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Thread: What do you call 'street performers'?

      
   
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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?

  2. #2
    HoodedRat
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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    They're called buskers in UK too.

    I've done some busking in the past; usually playing guitar whilst someone else sang.


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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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    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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    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
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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!!

  12. #12
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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    Quote Originally Posted by gsdx View Post
    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 guess it all depends.

    Back when I was in California, there used to be this old guy in Santa Monica who, most of the time, looked like he had just crawled out of a dumpster after a 5-day drunk.

    He sat at the curb with this toy drum-set in front of him, accompanying himself as he sang. His drumming was actually quite good, considering the size of his set. As for his singing ... well, it was more like yelping or bellowing at the top of his lungs, and most of the things he would sing were so filthy they made even the Marines blush. He'd tone things down if there was a cop within earshot.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by gsdx View Post
    Many of the buskers here are quite well-dressed, actually.
    I often wore a Goth version of top hat 'n' tails when I went busking with a friend. We mostly played the old standards from the jazz/blues repetoire and I think people found it amusing that the music we were doing was at odds with our image.

    I also used to busk with another guy playing acoustic bass and a girl singer. Me and the bassist wore tailcoats and the singer wore a ballgown.

    People pay more attention to you and give you more cash if you make a bit of an effort.

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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

  16. #16
    Cousin
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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    Annoying...I hate Mimes.

  17. #17
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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    I don't think I've ever really seen any street performers. The only people I've really seen are Hobos. Maybe I don't dwell into the actually city enough.

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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.

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  19. #19
    HazeMaster
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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    In Nu Yawk we call them panhandlers

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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.

  21. #21
    joeslifeyork
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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'.
    Totally agree.

    IN fact, here in the UK most buskers (we call them that too up north!) they arent actually homeless.

    They're registered with the city council, pay their taxes like the rest of us and make a comfortable living from the tourists.

    I always support a good busker and Kings Square in town is normally filled with them (its nice in summer in the sun, sitting there as theres normally a pianist there who plays jazz -- hes REALLY GOOD!).

    I give good buskers up to 5 a time. I NEVER support beggers or hobos as they called in the USA. They're pointless people. I just blank them, pretend they're not there as there is no reason for them to be on the streets in the UK, not with all the support and welfare state out there.

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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...

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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!

  26. #26
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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    Where I'm at now I've not noticed any on a regular basis, only when there are street festivals going on or that type of thing. There is one guy who has been featured on a few local affiliate art programs. He does mime, but as a "living statue". It's always great fun to watch people's reactions when he moves and "comes to life." But again, he usually only comes out for special events. He does it more as performance art though than begging for money.

    Where I used to live they were quite frequent in the parks, and some of them were really quite good, whether they were jugglers or musicians.

    I've always referred to them as street performers.

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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.

  30. #30

    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!
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  31. #31
    holland
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    Re: What do you call 'street performers'?

    street musicians or buskers

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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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