WaPo's Joshua Bell Busking Experiment

UPDATE 4.9.07: Some experienced buskers brainstorm about ways Joshua could have upped his collections that morning -- some really great ideas!

For anyone who's ever made more money from subway busking than from a club gig, here's a fascinating experiment from the Washington Post. To see if average working Americans would make time in their days for "beauty," the Post recruited all-star violinist Joshua Bell to perform near a frantic Metro station. While Bell has sold out shows in the world's finest concert halls, he speaks about the challenges and the rewards of "stopping traffic" and connecting directly with an audience that doesn't know -- or expect -- him.

...the final haul for his 43 minutes of playing was $32.17. Yes, some people gave pennies.

"Actually," Bell said with a laugh, "that's not so bad, considering. That's 40 bucks an hour. I could make an okay living doing this, and I wouldn't have to pay an agent."

[ via MeFi ]

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