All entries for Sunday 03 June 2007

June 03, 2007

Street performers

Wasn’t doing anything yesterday afternoon so headed down to chill on the South Bank for a bit since the weather was good. Full of tourists as ever. Lots of street performers. I stopped over to watch a couple of shows. Typically, they all mention money before they start their act. Typically, everyone laughs. Typically, they re-iterate that they are really serious, this is their full-time job and so they expect the public to pay. Typically, everyone laughs again. And then when the act is over, everyone leaves. Mostly without paying.

I’m not gonna have a rant at the public – after all I didn’t pay either, but this is not an uncommon occurrence on the streets of London. Which must say something about the level of demand or street performers. Which begs me to question, what keeps them in business? Surely over an extended time period, there would be little incentive for them to retun and perform their acts again, as the public is repeatedly unwilling to pay for it. So what funds them?

Of course, they are all passionate artists and enjoy doing what they do, so there is more to it from their perspective than putting bread on the table. They like to entertain. But in that case why kid the public. If they are not truly desperate for tourist donations to make their living, why try and scrounge a few scraps of change off an unsuspecting victim, when in the grand scale of things what little they do rake in actually makes a very small difference.


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