In October of 2011, I convinced legendary street performer Robert Nelson (aka The Butterfly Man) to become the host of a podcast dedicated to creating a living social history book about street performing and some of the crazy characters who populate this world.
Neither of us had any experience with creating a podcast, but both were keen to capture the great stories that are told whenever street performers get together. For me in particular it was as a way of keeping the oral history alive for generations of performers, past, present and future, and to capture Robert telling some of his legendary stories as he had endured a bought with cancer and I wasn’t sure how much longer he’d be with us.
‘The Pitch’ is the term that Buskers use to describe their stage, so we decided to call our podcast – ‘Stories from the Pitch’ as a way of connect these stories to the world and to really focus on creating a library of recordings with people who bring exceptional originality, creativity and finesse to the art form. A collection of mentors talking about their process and their craft to provide an example of what is possible to others.
As we released episodes, interesting things began to happen. Performers from around the world started to discover the site and after listening to the episodes, they felt like those people featured had become new friends. Conversations started popping around the world and these conversations helped foster a sense of community about a world that is largely undocumented. Other performers got excited about the project and have come on board to lend their voices to the conversation and grow this resource with various contributions, some as interviewers, some with technical advice, and all with a passion for the world of Street Theatre.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (April 2013)