So, I’m sick with what we thought was mono, but, seems like is just a bad stupid cold that won’t go away. How inconvenient for traveling. At least the doctor gave me liquid codeine for the plane ride, which is a step up from the usual gravol/vodka combo I take for long flights (ha ha).
Thanks to the majesty of Air Canada, I ended up having an unexpected lay-over in LA, so I got a chance to check out the local scene there.
Now, I’ve performed in the states here and there, I’ve worked with many American buskers who are wonderful and talented people who have great shows! So, when I went down to the Hollywood strip to check out the street shows there, I was very surprised by the aggressive, angry and jerky folks down there.
I chatted with a dude dressed up as Barney (the dinosaur, folks, the DINOSAUR) who was fairly amiable until I dropped the wrong name, and eventually, when we worked out our opinion on the individiual, he resumed his amiable attitude (hey, I’m stretching it here) but, very skittish about the idea of me coming to work, which is fine. I understand competition and all that…but…really? Buddy even refused to give me his name. Now, I’m used to people giving me sass since I’m a chick, and it’s still pretty rare for chicks to work the hard street, but, honestly, maybe I’m spoiled, or maybe I’m in a different class (I suppose I am since I was en route to a festival in Singapore) but holy hell the rudeness from this jackass was beyond. He ended up giving me the brush-off so he could return to work, which was fine, I got what I wanted from him.
After watching several performers, it dawned on me that Hollywood blvd. is very similar to Toronto’s Yonge and Dundas Square, except, we all (the buskers that is) take care of each other and are respectful of each other. The folks in Hollywood are desperate jerks, to be frank. Which makes sense because, with the exception of a couple people, the acts sucked. Hard. It’s a shame to work in an environment where it’s dog-eat-dog. While traveling abroad, I have experienced and encountered that type of work environment, but, it just made me sad. At one point, I thought of coming back with my gear and starting a war, but then I thought…what’s the point? I’m too old, I’m not hungry enough anymore. I realized that it may seem like a luxury to be nice to performers passing through, it may be because I’m not desperate or hungry anymore that I can afford myself the time away from the pitch for someone else.
But no. Most places I’ve been have been warm environments (well.. until I start making more money than the average performer on that pitch), that have had positivity and support among the buskers. Even when performers are poor and hungry, they aren’t assholes. You don’t have to be an asshole to other people.
So.. Hollywood Blvd. Shitty buskers with shitty attitudes. It’s a shame, really, because it doesn’t have to be that way.