(Close Window)
Topic: Busking at Faneuil Hall Boston
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Feb 15, 2009 09:17PM)
It's considered one of Nations best spots for Buskers. Faneuil Hall Marketplace has lots of foot traffic from the Boston's Financial district as well as shoppers and visitors to the Boston Area. There is always a crowd year round and even during inclement weather. A busker could do well here.

But there is a catch. In order to perform at Faneuil Hall, you need to audition and be selected. There are a few spots that don't require being selected and it's the rule of the jungle there. In the past there have been problems with groups that more of less bully their way into taking over these non-controlled spaces.

For the other spots you have to do a few things. I was seeing what was needed, but I now realize that you need to start early. Full details can be found at file:///tmp/Feb%2009.pdf

Fill out the application and submit it with the following:

"Resume and 1 8 x10 Head Shot, Letters of recommendation from the past 3 fairs or festivals that you have performed at. Music Acts please send CD or DVD of your music. Variety Acts please send an unedited DVD of your show thatís from the street ie: fairs, busker festival. No Stage or Home Videos will be accepted. If you would like your CD or DVD send back to you please provide a self addressed stamped envelope with your press material."

Stuff must be post marked March 11, not enough time for me to get ready so I'll have to shoot for next year! :)
Message: Posted by: The Great Zoobini (Feb 16, 2009 03:37PM)
Yikes...anything else? ha ha
Message: Posted by: charliemartin (Feb 20, 2009 03:46PM)
Is Blair still working there? He's an awesome performer..one of the few magicians I have ever seen doing thimbles.

Charlie
Message: Posted by: Nolaa (Feb 26, 2009 04:08PM)
There was a lot of news coverage over the Faneuil Hall area last fall. They're turning that area into a mall type place and really discouraging performers. They were actually posting cops to shut down acts that went above as certain volume level. It was a big mess. I don't know what spring will bring, as most of the performances in Boston halt or slow down throughout the cold seasons. But yeah, they are pretty stringent in that area.

Have you considered busking in the Public Gardens? I rarely see buskers there, especially on weekends. I think it's still free to busk there, and it gets tons of foot traffic in the summer.

And I'm sure you've seen this site, but I'll post it for good measure:
http://www.buskersadvocates.org/saahistoryBoston.html
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Mar 1, 2009 05:54PM)
So you have to already have a background to perform there?
Message: Posted by: Nolaa (Mar 3, 2009 02:18PM)
[quote]
On 2009-03-01 18:54, ed rhodes wrote:
So you have to already have a background to perform there?
[/quote]

Not a background as in being well known, but you have to apply and be approved to actually be on the grounds of the marketplace or you'll be shut down.
Message: Posted by: ShawnB (Mar 3, 2009 02:30PM)
I perform in the Common by the baseball fields... and I get a hard time once in a while. But ussually can finish out the day.

If you go across the street to the public gardens... you get booted right away.
They claim the crowds (Even small ones) destroy the grass and flowers... So they encourage you to go across the street. The public garden has its own police force of some kind that just patroles that area... So no pulling the wool over thier eyes.

I have not been out to boston since the Mayor went crazy... So I don't know what the deal is.. I guess we will see what happens this spring... I heard they were going to cut performing space to a single 15 by 15 foot area... (I hope not)
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Mar 4, 2009 04:03AM)
[quote]
On 2009-03-03 15:18, Nolaa wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-03-01 18:54, ed rhodes wrote:
So you have to already have a background to perform there?
[/quote]

Not a background as in being well known, but you have to apply and be approved to actually be on the grounds of the marketplace or you'll be shut down.
[/quote]

"Resume and 1 8 x10 Head Shot, Letters of recommendation from the past 3 fairs or festivals that you have performed at."

What if I don't have a headshot or haven't worked at any fairs and/or festivals?
Would they still let me audition?
Message: Posted by: ShawnB (Mar 4, 2009 07:35AM)
I would say no... I think they are looking for established performers that would have allready some of these experiences under their belt...

You could allways give it a try though...

Good luck
Shawn
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Mar 4, 2009 12:53PM)
Ed, the standard of performance required is obviously very high, or at least the application standard is. If you are a local, go watch and compare yourself to the performers. Can you do the kind of things they do?
Another thing: you could set the criteria as personal goals for yourself for the next half year or so and work towards them a step at a time to get the total criteria assembles.
A headshot might be able to be taken of you at a photography store as a passport photo, or get a friend to take such a pose. As for fairs/festival experience maybe you have a local market or Artisan's Fair or similar that is a low entry entrance into public performance. The audition committee doesn't need to be told just what rating the Fair has, particularly if its an out-of-town own they don't know about. Quote: "Variety Acts please send an unedited DVD of your show thatís from the street ie: fairs, busker festival. No Stage or Home Videos will be accepted." Um. This one is a toughie. No home videos. A professional-level video. That could cost. All this to perform at a, presumably, prestigious location. It certainly sounds like a challenge for you.
For all of us, something we could do is to collect references from hirers or "authorities" regarding the entertainment our shows provide. I don't particularly like the idea, being a free spirit turning up and disappearing on and off the street and venues. But if people want references before allowing us to perform at "their" place we need to have them. Or just go somewhere else on the street etc. and perform anyway, knowing that our show is quality at a certain level and that we are aiming for even better performances in the future.
Message: Posted by: The Great Zoobini (Mar 4, 2009 01:32PM)
[quote]
On 2009-03-04 13:53, MagiCol wrote:
Quote: "Variety Acts please send an unedited DVD of your show thatís from the street ie: fairs, busker festival. No Stage or Home Videos will be accepted." Um. This one is a toughie. No home videos. A professional-level video. That could cost.
[/quote]

You don't need to worry about the video. I've seen hundreds and they're just amateur shots on regular handicams. What they are referring to is low quality cell phone cams and staged shots done at home without an audience.

BTW, you'll never get in. These are professional buskers. This is how they make their living and performing is their sole income. Most in this forum are "weekend warriors" retaining their day jobs. About all you can do is go and watch how the pros work. The experience comes from performing "live" on the street.

Someone said one year on the street is like 10 on the stage. If so, I've over 200 years experience. However, I'm not alone by a long shot. Lot's of buskers are veterans and it's all "old hat" to them, no pun intended.
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Mar 4, 2009 01:33PM)
Greetings and Salutations,
I did not read the DVD requirement in that way. As I read it, they wanted raw footage from a street fair or festival performance, and not footage of a stage show or a show shot in a home setting, sort of what you mostly see on YouTube when someone is demoing a trick. While I do not perform on the "street" I do perform in the lane at Renaissance faires, and there is a great deal of difference between being able to perform on a street or lane, and performing on a stage, which are both completely different from performing for a video camera. In the first instance, you have to be able to perform and interact with a moving audience whereas in the second instance, your audience comes to you. The third instance, performing for a video camera in no way can give any idea of how you as a performer would interact with an audience.

All that being said, your best bet would be contacting Danny Hustle. I believe he has auditioned for Faneuil Hall in the past.

Just my $.02 (USD) on interpreting the video requirement. YMMV

Joe Zeman aka
The Mage Ulysses
Message: Posted by: The Great Zoobini (Mar 4, 2009 02:13PM)
It's basically proof of professional street performing and their interaction with the edge. The competition is very keen. International festivals fly in performers from all over the world.
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Mar 4, 2009 08:31PM)
I suspect that the application is to make sure that only serious buskers bother to apply. With the current interest in magic, lots of kids believe that they can do magic. Lots of adults think they can do magic too. If you had a great show then they would consider you even if you didn't have the experience if they thought you would come out and ply your trade.

I"m going to go to the tryouts and see what kind of acts get chosen. and do a general sizing up of how far I have to go for future attempts.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Mar 4, 2009 09:38PM)
OK, thanks for the info guys. I'm sticking with my "weekend warrior" status for the time being. I always knew I didn't have a chance at Key West, now I know not to set my sights on Faneuil Hall.
Message: Posted by: ShawnB (Mar 8, 2009 07:22PM)
Hi all... just visited faneuil hall yesterday afternoon.... Turns out people are still performing. Looks like whatever was done last fall to try to eliminate the performers did not work... It was good to see.

Shawn