So my day job is in a field with mostly non-artsy people, and by my being there, everyone gets a chance to see how the other half lives.
One of my co-workers asked me if people talk to me while I'm playing and if I minded.
Yes, people talk to me. I'm out in random places in public playing the fiddle; the point is to get attention (and ideally tips). I don't usually mind, but basic etiquette should still hold.
Appropriate things to say to a busker: "Thank you", "What's that tune?", "I hope you don't mind Sacajaweas" (not in the least, thanks!), "Do you know [insert tune here]?", "I used to/currently play." "Here, have five thousand dollars as a token of my appreciation."
OK, so maybe that last one is wishful thinking.
Not so appropriate things to say to a busker: "AreyouwiththeBSOdoyouknowthatonesongyou'rewiththeBSO
doyouknowShlmielFreedbergmywife andIaregoingtohavethreekids." (I am NOT with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and did not claim to be. In fact, every time he mentioned it, I corrected him. He mentioned it several times. If I were BSO material, would I be playing in the park? I mean, rumor has it a world-class violist busks around here, but I haven't seen her yet. And if I do, I'll probably end up falling at her feet in homage, and that would just be embarrassing for everybody.)
"Ah don't lahk what yer playin'. Ken you do some uh that fiddlin' stuff? Ah lahk that." (OK, so there wasn't so much of a hick accent, but there was a strong smell of moonshine.)
*in the midst of a ramble about having found Jesus* "Are you a man or a woman?" (Uh...I know I have short hair, and I was wearing a button-down shirt and khakis, and I hadn't spoken yet but really, I don't think my appearance is that androgynous.)
"Can I take you home?" (AAAAARGH)
Also, please wait until I'm between tunes to try to engage in any lengthy conversation with me; I have a fiddle going three inches from my ear, and that generally means I can't hear you.