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

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Jim Wilder
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Quote:
On 2006-08-02 19:45, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
I am interested to know at what point a bad busker becomes a begger.


OK... that's enough. Furthermore, if you don't know, I don't know that anyone can explain it you. But I'll try: A busker is a busker and a beggar is a beggar. There is no metamorphosis or blur. End of story.
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2006-08-01 17:40, Bill Palmer wrote:
The man who approaches people, does a couple of card tricks and then begs for a handout "because he hasn't eaten today" is the magical equivalent of the fellow on the streetcorner with a squeegee and a bucket.




Wouldn't it suck to have an epiphany, by which you create the world's greatest street magic effect, and it used a squeegee and a bucket?
~michael baker
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Steve V
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There are beggers (note, my brother is homeless and is one of those beggers) who will pretend to be street performers. You'll find them around Boston beating on garbage cans and trying to intimidate 'tips' out of people. In Santa Cruz, near where I live, the whacko city council had to ban street performers while at the same time the store owners wanted to pick the street performers. Problem was the talented people made folks happy and attracted visitors. The phonies, the beggers with buckets, would chase off the talent and the end result was a bunch of noise and problems. Because of these beggers the performers lost a great place to perform. The difference between the two is the same as the difference between a begger and a banker, the only thing simular is both beggers and performers are doing their thing on the street.
Steve V
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2006-08-02 19:53, Jim Wilder wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-08-02 19:45, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
I am interested to know at what point a bad busker becomes a begger.


OK... that's enough. Furthermore, if you don't know, I don't know that anyone can explain it you. But I'll try: A busker is a busker and a beggar is a beggar. There is no metamorphosis or blur. End of story.


That pretty much says it. Not sure why all the confussion Nick.

You go see some bad performers and paint with a broad brush. How about I have seen some horrible magicians, all doing tricks all from Australia, all like to look smart and try to disguise some agenda behind " I am asking questions ", what is the difference in them and you?

I am just asking mind you. Not trying to create offense.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Danny Hustle
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Nick,

You are asking the same questions over and over again, ad nauseum. We have ALL answered your question several times in several different ways. You either choose to ignore what we have said or are too obtuse to understand. I really do not know how we can help you by finding yet another way to answer your same question.

There are beggars who pretend to be the president of the united states. This does not make them the commander and chief.

Good luck to you with your quest for placing labels.

Best,

Dan-
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NJJ
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The attacks on me and my style of argument don't really answer the questions. Nor does the answer "a busker is a busker and a begger is a begger".

Feel free to attack me if you wish, but perhaps you might like to do it via PM so those who would like to contribute to the discussion can continue to do so.

DannyDoyle - the difference between the magicians you listed and myself is that they all like to look smart and trying to disguise an agenda whereas I am a merely a horrible magician performing in Australia.
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2006-08-03 18:38, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
Feel free to attack me if you wish, but perhaps you might like to do it via PM so those who would like to contribute to the discussion can continue to do so.



No one has attacked you. Again, you are failing to see the forest through the trees. That Nick, is your problem, not ours. We answered all of your questions. Trying to turn that into something it isn't appears to once again to be a feeble attempt at getting a rise. Enjoy, just don't expect too many of us here to fall for your not so cunning ruse.

You might have better luck in the little darlings section. They always seem to fall for that stuff.

Best of luck to you and your little home under the bridge.

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
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
Tony Iacoviello
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As I see it, the question was asked and answered. Repeatedly asking the same question will not change the answers you will get.

A busker is an entertainer performing for tips.
A begger (for lack of a better term) is a person asking for money with no real service provided in turn.

There is a little in common between the two:
Both terms beegin with "B"
Both terms end in "ER"
Both terms have six letters.
(So one answer might be, when "USK" turns into "EGG")

Another commonality is that both may be on the streets
Then again, so are food vendors, street cleaners, and police.
(So one can also ask; When does a busker turn into a policeman?)


I hope the first part, the serious part answers your question. If not, perhaps the sill part at the end will.

To be quite honest, although I am sure the question was well intended, it is insulting! The performers on this forum who persue busking, bring entertainment to the public, people who would not have the opportunity to see this type of entertainment anywhere else. Most of these people are talented professional who could work in any venue they choose, but they enjoy the unique challenges and and they joy associated with this venue.

Can we bring this thread to an end ?

Tony
The Mighty Fool
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This discussion sounds eerily familiar....except in the place of "beggar" was the word "street-magician". (and with the esteemed trio of Hustle, Palmer & Baker throwing opinions around, I'm amazed the comparrison hasnt been made!) Overall, I'd agree with Danny's side of the argument....a busker is NOT a beggar or even similar. There are all sorts of professions / people who ask for donations...are the people on the Ceraebral Palsy telethon beggars? What about the guy playing piano in a bar? No one HAS to tip a waiter, but the waiter uses every trick & manuver in his experience to get you to do so.

Now, here's a little twist on this subject.....

We all hate bums & beggars, (or at least, everyone in this thread seems to), annoying, drag on society, etc. etc.. Now remember, the first phase of magic is (as that upcoming movie says) "the pledge" & "the turn"....presenting something innocuos or ordinary, and then making it do something EXTRORDINARY. Who's to say this formula can't be taken to the human level? Imagine a bum on the street runaging through the trash....he extracts a crushed empty soda can, and does the healed&sealed manuver! Or pulls out a piece of white wastepaper, considers it a momment, then twists it into the shape of a rose, makes the rose float, then ignites it, and is left with a real rose which he gives to one of the open-jawed witnesses. A busker does good & impressive magic PREDICTABLY, it's obvious that he does what he does professionaly. Can you imagine the utter ASTONISHMENT people would have at an apparently worthless bum doing incredible magic? The idea of magic is taling someone's perceptions of reality & twisting them....in the afeormentioned scenario, you'd be doing it on a grander scale.

And don't scoff.....I've tried this & it works....profitably.
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
NJJ
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Quote:
On 2006-08-04 00:33, Tony Iacoviello wrote:
A busker is an entertainer performing for tips.
A begger (for lack of a better term) is a person asking for money with no real service provided in turn.




This is the crux of the discussion.

There seems to be a class of beggers, such as those mentioned by Steve V, who perform in some very percussory so as to call themselves a busker and give the high quality and professional performers a bad name. Just as in children's entertainment in my city, there is a class of 'performer' who buy a colouring book and call themselves as a magician.

And as Danny Hustle pointed out "beggars who pretend to be the president of the united states. This does not make them the commander and chief. "

But what I want to discuss is, who chooses what is a worthwhile or quality or real entertainment?

The man of stilts was a good stiltwalker but lowered himself to the position of begger in my opinion by the way in which he soliciated donations from people in the street. Just as the compitent card magician who guilted his audience into giving money became a begger in my eyes.

I've seen many vague criterium cited but no definitive answer. If there is one that I have missed. please point in out to me.
Steve V
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Unfortunately, and I know that some street performers hate this, but it is often the management of a district or the shop owners that decide what or who they want entertaining in the area. There are some street performers that are absolutely amazing but they really don't have a venue other than a few comedy clubs to work. They are not at all beggers, some make well over $100k a year (not magicians but guys like that black kid who plays violin at Fanual Hall, some magicians make very good money though on the street). Then you have the beggers who realize that while some people won't give a dime to a guy with a 'will work for food' sign they will if the begger at least is acting like he is doing something. A good example of this was when I went to a hockey game in San Jose a homeless guy in an old clown suit with lipstick on his nose staggered around with a lil' leap every so often then demanded to be paid for 'the show'. He wasn't a street performer.
Steve V
Bill Nuvo
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The hatred for beggers and bums could stem from the fact of being related to them. And as performers we want to distance ourselves from that image. So I think it is important that others read this post in the understanding of what constitutes a busker and what is begging.

I think what Nicholas is trying to get at, is that there are a lot more examples out there of what is not a busker.

So now the questions arises....

What can we do as performers/buskers to help the general public understand the difference?

How often do buskers cross that line into "beggerdom".

Have you ever been treated as a begger (whether it was warranted or not)?
Bill Palmer
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When I first started at the Renaissance Festival, it took me a while to get used to the idea that there was a difference between busking and begging. My previous background and my family history involved people who were concert performers and/or performers who worked in night clubs. Asking for tips in situations like that was considered crude and low-class. It took me a while to overcome my initial antipathy for asking for money in my hat.

But after a few weekends of Renaissance Festival work, and getting an act together that people really liked, I began to understand the difference. And it affected my hat in a positive way.

I have NEVER been treated as a beggar.

Some have mentioned having relatives that are beggars or street people. This is a very sad situation. Before he became famous, I met Louie Anderson. Louie is a very nice man. He has mentioned what I'm about to tell you several times on national television. He has a brother who is on the streets. Some of his friends in the business tell him this is a disgrace and that he should do something for him. What can he do that he hasn't already done? He gave his brother a house. His brother can live there without it costing him a dime. He doesn't want to. He prefers what he is doing.

It's hard to believe, but there are people like that.
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Bill Nuvo
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I have never been treated as a begger per say, but felt like one a while back when I was working at a so-called festival for busking put on by a casino. What basically happened is that it wasn't a festival at all and we were left to do busking on sidewalks next to the bums and beggers around the area (and the sidewalks were not wide at all). And there was the issue of the Casino not paying out any money as per contract.

I admit I playfully crossed that line into being a begger once just for fun. I just wanted to see what would really happened. I wanted to see if I was working too hard for the money as it were. I found out really quickly the differences (financial, ethical and moral). I sure as heck didn't feel good about taking some person's money for nothing. My self worth went down straight away. Busking/performing (even bad performing/busking) is better than begging.
Danny Hustle
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Quote:

Have you ever been treated as a begger (whether it was warranted or not)?


Yes, when I was working as a computer network engineer and making a six figure income. My employers treated me like a beggar every single day.

Anyone who sees my show and calls me a bum is either an alcoholic, an idiot, or a combination of the two. Response or thought is not required.

You guys are taking a long walk down the wrong path. A guy with a dirty rag and a spray bottle at the street light does not run an "auto detailing business" regardless of what he might tell you. Anyone who needs to ponder this question or feels the need to "change the publics opinion" needs to do nothing more than provide a service that is worthy of respect.

Trust me when I say this because it is 100% accurate. The publics opinion of street performers is MUCH higher than it is of children's entertainers. 100% of my customers approach me after a children's show and say the same thing, "I can not believe how good you were! We had magicians x, y, and z, in the past and they were awful! We thought that all children's entertainers were awful and that was what you did when you could not be a 'good' magician." I hear a paraphrase of this at every show I do. It is sad, sad, sad. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of children's entertainers in my area who are deserving of the fee they charge. There are hundreds in my area who are charging top dollar for horrible, horrible, performances.

When people see a street performer in this area they not only expect but demand that he or she be excellent. If they are not they do not get paid, with the exception of bucket drummers. For some reason when the homeless guy pulls out his pickle bucket and plays that disjointed staccato people throw them a lot of money. And they kill any pitch within a one block radius for other performers.

I don't hate bums, I hate bucket drummers, and vendors.

Maybe it is different in Europe, but here people do not pay admission for mediocrity on the street. Bums would not be able to survive unless of course they have a pickle barrel and a set of drum sticks.

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
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
Tony Iacoviello
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Pickle bucket, huh?
They throw lots of money?
Thanks for the tip! Smile

Tony
ed rhodes
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Quote:
On 2006-08-04 23:27, Tony Iacoviello wrote:
Pickle bucket, huh?
They throw lots of money?
Thanks for the tip! Smile

Tony


No, a pickle <barrel!> <I> use a pickle bucket (a plastic one with "MAGIC" painted on it) and the one time I've been able to perform so far, they didn't throw a lot of money! Smile
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NJJ
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Did they throw pickles?
Tom Frank
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Interesting discussion and a good question. It's not so much what we as performers think the difference is, it's what the paying audience thinks and feels. I have wondered myself why the "public" perception can be that way.

The way I will try and answer that question is by asking my audiences. In my never ending attempt to connect with my audiences, lately; I have taken to involving them in brief discussions about a variety of topics. This seems like a good one.

Perhaps, if you like, I can share the results.

Tom

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cfrye
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Quote:
On 2006-08-04 02:26, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:But what I want to discuss is, who chooses what is a worthwhile or quality or real entertainment?


Everyone and no one. There's no possible answer to this question, so the discussion will keep going in circles.


Curt
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