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Street Performers
Street Performers

Learn English with this street performers English lesson

Date: Jun 13 2018

Themes: Hobbies, Music, Work

Grammar: Phrasal Verbs


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You hear them before you see them. You’re walking down the sidewalk, and suddenly, you hear music. Turning the corner, you see them: it’s a street band!

People who have musical talent or another special ability often use busking as a way to bring in some extra money. They perform on the street, on the sidewalk, in a park… anywhere, really… and hope that people will give them money when they listen to the music or performance.

Musicians are the most common street performers, although artists and dancers can also get a large audience when performing in public places. For other talents, like drawing a picture of a tourist, it’s harder to have lots of people watching since the activity is one-on-one.

It takes thick skin and lots of stamina to be a successful street performer. Does Brian have what it takes? Learn about his experience in today’s English lesson about busking.


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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Brian:  Hey, Gary.

Gary:  Yo.

Brian:  Last summer, I don’t know if I told you this or not, but I did street performing for a week.

Gary:  You busked?

Brian:  Yes. I was doing fortune telling on the streets for money.

Gary:  Brian and busking. Two words I cannot say that I would have put together.

Brian:  Oh, it was great. I think you have to have a lot of courage, and you really have to have a thick skin to just sit there in front of people and do something and hope that they find whatever you’re doing, your talent, worth money.

Gary:  How big of an audience did you ever have in front of you?

Brian:  For me, sometimes eight to ten people. I was doing fortune telling, so it was very one-on-one. But when I did it, I saw a whole bunch of musicians around me, too. And they would have anywhere from one kid throwing in a quarter, to 10 people or 20 people just around them, cheering them on.

Gary:  Did it pay off financially?

Brian:  I made about $100 a day. But it was great, man. You have to have a lot of stamina to be out there all day.

Gary:  Oh my goodness, yeah. So everybody out there doing it has some sort of innate talent that they’re doing to bring in some money, yeah?

Brian:  Or just sometimes a good idea and desperation.

Gary:  OK.


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Brian wants to tell Gary about his time performing on the streets last summer. Gary seems really surprised that Brian busked. He can’t picture Brian out on the streets doing something and asking people for money.

It turns out that Brian loved busking, though. Instead of playing an instrument or drawing, Brian did fortune telling. He told people stories about what might happen in the future.

Brian wasn’t the only person performing on the streets. His talent was one-on-one, so he never had a big audience. However, he often saw street musicians near him with 20 people listening to them play.

Busking was fun for Brian, and he also made some money. Gary asks if everybody who performs on the street has a natural talent. Brian says sometimes it’s just a good idea and the need to make money.

Have you ever performed on the street? Do you have a talent you could use to make money?



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eduardosoutoSuper Member!


Yeah, I have already played the guitar on streets, but I wouldn’t say that I loved busking!

I believe that my talent is teaching English <3

I can do it one-on-one or for a big audience and I feel great doing this!

11:10 AM Jun 18 2018 |

1 person likes this


United Kingdom

No, I’ve never busked but if I did it someday, I would play the guitar to bring in some money.

01:25 AM Jun 12 2018 |

1 person likes this



Viet Nam

 This lesson is very interesting to me, and I wish I had some talent that I can perform in the public like people sometimes do it , just for fun not for money.

07:09 AM Aug 06 2014 |



when i was 8 i sold my pictures) they weren’t very good, u know, but people bought them)

well, also i can play the violin but i’ve never busked. It takes some kind of brave i think so i admire people who do it.

07:51 PM Jun 06 2014 |



I have never performed on the street, but I sold food on the street when I was young, I must convice some people to buy the food, it is not easily.

06:04 AM Jun 04 2014 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Maybe you don”t   belive it . but in my country some guys perform street ! 

03:45 AM Jun 01 2014 |



Nope I never performed on the street I dont think about this ever it won’t work in my country and if i saw someone busking I would give him money whatever the performance are.

10:42 PM May 31 2014 |

1 person likes this




When we mention Street Performer ,”the Gypsy “came to my mind.I think the Gypsy are borned to be as a street performers.I had never performed on the street ,but hope i can do this one day in a strange city.That would be cool.Money doesn’t matter ,The primary is having fun

11:19 AM May 27 2014 |




To refresh my mind i had to browse the net . I remember having read that the gifted violinist Joshua Bell who owns an Stradivarius , played as an incognito busker at the  Metro subway in Washington D.C, on January 12,2007 .    Of the 1.100 people who passed by  only one recognized him. For his 45-minute performance Bell collected 32.17 dollars . In comparission ,Brian was doing fairly well if he  collected 100 bucks and most importantly ,tax free.:))). I don´t have the guts nor the talent to perform on the  street .I have seen very good performers in the subway and commuters  appreciate  them  by giving pocket money  in return for the light moment and music . 

07:42 PM May 26 2014 |




sometimes life brings you nice moments..when you had it,only live it…dont think troubles or problems of life ..only listen music..leave yourself to melodious ..be ready for spontaneous enjoy .

05:50 PM May 26 2014 |



however, they are also good entertainers!!!!!!!!!!

04:35 PM May 26 2014 |

Mr. Learner


We don’t have this culture in my country .. 
I think it’d be great if we have such a thing .. It is not about money only, but also it is about showing talents. I think people will have more opportunities to show their talents and might progress further because of this. 

12:34 PM May 26 2014 |



Congo, Democratic Republic Of The

But I sometimes busk, lol !

11:54 AM May 26 2014 |



Congo, Democratic Republic Of The

I’m a singer, I’m used to singing in front of a lot of people but busking ain’t really my thing.

Performance asks a lot of stamina as mentioned above !

11:49 AM May 26 2014 |




Everytime I see the streets performance, I feel excited about it. They got a great talent and can get every audiences fired up…

And by the way,Could you post the video for us here,Brian? We really very want to watch your busking. :)))

03:04 AM May 26 2014 |

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