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Permanent LinkDec 8, 2009 
:hole: We've all found ourselves at one point or another staring in fascination at a busking mime or a talented street musician.
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In recent years, busking, the term for performing in public places usually for money from the crowd, has grown into an organized art form complete with professional networks, associations and showcase festivals around the world.

Here in the United States, cities such as Miami, San Francisco, New York and New Orleans have become known for their thriving busking scenes.

Take Maria for instance. A longtime busker in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Maria acts as a human statue, completely still, covered in metallic gold paint and dressed in a matching antique wedding gown. While one may think Maria, often referred to as the Jilted Bride, just stands there doing nothing, her motionless presence adds to the French Quarter's rich culture of colorful street performers.

Just down the road, Big Mama, outfitted in a dress and veil, bangs out honky tonk tunes on her electric keyboard. And then there is a Royal Street blues musician known as Grandpa. The harmonicist and singer, blind in one eye and donning a bushy Santa-like beard, is a landmark attraction and integral part of the city's music and cultural scene.

San Francisco is a city of stiff competition when it comes to busking, but there is one performer in particular who stands out among the crowd. Meet Gregory Pike and his animal companions, Mousey, Kitty and Booger. Pike has expertly trained Mousey the rat to stand on top of Kitty the cat who then stands on top of Booger the dog. Check out Pike's official Website to see this one-of-a-kind act for yourself.

Mason Davis, a daring contortionist and former circus performer, takes his act to the streets of Venice Beach. Known professionally as Masonious Max, he can squeeze his upper body through a toilet seat and retrieve items from a loaded bear trap using his teeth.

If you're headed to the Big Apple this holiday season, be on the lookout for the Xylopholks, a traveling troupe of musicians dressed in furry animal costumes. The Xylopholks have recently received a permit to play legally, so they'll surely be showing up for more unofficial gigs in subway stations around the city. If you see a pink gorilla playing the bass or Cookie Monster on the xylophone, you'll know you've found them. In the meantime, check out this interview with the band.

For more busking at its best, don't miss New Zealand's upcoming World Buskers Festival featuring 450 amazing live shows.

www.DigitalCity.com


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