As I was walking to the Dome, this young girl was drumming on her buckets with so much passion that I can not believe a child could have in their little hearts.
She had me stuck in my tracks, unable to move because of her performance and mannerism and spell bounding sound.
The sounds she made from a bucket was nothing but the heartbeat of NOLA! She was performing, drumming on the makeshift drum, bucket. If I did not see her hitting the $2 bucket myself, I wouldn’t have believed it, especially that the artist was a young girl.
As I watched her, she managed to keep stunning me. As with all kids, they eventually are motivated by money and stuff, especially girls. I know my seven years old gets excited when she sees a dollar bill, always ready to snatch it up to buy some candy or a frozen cup. A street performer performs not knowing if we will drop a coin in their buckets.
I listened to her for a good 20 minutes give or take, because my antsy family was ready to get into the Dome, but I recall her attention was solely on her sticks and buckets. Not once did she make eye contact with the people who stopped to listen and record her as she played or me. She never looked to see if we dropped money into her tip bucket. Her goal was set to entertain regardless of what was dropped in the bucket.
This little girl’s focus was not on the tip bucket, but the beating of her sticks against the buckets. She was living within the rhythm she created as if it was her compensation.
Shockingly, money was not a factor for her. I sensed that her audience wasn’t either; she wasn’t playing for us or money…
It wasn’t until she completed her mini jam session for her to shift her attention from her bucket instrument to give us a soft thank you as we clapped. Followed by a few sips of her cold drink and back to drumming on her buckets.
She looked content as the sticks hit buckets. I could see the joy in her eyes as if she was loving the moment, enjoying the sounds she created. It was as if the beating of her heart was in sync with her sticks as she struck the buckets like they were her lifeline. The sounds she made sang of hope, possibility, and greatness. I literally could feel this child’s heart and soul through her beats.
I was lost within the beat, lost in her, wondering if she knew her music affected me in such a wondrous manner. How can she inspire me with sticks and mop buckets? I thought to myself. Then it hit me. She was a survivor, a product of our ancestors, and the environment. She’s had the soul of an overcomer and the passion that made dreams come true.
This young girl knew she had a talent, and she made used the objects she had available to her, a bucket, and used drumsticks. I imagined her practicing every chance she had. I imagine her sitting down with that bucket daily mastering her drumming technique. And when she felt the was ready, she searched for the perfect platform and courageously stepped out in public, on the street at that, not knowing if she would make any money and shared her talent with us. It was magical, and her music floated through the air capturing the attention of Saints fans.
In spite of all this and without a parent or adult by her side, she came out to share her talent with us. I hoped that someone is near watching out for her. I missed part of the game, trying to encourage others to give her a tip hoping she would make enough before the sunset. And she actually did pack up and leave moments after the crowd thinned. It seemed like she was a pro, knew the business of being a New Orleans street performer.
Most adults could not do what this little girl is doing. I know I would at least need someone sitting by me…
How was she able to perform so well in front of strangers, strangers who were walking by and happened to walk past her on their way to see performers they paid to see. It takes more than confidence to be on the streets of New Orleans.
I’m more than proud of her. She inspires me.
Since the day I heard her, I have poured into my passions, my talents, and my purpose in life. I decided it’s time to put away my fears and step out on fate. She left me wanting to be more like her. Isn’t that something at my age to be motivated by a child? I want to be more like this young girl again, full of aspirations and hope. I lost that spirit with growing up, but it was like she set fire to that dying desire within me.
You see her, isn’t she inspiring? She is so much more than a Bucket Drummer! She is deserving of so much more based on her spirit alone.
I hope to find her, tell her how awesome she is, how much she inspired me, and to never give up. I want to gift her with a set of drums as well, but I believe she’s deserving of more than that. I’m writing this in hopes of using my platform to reach out to others to help me establish a fund to get her in a performing arts school and/or instead of being outside of the Dome performing, but apart of a show like opening up for an artist or play during half time.
What do you think?? There are so many talented kids on the streets of New Orleans, putting their lives in harm’s way to do what they love, performing. They want to be heard by the masses, they want a chance to touch the stars, and they are deserving.
These children are more than likely have to give part of their earnings to an adult, help pay bills, and buy food. Maybe, their parents do not know they are out there and, surprised when their ten-year-old comes in with money to help keep the lights on or it can be some unimaginable horrible reason. I hope they are out there because there aren’t any openings at the community arts center. Maybe, they are drumming to raise money to pay for a class. Why else would an adult let their child go on the streets of New Orleans with buckets??
I know for sure that all of the free courses, no matter the type, are all full and have a waiting list. As soon as a class opens, it closes, leaving thousands of New Orleans children out on the streets, some not so creative…
These children have no concept for money; they want to be heard and have their talents validated by handclaps and the knowledge that someone will drop a few coins the bucket. It could be a penny, but for a kid, that penny means just as much a hundred dollar bill. It shows they are worthy. They are talented, and we see their talent, and we see them.
If you ever visited New Orleans, you know that adult street performers do not move unless you drop a bill in their buckets, and most of them have credit card machines and apps now…
Back to the little girl street bucket drummer. I do not know who she is or anything other than she lives in New Orleans and performs on the city’s streets. She gives an excellent performance without a guarantee of a tip, and she helped me beating that bucket of hers… She hits with hope and determination, love for her craft, and showmanship. It shows in her movement and especially how’s she throws her sticks in the air without losing a beat.
She’s talented and deserves a shot in my eyes. If anything, please share her video, maybe it will go viral, and music pro will seek her out as well, but sharing can help me find her as well, and I’ll gift her the drums myself.
Let’s find her New Orleans!! ⚜ I think she is the next Shelia E…