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Topic: Busking vs Street Magic?
Message: Posted by: Samuel (Nov 12, 2004 09:14PM)
What is the difference between Street Magic and Busking?
Message: Posted by: chrisrkline (Nov 12, 2004 10:06PM)
I think that Danny has said that Busking is any magic you do for tips. Usually, though, as I understand it, busking has come to mean performing a street show, frequently with a table, where you pass a hat around or set one down looking for trickles.

I believe that since Blaine's special, some magicians (many younger) refer to street magic as what happens when strolling around and asking to show ticks to people, but not usually looking for tips. Obviously, there is some crossover, and I think most buskers will at times do strolling magic.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 12, 2004 11:49PM)
Busking is working for tips. It doesn't matter whether your show is magic, music, mime, juggling, sand painting on the street or whatever -- if you pass the hat during or after the show, you are busking.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Nov 13, 2004 12:27AM)
A busker knows how to draw a crowd, keep a crowd, perform magic (or whatever) and gets tips (if they're good) at the end. Often they make a living from this.

To me a "street magician" is a new type of magician that doesn't really exist except on TV or in advertisements to sell more magic stuff.

Do you think David Blaine really wanders around the country in the streets doing tricks for people and all of a sudden a TV crew caught him "doing his thing"?

It's a great show but it's...a show.

Or are there really commando street magicians doing tricks all over in sunglasses for people and they're really cool, and all the girls nibble their lips and squeal becuase they can do a riffle pass? Or because they can tell everyone, "hey, everybody stand over here and I'll float... over there. Cool, eh? Oh, you saw? Oh, well, it's pretty cool though if you get your angles right."


Hmmmm, I'm not so sure.


But it makes for a good story and it sells product.

I also heard that "rounding the wagons" when the Indians attacked was a figment of Hollywood and nothing like that ever happened.

I cannot be sure but I've tried to think about this.
Could they really round wagons quickly? What would the radius be for a given number of wagons? How easy is it really to go in a circle. Did cowboys know what PI was?

Were you allowed to tell the Indians, "Go back and re-charge us in 5 minutes. We'll get an ellipse that time and there's quite a few gaps too."


I could be wrong about all of this. I just don't know.
I do wonder though.
Message: Posted by: blwrjw (Nov 13, 2004 07:35AM)
Frank,

Couldn't they just do the square-to-circle? Or in the example you gave, perhaps the ellipse-to-circle?

Barry
Message: Posted by: constantine (Nov 13, 2004 10:07AM)
It's the original "Drawing A Circle In The Square."
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Nov 15, 2004 08:17AM)
Greetings and Salutations,

Street Magic vs. Busking. An interesting question that did not arise until David Blaine's mis-named television show.

For the defenders-of-DB-at-all-costs, David Blaine is an accomplished magician in his own right, has paid his dues, introduced a whole new generation to magic and made illusionist.com and its imitators scads of money. However, he is not a magician in the traditional/historic "street" sense, buskers are.

First, a brief history lesson. Magic started on the street, well, actually in religious-type ceremonies, by shaman, witch doctors, what-have-you.

These tricks found their ways, in turn, into the hands of jugglers, charlatans, mountebanks, medicine men, performers, and pitch men. All of whom generally performed on the streets, in parks, on plazas, etc., anywhere where they could draw a crowd and either entertain them for money (tips) or use their entertainment to introduce for sale any variety of products: from medicines of sometimes dubious value, to soaps, perfumes, trinkets, etc. The wandering magi traveled around regions, countries, continents, or the world seeking to entertain, and often they would travel the fair circuit. Keep in mind that the many Renaissance Festivals around the country and the world are recreations of celebrations that were quite common during the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and beyond to today. One English faire was held annually for nearly 750 years. The name of it escapes me at the moment but it was started in 1133.

The name of the magi who first moved magic indoors escapes me and is on the tip of my tongue but I cannot seem to translate that to my fingers and the keyboard; however, that event occured not more than a couple of hundred years ago.

Up until that point in time, magicians performed shows on the streets, gathering crowds, entertaining them, and then getting that crowd to part with some of their hard-earned coin. These were the "street magicians," and some made handsome livings, others seeked out an existance, and others undoubtedly found other means of making ends meet.

None, as far as I've ever been able to determine, were known to perform hit-and-run, guerilla-style magic on the unsuspecting public. The reason for this becomes abundantly clear when you realize that at times in our history people believed in witches, sorcery, and were highly superstitious, and biting a "groat" in half, and then spitting it back together for an unsuspecting person on the street would have been an excellent way to find yourself burning at the stake. Similarly, today, performing anything that looks suspiciously like a con -- say a two-card monte -- particularly dressed like you want to blend in with your surrounding public at a moment's notice is sure to attract the long arm of the law.

So, my answer is, street magic is "busking" as are performing music, miming, and any other of the variety acts on the street for money/tips, busking.

What most younger performers, not grounded in the history of magic, consider street art is actually strolling, close-up, or bar magic. While these are all fine branches of the magical arts, they are not, with some few exceptions, street magic in the traditional sense.

For more information see Street Magic by Sheridan and Claflin, Conjuring by James Randi, The Illustrated History of Magic by Milborne Christopher (wait, it might by Christopher Milbourne -- look it up). Those will get you started, and they're all the ones I can site from the top of my head this early in the day.

Joe in KC

Live a great adventure, make magic happen, have an interesting life!
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Nov 15, 2004 09:15PM)
Oh good grief.....we just had a huge discussion on this subject in this room! Check out the thread "What is a street magician?"

Based on my exchanges with the gents in here, and my experiences in the world out there, I've come to see that there are two schools of thought: 1) that 'street-mages' are hit & run performers who are seperate from (and often disdained by) buskers, and 2) that street mages ARE buskers....sort of a 'rotted-limb' on the busking family tree.

Although many of the differences in style are undeniable (see the other thread) the base-line similarity that both occur on the street...for tips...would seem to support the idea that street-magic & busking are one & the same. However, this belief may stem from the fact that many magicians have a strong disliking for guerilla-style magic, and hope that by lumping it with busking, it will invalidate its status as a seperate art form. Sort of a "mabye-if-we-ignore-it-long-enough-it-will-go-away" strategy.

So, getting back to the real difference--the style of performance--yes, it's somewhat like what chrisKline said, that buskers have a set pitch, often with a table & at least 1 article of costume attire, and they naturally stick to areas where performance is allowed & expected (Faniuel Hall, Harvard Square, Covent gardens, etc.). Street-mages are sort of 'stealth' performers. They do their thing anywhere and anytime that it looks profitable to do so, allowed or not. Busking is a great deal more profitable and usually safer, but street magic is very handy when you're unable to do regular busking for some reason. A number of the buskers on the afeoermentioned thread have used street-magic from time to time, either when they couldn't get a pitch or were 'between gigs'. So yes, they can be thought of as the same thing broadly, but it's a different WAY of DOING that same thing.

To the esteemed Frank Starsini: Yes, beleive it or not, it does happen and can be pulled off sucsesfully if you know what you're doing. It's NOT simple, it takes experience, instincts, and guts, but it can be great fun & excitement. As for the rounding the wagons thing...it was all a question of timing. Indians had their scouts riding around looking for targets, and the pioneers had advance riders out looking for Indians. If the scouts spotted the train first and got back to the tribe unseen, then the Indians could spring a suprise attack & the wagons wouldn't have a prayer of getting into formation. But if the advance riders saw the tribe, or the scouts first, then they could fire off the warning shot from wherever they were, and the wagons could get into a circle. As for doing this...it wasn't hard....each wagon would follow the wagon in front of it, and the lead wagon would curve to the left until it came up on the tail end of the last wagon...voila! A circle! Or at least an oval.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Nov 16, 2004 01:43AM)
[quote]
As for the rounding the wagons thing....it was all a question of timing....
[/quote]

So you're saying it did happen? The wagon thing?
Seems like more trouble than it's worth unless it was like .... hey, maybe they did "square" the wagon.

16 wagons, 4 on a side. Add a little curvature for the TV cameras. I can see that happening.
Barry and Constantine might be on to something.

That would make it safe for the "street/prairie magicians" to keep entertaining the laymen INSIDE the square/circle.

I'll bet they had a trick with a real live raven too.
Biscuits over the head, selected card to Pot o' chilli.
I wonder if any of the wagons were Black Tiger wagons?

Mr. Fool, thanks for the history lesson!!! Sounds like, given enough time, wagons were indeed "circled."
You are indeed mighty.

You're restored my faith in cowboys, indians, trigonometry, and timing.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Nov 16, 2004 02:11AM)
Uh....thank you....I think.

(Did he just compliment me, or am I too stupid to realize that he insulted me??!?)
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Nov 16, 2004 01:38PM)
:rotf:
No. That was a compliment!


I think I believe the stuff about the wagons now.
I wonder if it was more like "gathering the wagons" as best they could under duress. But then Hollywood didn't like the look and they made the cowboys do it over and over until they got into a circle.

Nevertheless...

It is easier to believe than the existance of actual "street magicians." I've yet to see one. I've been to New York, Paris, Rome, London, San Francisco, San Diego, even Freehold, New Jersey. Nothing. Never. Not a one.


If a magician does this on a whim just because they've got a pack of cards on them (because they cannot help it) and they walk out of a bar and whip it out (the cards), well I can see that happening. But is he/she automatically a street magician? And if that is enough to be a street magician, do you have to be wearing sunglasses? Even at night? I seem to recall a sunglasses requirement.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Nov 16, 2004 11:32PM)
Well.....

The reason you've never seen one is probably because they look (by necessity) totaly inconspicuous. We don't wear costumes or have set-ups, so unless one had picked you for a target, or you just happened to be passing by at the moment one had nailed a mark, or built an edge (a STREET-MAGE'S edge...3-6 people, not a busker's edge...8-60), you'd pass by one and be none the wiser. Now, to be fair, we probably are one of the rarest variety of magish out there anyway.

The shades are a daytime only thing because wearing shades at night makes it dangerous when the need arises to make a fast getaway. Running into lamposts and whatnot. The shades, or hat/bandana/whatever, serves as a disguise of sorts, often along with a reversible jacket, and in my case, convertable pants (to shorts).
Message: Posted by: constantine (Nov 16, 2004 11:46PM)
Street magic is real, otherwise they couldn't put it on television, like wrestling.
Message: Posted by: chrisrkline (Nov 17, 2004 06:33AM)
Actually, although I can't speak for Frank, he might be saying he has never seen someone, like you describe, actually performing magic--you know with cards or what not. You would think that at the very least he would see someone, once in a while, doing some magic. Even two-card-monte takes a minute or two. People who busk can, and do, spot people who are not in costume--I have, as surprising as it may seem, performed in street cloths before. I have performed strolling magic before, in street cloths. Unless the magic is so stealth that not even the spec suspects, it would show up on some radar screen, somewhere.

In any case, there can't be very many of these out there that do this type of magic.
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Nov 17, 2004 08:36AM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-17 00:32, The Mighty Fool wrote:
Well.....
The reason you've never seen one is probably because they look (by necessity) totally inconspicuous ... Now, to be fair, we probably are one of the rarest variety of magish out there anyway.
...because wearing shades at night makes it dangerous when the need arises to make a fast getaway...running into lamposts and whatnot. The shades, or hat/bandana/whatever, serves as a disguise of sorts, often along with a reversible jacket, and in my case, convertable pants (to shorts).
[/quote]

Greetings and Salutations,

For the sake of clarity I've cut your quote down to the salient points, and by your own description you have more in common with a criminal than a magician. You dress inconspicuously, in disguise, for when you have to make a fast getaway.

Do hit-and-run, guerilla magi actually try to pull this off as entertainment, or are you putting this all out so you can get a rise out of -- at least -- me?

I'm wondering -- and steering up a hornets' nest in the process but so be it -- what is the allure of breaking the law and giving magicians a bad name in the process?

It seems to me, if hit-and-run, guerilla-style magicians would put half as much effort into finding regular gigs -- fairs, events, fiestas, restaurants, etc. -- you'd find yourself making more money, entertaining more people, and reducing to zero the creepy reputation many magicians acquire due to the rarest of magish out there.

Buskers, magicians, musicians, mimes, etc., going back hundreds and hundreds of years, have a long and glorious history of entertaining people on the streets around the world. And they have done it by being entertaining. It's not the magic, the music, or the ... miming, it's about being entertaining.

It is my sincere belief that S.H. Sharpe would have been talking directly to the hit-and-run, guerilla-style tricksters when he said, "Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."

In my considered opinion, leaving the sunglasses on at night, performing a folding-coin routine, attracting the wrong-arm of the law, having to making a fast getaway, and slamming into a light post would be vastly more entertaining to passersby than, say, listening to a "look ... look, watch ... watch" card trick.

But then again, it's only my opinion. I could be wrong. History could prove me a fool and one day great books and historical treatise could be writ large about the hit-and-run, guerilla-magi out there. I've been wrong before, and I'll be wrong again. Ain't life grand?

Joe in KC

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ... 'Wow! What a ride!'"
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Nov 17, 2004 05:09PM)
Are black tiger decks a requirement? Because if you're wearing sunglasses at night and you're using a black tiger deck I can see potential for problems.

In fact....


...um. Forget it.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Nov 18, 2004 04:52AM)
To MagiUlysses:

Yes, we are out there, and we do try (with varying degrees of success) to pull this off. With experience, you can get to the point where you can laugh at the laws regarding the 'zoning' of magic performance. If you want to liken us to criminals, it would be in the same sense that Robin Hood's men were criminals in the eyes of the Sherrif-of-Nottingham, yet loved/admired by many in the populace. If what we do is a crime, then who, pray tell, is the victim? Some may say the spectator is the victim as he/she is paying simply to get-rid of us, but I assure you this is not the case (I'll explain in a moment). Others would say that the art of magic's reputation is the 'victim' as our kind (street-mages) cheapen it, but the street-mages who are good enough to actually DO this sort of thing are skilled enough that they do the effects proud. The silly wannabe Blainiacs who accost someone with a single plastic gimmick are quickly removed from the street-scene by either discouragement or injury.

From what I've gathered of the opinions of many Buskers, wer'e seen as walking right up to random passerby, 'cornering' them, and 'inflicting' magic on them in hopes of them giving a buck or a quarter to free themselves from us. I assure you, the art of street-magic is MUCH more subtle & tricky than that. No we DON'T simply walk right up to some random person & say "watch this!" (That's a good way to get punched in the mouth!) Usually, we find a good-looking 'mark', and follow along with their group, waiting for them to say or do something which we can play off of. For instance, hearing the mark say he needs change for a five...offering to make it for him, and using the 'Visibill' switch to do it. Card tricks are used as a 2nd or 3rd follow-up trick....if they're used at all. We really prefer tricks with (apparently) commonplace objects, like Killer Key, bitten coin, and Pen thru Bill. The "victims' are almost always surprised, amused, and really pleased to have met us. When they get to wherever it is they're going, what do you think the first thing they're going to talk about is? Contrary to wanting to get away from me, I usually hear marks ask for more tricks, and the crowd which forms asks for more as well. And I agree with you wholeheartedly on your idea that the true aim of magic is to give someone a pleasant performance. REALLY good magicians don't just make you gasp, laugh, or clap, they get right into your heart and make you happy every time you THINK of them...even years later.

So you might ask, "well then if your marks are so receptive, why the need for switchable clothes and fast getaways?" That's a good question. Really it's more to protect us from the brave boys in blue than from the marks. Remember that what we're doing is illegal in the eyes of the law, though enjoyed by the public. (Like a lot of things.) And yes, fine...I'll admit there is a certain thrill...a rush you get from doing 'magic-on-the-edge' like this. It's...well.... AAhhhh I really can't explain it. Your profile reads 'seeker of adventure'. Well are you or aren't you? C'mon! Try it sometime! I bet you'll like it!
Message: Posted by: chrisrkline (Nov 18, 2004 07:01AM)
I think we have had this conversation before. :)

You keep saying "we." Unless you guys have some sort of secret mark or signal, please share your method of finding each other so that Frank can say he has found someone who does this form of stealth magic.
Message: Posted by: constantine (Nov 18, 2004 08:47AM)
Let's see. You dress in a disguise, go out on the sidewalks, wait until you see a good looking guy, follow along behind him, listen to what thay're saying until you have a chance to 'play-off' them, and you wear dark glasses and a reversable jacket to avoid arrest or injury...ah, yeah.
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Nov 18, 2004 04:19PM)
Greetings and Salutations Mighty,

Thank you, but I think I'll stick to picking and choosing my battles with an eye to fewer entanglements, not more, with the Boys in Blue. They have enough to deal with without my giving them something else to concern themselves with.

I believe I'll leave this discussion for others to pick up, should they wish. My interjection was from a historical perspective on the art of "busking," making a living, or part of a living, performing on the streets.

To quote Dictionary.com:
busk -- intr.v. busked, busk·ing, busks
To play music or perform entertainment in a public place, usually while soliciting money.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Earlier, to be an itinerant performer, probably from "busk," to go about seeking; cruise as a pirate, perhaps from obsolete French "busquer;" to prowl, from Italian "buscare;" to prowl, or Spanish "buscar;" to seek from Old Spanish "boscar."]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
busker n.

While your experience may be different, I cannot, in my admitted limited experience, see where your style of "street" magic is going to pay the bills, or keep you deep in magic toys, whichever you prefer. Now, performing for the sake of performing, polishing close-up bits, and leaving people with a smile -- OK. That's your gig, more power to you. And if you can pick up a few bucks along the way, so much the better.

I assumed, which almost always gets me into trouble, that the question was meant to draw a distinction between what the topics on "The Side Walk Shuffle" covered vs. the topics in "Street Magic." Enjoying the study of magic's past, particularly as it pertains to Mountebanks, Charlatans, and historic Renaissance-era fairs and festivals, I answered, to the best of my limited ability, the question from my historical perspective.

And with that, my short response has carried on for entirely too long. As a man of letters once concluded a missive: my apologies for the long letter, I did not have the time to write a shorter one.

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Nov 18, 2004 11:22PM)
To Joe in KC,

Your time here was thoroughly enjoyed, and certainly gave me a few minutes away to earn a living.

Clarity: I was one of the more vocal "gents" on the other thread, "What is a street magician?". I will avoid redundancy by simply saying that in response to a PM I received reminding me that I am not the magic police, I will go back to carving my wand into a nightstick.

To Frank,

It's not unusual that you've never seen them. But, there are guerillas in the mist. I can smell them...
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Nov 19, 2004 04:14AM)
To MagiUlysses:

I've gotta admit, you sir have the gift of gab. Or just a way with words. Your audiences must be some of the most entertained in all the land. And at no time did I say you were WRONG about anything. In fact, you've pretty much been right about everything: street magic doesn't pay a living wage, we ARE criminals (albiet it's a victimless crime) and we CAN be considered part of the broadly-defined family of buskers, although you could say we're the 'black-sheep' of the family.

To chriskline: No, there's no secret mark or password...unlike say, hobos, we don't have a special vocabulary, nor do we use graffiti to let other street-mages know what's afoot in a particular area. The best way to find a street-mage is to do it youself, and travel. Odds are you'll encounter one sooner or later. I myself am in Orlando, and I bounce between Daytona, Miami, and the Keys, and I try to go abroad at least once a year. My name stems from my stature and mental capacity (it was given to me at a Ren Festival). There's a street-mage in Daytona by the name of "Lucky the Loser" who specializes in card flourishes. Another here in Orlando calls himself Hallelujah Jones on account of the fact that he can quote any Bible passage verbatim. There are probably others here in Florida, but moving outward...Lord Gus works between the German towns of Koblenz & Mainz, and gets out to Frankfurt (where I met him) a lot. Gus really goes for the macabre angle--razor blades, chain escapes, etc. Stewart-the-******* worked the subways in London for awhile, but now he has a nice semi-regular gig at Covent gardens. I think he calls himself Stewart the Beautiful now. (the big ham). The Blue Muse played recorder on the streets of Amsterdam till I met her. She did some accompaniment for me for awhile, then insisted I teach her the tricks. She's never looked back. There are others, but that's enough I guess.

To Michael Baker: Good to see you again. Sorry to hear about the PM...I wasn't offended by your comments at all. In fact, I found your hard-luck story rather inspiring! And thank you for backing up our existence...even if it is by odor.

Finally, to Constantine: Ah the skeptics! You gotta love 'em! Think a moment, if everyone believed wholeheartedly in magic, would they feel all that compelled to watch a performance? Where would magicians be without all the skeptics out there? Or in here, apparently.
Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Nov 20, 2004 07:17PM)
I like the costume change idea. You could do a trick for someone, walk around the block, change, and do another trick for the same people, all the time claming to be someone else.
There is nothing wrong with this kind of magic, however it is not busking, unless you are doing it to start a larger show.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 21, 2004 02:58PM)
Regarding historical Faires -- the one Joe was thinking of was Bartholomew Fair -- it ran from 1133 to 1855. There is quite a bit of info about it on the net. As far as who actuall brought magic indoors -- I don't think that can be pinpointed. I know that Fawkes had an enclosed booth with a large banner -- perhaps that was the name Joe was hunting for.

But Fawkes charged an admission fee to his booth, so he wasn't really busking. He was basically playing a "sit down gig."

Max Malini was also a busker of sorts. He would troll the bars in the better hotels, rent a suite, and then perform for the fellows he could get to come into the suite. Generally, the rental was covered by the drinks the marks purchased.

Bob Hummer was a bar busker. He would end his turn with the production of a full glass of beer, which he would then drink. The "beer" was made of vinegar and soda. It may have been the constant drinking of this concoction that caused the stomach cancer that eventually claimed him.
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Nov 21, 2004 04:15PM)
There was a fun, illustrated version of the history of the St. Bartholemew Faire in "The Big Book of Freaks."

Steve
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Nov 22, 2004 05:32PM)
To the esteemed Bill Palmer: I'm guessing that a lot of your avatar is just make-up, but I gotta say, your image really seems to match your capacity for lore & information!
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Nov 22, 2004 10:47PM)
Nope, Bill pretty much looks like that before he puts on the makeup. Afterwards he looks like a sedate gentleman of nobility.

BroDavid
Message: Posted by: tabman (Nov 23, 2004 01:31PM)
I had that book, "Street Magic" in the 70s. I bought it (or might have copped it, I was very poor then) in a bookstore in Amherst, MA. It's a lot of the reason that I was able to survive when I was living on the street in western Masssachusetts (I survived winter, imagine that). Jeff Sheridan (I think) was the author's name. I never equated busking and street magic at the time. I'd play the guitar and do a coin matrix on a close up pad using the closed guitar case as a table, laugh and joke with people for a few minutes. I'd do it for an hour or so. Nobody seemed to mind and I ended up making a lot of friends, some I have to this day. I would only pick up a few bucks a day. Enough for lunch and to pay my post office box rent. I was selling suede leather close up pads by mail order with an ad in Genii too. In may ways those were the best of days but busking??? That was what you went to Europe to do in those days.

I hope you solve this puzzle though. I see that Sir David Blaine changed everything with his version of "street magic." My hat's off to him I guess. You live by the motto: GTFM!
-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 23, 2004 08:24PM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-22 18:32, The Mighty Fool wrote:
To the esteemed Bill Palmer: I'm guessing that a lot of your avatar is just make-up, but I gotta say, your image really seems to match your capacity for lore & information!
[/quote]
Actually, the only thing in the photo that isn't real is the wig. The rest of it is me!
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Nov 23, 2004 10:19PM)
Oh....well.....it STILL matches!
Message: Posted by: tabman (Nov 24, 2004 11:41AM)
I'm disappointed about the hair!!!

Long haired country boy,
-=tabman
Message: Posted by: RonCalhoun (Dec 1, 2004 01:30AM)
Language is a living breathing ever changing animal. Words sometimes change meanings.

I remember when coke was a drink, down with in was the flu and crack was something a plumber's butt did.

Before Blaine, Street Magic was “Busking” by a magician. In the magic world it probably still is. But to the general public its Blaine style “stuff”.

I often have people tell me Copperfield isn't a magician he's an illusionist.

Ron Calhoun
Message: Posted by: irishguy (Jan 2, 2005 05:31PM)
[quote]
Max Malini was also a busker of sorts. He would troll the bars in the better hotels, rent a suite, and then perform for the fellows he could get to come into the suite. Generally, the rental was covered by the drinks the marks purchased.
[/quote]
It was my understanding that Malini would troll bars and restaurants, perform for a few, and then sell tickets to private shows in his suite. I never heard that he covered costs with drink purchases, but rather from ticket sales.

Posted: Jan 2, 2005 6:35pm
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Quote:
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I had that book, "Street Magic" in the 70s. Jeff Sheridan (I think) was the author's name.
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Are you thinking of this book?

[url=http://www.murphysmagicsupplies.com/catalog/books/html/streetmagic.html]Click here![/url]

If so, is it worth owning?
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Jan 2, 2005 07:46PM)
Murphy's shows that it's out of print. I don't know if that means they have copies left or not. I do know I saw some on the bookshelf at Denny and Lee's. I skimmed through it, but left it there on the shelf.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 2, 2005 08:33PM)
The book "Street Magic" is a great read. It is more of a history of street magic than a primer.

If you are looking some books that will teach you something about creating an act that is essentially "Street Theater" I would suggest Gazzo's "Krowd Keepers" book as well as his cups and balls book, Whit Haydn's book, "Street Magic", Cellini's "The Royal Touch", Professor Gizmo's book on street magic...

Now, if you are wondering what it takes to develop the performance aspect of a street act that is a whole list of other books. If you are going for funny I would suggest learning something about pantomime. Now before you blow a gasket I am not talking about invisible walls and pulling rope. I am talking about the physical ability to sell it big to a crowd. If you have a table act and want to do a circle show you will need to make small play big. I know that this was the biggest hump for me to overcome going from the doorway to the circle.

I would suggest getting a netflix account and renting every Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle, and Harold Loyd, film you can get your hands on. You need to be able to "sell it" with every fiber of your being on the street.

Some good books are, "The Physical Comedy Handbook" by Davis Robinson, "Truth in Comedy" by Charna Halpern, Del Close, and Kim Johnson, American Vaudeville as seen by it's contemporaries" by Charles Stein (Pay particular attention on the article about the "WOW" finish and think of Gazzo), and finally "The Jugglers Manual of Manipulative Miscellanea" by Reg Bacon, because let's face it, if you are a variety artist you should be able to do at least a hat flourish. :)

The street is the last gasp of Vaudeville in this country. If you look the history of what we do it has its roots and its structure in continuous entertainment. the similarities are astounding.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: irishguy (Jan 2, 2005 08:41PM)
[quote]
The book "Street Magic" is a great read. It is more of a history of street magic than a primer.
[/quote]
That is all I am really looking for. I love reading about the history of magic.
[quote]
If you are looking some books that will teach you something about creating an act that is essentially "Street Theater" I would suggest Gazzo's "Krowd Keepers" book as well as his cups and balls book, Whit Haydn's book, "Street Magic", Cellini's "The Royal Touch", Professor Gizmo's book on street magic...
[/quote]
I may have to look into one or two of those. Seems interesting.
[quote]
The street is the last gasp of Vaudeville in this country. If you look the history of what we do it has its roots and its structure in continuous entertainment. the similarities are astounding.
[/quote]
I agree. Thank you for the information and your time :)

Posted: Jan 2, 2005 9:42pm
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Murphy's shows that it's out of print. I don't know if that means they have copies left or not. I do know I saw some on the bookshelf at Denny and Lee's. I skimmed through it, but left it there on the shelf.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't think they have any in stock...it was just the first link I could find.
Message: Posted by: chrisrkline (Jan 2, 2005 09:09PM)
Yea, watching those old silent stars is a real education. What is astonishing is how much time these people would put into rehearsing every pratfall, bump, tumble, etc. That may be the real lesson. It is not easy to do silly comedy, for a large crowd anyway.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jan 3, 2005 05:43PM)
I believe I saw this book on the shelf at http://www.grandillusions.com
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Jan 3, 2005 07:14PM)
[quote]On 2004-11-16 02:43, Frank Starsini wrote:
So you're saying it did happen? The wagon thing?
Seems like more trouble than it's worth unless it was like .... hey, maybe they did "square" the wagon.[/quote]
Topologically, a square and a circle are the same thing.

Maybe those settlers knew more about math than you thought.

;)
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jan 4, 2005 01:25AM)
Topologically speaking, you're correct.
And both are closed and bounded and therefore....Compact?
But Topology was not "around" back then was it?

But travelling in a relatively straight line is easier than ....
... oh forget it (as I peer up on the shelf for my topology book,
wondering whether I'm correct or full of ****. I really cannot remember
anymore).

By they way, who goes back and re-edits my posts and turns them
into complete nonsense. I don't even understand half the stuff I wrote
anymore becuase the words are all different than my original "poetry".

I didn't write "we'll get an ellipse"
I wrote "we got an ellipse" and someone changed it.

I don't think the indians would let you re-round the wagons because you wanted to get an ellipse the second time around. They would just shoot you with an arrow or scalp you on the spot.
Message: Posted by: Thirston (Jan 6, 2005 05:28AM)
Probably this does not matter what it means. Maybe we should not talk about this anymore so we don't start fights.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Jan 6, 2005 11:34AM)
WHO ARE YOU TO TELL US WHAT TO TALK ABOUT!!
YOU LOOKING FOR A FIGHT OR SOMETHING???

:mad: :mad: :mad:
Just kidding ;)
Message: Posted by: mplegare (Jan 6, 2005 03:50PM)
The thing to keep in mind is that until Mr. Blaine went out on the street with a full production crew, cameras, boom mics and a 300 lb bodyguard/producer, *he* didn't do 'Street Magic'.

Me, I do 'room magic'. :D
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jan 6, 2005 06:01PM)
Topology is "squaresville."
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jan 7, 2005 04:57AM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-19 05:14, The Mighty Fool wrote:
To MagiUlysses:

I've gotta admit, you sir have the gift of gab. Or just a way with words. Your audiences must be some of the most entertained in all the land. And at no time did I say you were WRONG about anything. In fact, you've pretty much been right about everything: street magic doesn't pay a living wage, we ARE criminals (albiet it's a victimless crime) and we CAN be considered part of the broadly-defined family of buskers, although you could say we're the 'black-sheep' of the family.
[/quote]
I understand your position. But from the point of view of the police, you could be the opening of a con game or worse. Police are notably conservative and tend to frown at "stealth" tactics no matter how benign.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 7, 2005 08:36AM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-06 19:01, whithaydn wrote:
Topology is "squaresville."
[/quote]
It's L7 daddieo. :)

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Matt Graves (Jan 8, 2005 02:27AM)
Although this is replying to something waaaaaaayyyyy back at the beginning of this thread, I think it's interesting to note - somebody said David Blaine's special was misnamed. He admits as much in his own book. He said he picked the title to underplay the value of the magic. He thought most magic specials had grandiose titles and no real content, and he wanted to do the opposite. But he had actually never done any street magic.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Jan 8, 2005 02:46AM)
I remember hearing that one should avoid using the label of magician in a special / show / whatever. Penn&Teller used to call themselves "The bad boys of magic" until they discovered that the word 'magic' was keeping people away in droves!
Message: Posted by: KirkG (Jan 11, 2005 03:35PM)
I think an old definition of the current "street magic" magician as opposed to a busker is a "rank amature." Bascially someone with little background and ability cornering a slower moving herbivore and pouncing with the almost always lethal, "Pick a card, any card." Remember Uncle Joe?

Street magic used to mean busking, then it was chosen as a buzz word and lifestyle of adolescent wanna be's. End of story. Even though they grow older, magicians are unlike mutual bonds, they almost never mature.

Kirk G
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jan 11, 2005 05:12PM)
Kirk, Where were you back when this all started. You could have saved me
from writing all those embarassing posts.

And ...
[quote]
...until they discovered that the word 'magic' was keeping people away in droves!
[/quote]
I think each of us needs to realize this, acknowledge that it is fact, and do something (when performing) about it. Every time! Peronally I think that most people love to see magic. They just don't want it done by a magician. They like it done by someone like themselves. Not a 'performer', per se. It's more palatable that way. Go and do likewise.

Who would you rather hang out with... Jerry Sienfeld or a fantastic used car salesman?
Message: Posted by: chrisrkline (Jan 12, 2005 02:42PM)
Actually, I was going to add that is like comedy. They want you to be funny, but they don't want you to be a comedian. :)
Message: Posted by: mplegare (Jan 16, 2005 12:51PM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-12 15:42, chrisrkline wrote:
Actually, I was going to add that is like comedy. They want you to be funny, but they don't want you to be a comedian. :)
[/quote]
That's a good way of putting it. People are more likely to respond if you have something *along with* 'hey! I do magic!' as your presentation.
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (May 25, 2005 05:58AM)
I think part of that is that people want to see entertainers with unique personalities, and not 'out of the box' entertainers. Both magicians and stand-up comics have an annoying stereotype to live down. Mimes have an even worse one to live down (Man...look at all the 'Biffs' touching invisible walls, pulling invisible ropes and 'walking against the wind').

Steve
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (May 25, 2005 11:28AM)
You're right.

magic is very strong when performed by someone that appears to be ...
"a normal guy" and not someone that is overtly "entertaining".

it creates a connection between magician and spectator.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 26, 2005 12:44PM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-06 06:28, Thirston wrote:
Probably this does not matter what it means. Maybe we should not talk about this anymore so we don't start fights.
[/quote]
Actually, it does matter what it means. This is a "sticky" topic. It contains the key to whether you need to look in this part of the forum or in the :wow: "Street Magic" part of the forum to find the information you need.

I'm just guessing now, but I would also wager that a higher percentage of the people who post to this section actually perform for paying audiences -- even though they are busking -- than the "guerilla magicians" in the "Street Magic" section.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (May 29, 2005 01:28AM)
[quote]
On 2005-05-25 12:28, Frank Starsini wrote:
You're right.

magic is very strong when performed by someone that appears to be ...
"a normal guy" and not someone that is overtly "entertaining".

it creates a connection between magician and spectator.
[/quote]
And therin lies the power of a street magician

(Ducks out quick before the tomatoes start flying)
Message: Posted by: chrisrkline (May 31, 2005 10:24AM)
[quote]
On 2005-05-29 02:28, The Mighty Fool wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-05-25 12:28, Frank Starsini wrote:
You're right.

magic is very strong when performed by someone that appears to be ...
"a normal guy" and not someone that is overtly "entertaining".

it creates a connection between magician and spectator.
[/quote]
And therein lies the power of a street magician

(Ducks out quick before the tomatoes start flying)
[/quote]
No tomatoes. :)

I don't know what Frank meant when he said "normal." Maybe normal is wearing Dockers and a button down, or in a fancier show, a nice dark suit. Maybe he sees Blaine as being too "entertaining."

Of course, he might mean by normal, more what you might mean--a homeless person that you see on the street holding a cup out for change to buy coffee and then having the coins poor out as coffee--in other words, setting up a scene where reality seems to distort around the performer (who of course is not really a "performer.") This does get great reactions, or maybe it is fairer to say, it generates strong reactions.

But it comes down to what the performer wants to elicit. I do not necessarily look for just [i]any[/i] strong reaction. There are all sorts of ways to push the envelope and get strong reactions--just bite the heads off of live bats is one way. Some performers get an emotional high that correlates to the "freak out" level of the spectator. The more the spectator freaks, the better the high. This can become addictive. I just wish to do a fun, safe, show—But not too safe. I want parts of my routine to touch the spectators in ways that they won't forget. I want them to see things that just can't be. But I still want the safeness to be there. Because I want to eventually perform for larger groups--family oriented groups--that are also willing to tip, I shy away from controversial routines. I want to be known as the magician. I want that fact to be on their radar screens. So I dress a little different, but not too weird. My character is normal for a person who has chosen to do street performances.

But I suspect some of us, when we are doing close-up or other types of gigs, will perform, more as "normal" person. Even in my street show, I am not too ostentatious, particularly when I am doing something for a few people.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jun 1, 2005 01:37AM)
NO, I do not see blaine as overtly entertaining. exactly the opposite.
that's why he gets good reactions. I don't think his reactions on TV are any better than your average professional magician. About the same, I guess.

I'm not sure how many dull reactions he gets that don't make it to tape in comparison, but there is a natural connection, I think, that is generated with someone that is not constantly "over-the-top".

For a lot of people, if the magician is "over-the-top" it puts up a wall, that cannot come down. Not everyone, but a lot of people.

I could be wrong. I could just be me. But it would be my preference to watch someone like Michael Ammar perform than The Amazing Johnathan.

Maybe that's why Copperfield (the only time I saw him) came out with his shirt untucked, sleeves rolled up, and had a very causal demenor.

Kinda looked like yer buddy.

No strutting around, no fake open-mouthed-wierd-vegas-face, just kind of walking around with his hands in his pockets, type of thing.

I (and my wife) found that very refreshing.
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Jun 1, 2005 05:36AM)
I think the over-the-top behavior and 'sequin suit' approach triggers the Used Car Salesman / TV commercial 'puker' imagery in many people's minds.

(a 'puker,' by the way, is a commercial talker who speaks in a loud and overly-excited manner to get and hold your attention, usually with a gigantic smile and ultra-wide eyes)

Steve
Message: Posted by: chrisrkline (Jun 1, 2005 10:38AM)
Some of what we wear is determined by whether we are working a paid gig or the street, and what our own desires are. Unfortunately, we are also creatures of habit, and we often lack the creativity and/or self-confidence to be different (or is that we lack this ability to be normal?)

Copperfield can get away with his new way of dressing because people walking into the show know they are seeing a magician. What he wears is secondary to the magic. Also, he is a known entity. People will buy his tickets as long as the magic is good. They do not worry too much about his dress. I wonder, though, about the stage acts in Las Vegas or Branson, MO. You see a lot of ostentatious dress (with notable exceptions.) Is this done because of the expectations of the audience? The people who frequent those shows expect to see sequins. The acts also sell their shows through advertising. Showing a promo of a big stage show, with glittering sequins, and half-naked women, seems to be standard. Would an ad of someone in regular clothing sell tickets as well for a big stage show?

Blaine was able to get away from the "magician's dress code" partly because he had a camera crew with him, which, ironically, may have detracted from the "normalness" of his act. I will grant that his dress is more contemporary and in many ways is much better for doing close-up magic for a few on the street then trying to do his tricks in tails and top hat. How well he would do on the street dressed that way, sans camera crew, and a family to feed, however, is debatable. Having people enjoy his act on the street is not the same as being able to make enough money for your family--that needs bigger shows. How we do that, is part of the problem. In other words, people might like normal dress for intimate close up on the street, and may even prefer it at a paid gig at a party, restaurant, or small stage. But would that work trying to attract a large circle show on the street where people were not expecting a show to even exist?

But, if we are not comfortable in our costume, then that is a problem. Or maybe if it is too clear that we are in a costume (even when people know we are costumed,) then that is the problem. Sometimes I wear a nice shirt under my vest, with a tie, all within a color theme. Lately, I have taken to wearing a t-shirt under the vest. I may try to work without the vest, if I think it will work better. But I need the hat. I need it to be a fedora or a bowler, to do my routine.


On another point, there is a fine line between doing a good pitch and sounding like a clichéd used car salesman. Some used car salesmen are decent and very effective. Some of us probably sound like bad used car salesman (although, done correctly, sounding like a bad used car salesman can be good comedy.) I will definitely assess whether this is what I sound like.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jun 1, 2005 11:13AM)
Copperfield wore a rather large sweatshirt when you saw him because he was going "Flying". It had nothing to do with what style he wanted to project, if he could do Flying in a white button up he would have worn that. Most pro's often change their appreacence and clothing to match a paticular trick - I grew my hair long for a paticular levitation I do, the pony tail is a secret gimmick of mine.

You don't just decide what you want to wear, or what you want to look like ... you decide what tricks you want to do, then figure out what clothes you must wear to get the most out of those effects.

As for looking normal, Blaine certainly would not look "normal" in my neighborhood - he would look more like a bum. Of course, his special was filmed in areas like the Compton Projects, so he fit in nicely there. The "normal guy" was planted in your mind by the nararator, NOT his clothing ... it also controdicted the "special powers" statement, as a normal guy wouldn't have special powers.

His clothing was far from "normal", as that would imply everyone was wearing tight teeshirts and jeans. Did you see anyone else dressed like him in his special? I can speculate he wore tight teeshirts to impress upon his audience that there was nothing up his sleeve, something I myself have worn for that very reason.

JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jun 19, 2005 11:46AM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-11 18:12, Frank Starsini wrote:
Who would you rather hang out with... Jerry Sienfeld or a fantastic used car salesman?
[/quote]
Is there really that much of a difference?
Message: Posted by: chrisrkline (Jun 20, 2005 11:56AM)
Maybe it should be modified into "Who would we rather watch perform, Jerry Seinfeld or Bill Murray [i]playing the part[/i] of a used car salesman?" They both are hilarious in the right context.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Sep 12, 2005 10:51AM)
Busking vs Street Magic!
There is know contest, if you are working for tips you are a busker if you are being paid to do a show on the streets as in a fixed fee you are street performing.

I do both, the test is when you ask if you can busk while you do a paid gig normally you will hear a big NO, some times a YES but normally a NO. Those that book you do not want you to Busk that says it all because you are not Busking never mind what you think. If you are allowed then you are busking and very lucky happy busker.

Happy Fat Hats.
Mario
Message: Posted by: RWhit (Sep 21, 2005 11:29AM)
Maybe a failed busker is a street magician.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Sep 24, 2005 04:00AM)
This has been discussed Ad Nauseum, but one of the whole points of street-magic is that youre doing it in places where busking is NOT allowed or sanctioned. Often, we work places where buskers WISH they could perform (theme parks, strip malls, etc.) Street-mages don't do "Paid gigs", at least not that I've ever heard of.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Oct 8, 2005 09:54AM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-16 14:38, Frank Starsini wrote:
:rotf:
No. That was a compliment!

I think I believe the stuff about the wagons now.
I wonder if it was more like "gathering the wagons" as best they could under duress. But then Hollywood didn't like the look and they made the cowboys do it over and over until they got into a circle.
[/quote]
I think they probably "looped" the wagons as close to a circle as they could. Hollywood got it right once and then put it in the "stock footage" section so it shows up in multiple films :lol:
[quote]
Nevertheless...

It is easier to believe than the existance of actual "street magicians." I've yet to see one. I've been to New York, Paris, Rome, London, San Francisco, San Diego, even Freehold, New Jersey. Nothing. Never. Not a one.

If a magician does this on a whim just because they've got a pack of cards on them (because they cannot help it) and they walk out of a bar and whip it out (the cards), well I can see that happening. But is he/she automatically a street magician? And if that is enough to be a street magician, do you have to be wearing sunglasses? Even at night? I seem to recall a sunglasses requirement.
[/quote]
I did it once (technically, twice) while in DisneyWorld. While on line for Peter Pan's Flight (a ride I recommend FastPass for in the future!) I pulled out the deck of cards and was doing color changes and other stuff for the people in the next part of the rat maze! Another time, while waiting for Aladdin and Jasmine to come out and sign autographs/pose for pictures, the couple in front of me was having problems with their little girl who was getting "antsy." I said; "I see why you're getting so jumpy..." and pulled a sponge ball out of her ear! "I'd be jumpy too if I had one of these stuck in there!" I did a quick sponge ball routine (Mark Wilson's Encyclopedia of Magic) quitting at the "gone from my hand, both are in yours" stage. (It was getting close to Aladdin and Jasmine and that was a better stopping place than anywhere else in the routine.

I've also done card springing for cranky kids. It's bright, colorful and makes a rude noise. 99 times out of a 100, it gets them quiet to where they forget why they were crying in the first place. (I had a bus actually applaude when I got some father's kid quieted down with card springing!)

No tips though, Disney wouldn't allow it of course.
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Mar 6, 2006 04:04PM)
Regarding the 'Hit & Run' style guerrila magic, where it would be wise at times to make a mad dash outta the hizzy, I can believe it happens...way back in the late 80's I dropped outta school and left home with zero money in my pocket. All I had was a very small box of magic tricks and a back pack of clothes.

When I left home (small hicktown) I moved to Olympia Wa. then to Tacoma and then Seattle, I worked the streets and lived like a street urchin I started when I was 17 and ended that lifstyle at the age of 22 on the east coast, magic took me places. I had many adventures, made enough money to survive, but not pay all the bills required to live like a normal person.

I called what I did Ninja Magic because it sounded cool and sorta described what I was doing. I also was a small time con man and pickpocket at times, however I felt it wasn't the right thing to do and stopped almost as soon as I started.

So there is folk who do this type of magic to be sure, but it must be a small group.

johnny
Message: Posted by: gollymrscience (Mar 20, 2006 05:01PM)
Until David came along and usurped the name street magic and turned it into a new descriptive term for his style of street magic I led a contented and well ordered life with a clear understanding of what street magic is/was. Now its like what has happened to the word "gay". It used to be that if you called a guy a "gay fellow" you were saying he was happy - now you have to pick you guy carefully!
Same with the term street magic. Before David caused people to retool the term street magic was doing fine thank you very much.
Street Magic was magic done on the street if you asked for money than you were doing street magic to busk. If not then a bit of magic in a lineup was perhaps street magic but not a street magic act. If you staked out a pitch and just did it for fun it was street magic pure and simple and just because you didn't get paid did not mean that you were unskilled nor unhassled by the local constabulary.
Many times the term was applied to the type of magic that had certain limitations as in Stage Magic versus close-up but even that is not without blurred lines.
I simply refer to the latest Magical Assault system as a style of Street Magic.
It was so simple 30 years ago.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Mar 23, 2006 04:36AM)
Gollymrscience
I like your point, well said.
Mario
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Apr 11, 2006 10:19PM)
Normally I'd chime in with a retort......but the truth is I havn't really done much street-magic since landing the table-hopping gig at Disney. I've 'gone legit' as they say. I still did a little the last time I went to Europe, but it was just for fun, not survival. But yes, it WAS 'so simple' 30 years ago....when buskers had a monopoly on the street and street-mages were never-heard-of bottom feeders. Now with 2 street mages at the top of the food-chain (Blaine & Angel) encouraging all manner of spin-offs....well, all you have to do is scroll up & back to read all the bitterness.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Apr 12, 2006 04:43AM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-11 23:19, The Mighty Fool wrote:
Normally I'd chime in with a retort...but the truth is I haven't really done much street-magic since landing the table-hopping gig at Disney.
[/quote]
Where are you, "world," or "land?"

If WDW, where do you perform? I'm planning on visiting 2007 and would like to drop in on whatever restaurant you're in.
Message: Posted by: Chance (Apr 12, 2006 04:53AM)
I have a retort: I don't work for Disney -- I'm a full time busker living out of a suitcase -- and you know what, I'm also "legit". I'm legitimate because the street is the original theatre. And, even more important, I'm legitimate because my audiences say I am.

I'll be legit so long as there's a public square around the next corner and there's a sparkle in my eye; you're legit until Disney decides you're expendable, or until another performer undercuts your fee.

Working for Disney makes you "legit" like walking into a Burger King makes you a french fry.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Apr 14, 2006 04:45AM)
To Mandrake: It's world, and you'll find me at Fulton's crabhouse (the big riverboat).

To Chance: Easy man...'gone legit' is just an expression...I'm not saying that having a paid-pro gig in a fixed venue is the only sort of legitamete magic. It's just that since street magic (unlike busking which is usually done in specific approved areas) is often done in places where it would be illegal, when a street-mage gets a regular pro gig it's called going legit.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Apr 15, 2006 09:52AM)
I'm going to try and be in Disneyworld in 2007.

I'll have to look for you.

Quick question. While my wife will _love_ the idea, I frankly hate seafood.

Do they have non-seafood on the menu?

(I looked on the website, but they didn't have a full menu. Just the fact that the Alaskan King Crab is a favorite!)
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Apr 16, 2006 01:50AM)
Sure.....there's FiletMignon, strip steak, and free-range chicken. And it's a great place to do table-hopping magic. It's 5-star, so you get the good (read: high-tipping) clientele, but it's still Disney, so theres a LOT of children, who, as I've said oft before are the achilles-heel of ANY crowd.....or table.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Apr 22, 2006 10:04AM)
-yum-

I'll look for you "fool."
Message: Posted by: joshua the magician (Nov 28, 2006 09:11PM)
So just a quick question. some people actually pay you to work on the streets of lets just say nyc? I don't mean like a david blaine guy but just a magician that cant find anywhere to work. like a hobo magician. like a street vendor, kind of? maybe nyc could finance you to add to their tourist attraction. I don't know.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Nov 29, 2006 02:53PM)
.....Uhm, well....I suppose that COULD happen, but it sure seems like a longshot. Still, I'm so intruiged by the idea...I might look into it if I lived in NYC.
Message: Posted by: Charlie the Tuna (Mar 7, 2007 02:12PM)
A hobo magician? I hope you did not move to NYC to try this. Busking seems like a hard life, and there is no shortage of street musicians and other performers in NYC.
Charlie
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Mar 8, 2007 04:57AM)
This is true, but if you're good enough, you can pull it off. I'm not.
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Mar 31, 2007 12:41AM)
All it takes is balls and determination...and 20 years experience!!!

johnny

http://www.myspace.com/chris_robertson
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Mar 31, 2007 03:36AM)
That's right Johnny, any 10 year old can do it with 20 years experience. :)

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 27, 2007 02:09PM)
[quote]
On 2007-03-31 01:41, johnnymystic wrote:
All it takes is balls and determination...and 20 years experience!!!

johnny

http://www.myspace.com/chris_robertson
[/quote]
And you don't need cups. Just balls. And experience.
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Jul 1, 2007 08:50PM)
That's why I got several kids Bill...
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Aug 10, 2007 02:35PM)
David blain and kris angel are tv magicians.

cyril is an internet magician.

gazzo, cellini, and nick nicholis are street performers or street magicians.

the dorks who go out and do "guerilla style" are pretending to be blain angel cyril superheroes...not street magicians. there doing purely for their own egos.

I heard that blain says that he learned from a real street performer I can't remember I think it was in his book and shows a pic of the guy I think.

anyway blain is a tv magician doing magic on the street FOR TELEVISION and a pay check.

he is not a street magician doing magic on the street for the street and tips in a hat.

when the street becomes a "set" it loses its reality as a street.

when a kid goes out and shows a magic trick for some one on the street just because.

he is not a street magician/performer he is a kid showing a magic trick on the street just because.

he's playing a transparent role as a magician...but the people know.

we're talking about professionalism not hobbiest day dreams.

the pro should come first and the hobbiest should listen and wish they could be pro or shut up and go to work and be a pro like blain, angel, gazzo, or nick nicholis.

But this guerilla thing is just like role playing lala.

Sorry, but this is our lifes work.

and I'm sick of people mocking it.
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Aug 10, 2007 03:21PM)
Jimmy,

You did NOT say stupid things, you spoke your mind, didn't violate Café rules and you told the truth. I've seen you work, in person, and you do the art justice. You perform with character and personality, and that's why people enjoy watching you work.

Steve
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Aug 14, 2007 09:23PM)
I agree with Stevethomas (the man with no last name!)

You spoke your mind. I am <not> a busker, I've gone out very few times, I have nothing but respect for people who can go out every day and actually make a living (or at least a good suplimental income) off of this.

And hey! You're "jimmy talksalot," are we supposed to expect simple one word posts from you? I don't think so! :D
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Aug 16, 2007 07:37PM)
Jimmy, what you said is nothing but the truth. I have never found the truth to be stupid. You expressed exactly what we feel when we see some little kid who thinks a scotch and soda makes him a "magician" so he has to run out and bug people to watch him.

Keep up the honesty

Peter
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Aug 21, 2007 04:14PM)
To Jimmy.

Yes, you spoke your mind...which is probably why most of your posts are so small.

KIDDING!! I'M KIDDING!!

But, in response: If by saying we should "go pro or shut up", your implying that only proffesionals are true magicians? I'll bet there are amatures out there with more talent than you, me and Jenkins Minor combined. And anyway, the term 'professional' is a bit hard to define when it comes to busking,(and totaly non-existant in street-magic) because buskers aren't paid by the city or the venue, they get tips from impressed / amused passersby. so if 'professional' is taken to mean "Good enough that you get paid for it" then I'm afraid I know several street-mages who qualify as pros, including moi.

Like I said in an earlier post, there is a lot of bitterness from buskers, many of whom feel that their monopoly as street-performers has been usurped, and the television antics of Blaine & Angel have made street-magic a lot harder to dismiss / ignore. I'll admit that having a camera crew around you sort of takes away from the street-magic aspect, but you gotta hand it to Cyril.....his cameras are usually hidden!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 31, 2007 06:31AM)
Jimmy:

What you said in that burst of posts was right to the point. The only thing I would disagree with is your statement that Cyril is an internet magician. While he is best known from his Youtube clips over here, in Japan, he is basically worshipped as a television god.

For a long time, certain biggies in the various magic magazines gave him a lot more credit for what he is doing than (IMHO) he deserves. In reality, he is doing the same thing that Blaine and Angel have done. He's got a set, which may be in a restaurant, an open market, or even the Tokyo aquarium. He may take over a disco for an evening. But everything he does is worked out tighter than a gnat's posterior.

My chief beef with David Blaine has nothing to do with his material. It has to do with his usurpation of the term "Street Magic." It used to be that when the public heard the term "street magician," they knew that it meant a busker. Now, for the most part, it's a pest with a deck of cards or a scotch and soda. And don't forget the fire wallet and the attitude!
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Aug 31, 2007 03:32PM)
Jimmy:

You have stated your points that are also factual and we respect that. Those are great points. You have done nothing wrong.
Message: Posted by: SeaDawg (Aug 31, 2007 05:40PM)
I think Simon Lovell credits Aronson with the following quote: " I don't do magic , I help people experience magic".

It is in the fine presentation of the subtleties of our craft that we make more converts.... Assaulting people with a deck of cards and an in your face attitude doesn't seem congruent with our rich heritage.
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Sep 3, 2007 09:44PM)
Mighty Fool,

a pro is a guy who does his lifes work not a "real job"

any monkey can be good enough to get paid for magic, that's my point, if the hobbiest is so good why don't he do his lifes work instead of a "real job"?

this isn't about skill, its about character.

further, why in gads name would he think to speak as an authority on the profession when he never had the guts to go to work full time.

sorry but he's a coward, failure, or simply not a magician/entertainer.

he's a thinker when its convient for him. but not real. he's just as fake as the gaff.

input is great, but misinformation confuses beginners and causes them to make the same mistakes and breeds more discouragement and defeatism....you know what a hobbiest is.

if the hobbiest is gonna give input then let the people know your an amature.

my concern is for the beginner, for the potential blain,cyril,cellini,gazzo.

hobbiests who say you can't make a living at what we do are not only negative their wrong and dangerous to beginners and young people.

hobbiests who unwittingly misinform are costing our art, time and money.

that's my point.

as far as bitterness twards these guys who just randomly stop people to do magic for nothing but their own egos......i have no thoughts or emotions on it,

hmmm

it just seems void in the bigger scheme of things...boring maybe, I dunno, uh, good luck with that.

I wish it was potent enough to be bitter about, I love greatness...saddly it is not. I've seen much of it first hand unfortunatly most of the time very painful to watch. but I'm always hoping.

this is really how I feel in my heart, sorry.

but at the end of the day I hope you made the people smile. I hope it wasn't completely just about you.

by the by, buskers do more then work the street they go indoors also and pick up gigs just like all the other pros.
Message: Posted by: Starry (Sep 13, 2007 08:50AM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-16 20:37, Paddy wrote:
...see some little kid who thinks a scotch and soda makes him a "magician"...

Peter
[/quote]
I've been drinking "scotch and soda" for years. Is that why I think I'm a "magician?" I can now understand why kids shouldn't be drinking, especially if it makes them delusional.

-- Ace
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Oct 3, 2007 10:58AM)
Just attended a John Carney lecture. One of his favorite effects was originated by Ramsey. Ransey was from the UK and ran a grocery store, but is considered by many to have been one of the best magicians around.

So, no problem being an amateur. Do what you can do with the time you have available. No need to conform to someone else's opinion about what it takes to be a magician.
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Oct 3, 2007 01:29PM)
Marty.sasaki's

"Standard disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys occasionally mystifying friends and family, so my opinions should be viewed with this in mind."

this is brillant!


the great thing about the hobbists is the unusual ideas they bring to magic. some times the pro's get so wrapped up in what "they know will work" in the venue they get trapped in the box. and the art suffers.

so hobbiests brings fresh ideas for the hobbiest and pro alike. I understand this.

the hobbiest also spends their hard earned money they made at their "real job" and that helps the art....i understand this and all the other wonderfull things they bring to our art. and more I'm sure I'll learn about as time goes on.

I hope that I have not givin the impression that hobbiest's are not magician's and have no value because I do not feel this way at all!

I just don't think that amatuers should be teaching how to be a pro. I think a pro or retired pro should be teaching how to be a pro.

also I am baffled when I see a hobbiest with extreme talent that took hours of teadious practice and years of study and why in the name of all that is, would they go and do a real job. if they spent that much time on it shouldn't they be paid for it?

I know that einstein had mentioned he wished he would have been a shoe maker when they dropped the bomb, but the fact is he never was shoe maker, because it would've been a waste. and a lack of obligation to community.

I'm not trying to force any one to conform to my opinions of what a real magician is, but I have a question;

if you call yourself a magician wouldn't your lifes work be magic?

Posted: Oct 3, 2007 2:49pm
I think art is expression, further if done properly it is the expression of a community. and I think it is our obligation as artists to try and do the best job we can to express ourselves. and think I in the u.s. street performer's scene we are lacking in the quantity of street performers and the quality that a nation with the reputation we have in the world should have.

when I have traveled around I was amazed at what the world was offering in street entertainment...then I came home and reality hit me in the face.

what was the difference? they had commitment to thier art as an expression of their nation.

ironically we Americans are known for our gumption, so what happened here? as entertainers we lost faith in our trade.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Oct 18, 2007 06:22PM)
What happened?
video games, TV, ...

just a hunch.
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Oct 18, 2007 09:03PM)
I think it's the need to have a college degree and the looming, communal thought that you can't be anything other than a low wage worker bee without one.

It depresses me to no end that technical high-schools, which teach valuable trades are looked on as "the easy way out" only to be attended by near-drop outs. Technical/Trade based high schools should be viewed on or above college prep schools.

What percent of college grads work in their college major field?

This may seem like a tangental rant, but it's not. Trades are looked down upon. Construction trades especially. I made it to the top of the food chain in custom cabinet work in my city over the period of years and I was still treated like a factory worker by my boss and customers.

Trades, whether magical or otherwise, don't get the same respect in our nation as worker bees. It's the suburban, commuting, "keepin' up with the Jones's" mentality...at least in the cities. I'm a city boy.

From my days in the Marines, I know there are different, way different, parts of the US. As a scout/sniper I was in a platoon mostly full of country boys. Perhaps the towns they were from thought differently of tradesmen. I've never lived in the country, so I can't speak for that life.

I think that Europe, with it's public transportation and small town feel somehow allows for the butcher, baker and candlestick maker more. People aren't commuting as much (in my romantic imagination) over there. There are people working in the same community that they live in and filling all the jobs that that particular community needs.

In my suburb, we commute. We go to jobs elsewhere. I don't know a butcher, or any other tradesman on my street. I know salesmen, computer gurus, other teachers like me and managers. A trademan, especially a specialized one, would be looked at with a great deal of scrutiny. It's sad, suburbia.

Though my perceptions may sound ideologic, I must add that I've lived outside the US for years before and have seen much of this earth through my travels both in the Marines and the Peace Corps. It's just one man's observations, but I base them on experience rather than speculation.

I respect a person that learns a trade. Way more than one who pays their money and gets a college degree that won't get them a job in their field. Seriously, how many college grads does that cover? Half? More?!?!
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Oct 18, 2007 09:12PM)
It goes beyond the performer, I think.

Americans have a very simple criteria for success. It's about making money or of gathering power, or being associated with money or power. The symbols for success are more important than artful expression. An artist's success is measured by his/her patrons and the money they give them over the aesthetics of the artist's work. Sometimes the aethestics match the noteriety of the artist, but it isn't the rule.

Americans aren't interested in supporting the arts. Americans are willing to pay money for certain forms of entertainment, and not others. Many international performers would not survive if they relied only on the American audience.

I think you can be an artist and have a "real job". It may actually be easier, as long as the "real job" doesn't consume you. I'm not sure if most people can live their lives this way, we've been conditioned to make our careers the most important part of our lives.

Suppose you have a good paying job that gives you the disposable income to pursue magic after work and on the weekends. It might very well be the case that not needing to make money doing magic will allow you to pursue less popular but more artistically rewarding effects and routines.

The tendancy is to do things similar to what is successful. So you end up with a lot of folks doing the magic of Cris Angel or David Blaine rather than looking for their own style of magic or otherwise extending and expanding the art.

Just a thought, from an unqualified amateur.
Message: Posted by: scaevola (Oct 18, 2007 09:22PM)
Good post, Chad. I really hope I still have time to learn a trade, even a trade besides magic. And I think that the death of the apprentice system is quite sad. College is great but it can only teach you so much.
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Oct 19, 2007 01:01AM)
Chad, that post was really really brilliant.

marty.sasaki,i really injoyed your post and it really made me think,i don't completly agree with it, but I'm very thankful that I got to read it.

every time I read something like this tho I feel the need to warn beginners and those who have lived in torment with their own lives many years doing something they don't love or even hate to just get crumbs of what they do.

I want to warn them of loosing their faith in our trade and feeling the need to go to a more popular and more accessable trade instead of their lifes work.

spending their lives making something or someone else great and putting what they think is important second.

you see we only get so long to be alive and master our work and deliver it to the world. if you spend your life on a assembly line to earn that "extras cash" so you can get around better magic that you don't have time to practise or do any way because of your real job, you're cheating yourself and worse yet your community.

long story short, have faith in our trade and don't believe them when they tell you what you do isn't worth anything....it's them that are ignorant just because they're a majority here doesn't make them intelligent.

if a bunch of people told you that you don't need to read that wouldn't mean they were more educated then you, quite the opposite.

so why fall for this?

I would rather fight to do what I believe in for the rest of my life.

I will not compramise my lifes work....only my spelling, gad it's bad isn't it.
Message: Posted by: 74magic92 (Oct 19, 2007 08:40AM)
That was beautiful Jimmy!

I'm still learning and haven't really got out as much as I'd like but yet people still are telling me to think about my future and when I say that I am they say this isn't a "real job".....this post reminded me that I shouldn't live my life the way others think I should..but I should follow my dreams and be happy..and also that this just isn't a way to make a living but also an art form that needs to be past down to future generations...
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Oct 19, 2007 09:34AM)
In a former life I did a bit of photography, so I'm most familiar with photographers, so...

One of my favorite photographers is Ralph Eugene Meatyard. Meatyard's real job was as a dentist. Perhaps he might have been able to make a living as a photographer, but his work is rather haunting, yet delightful, and certainly wasn't trendy for most of his career. It would have been hard for him to make a living doing his photography.

Another photographer that I really like is Edward Weston. Weston was pretty well known at the time, back in the early to mid-twentieth century. He was part of the f/64 group, and was a full time photographer. He really struggled to raise a family and survived by taking portraits of folks. He really detested this other work.

I believe that both photographers are fine examples of "artists" who succeeded in their art and certainly passed things down to the next generation. Even while pursing his art Weston had a "real job".
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Oct 19, 2007 10:51AM)
Meatyard could of left you and us more work and at a better quality if he would have went full time and spent his whole life. he cheated us.
;]

Posted: Oct 19, 2007 12:16pm
I should say that we should all heed the warning that Edward Weston or closer to home dai vernon have left to us that being so consumed with the art that your family suffers is some thing we should avoid.no question.

but where would we be as artists without Edward Weston,dai vernon,or vincent van gogh?these fellahs left a legacy for their families and the world. but I am not saying that a real job is the cure. marketing, change of venue, may be some answers temp. jobs if you have to now and again to feed your family and boost your magic business, but not a real job. a real job admits your not good enough to support yourself much less be a success. and embracing this is defeatest and at best nilist.
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Oct 21, 2007 01:08PM)
I really disagree with you Jimmy. Because you can't or don't want to do something full time doesn't mean that I'm a defeatest. I do a lot of things because I enjoy to do it and feel that I contribute, in a small way to all of them.

My goal in life is not to be an outstanding magician. It's to be an outstanding human being. I think you can do this in a variety of ways. You don't have to be a suffering artist to be a success. Who is to say that my destiny is to be a great magician, father, friend, son, etc.?

Of course, the converse is true, only the individual can really determine whether they should spend their time should be spend doing magic.
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Oct 22, 2007 02:46AM)
Point taken and a good one at that....for you.

but my concern is for the person who IS THINKING ABOUT SPENDING THEIR LIFE BEING A GREAT MAGICIAN, I don't want them thinking that our trade is just a hobby that can't make any money or that it isn't as important as any other trades.

I don't want them to waste so many of their years pursuing A "real job" and after many years too late realizing that this was a huge mistake. this has happenned to me and is happenning to a huge body of american magi. this misinformation needs to stop, because it is distroying peoples lives.

once again I get where your coming from,but this can seem confusing to some one starting out, they might say, "well I wanna spend my life doing this but marty.sasaki has given the impression that it can't be done and I should just settle for being a hobbiest and it's alright to think I'm real magician even though I don't work as one."

then these people go out for years after that trying to make enough money at their "real job" to buy a magic shop or a theater or a Café with a stage and it never really works out because in their hearts they're entertainers NOT HOBBIESTS or plumbers for that matter.

and then they find out "hey maybe it wasn't alright to think that", but they can never get those years back.

you see me and a lot of others over the years have talked to folks like you and trusted your opinions and it gave us a lot of hardships.

I'm not tryin to be a jerk to you, but please remeber that you came to a magician's forum.

most of us don't feel that magic is like stamp collecting.

some of us here even believe in magic.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Oct 29, 2007 03:46PM)
Wow....this thread sure has taken a philosophical turn! Kinda cool really.

Regarding Marty Sasaki's comment about America being primarily concerned with the acquisition of weath & power.....well, it beats being poor & helpless. Europe is the 'specialist-artisan' world where proffesions are handed down and quality is all-important regardless of profitability or popularity. There are TONS of wandering, 'all-my-life-is-my-art' type magicians, street-mages and buskers over there. I've seen them. There are also a lot of them in the country which borders the U.S. to the North (real cold, strong beer....can't seem to recall it's name)In America however, our cheif buisness---IS buisness. On the up-side, this has netted us some of the greatest magicians of all time: Houdini, Copperfield, Blackstone, Angel, etc.. But unfortunately, the restriction of money-sucsess means that not many are willing to take on magic as their life's work.


And to Jimmy, Comparing street-mages to HOBBIESTS??!!? Ach! You wound me sir! Take thy beak from out my heart!! A street-mage is presicely what a hobbiest is not....street mages have the guts and the 'street-smarts' if you will, to go out, do magic for passerby on the street and get paid (that is, tipped) for it. Hobbiests are goofs who buy a gimmiked effect or 3, and go around annoying people for free. Street-mages learn dozens of moves & effects, then go around ENTERTAINING people for gratuity
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Oct 29, 2007 09:53PM)
Mighty Fool,

I like hobbiests, I just don't think they should be teaching pros how to be pros or confusing would be pros into thinking they should be a hobbiest.

hobbiests contribute a lot to our art. and without them we'd lose a huge chunk of who we are.

when you say a street mage I'm assuming here that YOU mean those guys that are pretending to be tv magicians working the street for their tv show, but they have no camera nor a tv show.....funny street mage used to mean street performing magician. you know, a real one, not a guy doing it solely for HIS OWN EGO.

and I hate to break it to you but if your workin for tips you're busking.

and yes busking is a real job.

granted you maybe doing it in a way that is untrained, undisiplined and without intelligent structure or a set show [you know, doing it poorly], and sure you'd be on the bottom of the busker food chain,

but you are busking. albeit at a beginners level, but you are busking,

if your not doing it for a living you are a hobbiest.

you see a hobbiest is a guy who does it as a hobby.

a tv magician is a magician who does magic on tv for a living, even if it's being filmed on a street. like david blain or chris angel.

a street magician is a guy who works the street doing magic for a living.

but in pretend land he's a guy who's acting out something he saw on tv, like cops and robbers. AND HE WANTS IT TO BE VALIDATED BY "REAL COPS" AND "REAL ROBBERS". he wants to be called a cop or a robber too!

changing definitions, cultures, or any thing is only valid if it makes something better.

I don't hate what your doing it sounds like your just playing around in your spare time, I hope your having a lot of fun. I hope you keep the quality up in what your doing and I hope nobody takes me too seriously I just talkalot.

if you want to go pro I'll do any thing I can to help you

if you're good at busking you can make a living.

in some countries you don't even have to be good to make a living.

it's really not that hard to make a living at this if you put your mind to it.

and if you don't want to do this for a living, that's great too.

your pal jimmy talksalot
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Oct 30, 2007 07:14AM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-21 17:14, The Mighty Fool wrote:

Like I said in an earlier post, there is a lot of bitterness from buskers, many of whom feel that their monopoly as street-performers has been usurped, and the television antics of Blaine & Angel have made street-magic a lot harder to dismiss / ignore. [/quote]
This is your fantasy. Buskers could not care less about guys who call themselves "street magicians" What annoys me, and most of the guys I know is the arrogant attitude of guys claiming to be "street magicians" coming to the buskers section and demanding to be recognized and respected and to that we say, for what?

Yo do not do what we do. It is like a mentalist going to the little darlings section and demanding respect there because in his mind he thinks he is their peer. We are not embittered, you are not cutting in to our hustle, your claims about working where we can not are laughable, as I know I personally have worked every venue you mentioned as a busker.

You have no idea about what it is we do yet you not only claim to know what we do and you seem to claim superiority. It is ludicrous. I haven't posted much to this thread because the claims are so silly. I don't care. Go show the unsuspecting card tricks and float stuff. I applaud your love for what you do. But do not come here and compare the two, they are apples and oranges. Nobody cares, you are not a cause of embitterments, you are a minor annoyance.

Best,

Dan-

Posted: Oct 30, 2007 8:48am
I would also like to add some comments about doing this full time, chasing a dream, being an entertainer, or being a hobbyist.

I chucked a 10 year career as a computer network engineer to do this. I was making A LOT of money for a guy with my background. Yet it was not a stable career. I could look forward to being laid off every five years which means every five years I would have to start over. Each time I started over I was five years older and my competition in the job market would be 10 or 20 years younger and work for less money. All I had was experience. I was a talented network engineer and I say that without a shred of ego. After 10 years of putting out fires for multi billion dollar a year companies I should have been talented.

I was also a talented entertainer. It was my wife and my financial adviser believe it or not who persuaded me to go into this business. I did not want to do it. My whole life My father (who was a professional entertainer for 20 years), my friends, and my family, told me that this was no way to make a living. They didn't understand that some people can do it. They played the percentages, and the percentages say that 99.999% of people who enter any form of show business end up heartbroken and bankrupt.

There are people in this world however that are designed to do something. I have always been an entertainer. I can not remember a time in my life when I was not entertaining someone. When I was a computer network engineer I was the most entertaining computer network engineer you ever saw. It is in my DNA and part of who I am.

When I chose to do this job (and it is a job) I entered in to it knowing that the skills I had developed over a life time, and the education I was afforded at a very young age until the present would stand me in good stead. I was not following a dream, I was pursuing a career in a field in which I had been highly trained. This is not to say that I went right out and made good. I did not, I struggled, and toiled, and was not very good at all. I needed to develop the act. The act is the product and no matter how much talent you may have until the product is of value you have nothing. I now have a product, actually several, and I am making a pretty good living with it.

I have also had to educate myself as a business man and I am not nearly as skilled in that venture and if I suffer a downfall in my endeavors it can almost always be attributed to this lack of skill. But, I am learning, and I am educating myself, and it gets easier every day.

But the bottom line is, I was not chasing a dream. I was (am)trying to make a living for my family, and for me, this was a worthwhile endeavor. If I had been chasing my dream I would be in astronaut school. Since I was a little kid I always wanted to be an astronaut. But for that job, it became very apparent that I thoroughly lacked "the right stuff". To have pursued that career path anyway, aware of my own limitations, would have been folly. Do not get me wrong, I love what I do, and I kick myself for not going down this path 20 years ago but, I sincerely believe that THIS is what I was meant to do. That is why I will be successful at it.

So if street performing is your "dream" but you are better suited to be an astronaut, call NASA and do this as a hobby. There is no shame in that. We can not be good at everything, and what separates the wise from the fool hardy is the ability to see the difference.

The best advice I have for guys thinking about going full time is to take a good long look in your spiritual and intellectual mirror before you make your decision. Be aware of your limitations as an entertainer and your abilities to physically do the job. Finally, have a fall back position. Have an education. A physicist, an English lit major, or a mathematician can be a fantastic street performer or entertainer. They can also work in their field of education. If you lack that learn a trade. A bartender will never starve.

But if it is only a dream and not something that you have a true aptitude to do you would be a VERY wise person to pursue it for no more than your own enjoyment and personal satisfaction. Because under the best of circumstances it is no where near approaching an easy way to make a living. That's my two cents.

Best,

Dan-

Posted: Oct 30, 2007 8:53am
P.S. Jimmy Talksalot, you are the best bro, much love, and MUCH respect!

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Oct 30, 2007 02:19PM)
How can you tell whether you have any talent or not?

I'm a firm disbeliever in the notion that "all men are created equal". It simply isn't true. Just as there are differences in physical ability (not everyone can play in the NBA, or pitch a 100 MPH fastball) there are differences in emotional, spiritual, and the ability to entertain.

It would seem that with magic that some people can be superstars while others will face a long, hard, battle just being good enough? Or is magic one of those things where anyone can be great with enough proper effort?

I honestly wonder about this.

If magic is an art form, and I do think it can be, then living life and learning and growing, no matter what that means, has an effect on the artist produces. I'm sure that Danny became a better magician after all of those years as a network engineer (although I would be afraid to learn the details (just kidding, I've been doing software engineering all my adult life)).

Do folks busk do other forms of entertaining as well or do you only do stuff "on the street?"
Message: Posted by: BenHFarrar (Oct 30, 2007 03:46PM)
Thanks Danny - That was a pretty interesting post.

My problem with "street magicians" (blain imitators - not real street magicians) is that there is a reason why they "mug" their spectators. They don't think about their magic or audience, which means they don't have the talent or care to actually earn their audience, or entertain them. There is no skill whatsoever in just jumping out on someone in the street and showing them the balducci levitation which was probably spoon- fed to them somewhere on a seedy magic website.

In any other profession, you are required to EARN your respect and reputation. Real street magicians (buskers) earn their respect by stopping their audience and making them pay, fake street magicians just get an audience through poor magical molestation.


Ben
Message: Posted by: Wayne Whiting (Oct 30, 2007 03:59PM)
Danny's two cents. Worth far more than that in my opinion. Thanks Danny.

How can you tell if you have any talent? Perhaps a better question is, How can you tell if you can entertain? I know plenty of magicians with talent who cannot entertain. Some have no desire to entertain. They just enjoy mastering the moves. As Kozmo told me, "I'm not sure you can teach someone to be a busker. You either have the personality for it or you don't." Danny is hinting at this when he says he has been an entertainer all his life. He was born that way.

Marty - Do buskers do other forms of entertaining? Do you mean other venues other than the street? Most definitely. I know buskers who do kid shows, blow up balloons, perform corporate events and do trade shows. If it pays, most will do it. Especially in the winter!
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Oct 30, 2007 08:18PM)
I am also a firm DISBELIEVER in the notion that "all men are created equal". in fact I am fanatical about it.

but just as there are only a few truely great convience store operaters there is still millions of convience stores to fill the need of the consumer.

Posted: Oct 30, 2007 9:39pm
One thing is for sure the u.s. is sorely lacking in grass roots art, culture, and indepenant creative exression in day to day life....unfortunately the u.s. is ingulfed in the business business. we sold our souls a long time ago.

and if your one of those who's gonna defend that popular culture amway, Michael jackson, top 40 garbage, don't gimme any of that "conservative" retoric because I'm a conservative and you ain't foolin anybody with that.

the main objective in the art, entertainment, and cultural expression industries in this country are to prepack, make plastic and make only for the popular masses who are being baited with candy instead of good scotch that takes aquiring a taste.

you see how are the masses gonna know the difference between fast food burgers and fine dining if they arn't provided with a choice.

I believe it is our obligation as american artists to provide this.
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Oct 31, 2007 08:13AM)
We need a new sticky topic in this section:

Full-timers, Part-timers & Hobbiests

I'll start the thread...Magic Café people make it stick at the top. This is an important topic that is constantly being refered to.

Nobody that busks regularly gives a rat's patutiy about Busking vs. Street Magic (David B style). Let someone else somewhere else discuss that and oranges debate.

Jimmy's comments on goin' full time is the real topic that most are interested in. If there is to be only one sticky topic on this thread, then that should be the one.

Get it done Green Machine!!!
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Nov 1, 2007 02:47PM)
To the esteemed Mr. Hustle,

When you say you have a problem with a street mage "coming to the busker's section", well, when I see a thread entitled "Busking vs. street magic" do you really think I'd ignore it?? This thread was started by a Scandinavian gentelmen....I have no idea if he's a busker or not....and I contributed (badly) to it. The very fact that this subject was started IN the busking section, and it's STICKY no less (!) seems to validate my argument that buskers DO indeed consider street-mages to be more than a "minor annoyance".

(I'm gonna regret saying that....now watch this thread get yanked or moved!!)


And regarding your comment "You have no idea about what it is we do yet you not only calim to know what it is we do and seem to claim superiority" If by 'you' you're referring to all street-mages in general, that's one thing, but if you're talking about me spesificly, then I promise you this is not the case. I've done plenty of busking, all over the world, and NEVER have I nor would I claim that street-magic is superior....DIFFERENT, yes, and it has some advantages yes, but it has more disadvantages by far. In fact, in my "categories" post, I call street-magic the 'rotted limb on magic's family tree'! Busking, table-hopping, children's performance, and street-magic....I've done them all. I would never prepose to speak about something I didn't know of....especially here where I'd get called out on it!

As for what I said about 'bitterness', well....scroll back & re-read some of the posts! Sounds a bit hostile to me!

To Jimmy, Speaking as a man created inferior, I agree wholeheartedly with your beleifs on the 'created equal' thing. And if that's you on the youtube vidclip with the ciggarette-pipe act, you have a first-class show!
Message: Posted by: Starry (Nov 10, 2007 10:44AM)
[quote]
On 2007-10-30 08:48, Danny Hustle wrote:
I would also like to add some comments about doing this full time, chasing a dream, being an entertainer, or being a hobbyist. ...

[Amazing comments inserted here]

... That's my two cents.

Best,

Dan-
[/quote]
Dan,

I just wanted to say "thank you" for that wonderful post. If I write another book as a follow up to THE MAGIC LIFE, I'm going to come to you for a background interview. You are a true magician.

Best,

Ace
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Nov 16, 2007 02:49PM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-01 15:47, The Mighty Fool wrote:
To the esteemed Mr. Hustle,

When you say you have a problem with a street mage "coming to the busker's section", well, when I see a thread entitled "Busking vs. street magic" do you really think I'd ignore it?? This thread was started by a Scandinavian gentelmen....I have no idea if he's a busker or not....and I contributed (badly) to it. The very fact that this subject was started IN the busking section, and it's STICKY no less (!) seems to validate my argument that busker's DO indeed consider street-mages to be more than a "minor annoyance".
[/quote]

Yeah, well, it was made a sticky by a moderator who thought it was important NOT by buskers. We could not care less. Sorry to disappoint but that puts you back in the minor annoyance category for most of us. Really, I don't think about you guys at all until you make yourselves known and tell all of us poor buskers how many disadvantages we having. You will not find too many posts by me in the "Street magic" section. As buskers do not usually go over there to tell you guys about how you are all jealous of us. See, we don't care.

[quote]
(I'm gonna regret saying that....now watch this thread get yanked or moved!!)


And regarding your comment "You have no idea about what it is we do yet you not only calim to know what it is we do and seem to claim superiority" If by 'you' you're referring to all street-mages in general, that's one thing, but if you're talking about me spesificly, then I promise you this is not the case. I've done plenty of busking, all over the world, and NEVER have I nor would I claim that street-magic is superior....DIFFERENT, yes, and it has some advantages yes, but it has more disadvantages by far. In fact, in my "categories" post, I call street-magic the 'rotted limb on magic's family tree'! Busking, table-hopping, children's performance, and street-magic....I've done them all. I would never prepose to speak about something I didn't know of....especially here where I'd get called out on it!
[/quote]

You should only regret it because it's boring. Blah, blah, bla, blah, blah, who cares? Dan, I don't care, at all. Saying it is different than proving it. You are some guy with a fake name and no reel. You could be some 16 year old from Florida. Or you could be Chris Angel. Either way....sorry, I don't care.
[quote]
As for what I said about 'bitterness', well....scroll back & re-read some of the posts! Sounds a bit hostile to me!
[/quote]

Yeah, I'll be sure to do that right after my nap. This post has left me sleepy. Most of them sounded annoyed to me but if bitter makes you feel better about being a "street magician" go for it. I also work close up strolling magic all the time. I usually do it for big companies that are paying lots of money to be there but hey man, if you dig walking up to the unsuspecting passerby and frying his brain for free you rock on with your bad self. I applaud your love of the art as I said before. I just could care less as it has nothing to do with busking or what we are doing here. That is why I am not compelled to go to your part of the forum and talk about how embittered those guys are because they can't work a real crowd for a hat full of cash. I don't care. I think I can speak for most of the actual buskers here and even go so far as to say we don't care. We are doing something else. I don't think I can be any clearer than that. Good luck with all your endeavors, I wish you nothing but the best, I hope you get your own T.V. special and are chest deep in cold cash and hot super models for the rest of your life. SINCERELY, I mean that. I just don't care, it has nothing to do with this section of the forum.

All the best,

Dan-

Posted: Nov 16, 2007 3:52pm
Quote:


On 2007-11-10 11:44, Starry wrote:
[
Dan,

I just wanted to say "thank you" for that wonderful post. If I write another book as a follow up to THE MAGIC LIFE, I'm going to come to you for a background interview. You are a true magician.

Best,

Ace


Ace,

You are the best big daddy! Thanks for the kind words man.

All the best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: stageonstreet (Nov 19, 2007 10:39PM)
Danny, Amen to that comment!
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Nov 20, 2007 12:15PM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-16 15:49, Danny Hustle wrote:
[/quote]
I hope you get your own T.V. special and are chest deep in cold cash and hot super models for the rest of your life. SINCERELY, I mean that.

All the best,

Dan-
[/quote]
.....well....I guess I'd have to agree with that!!

And I hope your hats are always full of cash, your pitches always full of specs, and I KNOW you'll get that Fanny Hall gig someday. (if you haven't already)
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Feb 2, 2008 10:10AM)
I'd like to see someone do a real television show on buskers. (Given the attention span of most television viewers, sorry to say the acts would have to be broken up.) Maybe with interview sessions in between. (We film the shows, then we go to Johnny Rockets and talk about the shows, then an editor screws it all up and we get angry at the television people for messing us up!)
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Feb 26, 2008 09:05AM)
We? When did you become a busker? TURTLES!
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Feb 26, 2008 04:05PM)
Still no turtles at the Mystery Lounge, oh well...
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Feb 27, 2008 01:47PM)
Sorry Marty! It was great to meet ya' though!

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Mar 5, 2008 12:34PM)
To Mandrake, I'm sure I've seen buskers featured on a number of news / variety shows.

To Danny........Okay, I KNOW I'm gonna regret asking this, but....what exactly do you mean when you refer to 'turtles' on these threads?
Message: Posted by: flooglestreet (Mar 9, 2008 12:58PM)
For what its worth, I had to work in the same resort town as a guy who did hit and run magic. He knew invisible thread and pretty much nothing else, but he was a natural entertainer. He also had a couple of lines to get big bills. He could approach people do his show and collect while I was still building a crowd. Every once in a while I feel like the cartoon magician in the Idiots or the Dummies magic book. The middle eastern looking crowd is saying "The carpenters son is raising the dead and walking on water" and the magician says to himself "Oh great now who's going to want to see my disappearing date pit." This guy did it for me. People liked seeing my show after the Blaine specials because Blaine made street magic fashionable. On the down side, they asked me to levitate which I can't do. Bottom line, the hit and run works for at least one person and if it works for you, then you would be foolish to follow "approved street magic" methods. Tarbell often wrote that you have to follow your own path and the street magic vs busker approach is one example of the principle. :banana:
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Mar 10, 2008 06:44PM)
Flooglestreet,

Bravo,bravo,standing-o! Your post rocks!
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Mar 15, 2008 05:07PM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-05 13:34, The Mighty Fool wrote:
To Mandrake, I'm sure I've seen buskers featured on a number of news / variety shows.
[/quote]
Not as many as I'd like. And I'd like to see something more oriented toward them as opposed to just a 3 minute sound bite.
[quote]
To Danny........Okay, I KNOW I'm gonna regret asking this, but....what exactly do you mean when you refer to 'turtles' on these threads?
[/quote]
It's a Danny-thing. It's been decided by TPTB that it's "charmingly eccentric."

And Danny, I've come to the conclusion that I'm never going to be the 'busker' you and the others here are. I'm going to be a 'weekend warrior' for what's left of my ability to perform. And I'm OK with that.

But I am a member of this board and can say "we" if I want to.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Mar 16, 2008 04:22PM)
WEEEEEE!!!! TURTLES!!!!

I LIKE IT! :)

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Mar 16, 2008 08:33PM)
Mandrake, What the heck is "TPTB?" BTW, it's not just a "Danny thing." Notice that other people have turtled you also.

We all like turtles!!
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Mar 17, 2008 04:46AM)
TPTB="The Powers That Be"

as opposed to

SMOF="Secret Masters of Fandom"

although here maybe it should be

SMOM="Secret Masters of Magic"

or even SMOB="Secret Masters of Busking"

And those other people are just jumping on Danny's bandwagon! The turtle thing is his and his forever!
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Mar 17, 2008 01:51PM)
WEEEEE! TURTLES!!! :)
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Mar 17, 2008 10:56PM)
Just for Danny...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRq3E2ylB4g&NR=1
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Mar 18, 2008 07:25AM)
WEEEE! MORE TURTLES!!!

I LIKE TURTLES!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA2Z9fVRohk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B-K4NGo2HE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RlwybSU1tI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6YRshEn8K0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9U7CtUzxVc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8V0br9P65M
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Mar 19, 2008 04:46AM)
You win, you're much better and finding weird turtle stuff than I am.

Mind you, it's easy for you 'cause 'you like turtles!'

:D
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Mar 19, 2008 08:01AM)
WEEEEE!!! TURTLES!
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Mar 19, 2008 11:05AM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-17 23:56, mandrake01 wrote:
Just for Danny...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRq3E2ylB4g&NR=1
[/quote]
Is it just me, or does Touche's sidekick look a lot like Danny? That might explain this weird turtle thing he has going. ;)
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Mar 19, 2008 11:23PM)
I didn't notice. Does Danny sound like Fred Flintstone? 'Cause "Dum Dum" does.
Message: Posted by: Vangorn (Apr 22, 2008 06:37AM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-15 09:17, MagiUlysses wrote:
The name of the magi who first moved magic indoors escapes me and is on the tip of my tongue but I cannot seem to translate that to my fingers and the keyboard; however, that event occured not more than a couple of hundred years ago.
[/quote]
It was Houdin.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (May 19, 2008 11:19PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-22 07:37, Vangorn wrote:
[quote]
On 2004-11-15 09:17, MagiUlysses wrote:
The name of the magi who first moved magic indoors escapes me and is on the tip of my tongue but I cannot seem to translate that to my fingers and the keyboard; however, that event occured not more than a couple of hundred years ago.
[/quote]
It was Houdin.
[/quote]
I have a book, "The Art of Magic" by Carl Waldman & Joe Layden, it states; "Isaac Fawkes (ca. 1675-1731) of England originally was a fair and outdoor performer. [snip] Fawkes eventually rented a room to present his magic show in James Street near the Haymarket. He left his show to his son, Fawkes the Younger."
Message: Posted by: The great Gumbini (Mar 15, 2009 09:53AM)
I do a lot of magic as I work. My job takes me to different locations throughout the day and I love going in some place and hear "Uh oh here comes the magicman." I do it just for entertainment though and not tips. Although I have to admit it sure would be nice if one of those cheapskates would tip! HA HA just kidding.
But I do find it keeps me busy practicing between shows---and that's good.


Good magic to all,


Eric
Message: Posted by: The Great Zoobini (Apr 16, 2009 08:12PM)
I've got a crane all lined up for my levitation act...
Message: Posted by: ferrari (Apr 24, 2009 03:56PM)
Busking is for tips and staying in one spot and perfoming a show

street magic randam an impromtu strolling magic
Message: Posted by: The Great Zoobini (Jul 2, 2009 05:51PM)
Staying in one spot is news to me...Why didn't someone tell me twenty years ago?

What you may perceive as random street magic (suddenly grabbing a watch thru a jewelry store's plate glass window or having a cop take off his shoe to find the ace of spades inside) has been set up days before and hardly impromptu.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jul 29, 2009 11:49PM)
What Blaine does only appears to be "Street Magic."
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 1, 2009 09:36PM)
Blaine's use of the term "Street Magic" is a perfect example of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Aug 8, 2009 11:45AM)
Blaine has a (potentially) dead/alive cat in a box?
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Aug 11, 2009 03:51PM)
Yes, Blaine and Angel only APPEAR to be street-mages, but being the unscrupulous branch of magic that we are, we're happy to claim them for our genre.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Aug 13, 2009 04:49AM)
MF, you've usually been right on but I have to argue with you on this one. The only time I see Blaine or Angel mentioned on this board, it's by people who are ranting (with good cause) that they are NOT "street performers" and could never really make a living on the street without the cameras and stooges.

I like some of what both of them do. (I was glad to finally get to see the "torn apart illusion" that a magician used to do back in the 40's) but it's not stuff you could just set up on the street and perform in front of a random crowd.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Aug 14, 2009 02:56PM)
Yes Ed, like I said theyre NOT street mages, they only pretend to be...and as a result all street-mages get to soak up the ill-gotten fame. BTW, I've seen Angel perform live on the streets of Miami, and although he did NOTHING even CLOSE to any of the stuff you see on mindfreak, his act was pretty good.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Aug 19, 2009 04:36PM)
I think I understand what you're saying. But I don't see buskers saying; "Watch me because I do was Blaine and Angel do!"

I don't see buskers deliberately attracting attention by claiming kinship with Blaine or Angel.
Message: Posted by: eddierush (Feb 23, 2010 09:16PM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-13 01:27, Frank Starsini wrote:
A busker knows how to draw a crowd, keep a crowd, perform magic (or whatever) and gets tips (if they're good) at the end. Often they make a living from this.

To me a "street magician" is a new type of magician that doesn't really exist except on TV or in advertisements to sell more magic stuff.

Do you think David Blaine really wanders around the country in the streets doing tricks for people and all of a sudden a TV crew caught him "doing his thing"?

It's a great show but it's...a show.

Or are there really commando street magicians doing tricks all over in sunglasses for people and they're really cool, and all the girls nibble their lips and squeal becuase they can do a riffle pass? Or because they can tell everyone, "hey, everybody stand over here and I'll float... over there. Cool, eh? Oh, you saw? Oh, well, it's pretty cool though if you get your angles right."


Hmmmm, I'm not so sure.


But it makes for a good story and it sells product.

I also heard that "rounding the wagons" when the Indians attacked was a figment of Hollywood and nothing like that ever happened.

I cannot be sure but I've tried to think about this.
Could they really round wagons quickly? What would the radius be for a given number of wagons? How easy is it really to go in a circle. Did cowboys know what PI was?

Were you allowed to tell the Indians, "Go back and re-charge us in 5 minutes. We'll get an ellipse that time and there's quite a few gaps too."


I could be wrong about all of this. I just don't know.
I do wonder though.
[/quote]

"a new type of magician that doesn't really exist"??? Really?

"In times past, it was common to see street magicians in the boulevards of Paris, on English fairgrounds, in most of the villages of India, and in the exotic gardens of Japan" an excerpt from Street Magic by Edward Clafin in collaboration with Jeff Sheridan. Sorry guy. Street magic and street magicians have been around longer than any of us been alive and will last long after we are gone.

David Blaine simply used the medium of the 20th century to help bring magic back into the conciseness of the general public. People (laymen) that I meet have nothing but good things to say about David Blaine and that's good for us.

I would like to see more street magic footage on TV, in the theater, on my computer, and on the streets. We need to show the public that we are not bums or some annoyance to pity or ignore. We are artists and entertainers and this is the art we practice and perform in order to bring a bit more magic and wonderment into a world of layoffs, divorces, violence, and failing economies. Put a smile on their face and the world just got that much better.
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Feb 26, 2010 04:59PM)
Well, Frank's eyes have been opened. ;)
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Mar 1, 2010 01:11PM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-07 09:36, Danny Hustle wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-01-06 19:01, whithaydn wrote:
Topology is "squaresville."
[/quote]
It's L7 daddieo. :)

Best,

Dan-
[/quote]
Danny, I just got this. Took me 5 years. LOL.

eddierush,
Just like many others, I think you're confusing "busker" with "street magician".

Yes, there are buskers. They make a living (or a portion of it) out on the streets.
Street Magicians, as portrayed on TV, a la Blaine, etc. do not exist. It seems there was a brief fad in the past couple of years where teen-agers decided this is what they wanted to do (The Blaine thing). (There was even a magazine on the subject.) They spent their allowances on:
Ravens
Sunglasses
Black Tiger Decks
Fol***g Quarters

and told mom they were going downtown for a couple hours. The more intelligent of them realized it was:
1. pointless
2. bothered people
3. obnoxious

and stopped doing it a.s.a.p. And the magazine is no longer published.
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Mar 1, 2010 02:07PM)
"And the magazine is no longer published."

A joyous thing indeed.
Message: Posted by: griffindance (Mar 12, 2010 10:57AM)
Although I have seen some talented people busking (ie appearing on the street,foisting themselves upon an unwilling audience and begging for money to end their show), this is rare and the street isn't where they stay for long. Of course the untalented ones do stay at the level of Beggar+1 on the pavement.

The thing with professionals is that we are asked for our skills. As entertainers our audiences find us. Whittling sticks into points and giving the now "carved artworks" to strangers doesn't make me a carpenter. Working as a "Street Magician" I was paid by a festival or the town council to entertain people in a certain area (Shopping/Restaurant district, High Street, Town Square) as a Strolling Close-up Magician.

However trying out a new effect for random passers by at a bus stop doesn't make me a busker or a "Street Magician." It just means that I can find a disposeable audience to experiment with. If the trick goes tits up then Ive lost no credibility in front of a paying audience. It doesn't make me anything. Just some weird guy who know a trick.

If you are serious about being a magician (and you don't have a TV special contract) leave the busking and 'street magic' to the time wasters. Get yourself a gig with a restaurant, audition with a talent agency and build from there. Busking is usually like accepting free gigs - they lead to more free gigs. As for "street magic," unless you're being paid for your time yo'e just a dorky weirdo who can do a trick.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Mar 12, 2010 12:05PM)
Seriously Griffin?
A restaurant gig if you are serious about being a magician?
Shows what level you are really at. Foisting yourself on innocent diners who don't give a rats behind about your latest move monkey card trick. As a busker I do not foist myself on an unwilling public like an eatery magician. I do the show, they stop and watch. At the end I suggest that if they liked the show they drop a buck or two into the hat. A far cry from begging.

I do work street. I work big stages as well. I get a lot of the big stage work from my work on the street. However, busking by itself makes me a good amount.

Just because you are incapable of making money on the street don't put down those who can and are proud of what they do.
It is an extremely pure way to do things. You get paid what the public thinks you are worth. Turns out, a lot of the real buskers on here are worth quite a lot.
Message: Posted by: aitchy (Mar 12, 2010 12:39PM)
Well said -
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 12, 2010 01:51PM)
[quote]
On 2010-03-01 15:07, HerbLarry wrote:
"And the magazine is no longer published."

A joyous thing indeed.
[/quote]
Actually, the very last magazine published by those guys was called simply "Magician" and if you ever get a chance, pick up a copy because it has some really, really great stuff in there.
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Mar 12, 2010 02:58PM)
I've got enough great stuff and wouldn't let a dime go anywhere close to the ownership.
Message: Posted by: griffindance (Mar 13, 2010 10:11AM)
[quote]
On 2010-03-12 13:05, gsidhe wrote:
Seriously Griffin?
A restaurant gig if you are serious about being a magician?
Shows what level you are really at. Foisting yourself on innocent diners who don't give a rats behind about your latest move monkey card trick. As a busker I do not foist myself on an unwilling public like an eatery magician. I do the show, they stop and watch. At the end I suggest that if they liked the show they drop a buck or two into the hat. A far cry from begging.

I do work street. I work big stages as well. I get a lot of the big stage work from my work on the street. However, busking by itself makes me a good amount.

Just because you are incapable of making money on the street don't put down those who can and are proud of what they do.
It is an extremely pure way to do things. You get paid what the public thinks you are worth. Turns out, a lot of the real buskers on here are worth quite a lot.
[/quote]
Yes finding a restaurant 'that wants entertainers' is a good place to begin! Stressing on the word BEGIN. Theatre restaurants have a clientele that is interested in comedians, musicians, close up and platform magicians. For beginners its possibly a harsh baptism but a performer can find an audience that wants fresh performers.

P.S. While doing walk around gigs I get a good enough fee not to have to accept "tips."
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 14, 2010 04:49AM)
[quote]
On 2010-03-12 15:58, HerbLarry wrote:
I've got enough great stuff and wouldn't let a dime go anywhere close to the ownership.
[/quote]
A good point, however all those issues have been bought and paid for months, or even over a year ago. If you see a copy in the bargain bin at your local magic shop, help them clear out some clutter by taking one of those home with you. You won't regret it.
[quote]
On 2010-03-13 11:11, griffindance wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-03-12 13:05, gsidhe wrote:
Seriously Griffin?
A restaurant gig if you are serious about being a magician?
Shows what level you are really at. Foisting yourself on innocent diners who don't give a rats behind about your latest move monkey card trick. As a busker I do not foist myself on an unwilling public like an eatery magician. I do the show, they stop and watch. At the end I suggest that if they liked the show they drop a buck or two into the hat. A far cry from begging.

I do work street. I work big stages as well. I get a lot of the big stage work from my work on the street. However, busking by itself makes me a good amount.

Just because you are incapable of making money on the street don't put down those who can and are proud of what they do.
It is an extremely pure way to do things. You get paid what the public thinks you are worth. Turns out, a lot of the real buskers on here are worth quite a lot.
[/quote]
Yes finding a restaurant 'that wants entertainers' is a good place to begin! Stressing on the word BEGIN. Theatre restaurants have a clientele that is interested in comedians, musicians, close up and platform magicians. For beginners its possibly a harsh baptism but a performer can find an audience that wants fresh performers.

P.S. While doing walk around gigs [i][b]I get a good enough fee not to have to accept "tips."[/i][/b]
[/quote]
You should probably take this old saw over to the table hoppers forum.

I'm glad you're so awesome you don't work for tips -but we do, and no one like to be made to feel like they're inferior, especially by someone who seems to be only trolling in the wrong section about how crappy busking is.

You don't think busking is worth wasting your time on? Then why are you wasting it here in the busking forum?
Message: Posted by: griffindance (Mar 14, 2010 11:10AM)
[quote]

You should probably take this old saw over to the table hoppers forum.

I'm glad you're so awesome you don't work for tips -but we do, and no one like to be made to feel like they're inferior, especially by someone who seems to be only trolling in the wrong section about how crappy busking is.

You don't think busking is worth wasting your time on? Then why are you wasting it here in the busking forum?
[/quote]
You've got a point. I don't remember how I got into this forum.
Loser kids pretending to be famous magicians are annoying and below par performers annoy me. So this is not the forum for me.

However my point is two fold.

Street Magicians - Doing magic for free doesn't make you a professional. Unless someone is giving you something of value for your time and skills, you are just a stranger who knows a trick or two. From the professionals point of view, doing magic for free on the street gives you an objective audience (rather than your mother, friend, wife) to try new things with. If the trick doesn't work then you've lost no credibility when it counts. But its only practice time.

Buskers - I hate the business side of performing! Talking about business issues with people who I will pay or who will pay me is unseemly. So the final act of a busker is "Asking For Money." A skilled performer is above "So if you liked the show, PLEASE give me money." Most (not all, but most) buskers I've seen are a waste of time and get money because their audience isn't discerning. If you busk out of choice because you like the environment and you are a good performer, then fine, that's your choice, but if becoming a "successful busker" is your goal then maybe work on your burger flipping.

Tips are great. I love when someone offers me a tip. It means that because of something I did made this person happy and want to remember the minutes we spent together. Asking people for the tips before they have offered them is cheap.

P.S. My bottom line is - Do You Pay Your Way. I suppose, as a magician, I don't. I work in a variety of theatre related fields and magic isn't exclusively what I do to pay my landlord. If busking pays your food and board then you are a better performer than I. Good luck to you!
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Mar 14, 2010 02:16PM)
[quote]...My bottom line is - Do You Pay Your Way. I suppose, as a magician, I don't. I work in a variety of theatre related fields and magic isn't exclusively what I do to pay my landlord. If busking pays your food and board then you are a better performer than I. Good luck to you!
[/quote]
Then why are you here. I, like several others on this forum, am a full time busker. That's all I do is busk with magic and make people smile. My lifestyle is very good, I have a nice apartment with a view of wld deer in the yard, I drive a new Chevy HHR and my wife has a 2 yr old Kia. We eat very well.

Not bad for "begging." Most people get a job review every year I have my job and raise review every day I am out performing.

I don't think your lifestyle is bad why can't you allow us ours.
Paddy
Message: Posted by: The Great Zoobini (Mar 14, 2010 04:20PM)
I don't think he ever busked and simply got lost here at the Café. He said he was going back to flipping burgers or somesuch...
Message: Posted by: eddierush (Mar 14, 2010 09:47PM)
Griffindance,

I would like to sincerely apologize for whatever bad event made you feel that you had to voice such negative opinions about your own peers.

Street magic has been around for thousands of years all over the world ... and it's not going away anytime in the near future.

P.S. Chris Capehart bought two houses in PA just from the money he made from entertaining those who chose to stop and watch him perform.

Sorry ... Welcome to life of Earth. :)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 14, 2010 10:38PM)
Eddie:

You fail to understand the difference between what Jeff Sheridan was referring to as "street magic" and what David Blaine et. al. are referring to as "street magic." They are not the same. That's why this particular sticky post is always at the top of this section of the forum.

The "street magic" that has been around for centuries is what we call "busking." It was not the kind of magic where you go up to some unsuspecting spectator and levitate for them or go into a basketball court and use a roomful of basketballs to find a selected card. It was formalized magic shows that were often used to gather a crowd, and then pass a hat or sell a product. Yep. That's right. Sell a product. There were buskers who would set up a table, put up a low bench or stool to stand on (the source of the terms charlatan and mountebank), use magic to gather a crowd and then sell everything from pomade to tapeworm remedies.

I don't think anyone on this forum is selling pomade or tapework remedies, though.

The "street magic" of David Blaine is not the same thing at all. It is a new phenomenon, based on set-up street encounters, specifically for a television audience.

Chris Capehart, Jim Cellini, Gazzo and a host of others are/were very successful buskers who worked on the street and/or in parks and even at festivals. I know for a fact that Cellini and Gazzo both worked festivals in the US, because I was working at one of them when I met both of them.

But none of them did [i]what David Blaine calls "street magic."[/i] It's the same name applied to two different things.

Think about this. How impromptu can street magic be when there is a television crew that goes up and says "Hey. You guys want to be on television? We are filming a television show about magic. This is a really cool magician who wants to do some things for you. Got a few minutes?"

Maybe a parallel could be drawn using the word "barrel." A pickle barrel and a gun barrel have two things in common. Both are roughly cylindrical objects that are hollow.
Message: Posted by: Donnie Buckley (Mar 19, 2010 01:14PM)
I think there is an important point that has not been raised in all the pages of this topic that has assisted me in understanding the so-called Street Magic phenom.

That point is that the word "street" is a slang adjective.
According to the Urban Dictionary, [url=http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=street]their first definition of "street"[/url] is:
[i]Of or pertaining to the urban "street" culture, undergound, based around the core of hip-hop, skateboarding, bmx etc.
example: Yo that dude was fly and dressed so street![/i]

Street in this context is a style, not a genre of magic.
When you interpret the name "Street" Magic as magic performed with a "street" culture style of dress and manner, then it is easier to digest and NOT in conflict with the centuries old tradition of professional magicians performing magic on the street, or busking. So it is logical to conclude that Blaine, Angel, and all their mimicking fans, are merely performing magic in a street-wise, urban "style".

And, when I first heard it called "Street" Magic, I didn't think it really had anything to do with performing on the streets. I mean you can watch it and see that for yourself! I thought it was just a TV magic show presented in a young urban "street" style featuring a new dutch faced, dead pan magician named David Blaine. He did illusions on TV and made them look impromptu. Clever, but not "street magic" as a genre.

If the marketing gurus that had named Blaine's first special had instead chosen to call it Hip-Hop Magic, (not Hippity Hop, you goofs!), Gangsta Magic, or Urban Magic we would not be having this debate.

Of course, it is not lost on me that their young mimicking fans don't even realize this themselves. They just think it's dope.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 19, 2010 11:40PM)
I really hate it when some fellow who thinks he knows everything about magic decides to put down busking or restaurant work as being beneath his dignity and/or skill level, just because he considers it somehow to be demeaning.

The idea that either of these venues is somehow "suitable for beginners," or passing the hat at the end of a busking performance is begging, shows a fundamental lack of understanding of how it works.

In the field of restaurant magic, there are a number of magicians whose names stand out as being successful by almost any standard. Jim Sisti, for example, has been a "name" in restaurant magic for a very long time. He does very fine classical magic. He also keeps a roof over his head with it.

Another is Jim Pace. He has had a very successful career as a restaurant magician. He knows what to do when he is entertaining at the table. He has written extensively about it. He also maintains an excellent lifestyle.

A third is Dan Fleshman. Dan has a great personality, deals with people well and is not only a fine entertainer, he is an excellent technician. He stays busy all the time and maintains a top notch lifestyle as well.

Any suggestion that these men are "beginners" is ludicrous. Dan was a successful restaurant magician when I met him in 1984. He still is. There are lots of others who have built up a very successful business doing their kind of magic in restaurants.

There are others who either got their start as bar/restaurant magicians -- Burger, for example. Charles Green is another. If you know how to work with a restaurant, and you work at the right restaurants, you can make a lot of money from the side business that you generate.

To say that buskers are all itinerant would be a misstatement. Some travel all the time, others work in their home town. Some use their home town as a base of operations. I know a couple of the fellows on this forum who are genuine "non-imposter" buskers who have nice houses, stay busy busking and have invested their profits wisely. They wouldn't be able to do this if they were just beginners.

Successful busking requires a lot of psychology. It also requires nerves of steel, a thick skin and perseverance.

If you don't have that, really you shouldn't try either one.
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Mar 25, 2010 10:29PM)
I think in maybe 5 years the David Blaine type of televised "I'll show you a trick on the street, them I'm off after someone else to do the same" will have gone the way of other fads. Because I think most of us realize its a fad created for TV and entertaining at present because of the novelty.
Street Magic as a form of busking will continue on and on and on...
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 27, 2010 06:45PM)
Maybe the same thing that happened to "folk" music will happen to "street magic."

Maybe some of the magic guerrillas who accost unsuspecting people and try to get them to take cards will learn that there is a lot more to magic than the crap they see on bad television shows.

Maybe cows will fly. If they do, wear a hat.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (May 4, 2010 11:11PM)
I've done street-magic, I've done busking, and I'm doing table-hopping. After street-magic, table-hopping is a walk in the park! I'm not trying to put down restaraunt workers, I'm just saying that street-magic (WITHOUT the benefit of a camera crew) takes some serious guts & people skills not necessarily required of table-hoppers. And busking requires showmanship on a much grander scale than needed in a controlled restaraunt setting. I promise you Griffin, busking & street-magic are not as well-paid as many other venues (restaraunts, stage, fairs, etc) but they are at the TOP of the 'magic-skills-food-chain'!!
Message: Posted by: Woland (May 18, 2010 10:02AM)
Please forgive me if I refer back to 6-year-old comments in this thread; I am rather new to this forum, and slowly reading my way through a treasure trove of information, opinion, and judgment.


I was interested in the side-discussion of "circling the wagons."

With respect to "circling the wagons," I have no idea if this was ever done, or how often it was done, in the American west. I doubt that the idea was invented in Hollywood. It would be difficult to believe that it wasn't tried in actual pioneer practice at least once.

However, the originator of this maneuver, as a military tactic, was the one-eyed Czech general Jan Zizka or Johann Schischka. In the religious wars of the 15th century, during which he commanded the forces of the Taborites or Hussites, the tactic was called the Wagenburg or "wagon fort."

The Wikipedia credits a similar maneuver to Wei Qing (2100 years ago) but I am unable to affirm the reliability of the reference.

Circling the wagons does work, but only if it discourages the enemy from no more than a few attacks.
Message: Posted by: Eduardo (Jun 2, 2010 11:23AM)
[quote]
I promise you Griffin, busking & street-magic are not as well-paid as many other venues (restaraunts, stage, fairs, etc) but they are at the TOP of the 'magic-skills-food-chain'!!
[/quote]
True!!!
Message: Posted by: The Great Zoobini (Jun 7, 2010 03:30PM)
Busking makes the best sauce...
Message: Posted by: DavinSimone (Nov 4, 2010 03:43AM)
After read this whole thing, have to say this has got to be one of the least helpful but most entertaining threads I've read on here. Kudos for getting two awards!
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Nov 7, 2010 11:33PM)
I just read back over the thread too.....nostalgic!
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Nov 7, 2010 11:44PM)
[quote]

eddierush,
Just like many others, I think you're confusing "busker" with "street magician".

Yes, there are buskers. They make a living (or a portion of it) out on the streets.
Street Magicians, as portrayed on TV, a la Blaine, etc. do not exist. It seems there was a brief fad in the past couple of years where teen-agers decided this is what they wanted to do (The Blaine thing). (There was even a magazine on the subject.) They spent their allowances on:
Ravens
Sunglasses
Black Tiger Decks
Fol***g Quarters

and told mom they were going downtown for a couple hours. The more intelligent of them realized it was:
1. pointless
2. bothered people
3. obnoxious

and stopped doing it a.s.a.p. And the magazine is no longer published.
[/quote]
The prominence / validity of something is not always determined by it's number of fans / supporters, but also by it's number of detractors & deniers. The more people that seem determined to convince you that something DOSENT exist....the more likely it is that it DOES exist.

The vast majority of "Teenagers who dropped their allowances on ravens, sunglasses, etc." DID indeed quit for the aeforementioned reasons.....just as probably 90% of those who get interested in any magic field lack the talent / perseverance to carry through. Yes, there ARE street-mages out there, and theyre the 1% who were good enough to do this and get away with it.

The magazine is gone, but the book remains in print! IS there even a book on busking? And by 'busking', I mean MAGIC busking, just as our book is strictly on "Street-magic"!
Message: Posted by: DavinSimone (Nov 8, 2010 01:48AM)
Huh... well that was easy enough...

http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=1158

Apparently there are books on it.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Nov 8, 2010 02:20PM)
CURSES!!!! Googled again!!! Drat you Simone! :whatever:

*throws black cloak over face & slinks off*

But I'll be back!!
Message: Posted by: Devious (Aug 18, 2011 01:23PM)
I just read this entire thread....over several days of course...I feel dirty now! Say, where do I go for a refund of my time, for we are no closer to resolving this entire matter, but seriously thank you to the many individuals, who took the time to offer personal opinions on the matter.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Aug 30, 2011 02:36AM)
You are most welcome Devious!

And to Woland, thanks for clearing up the origin of the 'circling the wagons' thing!

It HAS been a long, strange, and utterly futile journey hasnt it? Mabye there is no real answer, but hey, we're ALL here for magic right? To all you buskers out there, We street-mages promise not to poach on your pitches....just lay off the 'saying-we-dont-really-exist' thing huh?

Peace
Message: Posted by: bobn3 (Sep 1, 2011 08:17AM)
"No we DON'T simply walk right up to some random person & say "watch this!" (That's a good way to get punched in the mouth!) Usually, we find a good-looking 'mark', and follow along with their group, waiting for them to say or do something which we can play off of."

Is it just me, or doesn't this fit under the definition of "stalking?"

Bob Phillips
Message: Posted by: Nick Broad (Nov 9, 2011 09:05AM)
I, too, have just read this lengthy thread. It's always bad etiquette to join a conversation at the end, but unlike Donny, I think I have a frame of reference. Please excuse the following, as it's not intended as a discussion of what a true [i]magician[/i] is, only what a true [i]busker[/i] is. I will bring it back to OP's question on street magic by the end.

My frame of reference: I've studied busking all over the world for the last 8 months. 35 cities on 5 continents, to be precise. And I see two main distinctions.

The first is the Covent Garden distinction. Eddie Izzard and the other old-timers decided that they would like to differentiate the art that they produce from that of common buskers, and therefore came up with the term "Street Performer": an attempt to bring focus to the theatrical, staged and highly "professional" nature of their acts. This is because the term "busker" is synonymous with the term "beggar" (albeit a glorified beggar) in the eyes of much of the populace.

The second is the beggar VS busker distinction, and after a lot of reading and searching and interviewing on the subject, I'm still not sure where that line is. However, in my more idealistic moments I see "buskers" as those who accept voluntary donations, and "beggars" as those who actively solicit them. This does not mean that street performers who remind the public during a show that they live off of donations are begging — not unless they follow the people in their crowd who fail to tip.

When wondering whether a busker is actually a beggar, the line between class, dress, technique, skill, passion, training, etc, is so vague that I don't think it's worth going into. For if a beggar realises that he can make more money by banging a drum, and yet does it with such charisma as to entertain their audience, then yes, he is a busker (in my head).

Bringing this back to the street magic VS busker debate.

I've only experienced the magicians who perform on the streets behind tables or in the "Step right up!" format, not the guerrillas. However, I assume that when an incognito street magician does perform for a "mark", they do solicit the donation at the end, instead of just standing there to see whether their mark gets the point. In that sense, they are not buskers.

However, they are just one act in a long line of busking that goes back millennia. The Bauls in India appear in the Vedas thousands of years ago, and some form of street entertainment has existed in every culture since the beginning of history. It's a global, ubiquitous and a fantastic part of the world's still-running traditions.

My point: I think a more useful debate is not "pure" vs "car salesman" magic debate, but to agree on etiquettes of busking when performing magic. Like, "don't force your mark to give you a dollar after the show", or "explain that you are a street magician after the first trick, and only continue if asked to". Something like that.

I personally don't see a problem with the guerrilla method. I think I'd enjoy it!
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Nov 10, 2011 01:27AM)
What a thoughtful, deep post!

And yes Omni, beleive me, you would enjoy it.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jan 14, 2012 09:44PM)
I agree with the Fool!
Message: Posted by: Woland (Apr 13, 2012 08:17PM)
I see this thread is still generating light. I certainly agree with The Mighty Fool and ed rhodes, above.

As a sidelight on "circling the wagons," I happened to visit the site of the "Wagon Box Fight" in Wyoming last year. In this battle, wagon boxes taken off the chassis of the wagons were set up as a corral for the mules while the box-less wagons were loaded with timber. A force of 28 U.S. Infantry and 4 civilians defended themselves for 5 hours against as many as 1,000 Dakotas. That comes pretty close to "circling the wagons." So it did happen for sure, at least once.
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Apr 15, 2012 12:14AM)
I've come back to see how things are going, here. This thread started away back in 2004 - about 7 1/2 years ago.
I think it's a case of a style of "Guerrillas In The Mist" - reportedly there, seldom if ever seen in the mist - very mystifying, even seldom less experienced - well by the Show-style Magic Buskers anyway.
I remember some Jewish sayings: "Where there are two Jews, there are three opinions." And another one, when some other ethnic group or nation wants to intercede in Jewish arguments/fights - something along the lines of "Leave us alone - we're quite competent at fighting among ourselves."

I see this topic as o.k. to discuss if there are some of us people who work on the street with magic [whatever name/style we call ourselves] have got enough energy and time and interest after actually being out on the street for the day/part thereof, or have a some spare time to read all/part of the thread.

I'll come back in a few days to see what's going on, then think
I might revisit here in a year or so to see if the different styles are still a topic of discussion, and at what intensity level.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Apr 27, 2012 10:49AM)
Wasn't this resolved years ago when all the kids realized that "street magic" was made up for TV and that David Blaine wasn't really a "street magician" in the first place?

Personally, I've been trying to get chosen for one of those 'mission impossible' missions; practicing all my stunts, jumping out of cars, holding on underneath buses driving thru town, jumping into dumpsters off roofs, dangling from a helicopter, ...


Still gotta figure out where to send my resume and my stunt video demo.
Message: Posted by: Biggest_Oz (Oct 23, 2012 01:08PM)
In my opinion I find street magic more harder than busking. This is because it is hard to draw a crowd by just asking someone whereas in busking although you do ask someone they seem more drawn in to the performer like they are waiting for something and they are less likely to be suspicious of you and what you are going to be end up doing to them like blowing their minds! Not literally I hope. :)
Message: Posted by: Magician Shaun (Dec 23, 2012 08:40PM)
I am not sure what the purpose of street magic is...

When busking you try to create a crowd in the hopes of hatting them at the end. You build your entire act around the build and then the build up to the Hat. I think that Street Magic may be harder because it is not intended to build a crowd. You are simply showing someone a trick who just like in busking had no intention of watching a street show or paying you.

Do you try to get paid when doing "Street Magic?"
Message: Posted by: David Fillary (Feb 14, 2013 07:14AM)
I'm a very amateur magician, but I have worked hard on a few very good tricks, and one of the ways I practise is with David Blaine style street magic. It's scary, and that's why I do it, because afterwards you feel like you've just been on a roller coaster! An easier way is to attract people to you by performing something very visual seemingly without an audience and then catching someone's eye. So for instance, I'll do a casual coin roll and then a down's palm vanish while at a bus stop. If I see anyone smile, I'll go up and chat to them and ask them if they liked it. I then proceed to draw more coins from their hair/ears etc. If the response is good, I'll go on to other stuff at their request. If it's not, I'll chat a bit more til the bus comes along. Doing this has improved my magic so much as I can perform the same trick multiple times to different people.

How are you supposed to try out new tricks on people if you only do paid gigs? They will be disappointed if you fail as they have paid. However, if you've done a few entertaining tricks and one of them goes wrong to a stranger on the street, they will just remember your other stuff.

I don't do it for money, that's not why I do magic, I do it for the thrill, seeing the audience reaction and for more practice. This week I do plan on doing busking style magic, but the money is going to charity. It should be a great night - stop thinking too much about the money and enjoy yourself!
Message: Posted by: ChrisTheImpossible (Mar 4, 2013 11:32PM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-12 22:14, Samuel wrote:
What is the difference between Street Magic and Busking?
[/quote]

Good question. I consider myself a street magician because I don't focus on tips. I go up to random people, which usually creates a crowd, and perform. If tips come then great but I don't expect them nor set up for them either.
Message: Posted by: ChrisTheImpossible (Mar 4, 2013 11:35PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-23 21:40, Gr8gorilla wrote:
I am not sure what the purpose of street magic is...

When busking you try to create a crowd in the hopes of hatting them at the end. You build your entire act around the build and then the build up to the Hat. I think that Street Magic may be harder because it is not intended to build a crowd. You are simply showing someone a trick who just like in busking had no intention of watching a street show or paying you.

Do you try to get paid when doing "Street Magic?"
[/quote]

The purpose of street magic is to entertain. I do Magic because I love to pass on the theory of making the impossible occur. I am rewarded when I can amaze people. That is what makes my day. I am not so focused on setting up a full act, watching the time, music, smoke, etc. I just want to show tricks, have stories to go along with them, and amaze. This is for now.

Soon I want to begin busking.
Message: Posted by: ChrisTheImpossible (Mar 4, 2013 11:37PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-01 09:17, bobn3 wrote:
"No we DON'T simply walk right up to some random person & say "watch this!" (That's a good way to get punched in the mouth!) Usually, we find a good-looking 'mark', and follow along with their group, waiting for them to say or do something which we can play off of."

Is it just me, or doesn't this fit under the definition of "stalking?"

Bob Phillips
[/quot

I do what you mentioned but I will also go up to people cold. I will say Hello, can I show you something really cool with a deck of card, or with a coin, etc. It works. I have all my teeth and never have been punched in the mouth.
Message: Posted by: Iron Butterfly (Sep 1, 2013 02:36PM)
In the grand scheme of everything if you have love and passion for what you are doing and are happy with its results does it really matter what they call it?
Message: Posted by: Mr. Danny (Nov 8, 2013 08:55PM)
Don't laugh OK, I use a bufett table and do a trickle show. Starting out I had trouble getting people to stop and watch. SO... I put signs on the sides of my table: Ask To SEE Magic! It works for me, only the ones who want to see: stop, and tip the hat.
Message: Posted by: MagicofDesperado (Jul 14, 2014 11:12AM)
My 2c , as a full-time magician busker is this.

If you're asking people if they want to see magic, 1) you're doing it wrong and if you're not interested in performing an actual street magic show, then you're doing the rest of us and yourself a disservice and would be best pursuing showing other people tricks at that magic club, friends parties, and family events etc.

I think you're devaluing the art both of magic and street performing.

I also agree with the stalking comment having seen hundreds of different acts and predatory street "performing".
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Jul 14, 2014 11:53AM)
[quote]On Jul 14, 2014, MagicofDesperado wrote:
My 2c , as a full-time magician busker is this.

If you're asking people if they want to see magic, 1) you're doing it wrong and if you're not interested in performing an actual street magic show,[/quote]

And 2) you haven't watched my "[url=http://magicjoint.com//pages/magic-shop/the-crowd-goes-wild-promo/?]Crowd Goes Wild[/url]" lecture video series. :D

-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Jul 15, 2014 04:06AM)
Because I run a mix of Magic Show and balloon twisting to bring in adequate income [relatively low number of people in street vicinity] I have a sign at the front of my table that has
"Ask to see my Magic Show". It's there to sort out what people want.
If I'm doing just a Magic Show on the street then I don't use the 'sorting' sign, and if I have a sign "Magic Show by Colin Schwamm."
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Mar 17, 2015 02:43AM)
I'm thinking busking lately, but haven't had the nerve. My only experience is in street magic where I got paid to perform. My first experience was more of a strolling job at Magic Mountain strolling the park performing. I found the best audiences standing in line waiting for a ride. Great audience as they will do anything to kill time. I was paid by a private contractor so I didn't need to worry about tips. Had a few give me money, though.

Next, I worked on the Strip in Las Vegas drawing crowds for the Ripley's Believe it or Not. I was paid by them to go on the street and perform. Then I had to follow up with talking about the museum and passing out flyers to lure them in. The museum killed it when they had me wear a t-shirt with their logo on it. They thought it would get people inside, but the people stopped coming to watch because they didn't take me seriously. They just saw me as trying to sell them something.

Later I almost got a job with the Riviera, but they changed their mind.

Now I am living near Ventura and am thinking about it. The approach is entirely different. There is a lot to think about. How to draw a crowd that will pay, passing the hat, what tricks to do, where to put the money after the show, and most of all, watching out for muggers. I tip my hat to those that do it on a daily basis.
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Mar 18, 2015 05:31PM)
Mtpascoe: good on you for doing the thinking. Now do some planning on paper: Pick a spot to stand at - your pitch. Your first job is to learn how to greet people by catching their eye, smiling, and saying Hello to them. I'd suggest having just one trick to show them. Then thank them and look for the next person/s to greet.
While standing waiting to greet somebody be doing something. You could have something in your hands to catch passing people's attention. Maybe shuffle a deck of cards if you like. But do the shuffling face up so that people see a constant change of card faces. When people stop you might put away the cards while greeting them and pull out your props for the magic trick you are going to show them.

What this start-up idea is going to do is to help you get over your lack of nerve of busking. Take a friend if you want, to give you support, but to stand off to the side away from you. He can also walk up and be one of the people watching you perform.
Don't worry about doing a whole Magic Show to start with, I reckon. And don't worry about getting money at this stage.
Your first job is to get out there and learn to be at ease being there and greeting people and engaging them for a few minutes.

Meantime, at home between outings you can practice a simple short Magic Show of maybe four effects that do not need a table to perform.

It's easy to be overwhelmed when you start finding out about busking with a Magic Show. So take a step at a time.

JoeJoe has some excellent advice on getting people to stop. Chase up his posts, go visit his web site, see if you can watch some videos of his on YouTube.

Most importantly at the moment is to go and stand at a suitable pitch and get used to being there out in the public doing something.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Mar 19, 2015 02:17AM)
Great advice MagiCol. I will take that to heart. It's a big difference performing on stage and on the street. On the stage, you wait backstage until someone introduces you. You can't back out. On the street you can.

My pressure was of course I was getting paid, so I had to find a way to break through and do it. Busking seems so different in that sense. You are not getting paid. You get your money at the end when you hat the audience. A new skill I will have to develop. I will find all of this out when I get out and do it. Love the idea about a buddy. I have someone in mind and will heed your advice.
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Mar 19, 2015 04:15PM)
It sure can be scary, mtpascoe, standing out there on the street all alone for the first time. When I happened for me, I felt like everyone was watching me, wondering what was going on. In fact, most people couldn't care less about you setting yourself up or standing there on the street. It's our job to create curiosity in people to help them decide to stop and see what's going on, or what's going to happen. That's why its so important to be doing something in between getting those first one or two people stopped so we can start our trick/show.
There's lots of advice here on the forums. The big challenge is finding out exactly what works for us as an individual.
The only way to do that is to go out and be on the streets performing. That's where the learning really takes place.
Message: Posted by: blue dragon magic (Apr 25, 2015 02:48AM)
Busking viruses street performing, its the same thing pending where you are. Street performing is more of an American term where as busking is more of a European term. This of course is my opinion on the subject. Its like the term buffet a French word meaning plentiful in the USA we tend to think and link the term to all you can eat. But the layout is the same plenty of food to choose from. Street performing and busking again is term for the same thing pending what part of the world your in. Canada seems to use the term busking more so than street performing. Also if you read this busking turns to bucking because of stupid auto correct I have gone back to correct it all I think I corrected it all.
Message: Posted by: blue dragon magic (May 4, 2015 05:10AM)
One of my first street performances was an eye opener a good predicament to be in. I was setting up for my performance and the moment I put the sign up saying magic show I had a constant line of people I never did set up adequately to my liking but I had this fear of not wanting to disappoint anyone. I know that street performers number one concern is how much can I make when I perform I do it for the love of performing and not for the money that means everyone gets the same show rather they can pay or not. When your hurting for money to lets say pay your rent its hard not to think about money but somehow in your unspoken words body language they pick up money scent and that turns people off. Having fun they in turn will have fun. When it stops being fun for you then its time to hang up the hat. Sometimes the fire burns out and time away is a good thing to rekindle the fire. A hard lesson to learn is that what you see on TV is not real street performing. At best its a way to see an effect in use. As one expands there knowledge in magic you know which effect is practical for the street. This experience is gained only through time and some wasted money on props that don't deliver the goods expected. Later you might find use for the item. Learning an effect is easy learning your unique style and character performing is the most difficult and it will constantly evolve. I enjoy haunted magic effects done in a comedy style. Not always comedy but I don't want to scare my audience away. Around Halloween I drop the comedy and go for the scare factor. The show I do on the streets is the same for private parties and stage which means packs small plays big. I have been street performing for five plus years fourth years interested and studying magic. I do not know everything about street performing and I am still learning. I have become comfortable at always being a student of magic. Finding a different way of doing the same thing constantly reinventing the wheel. I tend to keep things simple as possible but new ways to market my show I am my own worst critic I'm never satisfied with my show trying to come up with the perfect act. I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect act. Here in the states if I use the term busker they look at me with crazy eyes and I explain but if I say street magic street performer they understand. With internet, smart phones everyone is distracted which makes it harder to catch there attention. So the act has to evolve to handle those distractions as for a magician DVDs books eBooks this forum youtube the tools are within reach of everyone. Growing up before DVD I had to learn magic from badly taken drawings and photos. Video is like having a personal instructor in your home. Street performing has to incorporate these distractions within the act itself. As if its part of the act. I struggle with this as to how do I go about it. I use to despise you tube once a TV magic show comes on an explanation of the trick was posted. If I did that trick or something similar I dropped it from my act. Then I realized if you wanted to learn the trick you had to know the trade name like instead of penetrating rubber bands you might get a hit with that search but crazy mans handcuffs would spill the secret. Most laypeople don't know the trade name of an effect seen on TV.
Message: Posted by: blue dragon magic (May 4, 2015 05:13AM)
That's fourth years studying magic
Message: Posted by: blue dragon magic (May 4, 2015 05:13AM)
Forty years
Message: Posted by: blue dragon magic (May 10, 2015 12:15AM)
Gambling magic effects Dutch looper ultimate three card Monte and three shell game I use skeletons that are shells I beleive the skulls shell is by rosco theres eyegore and Marie Antoinette and a new set dragons blood. Stevens magic emporium in the states two DVDs by sal palenti I spelled the last name wrong due to auto correct street Monte and the three shell game are both of his DVDs.
Message: Posted by: blue dragon magic (May 10, 2015 12:24AM)
I don't endorse magic shops just where I got my props from as a starting point as to where to find it often I get props that are exclusive to a magic shop like cessarells bell that's a bell that rings on its own I bought it in the states but it comes from Spain. You can buy directly from them but because its out of country I deal with a magic shop in states. I am not good with exchange rates and the hassles buying overseas. These days it seems that if something takes a certain battery it has to be shipped differently than lets say a book or DVD.
Message: Posted by: Jason Simonds (May 13, 2015 10:38AM)
I haven't seen the Dragon's Blood. If they are anything like Eyegore and Marie Antoinette, I bet they look great.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jul 4, 2018 06:33PM)
It's been many years since this thread was started.
Do people still think there are such things as "street magicians" (ones that are not buskers)?

Magicians that just wander the streets .... doing tricks... for the unsuspecting public ? ? ?


I think it's true that having seen the Blaine specials or having seen trailers for magic DVDs where the magicians were [b]posing[/b] as a so-called "street magicians", many decided to give it a shot.

But in the end... eventually.... they came to their senses and went back to work... or their friends... or school :)


Am I wrong? Or does the legend still exist?
Message: Posted by: koreancanuck (Jul 10, 2018 11:52PM)
[quote]On Jul 4, 2018, TheAmbitiousCard wrote:
It's been many years since this thread was started.
Do people still think there are such things as "street magicians" (ones that are not buskers)?

Magicians that just wander the streets .... doing tricks... for the unsuspecting public ? ? ?


I think it's true that having seen the Blaine specials or having seen trailers for magic DVDs where the magicians were [b]posing[/b] as a so-called "street magicians", many decided to give it a shot.

But in the end... eventually.... they came to their senses and went back to work... or their friends... or school :)


Am I wrong? Or does the legend still exist? [/quote]

Even with work and school, I think there is still time to do street magic. Several of us here have done it or do it occasionally. One junior has posted a few times requesting magicians to join her to do street magic. And I hear they get great reactions. Another friend does it on occasion and has posted several FB videos.
I and some friends did it a couple of times this month for the outdoor festival, car free day. We had fun and got great reactions. I also feel I have a lot of gain from the experience, seeing as I’m relatively new to magic and have only just started getting some professional paid gigs. I find the best experience/practice is going out there and working it in front of the people.
Message: Posted by: Eldini (Dec 10, 2018 02:06PM)
Are they going out and doing magic for people on the streets for free?
Message: Posted by: danieltirado (Dec 23, 2018 08:36AM)
Next year I will go busking to Europe, so I am learning as much from you guys here in the forum, thanks for that!
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Feb 25, 2019 01:08PM)
[quote]On Jul 4, 2018, TheAmbitiousCard wrote:
It's been many years since this thread was started.
Do people still think there are such things as "street magicians" (ones that are not buskers)?

Magicians that just wander the streets .... doing tricks... for the unsuspecting public ? ? ?


But in the end... eventually.... they came to their senses and went back to work... or their friends... or school :)


Am I wrong? Or does the legend still exist? [/quote]

Oh yes....theyre still out there. Even though I myself no longer rank among their numbers. (I mainly just do the 2 restaurant gigs and kid's parties these days.) Remember, part of the whole schtick is that it's not easy to pick them out or see them coming. They don't have set pitches or areas. One place youre almost gauranteed to run into one is Times Square.....where street-mages *!#$-off the costumed pohoto-op characters to NO end!