The Economic Adventures of a Transborder Street Musician

Heading down south for the big Pesos.

Ulises the clown December 6, 2007

Filed under: the people — ramonalvarado @ 5:07 pm
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Today I met Ulises who is ,ironically, more of a siren than a travelling god, although one could argue that he was both simultaneously if one saw him busking on a public transportation bus. He just stopped by and started to play with me to later take over the show in a very friendly way. He came by with his guitar and as we talked and played he explained to me that he only does the guitar thing on his free days because he loves music, but that his real job and real passion is clowning and making balloon figurines. He works a little bit further in the downtown area.  He explained to me that there are better spots to busk at, full of local traffic, and he also told me that I should try the public transportation. As he talked he also played many songs. He has an amazing repertoire of Mexican folk music and all other kinds of music, from Italian pop to Mexican rock to norteño stuff.

Ulises doesn’t make his own songs and was really pleased to listen to mine. So we both exchanged a little knowledge, from busker to busker.  As he explained to me some chords for Mexican music and I explained him about loosing the fear to write he kept on playing and I kept on playing so I didn’t really stopped working. The great thing about Ulises is that he was really proud about being a very good clown and a very good balloon artist, and he really was able to transmit, convey, his vibe about the whole business even without his clown suit or his balloons, but with the guitar. You couldn’t walk past Ulises without taking a little part of him with you, such as when your left shoe accidentally manages to step on a freshly tossed piece of chewing gum that has been under the sun for a few minutes. I can only imagine him as a clown with part of his smile shining out those metal teeth for the whole world to see, or at least the whole downtown plaza (he had 3 silver ones). It was a pleasure to meet a real downtown busker for once.

img_0135.jpgimg_0136.jpgjuarez avenue crowd

The day went thus…

Day 8

Amount of money made: $8.73

Border crossing: .65c

Time played: 1h 10 min, plus 30 min with Ulises.

Actual gain: $8.08

Meeting a colleague such as Ulises: just beautiful.