One of my unrealized, (unrealistic) ambitions was to be an opera singer – a prima donna. The soprano gets the starring roles, stunning arias, high notes, best costumes, cleavage, diamonds, adoring audience, bouquets and curtain calls.
I have a contralto voice.
I am a street performer.
On Saturday Ian and I busked for two hours in High Street, Dumfries.
I hasten to assure my family and friends that in spite of the exchange rate (Canadian dollar – GB pound) and the impact of plummeting oil prices I am not insolvent nor yet reduced to eating mouldy bread. I don’t need to sing for loot.
Our Saturday late morning shopping crowds recital supported the Trade Unions Council’s efforts to draw attention to the evils of ‘zero hours contracts’, and the impact of a government-sanctioned policy on the living standards, and the social and financial security of low-income, often unskilled and under qualified, often young, citizens of the UK.
One dear soul dropped money into my upturned bodhran. I thanked him and returned his money, along with a yellow leaflet, the text of which castigated the Tories for their heartless disregard of the plight of low-income workers.
We were asked if we had a CD. This surprised me. We’re actually not that good. However, that being said, I noticed very many young children standing as though entranced; captivated and delighted by us and our performance.
So this is our niche audience, people age 3-6 years; people able to appreciate the rich combination of vocal harmony, fine guitar work, our repertoire of heart-felt protest songs; and, our undoubted visual appeal — greying locks glinting in the weak March sun, lined faces, our stage dress — the habitual winter-wear, including the tartan scarf and classic fingerless mitts. All rather the worse for wear at the tail end of a long Scottish winter.