I'm broke. I'm also a musician and so to make ends meet I was going to try busking in the Metro for spare change. When I contacted the STM to see what procedure needed to be followed I was given the number of the the "Regroupement des Musiciens de Montréal," Montreal's buskers "union." Apparently formed to weed out non-musicians (which seems absolutely ludicrous as most people I've seen play in the Metro were truly awful shills) this organisation collects money from prospective Metro musicians, $20 for one month, $30 for two and $50 for three, and forces them to audition. I'm all for organized labour but in this case there is nothing to organize to protect against. The STM doesn't charge people fees to play so where is this money going? Well, I guess to pay the secretary, and other employees who I'm assuming since they have real jobs now are no longer busking. Nice racket but I won't be paying Dino's salary to make $3.45 in change. They'd also like to play down the fact that they're begging. I'm sorry, but providing an unwanted service and asking for money is begging, guys! According to the McGill Tribune:
"The current situation spreads the misconception that all buskers are beggars. After one of Dunlevy's performances, a man came up to him and offered him the remaining $1.80 on his Subway gift card, and came back a few minutes later with a couple shirts.
"I said 'Look, I really don't need charity. I've got clothes! This is just a way to make ends meet and to practice my art,'" he said.
Listen, buddy, if you don't need the money practice at home. And do you really think that your made-for-smooth-jazz-radio rendition of "Unchained Melody" is gonna' get you anything but beggar's pity change? I understand that you need to pretend that you're not begging so you can look your kid in the eye when you tuck him into bed at night without breaking down into a slobbering ball of shame and tears. I get it, it's embarrassing, it really is. So, I understand why you've formed the "Regroupement des Musiciens de Montréal." Now when you tuck little Tyler in instead of saying "Daddy needs to go sing and dance like a circus monkey so that strangers will fling pocket change indiscriminately at him so that we can have Kraft Dinner for supper tomorrow" you can say "Daddy needs to do some paperwork." I get it. I'm pissed but I get it. And you won't be getting my money, of which I have little. If only I could get a cushy secretary position at some nice non-profit organisation.