Juggling Pennies

He stands straight 

and juggles anything.

Bending over to place a hat,

leaning over to pick it up.

Look at the brim

it’s bent and withered.

Look at the feather

it’s nothing but a spine.

Look at the top hat 

flipped on it’s head.

Forgetting its purpose and pleading.

Silently though.

With open arms, interlocking at the finger tips 

as a cylinder.

Acting as a collector, an advertiser, a sign

reading: ”Throw away some change.”

I’m a juggler, I’ll juggle anything, anything I can.

The shoes on your feet and his, 

some sausages from the stand, 

pennies from this top hat.

Five pennies from this top hat?

No? Seven pennies from this top hat?

More? Ten pennies from this top hat?

He does it with ease.

They ask who he is,

he’s the guy juggling pennies 

on the street.


Here’s How You Do It

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

Once (2006)

Directed by John Carney.

There’s something about a creative love story that gets me every time.  Don’t get me wrong some of the cliche’ ones have their ups and downs, but this one filled up a previously vacant part of my heart.  First you’ve got this unnamed guy and this unnamed girl.  I think the decision to not disclose the names gives each of the characters an even more underground, fly on the wall kind of sense.  Anyways, the guy is a guitarist/singer-songwriter in Dublin who fixes vacuum cleaners by day and plays for money on the Dublin streets by night.  On the other hand you’ve got this girl who does all of these odd jobs by day while also taking care of her mother and sister, but finds occasional time to mess around with the piano.  Of course their paths cross, thank god, because they end up making beautiful, soul-touching music.  The guy wants to make it in London, but needs to put together a demo disc that will catch the higher-ups ears and land him a music contract somewhere.  As they work on creating beautiful music, they discover love in the craziest place, their songs.  

Now I know that not every street performer’s story isn’t like this one, but what I find intriguing about it is that they both started on the streets and made it somewhere.  That’s the whole point of becoming a part of street theatre, isn’t it?.  You trade hours and hours of hard work for your spot beside on the sidewalk, entertaining the passerby.  Most do it because they love it, some are in it to get noticed and some just need a few extra bucks for some drinks.  Hansard had a vision and that was of being able to play music in London at recording studio, and this film was about how he get there, with a little help from his love interest.  

This film could have been made with another street talent like juggling or magic and still would’ve been awesome.  Maybe I’ll have to write a screenplay about a performer with a really obscure hobby, turned talent, who wants to make it to the circus.  I hope you guys would watch that for me, it’d mean a lot.  But all in all, this is one of my favorites and if you’re into street performing, or at least give it a thought, give this film a watch.  Also, give Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova a listen because it’s an absolutely beautiful song!


emachtblog: Newest Video has dropped! Well I just want to thank…


Newest Video has dropped! Well I just want to thank Margo for coming with me! Anyway if you’re bored on the weekends , or instead of drinking go do this! Find street performers because honestly it’s really cool and fun to watch! I personally went to a lot of places in New York just to find these guys! Well please reblog , or subscribe to me on youtube!

Walking around a city like New York is something amazing, it’s cultivating.  I know there’s some makeshift cities out there trying to do what the Big Apple does but the recognition never dies down.  This videos an awesome taste of what’s in the melting pot of New York City.  The city never sleeps and neither do the streets.  Whether it’s beautiful vibes echoing off the concrete floor or the sound of strangers hands meeting for a clap, the city is music to my ears.  You never know what you’ll see next.  That’s what brings you back. #pocketchangelifestyle

Spring Theater Showcase 2013

     I’m from upstate New York, sandwiched in a suburb between the capital and the back country.  Before I shipped off to Boston to start my college life, the only city I really knew much about was Albany and I didn’t realize how naive I was until I made my way out.

    Walking along Lark Street a few days into my freshman year Spring Break, it finally hit me what Albany was missing.  The sidewalks were bare.  Besides for the usual walkers and bikers along the side of the road, there was barely anything going on.  Nothing out of the ordinary at least.  But for a city striving to be known as a contemporary, urban, hip place to visit or live, they were missing a key aspect of the street life: Street Theater.  

     Big cities rely on their entertainment.  It’s what keeps people like you and I coming back.  Downtown, Boston is doing it right.  You show up to walk around the city for a day trip or whatever and you’ll be entertained without ever walking into a store.  You can easily trade twenty dollars for five different street performances and a memory or two.  There’s every act you can think of and probably many that you wouldn’t imagine in a million years.  Some will have you wondering why they’re still playing on the streets with their talents and others will leave you trying to figure out how they do what they do.  If there’s one place in Boston you could call the breeding ground for street theatre, it would be the Faneuil Hall Marketplace.  Many successful performers mention Faneuil Hall to be their claim to fame and the main reason their names got out and stayed out. 

     Peter Faneuil built the Hall as a gift to the city and over time its been transcended into an unparalleled meeting place for not only Bostonians, but also the world outside of New England.  Faneuil’s been know as “the Cradle of Liberty” for encouraging independence from Britain and now its become the home of independent street performers.  What better place to take your hidden talents than to the birth place of freedom and independence.  Seven days a week hundreds of performers make themselves at home in the areas surrounding Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, looking to make a couple bucks off “free” entertainment.  One weekend throughout the spring season stands out from the others, though, and that’s the Spring Theater Showcase. 

      STS13 or Spring Theater Showcase 2013, brings the best names in the business together on one stage for eight hours of non-stop streets acts, two days in a row.  The weekend of April 13-14th, Street performers will set up shop around Faneuil Hall and do their thing from 11am-7pm.  The line-up has enormous depth year in and year out, staking to become a household name for east coast street theater showcases.  This year Faneuil invited acts ranging from a contortionist to a crazy talented pogo guy, with whole bunch of talent thrown in the middle.

     Faneuil Hall placed a video on their website so visitors had a chance to get to know the performers before hand.  Of the many big names, some headliners are AlKazam( Contortionist), The Real McCoy (Comedy group) and Kilted Colin with his unicycle, bagpipe and juggling skills.  One of the performers who always brings me back for more is Wacky Chad whose got a whole bunch of acts up his sleeve but is mainly known for his extreme pogo stick talent.  The guy moves as swiftly with a pogo stick as the average person can with their own two feet.  This weekend is a very rare opportunity to see all of this street talent in one place and for free. 

    Viewers aren’t required to leave tips or feel like they have to empty their pockets to support the performers.  How you reflect their entertainment is completely up to you and the showcase is just an opportunity to bring entertainers together in a place where it’s easy for attendee’s to get their fair dosage of raw talent.  

     Faneuil Hall has a world renowned street theater program that has captivated audiences year after year.  By bringing the most popular acts together for this two-day event, passers-by are guaranteed to catch a glimpse of something they have never seen before or hear something they would love to hear again.  For a place that was once home to thousands of merchants struggling to make a living in the costal city, it’s not much different hundreds of years later.  This event is a perfect example of what Boston is all about.  By bringing all of these talents together, Faneuil Hall and the city of Boston is providing these performers with the gift of doing what they live for in front of thousands of captivated people.  

     Another awesome thing about the area surrounding the Hall and Market is that you don’t just have to be entertained by the acts, but you can take a break to stroll up and down the pedestrian cobblestone walkways, grab a bite to eat in the world famous Quincy Market, get yourself some new clothes or wander to the water and explore the rich history of downtown Boston.  You can guarantee I’ll be down there getting my fair share of bacon-wrapped scallops and street theater.  You could even take some time out and approach a performer.  

     Faneuil Hall’s all about having a good time so if you show up for this showcase make sure you take advantage of all that’s being offered.  Treat yourself and spend a little more than you should.  Maybe make a performer’s day and leave a little appreciation in their hat.  Spring’s all about new life and accepting the ability to be outside again, so make a day out of it and appreciate what Downtown Boston has to offer. 

– Max