Friday, June 1, 2018

Getting A Raise At Your Busking Job.

How does a Busker get a raise at his job?

That sounds crazy, right?

That only sounds crazy if your not a Pro.
Today we will be talking about how a new guy can increase his pay everyday. If you want to know how the Pros are staying alive busking full time, you will need to understand the relationship we have with our shows, as our bread winners, and the basics of how we put them together and adjust them, to win our bread.

A Pro knows how to control his income by adjusting his show.

To adjust your show to control your income, you must first of course have an adjustable show.

The worst place to try and make a show adjustable for the street, is in your home.

The best place to put an adjustable show together is on the pitch. The first reason for this is, because conditions are different out there then in your home.

I have written entire twenty minute shows at home, only to find out none of it worked out on the street, and I had to rewrite a show on the spot, just to get through that day.

Remember if your doing this for a living you can not afford to waste time, every minute you spend working on your show you should have the potential to get paid.

Which brings us to the second reason, Money. Nobody is paying you to practice at home. Even if you fail on the pitch they may still pay you, but they can't find you at home. You may even pick up a gig out there while your practicing.

Third reason is you need to get used to working on the pitch, you need to feel at home there. Make the pitch your new comfort zone, make it your office. This will relieve most of your problems out there, remember doing street shows is mental labor, it's complicated, there's a lot of things to try and keep under control out there, it's hard enough working out there as it is. It's going to be easier if you like being out there.

When you work at home those sponge balls stay put, but out there they may blow away in the middle of the routine, unless you created that routine out there in the first place.

Nobody is going to grab something out of your hand in the middle of a routine at home, but it might happen out there.

Some belligerent drunk isn't going to blurt out something vulgar in your living room, but it might happen out there.

That magical moment between you and a hundred people that you've been looking for, isn't going to happen in your living room, but it might happen out there.

There's no money at home fellahs, but it might happen out there.

By practicing out on the pitch you can make more mistakes and correct them. This is what is called stage time.

Stage Time, this is crucial for the professional entertainer the more stage time you get, the better you get. This means more money, more gigs, and more chance at reaching your goals in your career. There's no stage time at home.

With all that said, lets talk about getting raises.

Just like at a real job, if your boss sees improvement, he'll give you a raise. Same thing here, your audience is your boss and they pay for the value they receive.

If you take your three best tricks out there and perform them over and over using the patter that is necessary to perform them, you will notice a pattern emerging, after a long day of repeating.

You will start to see which trick stops them, which trick holds them, and which trick gives the best finale reaction. This will create a seedling for your future show.

The idea is to just keep adding a little bit at a time to grow the length and quality of your show. You will do this by throwing in new bits and watching how it plays with the audience, do it a few times and if your getting good responses, keep it in. If after a few times it fails you might want to think about discarding it from the show or moving it into a different position in the show.

If none of this works get rid of it all together. You can always tinker with it when your not working, but don't risk it when your working.

Every time you add a new bit to your show, you just gave yourself a raise at your job. You will notice those hats creeping up. It will become so obvious you will even begin to put dollar amounts on them. Bits pay a little, and routines pay a lot more.

I have been doing this for years and I am still doing it. It is especially necessary when traveling, because every new pitch calls for show adjustments. Every region has things they prefer, and I want to play to them.

Note: If you try and cheat at this, and do some of this at home, you will eventually have to give up because you will not see quick enough results and you will flee to the safety of a "Real Job."

This is the number one reason why new guys give up. This fact is very subtle and no one talks about it, so the new guy thinks busking just won't work for him, but in reality it's so simple, just do the time on the pitch and it will pay off.

If you do this, and do this only on the pitch, you will quickly start to see a system you can follow, and this system will give you control over your work habits, your income, your understanding of show business, and where you fit into it.

You will become one of us, God help you.

If you want to tip me, drop a donation in the HAT HERE.

Your Pal.

P.S. This article was brought to you by the gracious donation of my good friend Mr. Pitts a fellow busker.