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Topic: Actual Street Performers
Message: Posted by: RandomEffects (Sep 18, 2003 01:27AM)
Hello all

It's been a while since I have had the time to check in but I was wondering how many people on this site actually make their money either part- or full-time from performing on the street. This is not to make fun of those people who are getting started or those who do it for fun, I am just curious as to how many of us devote a big portion of our income to our street act. I don't want dollars just a head count.

Ted, Danny, Gazzo, Cellini, and Whit are excluded (but feel free to chime in), and don't get ****** if I didn't mention your name, it's late and I have not been on the site for a while.

Much love,
Mat Random
Message: Posted by: djvirtualreality (Sep 18, 2003 07:27AM)
I do magic on the side of me being a DJ. Does that count?
Message: Posted by: Swami Bill (Sep 18, 2003 11:26AM)
Here's my story: this is my first season on the streets. I've been doing magic for 20 years but this is the first time I've put together a street act and took it out "there".

Earlier this spring I had scoped out what I thought would be good pitches and went out and did the act. My first gig I made $5 for about 2.5 hours work. An eye opener to say the least but I did make some dough! I continued to refine my act and, most importantly, continued to perform.

When the tourist season reached its peak I was working three to four days a week, for four hours a day and I averaged $40 a day. Again, not great but I felt like I was doing something right. From those gigs I snagged several festivals (still busking, of course) which upped my hat to about $65 for four hours work.

The season is winding down now and I think I've learned enough to refine my act even more this winter and pick up where I left off in the spring. I'd say I was successful and I owe Kozmo, Danny, Whit, Pete Biro and mucho others a part of my hat. Er, well, maybe next year...but they all played a part in my success by being so open on this forum.
Message: Posted by: Doug Conn (Sep 18, 2003 01:26PM)
You can add my head to the count.

When there's no corporate events to work (which is more often than not lately) I take my act to the street (which was what brought me to New Orleans 15 years ago.)

Doug Conn
http://www.dougconn.com
Message: Posted by: Dbzkid999 (Sep 18, 2003 02:41PM)
I've been doing magic for a year and four months and I perform at my school and in the city when I get home.
Message: Posted by: Jason K. (Sep 18, 2003 04:38PM)
I'm in my senior year of high school and all my money comes from actual street preforming.

Gazzo has been kind enough to teach me the basics and such, and I'm thinking of pursuing street performing as a career for a couple of years after graduation.
Message: Posted by: m@t (Sep 19, 2003 12:34PM)
I do a bit of street magic, mostly restaurant and strolling magic for some cash as I'm still in college. :)
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Sep 20, 2003 06:52PM)
Well it's nice to be mentioned...Someone influenced me a lot and turned my restaurant/corporate thing into a street thing...cellini. I thank him.

Doug, I look forward to seeing you soon.

By the way, there is a really great magi in New Orleans...dante, terrific performer and he does some killer coin work, the best stuff and it's Doug Conn's work. Doug is an amazing coin worker.

koz
Message: Posted by: magicsoup (Sep 21, 2003 01:36AM)
Every summer I do a few street shows. Usually at the Fringe fest or wherever I happen to be on my holidays.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Sep 21, 2003 05:10PM)
Yep Streets, when not doing The Outside Shows (March through to December). Then exhibitions through Xmas and New Year, all with a street-style act. It's now my 30+ year, full time and paying taxes.

Ken
Message: Posted by: vernon (Sep 29, 2003 06:19AM)
Started out as a hobby, then became my job. For the last five years in cabaret, and now finally this season after the Edinburgh Festival—where my best day was 165 pounds—and am now in Munich for the Oktoberfest. But Germans are tight...

Vernon
Message: Posted by: RiffClown (Sep 30, 2003 05:12PM)
I worked the piers in SF in the early 90s. That's where I got my start.

[quote]
...Munich for the Oktoberfest. But Germans are tight...

Vernon
[/quote]
In September and October, money is for beer, schnitzel and wurst. Anything left over goes for beer, schnitzel and wurst. I've entertained my way quite a few free meals for my family and guests so I don't think tight is the appropriate term. Oktoberfest does change everything. :)
Message: Posted by: Patrick McKeever (Oct 3, 2003 12:55PM)
I got more working material from Doug Conn's lecture several years ago in Austin then the Second Deal get together in N.O.

Doug I hope things are going well with you. I am going to make a run to N.O. next week. Perhaps I will run into you. Hope to drag Roc out of the house. Also hope hope this kid, Dante is in town. Maybe even Koz.

Best to all ya'll in the easy, Patrick
Message: Posted by: david_a_whitehead (Oct 28, 2003 07:17PM)
Street magic takes guts...far more than I have.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Oct 28, 2003 08:19PM)
It also takes a strong back, something I no longer have... ;)
Message: Posted by: Doug Conn (Oct 29, 2003 07:31AM)
Street tip #1545—Roll your magi-crap around (luggage carts are good for this).

Of course, Whit was doing street magic before the "wheel" was invented! ;)

Regards,
Doug Conn
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Oct 29, 2003 11:02AM)
Wheels are a good thing

koz
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Oct 29, 2003 06:46PM)
Doug: That is not very funny, my man. True, but not very funny... ;)
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Oct 30, 2003 01:05AM)
I heard tell that Whit had some first-hand experience with the early hominids original fingering of the shell game. Of course, back then, Whit said, they only used one shell. I get that right, Whit?

Jim
Message: Posted by: Doug Conn (Oct 30, 2003 08:29AM)
Whit,

That joke was delivered with my GREATEST respect (I figured after hanging with Gazzo, you could handle a little "jab-humor".)

Sidenote; my respect for you goes back to...1986, to Cellini's convention in Charlotte, N.C. at "Buskers". I was a young magi-guy (who drove cross country and slept in the car to attend that event) and your performance/lecture was one of the highlights of the weekend. That's saying A LOT, that "convention" was undoubtedly the best magi-gathering I ever attended.

Thanks for the inspiration,
Doug Conn
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Oct 30, 2003 01:20PM)
Oh doug....haydens getting all teary eyed.......

see you in 10 days dude!

lunch?.......

koz
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Oct 30, 2003 02:17PM)
Doug:

Thanks for bringing up the Busker's convention. That was indeed a splendid time, with Karl Norman, Frank Garcia, Rocco, Bob Sheets, Slydini, Cellini and the rest. I liked best that there were so many variations of the same classic tricks, like card under glass, card on ceiling, cups and balls, etc. It was such an education! The best magic get-together I have ever participated in. Oh, and don't worry about giving me a poke in the ribs. I will continue to try to smile through the pain. Gazzo is incomparably meaner to me than you have been, and I have managed to struggle on. ;)

Jim: Just because I included a little Neanderthal pre-history of the shell game in my routine, that doesn't mean I was actually there to see it...

I'm actually beginning to regret some of the old guy jokes I've used to needle McComb, Biro and all the other really, really old magicians. Not! :bigsmile:
Message: Posted by: Doug Conn (Oct 30, 2003 03:55PM)
Whit,

Glad there's no hard feelings (considering the 'Gazzo factor' I didn't think there would be.) Side-note: if that promo shot / avatar is current, you haven't changed a bit since 1986! Whit Hayden: the 'Dick Clark' of magic! If it's not current, just stay close to McComb and Biro... you can jab them and look young at the same time ;)

Koz,

You're coming back eh???
Heck,
You shouldn't have left... ya missed a GREAT weekend last week... this town was PACKED (Sat: I had one of my best days ever.)

anyhay.. OK, lunch it is (since Gazzo is going straight to FL, my "ice cream soiree" is apparently cancelled... I have a free spot in my calendar.)

see ya soon,
Conn

PS: Eric Evans may be here when you are.

PSS: w/ You, Dante, Eric and Istawa working, I'll be hoping for lots of corporate gigs during the upcoming weeks. I'm sure you won't mind if I"m outta the 'scene'... though... so far I only have one gig booked for Nov.
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Oct 30, 2003 04:08PM)
Doug,
theres room...trust me.....theres room.....

lunch ...you bet....gazzo does not like new orleans!...period!

I had to come home to watch my son play football...i don't miss that...money just isn't that important....but I'm broke now...so I will be after it when I get there...trust me...

lunch.....in case you guys don't know it....doug is frickin good!

koz
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Oct 31, 2003 04:20AM)
Whit,
Your Neanderthal camp fire story is a great part of the routine. Betty Davis has the best quote on the issue at hand: "Growing old ain't for sissies." BTY, Gazzo has been nice enough to keep pointing out that my hair (in back) is thining.

Jim
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Nov 1, 2003 04:39PM)
Jim:

Gazzo always seems to have that same kind of genuine concern for other people's problems... ;)
Message: Posted by: Doug Conn (Nov 2, 2003 12:08AM)
Hey, since when is thinning hair a prob?

Do ya know how much time us baldies save on grooming?

The way I figure it: the average guy w/ hair spends at least 5 minutes a day combing (etc.)...
that's 35 minutes a week,
140 minutes a month
1680 minutes a year!

that's one full day (+) of life per year gained from being bald!

Jim: go ahead & Shave it all off (why do you think Gazzo does it!?!)
Message: Posted by: Nick Alexander (Nov 12, 2003 11:05PM)
I'm a student in Australia, and although I don't rely on the money I make from street performing, it is my only form of occupation.

And I mean sure it's hard but isn't it gratifying when someone drops you a tenner.
Message: Posted by: Namzyr (Nov 14, 2003 04:12PM)
Hey- just curious- any of you guys ever do the Busker's Convention in Kingston, Ontario?

It's a gas, I've seen a number of acts over the last couple of years, but only 1 magician.

What's the scoop?
Message: Posted by: nick nickolas (Nov 25, 2003 07:22AM)
I have been making a good living from the streets worldwide for years...at the momment am performing in Melbourne at Southbank at weekends...and yes I did Kingston years ago..Gatecrashed the festival and walked away with the peoples choice award....Nick
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 28, 2003 11:55PM)
I'm not currently doing any street performing, but I have done it. I have plenty of empathy for those who busk for a living. It's not easy.
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Nov 29, 2003 10:10AM)
Just do younguys know....nick nickolas is one of the very best if not THE best.....that includes gazzo...cellini....dante....and who ever else you put into this mix.....hes an amazing street performer THE BEST....

koz
Message: Posted by: Majack (Dec 13, 2003 10:34AM)
I'd also like to say old Nick is one of, if not the best street performer on circuit.

I've seen him standing at the Edinburgh Festival doing the cups and balls, without a shirt, and a crowd of over 1000 people watching him.

Although he's a living reincarnation of Ossie Osbourne you'd learn a ton just watching 10 minutes of his show.

JACQUES
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Dec 13, 2003 01:24PM)
[quote]
On 2003-09-18 17:38, Jason K. wrote:
I'm in m senior year of high school and all my money comes from actual street preforming.

Gazzo has been kind enough to teach me the basics and such, and I'm thinking of persuing Street Preforming as a career for a couple of years after graduation.
[/quote]

I first heard about Gazzo in an article on street performing from Magic magazine. The author of the article (I don't remember his name) mentioned Gazzo's stroke. How's he been since then? I'm glad to hear he's still working.
:thanx:
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Dec 15, 2003 02:32AM)
Gazzo is more than still working. Gazzo is still kicking *ss!

I had the pleasure and privledge of watching Gazzo perform over a two week period, all week at the Castle and then twice in an actual street enviornment. People fall all over themselves to laugh, applaud, and stick money in the guy's bowler. I will never forget the great experience that Gazzo made possible for me. He is very generous and helpful to anyone who is genuinely interested in magic and/or street performing, and to anyone who has the sense to listen to the wisdom he has to offer.

He will be doing a lecture tour in England in March, I think. And he will have more publications coming out about that time. Besides Gazzo's own personal experience and performance style, he has seen thousands of other street shows. He knows of what he speaks.

Jim
Message: Posted by: 7th_Son (Dec 16, 2003 06:42AM)
I've got a lot of respect and admiration for street performers.

Good on you guys.

You really deserve you're tax free income.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Dec 20, 2003 11:33AM)
Gazzo. Does he still have the "dark side?" The author of the article mentioned him throwing a plastic bag at a kid and saying; "Here, free space helmet." or telling a really filthy joke.
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Dec 20, 2003 12:37PM)
Gazzo does not tell filthy jokes...but the space man helmet is real...and its FUNNNY!

koz
Message: Posted by: nick nickolas (Dec 21, 2003 10:11PM)
Just for the record that line was written by the Butterfly Man (King of the Eighties).....

Cellini was the first street magician I saw when I was a kid ....amazing...

Gazzo and I have been friends for years, he has helped me loads, and doesn't like spiders...

Dante is super slick...

Sunny Holiday cracks me up..

and.....thanks for the compliments guys

Nick...
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Dec 22, 2003 03:05PM)
Gazzo introduced me to Butterfly Man (Robert Nelson), who has since become a friend. We're planning on sharing a pitch next year.
About Gazzo's "dark side," the thing to remember is that Gazzo personally is not Gazzo the street persona. Also, many people tend to "type cast" a performer or other types of artists, thinking they can only do a certain type of work. But I have seen Gazzo in performance on the street, adapt his style and character for a family crowd and putting on a charming interplay with a 5 year old boy like only the best children's performers could. The crowd loved it and loved Gaz.

Jim
Message: Posted by: Devious (Aug 23, 2011 05:56PM)
I'm a fulltime performer as well...it's not as glamorous as you may think, but at the very least it is not without passion that I show up to "perform the work"
Cheers!
Message: Posted by: vernon (Aug 24, 2011 05:01AM)
Geez... This thread goes back a bit.
My $.02
Inspired by Nick, taught by Gazzo, shared with Piccard, laughed with Caper, drank with them all. And circmnavigated the world three times.

It's all I've been doing for my major income over 6 years.

Good times and bad, the street will be there for me, now if only I could stop 'undesirables' stealing my energy by wanting to 'hang' on pitch with me...

So I am a busker, street performer, and darn lucky to have those mentioned above as friends.

James James
Message: Posted by: donhansi (Aug 24, 2011 05:13PM)
Hey guys,
My Name I Hans-Øivind From Norway, and I did my first show june this summer and it killed me, but I stuck to it.
So did over 50 shows (30min+)this summer until the terror attack killed the streets for a couple of weeks, and then I went on vacation to Barcelona and did a couple of shows until the police shut me down. Now Im a full time student, but still try to get some shows in when the weather allows it, and other then that I got a study loan.
Sadly though the season isn't to long in Norway, its freezing cold up here. Id really like to travel out to perform more on the streets! (might leaving for Australia after christmas, who knows :)
cheers
Message: Posted by: Magic.J.Manuel (Jul 13, 2012 02:59PM)
[quote]
On 2003-12-22 16:05, JamesinLA wrote:
Gazzo introduced me to Butterfly Man (Robert Nelson), who has since become a friend. We're planning on sharing a pitch next year.
About Gazzo's "dark side," the thing to remember is that Gazzo personally is not Gazzo the street persona. Also, many people tend to "type cast" a performer or other types of artists, thinking they can only do a certain type of work. But I have seen Gazzo in performance on the street, adapt his style and character for a family crowd and putting on a charming interplay with a 5 year old boy like only the best children's performers could. The crowd loved it and loved Gaz.

Jim
[/quote]

:clownjuggling:

I heard that Robert Nelson was not well. Anyone know how he is doing?

Best wishes,

mjm