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Harry Murphy
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ME??!! I’m just a Chihuahua! No uproar here!

You have to do what works for you. No question there! My point was really more a complement; I simply don’t have the brass for IT work on the streets.

I do have several acts built, rehearsed, and tried over the years. I can and do play any one of them. However, I must confess when I am working, I tend to do the same thing over and over and over again. I tend to play to as big a crowd as I can draw and find I usually will start the body of the act with 50 or so people. I expect about half to feed the hat. Ten to twelve minutes later I am starting it all over again.

As I grow older (and I am as old as mud!) I find that I play the streets less and less. However, I am booked as a “street performer” (and get to pass the hat on top of the meager salary I am given) at a number of arts and crafts festivals and small town fairs. Not as pure as Cellini, Gazzo, Danny Hustle, or Kozmo but it puts me out there.

By the way, I spent a weekend in the El Paso lock-up (city jail) back in the late 60’s for performing the Three Card Monte for entertainment (it was part of a street act and my first weeks on the street) after a University of Texas at EL Paso football game. The cops wouldn’t listen but lucky for me, the judge did. I just had to show him a full act that didn’t include any cards to prove that I was a magician and not a hustler. Saturday PM to Monday AM was enough for me to never include that gambit in any street act I do! I learn slowly, but I learn!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Brady
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Los Angeles, CA
235 Posts

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Danny,

There is no disrespect meant. If Ted took it that way, my apologies.

I am under the impression that we are all friends here tossing around our ideas and experience. I don't think Ted and I are that far apart in our opinions. In fact we are pretty much in agreement. I think if you re-read our posts to one another you will see that.

Regards,

Brady
Whit Haydn
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Hi, Brady:

That is a horse of a different color. If you are sponsored, three-card monte is fine. Having patronage makes all the difference in things like the monte, shell game, and pickpocketing. We've talked about this on other threads.

But it still may be good to mention it so that some beginning street performer doesn't get a wrong idea that could cause him/her trouble later. Showing a monte exhibition, or stealing a watch without a sponsor is very dangerous. Excuses like "I was just doing a magic show, not taking anyone's money" will sometimes play in court, but in the meantime there is jail, busted-up equipment, and sometimes some "hard traveling."

Yes, I will be lecturing in Irvine in May. Look forward to seeing you.

No, there is nothing wrong with having a number of polished sets. I think Danny and I were reacting more to a perceived dis of Koz, whose advice was well-meant and solid.

What he said is something I have often heard from Billy McComb as well. It is best to have all your acts as practical for as many different venues as possible.

McComb has six half-hour shows that fit into one briefcase and can be done nearly surrounded, seen from a large stage, and all the effects have very little reset.

This is the direction a pro would be wise to head toward. The less you have to carry, to think about, to reset, to replace, to find, etc.--the better. Especially as you get older.

I generally don't work (really never) on any say, close-up effects that can't be: instantly reset, carried in the pocket, done surrounded, done standing up, done without a table, done for both adults and children, and performable under any available lighting conditions.

I have similar rules for stage and platform magic. If the trick doesn't fit, I don't even bother to learn it.

Koz was hinting more at this way of thinking, not knocking you for doing the thread trick outdoors, just suggesting that time can be better spent working on stuff that is practical in more venues. His was the truly practical advice of an "old timer."

All the best.
Kozmo
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Smile

Ok.... I love you too Whit!!!

koz
Whit Haydn
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Ted, Ted, Ted:

Please, not in public, Kozmo.

;)
Brady
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Hi Whit,

I think we are in pretty much agreement. I would never show up at Venice Beach or Santa Monica pier and whip out two aces and a queen, and would agree with you that no one else should do it either. My only point in mentioning the monte was as an example of a second show I have ready to go if the right time and circumstances show up.

I think that most of us have seen so much bad, unrehearsed, thrown together sets that we tend to swing the pendulum far the other way. I know I did for a number of years. But now as the grey hairs start to show, I am not so worried about the number of effects I can do as I am about how the audience receives them. So, the things I support and harp on is extensive rehearsal, actual routining (rather than picking tricks off a shelf and calling it a routine), and testing effects and patter before a live audience prior to taking someones money for the performance (if something doesn't work or is out of place, I don't want to find out for the first time in front of a client who is writting me a check, it's not fair to him).

Thanks again for your remarks, I do find them of value.

See you in May!

Regards,

Brady

P.S. If you ever get the urge to talk philosophy or theology, I would be interested in your thoughts there too.
ROBERT BLAKE
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My favourite street magic tricks are those that can enhance my personality and give people a great time. For me street magic is human interest. I like people and if they like me it doesn't matter what I do (only how I do it. So they get a great experience and go home with a smile).
Kozmo
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Enhance your personality?......what if you're an *****?....Smile

koz
lithis
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I usually carry Color Monte, a pen-through, S&S, Jealous Jacks (packet effect I made up), and a deck.
TheNightBringer89
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My Favorite is the Pro PK kit, (and maybe the elevator, we'll see when it gets here) Smile
"Dreams are born of imagination, fed upon illusions, and put to death by reality."

It doesn't matter if you're right or wrong,
If you're not like the others then you don't belong.
Patrick McKeever
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Ted,
You are working the streets in the quarter? I was in N.O. Not long ago and was told that the city fathers were clamping down on street performers. So, what's the skinny? I always loved the Quarter for the street acts. I met Cellini there 20 years ago.

When I first met Rocherbaumer (30 years ago), he was married to my first wife's first cousin. I was a young oil field diver and not involved in magic. Somebody told me he wrote magic books. I couldn't fathom what they were talking about. A few years later, I was bit by the bug, hauling a sea bag full of magic books and cards to the North Sea. When I moved back to the Gulf, I made a beeline to Roc's house in Metarie. We have been good friends ever since.

Today, at the ripe old age of 59, I still have a yen to do a street act. Can't be any scarier than diving in 900 feet of water.
Danny Hustle
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Hi Mr. McKeever,

Ted is on the road at the moment but from what I understand through the grapevine N.O. has calmed down a bit about the buskers. There was evidently a change in local power and the new guys always want to clean the Quarter up. They made a few arrests, tore the benches out of Jackson Square, and drove out some of the more undesirable element.

Things have calmed down in the past month or so and I have several friends who worked recently and had no trouble. If you are polite to the local storeowners and the tourists you should have no problem.

As far as it not being any scarier than working an oilrig I think you are probably right. I had a family friend who worked rigs on the gulf running the “monkey boards” when he was young. Even at 75 when I knew him he was still one of the most physically imposing guys I’ve ever seen and could still tear a phone book in half.

Yeah, street performing is less scary than guys like uncle Romi. So I would imagine it would be a lot less scary that the jobs you guys did. I bet you have some great stories sir.

I say go for it. It’s some of the best fun you can have with all your clothes on in the good weather. I think you’ll have a ball.

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.
Patrick McKeever
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Thanks Danny for the encouragement. But, please, Mr. McKeever is a bit formal for a salty ol coon like myself.

I had the pleasure of Jim Cellini's company yesterday evening. I arranged a get together with some friends at Doc Seaton's house in Plumb Creek (near Austin)

We just sat around swapping stories. Jim did most of the talking as we were all facinated with his life in magic. We both grew up in orphanages and I did get his attention with my first experience at street busking. My parents were both blind but my father got the notion that he was a traveling man when I was about 2 1/2 years old. We hitch hiked from N.Y. to California then down to Mexico and when we were coming back up through Texas, I got captured by the authorities and tossed into an orpanage in Waco, Texas. En route they would tie a rope around my waist and hang on to the other end and I would go in a crowd and beg money. when the Home got hold of me they immediately put my skills to work hustleing money from various Methodist churches which sponsored the Home. Apparently I was a great act until I turned 5 and became somewhat rascally. I think Jim was delighted with the story.

I mentioned a few names on the Café to Jim and he spoke well of all. He tells me you are the genuine article. Working street corners (which is Jim's definition of Street performing)

Again, Thanks. Patrick
Danny Hustle
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You know Patrick, that's just about the best compliment I've ever been given. Thank you so much for passing that along. Jim has been a great teacher. My only wish has been to measure up as a student.

Thanks again,

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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Ok. First post... Howdy! Matthew Legare here, magic hack and RenRat for <coughcough> years, only recently discovered that through the application of arcane knowledge, one can convince people to give one money for being amusing...

That convoluted introduction out of the way...

For wandering around, my fave is still Color Monte, which I use to 'splain how it cost me $14 to learn this trick from a guy in New York City... although, and this may be a 'deep dark secret' sort of confession... my ultimate favorite is two D'Lites and that 'light up ears' gimmick that was being sold for a while, and here's why:

The company I was working for had a private party in the Dickens Fair site for a company called Monster Cable. We never did work out what the heck this company was, because of the 300 or so people who attented, only three or four spoke English! This meant no snappy patter, no witty banter (in short, I was minus 80% of my act!) So I slipped the ear thingy on, taped the control to my left hand, stuck on the D'Lites and started walking around... catch an spectator's eye, flash an ear... if they noticed, 'pull' the light out with my hand, toss the light around, throw it into my head, bonk it over to the other ear, sneeze it out, grin, bow, take a little applause and get the heck outta dodge.

Granted, this was definately an 'unusual circumstances' situation: Indoors on the Dickens Fair site for a private party, but it you're working an evening gig, dusk, or just somewhere dimly lit, it does seem to work well.

mpl
aka Tobias the Adequate
Matthew Legare aka Tobias the Adequate! - http://www.adequateblog.today.com - you know you want to.
Bone
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DRAGON THREAD + BRAHMO THREAD MYSTERY routine is my favorite. Mysterous, real, Clear and Clean, No Sleight of hands.

I used to enjoy with Invisible deck. Now with cards, 2CARDMONTE's the best. Easy to do, fast, can be surrounded, great reactions from people. Smile

Bone.
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Patrick McKeever
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Some of you workers let me know what you think. To me, sponge balls are great magic. I have done a Benson Bowl routine for some time, now, when I can sit down. I use a hat much as Don Allen does and end up with a large load.

I figured that sponge balls would be out of the question outside if you wanted to set them down, for even the shortest duration.

I was watching a guy do the sponge bunnies with the new 3D bunnies, and I noticed how flat they lay on the table because of their flat bottom. It came to me. Why not use square sponge balls? They might blow away with a gust of wind but generally, it seems they would do ok on the street.

So, what do you think? By the way I won't be sitting down.
magicsoup
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A three-phase Ring and String Routine is my favorite to do. I get two people from the audience involved and have developed what I think is really good patter for this.

I have never seen two card monte but have read many good things on this forum. I think it would really fit my character, could anyone let me know where I could learn it? Is it a marketed trick or in a book or video?

Thanks
Mago Mai
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I just love Whit Hayden's Mongolian Pop Knot.

Very nice for ending.

Mago Mai
I invite all of you to share some of my magic on videos.Please, CLICK HERE
Tony Chapparo
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Albuquerque, NM
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Patrick,

I like your idea of using square sponge balls.

I think you should go for it!

Sponge balls is one of the strongest effects I can think of for lay people.

If the wind is too strong you can always leave them in your pockets and do something else.

That's another thing I love about them... they don't take up much room in the pockets.

Best of luck
Tony Chapparo
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