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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Performing in the cold (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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magicswan
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springfield,ma
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Any guys here working in the cold? Do people stick around & are you make good tips?
Whit Haydn
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It is really tough to work in the cold. Your hands are too cold to function, and no one wants to stick around. That is when I resorted to indoor busking. I would make friends with a bartender and show him some tricks, and then get him to let me circulate the bar for tips.

I also used my ESP Survey (it is in my book Street Magic) on the street when it was cold. You have a stack of business cards in one hand and a pencil in the other. You also have a swami gimmick on your right thumbnail.

These days, you might use that felt pen with the swami on the end, Super Sharpie or something like that.

Anyway, you act like you are taking a survey of the people that walk by: "Excuse me, sir. Do you believe in ESP?" and just pretend to note their answers. Every 4th or 5th one will stop and ask what you are doing.

You turn and stare hard right between their eyes and then pretend to write something on a business card and hold it up with the back to them. "I'm doing an experiment in ESP. Name a three digit number."

You use the Swami to write down their number as you ask them why they chose that number, does it have special meaning, is it just a random number or part of a larger number, etc., and then hand them the card.

As soon as the surprise registers, you hit 'em up.

"Got any change you can spare to help me in my research?"

Don't try to spook people. It is done with a wink like a friendly little hustle. People should be charmed more than anything.

It's good for about thirty or forty bucks an hour on a good street. Also works in airports and train stations.

Adam Grace and Aaron Fischer tried it on Hollywood Blvd a year ago, and it still worked just as well as in the Sixties.

If you try it, let me know how it plays.
Gazzo
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Yes Whit I tried it just as you said. I told an old lady that I would guess her age, then her husband punched me in the throat... twice.

Thanks Whit! You're the greatest.
bishthemagish
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Whit...

Where can you get a good nail writer these days. And I have seen the pictures of your new silver shells and will be ordering two sets this season.

They are really nice!
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
Larry Barnowsky
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Since the question was about performing in the cold, I wonder if members of the Café have had any memorable performances while it was snowing: Hit by a snowball, slipped on the ice etc. I wouldn't be surprised if Gazzo had produced a snowball from under a cup.
Bill Palmer
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I can remember mornings at the Texas Renaissance Festival when my hands were shaking so badly that I couldn't even hold onto my cup.


Then I had a good belt of hot coffee and sobered up.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
TheAmbitiousCard
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Bish, see richard osterlind's site for the nail writer.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
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Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
kOnO
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I remember my 1st outdoors winter performance back in Michigan Jan 6 1976.

I was working the Novi Winter Festival.
When I tried to ignite my flash paper and the FLAME froze right in my hand.
I had to take it inside and thaw it out before I could go back outside and finish the show...... Man it gets cold in Michigan.

kOnO
It is a lot easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
rikbrooks
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Olive Branch, Mississippi
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I performed last year on Halloween in Salem. It was cold but there was an amazing crowd, simply amazing. I didn't have a license so I didn't pass a hat, but there were people everywhere.

I wouldn't have done this as street performance really isn't what I normally do, but I was inspired by Gazzo's story in Krowd Keeping and Street Cups and Balls and I just HAD to try my hand at it.
Mercury52
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Kevin Reylek
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This past December I was booked to do two consecutive nights at an all-outdoor venue. I was a bit concerned with the temperature, it was in the 30's both nights. I brought along some hand warmers, one in each jacket pocket. Every few minutes, I would work them in my hands while in my pockets. I also tried to keep my fingers as busy as possible, always springing and faro shuffling between passersby. Had it not been a flat-fee gig, no way would I have been out there just for tips. The night was a bit slow, because the establishment was not 100% open and operational, but it had some shops and a movie theater that were open. Most people would stay for about 5-10 minutes, a few stayed longer. Ultimately with the hand warmers, the night was not nearly as bad as I expected it to be, and it didn't really have an adverse effect on my performance. Overall I wouldn't recommend busking outdoors in that kind of weather, but if you know you'll be paid either way, it was worth it for me.

Kevin
Kevin Reylek
Michael Baker
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I work a Halloween gig each year that runs through the whole month of October. Our weather here typically changes from hot as Hell at the beginning of the month to quite cold about halfway through... naturally colder late at night.

Although it is a paid gig, the conditions require the same general crowd drawing and holding techniques as most any busking pitch I've worked.

I use a fire book as my attention device, and during those cold, last two weeks leading up to Halloween, I am the king!

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
atucci
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Middleburg, Florida
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I've performed outside many times in January and February and never once had an issue with the weather.........of course I live in Florida so that may have something to do with it!
Tony Tuccillo

Middleburg, Florida
Whit Haydn
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Quote:
On 2005-03-25 20:47, Gazzo wrote:
Yes Whit I tried it just as you said. I told an old lady that I would guess her age, then her husband punched me in the throat... twice.

Thanks Whit! You're the greatest.


Gee, Gazzo. I am amazed at the reaction you provoked in that guy. Normally you have quite a way with men. I am surprised he acted the way he did, and can't imagine what might have set him off...

I recommend that you stay away from any routines that demand subtle audience management or any sort of people skills in the future.

Most importantly, keep your left up, you twit. Twice?
Gazzo
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Yea twice keep it to yourself.
LobowolfXXX
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Gazzo -

Far be it from me to second-guess Whit, whose routines are usually EXTREMELY well thought out and choreographed. However, having said that, I suggest the following (dare I say it?!) "improvement" over his routine. When the premise is that you will guess the (female) spectator's age, try using a TWO-digit number, not a three-digit number. I suspect that this will be good for both your tips and your throat.

Best,
Dan



Quote:
On 2005-04-04 17:59, whithaydn wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-03-25 20:47, Gazzo wrote:
Yes Whit I tried it just as you said. I told an old lady that I would guess her age, then her husband punched me in the throat... twice.

Thanks Whit! You're the greatest.


Gee, Gazzo. I am amazed at the reaction you provoked in that guy. Normally you have quite a way with men. I am surprised he acted the way he did, and can't imagine what might have set him off...

I recommend that you stay away from any routines that demand subtle audience management or any sort of people skills in the future.

Most importantly, keep your left up, you twit. Twice?
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Gazzo
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Dan, for someone to give advice on numbers then you go and post the same reply twice-
Go to the Qualified Advice topic and read.
Then go to bed.
Whit Haydn
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I'm reporting this to the Department of Redundency Department.

Gazzo was just trying to guess the old lady's weight. She just got hysterical that's all. It happens all the time.

Its rare they press charges though...
LobowolfXXX
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It's a dangerous business.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Gazzo
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Took a while to reply Dan. You must have a job or something (not with numbers I trust).
LobowolfXXX
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I am just trying to help. If you want to use 3-digit numbers to guess a woman's age...well, it's YOUR throat. And I resent what you said; I do NOT have a job.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
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