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Spreading a smile with song

Busker Mike Masoe with his friend Chance Kretzshmann. PHOTO/ALEYNA MARTINEZ

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Mike Masoe has been spreading smiles with his guitar around Masterton’s CBD for about three years now.

He said busking in the town’s centre felt like sending a smile that could spread to a good mood.

During Alert Level 4 lockdown, he recalled one teenaged girl who approached him, dropped off $10 and a letter that stated, “I love what you’re doing”.

“She said the music helps her, it was a pretty touching letter, and I just remember reading how much she said what I’m doing helped and how much she thought busking was a really good thing,” Masoe said.

According to a Masterton District Council spokesperson, no busking licence is required in Masterton, but buskers do need permission.

“If someone asks about busking, an environmental health officer will outline expectations, including that amplification should not be use, and the suggestion that buskers spend a maximum of an hour in one spot, and maintain communication with businesses outside which they are performing,” the spokesperson said.

Outside Uncle Bill’s is one of Masoe’s frequented spots.

Masoe said busking was a “release” for him and was good for mental health.

“When you’ve got no money and you’re walking around with nothing, you’re angry.

“I noticed that when I’m angry I need to come out and busk.

“It’s important because that’s what sports is for but this helps too.

“Busking has made me a better person, and sharing the reactions with people has been an awesome experience, from putting the music in clear files to the money, from the big things all the way to the small I’m going to stay humble, respectful, and keep learning.”

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