Perpetually puffing my chest out.
My name is Abby and I’m a spoon player. I’m not fancy, I’ve just learned to puff my chest out a bit. Through a series of miscellaneous circumstances, I have come to be known as the “Spoon Lady” and I’ve enjoyed the ride.
Playing music on the street creates opportunities for folks to experience things that they perhaps otherwise wouldn’t, such as a professional spoon player, a one-man band, a human statue, or other performances and genres of music outside of the everyday realm of the everyday person. Street performance teaches you to become a sharp people watcher. The reactions we receive are varied and entertaining. Children dancing, people of all ages and walks of life, artists and art lovers all gather around, creating a moment of community on the sidewalk. When the crowds on the street are full, it feels very similar to being wrapped in energy, protected in your own little world. I use the bells at my feet to “talk” to the crowd, and I love to make funny faces. I have the best job ever.
I fell into both street performance and spoon playing when I started backpacking around the United States. I became obsessed with folk rhythm and culture, and the stories surrounding. I lugged around notebooks of handwritten stories and random digital cameras. I hitchhiked and rode freight trains around all 48 of the main states, figuring it out as I went. Playing spoons seemed like the best way to fund myself around the country. Another traveler taught me how to hold the spoons and run them down my fingers, and I taught myself from there.
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
Eventually, I found myself in Asheville, NC, which to some would be no surprise. Asheville has always been a mecca for arts and culture. Street performing in Asheville is a special thing, and the street performance scene is massively rich here. In 2014 the Asheville Buskers Collective was formed to help promote and keep street performing legal in the Asheville, North Carolina area. I am happy to be the acting President and honored to represent our busking culture to the government and public.
I host a radio show in Asheville, NC called the BUSKER BROADCAST. It gives me an avenue to talk about street music to the general public and to share the songs and styles of folks that are blessing us on the sidewalks.