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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Mentalism on the Street (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

peng
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Malaysia
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I am having my first street performance soon. However I just found out that another magician (someone I dislike, honestly) is performing at the same venue. He does tricks like Card Transposition, Coin Across, Matrix, etc. He always say "These are just tricks. Buy my stuff and you can learn too" Therefore I find it important for me to clearly differentiate myself. I believe Mentalism effects may be a good option, including mind reading, clairvoyance, psychokinetic, etc.

My doubt is, other than psychokinetic effects, most my mentalism effects are verbose and not so visual. Would Mentalism work on the street?

I am worried that in the dynamic street environment, people come and go too quickly. Mentalism-oriented effects might not be catchy enough to get audience.

Does anybody have experience with Mentalism on the street? Can you please share?

Thanks
Peng
BroDavid
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I think you have hit the issues on the head. So the real question is, "How can you shape the mentalism effect to work best on the Street?"

In my opinion, there are three steps to a street act; Gather, Hold them, and finally - Fry them. (Note this doesn't mean that you don't collect from them - but that expectation should be woven throughout.)

So you may find that mentalism in some form works better in the middle as you have already gathered and are now performing while holding their interest.

But no matter where you put it, I think you need to make your mentalism hit hard, move fast, and be amazing.

I think you can build the picture with well crafted words and may not need it to be so visual at the beginning, as long as you can create a good enough picture to maintain interest, and then have a visibly provable (and amazing) result.

I don't do mentalism, but what I described really applies to most magic, and since nobody else has responded yet, I am comfortable offering it.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Kozmo
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Everything works, or at least can work. It's not the trick, it's you. If you can entertain them then most will stay. Not all, but most. Mentalism works. Zip code man--has anyone seen him? Amazing act. It takes a little time for him to actually get to the effect but he entertains them until he gets there.

koz
Jim Davis
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Koz, you hit it on the head. I have seen good performers, I have seen bad performers. It's all based on your own personality. If you have an charismatic personality they will stay. Liking or hating you is a different story. Just be entertaining.
Diamond Jim Davis "The Cardslinger" ~~~ Magic from the '80's....................the 1880's!
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noumena
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Orange County, CA
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Peng,
I would not call myself a street magician in the classical sense by any degree, although I do perform on the street as well as the local coffee shops and a great deal of what I perform on the street is mentalism. There is one effect my roomate invented (although he does not perform it) called Pyro-Perception. This effect gets the best reactions I have ever seen and can be performed as a mentalism effect. We showed it to Michael Webber and he loved it. Both Gregory Wilson and Loren C. Michaels are going to do a tech in video, as well as myself to be sold with the effect. It will be sold through Magic City beggining in Jan/Feb. You can see me perfom it on my web site. Other effects I like to perform are PK Time, some center tear work (I think the revelation Blaine uses is very visual and eye catching). I love to do fork and spoon bending as well. The thought transmiter is a great tool as well, its just up to your creativity to perform a great revelation. I could go on, so if you want more info email me.

Brandon Cross
peng
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Thanks for all the help! The show is on tonight. I am doing only 6 effects -- from ESP to spoon bending -- in 20 minutes. So people can pay and leave. Smile

Glad to know mentalism can work on the street. It's going to be exciting.
Peng
Danny Hustle
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Hi Peng,

Six effects and 20 minutes is a very nice length for a street show. Almost any trick can be done on the street if framed properly. The general rule of thumb is that you should use effects that you feel very comfortable with and fit your character.

The toughest part of street performing is the wild difference from any other type of audience. The basic skeleton is: get them to stop, get them to stay, and get them to pay.

Jim Cellini has a very good video on doing just this. It is not magic specific but geared to any street performer wanting to know how to build an audience. It is called “The Art of Street Performing”. I think you would find it very helpful, I know it was the hardest part for me when I first hit the bricks.

Good luck with your show!

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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Scott Xavier
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Its tough to portray a great character in 2-5 minutes that you have for street performances. Expect crowds, angles will be a problem! Find some good tricks that are readily available with little or no setup.
Pokie-Poke
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Hay Peng, how did it go? Any new advice for mentalism on the street?

Dr_Zodiac, I've herd of "short but sweet". but a show in 2 to 5 min. !?
www.pokie-poke.com
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peng
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The show is done. Mentalism works on the street. I drew about the same crowd as the magic dealer who is doing assorted tricks not far away.

I did mind reading with ESP cards and playing cards. I performed my spoon bending routine and Luke Jermay's pulse stopping act. I believe the performer's "radiation of energy" can be more important than the effects themselves. I always believe in my charisma (don't throw eggs at me)

It turned out better than I expected. Now I am 120% confident.
Peng
JamesinLA
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Wow! Congratulations, Peng. Way to go. I was hoping you'd report back on how it went. How long did you perform? How many shows? How long did your show run?
Jim
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Eight Spades
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I've been doing mentalism on the street for almost 2 years and it's always been a success. The big thing is that it matters how you present it. Take it seriously and they will too, but don't cast a dark shadow on the show.

-Christian
"Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained." -S.H. Sharpe
peng
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I did well. I performed from 10pm to 2am. Judging from the reactions, I had been quite entertaining.

The best reactions, in my opinion, were not the laughing and screaming. A gentlemen held a bent spoon in his hands and asked me, "Is this still magic? I mean, is this still... tricks?"

When performing For Andruzzi, I stopped my own pulse. Then I wanted to demonstrate stopping somebody else's pulse. Most of the times, people would look frightened (I couldn't blame them). Yet, they stayed and watched. The gentleman volunteered. While walking up, he said to his family, "Be ready to call an ambulance."

I took that as a compliment. I must have achieved a certain level of conviction.

You know what the worst part of the show was? Collecting donation. My skill for that part, if any, sucked.
Peng
Danny Hustle
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keep at it peng! It sounds like you are on the right track and you had fun! That is the most important part. Everyone has a good
time. The money will come in time.
Welcome to the brotherhood of busking.

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.
mplegare
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Forest Grove, Oregon
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About the 'hat' part of the act... I found that if I added something, my 'hat' actually increased:

"... if you can afford to do so, a donation would be greatly appreciated - but if you cannot, and I understand the way things are these days - come up anyway, ask for a card, shake my hand, ask to steal one of my jokes (I'm not proud)..."

More folks came up and donated when I said that, for some reason. I also got to offload a LOT more business cards, which couldn't hurt when it comes to staying in people's minds for the next time they want a magician.

mpl
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magicsoup
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I've heard of stopping your own pulse but not someone elses. It sounds cool. Glad you had a good time! I find that the best way to get a good hat is to be blunt. Not rude, blunt. The advice from mplegare is really good but don't be shy about the hat. It is nothing to be ashamed about so why be shy about it? Also, always smile a lot when doing your hat pitch.
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Peng, you've inspired me.

I've been doing strolling mentalism for a long time, but was unsure of doing it in a busking environment.

Now I simply must give it a shot.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
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