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Design Your Busking Act And Receive An Invite To An Exclusive Streetsy Mob

Whether you want performances full of glamour or full of danger, whether you want to be experimental or the tried & true - set up your act and see whose attention you earn.

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Within our world live the Streetsies: buskers with magical powers. They may just seem like street entertainers - but these Streetsies have their own rich hidden world of intrigue, mystery, alliances, rivalries, and art.

You are one of the Streetsies. Design your act and decide how you'd react to certain circumstances. Your decisions will lead to an invite from one of the handful of Streetsy Mobs - secret clubs that promise opportunity, education, protection, and community for those they deem their kin. Who will you align with?

Streetsy is a game/interactive fiction project about magical buskers currently in development as part of Pixelles' Games Writing Follow-Along.

  1. What kind of act do you want to perform today?

    Good ol' street magic. Such a great way to inspire delight, and you could get away with a lot more by just claiming sleight of hand!
    Georgian sword dancing. If you get sprung, you're ready for battle. Always be ready for battle - art is also war.
    A hybrid circus/spoken word/one-man-band act. Such a combination has surely not been seen before.
    A dance piece that is as much meditation as it is movement. Looks simple but takes a lot of inner and outer strength to fully master.
    Some songs traditional to your kind that you unearthed from copious historical research. You want the punters to appreciate your culture in much deeper ways.
  2. You've got a trick up your sleeve. What is it?

    You can bedazzle people into following you wherever you want to take them. They are captivated by you - very captivated.
    Your strength is so stupendous that you could probably PUNCH THE SUN if you wanted (and to be honest, you really do want to).
    No problem is insurmountable to you! All you need is a clever application of alchemy - literal or figurative.
    Rain or shine, hungry or full, sleepless or rested - you persist. Nothing fazes you. You could go on forever and not falter.
    You are a quick learner. In fact, you're such a quick learner that you could pick up a new language or skill after only reading a book and watching a few YouTube videos about it.
  3. Every good busker needs a good hat. What's yours?

    The Busking Project
    A top hat covered brim to top with rhinestones, glitter, and coins. Gold attracts gold!
    A hat with spikes on the inside - punters can drop money in, but take money out and your hat will draw blood. Which isn't always a bad thing.
    A hat with a LED panel that displays the time, weather, and amount of money inside.
    A simple bowler hat from your early days of busking, carefully well-maintained to retain its shape and lustre even now. You'd say it was lucky, if you believed in such a thing.
    A hat you DIY'd after reading up about the history and basics of millinery. You even included some money attraction spell powder in the lining, just like that old grimoire suggested!
  4. You're heading to your pitch and somebody may be trying to beat you to it! What do you do?

    Mick Rhodes
    Talk to the other person. Maybe you could persuade them to let you have this spot?
    Be prepared to FIGHT THEM for the pitch. Though usually just being your imposing self works just fine.
    Set off a little bit of confusion spray at their direction. They amble off the other way, seemingly forgetting why they even wanted to take your pitch to begin with.
    Remain calm and gently discuss turns at the pitch with the other person. If you have to wait, that is fine - more opportunity to practice.
    What? No! You researched this pitch's timetables thoroughly! You KNOW nobody else has this pitch at this hour! You'll throw a schedule at them if you have to!
  5. Good, you got your pitch. How do you set it up?

    Gadjo Sevilla
    Anointing it with a splash of absinthe and a ring of glitter.
    Run a ring of fire - serves as a useful anti-theft fence, and also looks super badass.
    Your assistant Roomba-esque bot serves as guard while you set up your contraptions.
    Meditating on the energies from the core of the Earth and from the sky coming together to create a bubble of protection around you and the pitch.
    You want to try out this set-up you picked up in a book about Antipodean Streetsy culture. Maybe it'll change your luck?
  6. It's Act 1! What do you do?

    Introduce people to your flamboyant personality. Your image is just as important, if not more so, than your actual act.
    Warm up with a set of juggling drills. Literal drills.
    Push play on this musical contraption you made yourself. No, not a boombox - it has literal instruments. That play themselves.
    Start with the basics. Your full mastery of them makes even the simplest of moves look very, very impressive.
    Just like a thesis, you start with the introduction. A preview of what your entire performance would be, along with some commentary.
  7. The weather may be acting up. What do you do?

    Allan Rostron
    You exude so much warmth that people are drawn to stay anyway! Just like a cozy fireplace.
    Threaten to PUNCH THE SUN. Or the RAINCLOUDS. Or whatever weather pattern tries to disturb you.
    Set up a drone carrying a massive umbrella-like device that floats above your pitch and your crowd. Everyone stays dry!
    No matter. You are able to perform under any circumstances. You have trained to handle all kinds of weather.
    Thankfully you had studied the weather forecasts before your act today, so you know exactly how and when to set up your pitch! You wouldn't plan to perform on a bad day now would you?
  8. For Act 2 you'd like some audience participation. You pull in a punter - what do they do?

    William Murphy
    Get a kid to help you with part of your act. Kids are great fun - to them you're like a fairy come to life.
    Challenge the punter to a fight! You'll let them off easy. Maybe.
    Ask the punter to be a guinea pig for your newest invention. You have tested it on yourself quite a few times, but more data points are useful.
    Allow the punter to sit closer to you as you perform around them, bestowing them a blessing. Bot you and them are at peace.
    Take a request from the punter. You may need to watch a video if you hadn't heard it before, but you get it perfectly after just one listen.
  9. Meep! The bureaucrats are coming and you don't know where your license is! What do you do?

    Robert Marinkovic
    With your bright smile and even brighter glamour, you're sure you could just charm them into letting you go.
    Ready your weapons for a fight. You trained not just to perform or cast but also to protect yourself.
    Pull out a clipboard with some spreadsheets and claim that you are simply conducting field research.
    Hold your ground. You will not let them get to you. You are sure you can resolve this calmly.
    Bring up all the laws you memorized about how Streetsy performances are protected under freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
  10. Just before your final act, you remind the punters of your hat. How do you do so?

    Chris Chabot
    Talk about how your hat is charmed to grant wishes. They believe you; you're not entirely wrong.
    Bet on your life - if you survive Act 3, they'll pay you handsomely. Sounds like a good deal, no?
    Promise to reveal something brand new and exclusive to them if they stick around! It'll be worth every dollar!
    Talk about how this is your main livelihood and how you have dedicated your life to your craft. You do not ask for much, just enough to get by on simple meals and lodging.
    Talk about the great tradition of Streetsies that you and them are a part of, and how this tradition can only continue with their support! Streetsies gotta eat!
  11. The Grand Finale: Act 3! Bring it home now!

    Montecruz Foto
    All right, it's the show-stopper! Fireworks and fairy dust shower your audience as you bring them the best time of their lives.
    Everyone holds their breath as you attempt the most dangerous trick they have ever seen. There was always going to be a risk of things going awry, but this time you've pulled it off.
    It's the world debut of your brand-new genre-defying act! A fusion of tradition and innovation! No one's ever seen anything like it!
    This act is the hallmark of masters, one only attainable after many years of study and discipline. Your dedication is apparent as you perform your piece close to perfection.
    The culmination of your research and practice! Show them what you've learned from your explorations. Everyone learns something new today!
  12. You did it! Time to ask for the final hat!

    Chris Beckett
    If they weren't already charmed by you, you subtly influence them into dropping some coin into your hat. Just like they were in a daze.
    You look so menacing that people are too afraid not to give you money. You're actually pretty nice, but you can't let them know that.
    Some of your punters don't have cash - but that's fine! You take credit cards, EFTPOS, Square, PayPal, Venmo, direct deposit, gold bars...
    As each punter comes up to give to your hat, bestow upon them a short blessing. Soon a line forms just to get blessings from you.
    Entertain punters with facts about hats and busking as they give you money. Never stop learning!
  13. Someone left a surprise in your hat! What is it?

    Max Pixel
    The business card of one of the biggest entertainment agents in town. Finally - you'll be part of the Big Leagues in no time!
    A finely crafted sword - perfectly sized for sword swallowing. Another to add to your collection.
    An interesting and unusual device whose purpose you haven't quite worked out yet. If you can't reverse engineer it, at least you could use it for parts.
    A flyer for a nearby poustinia, where you can work on your craft and meditate in peace. Perfect - you have been looking for an artist retreat for a while.
    A zine about a gang of counterculture Streetsies a few streets over. Great! More local lore to learn!
  14. Time to pack up and go. How do you feel?

    Elliott Brown
    Splendid! You love performing and the world loves you. You are looking forward to your next act already!
    You are SO PUMPED. Busking is always a workout, but now you're fired up for even more. Time to hit the studio gym!
    Such valuable data for your work! You're going to take the time to really analyse the results and how you can improve your next busk.
    Collected and grounded. Every opportunity to perform is an opportunity to reconnect with your spirit and build discipline. Onward.
    You're already running through your list of other types of acts to try. You want to learn all the things! Can't wait to hit the books!

Design Your Busking Act And Receive An Invite To An Exclusive Streetsy Mob

You got: an invite to Dreaming of Pixies

"DAHLING! We felt your glamour from so far away! We must, we MUST have you in our shindig! We are Fanciers of the Fabulous and Proselytes of the Pizzazz. We believe the audience is EVERYTHING - and what the audience wants is the Spectacular. Many in the Big Leagues start off as a Pixie - so will you! So come! Let us revel in our razzle-dazzle and learn the fine art of holding a crowd in the palm of your hands. Just be sure to leave the dowds at home, this is strictly a ritz-only space. Toodles!"

an invite to Dreaming of Pixies
Benjamin J. DeLong
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You got: an invite to Clan of Chayne

"YOU THERE. You think you're tough stuff, showing off with your stunts and your sorcery? We'd like to try you. See how well you handle calamity, the bureaucrats, other mobs. Toss you into our ring, teach you a few tricks, see how well you fend for yourself. Swords, nails, fire - the whole shebang. Do well and we'll offer you protection, training, a lifelong kinhood of the most daring and defiant. But you gotta fight us first."

an invite to Clan of Chayne
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You got: an invite to The Tinkerers' Tie-Up

"Greetings! We are very intrigued by your ingenuity and would like to invite you to our Tinkerspace some time. We are interested in innovation in the pitch and are always looking for avenues to augment our skills both in performance and in prestidigitation. Past, present, and future all come together here as we fuse forms and alchemise new work. Come to one of our exclusive Preview nights to check out our workspaces, studios, and laboratories - and see if you'd be a great fit for our set of Streetsy science-artists."

an invite to The Tinkerers' Tie-Up
Cory Doctorow
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You got: an invite to The Cenobium

"Seeker: We recognise your focus and dedication to your art. We would like to invite you to be in community with your fellow aesthetes, spending time both solitare and communal on developing craft, discipline, strength, and spirit. Our means are modest and our needs simple. Please come by for one of our meditation meetings and let's see if we are meant to be part of your path of growth. Brightest blessings to you."

an invite to The Cenobium
Jesse Warren
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You got: an invite to The Harper Hermetics Institute

"Dear Scholar: We would like to invite you to pursue further study or research in our Institute dedicated to studying the magical arts of our people. Current and past fellows explore topics as diverse as synesthetic interactions between music and magic, socio-cultural waves of street art in history, deep dives into performance traditions of other cultures, and much more. Being part of the Institute means being part of an intellectual and creative community dedicated to exploring, preserving, and continuing the study of performance and thaumaturgy. Please come and meet with our Dean to see how we can support your academic and artistic pursuits."

an invite to The Harper Hermetics Institute
Ben Cremin
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