Subway Performer's Application to Juilliard

McSweeney’s publishes A Subway Performer’s Application Essay to Juilliard by Karl Frankenfield:

But more than inventive, I bring an unparalleled originality to my performances—I do things with music that other musicians wouldn’t dream of. Would an average musician think to play never ending repetitions of three note scales, or to hold out off-key notes for minutes on end? No. I’m not just some artistic hippie; I get how this industry works. I’m a professional paid musician. I’ve been a regular performer near the Lincoln Center and outside of Madison Square Garden. My audiences love what I do. Sometimes, people will be so overcome with emotion that they’ll even pay me to stop. Beauty is very powerful.

If I were on the admissions board, I’d totally let him in.

One thought on “Subway Performer's Application to Juilliard”

  1. I wonder if this is the same guy who–dressed like a member of Sun Ra’s Arkestra–played loud, atonal blasts on his sax, inside packed NYC subway cars and, right before the other straphangers would be about to strangle him, would exclaim at the top of his lungs, “If you give me money I’ll stop!

    Laughter and an outpouring of donations would ensue.

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