Street performers, or buskers, work outside to bring entertainment to a public audience. Many times this audience consists of people passing by or visiting a venue. As a street performer, you might sing, dance, play an instrument, mime or perform magic tricks. Your success depends upon your perseverance, talent, ingenuity, location, and a little bit of luck.
Street performers do not get a salary. They usually work for themselves and receive tips and gratuities for a job well done. Their wages aren't generally documented, but some successful street performers have shared their pay details. The Bushman, a popular street performer in San Francisco, made approximately $60,000 in 2013. A popular impersonator on the Las Vegas Strip states he makes up to $400 a night impersonating KISS legend Gene Simmons while a "Star Wars" styled Storm Trooper claims he can rake in as much as $800.
Tips To Get Tips
To ensure the best tips and gratuity, scout different locations to figure out where and when you will see optimal foot traffic. Consider looking at subways, parks or busy retail environments such as shopping malls. The more creative you are, the more you will wow your audience. Check your local resources. Organizations that advocate for the legitimacy and preservation of street performing provide valuable information. For example, Street Arts and Busker's Advocates provide information on local venues in the Boston area. The Busking Project provides resources for street performers all over the world.
Street performing may not be legal in your city. Check with city ordinances to ensure you comply with the law. Some cities have a department or organization to which you apply. In New York, for example, you can contact Music Under New York and get more information. In Indianapolis, you contact the Arts Council Of Indianapolis.
- Inside Jobs: What Do Street Performers Do?
- The News Tribune: Street Performers To Make Debut In Indianapolis
- Street Arts and Buskers Advocates: Homepage
- City Lore: A Guide For Street Performers
- Oddity Central: The Bushman of San Francisco - Making A Living By Scaring People
- Living In Las Vegas: Guess How Much Street Performers on The Strip Earn
- Working Kind: Street Performer Pay: Some Earn Nickels , Others $30 An Hour
- The Busking Project: Homepage
- Photo Credit Phil Walter/Getty Images News/Getty Images