The Make Break Point And Free Parking

The term “viable” means basically, “able to support oneself”. This applies to any activity in life. Even street drumming. I worked out that it would take $66 a day to make street drumming “viable” at 20 days a month. Pay the bills, keep the lights on.

Well, A couple of things didn’t get factored into this equation, like parking. Do you know it costs $5 an hour to park in San Francisco? So if I make $20 an hour drumming on the street. I need to play for about 3 1/2 hours to make that $66, but now you add about $20 to park and I have to play for 5 hours to clear $66. Something like that.

Yesterday I pulled up to the Ferry Building at about 5pm, didn’t have enough change to put an hour on the meter, so sat there and waited until 6, when parking becomes free.  Only, I had to pick my girl up from work at 7. So I had an hour.

20 min to push drums down the street, find a place to set up. Set up, play, tear down, push cart back to car. 30 min playing time, maybe.

Fuck it. Went for it. Push cart, set up, start playing.

Super dirty homeless guy immediately comes up beside me doing crazy man dance. Tough call on the street because you can’t really kick people out who have no other place to go. Being a street musician, you’re kind of on their turf and it comes with the territory. However, people were repelled by this dude and that meant nobody wanted to come close enough to drop a buck in the case.

10 min later, he left. So 20 min to make it worthwhile. Few people dropping a couple of bucks. This well off gentleman standing a couple hundred feet away watching the rocking. 10 min later he walks over, big smile, says “somebody’s got to make this worth your while, you’re killing it” drops a $20 in the case.

I played for about 25 min and made $24.

There’s a lot to be said for “Just DO IT” Don’t do dumb stuff. Don’t hurt other people. But definitely DONT sit there wondering IF, or  SHOULD I? Get out there and DO. Someone will eventually dig it.

Faith in mankind restored.

Author: Ian

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