one who performs in the street, or venue other than a specifically sanctioned stage area. (Although some malls, plazas, and ren fairs have specific places where street performers perform.) They do this for money, with a hat or a guitar case there to collect the suggested donation.

Mime, juggling, music, and magic are common schticks of street performers.

Street performers hit the big-time when they become booth hawkers on the trade-show circuit.

For me, street performing is the big time.

I like the fact that no one knows who I am when I start the show, and that I can disappear just as easily as I appeared. Maybe it is a neurosis, or maybe it is arrogance, that the idea of my name in lights frightens me.

And there are things I can do on the street that I could never do anywhere else. The street is a medium in itself, not a compromise. Will a stuck-up businessman ever chance walk through a TV sound stage, so that you can imitate his walk? Will you ever get the same mix of people in one audience, people who have nothing in common except that they were on the same street at the same time?

I actually like the fact that some people think of street performing as the bottom of something.The fact that so few people know our world just adds to the appeal. We make a good living, and answer to no one -- most of us got into this because we value our freedom over most other things. Offer a good street performer a role on a television show, and there's a good chance he or she will turn you down.

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