Image Courtesy of June Caravel
“To make people laugh in Australia, I was busking with this sign that said: Help me get back home (with a French flag) or marry me! Coins, notes and love letters accepted.”June Caravel
In 2012 June Caravel, a French singer, came up with a challenge to busk her way around Australia, a country she did not know, with only busking earnings to pay the way for herself and her videographer.
Thanks to the generosity of many Australians she was successful and she has placed a series of videos on YouTube documenting her experiences.
We thought it would be fun to invite June to our blog to tell us some more about her great Aussie busking adventure.
What are some memorable moments that you have encounered while busking?
“There are so many!| To make people laugh, I was busking with this sign that said: Help me get back home (with a French flag) or marry me! Coins, notes and love letters accepted. I even had blokes asking me if I could cook and mow the lawns as well? (Very important if you’re going to marry a girl in Australia apparently).”
“I kind of felt bad one day though when I was busking in Sydney, this homeless guy on the pier wrote me a very genuine and nice love letter, I kind of think he took my sign seriously! You will see it in the Sydney episode of my YouTube series.”
“There was another guy in Perth who also sent me a very long letter on my Facebook page, he had given me some coin and taken a photo with my sign. But really, the sign mostly just made people laugh, and some gave me more money, so I kept it the whole trip and then I framed it when I got back home to Paris, it’s hanging in my living room.”
If you could choose a lyric from any song, what would that lyric be, and why is it special to you?
“Seems that I was busy doing something close to nothing but different than the day before – it’s from a song called Raspberry Beret by Prince. I love the whole song, but chose this line because I think it represents what many feel about buskers, unfortunately. But we bring joy, fun and our viewpoint to the world. And we work damn hard to make a living out of our music/art. So I hope this changes the vision that people have of us.”
If you could change something you’ve seen on the streets, what would it be?
“People keep pitches for one another, which means if you’re not in the mafia you can’t get in. That sucks if you’re not an insider, and I think everyone should get a chance.”
What’s a great piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Before going to Australia, I had a talk with a guy who had been busking there. He told me the best way to busk was to go at the corner of a street with a lot of pedestrian traffic. While people wait for the traffic light to turn green, they have more time to pay attention to what you do, reach out for money in their pockets and give it to you. And he was totally right. So I thank you Cengiz for that advice which saved my life in Australia.”
What did you like best about busking around Australia?
“The generosity of people. It was stunning. When I bet that I would survive only off people’s donations while busking in Australia, I honestly had no idea if I really could.
Not only did I find hosts on couchsurfing that let me and my cameragirl sleep on their couches in each city, but people were so generous.
Once I was busking at the end of the pier in Sydney with few very few tourists, it wasn’t really a good morning. I was about to wrap it up and go somewhere else, but I decided on one last song: The final countdown.
It so happened to be the favourite song of a guy passing by. He gave me 50 quid at the end of the song. I had made his day. And he certainly made mine! We had a very decent meal after that for a change.”