What is a Busker?
Busking and street performing is the art of street theatre. It is a style of performance unlike any other. A musician playing in the open air, tap dancers hoofing on a side walk. These are the images that first come to mind when you hear the term 'busker'. But the beauty of street theatre is that it can take on many guises. There are buskers who create temporary art on the pavement knowing it will be washed away or trampled after they are finished.
The word busker is slang from the root busk, "to seek to entertain by singing and dancing" probably from Spanish buscar, "to seek." Thusly, a busker seeks an appreciation of their artistic performance.
Busking and street performing is an art form that is created and predicated upon its direct relationship with it's audience. Unlike any other performance style, its primary source is the spontaneity and improvisation of the moment. These artists embrace a wide range of disciplines from the ubiquitous jugglers, dangerous magicians, happy comedians, hungry fire-eaters and higher acrobats to some of the most intriguing performance artists on earth. Highwire walkers, giant sculptural puppets, stilt troupes, visual installation artists, alternative musicians, trapeze aerialists, dramatic character artists, passionate dancers and interstellar mimes are just a few of the spectacles the public can witness.
Busking is a way of bringing the entertainment to the people. There is no form of theatre or art more diverse, more spontaneous or more accessible. Some performers start as buskers and move on to fame. Well known buskers include Penn & Teller, The Flying Karamotsov's, Patch Adams, Philip Petite, W. C. Fields, Marcel Marceau, Sinbad, and Jimmy Buffet. Some busk for the philosophical freedom it symbolizes. Most performers agree that there is nothing harder than busking but also that there is seldom anything more rewarding. Busking is a style of performance that is difficult to describe before it has been experienced. A play takes its shape in writing and rehearsals and then is shown to an audience complete, but street performing is a social event in which the spectators are often as active as the performers.
Good street performing draws its substance from the audience itself, reacting and improvising around the peculiarities of the group. No two performances are ever identical. Spontaneity and improvisation take precedence over perfection. Busking displays an eclectic array of talent outdoors using the sidewalks, the parks, plazas and the street as their stage.
Celebrate the art of street theatre through unadulterated comic, physical and outrageous performances, spanning from the superbly sublime to the totally ridiculous. Although there is no admission fee or tickets to sell out, with good street theatre, it is very definitely standing room only! Children are absolutely fascinated with buskers and the only cost is an appreciative contribution to the performers hat at the end of the show.