There is always, in my dealings with the people around me, the inevitable point where said people find out that I used to be a busker…. and still am part time. The reaction this news is given will, generally speaking, go one of two ways. The first is the reaction given by 15 year old boys who think they’re going to be rockstars and art students who now know they’re not going to be rock stars, which goes something like this: “Wow! Really? That’s so cool! Can anyone do it? Do you need a license? What’s the most you’ve made in a day?” and so on. The second one is more often given to me by people over 50 and occasional members of extended family, which is to look at me as if I’ve just announced I’ve been a whore since I was 17.
Now, for my part I’m not sure that either of these reactions is truly justified and had either of these camps ever been busking they’d understand why. So I thought I’d write a couple of blogs so that people who want to can find out more about my experiences of busking and how it (as it undoubtably did) shaped who I am, a couple of the things you need to know if you want to busk in Cornwall (success certainly not guarenteed), some of the weird stories I have experienced and heard, why being a busker is a mad idea anyway and most importantly why you should never ever judge a busker, because for all you know they could have a PhD.
These shall probably be written (as with the rest of this blog and indeed everything else I write) very sporadically and in between posts of other things, and I shall attempt to change as many names as I can and use nicknames where I like. This is partly because there are buskers whose names you will never know and will always remain nicknamed, and partly because I am far from flattering to some, indeed to most. Some people there is no point in nicknaming and we shall cross that bridge when we get to it.
Now for the disclaimer: all of the things written here, as elsewhere on my blog, are MY OPINION only and are in many cases exaggerated for comic and dramatic effect. If you feel you have been insulted by what I have written about you I take the time to apologise now. I am probably seriously overburdened by bitterness and cynicism and in any case am a storyteller. I actually do not hold any serious grudges or bad feeling to any busker… well, okay, there are a couple, but in any case I do not intend to be cruel in my writing. Everyone is, at some point, a total dick, myself included, and buskers are in the kind of job where that becomes more apparent because band politics rules completely all the time. I’ve been as cruel and stupid and naive and bitchy as anyone and I am not going to pretend I haven’t.
As it stands I hope that this series of posts is at least readable for buskers and non-buskers alike. Whatever the result, it’ll be interesting.