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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Drawing an edge. Trickle or a flush? Turning the tip.. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Danny Hustle
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Hi gang,

This is my first post, so please be gentle. About a year ago now I started busking in Harvard Square, here in Cambridge.

I work by day in Harvard Square as a computer propeller head for a software firm. I've been doing magic for about 30 years, kid's shows, Svengali pitches, and for the most part bar rooms.

When I saw the chance to work the street I figured what the hell and dove right in. Interestingly, I developed a niche for myself right off. 6 a.m. in front of a cafe I would get all of the people on their way to work. At one point I had people bringing others that they worked with down to see me.

Fat hats, fun shows, no hassles, busker Nirvana.

Then, this year I decide to work a couple of weekends, because according to my busking buddies, "That is when the money comes out."

I found out rather quickly I sucked at drawing an edge when I had no "captive" people.

I have several "openers" but I need bodies (two minimum) before I'm going to start anything.

So, question number one, how do you get your first two? Do you stand there and scream, "Show starting in 2 minutes!" Or pull out a trick and refuse to do it untill you get the right amout of bodies? Or (I'm hoping) some of you may have more elegant ideas.

Question number two, when passing the hat do you trickle or do you flush? I have found that I get much more money if I pitch and pass the hat at the end of the show for a flush. Not to mention I get MUCH less change when I do that.

Is there any benifit to laying out a hat at the beginning and running a trickle of tips?

Question number 3, When turning the tip I would like yto keep the people who arrived late for my last show to start my edge for the new show. This way, I'd have a built in edge all day long. Do any of you guys do this? Any thoughts you'd like to share on the matter?

Working the streets has been a lot of fun for me, not to mention pretty lucrative. I was surprised how similar it is to working behind a bar when structuring your show, dealing with hecklers, and playing for impact.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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.
Chris Becker
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New York, NY
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I read an interesting thought at performers.com

It said: don't you ever put the hat on the floor (for a trickle) BECAUSE it's the thing beggars do. Sure, there are people who give money to beggars, too, but only small amounts (you mentioned change) whereas passer-by would give more money to that funny entertainer coming towards them after the show 'on the same level'.

Ok, this was very bad english. Forgive me, I'm way too tired to think of anything fancy.

In better magic (and good night),

Chris
- - -
<BR>Cards don't cheat people. People cheat people.
Peter Marucci
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Danny, in answer to Question 1, there's nothing particularly "elegant" about street work, so go with what works.
Jim Cellini (and you can't get much better than that!) recommends noise, albeit a bit subtler than "Hey, I'm here!" (but not much!)
Personally, I go for the visual; using something that can be seen comfortably at a distance, I just start performing until a small group builds; after that, the bigger group naturally gravitates to the smaller.
For example, I use the pom-pon stick or needle through the balloon (with the needle made up like a fancy sword).
As to question 2, while I agree with Chris about begging, I go for the trickle.
But he's right about putting the hat (or whatever receptable you use) on the ground; there's a psychological problem there; it does, indeed, smack of begging.
The reason for opting for the trickle, in my case, is that some people may be willing to give money but can't stay for the whole show.
Others would sooner quietly drop in some money, while the audience is occupied with watching you.
The trickle gets them all.
It's a matter of taste, I suspect; but I've never had any reason to complain about the size of the "hat" with the trickle.
Question 3: I don't do it because I have a clearly defined break between shows, when I'm not even there.
Yes, it's work to build the tip again but, in the long haul over a full day, it's easier on my aging constitution. Smile
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Kozmo
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cellini uses sound....but cellini is a little different...he builds alowly and works about 15 minutes...most do about 10 minutes...cellini is very subtle....sound a vision...the eyes...he does the silk vanish ala thumb tip as an opener...visual...you can see the silk...another thing he says is you stop a child you stop the world...its very true...if you really want the answers...buy the new cellini video it wiill be available in all magic stores likely next month...you wont learn one trick...but you will learn all the important ones...no magic...just the how to do it....cellini is the best....i recenty had a magi from enmgland e-mail me...he bought the new cellini video from international magic...mcmillan...he had been wroking the streets for 15 years..he couldn't belive what he leraned from the video...want to work the streets...leran from the best...cellini...tha art of street performing...i bet you like it...$60...at your local magic shop...enjoy
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2002-03-21 14:59, tedb wrote:
...want to work the streets...leran from the best...cellini...tha art of street performing...i bet you like it...$60...at your local magic shop...enjoy


Ted,

I am dying to see this tape! I've spoken with Martin from International Magic but he only had PAL copies at the moment.

Is there anyway to get a copy of it in the states yet? I have heard so much about this tape it is killing me!

To go sleightly off topic, do you know if there are any plans to market Cellini's cups in the states? Is there a website where this stuff will be available?

Any info would be appreciated.

Best and thanks,

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.
Doug Byrd
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Danny,
Check out http://www.chefanton.com . This is the School for Scoundrel's Website. I thought I saw some of Cellini's stuff on there a while back.
Doug
"Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc"
Doug Byrd
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Danny,
I appologize. It was Gazzo's stuff I saw there and not Cellini's. I'm sorry for any confusion. I didn't have time to check the info before running off to work.
Doug
"Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc"
Starry
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Years ago, I worked street magic for a living (for a number of years) first in
Southern CA and later in Texas. When I started I didn't make a lot of money,
because I didn't know what I was doing.

Through trial and error and talking with other buskers, I found a few things that really elevated my performance to quite a money making operation. As to the answers to your questions I can only speak from my personal experience.

I completely believe in pulling a crowd in for a show and flushing at the end.
I started the other way and the money just doesn't compete.

If the crowd is leaving before donating, either you need to work on your showmanship or just shorten the act.

There are several tricks to pulling the crowd that I used. First, I used my voice. I can really project my voice -- no I mean REALLY project. I can speak so loudly that people two blocks away will turn to see what is going on (notice I didn't say (yell.) Smile You call loudly from your diaphragm.

Yes, the first thing I would do is announce that there was going to be a show, "Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, step right up and see the incredible, amazing, astounding..." I had a clock set up with
"NEXT SHOW TIME:" on it. Next I'd draw a chalk circle on the street to tell the people where to stand. Most importantly, I developed humorous patter which was all around drawing a crowd.

For example, I would grab a couple by the arm and ask them if they preferred smoking or non-smoking as I escorted them to the edge. I'd ask if they'd like to stand next
to someone famous and then reply: "YOU ARE, silly - the problem is "nobody knows how famous I really am." (copyright 1998, Ace Starry all rights reserved.)

What I'm saying is that you can develop a funny routine that accomplishes both gathering a crowd and setting the tone for your show.

This is a long winded post and I have a lot more advice. Rather than write another novel, I'll refer you to my web page. I have a lot of tips on Street Magic at http://www.starry.com/magic/street.htm

check it out.

Live the magic!

Ace Smile
Ace Starry - Author or THE MAGIC LIFE - A NOVEL PHILOSOPHY
http://www.starry.com/
Pokie-Poke
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I think it was Gazzo who would start gathering a crowd at the end of the last show by looking in his hat and yelling; wow Smile I must be good, look at all the money the last crowd gave me. It takes brass!

Not my style, but it is an idea Smile

As far as the hat goes, if you can do both, go for it. Don't like change? send it to me. Smile If your act is that long that people won't stay till the end, it is too long, save the energy. A passive hat is fine if you are a musician.
It's 2;43 am. Post to be cont....
www.pokie-poke.com
The Adventure cont...
Devious
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Quote:
On 2002-03-20 13:30, Danny Hustle wrote:
Hi gang,

This is my first post, so please be gentle. About a year ago now I started busking in Harvard Square, here in Cambridge.

I work by day in Harvard Square as a computer propeller head for a software firm. I've been doing magic for about 30 years, kid's shows, Svengali pitches, and for the most part bar rooms.

When I saw the chance to work the street I figured what the hell and dove right in. Interestingly, I developed a niche for myself right off. 6 a.m. in front of a Café I would get all of the people on their way to work. At one point I had people bringing others that they worked with down to see me.

Fat hats, fun shows, no hassles, busker Nirvana.

Then, this year I decide to work a couple of weekends, because according to my busking buddies, "That is when the money comes out."

I found out rather quickly I sucked at drawing an edge when I had no "captive" people.

I have several "openers" but I need bodies (two minimum) before I'm going to start anything.

So, question number one, how do you get your first two? Do you stand there and scream, "Show starting in 2 minutes!" Or pull out a trick and refuse to do it untill you get the right amout of bodies? Or (I'm hoping) some of you may have more elegant ideas.

Question number two, when passing the hat do you trickle or do you flush? I have found that I get much more money if I pitch and pass the hat at the end of the show for a flush. Not to mention I get MUCH less change when I do that.

Is there any benifit to laying out a hat at the beginning and running a trickle of tips?

Question number 3, When turning the tip I would like yto keep the people who arrived late for my last show to start my edge for the new show. This way, I'd have a built in edge all day long. Do any of you guys do this? Any thoughts you'd like to share on the matter?

Working the streets has been a lot of fun for me, not to mention pretty lucrative. I was surprised how similar it is to working behind a bar when structuring your show, dealing with hecklers, and playing for impact.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Best,

Dan-

Mr. Daniel Denney,
I too wondered, how you had been performing for 30 years in 2002? You were born in 1963. That would've made you 9 when you started working.

I like your buskers Café' website? Was The Magic Café' the inspiration for your idea when you were thinking of what to name it? I was just curious?

You posted this plea for help, way back before you knew everything. I miss the old posts like this.
Devious Deceptions
"Gadol Elohai!"
L'Chaim!
Danny Hustle
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I've been working professionally off and on as a magician since I was 12 - I started doing birthday parties for other kids, not street performing. I was not born in 1963 - your information is wrong. I really don't feel the need to pull out the ruler with you and to be honest I do not know what your problem is - or if you have one - you're being kind of vague about your point. Glad you enjoyed the post, I've always been honest and humble about who I am, what I know, and what I do not know. I never felt the need to say I was anything I wasn't. I've paid my dues and climbed the ladder one rung at a time. I still do not know near enough and I am always a student, ask anyone that actually knows me. I do not know where you get the idea that I know everything, I've certainly never said that.

Considering you have chosen to address me by my given name I wonder if you will do the honorable thing and post yours?

Good luck in all you do 'Devious'

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.
Danny Hustle
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Boston, MA USA
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And to Peter, Ace Starry, Pokie - Poke, Harry Murphy, Doug, Koz, JamesinLA, Doug, Bro David, Bro Paul, and all the rest of you that gave me good advice when I was just starting out here, THANK YOU!

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.
Danny Hustle
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Oh, 'Devious' to answer your question about the Busker's Café, I have been running BBS sites since the late 80's and ran "Danny Hustle's Café American" for many years, teh busker's Café was originally called the busker's Café american and if you still go to http://www.acafeamerican.com it will also take you to the busker's Café - a Café american was my original blog site (not magic related) in the early 90's.

The name for me and the way I have always used it came from "Rick's Café American" from the movie Casablanca. Rick's Café was a place where people from all over the world congregated and shared ideas.

So the whole magic Café thing is just a coincidence - although you are certainly not the first one to make that assumption.

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.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2002-03-20 13:30, Danny Hustle wrote:
Hi gang,

This is my first post, so please be gentle.


Wow, talk about a blast from the past!!
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Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2011-10-16 14:51, Frank Starsini wrote:
Quote:
On 2002-03-20 13:30, Danny Hustle wrote:
Hi gang,

This is my first post, so please be gentle.


Wow, talk about a blast from the past!!


No kidding huh Frank? I nearly got all goopy reading it! Smile A lot has happened in 9 1/2 years. If you had told me back then I'd be making a living as a full time entertainer back then I would have said you were crazy. Smile

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.
solrak29
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What has worked best for you in drawing an edge?

Though people sometimes think my bag is a trickle bucket,
I still flush in the end. I think Chris Capehart recommends
having a trickle bucket while you are doing your show...
Sometimes people have to go; but wanna leave a tip. I had
people cross the line to hand me a tip when they didn't
see my bag...any thoughts?
To Find Me On The Pitch, Follow me :On Twitter
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Chris Capstone
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Using a trickle for me depends on the situation. When I'm in the public parks or a festival, I just present the hat at the end of the show.

But I use both a trickle and present the hat at the end when I'm at my farmers' market.

My trickle container is a small bushel basket. It goes nicely with the market atmosphere. I set it on the ground in front of my table. I salt it with a few bills, some ones, a couple of fives, a ten and a twenty.

I can slip the bills under the slats so they stick up for visibility. I put a deck of cards underneath the back of the bushel so it's tilted forward a little which makes the bills even more visible.

I have not found that putting it on the ground encourages small tips or coins I think it's silly to say putting a trickle container on the ground makes me look like a beggar.

If so, then I must be the fanciest beggar in the world with my top hat, vest, tie, velvet table drape with gold fringe on a beautiful Owen Magic Superior table base.

I also don't think too many beggars are doing the miser's dream with real silver dollars while wearing a gold pocket watch chain.

There is a very important reason I use the trickle at the market:

The pedestrian traffic at the market is brisk. They're moving from stall to stall buying stuff and it’s more challenging to stop them and hold them.

The trickle gives them a chance to leave a tip if they'd like to move on after one or two tricks. That's money I would not have collected without the trickle container.

Sometimes these "walkers" are pretty good tippers too. A couple of weeks ago a guy watched only my first trick (miser's dream) and then left a $20 in my trickle basket.

The other benefit is that it lets people know in a passive way that I am working for tips without having to drop hat lines throughout the show.

This is important because people in my town hardly ever encounter street performers. They might think I'm being paid by the farmers’ market to be there and not realize I'm working for tips.
Chris Capstone
Bobby Maverick
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Yo....

My two cents is:

Danny Hustle is a stand up guy all the way around.

As far as I can see, Danny has always been a pretty humble guy and always willing to learn. He's always talking with me about his mentors and peers at the comedy clubs, and the routines he's working on. Definitely NOT a stagnating performer. He's always looking to get better.

He's been a good friend to me and has always been nothing but genuine. I appreciate him big time!
JamesinLA
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Danny has a heart as big as outdoors.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Rotten
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I look forward to meeting him one day. I do know he is a giver and an avid lover of busking. He really helped me out when I was running through the china shop. Anyone that is willing to help anyone is a person I call good people.
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