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  1. #1
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    What do you call 'street performers'?

    Up here in Canada, we call them buskers. (You know, the people who play instruments, do mime, juggle, etc. for entertaining the passers-by and passing out the hat for a few coins.) In fact we have Buskerfests all the time. There is a huge one going on in Toronto this weekend.

    A few years ago, I mentioned the word 'buskers' in another forum and most Americans didn't know what I was talking about.

    So, I was wondering if you have buskers where you live and what name they go by?

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    Well, you got the toe-tapping down pat.

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    we have quite a few street performers in new Orleans , especially in the French Quarter....

    we just call them street dancers, or street musicians, etc......

    if i called somebody a busker....he'd probably try to busk me in my face...lol...

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    hobos with a job
    Mine is the Earth and the sword in the stone, Mine is the throne for the idol
    One fleeting moment, and it is all gone, Crownless again Will I fall?

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    Quote Originally Posted by douseiai View Post
    hobos with a job
    Well, it's better than sitting on the street holding out a tin can to everyone. I support buskers (if they're good and, particularly, if they're cute), but I never support beggers who ask me for 'spare change'.

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    I just call them street performers, or "[insert musical instrument of choice] players". I guess having been raised in NY, I've become immune to their existence.

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    We have one older guy who, for years, has taken a spot on a bench almost every day. He sits there with a small bongo drum between his legs and taps at it so lightly you can barely hear it when you walk past him. He doesn't bother people, and I've never heard him speak, but he pulls in enough coins to buy himself a pack of smokes and dinner for the night.

    I've seen the beat police move the panhandlers along, but whenever they get to this guy, they simply walk by and let him be. He's almost a fixture downtown now, almost like the tower clock. People miss him when he isn't there on his bench.

    Oh, yeah. A few years ago, he took up the harmonica, but all he could do was breath in one note and breath out a different note. He couldn't play it. That lasted about a day and a half. It was back to the bongo after that.

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    More! Deeper! TaigaStar's Avatar
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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    On the subway, there are these two guys from Mexico and they come into the car dressed like mariachi (I know I spelled that wrong) and they play this tiny guitar and sing... thank God for iPods.

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    hangin around douseiai's Avatar
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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    Quote Originally Posted by gsdx View Post
    Well, it's better than sitting on the street holding out a tin can to everyone. I support buskers (if they're good and, particularly, if they're cute), but I never support beggers who ask me for 'spare change'.
    it is... i will generally toss them some change if i have some... i just like callin them hobos with jobs... dont really know why
    Mine is the Earth and the sword in the stone, Mine is the throne for the idol
    One fleeting moment, and it is all gone, Crownless again Will I fall?

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    Quote Originally Posted by douseiai View Post
    it is... i will generally toss them some change if i have some... i just like callin them hobos with jobs... dont really know why
    Many of the buskers here are quite well-dressed, actually. I don't know about other places, but here, the beggers often dress themselves in the crappiest clothes they can find. At least the buskers are clean.

    I don't mind paying for entertainment at all, especially if it is entertaining. Not all play instruments. Not all sing. Some shouldn't be singing.

    Still, I'd rather drop a few coins into a guitar case than into a tin cup when the holder of the cup is yapping on a cell phone.

    Note to panhandlers: If you're going to beg for money, stay off the damned cell phone!!

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoodedRat View Post
    People pay more attention to you and give you more cash if you make a bit of an effort.
    It might have been worth the effort to fly to England if the singer had been dressed in tails and you wore the ballgown. I would have tossed a Toonie into your hat for that.

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    what do I call them?

    pan handlers with a gimmick

  13. #13
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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    Quote Originally Posted by TaigaStar View Post
    On the subway, there are these two guys from Mexico and they come into the car dressed like mariachi (I know I spelled that wrong) and they play this tiny guitar and sing... thank God for iPods.
    My last day in NY last year, riding the subway A train to JFK, we had a Mexican band and then a magician who did some crazy stuff with a top hat and a dove and all sorts of stuff. It was excellent entertainment and he was really really slick with his sleight of hand. Makes old David Blaine look like a washed-up hack.

    -d-

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    Quote Originally Posted by blackbeltninja View Post
    Makes old David Blaine look like a washed-up hack.

    -d-
    Ummm. When was David Blaine not a washed-up hack?

    I watched about 2 minutes of one of his 'specials' on television and turned it off. Couldn't stand the guy.

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeslifeyork View Post
    They're registered with the city council, pay their taxes like the rest of us and make a comfortable living from the tourists.
    Busking is actually encouraged in Canada, and the buskers are usually quite respectful of other people. They never ask for change except, perhaps, to pass the hat around, and thank everyone who drops in a coin or two.

    Like I said earlier, we hold 'buskerfests' here. Hundreds of buskers gather in one place and entertain for a weekend. Sort of like an Octoberfest without the beer.

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    Quote Originally Posted by gsdx View Post
    Ummm. When was David Blaine not a washed-up hack?

    I watched about 2 minutes of one of his 'specials' on television and turned it off. Couldn't stand the guy.
    Well... in the 3rd world we get everyting much later than you guys do. In our eyes he's still that guy who levitates as long as the camera stays above his feet...

    -d-

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    We have a lot of buskers in my town. I call them buskers or street musicians.

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    In London Underground stations where for years the police used to move 'buskers' on they now have to be registered and allocated specific spots at which they can perform. It is seen as part of the street scene now for tourists! Some sound great with the acoustics of the subway tunnels! Think some have become professionals!

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    In Australia, they are called buskers. Nowadays, most cities require that they be licenced, and that they are presentable and talented. They are restricted to certain areas, often pedestrain malls and entrances to transport facilities.

    Shopkeepers were getting a little peeved about having off key violinists playing "Home Sweet Home" parked outside their premises 8 hours a day, or even worse, a lamenting bagpiper. (Please, I mean no offence to members who may be Scots.)

    Some of these guys are really very good indeed. I know of a number of students at the conservatories of music in Melbourne and Sydney who busk and do quite well - much better that waiting on tables or filling beer jugs.

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    Can't recall any name we use for them... I don't see them as being useful, but that stems from me holding a strong opinion against people who chose to live on the streets. but that is a whole different debate...

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzy64 View Post
    Can't recall any name we use for them... I don't see them as being useful, but that stems from me holding a strong opinion against people who chose to live on the streets. but that is a whole different debate...
    Buskers are not necessarily homeless panhandlers. All the ones I know here have good homes and don't really need the money. What they do have, though, is talent, and all they want to do is to share that talent with others. The fact that they can make a few bucks on the side in payment of their entertainment is simply a bonus.

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    As hornymike_uk mentioned that until recently they used to move buskers on from the Underground here in the UK... it's nice to see that now they're allowed to play, albeit having to have a license to do so... but for years buskers in the underground have been a part of London life!
    When I am not working, I'm usually having fun!
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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    A busker (or group of buskers) can be a lot of fun and very entertaining.I enjoy them and have been known to toss a coin or two in their direction.

    However, I feel that there is a special corner in hell reserved for mimes.
    It just goes to show you, No Matter Where You Go, There You Are...

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    Quote Originally Posted by sissyboy View Post
    However, I feel that there is a special corner in hell reserved for mimes.
    I should think it would be a very quiet corner.

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    They're called Sociology majors

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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    I'm with everyone else who thought they were called "buskers."

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