Ovation: Street Performers And Magicians.
I get a kick out of “street performers”. These people really love to entertain and they do it for the pure joy of performing. I’ve personally performed with marching bands and played Dixieland on floats in parades. I’ve played duets at wedding receptions and solo recitals for the public. I’ve always been amazed by the adrenalin rush that comes with an impromptu performance. I’ve watched the street performers on Key West’s Mallory Square, tapped my toes to bucket drummers in Chicago, enjoyed country music performances on Lower Broadway in Nashville and I think I saw the Naked Cowboy in New York City.
But only twice was I selected from an audience to participate.
The first time was just after dusk on the beach, as we walked back to our car after dinner, that we noticed a group of people gathering near the end of the pier. Suddenly, there was lights and music and an enthusiastic young man engaged his growing audience with slight of hand tricks and juggling. As the crowd grew behind us, we found ourselves in the “front row” of those standing to watch what would come next.
That’s when he asked for a volunteer from the “audience” to help secure him into a straight jacket … and he picked me. I tied that man as tightly as I could into the straight jacket. His arms were crossed in front of him and ropes went down between his legs. I tied really good knots. Then, I was instructed to stand beside him while he quickly freed himself. And, consequently, making me look like a fool that couldn’t tie knots.
This guy can pull a kitten out of thin air.
The one other time that I was selected from a crown to “perform” was at a fair. There were six people selected and the first was told to sit in a small chair. The second person sat on the first person’s lap, the third person sat on the lap of the second person, and so on as we created a circle. Somehow, the chair was eventually moved away and we were all simply sitting on each other. It was a strange feeling but the crowd loved it and the performers got a big round of applause.
I have a lot of respect for people who perform for nothing more than “tips” and the possibility that their talents will be discovered. Today, with so many people carrying smart phones that take high-quality videos, some street performers may well be on their way to stardom.
What is the most exciting street performance that you’ve ever seen?
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