Thursday, February 17, 2011


for the past two years,

i have been working in the hardest town,

i have ever had to work.

i have been supporting myself and my family.

i have had a lot of requests to tell my secret.

so here it is.

the trick to making a living as a busker in a very small town with hardly any foot traffic is to;

work small short shows all day and night, every day and night without fail.

if you do not work you will go back to the "real job."

YOU MUST get it into your head that this is a real full time job.

so pack a lunch and go put in as many hours as you can.

think 8 to 10 hours miniumum.

even if you suck you are bound to make money with those hours seven days a week.

# 2.
week days are a must, no exception.

do short small sidewalk shows all day and night on the week days.

week days are crucial. if your only going out on week will fail.

if you are going out on the weekends,

fighting with other weekend warrior buskers for the good spot and only getting a few shows off for the will fail.

on the week ends go out and find your own pitch somewhere and bang out as many shows as you can all day.

by the time the weekend comes, i have already made my money during the week.

so the weekend isn't a big hassle and rush to make money.

working when it is hard on the week days make you a stronger busker, so when you are on a better spot you will clean house.

the amatuer goes for a few hours on the weekend and makes a little.

the pro works all week and makes a living.

this is the #1 thing that a beginner doesn't get.

if you wont work weekdays, save yourself and all of us pros some grief and give up your dream of being a pro.

when working week ends do as big a show as you can to maximise your hats.

week ends are for half circle to circle shows.

so you may have a week day rig and a week end rig, but be careful because some week days you may be able to pull a big show off.

a circle show is quick big money if you can get one off.

don't judge your money by the day.

judge your money by the month.

judge your money by the week to see if your on track for the month.. then divide by forty hours to see how you compare to a real job.

if you have 3 bad days and you judged by the day you will get very discouraged...but you may have had a great week.

you will have to make less money per show, to make more money in the long run.

in other words if a mall or a shop is letting you work their property and you keep blowing the pitch up with huge crowds and loud amps and long shows....

they will get rid of you.

remember familiarity breeds contempt.

this of course will cost you quite a bit of money per day, but in the long run over a year you will have a full time job.

if you can get the cops and the shops to think that you care about their rules and that you are not making that much they will will defend you.

remember, no one cares until you start making money.

figure out the foot traffic schedule for each pitch for that day in your town.

when your on that pitch, stay on that pitch til it's done, milk it.

also if your pitch dies at a certain time of day and another one in town picks up go there and milk that one.

in other words,

the park or the board/river walk may be busy during the day

then at night the downtown club strip may pick there's your schedual for the day and night.

try and keep your 10 hour day to no more than 2 locations when you go out and work.

pick up as many festivals, craft fairs, and town events you can crash or get permission for.

try and move about town through out the month, when picking these up,

because if your in a small town, by the end of the day, they may have all seen you in that little section of town.

keep a record book.

record all your pitch locations, your hours on each pitch for the day, and how much you made per pitch.

also, you may want to make a little note of things conserning the job that could be important in the future.

this will tell you how much your making per month and where.

it will also let you know next year where the money will be and what you may expect.

don't be afraid to commute every day to the closest busy town next to you.

i myself commute, two hours by trolley to the pitch then two hours home every day.

bad weather?

no problem,

if it's not too cold for people to stop, then work.

i have worked many times in the snow, when i was hard up.

there's gloves that are thin enough and tricks that you can do with stiff hands.

also if it's raining, that's great, because you can busk under an over hang to a {literally} captive audience.

also when there's a break in the rain you can make a big show with a fat hat, just make it quick and judge wheater or not it's gonna rain before your finale.

of course, you can also busk indoors throughout the winter.

just hit every single family resteruant and bar in town.

this is about commitment.

once again, work weekdays.

this will make you the strongest crowd puller in your town.

it will also make you the monthly income you so desperately need.

while the weekend warrior idiots are fighting over a pitch and scrambling to make all their money in two days,

you will already have made your quota for the week.

let em fight, and you go find a pitch of your own, because your strong enough to work a slower pitch then them,

because you have trained all week on the slow pitch.

and remember.

short small shows on the weekdays.

and large commercial shows on the week ends.

i hope this helps.

your pal jimmy