Friday, June 09, 2006

Oh, Thank you, *bow* thank you, *curtsy* thank you all so much! (Exit stage left)

Ok, so I am not sure how many of you are able to remember that
I sing in front of Notre Dame for change, but yeah, I do. And as most of you know I am a pretty darn good singer, right? So it came as only a little bit of a surprise when fter I had figured out the optimal spot to stand, actually just infront of the tower you climb up to see the gargoyals, and the beautiful view from the top, that I started earning at least 16€ per hour and usually more like 20€. Now mind you that that is in ONE hour and no more, though sometimes a little less.
Because I have been stopping by for "my hour" almost everyday for the last 2 weeks, I have become pretty accustomed to people: staring at me, coming over and examining my music without asking, making faces, pretending to sing along, asking me to sing hip-hop and or techno songs, and in fact I have gotten quite accustomed to my songs. I can sing everything in my black binder, without the help of my black binder. (The binder refered to is not an ex-Ave Maria Music binder stolen at the end of my first semester....really..... well, ok so it is! But they'll never get her, or her two sisters, back! Mwa ha ha ha ha!!! They're mine all mine!!!! But, umm, don't tell Mrs. Fedoryka, please.)
So anyways, now that you all get the gist of my usual hour of singing I would like to include, here after, my most adventerous and interesting little encounters as well as funny and odd events which have occured during "my hour":

1.)
Lets talk about money!
I have said that the average is about 20€ per hour. this is a nice little chunk of money you think to yourself, but let me tell you about my Top 2 amounts of money I have gotten in a single busk.
Best day: 59.93 €, 3.20 Swiss Francs, and .25 U.S cents, was earned in the course of a very sunny two hours of singing Monday the 5th of June, between the hours of 4 and 6pm. Second best day: Yesterday, June 8th, I sang for one hour from 3-4pm and I walked away with 36.62€. I was given more than that, but a bum stole some. That story follows in my Interesting People section.

2.)
My list of foreign currencies that have been given to me
while performing
"my hour":
An American Dollar bill as well as numerous quarters, dimes, nickles, and pennies originating from my home land.
One mexican Dollar Coin,
Three Swiss Francs and one 20 cent piece from that land of goats and Heidi.
About three British Pounds as well as several pennies.
Fifty cents worth of Slovaquie change.
One R from Brasil
A coin or two from Denmark...and the list goes on!
That's just what I can remember off the top of my head.
If you want to collect foreign money try being a busker in a very touristic city.
3.) The interesting people I have met!
Now lets see... I got asked for dirctons to McDonalds yesterday by a group of odd Aussi chicks, but that is a regular occurance.
No the real fun people are the ones who stop by and listen to my whole rep; and then want to talk to me after.
I met a very nice lady from Columbia or Peru last month. She was in town visiting her friend who happened to be married to a french man. I was singing Mozarts Laudate Dominum and she started singing quietly along. I was astounded that she new it at all. When I had finished I turned to her and said I've never met a person who knew that song before! She didn't speak French, I tried in english, she didn't speak english... So I told her friend in French and her friend translated into Spanish my wonder at her knowing the song.
Turned out the lady is a musician as well, though I am not sure of what instrument, and that she is also a faithful Catholic. She loved my singing and asked me to continue, so I sang her A.L. webers Pie Jesu, and she almost started crying. She wanted to know why I wasn't in an Opera House or at least on my way to one, but I had no answer. She wanted to know where I had bought all my beautiful music, I explained that I got it while I was in school. SHe said that she had heard that Pie Jesu before and that she would like to find the sheet music for it, I said that I knew it so well that she could simply have mine. She was very grateful, gave me at least 4€ in change and we exchanged emails with teh promise that if I were to ever come to her country I would stop by and see her.
I just wish I remember what country she lives in.... lol
I met a 70yr old Brazillian man with a Doctorate in Sociology who gave me 15€for two songs and after a cup of expresso. He said his name was gabriel and that he was sent to me to bring good news. While we talked about the problem of the youth in the world today, especially in Europe, of how they all just expect their parents to take care of them. He told me how he had struggled to finish his highschooling attending night classes because he had to work for his living. He told me about how he worked every job imaginable throughout his Bachelors and Masters degrees, and how he had gotten his Doctorate in Sociology here in Paris, while living in an attic apartment where he shared the toilet and shower down the hall with about 10 other people.
He was impressed that I had enough gumption to go out on the street and sing for my money, but he was more impressed with the theology that I had studied.
He asked me if I would come speak to his youngest son, 15yrs old, who has never worked a dya in his life for any of the money he has, and who although very inteligent is uncertain of his faith. I said I would be honored, so we exchanged phone numbers and addresses.
Yesterday I was in the middle of singing Adorate devote, with a fair sized ring of people around me, when a homeless man came over to me and started looking over my shoulder at my music. He mumbled something not nice and then looking at my money bowl bent down and started taking my change! I stopped singing and said "No, no Msr, that's my money" in French and tried to take the dish away from him. He physically pushed me to the ground and left with a handful of my money. While he was leaving he shouted something like 'You bitch, you can sing for more money!' I was all shook up and pulled my dish under me and started crying. Immediately at least 5 people came overto me and tried to comfort me. One person gave me a 10€bill, others forced 2€ coins into my hand, while one nice American lady practically gave me a hug and told me that he was just a drunk! That I shouldn't stop singing because I had such a beautiful voice and that was why she had told her husband to video record me. A young man, about 18 or 19yrs old, came over and said that he was very sorry for me and that what had just happened was the meanest thing he had ever seen happen in real life. He gave me some money and waited till I had recuperated enough to sing again.
After getting my bearings again and singing my little heart out I was just finishing "my hour" when a women came up to me and asked what the last song I had just sung was, in broken French. I said "pardon," because I couldn't understand her french. We started talking in english and it turns out that she is a Philosophy teacher in Upstate NY very close to Syracuse. Her husband happens to be a very good claranet player, from flippin' LaCrosse area WI, who has studied at a whole buch of famous schools and was now teaching as a Professor of music in Binghamton University.
She was standing way down the street when she heard my singing on the wind and she said she just had to come and see who was singing. We really hit it off they are a great couple. I asked him about the Vocal program that is at his school and he said that it is exceptional and listed off all the places that the students have gone on to. I sang him Laudate Dominum and he said that I had a beautiful instrument and that if I were to go to his school I would be serious competion for all the other soprans.
They gave me a whole list of contact info. for them and told me to meet them agian this Sunday at a little musical spectacle where they would like to introduce me to some french singers they know and at that time see if they have heard back from the lady he knows who heads the vocal program at
Juliard and Binghamton Universities.
The man, Timothy Perry, can be seen on this link he is the smiling bald conductor in the middle of the bottom of the page.

It was a very interesting hour, if I do say so myself.

7 comments:

Cola said...

you are very brave! I know that I wouldn't be able to do that! It sounds like you are meeting a TON of interesting people (and making a little spending money). Good fo you. Keep up the good work. I'm sure that you bring joy to many people with your lovely voice.

Bernadette said...

:) haves, I just wish the piano were portable, we could do some amazing duets.

yes, someone will come to pick you up from JFK! I'm not sure who, but I'll give you the cell phone number as soon as I find out whose it will be.

btw, I have a new job as a personal care assistant where I work 9-6. M-Th, and on friday, 10-2. but anyways, you should be able to do much just having our house as a place to sleep. also, my fam is going to NC for the weekend, July 7-9/10, tentatively, (not definite, you know), but Angel, Frank, and I will still be around, coming to and from work. we should be able to hang out much in the evenings, if you aren't dead tired yet. (the least we can do is sit and watch movies some evening, when the kids are gone :) )

see you soon!

Angel Roth said...

Agh! Havilah! Why weren't we born in the right century? You need a rich patron like the Medici or something. And I want so dearly to be in Europe. Yes, Haves, we can't wait till you come. We could go out for cheesesteaks and visit the Art Museum... How does open-deck dancing sound to you?

The Last Balancer said...

We need you to come to Ypsi to be an inspiration for the other hobos. They are sooooo boring. "Change for the bus" Yeah right. I am gonna start asking them to sing for me, and then, while they are singing, belt out SIIIIIIING like the Phantom of the Opera. Mwa hah hah.

Katherine Surmanski said...

the thought of an orphaned Ave binder ('cause its mother is dead, you know) resting on the sunlit steps of a French ├ęglise warms my heart!

you go, girl! ;-)

And don't mind the nasty drunks...one yelled at me to slow down when I was biking thru the city yesterday too, and I just ignored him and avoided hitting his dog.

Steve said...

Hava,
So here you go, a comment for you, since Ive been lurking around here the last couple days or so. Now you'll have to leave one for me alrighty? Anyhow, so the first time I was reading this article I wasn't yet sure If I was on the right page, I mean, how many Havilahs could there be in Paris, France? At least a million you'd think, being such a common name,... and all. Umm right, well, I believe my first thought or impression went something like this...
Hmm wonder if this the right page, she lives in Paris Check, her name is Havilah check, hmm this girl seems to be panhandling for money!, what the???? and she sings really well too!?! nah!... that cant be the girl. Heh...
Anyhow by the time I finally came back to this article, after verifying your identity with aproximately 99.9% certainty and then actually read it completely, I was amazed by this little story. Wow, so amazed, hmm I guess Ive been saying that a lot lately. Well, save you more for later.

Steveo

Megen Z. said...

Havilah! How are you? I posted on your blog before but then couldn't recall which post it was under, so I couldn't doublecheck to see if you had replied. When will you be back in the US? I am returning to the US myself this weekend and I was gonna head down to see Angel, and heard you were coming ... E-MAIL ME! megenzelinka@hotmail.com. Love you much!
Meg