Emilie Bourque feels the beat of The NYC Players.
Busking is the kind of job where you’re letting the public determine the value of your work and what your pay should be. It’s tough. To grab and hold a street audience’s attention takes more than just a level of talent, it takes being an entertainer.
Coming up from New York City for this year’s Buskers Festival, The NYC Players is a 2-man percussion group. Darion Movasseghi and Gary Taggart combine drum set and bucket drumming with different tricks with sticks, and even the occasional bit of breakdancing.
Movasseghi has been drumming since he was 5, and has performed in broadway shows, pit orchestras, and various bands with artists of different styles, aside from being a studio musician for 10 years.
“We bring a show that is unlike any other show that’s out there. It’s so raw and it’s such a high energy show that a lot of people are just speechless ‘cause they’ve never experienced something like it before.”
He says the music he performs with Taggart is “basically a variety of funk, hip-hop, break beats, rock, fusion, Latin, and many different styles of African.”
Movasseghi says life as a busker can be a liberating experience.
Seven years ago, with bills to pay and not enough gigs in sight, he took his music to the streets. He suddenly felt more in control of his own destiny.
“There’s no one controlling you, telling you what to do,” he says. “It’s your show, and the people that truly believe in what you’re doing, and can really feel that and understand it; appreciate it.”
To grab and hold a street audience’s attention takes more than just a level of talent, it takes being an entertainer. Through entertaining the often unsuspecting public, The NYC Players hope to make bucket drumming a “more acceptable art form.”
Still, he says, a lot of people don’t realize it is a living for some, and often don’t respect the level of talent that’s being given because of where it’s done.
“We’re not on the stage,” Movasseghi says. “We’re on the street.”•
The Buskers Festival runs from August 3-5 daily from 1-10pm. For more info, check out the festival listing on page 12 or visit tinyurl.com/26xvvw.