So usually I busk down in the subways but this Friday it was so stifling down there! I was getting a headache, I was thirsty and running out of water, and pretty soon I would have to go pee anyway. A busker's dilemma. So when a fellow busker came by and offered to show me a good spot to busk outside I decided to give it a shot.
When I got set up I was so nervous. This was the first time I had ever done outside performing in Boston. One song in, and the guy in the picture below comes up to me, scratching and burping, asking if he could sing. (He didn't look too happy about the pic so I left out his face.) Clearly I'm way too nice. Here I am trying to make an honest living and this guy is trying to talk to me while I'm singing, fully expecting me to stop what I'm doing and listen to him. This happens a lot, so be prepared for it if you want to start busking. I say yes, let him get his minute of busking fame and then deny his request for money. This also happens a lot. If someone asks to sing or play with you they either expect to share whatever someone puts in the case, or they expect you to give them something regardless. Uhhhh no. Not this time. There's a reason I'm singing my wiles on the street.
Well he left, slightly sad looking since his bid for extorting money out of me flopped. (I find I'm more inclined to give people a dollar if they just honestly ask for one and don't waste my time.) Then this guy came along, loudly touting about how I was the next Tracy Chapman. (I love these types... This was my second or maybe third Chapman reference of the day. I imagine every singing guitar-playing Black girl with locks has to deal with this.) He knows music, he says, and he's been around for awhile, having seen Chapman and others doing what I'm doing now. He says for sure I'll make it. While I appreciate them and sincerely hope the people who wish me well in this manner are spot on, I was hoping he'd extend his bid of confidence in me far enough to give me one of the dollars lining his dog's collar. I mean, this dog is bling-ed out. No such luck, but at least the dog is super cute, even if a little ostentatious. Check it.