Monday, July 11, 2011



Busking, or street performing, is a centuries-old tradition going back to times when wandering minstrels and bards traveled from place to place and acted not only as entertainers but also as news reporters and message bearers. The term ’sing for your supper’ could have originated at this time, when it was common practice for inns and stall holders to pay the busker with a meal and/or a bed for the night, instead of money. 

This afternoon I decided to check out the buskers in Waikiki in front of the International Marketplace.  There were the usual "statues."  A hard job, I think, standing still.  The guy in the photo below was smart; he chose to be a "sitting statue."  On the other hand, he did not attract a lot of attention.

This busker was especially entertaining.  Every time someone put money in his can, he would step on the horn that was taped to his podium.  The horn would make the strangest sound, something between a dying pig and a cat in heat.  Very clever.  First of all, it got people's attention and made them curious.  Secondly, it made people want to give him money so that he would make that noise again.  He would then go into a fancy routine of twirling his gun and inviting the donor to stand on the podium with him for a photo op.

Then... I ran into the most magical musical performance!

The busking duo of “Tanya & Dorise”!!!  
Dorise Blackmon on guitar and Tanya Huang on violin.  
O. M. G. !!!  

They gave us a virtuoso performance.  They had just arrived from New Orleans (their first day in Hawaii!) and they were drawing the crowds.  I wish I had had a video cam.  Instead I bought two of their CD's and would have bought the third if I had had more cash on me.  Best music I've heard in a long time.  Passionate.

 They said they were here for two weeks.

This darling plastic lei seller started dancing to the music, 
straight-faced and untiring.  Priceless!


  1. You live THE life, Maestro Elsha! Priceless report. Don't ever leave home without a camera!

  2. You are lucky you live near Waikiki -- a hub of interesting activity. As you said before: So much better than Mililani.