Passing the Hat
Busker Central

Today we look at 'passing the hat'. It is an expression that street performers use to describe the act of going around with a hat and collecting money.

Most people who watch a street show know that the performer will be collecting money at the end of the show. They expect it. But you still have to tell them that you want money. That is where your hat line comes into the picture.

Here's a tip. Always deliver your hat lines BEFORE you do your finale.

People will stick around and listen to your hat lines just to see your finale. They want to see the grandest part of the show. However, if you say your hat lines after your finale, people are going to walk off. There is nothing to keep them there and generally, most people do not like giving away money.

So deliver your hat lines, do your finale, say a quick thank you...get the hat and start collecting the money. Be fast...but don't look desperate!

In my book, 'Street Performer', I have provided quite a few hat lines that are witty and yet get the message across that you want money and that they have to donate! A good hat line makes all the difference when it comes to collecting money.

I wish you all the best.

Shawn Leban

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Street performing at Busker Central