I busk all ages and adult shows under the title "Automata Subterranea" (Puppets From The Underground), formerly under the (better known) name "The Flat Broke Puppet Co."
The show consists of a vaudeville style variety of acts, including short, ridiculous and cleverly worded puppet interpretations of fairy tales and poems both well known and forgotten; songs to sing along with, songs to dance to and songs to get parents to dance to while their children look on horrified; and lots of interaction. I learned early on that people of all ages love to have their "moment," and I can provide that by just rolling along with whatever they want to chat about.
I am pleased and proud to say that my biggest fans and donators are locals Bay Area people, despite me playing in tourist heavy areas. I have a strong, regular, middle school base, and parents who seek me out with their kids, in addition to banker looking ladies that get concerned when they don't see me for too long.
That being said, I have a keen interest in bringing my all ages shows to a broader range of local San Franciscans by booking time in the smaller public parks around town. I would like, however, to provide this as a free service; not something where people will feel obligated (or worse yet, not watch or not let their children watch to avoid an implied obligation) to tip.
Unfortunately, the fees from Parks and Recreation to use park space are outrageous, somewhere in the arena of 175 dollars per day for their lowest "amateur" permit.
As you can imagine, living in San Francisco as an alternative street and burlesque/cabaret performer is rough enough in the current climate that losing a third of your rent a month to provide 2 days of happiness to kids a month seems noble, but also kinda dumb.
Funded by San Francisco, CA (April 2014)