A Little Help From My Friends

I don’t have “work colleagues” as such. I’m self employed and in many ways that means spending a lot of time on my own. You learn to get used to, and even enjoy, your own company when you work for yourself.

I quite like that I don’t have to make Monday morning small talk about how my weekend was, but I crave company sometimes and wish I had a water cooler to gossip next to!

Sometimes I wander over to the local coffee shop without a single desire for coffee, but in the hope of seeing a familiar face. In fact, the baristas there are some of favourite people, they bring up my mood and my energy levels more than the coffee itself. (But the coffee does help, thanks Beany Greens!)

Of corse there are the buskers themselves, my sort of “co-workers”. I am ashamed to admit that when I first started out I saw all other buskers, performers, singers, songwriters and often women as little more than competition. It’s an exhausting way of looking at the world, let me tell you! I’ve since realised that it’s a lot more fun, productive and reasonable to see all other buskers, performers, singers, songwriters and most of all women as allies, as friends. Nobody will understand your day to day life better than somebody else doing it, and celebrating each other’s successes together makes for such a positive environment which can only lead to more success all round.

There is so much great busking talent emerging in London right now and to be part of that community is an honour.

Healthy competition is great, but talented and inspiring friends are better.

Here are a few of my favourites, I hope you enjoy them!

Belle & The Busker
Sherika Sherard
Lucy May Walker
Karina Ramage
Emily Lee
John Clapper
Lewis Fieldhouse
Martha Paton
Simeon Turtle
Charlie Law

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Peak Season

 

Being a busker has more structure and routine than you might expect.

When you start doing it full time you start treating it like a full time job and your hours become regular, your schedule follows a pattern and your days become surprisingly predictable.

This is truer than ever during peak season; summer. Like any job, there are busy periods and quiet periods and then, of corse, there’s Christmas…But for me, the summer is my busiest time and my busking schedule is non stop. Make hay while the sun shines, as they say.

Over the years, I’ve started to be overcome with a feeling of dread as the warm weather approaches. Probably similar to the feeling in the pit of your stomach on Sunday night, when you know Monday is inevitably upon you. I’ve been lucky not to experience that end-of-the-weekend-blues since school, but I do experience it when the summer holidays are near.

Of corse I love the warm weather, finally I can busk without fingerless gloves and three pairs of socks on! And all the people, children especially! The big crowds and the thrill of entertaining, that’s why I got into this business. But summer is exhausting and wracks me with guilt.

Summer is my messy bedroom, crawling into bed and back out of it is all I have time for. Summer my is my sticky sun creamed skin.
Summer is pretty backless dresses.
Summer is my sunburnt shoulders.
Summer is the Southbank’s peaceful atmosphere suddenly shaken up by school holidays.
Summer is people everywhere.
Summer is someone always sitting in my favourite shady spot.
Summer is queueing for hours behind buskers who didn’t seem so keen to be a street performer back in February…
Summer is taking a day off and kicking myself that I’m slacking.
Summer is BBQ invitations that I have to turn down.

Summer is long, beautiful days where I fall in and out of love with my job from one hour to the next. Summer is exhausting and I spend most of it wishing it would end. Until the days start to grow shorter and the leaves start to fall off the trees and the cold sets in and I wish it would be summer all over again.