(Close Window)
Topic: Busking in the Mall?
Message: Posted by: MitchellMac (Nov 28, 2010 12:35AM)
Well in my town, good foot traffic is hard to come by. I have noticed that in the mall there is a good deal of people and kind of want to try to busk their. It would have to be a quiet show because the mall where I'm from isn't really the kind of place you find performers. Any ideas on how to approach this? Worst comes to worst I'd just do some regular street magic.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Nov 28, 2010 11:36AM)
The Mall is private property. Seek out the management or security office and ask permission. They'll probably say "no" but its the only way to find out what can or cannot be done there.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Nov 28, 2010 12:50PM)
The kids area is a good place. they've all got those inside playgrounds now. good place to busk balloons for sure.

Message: Posted by: MitchellMac (Nov 28, 2010 04:57PM)
I actually don't think there is a kids area in my local mall... I think I might try busking right on the outside of it.
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Nov 28, 2010 06:08PM)
The parking areas of a mall are private property also. Follow Dave' advice, if you urinate security off they can arrest you for trespassing not serious but a huge pain wherever you pain is located.
Message: Posted by: MitchellMac (Nov 28, 2010 08:11PM)
Ya you're right. I'll probably just do some regular street magic. even so nobody is going to arrest me. The worst they would tell me to do is stop. I am 12 afterall
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Nov 30, 2010 10:30AM)
They generally won't arrest anybody, unless you get smartalek-y with them, then...good luck. Just like the cops on the street, if you're polite your fine. If you're belligerent, you're cooked. Serious advice at 12 yrs old make sure that you have an adult with you while busking. The streets can be harsh to kids.
Message: Posted by: EVILDAN (Nov 30, 2010 10:43AM)
Everyone is right about the mall being private property inside and out. When I was in college I was interning as a photographer for a local magazine and went to take a picture of one of the mall entrances in the area. No sooner than I put the camera to my eye, mall security was there asking what I was doing. I told them, and they said to go into the mall offices to make sure it was okay. I told them I wouldn't take the pictures and just left.

Now this was pre-9/11. I'm sure if I tried it these days I'd be questioned by the local police before I was released.

So yeah, if you want to perform in a mall, get permission first.

Here's another idea. Get a vendor's license. I remember seeing a magician at our mall when I was a kid. Sign said next show in 5 min. I stayed and watched. I remember he did Prof Nightmare and some other things that I don't remember. After the show, he was selling everything he performed. You could buy it individually or as one big package deal. Just an idea.
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Nov 30, 2010 11:15AM)
On 2010-11-30 11:43, EVILDAN wrote:
I remember seeing a magician at our mall when I was a kid. Sign said next show in 5 min. ... he did Prof Nightmare and some other things that I don't remember. After the show, he was selling everything he performed.

I've seen many magicians do that. They called it a LECTURE.
Message: Posted by: ernie guderjahn (Nov 30, 2010 11:52PM)
I first started busking in malls in 1969, the money take then was about as good as a b'day party ($30 - $50) per day, the spin off dates I got were better, however as the years rolled on many malls were taken over by property management companies, not nearly as receptive to the idea of busking as when malls were independent, then came the big p in the a... They began to require liability insurance (and do to this day) so c.y.o.a on that issue, they are a great place to get your chops together, whichnis fine when you live on Daddies money, but for revenue in the 21st century their glory days are gone here on the west coast, even the outdoor mall areas in SF are run by snot nosed junior Nazis. Mind that insurance issue, having it has turned some of my busking ventures into paid engagments and it shows them you are serious about what your arr doing.u
Message: Posted by: MrGreggy (Dec 3, 2010 11:53PM)
Approaching malls usually means being referred to the corporate office in some other state. Another option to bypass that is to approach individual stores and set up just outside their shops to bring people in. Also, approach the people who run the Santa photos about performing for people waiting in line. These are just ideas off the top of my head, I'm not sure how well they would apply to busking.

On a side note, selling things after the show is a great way to make extra money from gigs. Sometimes called BOR (back of room) sales.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 5, 2010 11:12AM)
I've worked at a number of malls, both as an employee of a merchant and as a magician.

"Back in the day," the real security issue was pickpockets. Since 9/11, the whole thing has changed. Liability insurance is an absolute "must." Even if all you are doing is busking, the malls are absolutely scared spitless that somebody is going to sue them. If you don't know where or how to obtain liability insurance, I'm sure there are some people here who can help you. Some homeowner's insurance policies will cover you, so you would need to get parental permission to do that. Your biggest problem is age. It's really hard for someone who is too young to be a full-fledged member of a magic club to get liability insurance. BTW, what they want is a piece of paper that takes the onus off them and puts it on you.

Busking at 12 years old may give the authorities, both inside and outside the mall, that you are possibly homeless. This may cause you complications, because if they think you are homeless, they may try to "rescue" you.

If this happens, you can turn this to your advantage. If the authorities "rescue" you, call the local television station and have them come down to see the "kid magician who gets picked up by the police."
Message: Posted by: ernie guderjahn (Dec 7, 2010 11:25AM)
I think the "homeless" issue can be avoided by looking presentable and appearing confident. When I was homeless I did all I could not to attract attention to myself, you on the other hand want people to notice you. Reg insurance, puppeteers of America used to insure performer no matter what age they were, but as a youth you might be included in your parents homeowners insurance, but probably not if you are off the covered property. Some might advise that it is better to ask for pardon after the event, than to try to get permission before you attempt the performance. In any case, keep it short and be prepared to run for it.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 7, 2010 09:18PM)
Kent Cummins got his liability insurance on his homeowner's insurance policy. It covers him no matter where he is.