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Topic: How do you attract the crowd?
Message: Posted by: gary31525 (Jun 18, 2013 05:19PM)
What do you use to get those first few people to stop? I've seen people use coins, ropes and cards. I've seen others use words. How do you do it?
Message: Posted by: MR Effecto (Jun 18, 2013 05:25PM)
I use coins but I was starting to use the Ninja+ by Matthew Garrett. It relly gets them to stop and watch.
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Jun 19, 2013 03:58AM)
It's not so much what you use [prop] as what you do with it. I use a mix of most of the following, as do most other street magicians.
First, have something in your hand/s, preferably colourful. Keep it moving so it catches people's attention. For example, a deck of cards is fanned and shut again and again, or the cards are run from hand to hand, or you spring the cards. You can use objects that make noise - the movement of the prop, beat a stick, blow a whistle [but don't give nearby businesses reason to complain of too much noise. Eye contact as people approach and a smile. Move your prop towards people in an 'offering to show them something' manner. Talk clearly and non-threateningly in a cheery way. Do not ask "Do you want to see some magic?" Instead tell them, "Stop and watch some magic" or "Turn aside and watch something astonishing", or "Come on over and ..." The main thing, I think, is to be non-threatening and look like a pleasant person to talk to.
A table can give a certain "come hither, something is going to happen, I'm a real street magician" message.
There's also letting the people near you exercise their own nosiness, such as taking your time setting out your props and this causes certain inquisitive pedestrians to pause and stop, trying to figure out what's going on.
I usually stand to one side of the main pedestrian flow because I need room to let a crowd grow in front of me.
Sometimes a small group spontaneously starts watching me set up my props and they wait for my show. Other times I'm waiting for someone to stop, or spending quite a bit of time getting the first couple of people to stop.
The most important answer for you to find out "How do you do it" is to try various approaches -including my suggestions - and see what works best for you.
Message: Posted by: troppobob (Jun 19, 2013 04:41AM)
G'day Gary

Yes lots of options - colour, noise, spectackle etc.

Coins, Linking rings, the amazing vanishing hanky, juggling - I was in Hawaii recently and met a young bloke from Japan at Wikki who did a great job of stopping the begining of his audience with a simple silent contact juggling routine, Rocky rackoon (or one of his relatives).

There is the great quote from Celini "Stop a child and you stop the world" (I hope that was an accurate quote). I find this to be true from my own experience. And as you can see in Celini's dvds he would simply tap a wand on a hard surface to gain attention.

For myself I use a combination of juggling, noise, Rocky racoon (real name "Pat Possum"), the amazing vanishing hanky and a neat one coin routine in combination with a fake pen (the one that has the elastic in it that looks like you write on your shirt).

From there I am into my crowd building routines followed by my standard pre show routines and then into the show (it is all pretty flexible and changeable) - That first group, (which is usually children with partents taging along), is what does the trick.

Enjoy the journey

Bob latta (aka Troppo Bob)
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jun 19, 2013 07:55AM)
When I worked in a carny side show (in the '40s!) the "rule" was: GRAB A TIP, "NAIL" THE TIP, TURN THE TIP!

Years later, when I was managing a side show, THE SAME RULE APPLIEDK!

The current expression is MAKE 'EM STOP, MAKE 'EM STAY, MAKE 'EM PAY!

The posters above gave you some good specific comments!!!
Message: Posted by: ROBERT BLAKE (Jun 19, 2013 01:17PM)
What ever you use the most imporatant part is YOU! if you are not ON then there wil be no show. if you are ON. there is a show. whatever you do present yourself as confident as possible. show them that you are going to have fun, tell them , and the have fun. us a thechnique called "flash". simply put lay out your props - create your own space (chalk line or rope). SHOW CONFIDENCE AND HAVE FUN. light up be ON!

I open up with the cracking of a whip (noise) and then make an elephant dissapear (curiousity).
Message: Posted by: Ekuth (Jun 19, 2013 11:51PM)
I vary. But bright and flashy is the rule.

I find dancing cane to be an excellent opener and have used it for years now.