Hello, Pickers! I busked today down at the Pepper Place Farmers Market in Birmingham, Alabama, and had a great time.
I do a couple of things to ingratiate myself with the somewhat skittish powers-that-be (market operators and cops): First, I dress for the part. Today I appeared in a tuxedo shirt, white silk bow tie, red suspenders, corset around the right arm (okay, it was a hair scrunchie–but who wears corsets anymore?), dress pants, and shiny black shoes. Second, I played singalong songs that kids and parents will recognize and appreciate and which I actually can play, as opposed to stumbling my way through, say, Old Joe Clark or Ballad of Jed Clampett or such. Finally, I smile and nod, and when someone walks by with a dog, I break into a dog-friendly song like Doggie in the Window or Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?
I was asked at one point to move around the corner, and I did so smilingly and without complaining.
I played for four hours and got $54 in my case. Well, you can’t live on that, but the way I figure it, I got paid better than $12 an hour to practice today. The best part is the little kids about 2 or 3–they’re old enough to be interested and still un-self-conscious enough about themselves to jump around a little.
Fun! I got plenty of pictures taken of me, but as I was by myself today, I didn’t get any for myself. Next week my wife is going to come along, and she’ll take pics.