Monday, July 2, 2007

Another Infinitesimally Tiny Step on the Road to Rich and Famous

Philippe and I auditioned for the Montgomery County MetroPerforms! program Friday night. If we're selected, we'll get to be one of a rotating number of acts performing outside Metro stations in Bethesda and Silver Spring, in a heavily organized, unspontaneous approximation of actual busking.

Whether we get picked or not (and I'm taking the whole thing very lightly), the auditions were a real kick. A big canopied stage was set up on the plaza at Ellsworth Avenue, and each act had three minutes to impress the panel of judges. And there were all kinds of performers, and pretty much all of them were great, which is very impressive considering it was an open cattle call. There was a woman with an alphorn. There was a kickass jug band. There was an amazing deaf dance troupe. There was the requisite Peruvian group, without which no gathering of street musicians is complete. While we were watching a classical mouth whistler doing a virtuoso performance of a piece from the Nutcracker Suite, I told Philippe, "I've never been prouder to live where I do."

As for us, we played pretty well, albeit a little shaky and too fast. One of the judges was gaga over Philippe's tone; when we were done she had him play some notes on his lowest string so she could hear what he was doing more clearly. So we'll see how it turns out. At the very least they might have Philippe come and float mellifluous low G's down the escalators.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Rob-
I'm curious--what's your motivation for wanting to be allowed to busk? It seems like a step down from playing for Bertie Ahern and Ted Kennedy! Although, I suppose if it's good enough for Joshua Bell, it's good enough for you? Seriously now, I spent a fair number of weekends busking on Old Town Alexandria, and while it was sometimes fun, it was never worth the relatively paltry remuneration. So, are you doing it for the exposure, the adventure, the cash, or the crack? Or is it all about the Benjamins?
-Patrick

Rob said...

For fun, of course. As I say, I'm taking this very lightly. We wouldn't even get to pass the hat: in exchange for our efforts, we'd receive a stipend from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. It's bound to be more fun than sitting at home in the dark, anyway.

An Briosca Mor said...

I'm surprised our friend Paganini Bob wasn't there auditioning - this seems right up his alley. And if he was selected, then our other friend Alex or Roger or whatever the hell his name is this week could sidle up to him and say "You're the reason I don't take Metro any more - well, that and the way my hair always gets caught in the closing doors."

Rob said...

Hell. I don't think I'd want to take Metro anymore either.

An Briosca Mor said...

Your hair gets caught in the closing doors? Dude, you're standing way too close to the doors!

Oh, and you guys auditioned for three minutes and the judge loved Philippe's low G. What did they think about the 2:58 of accordion music that preceded it?

Mike said...

Dude, I'm rooting for you of course, but do you have any idea how freakin' perfect it would be to be greeted at the Metro station by a freakin' alphorn?

Rob said...

No idea how they felt about the accordion music. They all got up and went to the bar during that part.

And hell yes, Mike, just imagine the sound of that thing booming down the escalators.

An Briosca Mor said...

They should dispatch the alphorn to whatever station goes deepest into the ground, to provide succor and encouragement to the weary traveler when the escalators are broken. But judging from what I've seen on the message boards when I take the train, they actually might need to employ several alphorns...

Ed Bruske said...

go on with your bad selves...