Saturday, February 19, 2011

From Heartache To Headache: An Essay On Being A Real Busker

So you want to be a busker. Really? All those romantic imaginings of following the sun; on the Riviera one day, the Mediterranean the next day, nothing but blue skies and chirping birds and the cacophonies of applause and the clinking of coins and the swishes of bills being tossed into your busk pot. Typically, these are the romantic idyllic descriptions I fantasize all Winter long, as I prepare for my Spring buskations.

If you are you ready to abdicate the middle class work routine of your regular life, and if you are ready to abdicate all of your accustomed creature comforts, then indeed, you are ready for entry into the alterity of buskingdom. But before saying your long goodbye's to your family, friends, and workmates, let us examine the sustenance and shelter budget of a busker.

Income: On a really good day a busker can bring in around $40 per hour for a two hour day, and given the endurance of a busker, another hour or so will bring in another, say, 20 dollars. The daily intake can generously be determined to be $100.

On a weekly basis, 100 dollar days will likely be limited to 3.

To be generous, let's calculate it to 4, making the weekly total to be 100 X 4 = $400.

Monthly income then would be 400 X 4 = $1600.

Expenses: Breakfast $5.00 (at a cafe)

Lunch 7.00 (at a market)

Supper 10.00 (at a market and including a wine or beer)

Total: $22.00 X 7 days a week = $154.00.

Monthly sustenance then would be 154 X 4 = $616.

Expenses: Rent

Monthly rent would be approximately $1000.

Monthly expenses for just sustenance and shelter total $1616.

Yes! That cold, black cloud is coming down; I've yet to calculate travel (never mind instrument maintenance and costume) and I'm already sixteen dollars in the red!

No matter. To acquiesce into the realm of buskingdom is akin to being accursed; once smitten by the busk, you shall be forever under its spell. You'll transmogrify into a personified anachronism of your previous state, and like the song says, between Heaven and Hell you'll have grand stories to tell.

(Maybe you'll start blogging!)

Once you're a busker, take heed. Your early career moments of angst will become cursory days of perfunctory performance. The romantic notion of delivering your aureate songs shall be quickly reduced to warblings of polished pewter, due to the economy of time and the baptism of fire.

Once you're a busker, remember you are neither a groundling nor a rapscallion, but rather a modern day Paladin on a lifetime emprise.

Once you're a busker, even though hundreds of strangers in the day will be exchanging glances, your sociability shall more than likely be hours of oneversations (soliliquies) and nonversations (talking to nobody).

Once you're a busker, the continuum from romance to reality is really succumbing to the heartache and longing to be a busker, to arriving to the headache and empiricism of actually being a busker.

Once you're a busker, your days of toil in the state of buskingdom, (as in other careers) shall prove to be a stick-and-carrot enterprise, the daily grind the stick, the smiles and applause and cash, the carrot.

Once you're a busker, your days in buskingdom will be either adventure or foppery, the weather and your spirits being the judges.

To conclude, putting a notion into motion takes considerable jam, and to keep in cliche …

A bad day busking is better than a good day at the office.

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