The Washington Post has an intriguing story about violin master Joshua Bell playing in a D.C. Metro station as a street performer to see if busy people can recognize beauty in mundane settings. The piece is long and over-written, but as a one-time street performer myself it’s pretty interesting.
Long story short, Bell made $32.17 in 43 minutes (actually, it was $52.17, but they didn’t count the $20 sheepishly tossed in by someone who recognized Bell and knew how amazing what she was experiencing really was). The article is mostly full of bewilderment that people are too busy to notice a master at work. I’m just impressed a street performer could do that well with a commuter crowd (the weekend tourist crowd is really what you want–they have the time to kill and the money to burn).
Bell’s response to his own haul: “Actually, that’s not so bad, considering. That’s 40 bucks an hour. I could make an OK living doing this, and I wouldn’t have to pay an agent.” (link via kottke.org)