The knack How to busk

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Indy Lifestyle Online
"Find a busy spot with lots of `people traffic', making sure you're not in anybody's way - a nice disused shopfront will do. Put out something to collect money - an old hat, guitar case, a dog on a blanket - and put a few coins in yourself, including at least one pounds 1 coin to encourage likewise donations. That way, people won't think you're so awful that no one's given you anything. But don't put too much in or people might get the impression that you don't really need any more. Now all you need to do is to get people's attention. If you use your best song/trick/joke first, make sure you can follow it up - punters lose interest very quickly. Musicians - it's probably best to stick to popular, well-known pop songs which people will recognise instantly. Otherwise, invest in an unusual ethnic instrument

It's almost certain that at some point you will encounter the forces of law and order. In some places the police have a code of conduct to which you can sign up, others might ask you nicely to `move along now please', while others will confiscate your guitar/juggling clubs/exploding pram gimmick, and arrest you on the spot. Either way, smile and be polite - it can get you a long way. Finally, remember that busking is about entertainment. That's why buskers are not beggars. People want to laugh, admire, be shocked or amazed. It's all about enjoying yourself - if you're not having a good time, then why should anyone else?" Interview by Fiona McClymont

Jason Woodward's speciality is fire breathing. His favourite pitch is in Pamplona during the San Fermin Festival