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Topic: Please help me with my show:)
Message: Posted by: danielhunley (Jan 25, 2003 11:50PM)
I was thinking about my routine that I plan to perform for my first street show. I really need fellow Magician imput so I plan to put everything I have come up with down... Please criteque EVERY THING.. If you thing something might not work please tell me, for you know more than me:)

The first aspect of my show is the time and place. I live in the 5th largest town in Kentucky called Paducah... It is about 1/4 the size of Memphis (only other place I am familiar with). Every Saturday night, Paducah throws a huge party downtown called Saturday Night After Dinner. There are tons of street musicians, but their are no magicians. It starts after about 6, and I have found a perfect place right in the center of the area under a very large street lamp. It is right next to the "Gizebo", where a feature musician or band plays. I think this would be this best place.

I have read many things about what to wear. I am only 14, and I don't feel comfortable at all about wearing a jacket or vest. I have heard of 2 or 3 people saying that they wear a brightly colored Hawian shirt and a pair of Cargo short Khakis. Now, I can wear this, seeing that I do all the time anyway. I have a pair of Khakis that have 4 very large pockets all over. I also have a really bright yellow with blue flowered Hawian shirt with a large pocket on the front. Any one think this may not work? I also could carry a back pack.

Now, I really think these are the tricks I could preform in order,

-My Silks Routine: Larger Than Life Silks, ( large red silk vanishes, reappears as yellow, vanishes and reappears as a very very large red silk).
-Standard 3D Sponge Bunny Routine
-3 Card Monte (Skinner's Version)
-Anything Deck (My Version)

I am a very animated person so waving my silks should get attention for an opener. I am good with sponge balls (I plan to get a set of bunnies soon), which could get lots of interaction. 3 Card Monte would be another fun effect. My Anything Deck always blows people away.

I have one question... Do you always have a hat to use as a hat??? (Um Sounds weird).. What can I use instead of a hat??? Just a jar, that says tips???

Ok, I love this line. I read it from a post here at the Café. I would say if right after I do 3 card Monte, "So you are going to go home tonight, and tell all your friends that you saw a really good magician downtown, right??? and he did some awesome tricks with nothing but some silks, bunnies, and some cards, right??? and you really enjoyed him, right??? and everyone gave him 5 dollars right???" Now I know that wasn't word for word. Who did come up with it? Gazzo??

Ok. So Sorry for the long post and that just about covers everything I could ever think of. If there are any other aspects that I should think of, feel free to tell me. I really want to be told everything I am doing wrong so I can work on it. (You can't hurt my feelings so bash me in any way).

BTW, I know the first post I am going to get is going to be about getting Cellinis DVD so just to let everyone know, I plan to get it for my birthday. :)
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jan 26, 2003 04:37AM)
Actually, everything sounds pretty good; you've obviously thought this through carefully.
The only advice I would give is to make sure that you are highly visible, either with what you do or what you wear.
And don't call silks "silks"; at least, not in front of a lay audience. Call them scarves or hankies or anything else but "silks".
My other concern is the sound level; being right next to a band may overwhelm you. But that the sort of thing you'll only find out by doing it.
And you don't have to use a hat as a hat (yes, it sounds strange but I know what you mean!).
I use a plastic top hat with a cutout rabbit in it holding a sign that says "Balloons and magic free, donations appreciated". But you can use anything you want; again, this is an area where you have to do it to find out what works.
However, it sounds as if you've got a good area to work.
So, good luck!
Message: Posted by: danielhunley (Jan 26, 2003 08:38AM)
I actually thought about the music drowning me out as I proof read my entire post. But I thought that maybe it wouldn't be such a bad plan.. Oh well.. There are tons of street lights :P I can find one:)
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Jan 26, 2003 11:02AM)
The entire effects you listed so far will take about 4 to 5 minutes(a guess)You need more "stuff". I would guess you need at least 15 minutes. Rope tricks work well on the streets,think about this.
Hope you do well....best of luck to you.
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 27, 2003 08:51AM)
Greetings and Salutations Daniel,

My only comments would be having two card-type effects, the monte and the anything deck.

The easiest to eliminate would be the monte. It's a cool effect but it's a street scam, and even if you're playing it for a trick, I'm thinking the cops would pop you so your show doesn't "invite" card hustlers who would play the monte for money.

I agree with DD, toss in a rope routine, maybe the Professor's Nightmare, and see what happens.

Have fun playing in the streets.

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 27, 2003 10:00AM)
Hi Daniel,

First off the venue you are choosing sounds like it is a blast! You should do very, very, well.

I think your trick selection might need some help though. All of the tricks you mention are fantastic but some might be problematic on the street.

Sponge balls are awesome but they will blow away easily. Be aware of the weather.

Mike Skinner’s three-card Monte is probably the greatest version of this trick for entertaining lay people. Unfortunately, on the street this trick even in a demonstrative presentation can get you into trouble with local law enforcement. People love gambling demonstrations though and a better choice might be “the sidewalk shuffle” This trick uses jumbo cards. So while the gambling demo impact is still strong on the audience, the giant cards suggest to the police that this is a trick and not a scam. I have used this on the street and it kills. Another thing is this trick will play to many more people than Skinner’s version. More people = more money.

You do not need a hat. You can use a can or any other receptacle.

I would not set up next to the gazebo if the band is going to be playing while you are working. Your audience just won’t be able to hear you. Find a place away from the musicians that has good pedestrian traffic.

Also, I’d think bigger in your tricks. Card tricks are great but try and select tricks that play off the table and to a large percentage of the audience. Card to pocket, card to mouth, and the insurance policy are all good card tricks that can play for a larger crowd.

I agree about sticking in a rope routine. It packs flat and plays big.

If you want people to tip you should make your show no shorter than 12 or 15 minutes. Anything under that and people will just not have seen enough to want to give you more than pocket change. Also remember; do not start your show proper until you have as many people stopped, as you want to stay for the whole show. There is nothing worse than starting a show for two people and working all the way through and then during the last three minutes of your show you draw a huge crowd. The only people who are going to tip you are the two you started with. The rest have only seen three minutes, unfortunately it was your best three minutes. If you start another show, these people might stay for most of it but they will leave when you get to the point they walked in at the show before.

I hope this helps.


Message: Posted by: RandomEffects (Jan 27, 2003 11:06PM)
On 2003-01-26 12:02, DonDriver wrote:
The entire effects you listed so far will take about 4 to 5 minutes(a guess)You need more "stuff". I would guess you need at least 15 minutes.


Well I disagree with Don on this one issue. A good performer can make three tricks last 15 minutes and keep the audience hooked the whole time. Simply adding more stuff is not always the answer. We are performers, people, not some guy who just got his Box'o'tricks and wants to show them all off.

I do agree with Don and everyone else about a good rope trick. They play well, they play big, and they pack small. I would lose skinners monte. Any monte game that does not use jumbo cards is going to be way too Under-visible(is that a word?) for the crowd. While you may not always be performing for huge crowds your set should always be set up so that it will.

Just my two cents,
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Jan 28, 2003 11:59AM)
I really think you can "MILK" an effect too long,no matter how good an entertainer you are.I've seen it many times.I like to keep a show moving.....what do other here think about this ?
Just the way I feel about that....but thanks for your input Mat.
Have a nice Day,
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 28, 2003 01:50PM)
Gazzo does the cups and balls for an hour and it's brilliant.

The difference is it has to be an hour that feels like five minutes.

I have seen tricks that take three minutes that have felt like they went on for an hour.

I think it depends on the performer.


Message: Posted by: TroyRoark (Jan 28, 2003 03:04PM)
Paducah! I've got a cousin who sings there on weekends. Her name is Krista Farmer. Go say hi. She cute and nice. Tell her Troy her juggling cousin said hi.

Sounds like you're prepared. That's great! Street performing has one big drawback for less experienced performers: People can walk away. It's not like a sit down, captive audience. There's other things to see and do. While Paducah does not have a competitive atmosphere, everything else going on is competition.

With that said, think BIG and VISUAL. Over time, you'll get a sense for what's working and what isn't. Don't be afraid to try new lines, or play with your timing a little. The more you go are perform, the better you will become.

Hope to catch you in Paducah sometime.

Troy Roark
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Jan 28, 2003 03:41PM)
On 2003-01-28 14:50, Danny Hustle wrote:

The difference is it has to be an hour that feels like five minutes.

I have seen tricks that take three minutes that have felt like they went on for an hour.


That's 1000% fact Danny. I noticed that alot
of specs lose track of time. Some will lose 10 or 15 minutes and some even 45 or an hour.

Try asking a couple specs and see. You won't believe how far off they are. I had one lady tell me my show was 20 minutes long when it ran an hour and 15 minutes. I showed her, her own watch and told her- Get this, and I have no clue where it came from: That maam is my greatest miracle... time travel...Welcome to the future. :lol:

Now back to Daniel.

A good cut and restored never hurt.
Also what about the linking ropes?
A nice change bag routine?
I saw a guy use two specs for the "in again out again cuffs" with a large cloth between them.

Just some ideas.
Message: Posted by: danielhunley (Jan 28, 2003 06:41PM)
Honestly,,,, I don't know what any of these tricks are :blush: . I am still new and learning very fast but I don't know what linking ropes (like linking rings) or in and out cuffs... And what is A changing bag?? Please help a not stupid just ignorant beginner:)
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 28, 2003 07:07PM)
Greetings and Salutations Daniel,

Beg, borrow, or steal (no, don't steal), but in anyway you can, get a copy of Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic, the BIG BOOK, not the little book. It's stuffed full of magic, I haven't even dented it, and I think all your answers are there. You may even be able to get it at the library.

But don't slow down. You've got a couple of good tricks, and some good advice on the way to go. After that, hit the bricks and experiment, keep trying new effects until you find the ones that are you. It sounds Zen like, but that's what's going to happen. And after you get some good hats and some poor hats, save up your dough and get Cellini's "The Royal Touch," it's about $80. I got mine from Hank Lee's. I got my Mark Wilson book from Amazon.com for $20, and I here you can find it at half that if you know where to look ... obviously I didn't! ;)

You can turn three tricks in a 12 to 20 minute show. It's easy, and doesn't have to be boring or long-winded. Remember in that 12 to 20 minutes you've got to gather your crowd, a couple of minutes at least; do something to wow 'em, a three-plus minute effect; a keep 'em there trick, probably 3 or four minutes; and your closer, a five minute trick at least; then it's going to take a couple of minutes (we hope) to collect your hat, your wits and re-set whatever it is you have to reset. Unless my math is as bad as my magic, your show just clocked in at about 16 minutes, and you didn't have much time to interact with your audience. Remember, you're "on" from the moment you start calling an audience until the last one has let go of his tip into your hat (or other appropriate receptacle). In any venue like the street you can only turn it down a notch while you're re-setting because if you're not "on" then, too, somebody may not stick around, thinking you're packing to go home.

It sounds like a great venue to me. All the best. Have fun playing in the streets.

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: danielhunley (Jan 28, 2003 08:37PM)
Actually,,, I think,, I am going to have to wait until
A. I get Strait A's this 9 weeks (I am REALLY working on that)
B. I have a succesful show and get some money then...
Until then,, my mom thinks magic is getting in the way of school so she doesn't do anything to help.. that's why I am going for strait A's until then,, I don't have any money to buy stuff until my birthday (I love my Uncle:) At least someone likes me doing magic). But one day I'm going to make enough to further my study in magic.. Until then I am just going to hang on for the ride :D
Thanx for all the help ;) BYE
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Jan 29, 2003 11:37AM)
Hey Daniel,

Here are the prices:

A good cut and restored.
Mark Wilson's cyclopedia $10 (Paperback)

Linking ropes. (like linking rings only just 3 to link and unlink)
Cheap ready made set $5 at the magic warehouse.

Change bag. $10 at the magicwarehouse.

"in again out again cuffs" Or chain shackles.
Servicable chain shackles $20 at the trickery.

You can read the descriptions online.

Read the routines and note the effects of the pros right here at the Café.
Message: Posted by: rkrahlmann (Jan 29, 2003 12:09PM)
Dan, if you can do something with fire, safety and authorities permitting, put it in the show, especially at the top when you need to draw a crowd.
I did well with a jumbo invisable deck. Big, visual, great pay off. It was easily a 5-7 minute routine. Everyone is correct in saying you don't need lots of tricks, but really sell the one's you have.
Message: Posted by: Bird Brain (Jan 31, 2003 10:20PM)
Hey Dan, sounds like you're on the right track!

I'm a "youth" (uggh, I hate that word! Lol!) myself, and I hit the street last summer. I was SCARED STIFF, and it wasn't my first time performing magic!

Here's some food for thought...Maybe you can learn from my dilemma. My two openers were: Linking rings, OR sponge balls out of my mouth.

Linking Rings were good, cause you could talk to your "customers", but then again, I don't have the knack of talking to just a few people without putting them on the spot. I can see them thinking "uh, oh, a weirdo street man. Let's get away." On the other hand, when I did the sponge balls, I couldn't talk, therefore not holding people, but I could see it fascinated people to see a guy burping yellow foam things.

I guess the point of this ramble is: experiment with your opener by all means! Do something that can keep "going", such as linking rings, and that don't' have to be reset.

Good luck, and it's not as scary as it may seem! Let us know how it goes!

You'll have a GREAT feeling when you do a good show, and people clap....For example, I did a show and maybe netted about 1.50...it was a buncha teenagers with loose change...But it was one of the COOLEST shows I've done! Sometimes the reactions you get will be worth more than any amount of money you can get, cause you get to meet all SORTS of people! You'll rememer 'em forever!

Great luck!

Bird Brain
Message: Posted by: danielhunley (Jan 31, 2003 10:45PM)
Thanx Bird Brain:)... You hit the spot on what I was going to ask next... Would Light Flight(Small glowing ball floats), be a good starter? To get peoples attention... I mean, I would seem to be,, after all,, I read all the archived posts,,, (literarly), INCLUDING the one about atention grabbers... Fire or D Lights.. My parents drew the line at fire :rolleyes: Probably a good idea, and I don't like Dlights to much.. I knew how they were done when I wasnt a magician... I know they can be great, but I just don't like em. So I thought a glowing ball Floating might be better than one gowing from finger to finger. Good Idea? Bad?

Thanx for all imput
Message: Posted by: RandomEffects (Jan 31, 2003 11:05PM)
Lite flie is neat but unless you are working in a darker area it is not as cool, just another floating ball. It is also on the small side. However if you already have there attention then it will get/keep them wowed. It is an IT hook-up but one that can be easily stored on the body. Of course breakage will be a big possibility.

D-lites, does anyone not own a set of these, will work wonders. Easy to use and very visual. I would recomend kicking in the extra cash for the new white one's Rocco is making. They are incrediblebly bright, and have this angelic white color to them. Since i am feeling generous. the best way to introduce them is to reach up and pluck them off some ones camera. Either the red light signifying the flash is ready for red D-Lites or the flash itself for the white ones. Of all the trickks i have done with these this always gets the best reaction, I have seen people studying their cameras after my act, it's hilarious.

Message: Posted by: danielhunley (Feb 1, 2003 03:33PM)
Well,, Actually I would be preforming at night, so that's why I thought light flight would be good. Has any one every caught you with D lights??? I saw a man preform them in New Orleans and he was terrible.. I didn't know what they were,, I just knew they were thumb tips.. It was before I started magic...
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Oct 15, 2006 09:01AM)

"Gazzo does the cups and balls for an hour and it's brilliant".

I believe it...

"The difference is it has to be an hour that feels like five minutes.
I have seen tricks that take three minutes that have felt like they went on for an hour. I think it depends on the performer".

To quote David Letterman, "...It's time for 30 minutes of entertainment, - all crammed into an hour-and-a-half!"..

I spent months in San Francisco during the Rennaissance of Street Performers there and lived in a house full of them, Harry & Patti Lovecraft, Butterfly Bob Nelson, A Whitney Brown (who went on to become head writer for SNL!), and saw many others work over and over again.

I thought, "This is SO cool." It was the ultimate teaching laboratory. If people lost interest they simply walked away. It was a hardcore way to discover what material you had that really kept attention.

Anyway just "Calling" or building your crowd may not be what you really want to "burn" your good magic material on. Most magicians didn't waste tricks on that. They made the crowd applaude to cause interest by telling them to do so. Michael Marlin the Juggler (who once toured with Doug Henning) simply balanced a peacock feather on his nose and told jokes. Bob Nelson insulted the audience.

D Lites may be OK if you use them in an innovative way, (Granted, they are well known). I came up with a bit of using the D Lites to trace patterns in the air, finally "placing" them in my other palm to open it and reveal a HERSHEYS KISS, or other curious item that was given away. (Great bit to chat ladies).

A. Whitney Brown was working with a dog who wore a hat and glasses while sitting in a chair. People were just naturally curious as he chatted absurdley to build the crowd. Just do SOMETHING that promises the unusual and show confidence.

People passing by have a very low tolerance of BS (Boring Stuff). I wish all magicians would do it just once. Too many go on with mediocre material because party audiences tolerate standard stuff out of politeness to the host. Those crowds really don't help one get better, but if you GET how to hold a crowd in the street, then you become REALLY entertaining.

Sorry, I am rambling and its very late. Need some sleep for shows tomorrow. I hope to get back here with a lot more thoughts and stories. This is a fascinating topic.

More later, and I do have thoughts on floating, which is one of my specialties.

Magical Aloha

-Mike Ching
Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Oct 15, 2006 02:43PM)
Well, Daniel must be 17 or 18 by now ... I wonder if he ever did his act, or got his straight As.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Oct 15, 2006 06:56PM)
I was wondering that myself! :confused:
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Oct 15, 2006 11:23PM)
Yuh huh.

It's the principle guys. Just a good topic to cover!
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Oct 16, 2006 07:27AM)
I'd really love to hear more stories about those guys in SF.
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Oct 19, 2006 01:16PM)
Yup RR:

As a novice getting a daily crash course in "Geurilla Street Entertainment" you were surrounded daily by people who took it all so seriously and it was super-inspiring. I often thought it would make a great Broadway Musical. Sometime when I have a whole afternoon to write, maybe I'll jot down some of the wonderful adventures there were.
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Oct 19, 2006 06:03PM)
If I remember right Daniel was wanting to do his street thing in Kentucky and his folks moved him to Houston Texas (or Austin) and that was that last I heard from him.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Oct 19, 2006 10:56PM)
So, anybody have anything to say about the street scene in Houston, Texas?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 20, 2006 02:56AM)
There is very little street scene in Houston, TX. There is one public square where you can perform, called Martha Hermann Square. By law, the police cannot tell anyone to move along. Consequently, the place is filled with street people.

The polizei do not have a liking for buskers. Mike Marlin used to busk in front of Jones Hall, but he got sent packing.
Message: Posted by: walid ahumada (Oct 25, 2006 11:27AM)
I wanna know the end of the tale, does somebody knows daniel ??
Message: Posted by: F-Hmagic (May 6, 2007 11:00PM)
Sorry to bring up an older thread, but since I'm near to Paducah, KY, this caught my interest. They still have the "Downtown After Dinner." It'll be starting back up next weekend. I am not a regular visitor, but they have had some good bands/performers.
There is one "statue" who I have seen over a couple of years. My girlfriend always gets a kick out of watching her.

I have thought a number of times that it would be interesting to see a magician there. Perhaps after more practice (and in-between school years away) I might get to be that magician?

Mike Ching, that was some good information. I'm definately going to file it away for future reference!
Message: Posted by: Turner (May 9, 2007 10:06PM)
Someone has to get a hold of Daniel. He had all the right things going for him! Pleasee Daniel, come back!
Message: Posted by: 1KJ (May 28, 2017 11:48AM)
Whatever happened to Daniel? He must be 27 now. Probably a corporate accountant in some cubicle somewhere.

Message: Posted by: Nickoli Sharpe (May 30, 2017 09:23AM)
Kinda wondering myself