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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Performing for homeless people. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Brian Proctor
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One of my favorite things to do with my gift of magic is to perform for the unfortunate. Today I was in downtown Portland Or. Portland has a huge number of homeless citizens.

Everytime I'm down there, I find someone who is in need of something. Either money, shelter, clothing, food... Whatever it may be, I try my best to be helpful.

Today a man came up to me asking for money. He may or may not have needed the money. I gave it anyway. I had no real need for it. After that, he thanked me. It made me feel better doing something I thought might have made his day better.

I always see this as an opportunity to perform magic. I pulled out my linking rings and went into a routine. His eyes exploded with wonder and amazement. It warmed my heart to see his face smile.

As I walked away he smiled and said "Sur, yoo justa made-uh my day." (Sorry, I was trying to incorporate his deep Lousianna-sounding accent.)

Anyone out there have stories of performing for the unfortunate? Smile
Priest
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I think that you summed it up best when you said, "It warmed my heart to see his face smile."

It's not always about money. It's just fun and nothing is better than putting a smile on someone's face. Especially someone who needs some cheering up.

P.
"Funk is not something U can buy at the corner store.
It is something that U find deep within Ur Soul!"
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Brian Proctor
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Exactly! I have never made a cent doing magic. But that is ok with me. I always peform for the smile on a person's face. It's just a good feeling. Smile
Priest
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Quote:
I have never made a cent doing magic.

It's ok. You've got a million dollar picture! Smile

~Priest~
"Funk is not something U can buy at the corner store.
It is something that U find deep within Ur Soul!"
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whitelephant
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Hmmm... stories on the homeless where to start?
Okay, I was out with friends on a Saturday night in Chicago, two beers and a pack of cigarettes and I was broke myself, so when a fellow on the street asked for a little change the best I could was offer him a smoke.

I stooped next to him and remembered that I had a deck in my pocket, I started shuffling- and did Triumph and a math force.

Besides the good feeling of bringing a smile out of a face that had lost it days before- he turned around and tought me how to "steal".

We sat and chatted until my friends came back to find me.
:smiletear:
drink water...
SpiffnikHopkins
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How to "steal"? Hmmm...anyone care to guess what the " " stands for?

~Spiff
Brian Proctor
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The other night some guys approached me for money again. (I must be a target that just says "I have money in these pockets.")

Anyway, They asked me for some change. All I honestly had on me was a nickle. As I reached into the pocket, I also had a color changing knife on me. I Tenkai palmed it as I pulled out the knife. When I revealed that I only had a nickle, they became dissapointed.

I thought I could lighten up the mood by doing some "on the spot" magic. I flicked my seemingly empty hand and caused the knife to appear.

I said to them, "You want change? I'll give you change!" The two guys looked at each other and then looked at me with my face in a serious demeanor. "Well, we don't need change that bad. Its okay sir."

I laughed and proceded to do some magic for them. They laughed too realizing I was only making a joke. I could not believe their faces. If they had cigarettes in their lips, they would have fallen to the street curb. Smile Smile

I did some changes, disappearances, productions and vanished it one last time as I walked away.
If you could only have seen their faces bright red with laughter and happiness.
Smile
AllThumbs
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Brian, I wouldn't do that too often. You could end up with a color changing knife routine being demonstrated to you (from silver to red).
The above is all rubbish, except that which you chose to believe
scheda
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Lol, I don't exactly get out too often, and where I live, there aren't too many homeless people. Now if I went down to Tampa or Orlando however, there would be plenty. One of these days I may just go down there to perform for people like that. Brian, I also have never made a cent with my magic, but I just love giving smiles and laughs out to people. That has to be hands down the best thing about magic.


Smile
Coming soon... Who knows!
DoctorAmazo
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What a fantastic idea!

They get:
entertainment
someone treating them like human beings
a few bucks you'd have probably p***** away

You get:
a good practice audience
the joy of performing
a warm, fuzzy for doing something nice

It's a win-win!
Squishy-Squishy
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I wasn't performing magic, but I was doing balloons one day in Central Park (NYC) when a little girl came walking by with her mother. It was pretty obvious they were living in the park and the little girl saw me and started begging her mother for a balloon.

Her mother scolded her, "Child, we ain't got no money for food, we ain't got money for no balloon". I had a couple of things already made up that were decorating my balloon bag, so I gave the little girl a teddy bear holding a heart. The mother looked at me and told me, "I ain't got no money lady." I told her not to worry about it, it looked like she had enough on her plate and there was no reason her daughter should have to deal with more.

If a balloon made her day, it was worth it. She just said, "God bless you," and the little girl went skipping down the path. I never charge for my balloons. I figure if people have something in their pocket to give me, they will. If not, why should their kids have to be disappointed for some as simple as a balloon.

Oh yeah the rest of the story. There was a little old man sitting on the bench next to where I was set up who had been watching me make the balloons for the kids and saw me give the balloon to the little girl. After she and her mother were out of earshot, he called me over and handed me $5. He told me that the world needed more people who care about people more than they care about money. Smile Smile
TheAmbitiousCard
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Way to go squishy.
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Peter Marucci
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"I never charge for my balloons. I figure if people have something in their pocket to give me, they will. If not, why should their kids have to be disappointed for some as simple as a balloon."

You got it, Squishy.

Would that there were more around who understood that!

Smile
Whiterabbit
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Yep, definitely the way to go, Squishy. I've never seen the topic discussed here, but aside from being a beautiful gesture and the right thing to do (which is the main point) you gave an ideal example of the sort of ethics that make magic something else. Smile
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Pokie-Poke
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That's my side kick. Smile
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The Adventure cont...
TiendaMagia
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I wish many of us did this kind of thing.
Especially to perform for homeless kids when they come to you to ask for money.
They love it and sure it warms more your heart than to get $10,000 dollars for a show.

sometimes is hard to remember why we started to learn magic in the first place.
Cordially

Mariano Sosa



Magic Store in Europe

http://www.tiendamagia.com



Foro de magia en Castellano!

www.magiapotagia.com
Derek P. Moore
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I do Food Not Bombs every Sunday here in Kansas City. Food Not Bombs is really cool and lots o' fun. Basically, FNB boils down to this: we prepare large quantities o' food, we set up at a public park, set up a huge sign that says "FOOD NOT BOMBS", and serve food to anybody and everybody.

We're mainly there to feed the homeless, to bring awareness to the issues of homelessness and poverty, but everybody is welcome to hang out and eat and stuff. We actually end up feedin' a lot o' passers-by.

All the food served is vegan, as that's the lowest common denominator. Anyways, for more information about Food Not Bombs, check out:
http://www.foodnotbombs.net/

Okay, back to the point of magic and homelessness.

Since I do Food Not Bombs, I know a decent number of the homeless people around Kansas City. They're all actually pretty darned cool people. And I really enjoy performing magic for them.

The other day I was out at Westport hanging out with the homeless people doing tricks for them and talking, etc. They were so blown away by some of the stuff I was doing, two of the kids (gutter punks about my age or so) insisted that I take a handful of change from each of them.

I declined, but they insisted. Each of them handed me less than a dollar in change anyways. But it was certainly an amazing gesture on their part! To pay them back, I did a few coin tricks with their change and taught 'em a few tricks.

A little later in the day, I came across a troop of gutter punks that had just hoboed into town the day before. I guess there's a pretty big gutter-punk/traveller subculture. They were just hanging out drinking beers.

I talked with them a bit, showed them a few tricks. They were blown away as well. Some random guy came up and gave them a fresh, hot large pizza (an amazing gesture on his part), and they insisted I have a slice for entertaining them.

I guess it goes to show you that if you're generous towards unfortunate people, they'll insist on being generous towards you.

I felt really good at the end of that Friday.

Anyways, it's Sunday, and it's 4:00 PM, that means I've got to head out to do Food Not Bombs now.
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Brian Proctor
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Hey there,
That program you are in sounds like a worthwhile thing to be doing. I have always wanted to set up a program for the homeless.

I don't honestly have all the time in the world at the moment, but it would be a great way to express the art of magic to make someone smile.
Brian
KingStardog
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Maybe a bill switch that ended in the larger bill in their hand would be a good one.

I am only familiar with a couple, but I am going to reverse the gaffs for the two I do
so they can work backwards.

Just a thought.
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
Pakar Ilusi
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Way to go guys! Squishy-Squishy, you made me cry tears of joy.
Remember how Blaine made that homeless man sing with joy when he produced the coins in the coffee cup? Beautiful.
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
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