Niko on New Orleans News

A few weeks ago a wonderful young woman approached me after seeing one of my shows. She worked for a local New Orleans News station and wondered if I’d be interested in letting her do a story on me. I happily agreed, and the two minute interview video can be seen below.

Aside from the obvious look-ma!-I’m-on-TV perks, what I enjoyed most about this bit is that it depicts street theater in a positive light. Street performing is definitely looked down upon in many parts of America, so anything that gives buskers a voice and shows that we’re a force of good (ie not beggars and bums) is a breath of fresh air. Restrictions and regulations enforced by institutions can make it very difficult to travel freely while working, and there’s even been encroachments upon street performers in a place as liberal as New Orleans.

Personally, I’m quite content with an organized and regulated busking scene. I’m perfectly fine paying for a permit if it means that I don’t have to deal with a vagrant setting up all his stuff in my office. Though application time and availability makes it more difficult for me when I’m traveling, I still prefer it over working in a place where I’m not sure if I’m going to get arrested before my finale. It’s a very strange form of stress to be entertaining a crowd while simultaneously keeping an eye out for authority figures. The simple paradox of being handcuffed for amazing and entertaining adults and children is comical enough to be in a street show (though I’d prefer it wasn’t).

WGNO News with a Twist: Magician on a Motorcycle Story