How to Become a (Legal) Street Performer

by Madison Cerniglia

  • Know the Law In NYC it is a requirement to have a permit when performing in or next to a park.  The last thing you want is to run into trouble with the police while in the middle of a show.
  • Understand the Crowd Flow Scout out local parks and street corners that lots of people visit.  If you become familiar with when and where the crowds are the largest, you can greatly increase your tips.  According to New York street performers, the busiest time of the year is the holidays.
  • Have a Unique Act Even though playing guitar can be very impressive, guitar players are a dime a dozen.  Find something that is unique.  If you are having difficulty standing out, try to include some crowd-pleaser elements in your act.  For example, if you are playing an instrument, try to perform 4-5 pop songs from the top of the charts.
  • Get the Audience Involved People are more likely to leave tips if you give them an experience they won’t forget.  Don’t be afraid to interact with them and maybe incorporate them into your act.Here is how it should be done.
  • Love What You Do This is the most important!  You cannot expect others to have a great time if you aren’t.  Make sure you are passionate about your show and share that with others.