One of the best violinists in the world performed undercover at a DC metro station. He was mostly ignored.
Joshua Bell was talked into doing a kind of social experiment to see if people would stop and recognize a genius performer, even under strange circumstances. He went to a DC Metro station, dressed with regular street clothes and started playing classic, but not too familiar pieces.
Out of approximately 1100 people, less than 30 actually stopped to listen. This is someone who people normally pay well over $100 to listen to him in concert. When asked about the experience, Bell said his expectations were rapidly changed. He says he usually gets upset when someone's cell rings at his concert. Here, he said, any attention was most welcome.
People who were interviewed after they walked past said they didn't even really notice him, mostly because they were too busy going on with their lives to stop and pay attention. The man who can make $1000s an hour for his performances ended up making $32.17 for his 43 minutes of play. Would you have stopped?