If you’re like me and you have no idea what the heck you want to do when it’s time to get a real job, give one of your hobbies a second look because it might be the best thing you’ve ever done. We all have something we enjoy doing but we usually don’t make it our main focus. Life’s tough enough as it is so who has time for nonsense. That’s the whole point of me writing this, your passion, isn’t a waste of time but an awesome use of time. So if you’re having trouble figuring out a place to get the train rolling, you might want to pay attention to these 8 tips I have for you:
1. Figure out what your act would be. This is the bread and butter. Once you have an idea of what you might want to do, go with it. You don’t have to be amazing, you just have to have an idea and play off it. This is what passerby will notice first, so try to make it stand out any which way you can.
2. Decide where you would want to perform. A street corner in Boston, one of the stops on the green line, a bench beside the ocean in Beverly, it’s your call. Of course your commute comes first so when choosing a place, make sure it isn’t too far away and also surrounded by heavy traffic. The more ears and eyes the better.
3. Set up your space. Your space is your space. Do what you wish with it. Make sure you check in with the city first before you just set up shop, but after the fee is out of the way, make it you. You want to make it appealing to the passing eye but not too overwhelming where it upstages your performance. Have a clear idea before you show up to the spot, please.
4. Work on getting a crowd. Building a crowd is an art. You don’t want to be too desperate but you also want to sell your talent and your charisma. Make sure to make the passerby who do stop by feel comfortable. At first you might only draw in the people who share similar interests or some curious tourists, but if you keep at it and wear a welcoming smile, the crowd will grow in a matter of time. This is where your act comes in handy because if it’s different from the rest you’re bound to attract a larger crowd. “If you build it, they will come.”
5. InterACT and keep them Interested. The reason I highlighted ACT is because you can’t forget that you’re putting on an act, but you’re also their friend. The street is the most public place in the world and you come across every type of person there is. In order to keep them entertained you’ve got to interact with them. Whether this means you incorporate a bystander into the act or just talk to them while the stop to tip or are slowly passing you by, it all counts. If you go 70, you’re more likely to get the 30 back then those who just sit there. Though that might work for certain acts most of the time you need to maintain the crowds interest.
6. Build Participation. If you choose just the right person, specifically the one in the front throwing their hands to sky when you ask for a volunteer, you automatically have at least one person’s interest. This tends to draw other people in because they see this random guy using another random guy as a prop and their kind of wondering what you’re going to do with them. The element of surprise is yours and the mysteriousness garners attention. This is when you get the crowd involved and build the participation. Look around and hook as many as you can, even if it’s for something extremely small. People like to be involved, so get them involved and hey, you might find an extra $10 in the hat.
7. Collect Tips. One of the best ways a person can show their appreciation for what you do is through some pocket change. Make sure to bring something that you can collect the tips in, that’s key. Here’s a secret though: Don’t be too pushy, it’s annoying. That means not shoving the bag in someone’s face or pleading for some money, but just leaving it there in front of you and mentioning it once in awhile. You will be respected. It shows character that you can perform and accept whatever gratification you receive when the act is over with. The tips will come, don’t worry, they will come.
8. Keep track of your experiences. Write down what works and what doesn’t. If you want to bring a notebook along and take notes on what others do to build a crowd and keep it then do so. The best thing about the street is it’s free to learn and with experience you’re bound to pick up on plenty of things that might help your act progress. If you want to change something, go for it and see if it works. If not, just try something new or go back to what you were doing. Life is a learning experience.
Good Luck Guys! #Pocketchangelifestyle