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Topic: Best Street Magic Show Gimmicks??
Message: Posted by: bobobaggins (May 1, 2013 07:40PM)
I'm a busking magician and I do street performances. I've learned on my own and just recently found a magic community online. I am looking to create a much better show. At the moment I do a lot of mentalism (osterlin style) but I want to start using more gimmicks and making my show even better. I'm just wondering what kinds of gimmicks are best for this kind of environment.
Message: Posted by: magicjoe (May 1, 2013 08:28PM)
Promystic if your looking for gimmicks
Message: Posted by: imgic (May 2, 2013 10:52AM)
I'm going to make a prediction...that you're going to get a lot of comments that you should focus on your show: your character, your routine, and the entertainment of the audience more than looking for a specific gimmick.

What is your character? Do you do large circle shows? Or trickle shows as folks walk by? Where do you busk? Tourist area? Festivals?

Let us know a bit more about you ...
Message: Posted by: Paddy (May 2, 2013 03:15PM)
Gimmicks are for those that can't, magic is for those who can. Sorry (ok, that's bull crap I', not sorry) to tell you this. But, I use just some rope, do sidewalk shows and make a living. You don't need gimmicks, you have to relate to your audience, talk to them, get them to laugh and then GTFM.
Message: Posted by: Yellowcustard (May 2, 2013 04:10PM)
My street show is,
-Multiplying bananas,
-Sponge ball routine,
-Egg bag,
-Single rope routine (Fibre optics),

I have a deck of cards and a metal ring to use with the rope if extra is needed. Some times if it quite I do a trickle busk with just rope.

But my main show is what I do most of the time. The tricks them self I have known for a long time. However it took me a while to get them right for the street. I have added lots of one liners and gags with the crowd. Once this was all in place I worked on my hat lines. Over the time my hats got fatter.

I strange over time I have taken bit out of my egg bag and I have took tow phases out of my rope routine. But my show is about 5-10 minute longer and more people are watching the whole thing and hats are good.

Hope this helps. I have found lots great advice here myself.
Message: Posted by: ROBERT BLAKE (May 3, 2013 01:48AM)
Swammi gimmick
short direct book test (ted lesly)
tost out deck (max maven - gazzo)

things that involve people

biggest gimmick YOU!
Message: Posted by: imgic (May 3, 2013 12:00PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-03 02:48, ROBERT BLAKE wrote:

biggest gimmick YOU!
[/quote]

Best statement I've seen in some time!
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (May 4, 2013 02:48AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-01 20:40, bobobaggins wrote:
I'm just wondering what kinds of gimmicks are best for this kind of environment.
[/quote]
There is no best gimmick for each magician. It depends on each individual. For example some people might like sport cars the most. Others might like luxury cars more. Some travelers will like cold climates yearly. Some travelers will like warmer climates yearly. Some travelers will decide to let it vary yearly. Some buskers favorite gimmick is a vest. Some buskers will prefer not to wear a vest. There is no such thing of a good trick either. It all depends on how it is presented.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (May 10, 2013 09:16PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-02 16:15, Paddy wrote:
You don't need gimmicks, you have to relate to your audience, talk to them, get them to laugh and then GTFM.
[/quote]

:applause: :applause: :applause:
Message: Posted by: Nick W (May 11, 2013 12:03AM)
You also don't need much gimmicks if you have sleight of hand skills. but when you combine sleight of hand, witty personality and a little gimmick....yeah baby!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 11, 2013 05:14AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-02 16:15, Paddy wrote:
Gimmicks are for those that can't, magic is for those who can. Sorry (ok, that's bull crap I', not sorry) to tell you this. But, I use just some rope, do sidewalk shows and make a living. You don't need gimmicks, you have to relate to your audience, talk to them, get them to laugh and then GTFM.
[/quote]

Paddy says it very very well! (He should! He speaks from EXPERIENCE!!!)

I would change only ONE WORD! (and, this is not just semantics!) When we are performing (no matter what the venue) it is important to COMMUNICATE with the audience.

Communication 'is' a CONVERSATION! (now look at Paddy's comment again) It is important to talk WITH (not TO) the audience! I really think that that's what Paddy meant to say! Sometimes in speaking, it's very easy to use the "wrong" preposition! --and to a careful reader, THAT may change the meaning of the statement.

I'll be back in a "minute" I just need to pour another cup of coffee!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 11, 2013 05:30AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-03 02:48, ROBERT BLAKE wrote:

things that involve people

biggest gimmick YOU!
[/quote]

Again! Bob speaks from EXPERIENCE!

In the "old days" magicians could do a "watch me do this" style of act. That is passť! The "key word" is INVOLVEMENT! (physically, mentally, even emotionally). If the people in the tip, are merely passive spectators, you'll find it difficult to "make them stay"! (and if they don't stay, they aint gonna pay!)

Referring to the OP, Bob uses the OP's word (gimmick). Note that this is a rather liberal use of the term, "gimmick". But, Bob "hits the nail squarely on its head", He says: "the biggest gimmick YOU"

Yes!!!!! THE PERFORMER IS ALWAYS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE PROP(S)!!!!!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 11, 2013 05:54AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-02 17:10, Yellowcustard wrote:
My street show is,
-Multiplying bananas,
-Sponge ball routine,
-Egg bag,
-Single rope routine (Fibre optics),

I have a deck of cards and a metal ring to use with the rope if extra is needed. Some times if it quite I do a trickle busk with just rope.

But my main show is what I do most of the time. The tricks them self I have known for a long time. However it took me a while to get them right for the street. I have added lots of one liners and gags with the crowd. Once this was all in place I worked on my hat lines. Over the time my hats got fatter.

I strange over time I have taken bit out of my egg bag and I have took tow phases out of my rope routine. But my show is about 5-10 minute longer and more people are watching the whole thing and hats are good.

Hope this helps. I have found lots great advice here myself.
[/quote]

"Yaller" (that's Texas talk!!!)Custard spelled it out in more detail, and, it's apparent that he speaks from EXPERIENCE, also!

Normally, I don't get too "excited" when posters mention specific tricks/routines. Mainly, because, IMHO, tricks/routines, if they are to be successfully performed (so that they ENTERTAIN the tip) must "fit" the performer and his personality, and his ability. In this case, I think "Cus" is using his list more as an example of what has been successful for him, and not a specific recommendation to the OP!

Here, again IMHO, "Cus" makes an extremely important point. He has (perhaps without realizing it) followed the philosophy of JAY MARSHALL'S (and many other old "pro's.") regarding producing a show. He has EDITED his material. Plus, he has added lines and gags WITH the crowd (he injects HIS personality!. He is not just "reciting" patter"!

One more note: It appears to me that he can carry all his props IN HIS POCKETS!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 11, 2013 06:07AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-02 11:52, imgic wrote:
I'm going to make a prediction...that you're going to get a lot of comments that you should focus on your show: your character, your routine, and the entertainment of the audience more than looking for a specific gimmick.

What is your character? Do you do large circle shows? Or trickle shows as folks walk by? Where do you busk? Tourist area? Festivals?

Let us know a bit more about you ...
[/quote]

IMGIC's "prediction" has, IMHO, begun to come true. The OP is getting a million dollars worth of ideas and advice, from people who are well qualified to share their experience and wisdom.

And, the questions that he has posed, if the OP will answer them, I'm sure will elicit more help.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 11, 2013 06:17AM)
Now BOBOBAGGINS!

--I hope that you have been following this thread! GO BACK "UPSTAIRS" AND READ NICK W's post, again!!!

Nick is a very very successful busker. (And,--heehee-- a "reasonably good performer" --LOL!-- too!) He travels the WORLD!

READ HIS POST AT LEAST FIFTY TIMES!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 12, 2013 06:29AM)
Maybe, I should emphasize that I was just kidding about Nick W.'s performing ability!!!

Anyone who has done, and is doing, what he does, must be doing it right!

I've never met him. I've only seen a few examples of his performing on you tube, etc. In my "book", he's a real pro!

I also like his philosophy--otherwise, I would not have urged BOBOBAGGINS to go back and read Nick's post 50 times!
Message: Posted by: Nick W (May 12, 2013 02:10PM)
How do you get gimmicks? make em'. how do you get sleight of hand skills? practice and flight time. how do you get a witty personality? hang around people who make you laugh and take notes, go to a improv class, watch and read and do anything that makes you laugh and "crack". basically everything your teachers asked you not to do in class, do it on the streets and ask for money afterwards.
Message: Posted by: Endless West (May 14, 2013 09:57AM)
"basically everything your teachers asked you not to do in class, do it on the streets and ask for money afterwards."

PERFECT!!!
Message: Posted by: DoctorCognos (Jun 3, 2013 08:50PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-11 06:30, Dick Oslund wrote:

Yes!!!!! THE PERFORMER IS ALWAYS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE PROP(S)!!!!!
[/quote]

And what your audience experiences is far more important, than the performer.

It is what you deliver; entertainment, mystery, amazement, engagement/involvement.

That is what fills your hat.

The Doctor
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jun 4, 2013 03:16AM)
The reason so many performers are so awful is... Instead of working on a powerful performing presence, they look for better tricks.

Unfortunately magicians LOVE tricks.... obviously, that's why they are magicians.
They are either introverts or un-self-aware. You can overcome these but it's not easy.
Their focus is on themselves and tricks and methods, instead of others.

When they perform they think everyone is just like them..... "trick lovers". Newsflash!!!... Audiences aren't like them.

Audiences just want to be entertained.

Take the time to learn to entertain and you'll do well.
Take the time to learn to entertain with very little and you'll go far.

You, indeed, are the only gimmick.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jun 4, 2013 10:05AM)
The best gimmicks? A pack of cards and 3 pieces of rope!

But it really depends on you. Some gimmicks that could be good on the street include Thumb Tip, Loops, Svengali, Chop Cup, and many others.
Message: Posted by: MR Effecto (Jun 4, 2013 10:09AM)
Cups and balls. Coin shell. Chop cup. The number one thing is ???????????????? entertaineding your Audiences.
Message: Posted by: mike bonfield (Jun 9, 2013 03:42AM)
Thumb tip vanish silk ..Card to Walett..Tossed out Deck .....Rope pro nightmere ...Cups and Balls
Big Hats
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Jun 9, 2013 08:57AM)
Frank, you are the only one with the absolute correct answer. Every other person thinks "the trick" is important. Bull Oney! The performer is the ONLY important "gimmick."
Message: Posted by: troppobob (Jun 10, 2013 04:52AM)
Talking about gimmicks/tricks etc:

I have just been reorganising my workshop and it was as bit like a review of last 20 years of purchases at magic lectures, convention type events and other opportunities for impetuous magical purchases.

The general theme in the reponses to the OP are spot on - present the trick/magical gimmick (what ever it is you choose) - infused with your own etertainng personality and you are heading in the right direction.
Gimicks are cute - and sometimes looking at a new one can aid in thinking creativley - or at the very least provide a level of introverted entertainment for myself.....

Some rubber bands, a coin, a TT, 3 pieces of rope and a Svengali Deck (or some other combination of effects/gimmicks) and a entertaining performance will do the trick just fine.

BTW thanks to the OP for staring this discussion - if you are still out there Mr Bobobaggins - let us know how you are going.

Bob Latta (aka Troppo Bob)
Message: Posted by: mymagician (Jun 10, 2013 05:21PM)
Ok why does everyone just keep talking about entertainment a, BOBOBAGGINS asked for help on some good gimmicks to help with his routine. We all know that entertaining the crowd and involving them is what we are after. Yes a magician uses TRICKS to entertain the crowed painted with humor and character. A magician without tricks is just a comedian and or actor. Lets be real. When I ask for help when it comes to tricks for a stage show or routining for a kids show. I don't care to hear that " Oh it all depends on what kinda character you are using" then yall hush up and the person still feels lost on his or her quest to map out their magic career. How about telling newbies like us what kinda characters are there, and what kinda tricks suit those characters, which professionals has used those characters, which books, dvds, and or props and gimmicks should we look at. Then you can tell us how we use all this magnificent stuff and tell us HOW WE ENTERTAIN THE CROWD AND MAKE THE SHOW ABOUT THE CROWD using magic, comedy, and creative story telling with those slieghts, props, and gimmicks. We are in a whole new century. we gotta have a better way of helping each other out than by giving such vague opinions.
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Jun 10, 2013 05:36PM)
Mymagician, I think you are wrong. period. Your character is very, very important as to what effects you can use. Years ago, and I don't remember which magi did this, but he had a silent act with cards and cigarettes and his whole shtick was the totally confused expression he had when the magic just happened. Gazzo can't pull that one off because Gazzo's character is a brash, loud persona. I can't do either one because of my character's personality. But I can come out on a pitch with some rope in my pocket and make money. Your character's personality will decide what effects work for you, not some gimmick.
Message: Posted by: troppobob (Jun 10, 2013 06:05PM)
G'day Mymagician

That is a reasonable question.

It appears that you and I and lots of other responders know that entertaining and involving the audience is most important.

However it is not clear that Bobobaggins has got on top of this concept - I believe it is more than acceptable to offer this type of advice along with ideas about the gimmicks that people are using. You may have noticed that plenty of the responders are suggesting effects to consider.

To advance this discussion I would like to see Bobobaggins come back and tell us a bit about his show and character etc.

Bob Latta (aka troppo Bob)
Message: Posted by: imgic (Jun 10, 2013 07:27PM)
Looking back to my post (second reply to OP). I asked for more info: his character, location, type of show. I don't see he's responded...
Message: Posted by: tboehnlein (Jun 10, 2013 07:55PM)
He
"I don't remember which magi did this, but he had a silent act with cards and cigarettes and his whole shtick was the totally confused expression he had when the magic just happened" this would be Cardinni

But listen to PADDY, he knows what he is talking about, think about it someone asks what is the best gimmick for street performing obviously they have priorities wrong, they need to refocus on character, connecting with the audience & entertaining. There is no best gimmick.
Message: Posted by: magic123 (Jun 10, 2013 10:58PM)
BALLS !

M123
Message: Posted by: Yehoshua (Jun 11, 2013 11:18AM)
^ HA! xD

Ok, got that laugh outta my system! Now then, an answer for everybody. Indeed, character is MOST important, and of course without knowing what

Bobo's Character is like, we can't really expect anyone to know what would work well for him. However, people have recommended several great props

such as Svengali decks, TTs, and the like. I would recommend the same tools, as they are incredibly versatile! You want "gimmicks" that are able to

be used in a variety of situations, so that you can adapt to different crowds, different people. When you can adapt, and adjust, you can better

connect to the specs and if you can befriend them, it does help the hats, at least in my experience lol
Message: Posted by: mymagician (Jun 14, 2013 04:25PM)
Im not saying character is not important, but if a newbie ask a question about options for a gimmick then help them get to their answer by seeing what character they are using and what gimmicks go with their character. but get them to that answer they want to know so they can fulfill that idea map of who they want to be magically. does that make sense. some times I feel that ppl try to be too poetic ALL the time, instead they should be more substantial for conclusion then spice it with a poetic flavor for the influence so the student/ newbie wont feel lost.
Message: Posted by: sleightly (Jun 14, 2013 06:02PM)
Sanada gimmick...

Did that help?

Probably not...