Monday, April 09, 2007

Joshua goes to D.C.

The Washington Post Magazine ran a really excellent article this weekend. The premise of the article was an incognito performance by violinist Joshua Bell in the Washington D.C. Metro. Read the article to find out how discerning Washington commuters are.

From the article:

There was no ethnic or demographic pattern to distinguish the people who stayed to watch Bell, or the ones who gave money, from that vast majority who hurried on past, unheeding. Whites, blacks and Asians, young and old, men and women, were represented in all three groups. But the behavior of one demographic remained absolutely consistent. Every single time a child walked past, he or she tried to stop and watch. And every single time, a parent scooted the kid away.

My favourite quote by Bell, referring to the $32 he made in just under 45 minutes: "That's 40 bucks an hour. I could make an okay living doing this, and I wouldn't have to pay an agent."

He was joking, of course. I'm bet the insurance premiums on that violin are more than many people make in a year.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is a great response to the Joshua Bell article by a NYC subway musician in her blog: www.SawLady.com/blog
She interprets the situation differently from the Washington Post reporters... I thought you might find it interesting.

Peter Garner said...

Thanks for pointing the post out, whoever you are. An interesting take, though not one that I agree with (my response is #23 in the comments).