I got my start singing and performing by playing music on the streets of State College, PA. I was 22 then, and had only been playing the guitar for a couple years. I knew a handful of songs but not very well, and I was pretty shy. Over the course of several years though, I learned how to project my voice and started building up my confidence. It took a while for me find my identity as a musician but when I did everything started to click in place. Fast forward a decade later, and now busking, as street performing is formally referred to as, is my sole occupation. I have over 130 songs both of my own, and other people's that I have memorized and perform regularly.
Busking has taken me all over the country. I've played music on the streets of almost every major city on the west coast, in the southwest, as well as the northeast and some of the south. Here is a list of some of the places I've played:
State College, PA
Las Vegas, NV
San Diego, CA
Los Angeles, CA
San Luis Obispo, CA
San Francisco, CA
As I mentioned earlier, street performing is my career. It provides financially, and spiritually in ways that nothing else ever has. I've learned so much about myself, and have grown tremendously as a human. This job takes a lot of courage, faith, and perseverance. I have to consistently be willing to put yourself out there for the world to see, flaws and all with no guarantees that I'll receive anything in return. I'm learning and relearning how to make peace with that idea. In the same sense though, this job is the most liberating. The more I allow myself to just be as I am in the presence of other people the more free I feel. I no longer fear making "mistakes" in front of others. I now believe that in music and in life there are no mistakes, just new opportunities for growth. I'm learning how to let go of of the mindset of playing music for money, and instead, playing music for human connection, trusting financially that I'll always receive what I need. Even if that looks different than I expected.
While I perform extensively in more formal settings, and have had some incredible opportunities come my way, playing music on the street will always be my first love and joy. The people I have met, the connections I have created, and the growth I have experienced as a person and a musician are unparalleled. Each time I step up to the microphone I know something beautiful is going to happen.