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Busk Documentary

Discussion in 'Variety and Street Performance' started by V, May 25, 2013.

  1. V

    V Well-Known Member

    http://buskmovie.com/ just released their documentary on Busking in Charlotte. 45 minutes or so and is a free to watch film. It may be of some us to North Carolina performers who have any inkling at all on busking as it has some law information specific to Charlotte inside.

    I have several friends who either are focus characters or cameo appearances, but must admit that sadly, the film isn't great. It seems that the director/producer doesn't necessarily understand what busking is and some of the characters she follows don't quite fit the bill. I'm not one of those that think only variety acts are buskers. I have no problem with artists, musicians, etc. I think if you watch the film you'll see what I mean.

    Another gripe is that the quality of the acts that are highlighted aren't very good. Hannibal is a professional, and outside of him and the juggler (and maybe the graffiti artist) I don't know that there is much quality in the 'main' characters work. The pencil artist certainly reflects poorly on the quality of art available in that area; and while I admire his reasons for selling street art; his work isn't great and I don't know that he's a 'busker' in the true sense of the word. Again, this seems to be the result of misguided filming production and directing; but it's one of the few free-to-view films that are somewhat relevant to the workings of this board.

    Now, a special note to Barry Daft! Most of the main cast here will certainly fan your 'American performers suck' flames. and if many of the cast here is the sample. I'm right there with you, however..! Take it with a grain of salt. There are maybe 4 decent performers in that film... only one or two get any air time. But to be fair, as I'm writing this, I realize that film can easily be categorized as art... and this sample is bad. So never mind my argument on why it isn't that bad...
     
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  2. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    Interesting... it doesn't seem like a very good place for buskers.
     
  3. V

    V Well-Known Member

    At the time of the filming (~3 years ago) it wasn't; and that was the point of the film. Much friendlier atmosphere now, and active busking.
     
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  4. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    Maybe, I don't really get busking... but, I have no desire to be out on the streets in the rain, or walking back to my car, alone, and blocks away, well past midnight. If I wanted to be on the street entertaining, I would want to do it on the days/times when people actually wanted to be outside. You would be more likely to find me at a farmer's market, flea market, or a sidewalk cafe that sells ice cream. Yes, I would have to be invited onto private property, but those are places people go to spend time and money. Give me a town that have bands playing in the park in the evening and let me go there...

    From the customer perspective. When I am on my lunch break, I don't have time to watch a magician perform on the street. I have 30 minutes to get food and get back to work. Touristy areas are fine, but I would be more likely to trust someone wearing a badge or at places with multiple buskers set up, otherwise, I would probably wonder if they were only trying to distract people from their real target.
     
  5. Cool Fool

    Cool Fool Clown

    What amazes me is that in certain areas, our 1st Amendment Rights are held as undeniable, where in others, the 2nd Amendment seems to hold the spotlight. The Supreme Court has ruled that the 1st Amendment is Constitutional, yet some cities arbitrarily and capriciously deny our rights to express ourselves and assemble peaceably.

    I have sat on a street and made good $ doing it. There was no law against giving away balloon figures; and if people wanted to reward me with cash, well, I was neither seeking or refusing gratuity.

    Funny country we live in. But we need the funny.
     
  6. V

    V Well-Known Member

    I don't know that every day buskers stay out in the rain, although I know some who do.

    Two part answer/discussion coming in response:

    First, more on the film. The points you made are valid there. Some of the main guys (the sketch artist mainly) didn't come across as buskers to me, so much as some homeless (or nearly) guy trying to make a living where he couldn't find a job. Again, I applaud his effort and gumption, but don't think he is necessarily relevant to street artists in general. The film maker seems to think that any artist who simply takes their trade to the street is a busker and I simply disagree. I suppose most artist types can busk, but to me, busking in itself is a genre of art. Kind of. Sort of. Not sure if that made sense but if not, I'll try to elaborate later. It's late and I'm tired.

    Secondly, I know that people say they're busking at a farmer's market or city square event or some other organized atmosphere. I don't know that this is similar to street busking at all, other than the reality that both may be working for tips. In the film, we saw several failed attempts of buskers trying to draw a crowd during the day and this may have been done for film focus mainly. Most buskers I know stay out on the street most of the day, even all day. It's terribly different than walking into a market or fair and simply starting a line. Busking is hard, but there is no better way to develop a crisp show than to take your efforts to the street. If you're dedicated to developing a street act, you can easily pull in several hundred bucks a day. What makes it hard, is that you can easily pull in just a few bucks a day. I can't encourage performers enough to try the street. Most wont, many fail; but if you spend time out there, you're almost guaranteed to surpass your peers who only get into their clowns for birthday parties or corporate events. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with working clowns who do that; more power to them. I guess the simple summary is that I've never seen a "party clown" that I would ever hire for any event I can ever envision myself hosting. I've seen a fair number of street performers who I would hire or recommend for almost any venue I can imagine. I've even driven several hours just to go catch a street show of either a familiar busker, or a recommended performer; whereas I wouldn't raise the blinds on my window to watch a party clown or balloon machine/face painter work outside of my home.
     
  7. Chuckles_Douchet

    Chuckles_Douchet New Member

    I agree with you on this point to a degree. I think that street art us different than performing. Especially the graffiti artist.


    [/QUOTE] The film maker seems to think that any artist who simply takes their trade to the street is a busker and I simply disagree. I suppose most artist types can busk, but to me, busking in itself is a genre of art. Kind of. Sort of. Not sure if that made sense but if not, I'll try to elaborate later. It's late and I'm tired.[/QUOTE]

    Busking is an art. I have seen how people fail at it, and I have seen how people run with it like the wild man of Borneo and make three or four hundred dollars in one day.

    [/QUOTE]Secondly, I know that people say they're busking at a farmer's market or city square event or some other organized atmosphere. I don't know that this is similar to street busking at all, other than the reality that both may be working for tips. In the film, we saw several failed attempts of buskers trying to draw a crowd during the day and this may have been done for film focus mainly. Most buskers I know stay out on the street most of the day, even all day. It's terribly different than walking into a market or fair and simply starting a line. Busking is hard, but there is no better way to develop a crisp show than to take your efforts to the street. If you're dedicated to developing a street act, you can easily pull in several hundred bucks a day. What makes it hard, is that you can easily pull in just a few bucks a day. I can't encourage performers enough to try the street. Most wont, many fail; but if you spend time out there, you're almost guaranteed to surpass your peers who only get into their clowns for birthday parties or corporate events. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with working clowns who do that; more power to them. I guess the simple summary is that I've never seen a "party clown" that I would ever hire for any event I can ever envision myself hosting.[/QUOTE]


    Her in Portland, buskers have several places to do their "thing" and even push the laws a bit to their advantage.

    Unfortunately, if one busker is getting heavy attention, other buskers come in and try to compete. Which I think reflects negatively on all of them.
     
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