Another stimulating question from the AVQ&A series on the AV Club:
- What fictional concert would you love to attend?
Lots of great answers from the AV Club contributors, but after doing a fair bit of thinking on it, I think I’d want to most attend Bert’s One-Man-Band show from Mary Poppins.
Street performers are an interesting breed; there’s a serious level of confidence that has always impressed me. You’ve got to essentially bare your heart directly in front of another person and you get to see in real time whether or not they think you’re any good. If they do, you maybe got a dollar or two thrown in a hat or open guitar case; if they don’t, you get walked away on. I would think it’d be even more sobering than putting a performance up on YouTube and letting commentors go crazy on it. In real life, people might not be so awful to you as they are online, but there’s no emotional filter; you can see in their face what they think of your talent. And that’s why Bert’s One-Man-Band would be such a wonderful performance to see. There isn’t an ounce of self-doubt (except in front of the Constable) in what he does. He doesn’t seem to care what you think. He exudes sheer happiness in what he’s doing. The best kind of street performer.
On top of that, he’s a master of what he dubs Comical Poem. He makes up on-the-spot limericks about people in his audience. Normally, if I’m watching a performance, I dislike becoming a part of said performance, but in this case I think I’d be able to deal with it. Bert is such a charmer. He makes his audience feel at ease, never condescending or talking down to them. He is the pure opposite of vicious, with not a hurtful word being spoken to anyone. Nobody’s the butt of a joke. Everybody is just there to have fun, including Bert.
And his music! He’s got a gigantic drum on his back, harmonica/bicycle horn/trumpet/french horn around his neck, cymbals at every joint, and carrying an accordian. He creates this fantastic medley of sounds; he turns himself into a walking parade. I would love to talk to him after the show just to get an idea of how much time and effort goes into becoming a one-man-band.
He’d be a joy to chat with after the show too. Bert is winsome, happy, charming, and as he moonlights as a chimney sweep, you know the guy’s got nowhere to be after his show’s over, so he’d be happy to chat with you. He doesn’t think he’s better than his audience, he’s just happy to get a few quid and in return, you get a soaring compliment and directions.