I went down to Pike Place Market yesterday to busk. Rode in with the Fallen Angel and got there before 9 am. I peeked at the Post Alley spot and there was nobody there, but I didn't want to either play that early in that spot nor leave my stuff unattended. So I headed for the Starbuck's spot.
I get there and Breeze tells me it's booked up until 1 pm... unless I want to take the 9 am spot. Nobody wants that spot, sez he, because you can't make any money.
Let me tell you kids, Friday sucked rocks in vacuum. Possibly one of the lowest days I've had in some time. I figured, hell, if I can make lunch money on the 9 o'clock set, I can do two more for "take home pay" and still be happy. So I sat down and did it.
I made just shy of $20 for my hour. I'm talking a few dimes shy. Mind you, it would have been about half that if it weren't for the fact that someone dropped a ten. But that ten was in there, freely given. Big raspberries were blown at those who said money could not be made.
Yes, I'm evil that way.
But that isn't the personal best I'm talking about.
I proceeded over to the Post Alley spot and got in line for 11 am. I played that set -- it was so-so, not bad by any means, but nothin' to write home to mom about neither -- and got back in line for the 2 pm set.
I made just over $20 that set. And the best part?
I knew what I'd made in the first two sets and had a reasonable idea of what was in my tip bucket at the end of the third set. I figured I was just a bit short of $50. A juggler was next in line after me so I moved my stuff off to one side and packed up there. I got the uke packed and was pulling the money out of the tip bucket when this couple walked up to me and said, "Hey, we owe you. We were on the restaurant patio above here and really enjoyed your music." And they handed me a fin.
That makes three sets where I'd gotten a handful of change, a number of singles, a ten and 3 fives. I knew what that last five did for my total.
See, I've made more money busking (and in less time for that matter) but, up until yesterday, I'd never made more than $50 for a day of nothing but solo ukulele playing. I've only been coming out with nothing but uke for a few years now (out of 25 years busking).
It may not seem like a lot to you all, but it was proof to me that I haven't been wasting my time. I've been getting better and the take shows it.
I can hardly wait 'til this stinking weather clears and the full-on summer tourist season hits. And it looks (knock wood) like I might have a chance of getting a CD done before then. Having a CD greatly increases your day. Just watch my smoke.