Darren Snow, an English teacher in Beijing, talked about his experience as a busker.
——Darren, tell us about your busking experience.
Darren: My busking experience is quite limited but it's been quite good. Once, I backpacked around Europe and I brought an acoustic guitar with me. My plan was to make the money I needed to get-by, by busking. This was quite an ambitious plan. It didn't quite work out like that. But I did busk in a few cities.
I normally found it was harder in the established busking areas, to get a spot, because there were people who were there everyday. Especially in tourist cities because there's a lot of people passing by and they have spare money because they are on holidays. There would usually be a pedestrian street where people busked and they would become quite established. They'd do it there everyday and they'd make quite good money doing it. They weren't that enamoured with a young guy coming in and sitting down with a guitar and stealing their business.
But I did do it a few times and it was fine. People usually reacted quite well. You know, you are foreign there, so there's a bit of interest with that. They want to hear different songs. In the end, I didn't do it for the money so much. In the areas where you could make money it was usually just established people. I did it because I found it quite interesting. You would meet people and sometimes they would join in. It was an interesting thing to do in a new city.
——Have you ever busked in your on hometown？
Darren: I've never busked in Dublin city, but I've busked in some of the suburbs where I've lived. That can be fun. If you are with a few people it's almost a social thing; a few people with a couple of guitars, sing a few songs and some people stop and watch and maybe you can make a little money.