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That Underground Sound

05_23_2008_ttcmusic.jpg
We hope your package is ready. You know, your application to be one of the few, the elite, the highly trained, and (hopefully) strangely attired TTC Subway Musicians. Today marks the first day that applications will be accepted for aspiring banjo/didgeridoo/french horn virtuosos who plan to entertain (and likely make a small fortune from) the warm and receptive commuters who patronize the TTC’s subway system.
The Subway Musicians program has grown considerably since the first incarnation was launched 29 years ago, when it consisted of 8 musicians playing at 8 select subway stations. (Fun Trivia: Did you know Rick Springfield started his musical career as a TTC subway musician? Well, he didn’t, so if you said yes, you’re a liar.) Today there are 89 musicians playing at 25 stations, and maybe one of them could be the next Rick Springfield!
All it takes to get started is to fill out the 2008/2009 Subway Musician’s Package [PDF]. You can also pick up your application at the Main Floor Security Desk at TTC’s Head Office (1900 Yonge Street, at Davisville Station) Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Completed and signed forms must be returned to the same spot by June 27, 2008. Auditions will be held at the CNE for the first 175 applicants (or everyone, if it’s less than that) on August 15 through August 17, 2008. It’s a bit of work, but think of the possible fame. The fame!
For everyone else who’s not inclined to apply because they could never figure out how to play “Good King Wenceslas” in their guitar lessons, instead of nervously rushing past these talented musicians because you think they’ll hassle you for your hard-earned bread, stop and have a listen. Stare at them, even. Make them nervous, dammit. They worked hard to get that spot, so give them some attention! Throwing in a couple of bucks might not hurt either.
Photo by psuba98 from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

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