Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rituals to Richness: An Essay on the Happy Busker

At 5:30 A.M. each day I check the weather forecast. I am always hoping for sunshine and warmth because the more magnificent the sun the more munificent the clients. Having a benevolent clientel always makes for happy busking. However, for any busker to continually stay happy in the buskingdom workplace, there must be existentially created at least three positive notions: meaning, engagement, and accomplishment.


In the zippered front of my buskpack I've always the same thirteen dollars: a wrinkled fin, three toonies, and two loonies. This is my lucky seed money, and I use this same money on every busk (so far so good). Deeper into my buskpack I've two portable signs, the Canadian Mental Health Association logo, and a replica of my blog header. Also, I pack a folding stool in case the coin is good and I decide to stay longer than my usual 90 minutes. Rather than a madcap rush out the door, these preparatory bagging particulars, mundane as they are, do give to me, meaning to my performance.


Just as important is my dress. To create that breezy, carefree look my cap-a-pie attire is always the donning of a derby or tam, white t-shirt, faded blue jeans, and hiking boots. I want to look the part of that romantic easy-going kind of drifter, who can, on a whim, just pack a duffel and follow a dream and strum in any locale where the sun is shining. For me, that folksy wholesome look presents one of the gentry who has chosen to be a busker, rather one desperate dreg for which busking has become the last option for survival. In such streetegenic costume, it is easy for me to stay in the flow, where time becomes irrelevant and the task at hand so naturally pleasant and fulfilling. Such artifice and engagement comes easier practice and dress rehearsals.


Mastery of skill is important for a busker. Good busking provides something of value that consumers recognize as quality (quality then being synonymous with value). To be the busker you want to be is a great accomplishment. Being good at what you do is the apogee of accomplishment. I have finally settled on the banjitar as my major instrument for busking. First off, it attracts public attention. This attraction is purely the result of ear-candy accomplishment. My vanilla busking guitar days are now quite behind me, as I can finally string twenty or so catchy and melodic tunes together on my banjitar!

Psychological richness is much more than any mercenary experience. For a busking metier, there must be meaning, engagement, and accomplishment.

After 7:00 P.M. each day I usually read, run, or 'rite, though these past days I've been watching lots of hockey on television (the Stanley Cup finals).

And on this hockey note … Go Boston Bruins!

*For those of you residing in places other than North America, please know that in the USA the NHL (National Hockey League) is entertainment; up in Canada, the NHL is a religion!

**For those of you residing in British Columbia, Canada (I love you guys!) please forgive my favoritism for the following reasons:

  • the Bruins are of the Original Six
  • I miss the good ol' days of Don Cherry, Bobby Orr, and Derek Sanderson
  • And how about the alliterative -- Banjitar busker & Boston Bruins

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