Busker HoF 84 – The Jim Show Interview

This Episode proudly sponsored by:

This episode is proudly sponsored by Dolphin Creative – a company who is proud to support street theatre and all of the incredible characters who make up this world. Where ever you perform: Dolphin Creative salutes you! For more information please visit DolphinCreative.org – Huge thanks to Stuart and his team for sponsoring this episode and two more to come!

Episode Notes:

Comments: How much does a pitch shape your show? Well, for anyone who’s worked on pitch for years and dialed things in to work a specific space will know, it’s just not the same when you take your show and move it to another venue. Sure a lot of it translates from one space to another, but there’s no question that a venue and it’s audience has a huge influence on the shows that are performed there. 

Harvard Square and Faneuil Hall are two legendary venues in Massachusetts and both shaped the show and performer that Jim became when he arrived in Boston after college. He looked at what was working on the pitch, put his own spin on the formula and refined his show by doing it again and again and again. It’s a familiar recipe for anyone who’s created a show that’s successful on the street and one that requires passion and tenacity.

Mike Wood connected with Jim to discuss Jim’s journey and connection to the World of Street Theatre – the veterans he encountered, the pitches he worked and the innovations he developed, some by accident but most being the result of thousands of shows on the pitches in Boston.

Bonus Images and commentary provided by The Jim Show:

1977 – Busch Gardens, Virginia. I’m the little kid on the right. If anyone knows who that magician is, please let me know… I’d love to buy him a beer. 

1978 – Doing a little magic show for my school classmates. This is my very first performance and my very last magic show. 

1985 – 15 years old. I spent my waking hours in High School on a BMX bike… practicing, performing and competing.

1992 – Harvard Square Oktoberfest – This is the end of my first season street performing in Harvard Square, Cambridge. 

1993 – From 92-94, I finished my show jumping rope and then juggling torches while hopping on the back wheel of my bike. 

1994 – Brattle Square (Harvard Square) I performed 5-6 nights per week on this pitch during the magical summer evenings of 1992-1998.

1994 – Waterloo Busker Carnival. I did Waterloo in 92, 94, 96, 98 and 02. Waterloo was my overall favorite busking festival experience. I always looked forward to Waterloo.

1995 – Faneuil Hall monster crowd on the 4th of July. Photo by Tak!

1997 – Edmonton Streetfest – I played the part of Chuck Lizardo, host of The Dating Game in The Checkerboard Guy Late Night Madness Wedding. What a brilliant, hilarious team effort. So much fun.

1997 – My roommate at Edmonton Streetfest – Within 3 minutes of meeting this guy, I knew we were going to be good friends. Love you, miss you, Robert!

2000 – Faneuil Hall/ Quincy Market West End pitch. This was my home office from 1994-2006. My entire act was developed and honed right there on those cobblestones. Feels!

2003 – Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market – The nut whack. I love the reactions and the fact that not one person is holding a mobile phone. This photo and the episode artwork image above were taken by www.marlasweeney.com for an article I wrote in Boston Magazine.

2005 – World Buskers Festival – Christchurch, NZ – Performing at this festival was one of those fantasies I didn’t think would ever happen. Well, it happened and it was glorious. Photo by Mike “The Handsome” Huling.

2008 – Shrewsbury, England – Look at these legends. They’re all laughing at me because I was on my 5th attempt at a selfie… back when cameras were just cameras, without selfie displays. Sam ‘TapeFace’ Wills, Lili La Scala, Pedro Tochas, Raquel Viegas, Bill Ferguson, Mike Wood.

2008 – Shrewsbury, England – My last official busking festival. Bill Ferguson was at my first busking festival (92 Waterloo, Ontario) and he hired me for my last one. Thanks, Bill! 

Bonus Video content:

#1 – The Grape Catch on Stage Renegade

#2 – Pedestrian Theme Songs

“Never Before Seen” the Pedestrian Theme Song video has never been made public until now! It’s an exclusive scoop for The Busker Hall of Fame! SWEET!

And thanks again to: Dolphin Creative for sponsoring this episode!

Find out more about sponsoring this podcast by emailing cbg@BuskerHallofFame.com