It occured to me that it’s going to be difficult to actually see Helsinki if I need to busk so often as I have been. Today (6.10.10) confirmed I need to learn oldies. Well, high energy songs in general seem to do well. Hey Ya got a lot of double takes and appreciative “Well that’s different” expressions, probably because I know it so well and can really throw myself into it. It was mostly sunny so I fared quite decently.
My first pitch was in front of the huge department store downtown on Aleksanderinkatu – Stockmann. I set up just east of it on an intersection with a pedestrian cross road. (Maybe I’ll get photos at some point). I noticed that it’s mostly a younger crowd who gives here, probably because those are the only ones walking the streets during the day on a Thursday now I think about it… Them and tourists. Once I discovered this, I sang Relax, Take it Easy, and the reaction was immediate. Young couples loved it, old people looked confused, students’ faces lit up in smiles, little children stopped and gawked. I shared this pitch with a couple students who seemed to be activists, canvasing all passersby for help on some humanitarian issue.
When I tried by Esplanadi again, by a Brasserie on the street itself, it was a total fail after an older lady tipped me for Sound of Silence. I was late meeting NanO there and I didn’t stay terribly long after telling her I wanted to stay out in the city a little longer. I took a short rest before heading off to a big intersection right by Stockmann, on the main car-tram drag. I chose a bottleneck across from a fruit vendor and I did passably well. Mostly I got thumbs ups and smiles, especially from students (though now it was around 1900).
I had one very fun experience where a young man wanted to film me singing a love song to send by email. He requested Torn by Natalie Imbruglia, which I was rusty on but had a go at anyways. He tipped we all right then walked off a ways to send the video. Him standing directly in front of me filming me got a lot of attention and one woman asked him what he asked for. After a little while he realized the file was too big, apologized to me for asking again and asked me to sing just the chorus of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You. I took a few seconds to figure out the chords Capo 4ish, C Am G F or something similar – how predictable – and obliged. He thanked me and walked on rather happily.
Earnings: €27.15, 3 hours
Song of the Day: Relax, Take it Easy – Mika