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Busking... IS a legitimate way to make a living. It's free market capitalism at its extreme, for better or worse. If nobody likes you, you don't get paid. And if they DO like you but the economy is in the SHIT, you may still not get paid. It still beats playing in a cafe for a "free meal" or coming home at 3 AM after doing a crappy pub gig. Is NOT begging. It's part of your right to freedom of expression, which has been proven in court cases around the world. The best way to approach it is to enjoy what you do, and if you make money, take it as a bonus. IS a great way to meet people, get gigs, spend time outdoors, get paid for becoming a better musician and get feedback from a large audience. IS sometimes confrontational. You WILL be challenged to "get a real job" or "play some good music", or just generally get abused by certain members of the public. They tend to be repeat offenders. The best way to deal with these people is to IGNORE them to the best of your ability. Trust me. Is NOT tax free. Only registered charities get to collect tax free donations. Many of us have accountants and a mortgage, just like everyone else. Really IS like any other job. If you approach it like a professional, you will do OK. If you stuff around and don't give a shit, you probably won't make much money, unless you're just exceptionally talented (but see my next point). CAN be very lucrative if you're under 12 and/or make a BIG production out of your performances (drum machines, big speakers etc.). People love a cute child busker, or someone who sounds like an orchestra playing 15 instruments at once. Busking is a constant learning experience. Everyone should try it... Andy