not providing any service but is using his harmonica in the same way another beggar might use a handwritten cardboard sign. He is attracting attention to his "plight." Not even close to being a busker and no blur here. To compare this action with a Busker is an insult to the Busker.

[quote]-A magician in covent garden performing card tricks for a couple of tourists then asking for donations so he could buy lunch because he hadn't eaten today.[/quote]

Again, a Beggar. I'm sure that the "magician" approached the couple. Buskers draw their crowds TO them. The Busker doesn't corner a captive audience, perform, then ask to be fed. The choice ALWAYS rests with the audience...although the skilled Busker plays...or even preys...upon a person's sense of fair play and honor, a true Busker never begs. Again, no blur and another insult.

[quote]-A stiltwalking in Edinburgh stiltwalking two feet high holding out his hat as he walked up and down the street. He had little to no personality and made few people smile.[/quote]

Another Beggar using his stilts in the same way as the previous harmonica player and cardboard sign holder. An attention getting device. The man is offering no viable service in return for the cash he is offered. He's begging. No blur, same insult.

[quote]-A man outside the toilets in Mumbai handing out paper towels to people coming out. His colourful personality, joking and generally comical demeanor was increasing the number of people who gave him money.[/quote]

Here's a man offering a viable service and a friendly interaction in return for tips. Not a busker, in my opinion, but not necessarily a beggar, either. Restroom attendants are a common sight through Europe providing a variety of services from towels to cologne to shoe shines...this gentleman is trying to adapt. I don't believe he fits either category.

[quote]- A man I know with no arms (just hands attached to his shoulders - his nickname is T-Rex) used to play the piano accordian as a 12 year old in Sydney and would make more then any other busker. [/quote]

If the man is providing an entertainment that provides a novel escape from the drudge of routine in exchange for his tips, then he is a Busker. If he is sitting and drawing upon his past, collecting offerings of charity...he's a Beggar. Where's the blur?

[quote]I would have once said that a busker gets donations because he made his audience happy where as a beggar makes people happy because they gave a donation. [/quote]

As wisely stated earlier, Buskers don't receive "donations." They earn fees for services rendered. Buskers brighten the few moments he or she shares with the audience. The audience fills the hat out of gratitude and satisfaction.

Beggars thrive through guilt and charity. They provide no service. They serve no function other than to persuade people with loose cash that they are now better human beings for having helped a poor, embittered creature continue his destructive habits. Huzzah.

This blurring of the differences between Buskers and Beggars is the very issue that has hurt serious Buskers for decades. Like you, far too many city councils and police officers fail to see and appreciate the distinction. I truly enjoy walking through our city park and hearing the various instrumentalists performing serious works...and I gladly offer my dollars to their hats. The appearance of a Beggar always ruins this experience.

My opinions,
Skip
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Aug 1, 2006 09:32AM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-01 03:44, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
Can your audiences think your show is worth a lot of money but still give nothing?
[/quote]
Absolutely! As a matter of fact, if they are broke they are encouraged to do just that. Just give me a hand shake and an "atta boy". I do not want or need anybodies last dollar. I am not going to give away my hat line here but it is constructed to allow people to pay admission after the fact or to enjoy it as my treat if they are broke. Because that is what they are paying me, admission. They know it and I know it. So if they have watched my show for more than 10 or 15 minutes (it is about 40 minutes long), and they feel it is worth something they will pay.
[quote]
If so, what impels some give and others to not?
[/quote]

The answer to this is very simple. Integrity. Most people have it and they can recognize it in others. If they walk away without paying they would be stealing something and they know it. Most people, if they have enjoyed your show and you as a character will not steal from you. Not only that but they are happy to come up and stick something in your hat. This is not to say that there are not dirtballs in the world. As a matter of fact there are tons of them. But those people and they know who they, are would not tip no matter what you say. So I choose not to worry about them and focus on the people who do have some integrity.

Interestingly this would bother me much more when I was starting out doing a table act and the audience would only be five or six people strong. I found out very quickly that white collar people are thieves and blue collar people appreciate a job well done. There are exceptions to the rule but the numbers in my experience were statistically high enough for me to make that statement and not feel as though I am being inaccurate.


[quote]
If the quality of a show determines what the audiences gives, why do some performers with a great show make less money then a performer with a bad show (but a good hat line)?
[/quote]

This is an impossibility. People will not pay to see a bad show. Are you talking about someone who is an excellent street performer but a poor magician/juggler/ whatever? This happens quite a bit. There are people who have incredibly entertaining shows that are not very skillful. Tommy Cooper would have made a great busker.

If people are giving the performer money then the audience finds them entertaining. If you are more entertaining and as good of a busker (two completely different skill sets) you should be able to set up down the road and make just as much money. That is exactly what I had to do last summer.

But you need to have a truly great street show. A truly great street show is at least competence at both of these skills. All busker and all entertainer. A guy who is not making as much money as the mediocre magician down the street does not have a great street show. He has a poor street show. It might be a wonderful night club act, but it isn't a good street show. That is the difference. The only way to improve is to humble yourself and realize that this guy who is making more money that you is a better busker than you are. You might want to watch him and see why that is.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Aug 1, 2006 11:04AM)
Danny,

Boy, do you know your stuff! I have spent money on books and tapes and not received any better information, tips, or instructions, of any kind better than what you have given freely here at the Café, in this thread. I think every magician street, restaurant, parlor, closeup or stag performer would benefit form reading this thread. Thank you Dan!

Respectfully,
Tom Bartlett
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Aug 1, 2006 12:09PM)
The operative word for both parties is "solicitor". Anti-begging laws are generally classified as anti-soliciting laws, which would also encompass relegious groups and political groups, along with anyone else asking for something.

-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 1, 2006 03:20PM)
Danny, well you saved everyone here one of my famous, or infamous RANTS.

You sum it up nicely. APPLES AND ORANGES. Bum= Bum

Busker=Busker
Lion=Lion

And so forth.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 1, 2006 04:40PM)
The man who approaches people, does a couple of card tricks and then begs for a handout "because he hasn't eaten today" is the magical equivalent of the fellow on the streetcorner with a squeegee and a bucket.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 1, 2006 08:27PM)
Here is a brief list of the differences listed above

- Beggers work via guilt, buskers work via gratitude. (Would a busker who draws a crowd, does a great act and then uses guilt inducing hat lines to get money become a begger? If one person gives money out of guilt whilst another out of gratitude, does that make the performer both a busker AND a begger?)

- Buskers ask for a fee for providing a service. Beggers ask for a donation. (There is theory amongst economists that beggers/charities etc provide a service to the people who pay them in that they either a) make them feel good about themselves b) take away there guilt or c) leave them alone.)

- A begger makes you want to cross the street (I've seen plenty of buskers that make me want to cross the street.)

- Beggers corner people making it hard for them to leave and ask for money, buskers draw people in. (I have seen buskers using techniques that I would describe as cornering to build their crowd. e.g. picking a spot where people can't get past without stopping, approaching the first few crowd members and doing tricks to help build a crowd etc. Does using these techniques make them a begger?)

Danny - What is the difference between the integrity that leads some one to give to a busker and the integrity that makes them give to begger?

Please note - My questions in this thread are meant as ACTUAL questions. Not retorical ones to prove a point. I am interested in the philosophical and practical opinions of performers in relation to this topic. I am attempting to play devil's advocate not just being a jerk.

Also, I am in no way suggestion that buskers are beggers but instead am interested to see where you would draw the line. Or whether you would draw a clear line at all!

It is a difficult question to pose to people who make their living busking. As a performer who makes his living mostly from engagements and only busks for 'fun', I can not appreciate how annoying it must be when members of the public associate them with beggers.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 1, 2006 08:35PM)
I can only suppose you suffer from intentional blindness.

There are BAD buskers, and that is the end of the debate really. Sure you can point to buskers who make you want to cross the street. But certianly they are the exception to the rule.

If you draw the lines as you are you may as well equate bank robery as a "routine banking transaction". Come on you get it.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 1, 2006 09:02PM)
But is a bad busker a begger or just a bad busker?

If I do a bad kid's party show do I t become a begger?

Why do many people unfairly equate busking with begging?

I made a list of buskers I saw on my trip in my diary. I saw 42 people one COULD call buskers including magicians, jugglers, statues, musicians etc. There were eight that I thought of as great. About 15 were bad or did something I saw as dodgy. (the chain smoking balloon bender). The rest were OK. 15 out of 42 is not the exception to the rule.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 2, 2006 01:14AM)
A bad busker is probably just that, a bad busker. The fellow who goes over to people who are eating, does a couple of lame card tricks and then asks for money while playing on their sympathy is NOT a busker. He is not giving them anything for their money. A busker gathers his crowd. He performs for the people. Then they pay him because they liked the show, or because they liked him.

Here are the differences. The busker generally asks the people to come to him, not vice versa -- exception would be guys who stroll in restaurants. The busker does a show and collects for the "tickets" afterwards.

The beggar does crap and then asks you to feed him.

Why do people equate busking with begging? It could be that there are beggars who play musical instruments and have some kind of receptacle for coins. That's begging, not busking.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 2, 2006 01:39AM)
Bill - would that apply to all musicians playing with a receptacle for coins?

If a magician performs in a restaurant for tips only in a restaurant (urgh! a horrible thought!) is he different from some one doing the same in the street?

The magician I saw doing card tricks and then asking for money was quite good at what he was doing and the audience were impressed them but he did come across as a begger in the WAY in which he asked for the money.
Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Aug 2, 2006 05:27AM)
Don't some hat lines try to increase people's guilt if they don't pay? So that they are no longer paying simply out of gratitude?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 2, 2006 08:04AM)
Like I said Bill, intentional blindness.

I hate to raise this to a legitimate arguement status by even responding.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Aug 2, 2006 08:36AM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-01 21:27, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
Danny - What is the difference between the integrity that leads some one to give to a busker and the integrity that makes them give to begger?

[/quote]

Personal integrity has nothing to do with giving something to a beggar. People give to a beggar because they feel guilty or because they want to feel superior.

The reason busking has such a bad reputation is the same reason that children's entertainers have such a horrible reputation. 99% of them are horrible and have no business calling themselves entertainers. Go and read the little darlings section and see how many people there think that buying a couple hundred dollars worth of magic tricks and having a sexy mooseburger outfit makes them a professional entertainer.

At this point Nick, it is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer that you are either incredibly obtuse or a trolling for your own pleasure. We've answered your questions, if you truly do not get it you are not the performer I thought you were. If you are just having a p--- to make yourself feel clever that is pretty sad.

Best,

Dan-

Posted: Aug 2, 2006 9:41am
Quote:
On 2006-08-01 22:02, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:

I made a list of buskers I saw on my trip in my diary. I saw 42 people one COULD call buskers including magicians, jugglers, statues, musicians etc. There were eight that I thought of as great. About 15 were bad or did something I saw as dodgy. (the chain smoking balloon bender). The rest were OK. 15 out of 42 is not the exception to the rule.

As I said, come to Boston and spend one day in Faneuil hall. You will see more professional entertainers in one day than you saw on your entire trip. When one walks into a polluted pond, picks up a rock, looks at the bottom of it, most people would not be surprised to find scum. Use a little common sense Nick, your wind up isn't working, it just makes you look silly.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 2, 2006 09:08AM)
I guess your trying to look intuative or introspective. You look neither.

What are you gonna find in an Alligator pond Nick? You are looking in an Alligator pond and looking for a Zebra. Danny is right, you should know better.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 2, 2006 06:45PM)
I have no intention of winding anyone up nor in being wound up. But if you do feel that I am winding people, I am more then happy for anyone to leave the discussion. I am sure that the Café staff will let me know if they feel I am trolling.

Nor do I have any interest in being 'seen' in a particular way in a particular way. However, since I am asking questions of others and not trying to argue a specific point I would suggest that I am neither intuative or introspective.

I am sure that Faneuil hall has many wonderful performers. Just as the other cities I visited had some great performers. But the purpose of this thread is not to discuss performers who are of high quality and professional but those whose professional and personal standards have dropped so far that they are called beggers by their peers.

I am interested to know at what point a bad busker becomes a begger.

The following are the differences suggested above:

[b]Busker[/b]
Reasonable or high quality service provided.
Attracts people.
Asks for people to pay a fee.
Rely on gratitude.

[b]Begger[/b}
Token service or no service provided.
Corners people.
Asks people to make a donation.
Rely on guilt or pity.*
Message: Posted by: Jim Wilder (Aug 2, 2006 06:53PM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-02 19:45, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
I am interested to know at what point a bad busker becomes a begger.
[/quote]

OK... that's enough. Furthermore, if you don't know, I don't know that anyone can explain it you. But I'll try: A busker is a busker and a beggar is a beggar. There is no metamorphosis or blur. End of story.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Aug 2, 2006 10:23PM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-01 17:40, Bill Palmer wrote:
The man who approaches people, does a couple of card tricks and then begs for a handout "because he hasn't eaten today" is the magical equivalent of the fellow on the streetcorner with a squeegee and a bucket.


[/quote]

Wouldn't it suck to have an epiphany, by which you create the world's greatest street magic effect, and it used a squeegee and a bucket?
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Aug 3, 2006 01:59AM)
There are beggers (note, my brother is homeless and is one of those beggers) who will pretend to be street performers. You'll find them around Boston beating on garbage cans and trying to intimidate 'tips' out of people. In Santa Cruz, near where I live, the whacko city council had to ban street performers while at the same time the store owners wanted to pick the street performers. Problem was the talented people made folks happy and attracted visitors. The phonies, the beggers with buckets, would chase off the talent and the end result was a bunch of noise and problems. Because of these beggers the performers lost a great place to perform. The difference between the two is the same as the difference between a begger and a banker, the only thing simular is both beggers and performers are doing their thing on the street.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 3, 2006 08:49AM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-02 19:53, Jim Wilder wrote:
[quote]
On 2006-08-02 19:45, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
I am interested to know at what point a bad busker becomes a begger.
[/quote]

OK... that's enough. Furthermore, if you don't know, I don't know that anyone can explain it you. But I'll try: A busker is a busker and a beggar is a beggar. There is no metamorphosis or blur. End of story.
[/quote]

That pretty much says it. Not sure why all the confussion Nick.

You go see some bad performers and paint with a broad brush. How about I have seen some horrible magicians, all doing tricks all from Australia, all like to look smart and try to disguise some agenda behind " I am asking questions ", what is the difference in them and you?

I am just asking mind you. Not trying to create offense.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Aug 3, 2006 10:39AM)
Nick,

You are asking the same questions over and over again, ad nauseum. We have ALL answered your question several times in several different ways. You either choose to ignore what we have said or are too obtuse to understand. I really do not know how we can help you by finding yet another way to answer your same question.

There are beggars who pretend to be the president of the united states. This does not make them the commander and chief.

Good luck to you with your quest for placing labels.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 3, 2006 05:38PM)
The attacks on me and my style of argument don't really answer the questions. Nor does the answer "a busker is a busker and a begger is a begger".

Feel free to attack me if you wish, but perhaps you might like to do it via PM so those who would like to contribute to the discussion can continue to do so.

DannyDoyle - the difference between the magicians you listed and myself is that they all like to look smart and trying to disguise an agenda whereas I am a merely a horrible magician performing in Australia.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Aug 3, 2006 10:44PM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-03 18:38, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
Feel free to attack me if you wish, but perhaps you might like to do it via PM so those who would like to contribute to the discussion can continue to do so.

[/quote]

No one has attacked you. Again, you are failing to see the forest through the trees. That Nick, is your problem, not ours. We answered all of your questions. Trying to turn that into something it isn't appears to once again to be a feeble attempt at getting a rise. Enjoy, just don't expect too many of us here to fall for your not so cunning ruse.

You might have better luck in the little darlings section. They always seem to fall for that stuff.

Best of luck to you and your little home under the bridge.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Aug 3, 2006 11:33PM)
As I see it, the question was asked and answered. Repeatedly asking the same question will not change the answers you will get.

A busker is an entertainer performing for tips.
A begger (for lack of a better term) is a person asking for money with no real service provided in turn.

There is a little in common between the two:
Both terms beegin with "B"
Both terms end in "ER"
Both terms have six letters.
(So one answer might be, when "USK" turns into "EGG")

Another commonality is that both may be on the streets
Then again, so are food vendors, street cleaners, and police.
(So one can also ask; When does a busker turn into a policeman?)


I hope the first part, the serious part answers your question. If not, perhaps the sill part at the end will.

To be quite honest, although I am sure the question was well intended, it is insulting! The performers on this forum who persue busking, bring entertainment to the public, people who would not have the opportunity to see this type of entertainment anywhere else. Most of these people are talented professional who could work in any venue they choose, but they enjoy the unique challenges and and they joy associated with this venue.

Can we bring this thread to an end ?

Tony
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Aug 3, 2006 11:59PM)
This discussion sounds eerily familiar....except in the place of "beggar" was the word "street-magician". (and with the esteemed trio of Hustle, Palmer & Baker throwing opinions around, I'm amazed the comparrison hasnt been made!) Overall, I'd agree with Danny's side of the argument....a busker is NOT a beggar or even similar. There are all sorts of professions / people who ask for donations...are the people on the Ceraebral Palsy telethon beggars? What about the guy playing piano in a bar? No one HAS to tip a waiter, but the waiter uses every trick & manuver in his experience to get you to do so.

Now, here's a little twist on this subject.....

We all hate bums & beggars, (or at least, everyone in this thread seems to), annoying, drag on society, etc. etc.. Now remember, the first phase of magic is (as that upcoming movie says) "the pledge" & "the turn"....presenting something innocuos or ordinary, and then making it do something EXTRORDINARY. Who's to say this formula can't be taken to the human level? Imagine a bum on the street runaging through the trash....he extracts a crushed empty soda can, and does the healed&sealed manuver! Or pulls out a piece of white wastepaper, considers it a momment, then twists it into the shape of a rose, makes the rose float, then ignites it, and is left with a real rose which he gives to one of the open-jawed witnesses. A busker does good & impressive magic PREDICTABLY, it's obvious that he does what he does professionaly. Can you imagine the utter ASTONISHMENT people would have at an apparently worthless bum doing incredible magic? The idea of magic is taling someone's perceptions of reality & twisting them....in the afeormentioned scenario, you'd be doing it on a grander scale.

And don't scoff.....I've tried this & it works....profitably.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 4, 2006 01:26AM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-04 00:33, Tony Iacoviello wrote:
A busker is an entertainer performing for tips.
A begger (for lack of a better term) is a person asking for money with no real service provided in turn.


[/quote]

This is the crux of the discussion.

There seems to be a class of beggers, such as those mentioned by Steve V, who perform in some very percussory so as to call themselves a busker and give the high quality and professional performers a bad name. Just as in children's entertainment in my city, there is a class of 'performer' who buy a colouring book and call themselves as a magician.

And as Danny Hustle pointed out "beggars who pretend to be the president of the united states. This does not make them the commander and chief. "

But what I want to discuss is, who chooses what is a worthwhile or quality or real entertainment?

The man of stilts was a good stiltwalker but lowered himself to the position of begger in my opinion by the way in which he soliciated donations from people in the street. Just as the compitent card magician who guilted his audience into giving money became a begger in my eyes.

I've seen many vague criterium cited but no definitive answer. If there is one that I have missed. please point in out to me.
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Aug 4, 2006 01:53AM)
Unfortunately, and I know that some street performers hate this, but it is often the management of a district or the shop owners that decide what or who they want entertaining in the area. There are some street performers that are absolutely amazing but they really don't have a venue other than a few comedy clubs to work. They are not at all beggers, some make well over $100k a year (not magicians but guys like that black kid who plays violin at Fanual Hall, some magicians make very good money though on the street). Then you have the beggers who realize that while some people won't give a dime to a guy with a 'will work for food' sign they will if the begger at least is acting like he is doing something. A good example of this was when I went to a hockey game in San Jose a homeless guy in an old clown suit with lipstick on his nose staggered around with a lil' leap every so often then demanded to be paid for 'the show'. He wasn't a street performer.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: Bill Nuvo (Aug 4, 2006 08:09AM)
The hatred for beggers and bums could stem from the fact of being related to them. And as performers we want to distance ourselves from that image. So I think it is important that others read this post in the understanding of what constitutes a busker and what is begging.

I think what Nicholas is trying to get at, is that there are a lot more examples out there of what is not a busker.

So now the questions arises....

What can we do as performers/buskers to help the general public understand the difference?

How often do buskers cross that line into "beggerdom".

Have you ever been treated as a begger (whether it was warranted or not)?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 4, 2006 11:23AM)
When I first started at the Renaissance Festival, it took me a while to get used to the idea that there was a difference between busking and begging. My previous background and my family history involved people who were concert performers and/or performers who worked in night clubs. Asking for tips in situations like that was considered crude and low-class. It took me a while to overcome my initial antipathy for asking for money in my hat.

But after a few weekends of Renaissance Festival work, and getting an act together that people really liked, I began to understand the difference. And it affected my hat in a positive way.

I have NEVER been treated as a beggar.

Some have mentioned having relatives that are beggars or street people. This is a very sad situation. Before he became famous, I met Louie Anderson. Louie is a very nice man. He has mentioned what I'm about to tell you several times on national television. He has a brother who is on the streets. Some of his friends in the business tell him this is a disgrace and that he should do something for him. What can he do that he hasn't already done? He gave his brother a house. His brother can live there without it costing him a dime. He doesn't want to. He prefers what he is doing.

It's hard to believe, but there are people like that.
Message: Posted by: Bill Nuvo (Aug 4, 2006 12:25PM)
I have never been treated as a begger per say, but felt like one a while back when I was working at a so-called festival for busking put on by a casino. What basically happened is that it wasn't a festival at all and we were left to do busking on sidewalks next to the bums and beggers around the area (and the sidewalks were not wide at all). And there was the issue of the Casino not paying out any money as per contract.

I admit I playfully crossed that line into being a begger once just for fun. I just wanted to see what would really happened. I wanted to see if I was working too hard for the money as it were. I found out really quickly the differences (financial, ethical and moral). I sure as heck didn't feel good about taking some person's money for nothing. My self worth went down straight away. Busking/performing (even bad performing/busking) is better than begging.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Aug 4, 2006 09:42PM)
[quote]

Have you ever been treated as a begger (whether it was warranted or not)?
[/quote]

Yes, when I was working as a computer network engineer and making a six figure income. My employers treated me like a beggar every single day.

Anyone who sees my show and calls me a bum is either an alcoholic, an idiot, or a combination of the two. Response or thought is not required.

You guys are taking a long walk down the wrong path. A guy with a dirty rag and a spray bottle at the street light does not run an "auto detailing business" regardless of what he might tell you. Anyone who needs to ponder this question or feels the need to "change the publics opinion" needs to do nothing more than provide a service that is worthy of respect.

Trust me when I say this because it is 100% accurate. The publics opinion of street performers is MUCH higher than it is of children's entertainers. 100% of my customers approach me after a children's show and say the same thing, "I can not believe how good you were! We had magicians x, y, and z, in the past and they were awful! We thought that all children's entertainers were awful and that was what you did when you could not be a 'good' magician." I hear a paraphrase of this at every show I do. It is sad, sad, sad. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of children's entertainers in my area who are deserving of the fee they charge. There are hundreds in my area who are charging top dollar for horrible, horrible, performances.

When people see a street performer in this area they not only expect but demand that he or she be excellent. If they are not they do not get paid, with the exception of bucket drummers. For some reason when the homeless guy pulls out his pickle bucket and plays that disjointed staccato people throw them a lot of money. And they kill any pitch within a one block radius for other performers.

I don't hate bums, I hate bucket drummers, and vendors.

Maybe it is different in Europe, but here people do not pay admission for mediocrity on the street. Bums would not be able to survive unless of course they have a pickle barrel and a set of drum sticks.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Aug 4, 2006 10:27PM)
Pickle bucket, huh?
They throw lots of money?
Thanks for the tip! :)

Tony
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Aug 5, 2006 04:10AM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-04 23:27, Tony Iacoviello wrote:
Pickle bucket, huh?
They throw lots of money?
Thanks for the tip! :)

Tony
[/quote]

No, a pickle <barrel!> <I> use a pickle bucket (a plastic one with "MAGIC" painted on it) and the one time I've been able to perform so far, they didn't throw a lot of money! :(
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 8, 2006 09:55PM)
Did they throw pickles?
Message: Posted by: Tom Frank (Aug 11, 2006 11:13AM)
Interesting discussion and a good question. It's not so much what we as performers think the difference is, it's what the paying audience thinks and feels. I have wondered myself why the "public" perception can be that way.

The way I will try and answer that question is by asking my audiences. In my never ending attempt to connect with my audiences, lately; I have taken to involving them in brief discussions about a variety of topics. This seems like a good one.

Perhaps, if you like, I can share the results.

Tom

[url=http://tomfrank.blogspot.com/]Reverie[/url]
Message: Posted by: cfrye (Aug 11, 2006 11:35AM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-04 02:26, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:But what I want to discuss is, who chooses what is a worthwhile or quality or real entertainment? [/quote]

Everyone and no one. There's no possible answer to this question, so the discussion will keep going in circles.


Curt
Message: Posted by: aiki (Aug 11, 2006 12:01PM)
Tom,

I go back to what I posted about one of your video's before. You always look sharp in appearance, you never look like a bum and I do not think your audience would ever think you were a bum. There are performers who dress down and just about look like bums. They feel it makes people more willing to pay for the show than if they were better dressed. I do not believe this. I base this on my perception as a person in the audience who has seen performers that looked like bums, so they earn what a bum would earn, not what a professional performer would earn. Look at Danny, nobody would think his outfit made him look like a bum, maybe a little strange but he already has the audience more on is side just because of his outfit.
Message: Posted by: Tom Frank (Aug 11, 2006 03:22PM)
Ray,

Regardless of how I'm dressed, it is not uncommon for someone to toss in my hat, a quarter, a nickle and four pennies. This coming from a well dressed man who feels like that's enough for his three kids who just loved the show.

I don't get it.

TF

It's a journey, not a destination. . . . I guess. . .
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Aug 11, 2006 03:25PM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-11 12:13, Tom Frank wrote:
Perhaps, if you like, I can share the results.
[/quote]

I would like to hear the results ... it's my basic belief that the general public knows that a street performer is going to solict a tip at the end. In the South East (where I am) this behavior is frowned upon in the same way that begging would be.

Many cities here pass street performing ordances which do not allow the perform to solict a tip. Like in Savannah GA, you can have a tip receptical out (of a certain size) but the performer can not mention it or gesture towards it during the performance. Highly unconstitutional, but still the law.

I would hope other areas view it differntly.

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 11, 2006 06:58PM)
Here's a question.

The Constitution of the United States states:
[quote]
Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
[/quote]

Nowhere in that section of the Bill of Rights does it state that local governments cannot make such a law, simply that congress cannot. It also does not state that a public place, such as a bar or a restaurant has to allow a person entry if he is wearing a T-shirt with an obscenity on it, or anything else that may displease the owner.

So, how is this Savannah GA law unconstitutional?

Bear in mind that I do not agree with it.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Aug 12, 2006 12:18AM)
Because the Supreme Court has held that "due process" clause also restricts the states - meaning that the state governments cannot abridge free speech either. Nor can the legistlative or judicial branches of government for that matter.

And they have also ruled that free speech can have commerical content as well, meaning we have every right to ask for money.

I believe it to be unreasonable that I would not be allowed to mention I have a tip jar out ... or to so much as even point to it for that matter. I should not have to pretend it doesn't exist.

Being as how the areas of street performing in Savannah are owned by the "public", I have as much right to solict a tip as a politician has to solict a campaign contribution ... who has as much right as a church to solicit a donation ... who has as much right as a bum to solict spare change.

-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Aug 12, 2006 09:43AM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-11 16:22, Tom Frank wrote:
Ray,

Regardless of how I'm dressed, it is not uncommon for someone to toss in my hat, a quarter, a nickle and four pennies. This coming from a well dressed man who feels like that's enough for his three kids who just loved the show.

I don't get it.

TF

It's a journey, not a destination. . . . I guess. . .
[/quote]

Tom,

That is not because he thinks you are a bum. It is because he is a jerk. He is doing that on purpose in an effort to tick you off. He has just spent his day at his horrible job where all day long he is getting screamed at by someone who is an even bigger idiot that he is. At the end of the day when he sees somebody like YOU out there doing something you love and making money it fills him with a seething hate. He wants to crush you, he wants to make you feel bad, and he wants you to know that HE is better than you.

If you are interested in how I know this it is because I worked with guys. I was in the six figure suit and tie market before I chucked it and did this full time. When they found out I was a street performer they would all tell me the same thing. And it was some variation of the above. "Yeah, I treat those guys like dirt. "I" work for a living. I went to college. Have you ever seen how much money some of those guys make! It is disgusting! They probably drive a better car than I do for crying out loud! Well, let me tell you what I do. I walk right up to his hat with two cents in my hand and MAKE SURE he sees me put it in! HAHAHA! OH they lose their minds! I had one scream at me all the way down the street! I loved it!"

These people live a miserable life that I would not wish on anyone.

Interestingly, on the flip side I can give you 100 examples of when a guy who is a bartender, general contractor, mason, or other skilled tradesman has come up and dropped a twenty into my hat because they are people who create something. They understand what it is we do. These are people who create. Mr. Suit and tie works for corporate America in a position of laying off, mergers, sell outs, and close downs. They destroy for a living. Of course they are miserable. Because of that they sure as heck do not want to see us out there having a blast and making money.

Bottom line, they don't think you are a bum. They have a problem looking the guy they see when they are shaving in the eye.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Aug 12, 2006 11:10AM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-12 10:43, Danny Hustle wrote:
[quote]
On 2006-08-11 16:22, Tom Frank wrote:
Ray,

Regardless of how I'm dressed, it is not uncommon for someone to toss in my hat, a quarter, a nickle and four pennies. This coming from a well dressed man who feels like that's enough for his three kids who just loved the show.

I don't get it.

TF

It's a journey, not a destination. . . . I guess. . .
[/quote]

Tom,

That is not because he thinks you are a bum. It is because he is a jerk. He is doing that on purpose in an effort to tick you off. He has just spent his day at his horrible job where all day long he is getting screamed at by someone who is an even bigger idiot that he is. At the end of the day when he sees somebody like YOU out there doing something you love and making money it fills him with a seething hate. He wants to crush you, he wants to make you feel bad, and he wants you to know that HE is better than you.

If you are interested in how I know this it is because I worked with guys. I was in the six figure suit and tie market before I chucked it and did this full time. When they found out I was a street performer they would all tell me the same thing. And it was some variation of the above. "Yeah, I treat those guys like dirt. "I" work for a living. I went to college. Have you ever seen how much money some of those guys make! It is disgusting! They probably drive a better car than I do for crying out loud! Well, let me tell you what I do. I walk right up to his hat with two cents in my hand and MAKE SURE he sees me put it in! HAHAHA! OH they lose their minds! I had one scream at me all the way down the street! I loved it!"
[/quote]

Could just be they're cheap! Also, I wouldn't scream at them. If they made an effort to make certain I SAW two pennies go in, I would say; "If that's the best you can do sir, God bless you in your poverty!"
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 12, 2006 07:20PM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-12 01:18, JoeJoe wrote:
Because the Supreme Court has held that "due process" clause also restricts the states - meaning that the state governments cannot abridge free speech either. Nor can the legistlative or judicial branches of government for that matter.

And they have also ruled that free speech can have commerical content as well, meaning we have every right to ask for money.

I believe it to be unreasonable that I would not be allowed to mention I have a tip jar out ... or to so much as even point to it for that matter. I should not have to pretend it doesn't exist.

Being as how the areas of street performing in Savannah are owned by the "public", I have as much right to solict a tip as a politician has to solict a campaign contribution ... who has as much right as a church to solicit a donation ... who has as much right as a bum to solict spare change.

-JoeJoe
[/quote]

It's true that the Supreme Court has also said this restricts the states; however, it does not keep the local areas from having certain restrictions. I've read most of the cases posted at the various forums. For example, if you want to play your bagpipes at 2:00 in the morning next to a hotel in downtown Savannah, they can have you tossed in the pokey for violating a noise ordinance.

If you don't like it, get the buskers' group to help you sue them.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Aug 12, 2006 11:39PM)
[quote]
Could just be they're cheap! Also, I wouldn't scream at them. If they made an effort to make certain I SAW two pennies go in, I would say; "If that's the best you can do sir, God bless you in your poverty!"
[/quote]

1. if they were cheap they would not put anything in your hat. When someone goes to the trouble to put two cents in your hat they are not cheap, they are making a statement.

2. I do not scream at anyone. I really do not pay attention to what anybody puts in the hat. I thank everyone who puts something in big or small. I also thank those who don't have anything to put in but come up and shake my hand and thank me for the show. I give my show to anybody who wants it. I ask those who can afford admission to pay me what they think the show is worth when it is over. It is the most honest form of entertainment in the world for just that reason. So far, it has been a good enough to turn a profit. In the example above I was citing an example and paraphrasing several conversations with my co-workers in corporate America. The only time I ever noticed somebody dropping two cents into my hat I didn't say a word, but an audience member laid into the guy pretty bad.

Now my friend Sunny, he says something, and he never forgets a back! Ya hear! :)

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Aug 13, 2006 10:05AM)
I have some opening lines that educate the public in a humorous manner. I get right to the point about the beggar thing. I guess this is along the lines of Danny’s “educating the public”.

Once a reasonable crowd has joined me and we are ready for the show to begin.

I say “ I know what many of you are thinking. You’re thinking ‘isn’t it a shame that a clean, little, old man, is forced to begging in this day and age? WOAH!!! NOW you’re thinking ‘gosh he’s a mind reader as well!!!’” I wait for the laugh and it always comes.

“Well folks you have Social Security to thank for me being out here.” Wait for the laugh.

“Now friends what you are about to see is the show of your life! And if you come away amazed, amused, or just plain entertained then maybe you’ll show your appreciation by dropping something in my hat. Those of you who have to leave early and liked what you got to watch, then you can leave a token in my hat right there (points to the top hat sitting on the ground).” OK so I start with a hat line!

“This is not begging folks! No this is street theater AT IT’S BEST!!! You‘re going to love the stuff I do! I‘m going to AMAZE, BAFFLE, and CONFOUND you! You‘re going to see…(I describe the act) and the next 12 minutes is going to be the best of your day!” OK, so I am a bit hyperbolic, but I warn them of their time commitment and what they can expect to see. More education here.

All the time I am cutting and restoring a rope. Again and again and again as I pace the edge smiling, and letting them know what a nice, friendly guy I am. And the show is on!

By the way, since I am elderly, portly, and under-tall, my opening lines are actually descriptive. I use a version of those lines to start many (most) of my shows in different venues (clubs, pubs, bars, and festivals).



Like Danny I don’t attend to what is going into the hat except to try to thank every contributor.

If the police invite me to close-up shop and move on, I do so without argument. I sometimes, AFTER, I have closed-up will ask an officer (very respectfully) what I need to do (license, etc.) or where I need to set-up to be allowed to entertain these hard working folks. I often will show a card trick as I am talking to him/her. Sometimes I win them over, often not. It’s not worth a argument and they are just doing their jobs.

But that is just me and I could be wrong!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 15, 2006 08:27AM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-11 19:58, Bill Palmer wrote:
Here's a question.

The Constitution of the United States states:
[quote]
Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
[/quote]

Nowhere in that section of the Bill of Rights does it state that local governments cannot make such a law, simply that congress cannot. It also does not state that a public place, such as a bar or a restaurant has to allow a person entry if he is wearing a T-shirt with an obscenity on it, or anything else that may displease the owner.

So, how is this Savannah GA law unconstitutional?

Bear in mind that I do not agree with it.
[/quote]

The Constitution is always quite spacific, no matter what anyone tells you. When the Framers mean the state, they write state, when they mean people, they write people, when they mean congress, they write congress.

The most easily read and most misunderstood document in history.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Aug 15, 2006 09:02AM)
Ahhh magicians discussing the Consitution. Little bit like figuring out who has the best double lift.

[quote]Bill Palmer: Nowhere in that section of the Bill of Rights does it state that local governments cannot make such a law, simply that congress cannot.
So, how is this Savannah GA law unconstitutional? [/quote]

Bill, you're right to a certain extent. It's not in THAT section of the Bill of Rights. It IS however in the TENTH & FOURTEENTH amendments.

[i]Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.[/i]

This means the State can not trump the Constitution (where the Constitution has specifically addressed such issue)

But more specifically...

[i]Amendment XIV, Section 1
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.[/i]

That's the due process spoke of earlier.

[quote]Danny: The Constitution is always quite spacific, no matter what anyone tells you. When the Framers mean the state, they write state, when they mean people, they write people, when they mean congress, they write congress. [/quote]

[i]Amendment II
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
[/i]

You're darn straight about that, Danny. When they mean the people, they write the people. Just wish others would get the picture on that.

[quote]Bill Palmer: It also does not state that a public place, such as a bar or a restaurant has to allow a person entry if he is wearing a T-shirt with an obscenity on it, or anything else that may displease the owner.[/quote]

A bar or restaurant is NOT a public place. It is a PRIVATE business.

So ends concludes our lesson for today. :)

Robert
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Aug 15, 2006 10:29AM)
[quote]
A bar or restaurant is NOT a public place. It is a PRIVATE business.

So ends concludes our lesson for today. :)

Robert
[/quote]

Tell that to the City Fathers when they tell you that you must ban smokers from your private business.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 15, 2006 12:27PM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-15 10:02, RobertBloor wrote:
Ahhh magicians discussing the Consitution. Little bit like figuring out who has the best double lift.

[quote]Bill Palmer: Nowhere in that section of the Bill of Rights does it state that local governments cannot make such a law, simply that congress cannot.
So, how is this Savannah GA law unconstitutional? [/quote]

Bill, you're right to a certain extent. It's not in THAT section of the Bill of Rights. It IS however in the TENTH & FOURTEENTH amendments.

[i]Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.[/i]

This means the State can not trump the Constitution (where the Constitution has specifically addressed such issue)

But more specifically...

[i]Amendment XIV, Section 1
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.[/i]

That's the due process spoke of earlier.

[quote]Danny: The Constitution is always quite spacific, no matter what anyone tells you. When the Framers mean the state, they write state, when they mean people, they write people, when they mean congress, they write congress. [/quote]

[i]Amendment II
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
[/i]

You're darn straight about that, Danny. When they mean the people, they write the people. Just wish others would get the picture on that.

[quote]Bill Palmer: It also does not state that a public place, such as a bar or a restaurant has to allow a person entry if he is wearing a T-shirt with an obscenity on it, or anything else that may displease the owner.[/quote]

A bar or restaurant is NOT a public place. It is a PRIVATE business.

So ends concludes our lesson for today. :)

Robert
[/quote]

Robert, here again we agree! Told you we agreed on a LOT more than you may think.

I wasn't going to bring up the second amendment as it is so hot button, but it is indeed what I was refering to, even if in a back handed manner. RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE, not the state mind you , THE PEOPLE. You got it brother! No reason to think that the framers made one exception to their spacific references to people and state.

While we are on it, people will always point to "well regulated militia" phrase.That this is why we keep and bear arms. No more militia, no more right. A bit of a strange inturpretation of the amendment for a number of reasons. Chief among them is the fact that the Constitution has already made provisions for the existance and arming of a militia in the Atricle I, Section 8. (Seriously I looked it up).

Glad to see it before the mods. delete us for being off topic.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Aug 15, 2006 01:36PM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-12 20:20, Bill Palmer wrote:
If you don't like it, get the buskers' group to help you sue them.
[/quote]

If it was my pitch I would. While they can pass reasonable restrictions to protect public safety, I fail to see how me pretending that my tip jar doesn't exist is reasonable in any way shape or form. Politicans are allowed to solict contributions, churches are allowed to solicit donations, bums can solicit spare change, and girl scouts can sell cookies ... as buskers, we have every right to solict a tip too.

-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 16, 2006 05:43AM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-12 10:43, Danny Hustle wrote:
That is not because he thinks you are a bum. It is because he is a jerk. He is doing that on purpose in an effort to tick you off. He has just spent his day at his horrible job where all day long he is getting screamed at by someone who is an even bigger idiot that he is. At the end of the day when he sees somebody like YOU out there doing something you love and making money it fills him with a seething hate. He wants to crush you, he wants to make you feel bad, and he wants you to know that HE is better than you.


[/quote]

I hate people like that. Whilst its never happened to me whilst busking. I often get people saying things like "I guess, you'll give this up when you've got kids to support" or "I admire you doing this instead of going on the dole (welfare)" or that worst of the worst "What do you do for a living?"

What burns me the most is that, most of the time I make WAY more then they do, do WAY less work and love what I do WAY more.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Aug 16, 2006 07:13AM)
Isn't the bill of rights the first 10 amendments?

Jim
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 16, 2006 07:55AM)
Yea, in fact the first 10.
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Aug 19, 2006 08:32PM)
I was kicked off my pitch and ran outta town today!!!

Okay...I wasn't really run outta town but it felt like it! While trying to busk today in Williamstown Ma. The local police and campus police pull up and tell me to take a hike, what I'm doing is PANHANDLING and because I hope for tips its the same thing!

Theres even this young lady who goes to almost the same spot, plays guitar, leaves her case open for tips...she didn't get run off and on top of it was in the local paper for doing! What the hell!!!???

I looked up the city ordinance laws and such and there is nothing saying I can't do what I wanna do and that's busk, there isn't even any laws against panhandling.

So what do I do?

johnny
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 20, 2006 02:25AM)
If it were me, I would send out a press release and get some media coverage of your own about the incident!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 20, 2006 08:29AM)
Yea you can fight it and lose big time. Maybe win the legal battle but lose the war big picture. Just move along, and come back later or another day.
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Aug 20, 2006 09:32AM)
I see this topic and I am reminded of my mother, long passed. She was a very proper Irish lady and as a child I often heard her tell me that "I can't see my friends now that you've embarrassed me so much." Ah yes how to make guilt work for you. Well if she only knew that I busk for a living! She would never understand that it wasn't begging.

Unfortunately this is still the attitude of a lot of people here in the States. If you don't have a "REAL" job you must be a beggar. What is funny is that if you are a musician, it's acceptable, but a magician is not an entertainer in their view.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Aug 20, 2006 01:46PM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-19 21:32, johnnymystic wrote:

So what do I do?

[/quote]



You should read all the information at:
http://communityartsadvocates.org/saalegal.html



And contact the ACLU:
http://www.aclu.org



You did mention campus police? Is this indeed a public location? As in a state campus, or a private school?

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Aug 20, 2006 03:47PM)
Campus police...apparently the street is private property, ownedby Williams College...in Williamstown Ma.

johnny
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Aug 20, 2006 04:45PM)
If it is private property, there really isn't much you can do ... the owner of the property has every right to decide who can (and can not) perform there.

You basically have two options ... seek permission to perform there, or find another pitch.

-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: Destiny (Aug 22, 2006 01:04AM)
The best buskers I've seen have never mentioned money - they've had the hat out and sincerely thanked every single person who put any amount of money in it - but never ever suggested that anyone need put money in - this seems to motivate people to step up to the plate with pride - parents dropping money in - and then giving their kids something to put in - teaching them how it's done. It seems to be the absolute worst buskers with very little ability and no social skills beyond bare faced cheek who harangue people to give them money.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 22, 2006 01:29AM)
It seems that if institutions are labelling buskers as panhandlers then this problem is more then just isolated to a few jerks.
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Aug 22, 2006 11:12PM)
You hit the hammer on the nail my friend...thus seemeth the problema...

johnny

Posted: Aug 23, 2006 12:31am
Heres another thing...in Williamstown Ma (where my pitch WAS), on Spring st.they let a female musician accept tips in her case, she was even in the local newspaper.

WHy would I get the boot being a magician?

johnny
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Aug 23, 2006 05:01AM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-19 21:32, johnnymystic wrote:
I was kicked off my pitch and ran outta town today!!!

Okay...I wasn't really run outta town but it felt like it! While trying to busk today in Williamstown Ma. The local police and campus police pull up and tell me to take a hike, what I'm doing is PANHANDLING and because I hope for tips its the same thing!

Theres even this young lady who goes to almost the same spot, plays guitar, leaves her case open for tips...she didn't get run off and on top of it was in the local paper for doing! What the hell!!!???
[/quote]

Note that you said "almost" the same spot. If she's past the campus boundary line, they can't do anything. (And of course, guitar players are consider "artistic" while magicians are consider "sleazy.")
Message: Posted by: AntonDreaming (Aug 24, 2006 12:38PM)
Its possibly because she may be a cute rock chick... and your well... Mr Mystic...No offence but If I showed up to a pitch with my tattoos and gold teeth in my mouth, my juggling stuff ect. I'm sure theyd probably try and move me as well. Also music tends to be a backround noise and a busker is more in your face. Being a buskers is seen as being a nucence by many but music is "lovely art"... my feeling is if she sucked at guitar and sucked loud enough shed be ask to move as well.

Who knows Im not there,

Anton

p.s. I know a lot magi around here that see street performing as begging. Belive that! Brothers in magic seeing what we do as cheap and ***ish.