I like to play a guitar sometimes right in front of that closed-down bank on Main St.
One day I recieved a very nice verbal compliment from one of the sweet ladies from the nearby shops. I replied that I was trying to give back some of what I was feeling in terms of friendliness and affection. Something like that. I wonder if she thought I was being disengenuous? After all, it wasn’t as though my guitar case wasn’t open and ready to accept cash encouragement.
But to be transparent, I never think about money here because I get so much positive vibe-energy from passers-by. So, then we’re talking about pay vs. compensation. I’m well over-compensated, by any measure, for my time.
If I’m out there for 30 minutes, maybe a hundred folks will stroll or saunter or sashay by. I’d guesstimate a 60-40 split in favor of the gals (Ventura!). Or maybe I’m just out there on the right days and nights.
Of the 60 lovely lasses, I really think I’m collecting nearly 40 smiles. Which is a good number because many are with boyfriends, and some of them have to make the effort to turn around after they pass. Kind of a secret smile.
And some of them will break out a little dance move, which is a towering homerun in any busking book.
Of the 40 guys, I’ll get 15 nods/smiles, 6 looks of disgust/confusion/dismay, 18 no reactions, and one “free bird!” Also, 80% of the cash, as it should be.
Ventura is challenging because there are so many musicians all over the place, as well as other elite listeners. Luckily, I don’t have the chops to impress those folks, so I don’t feel any pressure to try.
And, it should be noted, the V.C. unhoused population has a ridiculously high level of savant/prodigy types, as well as ‘old musical souls’ by the score. They seem to like what I’m doing pretty well, and that’s more than enough attaboys, from boys, for me.
Besides, the stuff I feel like playing when I’m in Ventura is anything but aggressive. It’s kind of light blue jazz, and the guys seem…less than impressed at times. I get it. Like Kenny G, maybe, if I was a world-class musician like he is.
But…here’s the thing about K.G. : women LOVE his music.
So I’m cool with all that.