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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Help! What happens when you run out of tricks? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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danielhunley
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Here's the scenario.

You are out on a street with a large group right in front of you and you run out of tricks. The people who first began watching are still watching and you don't know what else to do. They ask for more, but you don't have it. How do get out of a situation like that with a little comedic twist?
Jack Of Hearts!
Peter Marucci
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Are you performing a set show, as in busking? If you are doing a set show, you should have routined it so that there is a beginning, a middle, and a logical closing. If you are not doing a set show, you should do the same!

"Impromptu" magic actually isn't! It's very carefully scripted to only APPEAR to be impromptu.

So-called "jazz" magic is like the musical variety: The rules have to be second nature to you before you can break them.

The problem seems to be that, although you are thinking ahead in each, individual trick, you are not thinking ahead in the whole show (and it IS a show, done in a theatre for a thousand or over coffee for one).
MagicBrent
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I do a lot of "body" magic. Check out a book called "Totally useless skills"...there's a trick in there where you have to intertwine your fingers on your face..it's a sucker trick...I'll say, "If you liked the magic show, I'd like you to smile but I'd like you to do it in a very special way" and then go into the trick...it's one I teach them too. It's a closer.
JSMagic
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If all else fails, you could do the twisting arm illusion. Requires not much skill and gets a volunteer to help... Plus it requires no props but yourself! Josh
If a magician is not intending to "trick" a spectator, why is every "trick" called a magic "trick"?
Larry Davidson
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I agree with Peter. You should be performing more than just one trick after another, --you should be performing a show with structure, and the sum should be greater than the parts.

Further, an effective street performer has to know how to get people to move on, making room for the next crowd.
suspectacts
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Daniel -
Based on your post, I'm going to guess that your frustration is one experienced by a lot of beginner buskers: You use your A material right away and this gets you a good crowd but by the time you have the crowd, you have no material.

Structure the show, so you hold back a couple of your killer effects until you have the crowd you want. Then do your B material to get the crowd you want. Also, save one thing that you only do if you need an encore. It's something that you don't want to have to perform every set, but that you know kills. I actually use the Invisable deck this way. I don't keep in my regular rep, because I'm kind of bored with it after all these years, but in a pinch it's a great encore.

Best of luck.

Peter
Mario Morris
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RUN
But don't forget your hat.
:magician:
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2002-11-29 00:21, danielhunley wrote:
Here's the scenario.

You are out on a street with a large group right in front of you and you run out of tricks. The people who first began watching are still watching and you don't know what else to do. They ask for more, but you don't have it. How do get out of a situation like that with a little comedic twist?


You have just learned several things.

First, you must have a "set" show, with an opener, a middle segment and a closer.

Use the opener to gather a crowd. Use the middle segment to get them to love you.

Then announce that you are going to do your big finish, and afterwards you are going to pass your hat. Do the big finish. Pass the hat. Let the crowd leave.

Then repeat the above.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
ROBERT BLAKE
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Learn how to create a crowd without doing magic tricks to get the crowd. this is difficult in the beginning. but when you have a crowd almost haf way through your show you get paid for half the show.

1= set up things as you table
2= talk to the people that you are going to provide them with some fun by doing a magic show. don't try to be funny just communicate with them. this way you show confidence and they get curious to see what you will be doing.
3= a classic / chalk a line on the street to make a circle or put a rope in a circle. ask the people to come up to the line. this way they know their space and they know your space. actually you get the audience together in a group.

HAVE FUN
Pete Biro
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A: learn more tricks
B: learn to dance funny
C: go home and cry
:kermit:
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
drwilson
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You can draw a crowd (Act One) by doing almost nothing. That's right! Dare to do nothing! If you do it in a focused way, you will draw a crowd.

In "Step Right Up" by Brooks McNamara, there is a tale of a pitchman who would spend twenty minutes on a corner arranging a Bible, a coil of rope, and a human skull. Once he had a crowd, he would go into his pitch, never once handling or mentioning the rope, Bible, or skull.

Act Two, as discussed above, is getting people to like you while letting them know that you are going to ask for money. Act Three, as discussed above, is the big finish and passing the hat.

Yours,

Paul
Danny Hustle
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Dan,

You are suffering from what I like to call “premature show time”. You are going into your A material too soon. The only cure for this is to slow down.

I will say it again because it is the most important thing,
the most important thing,
the most important thing.

You need to slow down.

You should not do anything other than calling attention to yourself until you have the first five. When you have the first two you need to keep them entertained and interested with anything other than your show.

Tell them a joke, twist them a balloon, show them a card trick, paint them a picture, or sing them a song but do not start your show.

When you have the first five you can start your show but the first trick should be a crowd builder. It should be something that takes enough time to build a larger crowd. It does not have to be much of a magic trick but it does have to be an entertaining crowd pleaser.

Before you reach the climax of this first trick you need to be able to do two things. Number one you need to take a quick head count. This is important because this is about how many people are going to tip. This is the money tip right here that you are looking at. Number Two If you do not have a satisfactory headcount you need to build more bodies BEFORE you climax this first trick.

A guaranteed lock on making this moment available to you during this first trick is to build in a pause just before the climax. The easy way to do this is to use a trick that this last climax will be entertaining to people who walk in at this point, the point just before the climax.

In my show I do a silk vanish and a color change that I learned from Cellini’s book “The Royal Touch”.

I vanish the silk twice according to the printed routine but just before the color change I have built in a pause. My arms drop to my sides and I ask the audience, “Are you ready to see this?” As I ask them that I make my head count. If the number is low no matter what their response is I say, “I can’t hear you are you ready to see this?”. This gets the audience to scream and getting the audience to scream will draw the attention of the people passing buy. As they scream I am looking OVER the audiences heads to the people passing by. I am looking for a group that is now looking in my general direction and I start to holler to them, “Hey, I don’t know if these people are ready to see this. Why don’t you guys/girls/guys and girls come over here and help me out. I may also toss out a funny line to them and try and engage them. I will do this until I have the proper number. When that moment has been reached I make the color change. It is visual and quick and everybody in the audience no mater when they came into the trick got to see some magic.

This is why the vanishing silk, this hoary standard is one of the best openers for a street act. It has three magical moments in it. It gives you three chances to build a crowd. The rest is up to you.

At this point you should be sitting pretty because your crowd is big enough to build a crowd. By the time you do your finale your crowd will more than likely be double the size it is at the moment you end that first trick. On average half the audience standing at the finish of the last trick will pay.

That is how you make the hat.

You should never find yourself in the position (and believe me, we ALL found ourselves in this position till we figured it out) of having a huge crowd walk over thirty seconds before your show ended.

The good news is once you have developed this technique your audience will be so big that even if a group does walk over just before you hat they will be at the back and not be able to see most of what you just did.

These people will stay for your next show and if your show requires no reset you can draw them in as your first five.

I’m sorry that this is so long but this is the hardest part and the meat and two veg of what you are trying to do. The tricks you do? No mater how delicate and knuckle busting the sleight of hand might be it is nothing when compared to the ability of controlling and maintaining a fluid audience.

These are people that walk over and can walk away at any second. No other performing venue is such that your direct and immediate paycheck (hat) depends entirely on your ability to make them stay and make them pay.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
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Oz Fan
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Say Something like dude look it's George Bush then Run make sure to grab your hat full of tips.
Blake S.
Doug Conn
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There's some GREAT tips in this thread (the last post by Danny Hustle is really good.) You'd do well to head much of the above advice.

No-one has mentioned that it's possible to do a street act without a 'formal' structure. You don't have to have a 'begining, middle and end.' If you have a large repetoire (at least 30 minutes of strong material, that resets instantly) then you can just stand there and keep pumping out the magic... leave a hat out and folks will drop cash in it. After you finish your 30 minute set, tell the folks in the front to beat it and the ones in the back to move in...

rinse repeat

you wont make as much $$$ as you would with a formal show, but it's an option (an option that can be helpful when you run into situations where you're having trouble finding a spot for a formal show.)

Regarding your question:

How do you get out of a situation like that with a little comedic twist?

Say something like:

"that's all for now... Go get a drink & come back later to watch it again.... The more you drink the more amazing it will be! ! Go ahead, I'll wait here..."
Kozmo
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Doug, good to hear from you. I'm coming to town next week. Come and see me, ok?

I have done what doug has said many times. Work it over and over, but the effects must be instant reset. No bill to lemons, see what I'm saying.

koz
AJMagicman
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Yeah...
You Know what? This is what you can do, before your last trick,announce to the crowd that "YOU" are about to do your last trick, then do the trick,and before the crowd start to leave, pass your hat around for "donations". ($$$) Smile
"Ahhh the five of clubs...the card John

Wilkes Booth was holding when shot in the leg by an Albanian Dwarf."



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Catmouth
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Nice post. Thanks for the huge post Danny Hustle. Great input from everyone.
kihei kid
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Quote:
On 2004-03-10 00:40, Bill Palmer wrote:
You have just learned several things.

First, you must have a "set" show, with an opener, a middle segment and a closer.

Use the opener to gather a crowd. Use the middle segment to get them to love you.

Then announce that you are going to do your big finish, and afterwards you are going to pass your hat. Do the big finish. Pass the hat. Let the crowd leave.

Then repeat the above.

Agreed. If then you have a few insistent stragglers hanging around let them know you will be doing an encore performance of "passing the hat."
In loving memory of Hughie Thomasson 1952-2007.

You brought something beautiful to this world, you touched my heart, my soul and my life. You will be greatly missed.

Until we meet again “my old friend”.
solrak29
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Just trudging through some of the older post as I reflect on what
I'm doing in the pitch.

Danny and Doug Conn has some really priceless gems that totally
make sense; especially, when you have been out there.
To Find Me On The Pitch, Follow me :On Twitter
Checkout my pseudo blog : The Sidewalk Performers Forum

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx
Devious
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Here's a priceless gem that ALL of the above failed to mention.

We are supposed to leave them wanting more!
Our audiences will NEVER be satiated, for mystery is without a finishline!~Devious 6/21/2012
Devious Deceptions
"Gadol Elohai!"
L'Chaim!
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