Really desperate for money because rent is due tomorrow, so I’ve been playing down on the walkway at W 4th Street Station. It’s pretty lucrative there even though it’s as hot as the moist breath of Hades. Today was pride so there were lots of fun people to look at. My throat hurts.
The literal worst. I watched a young woman (honestly, it’s a little generous to call her a woman and not a girl) with a big pregnant belly walk by with her boyfriend’s hand in one hand and a cigarette in the other. It’s been a while since I wanted to slap someone in the face, but I noticed I had the urge a few times today.
All these people coming out from the boonies of North Carolina don’t understand busking. Speed Street is just the worst, although I can’t complain about the free food.
On the bright side, my neighbors have a rooster and he is adorable.
I am taking care of tiny baby kittens while in Charlotte so I haven’t found the motivation to write about the last three days of busking (who can focus on writing about busking when there are babies to play with??) I’ll post a video if you want.
I tried a couple of new places in the last few days, with varying degrees of success. Charlotte has this thing called “Mec Dec” which stands for Mecklenburg Declaration, as in Mecklenburg County’s Declaration of Independence, which is the extent to which I know about that. That day it was rainy and so I tried to make a few bucks with not a great amount of success. I did, however, meet a rock singer from Bangladesh.
I don’t know why I even bother paying for parking, because I have never gotten a parking ticket in Charlotte. I must just be lucky. I mean, I am really lucky. I was planning on having to walk 2.7 miles each way downtown every day while I was in Charlotte, and then my stepmom’s two friends told me they needed someone to take care of their adorable kittens for the next few days and let me use their car! They are paying me to do something I would pay to do! Additionally, I got an extra few days in Charlotte because one of my friends called me last night in the middle of the night saying she was here! It was last minute because I was supposed to leave this morning, but I was already clinging to the idea of Charlotte when I was resigning to going back to Chapel Hill.
The worse thing on planet Earth is about to come to Charlotte: Speed Street. It’s nearly impossible to find a parking spot right now and we’re about to be bombarded by rednecks. This time, however, I’m still going to attempt to busk since I’ll be here until Saturday. Last year I tried one spot and it was too loud so I gave up, but I think this time around I will try a few spots.
It feels nice to insert a little music into the lives of the commuters of downtown Charlotte, many of whom I imagine find themselves in a strained, mundane state of being. Not all, but certainly some. I always imagine myself into the heads of passersby, wondering what they are feeling and thinking. Wondering what they are feeling guilty about, to whom, if anyone, they are returning home, what makes them smile and scowl.
I didn’t keep good count but I think I made around $120 to $140 in the last couple of days. I’ll post a cute video of the baybeez soon.
I’m so exhausted! It’s 2.7 miles to where I busk and 2.7 home, and nobody is in town so I walked both ways with a guitar on my back. I’m ready for an endless nap. It started raining after about an hour but I made $46 so that’s good. I did have to walk home in the rain for a little while, which was unpleasant, but not too bad.
Kimberly the hot dog seller has a brother who is probably around 40. He is mentally challenged but a very sweet man, and when he saw me today he gave me a big hug. He told me had a job yesterday and he was supposed to be meeting the guy here to get paid, but the man was running late. He told me that he had worked thirteen hours yesterday and that the man was going to pay him $50. Who would ever try to take advantage of someone like that? The greed in this world is despicable. I reminded him that if the guy tried to screw him over, Kimberly would put him in his place. He agreed.
There weren’t many people downtown today since it was cloudy, but people were walking at a more leisurely pace, not to mention they were all feeling a bit more generous on the weekend. I met someone today who buys and trades guitars, who told me my guitar was very unique and beautiful. I agreed. He is bringing me a new set of strings on Monday since I told him I didn’t have a car.
I am happy to be in my hometown but I wish I had a car so I could go somewhere. Even just a drive would be nice. None of my friends are here.
Back in Charlotte and busking again! I missed it. Brings back feelings I haven’t had in awhile. Namely, I reclaim the ability to trust anyone I see. Being a busker gives you the opportunity to not suspect everyone around you for fear for your safety. As a small woman it has been metaphorically beaten into me that I should be wary of everyone around me. And of course, more likely than not I have been led out of harms way by this attitude. However, with a guitar on my back or around my shoulder I feel inclined to smile at everyone. I feel a sense of openness that I find difficult to obtain in any other context.
Despite its extreme inconsistencies, there are still some generalities I have picked up on from doing it for so long. I always sound worse in the first hour, and I always make less money in the first hour. I have to remind myself to keep a positive attitude because if I just enjoy myself and enjoy the company of the passersby, the money will come naturally. Believe it or not.
Today I made $80 and bought a diet coke from the nearby hot dog seller (Kimberly) because I want her to know I support her business (and to try to make up for her poor ears listening to my obnoxious voice for so many hours a week), and then an almond tea cake from the bakery across the street.
It’s supposed to rain tomorrow. We’ll see.
I played for about two hours underneath the arch in Washington Square Park, but spent a lot of it just hanging out and talking. I missed New York! I ended up meeting and making friends with a girl from France and seeing someone again who I met last time I was here! A group of very talented people set up their PA system towards the end of my set and we played a couple of songs together before I passed over the baton. It was a really fun night. And today is my birthday!
Gross earnings for the day: $79
Gross earnings so far: $2561