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Topic: Beginning to work the streets - tips appreciated
Message: Posted by: Latig0 (May 30, 2010 03:59AM)
Hey there.

Today I went to do tricks to the streets in Santa Mónica. I have a lot of experience in birthday parties and social engagements but not on the streets.
It was a very interesting experience and I made some money.
I have almost no knowledge on this type of gig. I know you basically have to do three things: build a crowd, entertain it, get the most possible money.
The best i´ve seen so far at this three items were a couple of guys who would do acrobatic stuff and be funny talking all the time.
Not exactly sure how they built the crowd but the audience was very entertained and man did those guys make money. The main guy had a polished money speech with jokes and stuff. He was basically making people put fives in the hat. Then it caught on and lots of people were giving 5 dollar bills.
Great great work.

I never got a big crowd. It was always small crowds and short little shows for each. Usually I would lure kids with the raccoon (amazing attention getter) do a couple of raccoon moves and then jump to card tricks. It´s always the kids i´m attracting which is fine but I would like to attract adults as well.

I still got a lot of work to do in building a crowd and transitioning from ´stuff I did to catch your attention´ to ´show´.

All tips and book or video recommendations will be a great help.

Thanks as usual!
Message: Posted by: Paddy (May 30, 2010 04:36AM)
That's called sidewalk shows, short 10 to 15 minutes long and hat 'em Danno!" That's all I do and it pays very well. The best DVD on the subject is Kozmo's "Tale from the Streets" it shows you how to stop 'em, entertain them and hat them the right way. Congrats on starting in the life, be careful or you'll get the "disease" and go full time busking, it's a heck of a great way to live!

Paddy
Message: Posted by: epoptika (May 30, 2010 09:51AM)
You don't need to go back very far with past postings to find this question, and answers, pretty much exhausted.

Congratulations on taking the leap! :)
Message: Posted by: Latig0 (May 31, 2010 03:37PM)
Hey guys, thanks for the info!

Yesterday I went again but I definetely have to learn to build a crowd.

I pretty much suck at doing it!

So far i´m only doing ´individual´ entertainment and this is a lot of effort for not much money.

Have a nice day.
Message: Posted by: imgic (May 31, 2010 07:51PM)
While there's a wealth of information in the Café (just read back posts...it's a virtual library of advice) also google Jimmy Talksalot. He's got a blog about street performing that will help you. Would also recommend his book; it answers the questions your asking.

http://jimmytalksalot.blogspot.com/
Message: Posted by: Latig0 (Jun 1, 2010 02:15AM)
Yes, i´ve stumbled upon his blog searching this forum and I think I found what I needed :)

Thanks imgic!
Message: Posted by: superpixel (Jun 10, 2010 02:12AM)
I just bought Kozmo's DVD and I've previously watched Gazzo and The Art of Busking... there are two or three schools of thought. "Rude and loud" or the softer, comic sell of Kozmo. It depends on your style. Dante uses personal charm, but he's a handsome dude with genuine presence and charisma despite being vertically challenged ;)

I like Kozmo's approach because I'm not very loud, but the louder approach builds a crowd very quickly because it's much like what PT Barnum used to do to build a crowd on the street: make people pay attention to you. However, sometimes Kozmo's approach loses people. But so does the loud stuff. So you just gotta figure what works for you and the space and study everyone you can... Like all magic!
Message: Posted by: kOnO (Jun 10, 2010 08:09AM)
Search out Danny Hustle's 'BUSKERS Café' website for a lot of great information on doing STREET MAGIC.



kOnO
Message: Posted by: ray raymond (Jun 10, 2010 08:41AM)
When street performing don't work for kids. (especially if the parents are not right there with them). They do not have money to tip any way. If there are some kids standing around with no adults I will not do any thing. Be patient, work slow, keep at it, and have fun!!!
Message: Posted by: Paco iglacias (Jun 10, 2010 09:30AM)
If you're from New York you are almost definitely talking about tic and tack(or maybe the English gents). They're a set of twins or brothers or something that do some crazy good acrobatics while peppering with jokes. To draw in a crowd they do an acrobatic trick while a bucket drummer plays in the background. after a small crowd is drawn, they tell the current spectators that they're going to have to help them "steal an audience" and has the audience scream and clap like madmen for the next trick. Also I'm pretty sure they hat before they're finale which works with their hat lines.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jun 10, 2010 11:15PM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-31 16:37, Latig0 wrote:
Hey guys, thanks for the info!

Yesterday I went again but I definetely have to learn to build a crowd.

I pretty much suck at doing it!

So far i´m only doing ´individual´ entertainment and this is a lot of effort for not much money.

Have a nice day.
[/quote]

How much are you generating? No, it's not the most important thing, but it does help you figure out a level for yourself.

I suck at building crowds, and I suck at hatting them. (To be fair, I'm not supposed to "hat them," that's considered a "direct solicitation for funds" and is a no-no in my agreement with the city.)

In fact, the only thing I think I don't suck at is the magic itself. But I'll have to wait until I can get my kid to shoot some video of me to post to get a consensus.
***
I agree with the "don't perform directly for kids" thing. I had three kids who would have stood there all day watching without giving up a cent. On the other hand, one day I got a fairly good amount (in change) from these kids I'd been performing for through a window. (I'm serious, I work in front of a pizza place, and if crowds are slow, I'll do stuff for the kids eating pizza in the window.)

Another time, I did stuff for a kid, his father put something in the bucket. The kid brought his brother over and made me do something for him, the father put more in the hat. Finally, I did "Shang-hi Shackle" with the two of them pulling on the ropes, the father put MORE in my hat... I think I made about $14.00 just off those two kids.
Message: Posted by: jesse_james_mcguire (Jun 27, 2010 01:28PM)
Why don't we just yell put your money in the *** hat!
Message: Posted by: okamis (Jun 28, 2010 06:22PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-27 14:28, jesse_james_mcguire wrote:
Why don't we just yell put your money in the *** hat!
[/quote]

I don't know why but I somehow easily pictures you with a gun in your hand
Message: Posted by: Paco iglacias (Jun 29, 2010 12:44AM)
[quote]
I don't know why but I somehow easily pictures you with a gun in your hand
[/quote]
well its certainly one way to make money.
"Look I made a gun appear! YOU ARE AMAZED! MONEY IN THE HAT AND NO ONE GETS HURT."
I hear a bank is a wonderful place to try "busking" in this fashion