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chrisrkline
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Little Rock
965 Posts

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I understand that you all can provide very little help without being here, or knowing me. At the moment my problem is not my show (well, not what I am asking about today, anyway.)

I want to describe my area where I pitch and I would like to know if this is a situation that any average busker could exploit, or would it send most of you screaming to the Florida Keys.

We have an indoor/outdoor market here in Little Rock. The indoor part takes up one block and has your typical Café's, fancy meat markets, coffee shops, etc. The street facing it has very narrow sidewalks, and under the best of conditions, fairly little foot traffic. The outdoor market is behind the indoor one, and has mostly produce from the rural areas--tomatoes, potatoes, corn etc, along with some trinket venders. On each side of this block is a street entrance. One side leads to a parking area, and has venders along the side, the other is wide, cobblestone, blocked from normal car traffic, but is at a steep grade. Near the entrance there is a large flat manhole cover where I set up my table. This leaves a wide area where people are coming and going. I have set up here before and did get a few decent, smaller (12-20) shows. The outdoor market is only open on Tuesdays and Saturdays, so I went today and there was barely a trickle. I eventually timed ten minutes and I only saw 15 adults walk past, some with very young kids--and this is at the main entrance to the market. The market itself may only have 100 people at a time. I would have trouble setting up inside the market itself, since there is little space and I am supposed to pay for the privilege.

It is a little better on Saturday, and I do better but have been frustrated in getting shows. Once people stop, I do pretty well (not very good though, not great.) I do not need the money, and so I am not pressed to do this regularly, but I would like to do it more. I also fear that in a small town like Little Rock, there may be a large number of people that are there every week.

I am not looking for advice on how to become a full time busker, I am just interested in whether this type of situation is even tenable. You hear the stories about the Gazzo's who could get 500 people to stop in the Gobi dessert. But there are plenty of experienced buskers who are open about the difficulty of getting crowds and hats, even in much better locations than this.

Would something like the upcoming Don Driver DVD help in a light foot traffic area like this, or does it even require more pedestrians.

I am thinking about modifying my show somewhat to make it more marketable and look to get hired for some things, but since I have worked so hard on the street show, I would want it to be based on it. Like I said, I don't need the money, but, man, I would not mind it and I do want to perform--and not for groups of five if I can help it. It is so much better to do it for 30.

Would you even bother to go down and work a situation like this?
Chris
Dave V
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Inner circle
Las Vegas, NV
4825 Posts

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When I was riding around Las Vegas with Gazzo, I pointed out what I thought would be some good spots. Clear area, shade (important in the desert!) wide walking areas, etc... He said, "No good, where are the people?"

I was looking for places convenient for me, he was looking for similar places, but with lots of foot traffic. If the people aren't there, it doesn't matter how good your show is.

When I went to Copenhagen a few weeks ago, I was granted permission to work anywhere in the "Kultorvet" or commons area. It was situated between the busiest walking street shopping district "Strřget" and the nearest train terminal. Even there traffic was good, but you could see a "flow" that ran diagonally from one particular corner to another. One time I was one side and had lots of people stop. The next time that spot was taken by people sitting and chatting among themselves so I moved about 20 meters south. NOBODY stopped! At all! I was just out of the "flow" and it made all the difference in the world.

The bottom line? Go where the people are. Go where they go to relax, when they're not in a rush to be somewhere else.

Credits: This (and more) can be found in Gazzo's "The Art of Krowd Keeping" book written by Danny Hustle and James E. Wells
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
ed rhodes
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Rhode Island
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That is so obvious, it's deep! Smile

(That's not sarcasm man! I really hadn't thought of it that way. I also would have been looking for place convenient for me as opposed to where the people are!)
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
chrisrkline
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Little Rock
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I know it is always dangerous to look for comments that say, "No you can't do that," or to give them to someone else.

But it is also a waste of time to bang my head. If there is not enough traffic, and even a skilled busker would avoid the area, I should too. Thanks Dave.
Chris
Mark Rough
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Ivy, Virginia
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But. . .

When Gazzo was here a few weeks back he did a show on a Sunday night at closing time, with almost no one around, just to show us it could be done. I think he had around 30 people standing there. A small crowd for him, but the hell if I can figure out where they came from. It was like he materialized them out of the ether or something.

Alas for me, I clearly am only starting to understand how he did this. . . I think. And I, personally, would wait for a better time and place. It's only starting to hit me now, a week and a half later, how much he taught me when he was here, both in the workshop and watching his shows. It was a mind blowing weekend. Sorry I'm straying from the topic.

Mark
What would Wavy do?
JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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Unless you know what to look for, it's hard to see what Gazzo is doing. And the more you do it yourself, the more you know what to look for and the more impressed you become by him.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
ed rhodes
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Rhode Island
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Quote:
On 2005-06-29 14:23, lastnitesfun wrote:
But. . .

When Gazzo was here a few weeks back he did a show on a Sunday night at closing time, with almost no one around, just to show us it could be done. I think he had around 30 people standing there. A small crowd for him, but the hell if I can figure out where they came from. It was like he materialized them out of the ether or something.

Alas for me, I clearly am only starting to understand how he did this. . . I think. And I, personally, would wait for a better time and place. It's only starting to hit me now, a week and a half later, how much he taught me when he was here, both in the workshop and watching his shows. It was a mind blowing weekend. Sorry I'm straying from the topic.

Mark


It seems to me that Gazzo would be the one person who would know when and where to break his own rules... the rest of us should just pay attention and find the spots with the people!
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
SeaDawg
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The Lunatic Fringe
718 Posts

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When they asked Willie sutton, the famous bank robber why he robbed banks? , his reply was "Because that is where the money is..."

For street workers the same is very very true. If 100% of the audience tips you and then BOTH of them walk away I can' imagine a "FatHat". on the other hand If 30% of the 100 people tip you then you are probably better off.

Just my way of looking at it
Crazy people take the psycho-path thru the forest...
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