"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change." Charles Darwin
How do I choose where to play when I busk?
People ask me when I'm out playing in the subway, "When will you be back here?" or, "what days do you come here and what time?" or, "where will you be playing on Saturday?"
The truth is, I don't know ahead of time. A host of variables makes it impossible to predict far in advance.
Sometimes there is another busker set up at the spot where you had intended. It's impossible to say for sure.
My instincts guide me to where I should play on a day to day basis. Yes, I like correlating results and figuring out the most profitable times and stations at which to play but even if I have a general plan, my gut trumps any preconceived ideas when that time comes. I also may have a vision or feel a strong inkling or excitement to play a certain location the night before or the day of - it just comes to me.
I know it's not my mind, I know it's a deeper instinct.
Maybe it's what's known as the third eye. I don't really care what it's called. I just know when I feel it and I'm always happy when I follow that instinct.
It just comes to me?
Following your instincts and differentiating between your ego (your mind and what it wants) and your gut (a source of deeper feelings from a place within your self) is a practice that I think, comes with experience and experimentation. I'm a very intuitive and sensitive (to my environment and energies) person and I know that because life's ups and downs thus far have brought me more in touch with my Self, i.e., who I am and what I need to thrive and be happy.
I've found that whenever I am inauthentic to who I am- even if it means being around less positive people, whom I don't like, but I'm just making nice with them because it was how I was raised, it affects me negatively.
I've learned in my life to trust my instincts. That they're never wrong. Now I'm learning to act and to speak in alignment with them as well.
What happens when I ignore my instincts, or bypass the danger ahead road signs?
Simply put, trouble. And a lot of crying.
Ever find yourself in a situation and you go, like that Talking Heads song, "Once in a Lifetime,"
"And you may ask yourself, Well... how did I get here!"
Can I put both hands up? I feel like whenever I come to, I go through a huge purging process, for instance, with people, I ask myself, "why should I be around people who make me feel worse after spending time with them?"
No reason. If you value your life, and I do, then you have to do what's right for you.
And in creating an external world that mirrors your inner world, you'll hone your instincts along the way.
Back to Busking
I've developed the instincts to know where to play from doing this 5 days of the week since January 2016. I've made so many errors and learned things the hard way, like what stations have the best sound, or the best crowds, or don't smell like stinky feet, the best times to play, and so many other little nuances that you would never think about unless you busk.
It does me little good to collect all this data and hoard it so I'm working on my first book, A How to Guide to Busking in the NYC Subways (a working title).
I'll make it available for free on my website just for subscribing so if you're interested in more of my story or you've always wanted to busk, I assure you, you can do it. The book is going to be published and available on Amazon by by the end of 2017.