Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
One side argued that a busker ought to look clean and professional:
- "Part of our business is to convince people that we are... a professional that deserves to be paid a professional pay."
- "I dont appreciate to see a dirty busker."
- "For chris' sake, kid, put some shoes on... barefoot buskers drive me crazy."
- If you can play well or sing well, looking beggarly can be mitigated or even become an asset. "look at how much that guy loves playing in the street!"
- Cleanness is about heart not appearance... Yes, I agree personal hygiene it's very important, but first for yourself, then you can be clean in your relation with others.
- Bare feet can be part of the whole expression you wish to create... I connect better with the street, feeling more in my element thus having me perform better...
I wrote the following:
If you won't go shoeless because you want to appear "professional" then... well, become a professional! Busking is the opposite of that and with good reason.
Let's not minimize the real ideological role of buskers here. If you are a street performer, then you're holding up a great big middle finger to your society, which undoubtedly tells you and everyone around you that your time, art, effort has worth only in currency; that you shall not make your art public or free; and "no shirt, no shoes, no service" (we cleverly flip this one around since we are the ones providing the service with no shoes, lol!)
So why the hell should a busker care about dirty feet or what s/he looks like?! Is it because s/he won't be received well by society?! We're already the enemy simply by virtue of what we do! Which isn't to say that people hate us or are against us (and certainly not that we hate them!). But we are directly challenging much of what they hold dear. We are an affront to them, whether they realize it or not. Hopefully it's in a true appreciation for this aspect of what we do that they are inspired to give.
The expression of it (music, art, juggling, what-have-you) is really just the medium. The message is, "I'm going to interrupt your oh-so-busy life and make you smile, sing, dance, laugh; I'm going to bless you right now! and all whether 'they' like it or not!" ('they' being the powers that be, since in most cities we're lawbreakers the moment we open our cases).
What we should hope to do as busking artists is to break down these superficial boundaries. Or at the very least, not to hold them up. Perhaps for some this means not wearing shoes while performing. For others, it may mean sustaining abuse with a smile/wink/nod. Etc.
Whatever your medium, persona, style, gimmick - however you challenge societal norms in your own way/city - remember your role as a busking artist.
And if you don't recognize this as your role then.. well.. please do become a professional! You're making us barefoot performers look bad ;)