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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Routining (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

silverfire9
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Veteran user
Rochester Hills, MI
323 Posts

Profile of silverfire9
I'm experiencing a few problems while routining my act. I'm tall in the torso and so a TV or waiter's tray is too short for me, and I can't use it as a performing surface. I can use it as a place to *hold* props, but not for constant use as in cups and balls. Also, I don't own any good books or videos on busking/street performing, which makes it a little difficult to come up with a good bally.

And the table problem causes another one, as well: it pretty much eliminates cups and balls (not that I have a set; I have Jiggernaut, which isn't quite, well, *big* enough for busking, I don't think) and other effects that rely heavily on a performing surface. So I need to either figure out how to adapt those effects to not having a table, or I need to use effects that don't need a table.

As a result, I'm having trouble deciding on what effects to use. I read Zack's The Rule thread, and it makes a lot of sense. Here's the basic outline I'm looking at for my act: bally, fast visual opener, entertaining interactive middle, fast powerful closer (plus hat line, of course).

Any ideas on meeting those requirements without having a table? I have some ideas of my own: Losander's floating, dancing wand could work as an effect in the bally/opener, Osterlind's BCS could work as a basis for the middle (ie; the Blackjack demonstration, which could be adapted to not need a table), and I'm not sure on the ending. Those aren't the only things I can see working, obviously; just the ones that came to mind right now.

I guess part of my problem is that I haven't actually seen very many buskers, so I only have head knowledge about how the act works. Tacoma isn't as big on street performing as San Francisco is. Smile And Seattle tends to have more street bums than street performers. On that note, if anyone has any videos of street acts that they'd be willing to share, I'd appreciate it. It could help me get a better idea of how the acts are structured and what it's supposed to look like.

Anyway, any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I would like to get started this next week, if possible, so I can use all the help I can get. Smile
JoeJoe
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Inner circle
Myrtle Beach
1910 Posts

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Having the right table top is important, if you don't have that then work stand-up effects that don't require a table. There is no rule that says a busker has to do Cups-n-Balls, I know I don't do them.

Rope tricks are nice, you can hold the rope in the air and let it hang down to the ground - get the right size rope for your height. Linking rings work well for the street, and you can combine them with a ring-on-rope to make a routine. Hang the rope off your belt so it hangs down, move around a lot and let the rope swing during your bally, visual to draw people's attention to yourself.

I perfer a simple chain escape to the staight jacket as a closer, for one it's cheaper and two it's more comfortable in the hot sun - don't underestimate point number two! The less sweat the better. Whatever you do as a closer, hype it up into a big event.

Hope that helps some,
JoeJoe

PS: Losanders Floating Wand would make a great openner to draw your edge.
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Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24227 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
Build your own table stand. It doesn't take much skill. Nobody says you have to use the table stand you purchase from a restaurant supply house. Nobody says you have to use the one you buy from the magic shop.

And get some DVD's or books. They will help you immensely.
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silverfire9
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Veteran user
Rochester Hills, MI
323 Posts

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Thanks for the replies. I realize I could make my own table, and that I could do a good job. That still requires purchasing supplies, however. Or getting supplies given to me. Yes, I'm that close to broke right now. If other things I'm doing to get money flowing in work, I should be able to get the supplies to build a table, but for now, it's not a viable option. Unless I find supplies for really cheap, like under $10 or so.

Do you know of any good plans floating around on the Net? I'd want, ideally, one that folds up as small as possible, to make carrying it easier. That'd probably make it more complicated to build, though, lol.

I was hoping that the TV trays I have would work, but unfortunately, they're too short, even with my case put on top. I'm thinking non-table stuff is the order of the day for now. At least until I get the money to make/buy a good table.

And I'd love to get some books or DVDs. Unfortunately, that will have to wait. I am, however, checking with the magic club, to see if they have anything in the library. I think we've got one of Gazzo's videos, but I'm not sure. If we do, I'm going to check it out and watch it and see what I can learn from it.

Thanks again for the replies. I do appreciate them!
Dave V
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Inner circle
Las Vegas, NV
4825 Posts

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I've seen online ads for used "tall" waiter stands (38" instead of the usual 32") for $17.50. Click here for details, including a side by side comparison with a standard height stand. It's actually too tall for most people, but you can replace the straps with an old belt and adjust it down until it's the right height. This has an added advantage of widening the support surface so you can use a bigger table top.

Take a look at my table stand in the Photos section of my website.
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MagiUlysses
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Special user
Kansas City
502 Posts

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Greetings and Salutations,

I got my tall tray stands for free. A local restaurant supply store had four broken stands, and I mixed and matched parts, and used an assortment of nuts, bolts, washers, Gorilla Glue, and duct tape to get one great stand, one decent practice stand, and one beat up stand I keep in my office to practice during lunch. That's a couple of bucks for hardware, a couple more for the glue, a phone call, and trip to the restaurant supply house. The tall tops are too tall with a table top on them. Either cut or remove the straps and use an old belt to replace them. With this you can widen the legs, which shortens the table, which also gives you a better base. Bonus all the way around. Total cost, $6 to $7, plus or minus.

Home Depot, Lowes, etc., generally have half-sheets of plywood (2' by 4') for anywhere from $5 to $20, depending on the thickness and the material -- don't get anything less than 3/8". I've backed a couple of sheets with hardboard for dice stacking, etc., but I didn't on my last table, favoring a piece of 1/2". If you're broke, pass on the 1"x2" trim (which will set you back around $8 or $10. In addition, both of the above stores will usually make one or two cuts to your purchased lumber for free. I have them cut my 2' x 4" pieces of plywood to 20" xy 30".
Total cost, $6 to $8, plus or minus.

Next, go to Wal-Mart or other store with a fabric department, get some quilt backing, the cheap stuff, which should go for about $2 a yard. You need a half yard. Look through the $1-a-yard and $2-a-yard racks for a good heavy fabric or leather-like material. You'll also need either a staple gun or some upholstery tacks to affix the material to the board. Total cost, $5, plus or minus.

That's a decent table for about $20. You can save the cost of the stand if you have a friend in the restaurant business who can get you one for free, but get a tall stand. The short ones are too short and cinching up the straps to make one taller will make it unstable -- having learned this from experience. You can also save on the cost of the table top itself if you're a decent scrounger, then all you're out is the cost of covering the top.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

Joe in KC
ed rhodes
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Inner circle
Rhode Island
2707 Posts

Profile of ed rhodes
Quote:
On 2005-05-16 10:17, MagiUlysses wrote:
Home Depot, Lowes, etc., generally have half-sheets of plywood (2' by 4') for anywhere from $5 to $20, depending on the thickness and the material -- don't get anything less than 3/8". I've backed a couple of sheets with hardboard for dice stacking, etc., but I didn't on my last table, favoring a piece of 1/2". If you're broke, pass on the 1"x2" trim (which will set you back around $8 or $10. In addition, both of the above stores will usually make one or two cuts to your purchased lumber for free. I have them cut my 2' x 4" pieces of plywood to 20" xy 30".
Total cost, $6 to $8, plus or minus.


I have a Dragon Nite Club table, the top and shelves of which I've lost. I think I can remake these items if I can get wood and ambition. I went to Lowes to ask about wood (they were fresh out of ambition!) and they showed me the plywood section. They only sell full sheets, no half sheets at the Lowes here in RI. A 3/8 sheet of plywood runs about $13.00 here. And they'll cut it for you, the first two cuts are free, any additional cuts run .25 cents each! (They also have 3/4" trim which I'll use for the flange around the table top... not to certain how I'll attach the felt, I don't remember if the original was glued on or stapled!)
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Glenn Alloway
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Regular user
Edmonton AB Canada
103 Posts

Profile of Glenn Alloway
I am at a similar point in my routining.

I was long looking for a stand or table, until I decided that one wasn't really nessesary. The biggest problem with a table is that you have to carry it around. I've tried my best eliminate the need for the table. Why not work the jiggernaut routine onto your palm, or better yet on to a spectators palm?

You mentioned using the table to hold props. I figure that the best thing to do is have you audience hold your props. This accomplishes some amazing things.

-The magic become more real when spectators can hold it, or inspect it (most won't inspect, just hold).
-If a spectator is holding a prop for you, they are not likely to leave the show.
-It also instills trust into your audience. I've trusted them with some of my important possessions, so many will not hesitate to let you borrow a ring or a $100 bill

Ultimately I've decided that there is more advantage into not having a table. This forces effects to almost be more real. Having props on the table is like putting things behind glass bars in a museum. Audience want to touch and see, and smell the magic. So try to let them.
"This is madness and yet there is method in it." ~Shakespeare
chrisrkline
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Special user
Little Rock
965 Posts

Profile of chrisrkline
How many people can appreciate a Jiggernaut routine? I am very new to busking and even I can get crowds of 15 to 20 at a time. A jiggernaut routine would not work well here. C&B's work well, are easy to see, and with proper audience interaction, does not come off like it is behind the glass in a museum. So, although I have little experience, I find, like many of the others here who have years more experience, that a table is indispensible. Other than the cups, everything else I do is done in front of the table, with audience participation. There are others, of course, who do not use a table. It is a personal preference.

I am not sure that holding the props makes magic more real for spectators. I do agree that audience participation makes the show more interesting and helps to keep crowds, but whether you have to hand out props is a different question. Some do, some don't. There are pros and cons on both sides. I do hand out my props at times. But there are plenty of great magic that is done in all venues where props are not given out to the audience. But if it works for you, great.
Chris
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