How To Get A Job As A Street Performer


A blog about getting a job as a street performer.

A lot of people want to be successful street performers, but don’t know where to start. They see the crowds, but don’t know how to get them. I can help you with that.

I’m John Mallory, an experienced street performer and entertainer from Key West, Florida – “the island that fun forgot.” I’m retired now, but I still remember everything I learned during my years on the street. It was hard work, but I got by. Nowadays things are easier – there are more venues and they’re more open to performers than they used to be. Still, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

If you think you have what it takes to be a street performer, this blog is for you.

Here’s how to get a job as a street performer.

First, you have to be in the right place at the right time. This is harder than it sounds. Mallory Square in Key West is a great place for street performers because it has so many tourists. It probably makes sense to start there (though if you’re already in Key West, you can skip this step).

Before you leave home, make sure your act is ready. Your act can be anything: juggling, stiltwalking, unicycling, fire-eating, playing the guitar while lying on your back with your feet up in the air–anything that will amuse people who are strolling around looking for entertainment. Ideally something that takes no more than ten seconds to set up. A great act like this requires years of practice (e.g., juggling flaming torches), but even if you’re just starting out, you should be able to do something that will entertain people for fifteen minutes or half an hour–enough to collect a few tips from your audience, which will be enough to fund the rest of your trip around Key West and maybe even buy you a drink or two at Sloppy Joe’s Bar.

If you come from California, find someone to drive across country with you and

The first thing you need to know is that the title of this blog is a lie. I have never been a street performer, at least not in the sense that I knew what I was doing and was good at it. My first, and so far only, job as a street performer was when I was in Key West, Florida for the day with my family. The plan was to watch the sunset at Mallory Square, where there were dozens of street performers.

However, before the sun went down we decided to eat dinner at this place called Hard Rock Cafe. It was a little on the expensive side for us but since we were on vacation we splurged anyway. When we got there and sat down, our waitress told us that if we wanted anything from the menu we had to get it now because they were closing in ten minutes. We all got something and then when we were waiting for our food my dad had an idea. He said “Hey kids! Why don’t you go over to that stage right there and perform!” The stage he pointed out was one of those small stages people use when they are doing a speech or presentation. There were three microphones on it as well as some other electronic equipment that I didn’t really know how to work (I

Want to be a street performer?

Stick around Mallory Square in Key West, Florida and you’ll get an idea of the kind of performance that works. Stick around long enough and you’ll see some of the same performers at the same time every day. They obviously have a system worked out.

What’s the secret?

Well, one thing that helps is having a gimmick. One guy had a poodle on a leash. The poodle was wearing pink cowboy boots and had its hair dyed pink. The dog would sit up on its hind legs, walk along the edge of a board, then leap through a hoop on command.

When people started tossing money into his hat, the dog would walk backwards alongside the edge of the board and then leap back through the hoop again.

The poodle was adorable but what really made this show work was that it wasn’t just about a cute dog doing tricks; it was about two guys having fun with each other and with their audience. The guy who owned the dog was sort of like Colonel Sanders from Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials: he wore big round dark glasses, had white hair and a big white beard, and he wore lots of blingy jewelry.

The second guy was

So, you want to be a street performer. But how do you get started? And, more important, how do you make money? Here are a few tips that I’ve learned along the way.

1. Be the best in your field. If you’re not good at what you do, you won’t make any money. People won’t give you cash if they think your performance is mediocre or amateurish. Practice, practice, practice before hitting the streets with your act.

2. Have an eye-catching show. You need to think about how passersby will notice your show and be intrigued by it enough to pay for it. This can be as simple as having props that are colorful and bright or wearing loud clothes and makeup (think of clowns). Some performers use giant bubbles or big stilts; others have unusual animals like parrots or snakes with them. I have a bucket of water on my head while I juggle fire knives, which often catches people’s attention as they walk by. The point is: Look interesting!

3. Be funny and friendly but don’t beg for money. If a passerby drops some cash in your bucket, thank them! And smile! But if someone doesn’t want to pay for your show it’s

I’m a street performer. I play guitar and sing on the street for money. It’s not a glamorous job. It’s not even a real job. It’s more like a hobby that pays for itself. It looks easy, but it’s pretty hard to do well.

First of all, you have to be good enough to attract an audience. If people stop to watch you, they’ll probably throw money in your hat. But if they keep walking, you get nothing – no matter how well you play. So getting people to stop is the most important part of the job: it’s literally the difference between making money and making no money at all.

This might seem obvious, but many people don’t realize what a high bar it is until they try it themselves. Most people who play music think they’re better than they actually are; this is why karaoke bars can be so much fun to visit.

I’m not saying everyone sucks – just that almost everyone sucks compared to what it takes to be successful as a street performer. That’s not an insult; in the long run it’s actually kind of flattering, because it means that if you’re good enough to get people to stop, you’re probably better than most pop musicians (since those

I’ve been performing on the street since I was a kid. I’ve done everything from singing on the street to magic and juggling, but I always loved doing balloon animals. When I was 13, I started making balloon animals for money on the sidewalk and in shopping malls.

It’s always a challenge when you start out as a new performer because it takes time to build up a following. You have to make people aware of your work and convince them to stop by for a visit.

You can’t just stand in the same place all day long and expect people to come to you. You need to move around so people can find you, but don’t move too fast or they won’t be able to catch up with you.

Try different places until you find one that works well for you. Some spots will be better than others and some days will be better than others. For example, if it is raining then people tend not to go outside as much so there will be less foot traffic at your spot on those days. That is why it is important that you have more than one location where you perform so that if one spot doesn’t work out then another one might still bring in customers for you.

When you are starting out, try different spots and times


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