Sunday, April 1, 2012

Gimme Five: An Essay on Motivational Rules of Thrum

I do not feel like going busking today. The fundamental enjoyment of just being on a busk keeps me motivated – most of the time. There are days like today, I confess, that the very idea of grabbing my banjitar and footing to my buskingdom is more enervating than energizing. As a buskologist, I feel compelled to share some not-so-secret heuristics, some rules of thrum to stay buskingly inspired for myself ... and my busking readers.

The first rule of thrum is to Look Within.

Why do you busk? If it’s for sustenance, then busking is your job and your busking success depends upon your work ethic. There is a direct correlation between the number of hours you spend strumming on the sidewalk and the number of coins and bills tossed into your buskpot.

If your busking provides sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows everything, then any of your buskapades is simply a recreational activity. Your hobby mood will depend mainly upon the weather, and then significantly on the nods and phatic chats of your consumers.

Just remind yourself of why you busk, then send yourself packing.

The second rule of thrum is to Challenge Yourself.

Are you playing the same ‘ol same ‘ol on every busk? If so, you need to change. The more you change your tune, the more change you shall receive. It is always easier to strum the same playlist busk after busk, but to stay motivated you need to expand. On every busk I start with the same original tunes, but during lulls I look to my cheat sheet of new tunes, and practice one or two of those at these down time opportunities.

The third rule of thrum is to Know What You Love. Ask yourself what kind of busk do you look forward to, and then go do it. Some days I really look forward to playing in the parking lot at Extra Foods, especially on Family Day. On Family Day lots of children show up with their parents and more kids always means more coins.

Lately I’ve really looked forward to my hebdomadal busks at Value Village, strumming my twelve-string every Saturday just after lunchtime. My buskspot is right at the front doors, cornered in sunshine, positioned to receive the smiles of all patrons entering and exiting the mall.

Think Positive is the fourth rule of thrum. Upbeat thoughts lead to upbeat strums and zippy rhythms. Melancholy connotes misery, and misery will promote only miserly consumers. A few minor chords are okay, but only as dramatic relief, so to speak.

And the last rule of thrum is to Join Forces. Ordinarily, I love the solitude control aspect of busking, not having to compromise on setup times on song lists. However, sometimes someone will waltz into your buskingdom and ask to play alongside you. When this happens, seize the moment and enjoy.

If your kismet is to busk … then make it so with these high five carpe diem rules of thrum.

And of course, though today be drizzmal with a bisque sky and a cool breeze, after this introspective and inspirational essay I feel the self-mand to just jump off the couch and gallumph excitedly to my Sunday afternoon buskingdom! Ahhh, but alas ... APRIL FOOLS' DAY!

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