The Down Low on Street Performing Part 1

As one who is a traveling hoop dancer, the only way I have learned to guarantee making a buck is by street performing, or ‘busking’. The process means I must do my make-up, wear my performance gear and head out to set-up my music, tip jar and sign that says ‘Support Traveling Hoopers’, on a busy street. If you have ever thought of trying street performing, I have got the best tips for you!

kayla smith1
Ready to perform in Washington, D.C.

Find Your Purpose

If you are busking for the fun of it and to make an extra buck, there is nothing wrong with that, but you may wear out quickly. Coming from one who makes an average of $10-$15 an hour, it would be more worth it to find good paying gigs elsewhere versus regularly hooping in the street. On the other hand, if you are in the street to connect with people and find those good paying gigs/clients, busking will be much more worth it in the end. Now, if you are ready to get out there, let’s talk location, the busking deal-breaker.

Location

Before I left Edinboro PA, I would have had no chance to make anything busking. I busked at the only arts festival in town and made a whopping $2. In a town of 6,000 where very few seemed to take me seriously, it wasn't worth my time. If this sounds like where you’re from, try locating events and festivals in the area as you can reach a larger audience. Every town is different and results will vary.
So, what may you expect from a big city? Having busked in Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Atlanta I guarantee you

will be able to make your busking efforts worth it in just about any city when you pick a good location. When making your decision, figure how much foot traffic there will be, this is biggest deal-breaker, town or city. Whether it’s a hip neighborhood on a Saturday night or a Business Center during lunch break hours, the more people, the better.

kaylasmith2
Street performing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Busking Laws

My last tip is to find out the laws and any regulations on busking in the area. The worst thing that can happen is you will be asked to move.

So, now that you have been able to discover more about busking and how to effectively go about it, get on out there, give it a go and have fun!