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 Post subject: Re: Busking
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:40 am 
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How about wearing a balloon top hat with a rabbit sticking out the top, it will definately get attention :D
As to what to make generally I keep to the easy things when busking as they will probably only put a £1 in your hat, so just make things from one or two balloons.

Graham Lee

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 Post subject: Re: Busking
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:26 pm 
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I remember a long time ago busking in a local Asda for charity and the tight sods were trying to get away donating 10p and 20p! Must have been the poor balloon standard! :oops:
Kev

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 Post subject: Re: Busking
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:13 pm 
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Apparently you are not allowed to quote a price when busking, but if anybody asked me how much? I will tell them a £1...( Just watch out for PC Plonker.. :? )
Thanks for the advice guys..


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 Post subject: Re: Busking
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:54 pm 
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If you have a crowd keep stuff fast and easy but you will get some slak times then do the better stuff allways make a hat no one wants to be the one one with a hat and what to wear is up to you go clean and smart but not to smart you do want there money

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 Post subject: Busking : Some Thoughts.....
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 2:41 am 
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It's interesting to see what some other Balloon Chat contributors have had to say about busking. I'd like to add the following:

Busking is simply NOT for everyone. It certainly does NOT imply desperation. Neither is it degrading.

I wouldn't be in business... and my life would be the poorer for it in SO many ways.. if I had never gone out and busked to begin with!

One of the aspects of BALLOON busking is that, unlike a musician or juggler, there is a 3-dimensional tangible "thing" produced as a result of the performance. [I use the word "performance" DELIBERATELY.. since there are plenty of tinsel be-wigged spivs out there who try to grab a fast buck by producing poorly constructed, indeterminate "things" made from balloons and expecting a couple of quid for each of these apologetic offerings!!]

I always display a sign which CLEARLY states that I am "Busking Here Today" .. with the advice.. " Take what you like and leave what you can! "
To be honest, I'll happily accept a smile as payment-in-full ANYDAY!!

Over the years, busking has served as a great test bed for new ideas, designs and patter. It's a way of showcasing my skills to whoever happens to stand and watch for a few minutes... [ and you NEVER know who.. or what.. those people might be.. or what opportunity awaits you next!..]

A Police sergeant once asked me if I was selling balloons. I told her that I was merely GIVING AWAY LOVE, SMILES AND SUNSHINE ON A NON-CONTRACTUAL BASIS and accepting voluntary "Appreciations".
To begin with, she didn't get it... until I explained that the balloon was merely a vehicle to enable me to better deliver the L,S&S which people were "appreciating" generously.
With singers, you can't grab the notes in the breaths that have been sung and put them in your pocket....Whenever you see a juggler or unicyclist, you cannot hold the air in the space which has so cleverly been used.... BUT.... Folk CAN take their balloon creation with them as a physical reminder of their fun encounter with the Balloon Wyzzyrd. After all.. it was made especially FOR them!!

[By now, you'll realise that I have a PASSION for our art and a VERY soft spot for the honourable act of busking].

In the early days, back in the early 1990's, I used street performance as a tool to assess the potential for my particular way of delivering incidental encounters based around the medium of Latex Twiddlology , banter, sheer doggerel and general silliness.

Out there I had to think quickly and intuitively, without a script. I had to learn to work deftly and maintain eye contact. I sharpened my Wit and honed the skills which would later feed me and my family and enable me to step out of the Rat Race.. I have been instrumental in helping friends enter the world of self-employed performance, too...
I'm saying it worked for ME and I haven't looked back!

To TRULY busk, a person must be out there, baring their soul to the folk who pass by. My own belief is that this MUST be as Heart-felt as any singer or musician...
If balloon busking is undertaken with flair and panache, IT CAN NOT LOOK AS SAD AS THOSE POOR DELUDED SODS TRYING TO DUPE THE PUBLIC INTO BELIEVING THEY ARE BALLOON MODELERS END UP MAKING IT APPEAR!!!

In those early days, I simply put down my old top hat and accepted "appreciations" as a busker. ["Donations" are for charities and the down-at-heel , whereas "Appreciations" are the physical manifestations offered in appreciation of a level of SKILL and INTEGRITY...] Initially it took a while for people to realise that I was not merely "selling" balloon creations, as so many fly-by-night charlatans tend to do.

Each encounter gave locals and tourists, alike, the opportunity to take a card or flier with them. Even now, I instinctively ask people where they are from.. and find myself calculating whether this is in my "travel from home" range!!

Regardless of the eventual sum which had accumulated in the hat at the end of the day.. I had achieved the goal of spreading the word [ and at no cost, apart from my time! ].

Steadily, the 'phone began to ring, and the e'mail Inbox started to receive enquiries.
As my reputation grew, the idea of the Balloon Platoon was conceived.
Friends asked me "how do you do that?".. and we began to extend the circle.

I was able to take an increasing number of paid engagements as the Balloon Wyzzyrd, whilst the "pitch" was attended by Balloon Platoon members who had satisfied me they had made the grade. They donned their distinctive turquoise shirts with some pride!! Needless-to-say, they continued to make the fliers available.. and the snowball gathered momentum for all of us!

Sadly, now, I find myself unable to make many visits to some of my old busking haunts up and down the country, due to the frequency of bookings, though I LOVE to hit a street whenever the opportunity arises.
It makes me feel ALIVE!!

Street Performance has a powerful immediacy and truly incredible Honesty.
I have met some wonderful people, [performers and public alike].
Some amazing leads from busking have gone on to kick start whole chains of related bookings stretching across YEARS!!

Where busking is concerned, if a performer is good, the public will encourage them back to busk again...

I always urge people to take a good look at a performer's face, whilst they are doing their stuff. It takes GUTS to stand out there and bare your soul. If a performer's smile touches others.. then you know you are in the presence of something / someone special.

I know there are several PROFESSIONAL and indeed FAMOUS musicians, circus performers, and balloon artists who delight in unscheduled pay-as-you-go-by street work.

If they have a hat/case down, then it's probable that no-one is paying them to be there, SO BE SURE TO DIG INTO YOUR POCKETS AND "APPRECIATE" THEM!!!

Thanks for reading this far [steps down off soapbox and goes for a quiet lie-down]

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 Post subject: Re: Busking
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:52 am 
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So I take it you FOR busking then Grommet ? :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: Busking
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:42 pm 
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Like I said.. it isn't for everyone. Thanks for reading my first "proper" posting... Sorry about the length of it. I really didn't have time to write a shorter one!! ;) g:o)~

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 Post subject: Re: Busking
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:15 pm 
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Krazy Kev wrote:
I remember a long time ago busking in a local Asda for charity and the tight sods were trying to get away donating 10p and 20p! Must have been the poor balloon standard! :oops:
Kev


Have they not heard of Inflation !!!! 8-) :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Busking
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 5:38 pm 
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Location: Singapore
don't think of it as begging, think of it as doing what you like in public and entertaining others while you're at it.

i get very cheesed off by this attitude and i think that it's time to educate others about this. we need to change this way of thinking and the best way to go about it is with ourselves.

we should go about doing it in a professional way, so that everyone else will get a different impression. as the impression we make, will cause others to see us in a different light bringing with it a change of attitude from others.


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 Post subject: Re: Busking
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:07 pm 
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I am planning on moving down south and busking with balloons and performing magic and fire eating on the street. I am from America and have been looking at the laws on doing this. It seems in America you do not need a license to perform or sell art on the streets, it even lists sculptures under art. A balloon animal is a sculpture, even though it may be a different medium than we are used to seeing sculptures. Making balloon animals is also an art and a performance. Bearing this in mind, as long as I am interpreting the law correctly you can legally put a price per balloon on your creations.

Now as far as it being a lowly form of balloon twisting and only for desperate people I don't think that is the case. I know whenever I am on vacation or at a festival I always look for the street performers. I find street performers incredibly entertaining and I always tip when I can. The way I look at it is where else can you get live entertainment so cheaply, and at the same time be so close to the performer. When it comes to balloon artists you even get a work of art made just for you. I look at balloon art as a real art. Imagine if you were a painter instead of a twister. Do you know any other kind of artist that will give away art custom made for you for a dollar or so?

Lastly, I have found a lot of people don't tip not because they are cheap, but because they don't know any bettor or forget to. Many times working at fairs the parents give the kids the money to give to me. They stand patiently waiting for the balloon and then run off with the money as soon as they get their balloon. In a few seconds their parents send them back with the money to give to me. This is a great example of knowing your supposed to tip but forgetting or still having to have someone remind you. Balloons bring out the kids and innocence of all of us, even the adults. So have a sign or a pin reminding them to tip. This way you don't have to ask for donations if you feel uncomfortable with that, but the people are still reminded to do so.


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