The Ottawa Rickshaws Blog

Street-level Perspective of Ottawa
An Afternoon With Dangerboy: A Byward Market Busker

An Afternoon With Dangerboy: A Byward Market Busker


Interview of “Dangerboy” conducted by Adam Slight

We managed to catch up with one of our favourite Byward Market street performer “Dangerboy” to see what makes a busker tick. You can learn more about Dangerboy on his Facebook Fanpage.

How did you come up with your name—“Dangerboy”?

I wanted something that not only let people know that I preformed exciting and thrilling feats, hence the word “Danger”. I also wanted to pay tribute to all of the famous boys that had inspired me, Boy George, Boys to Men, Australian street performer Bike Boy, Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius, the Beastie Boys, and of course, Justin Bieber.

In 10 words or less, how would you describe your performance?

“An Eccentric Comedy Stunt Show and fun for the whole family!”

I know that was eleven, but I tried my best.

Twenty one. Darnit.

Twenty five.

…I Talk a lot.

How many years have you been performing in the Byward Market?

3 years,so far, and hopefully many more!

What drew you towards street performance?

Do you know how hard it is to become a marine biologist?

I don’t know if it was anything specific, I’ve just always loved performing. That, and I’m terrible at math.

What insights about Ottawa has working on its streets given you?

The people of Ottawa are some of the nicest, most friendly people in the world.
They’re always ready to be entertained. People often say “Ottawa is the city that fun forgot”, I don’t believe that’s true, Ottawa is definitely a fun-loving city. They’re just a whole lot more polite about it.

The great thing about busking and the city of Ottawa is that street performers add to it’s culture, it’s vibrancy. Market stalls are fantastic, as are restaurants and shops, but free entertainment for everyone in a city to come see, no matter what your age, or race or income is a vital part of not only a tourist experience but also as way to bring everyone in a city together

If you could perform on the streets of any city in the world, what city would it be?

I’d love to perform on the Streets of Tokyo, it’s a really populous city,and I’ve always been really enamoured with Japan and it’s culture.

I’d also use it as an opportunity to try and create a new action-anime series, which will more than likely be named “Danger Hero Boy Action Squad”. And instead of doing great stunts, I’ll likely be solving mysteries using my cell phone with the help of a cat that turns into a squid but also into a 100 year old man/motorcycle.

What is the single best thing about being a busker?

Making people laugh every day for a living. I really couldn’t ask for more.

What is the single worst thing about being a busker?

Having to yell so loudly – my voice gets so hoarse!

If you could change one thing about Ottawa, what would it be?

Honestly, the one thing I would change is this:

There’s a By-law in the city that says that street performers like myself are not allowed to use voice amplification. That means if you’re coming to see my show and you’re in the second or third row, I’m going to have to scream that much louder to reach you. It makes my jokes less funny and does serious damage to my vocal chords. (It’s completely fine if I were to play a guitar though. It’s only for voice amp – so get ready for my accordion renditions of Stairway to Heaven 2013, everyone!)

What life advice would you give that you have derived from your line of work?

I have two;

“If a lot of people tell you that you can’t do something you love doing, and a lot of people will, do it anyways. You’ll have more fun that way.”

and also;

“If a lot of people tell you that something you do will set your face of fire, you should probably still listen. fire hurts”

Who are your professional role-models?

I’m going to say Super Dave Osbourne, Gonzo the Great, Houdini, obviously.

If you could perform in front of one royal figure, living, dead, or fictional, who would it be?

King Kong, so I could learn how to end every show passed out with a huge crowd around me and with a blonde in my hand.

What will you be doing in the Fall/Winter for your career?

In the Fall, I’ll be working on a mentalism and mind reading comedy act in comedy clubs throughout Ottawa, and in the winter I’ll be making a DVD of comedy sketches.

You can learn more about Dangerboy, or book him for a show on his Facebook Fanpage.