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Topic: Debut
Message: Posted by: Swami Bill (Jun 16, 2003 12:01AM)
I have worked on a set all winter and spent the last month or so (weekends and a few lunch hours) getting up the gumption to perform in a place that has actual people. This weekend I finally did it. I have a doorway show that is built around a CSB and Michael Skinner Monte routine followed by the cups and balls. I lugged my gear to a street fair and set up off to the side and I have to say IT WAS FANTASTIC!
Among the many things I learned was that it ain't like doing your set in front of the mirror at home and crowd control can make or break your tip. This is hard work. The hours standing on the pavement and the repetition and the wierdos... I'd have it no other way but everyone from 9 year olds to grizzled bikers are out to catch you.
Aside from crowd manipulation, it seems that folks on the left side of my table are harder to deal with than anywhere else. Some kid busted me on my final loads and he was 2' away on my left side. Otherwise, what a great thing.

- Bill
Message: Posted by: magicsoup (Jun 16, 2003 12:42AM)
I know people will not like this, but I've always believed that performing for an audience is the best place to learn. I don't mean that we ignore preperation, that's magic suicide, but I find it really hard to learn to interact with an audience in front of the mirror or the video camera. On the streets you really need to know how to interact with the people. When you incorporate a new routine into your act it may seem weak at first but if you keep doing it you'll learn how to perform it and often your audience will give you patter materiel. Keep a notebook handy to write some things they say to you down. Keep up the good work. :jump:
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jun 16, 2003 04:59AM)
Swami Bill writes: "Among the many things I learned was that it ain't like doing your set in front of the mirror at home and crowd control can make or break your tip. This is hard work."

It is, indeed.

But, then, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it! :rotf:

Congratulations on your debut! Believe me, it will get easier (not a lot, but some!) :nod:
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Jun 16, 2003 07:13AM)
Yes, congratulations BIll!

It is hardest the first time out.

Keep performing and analysing the act. Write notes between sets, so you don't forget, and then be willing to throw out what isn't working, or is simply too much work for the reaction. Think about what it took to get set up. And what you can leave behind next time too. It is one thing to be prepared, but once you have a routine down, just take the essentials.

One again congratulations, And keep going!

But what about the hats? Did you get the tip?

Message: Posted by: Jesse Dains (Jun 16, 2003 07:37AM)
MISTER Swami Bill

Great job! Dont worry about the bikers, they are OK, its those 9 year old kids you have to watch out for.
Message: Posted by: Swami Bill (Jun 16, 2003 01:51PM)
BroDavid, et.al., I actually did get the money. At $33 for for 5 hours out there it wasn't great but it was something. Of the many things that I have to improve on, turning the tip is one of the biggest. Many people smiled, laughed, nodded and kept on walking. I have a hat line at the end and my scripted show has a few references to giving me dollars sprinkled throughout. And yes... I get along with bikers just fine but those darn 9 year old kid gangs can sometimes wreck havoc. Or is that reek?
Thanks to you all here in this forum for the great info, feedback and support.

- Bill
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Jun 16, 2003 04:38PM)
It isn't so much the total that counts.... Well Yes it surely does count.... But the first few times out, it is like when you turn on the garden hose. You don't immediately get the full force of it, but if you leave it on long enough, it will Flow - rivers of Green!!

A lot of people want to prosper immediately, but prosperity it a two step process. 1. First, you survive! 2. Then you can prosper.

As has been discussed here in other threads, the hard thing is asking. You took that hard step and survived. Now, on to prospering my friend!

Well Done!

Message: Posted by: Alessandro Scotti (Jun 16, 2003 06:28PM)
congratulations for your debut! And... I love to hear those tales from the streets, keep 'em coming! :)
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jun 17, 2003 02:43AM)
Congratulations! Way to go, man. We have something in common. This weekend was also my first time.

I did my first real street shows this past Sunday. I also had a great time. (Also got a sunburn.) It was a perfect situation to ease my way into street performing. A friend of mine was events coordinator for the Santa Monica Summer Solstice Festival. I got hired to perform in the kid area. I set up between a petting zoom, pony rides, water dunking (the mayor got dunked!), and those big inflatable "jumpers."
So the crowd was parents and kids. At one point, I did an original joke that carried some sexual innuendo. The parents laughed. Then they laughed harder when I said it was okay to laugh; the kid's don't get it.
There's a lot I still have to learn and put into practice, but the most important thing I learned is that I can do it. That I can have a lot of fun doing it. I got a lot of compliments. I wasn't, however, satisfied with the level of my magic, which was lower than my normal standard for some reason. I found myself reverted to simplier moves to feel safe. For example, I didn't do my wand spin vanish for the cups and balls.
One big tip I have: BRING HAND WIPES to keep your hands from getting too grimy feeling to perform well.
My friend was very happy, said he got lots of completments and that wants me for the next one. Next step, is hitting the bricks on my own w/o a fair.
Thanks to everyone who has generously offered their hard earned experience heartfelt encouragement.
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Jun 17, 2003 09:27AM)
to be good at anything...well anything that's worth anything you MUST practice...how do you practice performing...not in front of your mirror....the only way to get there is to do it.....tons of shows....1000's of shows and you WILL get there....many magi...you know the ones...the ones that judge every magi that comes to town....the ones that critisize (cant spell)....they are the ones....that never have the courage to do what you did....and they never know what it takes to make a living doing magic....but you are learning....go out and do those 1000's of shows...you WILL get there...you will make $35 in one hat and have money for dinner!....

good luck
Message: Posted by: Patrick McKeever (Jun 17, 2003 11:03AM)
Congratulations. It's a trip out there,eh?
the guys above are right about performing for a live audience every chance you get. You get very little feedback from a mirror.

I have a pretty large repertoire of ready material but every time I introduce a new effect, it falls flat until I have done it a dozen or so times, sometimes a hundred times. Repetition and feedback is definately the trick to good performing.

best of luck, Patrick
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Jun 17, 2003 11:20AM)
James in LA,

Congratulations to you also...I remember my first time doing street also..it's a thrill.

One thing you said caught my attention: "...I found myself reverted to simplier moves to feel safe..." I did the same thing.. all the slick moves I had practiced at home went right out the window in the heat of the battle!

It's a good idea to keep things simple so you can focus on what is important - interacting with the audience and entertaining them. Once you mastered those skills you can start playing with your routines, working on more difficult technical moves in order to polish them in front of an audience.

Good luck.
Message: Posted by: Swami Bill (Jun 17, 2003 12:02PM)
Jim - Congratulations! Now that I've done this for real it's amazing how much I don't know. Like the hand wipes! I thought of that too, and one reason I quit when I did was because my paws were so grimey that I could't load a ball under a cup! Fat hats to you and a fun season.

- Bill
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jun 19, 2003 05:52PM)
Thank you Jim Snack and Swami Bill. I took Danny Hustle's advice and took the first dollar I made from that day--my first real day on the street--and framed it with a caption.
For the record, I got a $50 check from the city and a free dinner at a diner on Main Street and I got $30 in tips, including two $5's. It was a sparse crowd, but it was a thrill seeing dollars being put in the hat.

Another interesting thing. My gali gali cups have been a beautiful shinny copper color for months of inside practice. But in one day outside in the sun and in the hands of others being examined, they have instantly tarnished to a dark color. Maybe it was the salt air; I was about 4 blocks from the ocean?
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Jun 20, 2003 10:26AM)
Great work Jim!

You are on your way, my friend!

Thanks for the update.