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DKmagic
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Florida Gulf Coast
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I have wanted to do a street show for a long time but didn't have the nerve to go out and do it (for a variety of reasons). After searching this board and the archives and devouring every bit of advice that resides here I have come to the conclusion that the single most important thing to do when trying to work out a great show is to develop a basic show and then... go out and do it! So, after abandoning everything that I thought I knew (which was all part of the problem), my final show comes out whittled down to Professor's Nightmare, Silk TT routine, and The Linking Rings.

I can't say it's perfect, probably needs a whole lot of work. Timing bits and gags in front of a mirror is a whole lot different than working for a live audience and long ago I learned that performing for friends and family is in no way indicative of the response a you will get from strangers.

The thing is this board contains some of the most valuable knowledge that is available to anyone wanting to be a street performer. Hey, doing a search for Danny's posts alone returns a whole master class on busking. There are probably two dozen people here who are doing this stuff every day and then sharing their knowledge with those of us who just wish we were. So to all of you, a big thanks fellas!

I decided to do my first show next Friday 3/14 after work, I guess I'll know then if my show works or not. Either way it'll be a great learning experience.

I'll let you know how it goes.

David


BTW, I thought it would be a good idea to post the date I decided on for my first show here just in case I started getting cold feet. After all the great advice I've gotten from you guys I wouldn't want to let you down. Thanks again.
ROBERT BLAKE
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David, I wish you good luck the first time on the street. pleas let us know how it went.

On the street you will learn a lot about yourself. So if it not works the first time keep at it. the more experience you get the more fun it will be. It took me 12 years to develop a show with which I have fun and make money.

Concentrate on getting the crowd. This will be the hardest thig in the beginning. Never think: "oh, I don't get them to stop". If you think that, they won't stop. Go out there with the intent to have fun. Even when it is for 3 people. This will give you confidence for the next shows. Give your show and you a chance and you will learning some things you've never dreamed about and never will learn somewhere else.

HAVE FUN ON THE STREET. Smile
Peter Marucci
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David,
Good luck!
Your "whittled down" show appears to be a good line up.
Remember, you'll never know what works on the street until you try it on the street.
So, knock 'em dead.
And keep up posted.
joseph
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Eternal Order
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Although I have never done either, I personally think street magic would be more suited for me than restaurant magic. In the street, if they are interested, they will come and watch you. In a restaurant, well, you know. Some important tips that I got off the Cafť posts are, if you have a performing area with props, don't turn your back for a second. Someone could show you a trick and make all your stuff, including your money vanish. Get permission to perform on the street, if required where you reside. Good luck! Smile
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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David, it sounds like a good line up of routines to me. How many rings is your ring routine. (I use all 8.)
Break a leg and let us know!
Best,
Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Danny Hustle
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Fat Hats DK! Sounds like you have a good solid street act.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! Iím 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.
DKmagic
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Hi guys, thanks for all the encouragement.

I think the hardest part will be getting the first couple of people to stop. That baffling little puzzle is what has kept me from even trying before -- but it looks like everyone has the same problem so I guess it's just part of the fun.

My ring routine is a modified version of Samuel Patrick Smith's "Chain Reaction" which I have found fits my personality and style really well. It uses all 8 rings, two assistants, several figures (I've always liked figures), and the entire audience participates (at least I hope they do) with the last link. The thing I love about the rings is that even after years of exposure, when performed properly, they can still be used to mystify an audience that is aware of the secret. Sometimes even more so than if they were unaware.

The whole act runs about 16 minutes for all three effects but if it's anything like other shows then it will probably wind up running a bit longer in real life.

Peter, I have followed allot of your posts on The Little Darlings and hold your opinions and advice in high regard, thanks for the encouragement. BTW, I hope you don't mind, I borrowed your Vinshield Viper Joke for a rope routine.

I'll let everyone know how it goes... in the meantime I wish you all the best.

David
Brian Proctor
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Somewhere
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Well David, It is 3-18. I assume you did your show already. And I was wondering, can you tell us how it went? Smile
Pretty please? Smile Smile

My friend and I are putting together a show for the streets. I'm just curious as to how you felt and how it played out. Smile
DKmagic
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Okay, here's the short - less gory story. (Sorry, I condensed it as much as I could. Sometimes itís hard to murder your darlings.)

First let me say that my show itself requires at least a small crowd to get started. Big mistake! Drawing a crowd can sometimes be (as I think Danny put it) a stone witch. While I am not entirely sure what that expression means I am quite sure that a stone witch would have been more effective at building a crowd.

I can't say that it was a complete failure; I learned alot. The first thing that I learned is that the worst that can happen is not that your palms get sweaty and your TT flies off (not that this happened) but that nobody will be paying enough attention to notice the TT flying through the air. The second thing I learned is that no matter how easy it seems in theory to get people interested in what you are doing, in practice itís not easy. Third, I learned that I was facing a double edged sword. It takes a great deal of confidence to go out on the street and draw a crowd. If you lack confidence then people will smell it and theyíll do everything they can to avoid you (like you are trying to sell them something that smells bad). Others will quickly pick up on this and the exact reverse of drawing a crowd will happen. Instead of a crowd attracting a crowd the absence of a crowd repels a crowd. This can cause confidence to drop, which in turn causes the cycle to repeat until you either correct the problem or give up. My lack of confidence in this situation was no surprise to me. Itís something that will improve with every attempt. The good news is, for me anyway, that the initial failure is out of the way (and taking the chance took allot of nerve) for now.

The problem with my show is that I assumed that I would be able to draw a crowd just by announcing that a magic show would be starting. Maybe it would have worked if more children had been around or something like that but I guess most adults have seen a bad magician enough times to know better. So, instead of getting bolder and more flamboyant in my barking like I should have I got quieter and more restrained. Okay well I know not to do that again. But still I need to gather a crowd for my show to work. I thought about the various methods that folks have posted here and the underlying theme is that you have to do whatever works for you. Obviously for me barking up a crowd isnít the best choice right now.

I am presently re-learning Chris Capehartís three ring routine there is a silent version that does not require any audience participation. I will go out in a week or two and put out a hat and just go about my business working the rings until I get good enough to draw a crowd. Iím going to get the Gazzo videos (got a birthday coming up!) that everybody praises so highly and learn how to do cups and balls on the street. I already do Michael Ammarís routine so I have some experience with the cups. Once I have that routine worked out Iíll start using the silent ring routine to draw a crowd and then launch into my street show. I think this will work best for me. When I was a kid in New York I used to always see a magician named Polaris performing at street fairs, he was one of the main reasons that I got into magic. The first half of his show was silent then he launched into a spoken show. It now occurs to me that he was using the silent show to draw in a crowd. Iím using him as a role model now.

Anyway it could have been worse and it could have been better. I didnít get a crowd or make a Penny but on the other hand I didnít get arrested or pelted with tomatoes. Looking back it wasnít all that bad. Actually I canít wait to try again.

Till then...

David
JamesinLA
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David,
Also get the Cellini dvd ASAP. It talks a lot about drawing a crowd and keeping etc. And it shows you experienced performers doing it. Also, the Gazzo unleashed shows Gazzo building his tip.

I'm not sure about the idea of doing a continual routine to build a crowd. I had thought of that originally myself, but later got advise against it. Would like to hear from the more experienced people on this issue.
Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
BroDavid
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Nothing teaches like "doing."

Some people think you only need to learn what to do. But learning what NOT to do is probably more important.

Once you do the street, it will either drive you indoors to a safe quiet place, or give you an instatiable taste for the action of it all.

And as they say, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger!

Congratulations on getting the tough one out of the way. The first one is the tough one.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
mplegare
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Hang in there - I agree with you about crowd drawing, but I've also found that if you just *start*, people will begin to at least slow down to work out what you're up to. And of course, the bigger the crowd is, the more people show up to see what's going on.

Um. Lemme rephrase that.

Keep working - you'll find that with more 'flight hours', the bits that work for you will work well, and you'll recognize the bits that don't work faster!

mpl
aka
tta
Matthew Legare aka Tobias the Adequate! - http://www.adequateblog.today.com - you know you want to.
Danny Hustle
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Well, First day out and you fell flat. Good on ya! I did too.

The GREAT thing is you saw exactly what happened and found a fix. What happened to you happened to me (and probably a lot of the other guys here). You have the right attitude. Most people have no idea going in that this type of a situation is a learning process. You studied it saw it for what it was and that made it easier to look at it objectively. A lot of people would just say, ďI stinkĒ and go home. It is smart that you were able to dissect it after the fact and find the holes.

A silent rings act will draw a crowd. That is a good idea.

Keep at it and soon youíll be out there printing money.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! Iím 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.
DKmagic
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The Cellini DVD is on my wish list but alas it is tax time once again so that will have to wait a couple of weeks.

I don't think that doing a continual routine will keep a crowd for very long so initially I'll just leave out the hat (I think you'd call it a trickle)and perform just for the sake of performing. I'm thinking that if I do the ring routine continually one of two things will happen; people will stop, watch and move along when they have seen enough or they won't stop at all. Either one is fine because if they stop then I can work on figuring out how to keep them watching while a crowd develops or if nobody stops then I can vary my performance until they do. So really I'm trying to use the ring routine as a lesson or practice session in crowd building rather than a complete show.
Pete Biro
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Do you wear a "costume" so you don't look like part of the crowd.

Can you play a trumpet? Juggle a little"

Mime?

Anything to just be doing something INTERESTING looking.

Have a long rope, hand end to someone, start tug of war... pull 'em in (hopefully part of a group)... TALK to them... Act silly.

Whatever it takes.

Practicing getting a crowd is more important than practicing the tricks.

Keep it up... keep us informed... WORK OFTEN AS YOU CAN. Smile
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2003-03-19 12:55, Pete Biro wrote:
... Act silly.

Smile


You know Pete, this is one of the toughest things for a lot of performers to do. There is just not enough silly in the world!

It takes serious guts and a whole lot of nerve sometimes to just get out there drop pretense and be silly!

But man, when you do people love it.

Silly Rocks! Smile

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! Iím 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.
hat trick
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Here's a tip that an ol' timer at Disney taught me in gathering a crowd. Use a prop and interact with the prop doing absolutely nothing, and that can't be understood by people passing by. For example, set-up your table, take out a piece of rope and make a semi-circle in front of the table. Take out a feather duster and dust things off. Bring out a flower pot with a single daisy in it. Hold your hands up like a movie director looking for a place to put the flower pot. Set the pot down on the ground. Stand back and look, then move it somewhere else, etc., etc. Think sight gags! or as Pete and Danny say, "act silly".
Pete Biro
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Good advice. I worked on the street at Disneyland one time... and I just started doing the linking rings and people stopped. It was too easy there... the only critique I got from the "inspection team" at Disney is that I did too many shows per hour... I should have taken breaks like the other performers.

Nuts... I was having too much fun performing.

Smile
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
DKmagic
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Man, everyone has added such great advice here, thanks.

The thing about being silly is that it's another one of those things that you just have to do, it's hard to practice. Funny how allot of things in this art work out that way, you just kind of have to do them successfully and then figure out how you did it because the opposite usually doesn't work. Lucky for me I have no dearth of silliness and find that it comes quite naturally... when I let loose!

I love the Disney Parks and try to visit Disney World several times a year; I am always impressed by the quality of Disney showmanship. Doing a street show in Disneyland must have been great Pete.

Anybody have any ideas on how to get a couple quarts of silly into a silent linking rings routine?


Oops my time is up...

David


:banana: Smile Now these guys are silly! Smile Smile
Pete Biro
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Sure .... hold rings up in front of your face and walk around looking at people and make funny faces...

Walk up to someone and put all the rings over their head (don't worry about the secret).

Throw one ring to someone and ask them to bring it back to you.

Now you think of three funny things and get back to us. Smile
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
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