Philly Street Performer Chris Hall: “If You’re Good, You Will Always Be Able To Make It.”
It’s hard not to notice Chris Hall. He sits directly outside Reading Terminal Market’s doors, playing his electric guitar and flashing a huge smile to anyone looking his way. He basks in the sunlight, seemingly without a care in the world, his playlist consisting of cool island music and jazz.
“It’s music that means something,” he explains.
Hall says his interest in music was first sparked in kindergarten when he played the xylophone for his elementary school assemblies. He went on to play in a few bands, including Time in Motion, a 14-piece ensemble that played at sororities and fraternities in Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore and Boston.
Hall says he used to watch a friend of his play on the street and think “what a bum,” assuming he wouldn’t end up in the same situation. But when he was asked to go on tour with a band, he had to turn down the offer in order to take care of his mother, whose health was failing. By the time he was ready to return to the music scene, he had a hard time adjusting.
“I was like, ‘Wow. How am I going to make it now? Everything’s changed,’” he says.
So Hall decided to give street performing a try, moving between Center City, Old City and along South Street.
Hall says he has no problem with the limited amount of money street performers pocket.
“It’s representation without taxation,” he says, laughing. “You gotta love it.”
“It’s blue skies, it’s a stage,” he adds, looking up at the sun. “If you’re good, you will always be able to make it.”
Hall said, with God as his inspiration, he’s going to stick to performing in his hometown of Philly.
“If you can make it here, you can make it just about anywhere,” he says.