What you’re looking at is the amount of money I earned today. Five dimes. Pretty impressive, right? It took a lot of effort to get those dimes.
First, I had to travel through a time warp. I left Okinawa on July 2 at 10:45 am. Fourteen hours later, I arrived in at the airport in Los Angeles on July 2 at 10:45 am.
Next, I had to take three busses to get to Venice Beach. Since I had an 8 hour layover in Los Angeles, that gave me plenty of time to navigate my way around LA’s eccentric public transit system. In the words of my friend, Jo, “Do NOT make eye contact with the crazies!” Too late. I sat right between two very heavily tattooed men who saw my violin and proceeded to chit-chat with me for several minutes about the various qualities of Stradavarius violins. They also made sure I got off at the right stop and pointed me in the direction of the beach. Just goes to show you can never judge a book by its cover. Too bad I didn’t have such luck on the trip back to the airport. No permanent damage done, though.
Third, after making my way to Venice Beach, I selected the perfect spot on the boardwalk. Not too close to any other music or performers. But still close enough that lots of people would walk by and hear me.
Fourth, after tuning my violin and warming up a little, I rocked out to some Orange Blossom Special, Khachaturian Violin Concerto, and a few favorite hymns. During the twenty minutes I played, three people came up to tell me they enjoyed my music, one family asked me for directions to the restrooms, and one man scattered five dimes in my violin case. I considered it a success. Especially considering the competition.
Like this guy:
Or these break dancers:
As far as street performing goes, these guys are like Monet and Picasso and I’m a little kindergarten finger painter. So I proudly collected my $0.50 from my case and then spent some time watching the real masters before heading back to the airport. If you take into consideration the $3.35 I spent on bus fare to get to Venice Beach, I actually had a net loss of $2.85 for the day. Still, I consider it an afternoon well spent.