Author Topic: Busking  (Read 7245 times)

Danny the Idiot

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Busking
« on: April 16, 2008, 03:48:26 PM »
Hi everyone. Not sure where to post this so I'm putting it in Marketing as it was mentioned!

I'd like to start busking balloon sculpting, and have never done this before.

My reasons are two fold - get some money coming in when its quiet,
and (the main one) - to try out new models, & banter with an audience.

Has anyone any tips, ideas or suggestions?

cheers
Danny
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cashmagic

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Re: Busking
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2008, 08:06:39 PM »
Hi Danny

I will not call you a idiot as if you are wanting to go busking you are not a idiot

I go busking all the time best thing you can do get papers to see if theres any thing happing around like open days or shows get you stuff and get down there,I have a open hat and allways put 2 or 3 pound in first.

Tip 1= Don"t stop making stuff even if no one is around this will help you when you are flat out and show people what you can do.

Tip 2= If no one is bitting give some away kids aways want what others have

Tip 3= Tell people what you are doing and why like "Some one booked me but are ill today so i had all my balloons out so I didn't want to waste them"

Tip 4= Ask where they are from if near you give them a card

Tip 5= Have fun even if no one else is

I hope you do it and have a good time theres good money out there i get around 5 to 20 pound a hour

One last thing I got my biggest gig from busking 27 gigs from one bloke you never know who is passing you
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Professor T Wist

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Re: Busking
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2008, 08:50:46 PM »
I have been thinking of doing some busking. Can you just pitch up anywhere or do you need a permit or something like that? does anybody know ?
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Graham Lee

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Re: Busking
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2008, 09:35:14 PM »
Different towns have different rules, in some you need a peddlers licence.
The best thing is just find somewhere busy & start, just plead ignorant if someone tries to move you on.
I do know a good solicitor if things don’t quite work out for you :lol:
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Billy Wiz

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Re: Busking
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2008, 09:49:37 PM »
Hi guys, please don't take my comments the wrong way, but I wouldn't feel comfortable busking. I would feel as if I was desperate and begging.

I know it can get extra work in, and to be honest, I wish I could pluck up the courage to do it as well. Do you ever get these feelings when you're busking? I have done it before, kind off, I was busking for tips last year to raise money for my 'Make A Smile Appeal'. The graden centre I do a lot of work for kindly let me do it there. They get lots of kids in as they also have a huge in store pet shop. It certainly worked, I had banners beside me advertising what the tips were for, raised nearly £400 in 5 days, but felt really uncomfortable the whole time. They asked if I wanted to do it again this year but I said I was too busy.

I'm one of the busiest in my area (I don't mean these comments to sound big headed - sorry) and didn't want people to think I was desperate for the work that I had to go busking. But in reality, I really would like to do it, but as I said, I can't get these 'begging' thoughts out of my head.

Hats off to you guys who are doing well with it. :)

Best wishes,

Graeme (Billy Wiz)
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Graham Lee

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Re: Busking
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2008, 10:08:43 PM »
Quote from: "Billy Wiz"
I wouldn't feel comfortable busking. I would feel as if I was desperate and begging.
But Graeme we are desperate & begging :lol:

Graham Lee
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cashmagic

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Re: Busking
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2008, 11:17:48 PM »
You shouldn't think like that you are out there making people smile you are out there doing some thing you love and its not like you are sat on the floor with a sign saying give me money
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Dave

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Re: Busking
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2008, 10:33:53 PM »
http://www.buskercentral.com/balloons.php

Busking licences
Busking in itself is not illegal, although many local authorities have passed byelaws prohibiting busking. If you want to busk it is worth contacting your local council to see if any byelaws have been passed with regards to busking. Children under 14 years may not busk.
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PrinCeSs

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Re: Busking
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2008, 02:29:42 PM »
Quote from: "Graham Lee"
Quote from: "Billy Wiz"
I wouldn't feel comfortable busking. I would feel as if I was desperate and begging.
But Graeme we are desperate & begging :lol:

Graham Lee


Agree....i do busking.. initially i had that 'begging' in mind.. but...i think again.. i show my 'talent and skill' on twisting and someone has to contribute something...anyway..when busking.. i dont charge the balloons.. I can't charge..so its up to people who contribute...when they ask..i say.. anything that u think its fair... i think thats fair enough.. so far have not experienced bad things.. hopefully not in the future too... :)
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Chubbz

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Re: Busking
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2008, 11:21:12 AM »
I am going to go out and try my hand at Busking during the 6 weeks Summer holidays when all the kids are off school, (Might test the water first, by doing a Saturday/Sunday leading up to it)
My question is this,and it may seem trival, but what to wear when Busking?, bearing in mind it will be Summer, I was thinking just smart but casual jeans, and a T-Shirt, (I do have one with "Chubbz" airsprayed on the back) but I said to my partner about wearing a large "Rabbit type Top hat" (Thanks to David Ginn) to attract attention, but she said I will just lok stupid,(Or words to that effect) maybe wear one of my own balloon hats?
Also should I just keep the models quick & simple, (Dog,sword,flower etc) or make the more fancy stuff?
Any help greatly appreciated...  :geek:
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Graham Lee

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Re: Busking
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2008, 11:40:18 AM »
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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Krazy Kev

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Re: Busking
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2008, 12:26:27 PM »
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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Chubbz

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Re: Busking
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2008, 01:13:11 PM »
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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cashmagic

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Re: Busking
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2008, 10:54:39 PM »
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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grOmmet

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Busking : Some Thoughts.....
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2008, 02:41:32 AM »


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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