Friday, June 22, 2012

Meditating About Busking

I have made some sales with minor event photography, some weddings, and other miscellaneous sales. I have written around 20 songs, and my repertoire is closing in on 130 songs. But,  no business can last without clients who know who you are. No musician can survive without an audience. And, no travel and event photography business can last if the photographer never travels and there are no events to shoot.

I retired from my trucking career in November of 2009 for medical reasons. I did not retire from life. I have worked very hard to keep my mind, body and soul busy in the hopes of returning to the work force. Last week I took a trip to Las Vegas. For the people I went with it was a vacation. For me it was a fact finding tour.

In my retirement from a 35 year trucking career I have worked hard at two of my life’s passions. In August of 2010 I bought an acoustic/electric guitar to help me pass my retirement time. A short time later a teenager’s dream came back to me. Fresh out of high school I had played in a band in California. We played 4 gigs that I remember. The first 3 gigs went great. The 4th gig was the gig that musicians never want to have. But, sooner or later, they all have them. We sounded terrible. The culprit that caused the catastrophe would not admit to the fault. We split up. I went to Vietnam. So went a promising career as a rock star.

In the early summer of 2011 I purchased a good chunk of the professional grade photography equipment I need to work as a freelance photojournalist. And, I have spent much of the last year adding to a catalog of images that I had already built with non-professional grade equipment. I also have several blogs that I post to about photography, music, and other subjects. It is my desire to specialize in travel and event photography.

As mentioned, my trip to Las Vegas was a fact finding tour. I went there hoping to find that I am ready to hit the road as a busker, and that Las Vegas is where I needed to be. And, I was hoping to find that Las Vegas would be the perfect place to start a documentary project on the art of busking. Well, I am ready to hit the road as a busker. I am not positive that I want to do it in Las Vegas, but I still think it would not hurt to either start there get through there. I was not overly pleased with the sight of the “would be” buskers that are now working on The Strip. However, I realize that this is another sign of a bad economy. Although at least 90% of what I saw on The Strip that was trying to pass as professional buskers were actually street people who had found discarded costumes in the dumpsters behind the casinos. There was very little talent exposed unless those street people were actually professional actors that were being paid to make the tourist nervous enough to leave town.

Overall, my plans have not changed. I still hope to busk, but I am considering starting a band to play local gigs in western Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle. I have to think more about busking in Las Vegas, at least at this time. I still want to use my busking and my photography to travel, busk and photograph. Let’s just say that I am spending some time to figure out a good project that I can get crowd funding that will help me complete the project while I travel, busk and do photography. And, it will probably include doing documentary work on the busking profession.

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