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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Dancing Cane and Street Magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Derek P. Moore
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Kansas City
53 Posts

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I've been going out to Westport (a half way decent Kansas City night spot) quite a bit recently to perform for whoever. The dancing cane is supposed to be a stage illusion, but it works quite well on the street. And I'm continually amazed with how close you can be to people.

You do have to watch that you're not standing in front of a white car or something like that. But I've had people standing three feet away from me, and they still don't see any magnets, strings, or mirrors (if only they knew it worked by static electricity). (Actually, when people ask my how I do it, I say, "All magic is fake. It's magnets, strings, and mirrors. Mostly mirrors. [pause] No, I'm just kidding, it's static electricity." This seems to amuse people.)

Anyways, I just thought I'd report my wonderful success with dancing a cane on the street.

By the way, I only perform the dancing cane on the street after dusk. Conditions start to become suitable for performance during (or just before) sunset.
All my posts are anti-copyright 2002 by myself. No rights reserved. Plagiarism is encouraged. Intellectual property is an oxymoron.
Eric Evans
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Rio Grande
645 Posts

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Congratulations.

Are you using it to gather your Tip? Or, is it your Closer?
Derek P. Moore
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Kansas City
53 Posts

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Neither. I don't really have a set show or anything, so I don't get much in the way of tips.

Sometimes, I'll just walk down the street with the cane in action. Other times, I'll stand in one open place where lots o' people are and dance with the cane for a few minutes.

I started doin' the cane on the street for one reason: to show up the break dancers. Most Friday evenings, break dancers converge at Westport and Broadway. I've always enjoyed watchin' people dance all crazy, so I'd check 'em out fairly often. I started doin' card tricks and other assorted bits o' magic amongst the crowds that gathered around the dancers, when one day I had a revelation. I may not be able to dance as well as these guys, but I could wipe the floor with all of 'em with my dancing cane! The two things fit so well, I'm amused it took me so long to think of it.

People freak out, though, when I get on the makeshift dance floor and start twirlin' the cane. After doin' it one o' the times last night, a girl came up to me and gave me a buck. So that was cool. It's neat when you don't solicit any form of tip in any sort o' way, and people still give ya money. It must mean they were pretty impressed.

Sometimes it's hard to get people to let you do card tricks and the like for them; they tend to think you're gonna be a bum askin' for money instead of a magician with a deck o' cards and stuff up his sleeves. So more than anything, I end up usin' the cane as a means to get people interested in me so I can show 'em some other stuff.

I have been thinkin' about gettin' a close-up table and puttin' together a small act so I can do some formal busking at the ritzy night spots in town (like The Plaza)--tip jar and all.

But right now I'm just honin' muh skillz on the streets for free. I'm not sure how to go about a less rigid, more freeform street show--maybe I'll have to get the Gazzo Uncensored video and start from there.
All my posts are anti-copyright 2002 by myself. No rights reserved. Plagiarism is encouraged. Intellectual property is an oxymoron.
BroDavid
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Inner circle
America’s North Coast, Ohio
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I like your discernment in choosing the right time (dusk) and trying something different on the street.

One question about the dancers who draw a crowd. Do the collect tips or do they do for fun?

Just curious because in most venues, if you start working another street performer's meal-ticket crowd, it can get ugly.

But your use of the cane is very good. You use it to draw an edge. And everyone needs to have a way to get people to stop and move in a little closer so you can entertain them and collect your rewards. The cane is nice way to do that. Now you just need to take the next step, build a routine and go for it. And having a table - even with a small sign can get you a place to work, and also help set you apart, so that folks don't react to you as though you are panhandling.

I am sure the Gazzo video will be a great resource, an I look forward to getting mine, but dont overlook Jim Cellini's Art of Street Perfoming vol I for a great fundamental instruction of the street!

BRoDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Derek P. Moore
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Kansas City
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Quote:
One question about the dancers who draw a crowd. Do the[y] collect tips or do they do [it] for fun?


A little bit of both, though mostly the latter. A few times they've had tip buckets out. But usually there isn't one. One o' the dancers, though, is also a magician. He used to make his living as a full-time busker in New Orleans, break dancing and doin' magic.

I know a few o' the dancers pretty well, so they're not worried about my presence in the crowd. Especially since I'm not tryin' to get any tips (yet, that is *grin*).
All my posts are anti-copyright 2002 by myself. No rights reserved. Plagiarism is encouraged. Intellectual property is an oxymoron.
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