This morning I jumped out of bed and rolled my harp down to the Alewife subway station to serenade the morning commuters and pass out flyers for my show this coming weekend.
Lately, I’ve been busking in Harvard Square, but since my goal is to promote my May 7th show in Arlington – and since most people in Cambridge think that Arlington is a foreign country and not just one town over — I decided I’d get my message to people who at least know where Arlington IS – and the Alewife T Station is right on the cusp of Arlington and Cambridge.
I had to roll my gear down the bike path for a ways and I almost stopped right on the path near Magnolia field – the morning was so glorious – but my goal was the cool carved wooden benches outside the subway station, so I kept going, and I set up near the benches and started playing.
My premise with this street performing is to have one-on-one contact with people, not to get big crowds. That means I stop playing and interact with people whenever I want, and don’t worry about ‘missing’ a crowd or a potential audience member – or anything. Just get to enjoy whoever I’m engaged with at that moment.
A lot of people simply want to avoid me, some eye my setup but completely miss any eye-contact with me, some smile and say “Good morning,” some say “Thank you” when I hand them the “World’s Smallest Posters” for my upcoming show, some say, “Hey! I heard you on the radio!” or “Wait a minute! Didn’t I see you on TV?” or ” I LOVE your shows!” And a few stop and clearly want to engage.
This morning it was two girls who rode up on bikes with their mother. The kids were not only fascinated with the harp, but the older one knew that the colors of the strings were significant, played a scale with no coaching, and had … what can I call it … “Good hand position!” Kind of like … well, kind of like she was born to play the harp. She then showed her little sister how to play a scale as her mom took this picture.
For me – a great way to start the day.