Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dream Along With Me (I'm On My Way To A Star): A Whimsical Essay In Social Buskology

Yesterday evening I took a thought-walk, hoping to sort out some busking baggage that I’d been carrying up and down the street as of late. I needed a thought-walk to reconfigure my thinking of overall busking strategies. My problem was simple. Though it was summer, my busk pot was not getting filled to the brim as much as it was a month or so ago. On a social scale, I do know that if a problem can be fixed simply by throwing money at it, it really is not much of a problem. However, on an egotistical scale, this mercenary situation was really pestering me.

When I just stand in the middle of a shopping mall parking lot thrumming random tunes on my banjitar, I make lots of coin. Singularly strumming my banjitar in a Saturday farmers’ market, I do fine. I know that strumming on a Wednesday market, business will not be brisk. I did not know that busking with a mate over a noon hour at an outdoor mall, business would be so ho-hum.

Why am I now vanilla? Shall I change my busking methodology? Change my busking times?

I needed divergent thinking and introspection.

While walking the first thing that came to mind was my accordion playing automaton busking acquaintance, Roland Pierre St. Pierre, L’Accordeoniste Automatique. There Roland would be, busking away in Victoria or Paree, a blanched living statue, frozen in time on his plinth, until … the drop of coins into his buskspot. And then he would come alive, a virtuoso accordionist of the highest regard, his thawed fingers delicately dancing over ebony buttons and ivory keys, squeezing out exquisite and a la mode compositions to his consumers standing beneath his footstall, staring in awe.

How hard would that be? Well, to be Roland Pierre St. Pierre would be very hard. Roland is an accordion player savant and a master moiler and marketeer. Though Roland resides in Victoria (Google him – he is awesome), he spends half his year in residency elsewhere, mainly Paris, and partly Eastern Canada.

I could become a busking living statue of sorts, I guess. I could certainly scavengineer some accessories and transmogrify my presentation. I could don a milky derby, bleach my coiffure, continue to wear my crispy white shirts, pull on some white hot pants, slip my pieds into white shoes, add a pair of white shades to my face, and pack along my silver banjitar. I could stay still, I guess, until someone tossed some coins, and then I, like Roland Pierre St. Pierre, could spring to life and flounce about and dash off some random riffs on my banjitar, not to affright anyone, for but a brief animated moment, amuse my consumers, then curl back into my frozen state of buskingdom.

Between coins, a madcap idea I have as a living statue would be to practice Mindfulness Meditation, touted as a panacea for a matter of ailments (a lack of coins not being documented or mentioned as one of them). Mindfulness meditation, I’ve read, is a powerful self-induced therapy having phenomenal healing powers over an assortment of anxieties, physical pains, and day-to-day exhaustions. I have read that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) teaches one to live in ten to thirty minute moments, focusing on breathing and breathing sensations, also teaches one to observe others in life without criticism, and teaches compassion toward others and self.

I am thinking that practicing a little MBCT as a living statue busker, would be the perfect opportunity to contemplate other personal issues, some observational (social) learning so to speak. While busking I could acquire the coin-gathering behaviors of other buskers nearby, firstly through observation, eventually through whimsical imitation.

In a blink and a wink of mine eye -- I’m going to make my move, make my star twinkle.

1 comment:

  1. Good Post Neil. I think your whimsical imitation would be enjoyable.