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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Busking vs Street Magic? (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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mtpascoe
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I'm thinking busking lately, but haven't had the nerve. My only experience is in street magic where I got paid to perform. My first experience was more of a strolling job at Magic Mountain strolling the park performing. I found the best audiences standing in line waiting for a ride. Great audience as they will do anything to kill time. I was paid by a private contractor so I didn't need to worry about tips. Had a few give me money, though.

Next, I worked on the Strip in Las Vegas drawing crowds for the Ripley's Believe it or Not. I was paid by them to go on the street and perform. Then I had to follow up with talking about the museum and passing out flyers to lure them in. The museum killed it when they had me wear a t-shirt with their logo on it. They thought it would get people inside, but the people stopped coming to watch because they didn't take me seriously. They just saw me as trying to sell them something.

Later I almost got a job with the Riviera, but they changed their mind.

Now I am living near Ventura and am thinking about it. The approach is entirely different. There is a lot to think about. How to draw a crowd that will pay, passing the hat, what tricks to do, where to put the money after the show, and most of all, watching out for muggers. I tip my hat to those that do it on a daily basis.
MagiCol
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Mtpascoe: good on you for doing the thinking. Now do some planning on paper: Pick a spot to stand at - your pitch. Your first job is to learn how to greet people by catching their eye, smiling, and saying Hello to them. I'd suggest having just one trick to show them. Then thank them and look for the next person/s to greet.
While standing waiting to greet somebody be doing something. You could have something in your hands to catch passing people's attention. Maybe shuffle a deck of cards if you like. But do the shuffling face up so that people see a constant change of card faces. When people stop you might put away the cards while greeting them and pull out your props for the magic trick you are going to show them.

What this start-up idea is going to do is to help you get over your lack of nerve of busking. Take a friend if you want, to give you support, but to stand off to the side away from you. He can also walk up and be one of the people watching you perform.
Don't worry about doing a whole Magic Show to start with, I reckon. And don't worry about getting money at this stage.
Your first job is to get out there and learn to be at ease being there and greeting people and engaging them for a few minutes.

Meantime, at home between outings you can practice a simple short Magic Show of maybe four effects that do not need a table to perform.

It's easy to be overwhelmed when you start finding out about busking with a Magic Show. So take a step at a time.

JoeJoe has some excellent advice on getting people to stop. Chase up his posts, go visit his web site, see if you can watch some videos of his on YouTube.

Most importantly at the moment is to go and stand at a suitable pitch and get used to being there out in the public doing something.
The presentation makes the magic.
mtpascoe
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Great advice MagiCol. I will take that to heart. It's a big difference performing on stage and on the street. On the stage, you wait backstage until someone introduces you. You can't back out. On the street you can.

My pressure was of course I was getting paid, so I had to find a way to break through and do it. Busking seems so different in that sense. You are not getting paid. You get your money at the end when you hat the audience. A new skill I will have to develop. I will find all of this out when I get out and do it. Love the idea about a buddy. I have someone in mind and will heed your advice.
MagiCol
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It sure can be scary, mtpascoe, standing out there on the street all alone for the first time. When I happened for me, I felt like everyone was watching me, wondering what was going on. In fact, most people couldn't care less about you setting yourself up or standing there on the street. It's our job to create curiosity in people to help them decide to stop and see what's going on, or what's going to happen. That's why its so important to be doing something in between getting those first one or two people stopped so we can start our trick/show.
There's lots of advice here on the forums. The big challenge is finding out exactly what works for us as an individual.
The only way to do that is to go out and be on the streets performing. That's where the learning really takes place.
The presentation makes the magic.
blue dragon magic
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Busking viruses street performing, its the same thing pending where you are. Street performing is more of an American term where as busking is more of a European term. This of course is my opinion on the subject. Its like the term buffet a French word meaning plentiful in the USA we tend to think and link the term to all you can eat. But the layout is the same plenty of food to choose from. Street performing and busking again is term for the same thing pending what part of the world your in. Canada seems to use the term busking more so than street performing. Also if you read this busking turns to bucking because of stupid auto correct I have gone back to correct it all I think I corrected it all.
blue dragon magic
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One of my first street performances was an eye opener a good predicament to be in. I was setting up for my performance and the moment I put the sign up saying magic show I had a constant line of people I never did set up adequately to my liking but I had this fear of not wanting to disappoint anyone. I know that street performers number one concern is how much can I make when I perform I do it for the love of performing and not for the money that means everyone gets the same show rather they can pay or not. When your hurting for money to lets say pay your rent its hard not to think about money but somehow in your unspoken words body language they pick up money scent and that turns people off. Having fun they in turn will have fun. When it stops being fun for you then its time to hang up the hat. Sometimes the fire burns out and time away is a good thing to rekindle the fire. A hard lesson to learn is that what you see on TV is not real street performing. At best its a way to see an effect in use. As one expands there knowledge in magic you know which effect is practical for the street. This experience is gained only through time and some wasted money on props that don't deliver the goods expected. Later you might find use for the item. Learning an effect is easy learning your unique style and character performing is the most difficult and it will constantly evolve. I enjoy haunted magic effects done in a comedy style. Not always comedy but I don't want to scare my audience away. Around Halloween I drop the comedy and go for the scare factor. The show I do on the streets is the same for private parties and stage which means packs small plays big. I have been street performing for five plus years fourth years interested and studying magic. I do not know everything about street performing and I am still learning. I have become comfortable at always being a student of magic. Finding a different way of doing the same thing constantly reinventing the wheel. I tend to keep things simple as possible but new ways to market my show I am my own worst critic I'm never satisfied with my show trying to come up with the perfect act. I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect act. Here in the states if I use the term busker they look at me with crazy eyes and I explain but if I say street magic street performer they understand. With internet, smart phones everyone is distracted which makes it harder to catch there attention. So the act has to evolve to handle those distractions as for a magician DVDs books eBooks this forum youtube the tools are within reach of everyone. Growing up before DVD I had to learn magic from badly taken drawings and photos. Video is like having a personal instructor in your home. Street performing has to incorporate these distractions within the act itself. As if its part of the act. I struggle with this as to how do I go about it. I use to despise you tube once a TV magic show comes on an explanation of the trick was posted. If I did that trick or something similar I dropped it from my act. Then I realized if you wanted to learn the trick you had to know the trade name like instead of penetrating rubber bands you might get a hit with that search but crazy mans handcuffs would spill the secret. Most laypeople don't know the trade name of an effect seen on TV.
blue dragon magic
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That's fourth years studying magic
blue dragon magic
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Forty years
blue dragon magic
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Gambling magic effects Dutch looper ultimate three card Monte and three shell game I use skeletons that are shells I beleive the skulls shell is by rosco theres eyegore and Marie Antoinette and a new set dragons blood. Stevens magic emporium in the states two DVDs by sal palenti I spelled the last name wrong due to auto correct street Monte and the three shell game are both of his DVDs.
blue dragon magic
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I don't endorse magic shops just where I got my props from as a starting point as to where to find it often I get props that are exclusive to a magic shop like cessarells bell that's a bell that rings on its own I bought it in the states but it comes from Spain. You can buy directly from them but because its out of country I deal with a magic shop in states. I am not good with exchange rates and the hassles buying overseas. These days it seems that if something takes a certain battery it has to be shipped differently than lets say a book or DVD.
Jason Simonds
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I haven't seen the Dragon's Blood. If they are anything like Eyegore and Marie Antoinette, I bet they look great.
TheAmbitiousCard
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It's been many years since this thread was started.
Do people still think there are such things as "street magicians" (ones that are not buskers)?

Magicians that just wander the streets .... doing tricks... for the unsuspecting public ? ? ?


I think it's true that having seen the Blaine specials or having seen trailers for magic DVDs where the magicians were posing as a so-called "street magicians", many decided to give it a shot.

But in the end... eventually.... they came to their senses and went back to work... or their friends... or school Smile


Am I wrong? Or does the legend still exist?
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koreancanuck
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Quote:
On Jul 4, 2018, TheAmbitiousCard wrote:
It's been many years since this thread was started.
Do people still think there are such things as "street magicians" (ones that are not buskers)?

Magicians that just wander the streets .... doing tricks... for the unsuspecting public ? ? ?


I think it's true that having seen the Blaine specials or having seen trailers for magic DVDs where the magicians were posing as a so-called "street magicians", many decided to give it a shot.

But in the end... eventually.... they came to their senses and went back to work... or their friends... or school Smile


Am I wrong? Or does the legend still exist?


Even with work and school, I think there is still time to do street magic. Several of us here have done it or do it occasionally. One junior has posted a few times requesting magicians to join her to do street magic. And I hear they get great reactions. Another friend does it on occasion and has posted several FB videos.
I and some friends did it a couple of times this month for the outdoor festival, car free day. We had fun and got great reactions. I also feel I have a lot of gain from the experience, seeing as I’m relatively new to magic and have only just started getting some professional paid gigs. I find the best experience/practice is going out there and working it in front of the people.
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