Monday, July 07, 2008

Easy money

Erin is about to head out to Edmonton and Montreal for three weeks. Wanting to pad out her credit card account with a bit more spending money, she decided to head down to the Friday Market in town with her violin. When she got there it was very busy. She hedged for a while, browsing the stalls, then cowering in a corner wondering whether she'd work up the nerve to play. She's fine playing on stage, but in that case she's doing something everyone expects. To take people by surprise, that required a bit more courage. She wished she'd brought a sibling for company.

Finally she got her violin out and squatted on the grass beside her case. She was still not quite sure she would play. "It's just the first note I can't play," she moaned. They early rush on the market had already begun to clear out a little. Finally three young children came and stood right in front of her, staring at her violin expectantly. That was the push she needed: she took the leap. And of course, after the first note it was easy.

She played for almost an hour -- Eccles, Mozart, Bach, more Bach, Veracini, Handel and more Bach. There was sixty-four bucks in her case when she finished. Easy money. She probably wishes she hadn't waited to start the Friday Market gig until a few days before she's due to leave. Next week her siblings are keen to open their cases up in her stead.


  1. Interestingly, when I was having a casual conversation with my son's violin teacher one day and then was talking about working while studying. I was surprised to learn that he'd never worked before. He said if he needed money back when he was schooling, he'd just take his violin out and play on the street. I forgot to ask if he did that in China (where he's from) or when he was studying in the USA. *haha*.

  2. Good for Erin! I can appreciate that it's difficult to get started. Megan busked one Saturday recently on the Royal Mile, the busiest tourist spot in the city. Pretty scary. We had to find a pitch away from the ever-present bagpipes. (Pipes and violins don't really mix). The busking that day was for charity, and having got over the first note syndrome and had fun, there are plans for a return for...personal use.

  3. Good for her! And how delightful for everyone passing by and stopping :). Safe and happy travels to her in Edmonton and Montreal...


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