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The Magic Cafe Forum Index ŧ ŧ Finger/stage manipulation ŧ ŧ What are your feelings about stage type street manipulations? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

jimmy talksalot
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I am working here in barcelona with some of the greatest silent street manipulators in the world.

when these guys get booked in doors in a theater they blow the doors off.

iīm talking cards balls cigerettes animals the whole nine...things you wouldnīt imagine.

the equipment they are using is not only the the best on the market but the most durable.

the tuffest thing to manipulating on the street is angles, on the stage itīs almost one dimentional but on the street you are surrounded.

many try and find a wall to work infront of, but the people watching actually are trying to stand behind you the whole time to catch you and get out of tipping you.

I find it difficult to believe that there is so little interest in street manipulation on this paticular thread, considering it is like the mt. everest of manipulation.

have any of you indoor or stage guys tryed it and how was the responce?

I have a buddy who is a well known performer who thought he would come out and be an instant success but found that that he actually had to have more skill out there then on the stage. the reason is that the poeple in the theater already paid and are seated they will be more patient if the show drags a little but the spectator on the street figures it better be good or they are walking.


any way just was wondering if any body had any thoughts on street manipulation.
magic4u02
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I have done manipulation on the street and in the theater and I will tell you Ai learned a LOT by doing it on the street and in my festival strolling gis. a LOT. When I started, I did not realize how hard it would be to adapt what I do for outside and the angles but man you learn real quick as there are things you have to deal with on the fly that you never have to think about on the stage. It is a great learning experience for sure.

Kyle
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Jaz
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Maybe having "more skill" when surrounded is not the solution.
Certainly watching angles and choregraphing movement would be a must do.
Keeping things close to the breast is a little cozy but something that would be necessary. If surrounded, you would have to turn and face them so they could see at least some of the magic.
Props like cigarettes, balls and other palm sized props shouldn't be a major problem.
magic4u02
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It is not so much haviong kore skill as it is having more awareness. You really just have to think of so much more then you do when on a stage. You have to be alaert and aware of surroundings constantly and then adapt to the situation. you have to learn when not to do a move and when you can get away with it.

Kyle
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jimmy talksalot
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When I said skill I didnīt just mean with fingers, I meant awareness of the eyes of the people amd moving to adjust and keeping things closer to a breast, keeping your hands closed a little more and all the things yáll mentioned and the millions of other things necassary.

iīm sorry I should be more clear when I write.

I just consider this all skill.

this stuff is every day for me as I work and create new routines condusive to the street. I love the chalenge it is very exciting for me.

I notice sometimes when I go back to indoor venues with stages set wrong, off center or in the middle or whet ever, or where I have to work on the floor or up on a stage proper, itīs so much easier and the street had fixed the problems of working there in the past.

the streets are great I get payed to practice and perfect my work. so I have been doing manipulation on the street now for some years as my sole income (it is my real job) and it has givin me the chance to get better then when I worked indoors, before I had bad chops. this has become a surprise to me when my friends here and on the road who manipulate told me they like my manips.

here in barcelona itīs incredible there are many magicians who love parlor and stage manipulation and do it on the street also. when we hang out I tell them this and they agree that every where else itīs always close up card guys.

it is so cool when they pull out cards full of zinc oxide or julian chens cards or many other interesting cards instead of those poker bikes.

everyone knows how to do close up and we may do one or two in the bar, but itīs manipulation that has our attention. I have never been to place where this happens.
jimmy talksalot
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Also many of us talk about bringing a very tuff and very portable back drop, crurved would be perfect.

the problem with these back drops is they are either too heavy and bulky or they are to lite and blow away in the middl of your performance.

the tradition on the street when manipulating is to find a business door way incave and work it with your back inside it like a mini stage with back cover. this is why some of us are called door way acts.
magic4u02
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Exactly. Plus to me, it was just impractical to even attempt to bring a backdrop and set it up for an outside performance. Just the sheer notion of wind and mobility of travel prevented this from being a feasible idea. To me it really became a combination of both awareness and adaptability.

Kyle
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jimmy talksalot
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"awareness and adaptability"

thatīs one of the things I meant by skill definately.

"awareness and adaptability" and that really hits the nail on the head about street performering manips.


it is my hopes that stage and parlor size manipulation will hit the same levels as close up card tricks have in magic.

I would like to see how far and how much can be created.

itīs to the point of upsurdity when you think about how many close up card tricks there are.

I would love to see parlor manip reach a level that would really bring magic back to where it was in the haydays of vaudville.
acephale
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I didn't even think of manip on the street until I saw the video of George doing card manips on youtube. Blew me away, even though I knew Sheridan did it, well, he's Sheridan you know? Ever since I've been working at it. I think doing manipulation routines are the closest magic comes to surrealism.
magic4u02
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I have done it quite a lot, but as we have been discussing, I have had to adapt a lot of what I do and learn about angles and how to have it closer to my body. Finding different ways in which to cover things better and body placement.

I love manipulative magic as it is one of the first thing I really studied for years and then did contest acts based off of. It taught me a lot and I still love doing it. It is just a different animal when presented on the street.

When I do present either cards or billiards balls on the street it grabs a huge attention cause of the fact it is so visual in nature. I can gather a crowd fairly easily just by doing a manip sequence.

Kyle
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jimmy talksalot
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Those who donīt manipulate have a hard time understanding this.

this is the basis of my concept, "to lure with spectacle." I beleive that manipulation is powerful enough to stop people I also believe that certain magic effects are strong enough to stop people.

this may seem obvious to those who are used to manipulating, but there are a certain number of street performers who would disagree with this and they feel, the less magic in the magic show the better.

after I have captured the attention of the surrounding area I have a method to bring them all in where I drop a coin on the ground and tell them if they want to see the next trick they will need to come in because the coins very small and they all rush in.

in fact one time one of the above mentioned skeptical buskers was watching me manipulate and told me that no one was watching and that I shouldnīt wast my time with manipulation, then I dropped the coin and made my call and a huge flock of people from all directions came out of the wood work I just turned and winked at him.

you see with large manips people can see from far away, and through shop windows.

I believe in the power of manipulations, and if structured right with proper street theory it can be more powerful then any other form of entertainment on the street.

the most important thing though is for it to be structered with the correct street performing theory.

my favorite magician is cardini. I saw a movie when I was a kid and he was at a posh party and tipsy and having problems with multipling cigs. they would pan away and cme back and finally he had acumalated a big crowd by unintensional creating aspectacle out of himself

after that I knew I wanted to be like him.


I told folks about the movie but no on believed me till I went to davenports in london. iw as talking to them and they knew of the movie them and gazzo was there and he apparently knew cardiniīs wife swan well said he was familiar with the movie.

it was laurel and hardy, they think.

I sure would like to find it after all these years.
trashmanf
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Very interesting thread jimmy. certainly some manipulations are much more angle sensitive than others, for example I would do backpalms almost surrounded but maybe not a pivot.

well... what about manipulations where there is no angle sensitivity and nothing to be "caught" on. I am speaking of flourishes. to many laymen they are approaching magical because they have never seen something like it before. "diminishing cards" is really just fanning skill (and color changing fans have no angle sensitivity)

many stage manipulators already do some flourishes, with cigs, balls, and cards... I would think adjusting to angle sensitivites from the street, would mean a higher ratio of flourishes.

after all, manipulation-style magic is in my opinion a flourish! it is visual and appreciated throughout all language barriers
jimmy talksalot
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Trashmanf,

good post.

I would say that it can be very helpful to have more flourishes, but also it is crucial to be almost constantly comunicating to the to the audience as you are manipulating through mime or the best I have found for me is spoken.

certainly no question, mime is the real work. this really lets your work shine and certainly judges your talent emediatley.

but, I have a knack with talking better then mime.

what I do, is do a move or a flourish and explain something concerning it or simply just talk, do another move then talk.

it is very difficult to explain, because it isnīt every single time, sometimes iīll pause, do the work and make the silence a dramatic moment while I work, insinuating skill or the beauty of the effect.

in the states mime is a tuff sell, I donīt feel that on the street the american public is that, well.....culturally aware, if you will, to really appreciate it enough to stop and give their time to it.

but,

jeff sheridan has definately showed that the american public can infact be attracted to fineness with out words if delievered from the hand of a master.

another observation,

jokes about sex and butts seems to attract attention and hold them better then what I do.

insulting the passer by and the audience member is also quite appealing to the american public.

I of course donīt do this,

I have tryed a different approach to attract the american passer by, I play the idiot, some one that they can feel supior to and make fun of or even at times feel sorry for. this is very attractive to the american state of mind.

I had stumbled into this character, when I first learned to street perform, by trying to imitate my hero sonny holliday, a tuff well dressed guy with serious manip chops....this of course didnīt work for me because

a. I didnīt have those kinda chops to act that cocky and,

b. people heckled me to death because they didnīt think I fit the character any way.

so when people laughed when I made a mistake when trying to be a slick guy like sonny, ding dong, a bell went off in my head.

so I just imbraced the idea of an idiot trying to be like a real pro and vola jimmy talksalot.

I am don knotts(barney fife character) trying to be sonny holliday.

so I would say yes more flourishes and more communicating and difinately...

ACTUALLY CHANGING THE HANDLING OF A STANDARD STAGE MOVE TO FIT AN AUDIENCE THAT SURROUNDS YOU. it must be converted to a street manip.

when I was starting out I just did the standard moves, because thatīs all I knew how to do and I ignored those watching behind me, I have found this to be the case with my peers out there, I think this should be done in the beginning to get your self started.

it is crucial to get used to the new venue, it must be as comfortable as your own property.

and being terrified to work because of bad angles could definately give you a false reason to throw in the towel.
jimmy talksalot
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Oh, another thing,

yes on the street it does kill off a lot of manips and tricks you could do in doors, this is why it is so crucial to learn how to convert effects for the stage or indoors to street practical work.
kregg
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From an historical perspective doesn't the art of manipulation have it's roots in pick pocketing and petty theft?
POOF!
jimmy talksalot
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I would like to think it doesn't.

but I do know that theft is a pretty old idea.

frankly from my studies, I have found that magic came from those interested in wisdom and societle change....magicians of old...if you will for a moment.

granted they may have picked up some of these methods from the local hoodlums or even wiser, some from afar. they may have even used this stuff on a grander scale or incorporated it into other things they were doing.

back when religion, the sciences, philosophy, the occult, juggling and various other manipulation skills, music, poetry, theater, various other arts and disiplines, were all sort of lumped together.

this can still be seen in older traditional cultures or in a less sophisticated way in primitive cultures.

it is modern western times that has seperated and catogorized. but even the west was this way as we go back through time.

so yeh,

long story short.......i dunno!

but that's my 2 cents.
J.G. the magnificent
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I agree street magic is wonderfull it is difficult. It makes great training. They are more likely to notice mistakes. You half to think on your feet on something to say when you do screw up and they actually notice. You know you are good when they don't notice because you misdirect them without even realizing it. I also realize people like it a lot since they know you don't have fancy fixed stage props and they can see you a lot better.
Jeremy Gates
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