This is one things that circling around my head, looking at those talented street performer during my trip in Europe. In Indonesia, being street performer means being the second class or even the third class in the society. They are consider as the fail one. The “normal” people would work in the office, behind the desk, earn monthly salary. While street performer are “beggar” make a living from others charity. I guess in Europe it would be different. I believe European society treat them better, more than just a beggar, but still…… not “normal”. I guess most people thinks that performance belongs to the stage. When the performer can not make it to the stage, they better drop it, and start to work something “normal”, such as bank clerk or something like that.
OK, let’s talk about street musician. Unlike what is commonly we have here in Indonesia -called as pengamen– the street musician in europe really are talented. May be for a master, they just play average, but for average passer by like me, they surely talented. The most important is, they are entertaining! So, while walking down the old town, we could heard some good live music in between the buildings, isn’t it great??
Meanwhile, most of pengamen in Indonesia sing badly, sometimes they are so bad to be called as music. No proper instrument, no proper song, nothing to be called as performer. They are more like beggar to me. Some of them really could hit some tune, but they would sing just 1 bar, ask some money and go. That’s not really entertaining, guys……. Sometimes they sang 1 full song, but the lyrics is not entertaining. It is either dirty song about young divorced lady hungry for love, or provoking song about poor people VS rich people. Nice……
In indonesia, street performer is just a bit more than beggar. They are definitely not a musician. They have no pride to be a musician.
So…… when a musician or group of musician really are talented, why are they on the street? I’ve never really talk to them, they were busy playing music when i met them, hahaha. But i guess… it is pretty obvious. There are many people are talented in music, but… the industry only took a few of them. It is not just about talent here, it is also about opportunity, luck, and perhaps choice. Not all talented musician could have a spotlight, and earn popularity. Every year, thousand of thousand talented performer joining the line to the star search show, of course most of them got rejected. We know, some of them are street musician, like Klantink in Indonesia. Even though they got lucky to enter the competition and won, still there are no guarantee for an easy life. Lots of them end up as one hit wonder, and disappear as the new performer took over their spotlight.
I think, this is why there are lots of good performer end up on the street. When their passion is music, and there a no proper stage for them to perform, why not embrace the street as stage? Most of talented musician who are not make it to the industry, end up taking regular job, and visit their music interest occasionally as hobby. But….. some are not. Some are decided to play music professionally several hours per day, on the street.
This is not just about musician. There are many kind of performer embrace street as their stage. I saw good couple of acrobat performer on red light in Brussels. They perform during the red light, entertain the driver while waiting for the light. A few moments before the light turn green, they would bow, and “picked up” their “payment” from the cars windows. To me, they works professionally as acrobat performers, just the same with the acrobat performers in cirque du soleil, or those who works in Las Vegas theater.
Again, those circus people could have just work behind the desk, of counter, just like “normal” people, but they choose to follow their (again) passion. Works professionally as acrobat performer, no matter what kind of stage they got.
So, passion, is it blessing or curse?