Busking / Street Performing – 10 Essential Hat Lines and Ideas

What you need to consider when trying to squeeze money from your lovely audience at the end of your awesome show! 10 tips and ideas along with some well-used lines that you can adapt. Make the audience laugh to break the tension – the hat lines (comedy patter) and continued audience banter while you are…

What you need to consider when trying to squeeze money from your lovely audience at the end of your awesome show! 10 tips and ideas along with some well-used lines that you can adapt.

  1. Make the audience laugh to break the tension – the hat lines (comedy patter) and continued audience banter while you are collecting money can be just as entertaining as the show! You will surely need to keep the audience entertained if there is a huge queue of them trying to give you money and having to wait to get near to the hat! “If you are giving your bank card, please drop in a note with your PIN number also”
  2. Get a good feeling flowing through the crowd – although you are asking the crowd for money, it should not feel like they are being forced to do so. “If you enjoyed the show, then please kindly donate some money, if you did not, then please write your complaint on the back of a £ 20 note”
  3. Let the Audience know that you are only human and that this is your living. “Help keep starving jugglers where they belong – on the streets”
  4. Mention the hat through the show. It should not come as a surprise to the audience at the end that they are being asked to give money. It also gives you the chance to get them used to the idea! “I know that I do not come into your work at the end of your day and applaud all your hard efforts and give you money, but this is how I make a living, so please give generously.”
  5. Build a picture in the audiences head of other forms of entertainment (Cinema, TV, Magazine etc) they happily pay for regularly. “Is this routine worth a cup of tea? Then we have an agreement”
  6. Kids enjoy giving money (especially their parents hard earned cash), parents enjoy seeing kids happy, therefore make kids feel important!
  7. Thank the people individually for giving you money. Expect only half (or even less) of the audience to give money. Never have the hat on the ground, where it can be stolen (bring it out at the end)
  8. Do not refer to yourself as a busker , but instead as a “Street Entertainer”. It sounds less like you are begging for money this way, and also makes you sound much more professional.
  9. Give your volunteer a £ 1 coin . Say to the audience that the person has entertained me a lot, and I want to show my appreciation. I hope that the audience will do the same when I finish the show!
  10. Finally, at the end of the show , tell people that if they can not give money, then come up and say how much they enjoyed the show, and if not, just to come up and pretend they enjoyed the show. Direct people to the hat. You should not be going in any direction except toward me. The exit is here. The more people you get queuing up to give you money (or say say thanks) the more other people will think of doing the same!