The attention span and focus of their audience is minimal. Most passersby are simply looking for lunch or the next ferry to Alcatraz. Street performers, or “buskers,” must relish the act of performing enough to ignore being ignored. Exposing a bit of heart in hopes of an answering smile, a bit of applause and hopefully, a dollar bill or two… This is not for the faint of heart or those desiring a steady income.
Street performance is encouraged along San Francisco’s Wharf waterfront. The Fisherman’s Wharf Pilot Street Performer Program regulates twelve designated performance locations in the public access Port area in recognition of the cultural contribution of these open air shows. Miming, street dancing, instrumental performances, and even operatic arias are but a few of the offerings one might wander past on a trek along the Embarcadero. The eclectic and energetic ambiance fits San Francisco very well, with her fluctuating temperatures, inclined streets, and varied cultural pockets.
- Heather Dugan of Footsteps