Thursday, November 02, 2006

Performers at stations

Especially along the downtown SF exits, there are always performers inside the station, by the exit elevators. Whether it's a string quartet, gospel singer, saxaphone, harp, barbershop singers, mariachi or Chinese instrument, you always expect some form of entertainment when you exit one of the downtown stations.

I always wonder though, if they take a spot on a first come first serve basis. It seems like there is a different one each day of the week, but on a given Friday, or a Tuesday, you see the same performer.How do they work out the schedule, if there is one? Or is it truly just first come, first serve.

I also wonder how much they make? I think the good ones do pretty well! I've seen the same gospel singer many times and he is really good! I always give him a buck, and see many others open up their wallets. The mariachi guitarist is not very good at all. The mariachi guitarist is not very good- he cannot sing in tune- it might just be better if he sticks with guitar! His guitar case is always near empty, with a couple coins, and I've yet to see someone give him money.

What I don't understand is why a string quartet would sit inside the station to perform? Is it to practice? They can easily get at least $500 for playing an hour at a wedding. Do they need the spare change that badly for all 4 of them to get out there with a cello case open?

Well, for whatever reason, I think it's good that they're out there, making a few bucks, with their musical talent!


Anonymous said...

try being the Station Agent and have to hear the same crap over and over again!

bartmusings said...

Yeah, that must get old pretty fast, especially with the not so pleasant performers.

Josh said...

I enjoy the string quartet, that is the only group of performers I will actually take a 5 minute delay getting to work to stop and listen to for awhile. I always give them a buck or two for their performance.

With whatever meager ammount they earn, I have a feeling they enjoy their work a lot more than many of the grim faces I see everyday day on the train.

bartmusings said...

I agree with you- the string quartet is good. They definitely brighten up my morning. The gospel singer is good too. They perform with a lot of passion!

Anonymous said...

in the UK Busking is illegal in stations, as it should be here.

Anonymous said...

performing in public venues is a good way to make contacts for private gigs. Do these folks have a stack of business cards in addition to the open instrument case? They should.