Well, I accomplished my first 'official' busking event yesterday on Stephen Avenue Mall in downtown Calgary!
My observations about what I learned from this experience are varied.
I learned I need to eat a bigger breakfast before I head out. I got quite light headed by the end of my hour of music.
I learned I need to set up in the shade to avoid overheating which also contributed to my light headedness. Also wear sunscreen!!
I learned to bring a snack or a power bar to have with my water. It takes a lot of energy to be smiling and singing in the sun.
I learned that in June the main traffic on the mall is downtown workers on a lunch break on their way to get lunch and to find someplace to sit. At the busking area where I was singing there is no place to sit. I believe that in the summer there will be tourists who will have the time to stop and check out the buskers.
I also realized that if there are 6 sites along the way for buskers, people who work regularly in the area cannot financially be making donations to performers on a regular basis or they would go broke! The people who did stop and made a donation were mothers with young children, and seniors who had the time to stop.
I learned that if my goal in continuing to busk is to make money I will probably be disappointed. I made $25.00 and it cost me $6.80 to ride the C-Train.
I learned that there is a skill to engaging a passing audience and that I can learn a lot by continuing to return to busk and work at engaging people to pay attention to my songs.
I learned that I can make eye contact from a distance and draw people to specific lines of my songs as they pass and make them smile back at me, howl along with me, search out my voice in the air until they find where I am singing and smile at me.
I learned that I can be satisfied that friends came to support me and that a fellow came up to me to say he thought my song Shadow Walker was a really good song and he thought I had a great voice!
I can be satisfied that two little girls came and each gave me a looney with big sweet smiles!
I can be satisfied that I spent several weeks organizing my gear into a small pull cart and purchased a microphone head set so I am now completely independent on the C-Train with everything I need to set up my sound system.
I can be satisfied that the time I spent rehearsing my songs was well spent because I performed everything from memory and actually expanded my guitar playing to include some solo sections which I normally don't include but I was having fun with the rhythms and it seemed right.
I can be satisfied that all the small steps I took added up to a successful event. I will go back next week and make improvements to the details and will probably have the energy to go down to Olympic Plaza and set up there after a break and do some more busking before I head home.
Everything I do that takes me further along the road to being a strong entertainer has value!
I will not rate the success of my first busking experience on the $25.00 earning. I will rate the success of it on what I learned and the fun I had!!
Next week will be another adventure for me as a 'late bloomer'!!