- On any given Wednesday-Friday night, you can find street performers, or buskers as they’re formally called working the streets of downtown Springfield to earn their keep for the day.
- “I come here every night about this time,” a red-headed Ed Sheeran look alike with a thick button up coat said.
- Some do it because it is their primary source of income, some are aspiring young performers waiting for a big break, and some just have a love for the performing art and this is one way to be heard.
- No talent is too small to bring to the table; there are guitar players outside of The Outland, three man bands in the middle of the square and baton twirlers on the corner of Finnegan’s.
Buskers: A Day In The Life
“I don’t make much but I am also homeless in Springfield. So, this is my main source of income,” a red-headed Ed Sheeran look alike with a thick button up coat said.
He’s a baton twirler and it’s about 9 p.m. on a 70 degree Wednesday night.
It’s not just him either; he is surrounded by a group of three more guys. They are all sitting on the stoop next to him, talking and watching him perform. One has a black eye and one is telling ill-sounding tales. They are all still filling in, seemingly as if they have been apart for days and are just now being reunited.
In contrast, if you travel to the Kansas City Plaza area, you will see a different breed of performers on the sidewalks.
One is an 11-year-old violin player, playing from sheet music as his dad stands idly behind. The bag in front of him has about 10 $1 bills in it.
“He does this for the practice,” his dad said while they were packing up. “The extra spending money for burning a hole in his pocket is just a bonus.”
He said they come for an hour on the weekends or when he has free time.
Down the street, a little way is a 6-foot African American man with dreadlocks and a Rastafarian colored knit hat, playing the alto saxophone. He was every bit a performer as the celebrities on T.V.
He didn’t have much in his bag from people passing by, but it was almost obvious that’s not what he was there for. Performing was clearly what he was put on this earth to do.
There is not one street performer who is the same as the next and maybe that is why they are not a dying breed. Each of them have something unique to offer and their confidence tells you everything you need to know about them.
The motivations for each performer are different; some are doing it to get by, to forget about the worry they will face of finding an adequate corner to sleep in once night falls. Some are aspiring, young performers hoping for a big break on the streets of Kansas City, and some have probably been doing it for years as the side hustle they have come to love.