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TristanBuckley
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Hey, I'm new to magic (started in May) and busking (started in October), and I'm working in State College, PA for pocket money while I work on my Film/Video degree.

I asked my girlfriend to record one of my performances today, so although I don't expect to enjoy it, I want the Long Beach Mystics treatment- watch, then criticize.

Although I do want complete honesty, I'd also prefer it if you'd please refrain from non-constructive criticism. I have complete confidence that this will not be a problem for the fine people on this forum. Thanks!

By the way, yes, I'm using the Gazzo cups and balls, no, I don't think I'm doing it line-for-line, and I'm always working on making it my own. I use a few stock lines, my favorite ones, and I made $54.00 today -- a personal record.

So let me know what you think!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w6Nfemz_kc
Chance
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Hope your skin is thick.

In less than 8 minutes you said:

"Any way" 1 time,

"K?" 7 times, and

"All right?" 35 times.

IMHO, none of them were required. Never ask, tell. Assert yourself. Every single time you say these words you are telling your audience that you lack self confidence and are unsure of how to act in front of them -- even if you do.

The stand looks like you stole it from a hospital. Invest your $54 in a proper stand and top. And the top should be twice as big as this one.

Train your voice. Practice speaking just like you practice your chops. For the first 2 minutes I thought you were a woman.
TristanBuckley
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Right, I think my skin is thick enough. Thanks for the advice!
TristanBuckley
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Anyone else?
Mac_Stone
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Go through ALL the old threads in this section, learn as much as you can. Go out and buy The Art of Krowd Keeping, learn as much as you can. Go out and buy all three volumes of The Art of Street Performing, learn as much as you can. Go out and buy Kozmo's DVD Tales From the Street, learn as much as you can.

Then go back and tell yourself what you did wrong, the best way to learn is from experience. Consider all the material you will buy (books, DVDs, equipment, wardrobe, etc.) a small investment compared to the money you could be making.

Slow down and look them in the eye. Make them your friends and they wont walk away, and if they do call them out on it. One word, confidence. I'm certainly not the most qualified on this section to dish out advice but I'm sure my sentiments will be echoed by more veteran performers.
Dave V
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I wanted to like it, but for some reason I just couldn't. I lost interest right about the time (4:30) you lost half your crowd for no apparent reason. You definitely need a bigger table, and try to avoid getting your back up against the wall. You looked cramped which translated to looking like you lacked control of your surroundings.

You mentioned this being your "finale." What else did you do to build a crowd? I can't imagine even starting the cups with only four people watching. I suspect you did the cups way too early and should have worked on crowd building a bit longer first.

I know you've seen Jamie Grant's debut busking video. Compare your energy level to his and you'll see why I enjoyed his much more.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Arkadia
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Don't use lines that doesn't fit.

"Hands up if you're to afraid to put your hands up." When Nick delivers that line, he rocks. You should have put your hand high up in the sky. Smile

Anyway, I do not agree with Mac_Stone, I think you're doing the right thing right now. You will NOT get good by watching others telling you what to do. You need some real experience before the books, DVD:s and tips will make a differens.

What you need is stage hours!

Chance is right. You look scared, and you probably are. that's the beauty of it. In a couple of weeks you'll either not work the streets - or you won't be afraid any more. Go at it and see what comes from it. Then, when you have some wind in your sail, start reading up. The things that might seem wierd or plain out stupid will shine in another light.

/Ark
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TristanBuckley
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I do hope I don't come off as defensive in this post. I just want to answer some of these. I'm getting a lot of great advice here.

Quote:
The stand looks like you stole it from a hospital.


Haha, it kind of does, doesn't it? It's a laptop desk. I got it for $4 on sale. I have actually been looking into a new table as is, so thanks for further justifying that as a purchase. Smile

Quote:
try to avoid getting your back up against the wall. You looked cramped which translated to looking like you lacked control of your surroundings.


Funny thing is, I totally agree. We don't have a lot of great pitches here that you're allowed to use, and this was one of the better ones because it's out in the open and a lot of people walk through it. My normal one is a little deeper, and so better for backing up without getting your back against the wall, but it's also blocked a little by a building, so half the passersby can't see you performing until they're already on you, by which time they just want to keep momentum and keep going (and it's covered in snow right now). So it's a trade-off here: space for traffic, or traffic for space.

Quote:
You mentioned this being your "finale." What else did you do to build a crowd?


I did some card stuff. I had "Card in Hand," which usually gets a pretty good reaction, an ambitious card with the ace of spades, and "Twisting the Aces," which got a little sloppy because my hands were getting numb in the cold. I moved off it because the four I was already performing for there looked in a hurry, and I figured I might have more success getting people to stop with something visible from a larger distance, and it's easier with numbing hands to do sleights with balls than cards. Bad idea? Bad openers?

Quote:
Don't use lines that doesn't fit.

"Hands up if you're to afraid to put your hands up." When Nick delivers that line, he rocks. You should have put your hand high up in the sky.


Yeah, I love that line, but I knew the second I used it that the situation didn't lend itself. Every hand had already been up. And you know, I never noticed that subtlety about that line. That's clever, I like it. I'll have to remember that in the future.

Quote:
the time (4:30) you lost half your crowd for no apparent reason.


My girlfriend mentioned she heard one of them say "Let's get out of here before he starts asking for money." Darn. They were on to me! Smile

Quote:
I think you're doing the right thing right now. You will NOT get good by watching others telling you what to do.


I totally agree with both you and Mac_Stone, though.

I think I need to keep working (you have to suck before you can be good, just watch my "Jim the Magic Hippie at Starbucks" video from 6 months ago, and you'll see how far I've come already. I can barely watch it anymore), and I think I need to keep looking through materials that can help me hone my technique. I don't want to save the reference materials for after I've built up bad habits.

Wow. This post was longer than I expected.

Anyone else?
Arkadia
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Quote:
On 2010-02-22 07:19, TristanBuckley wrote:
Quote:
Don't use lines that doesn't fit.

"Hands up if you're to afraid to put your hands up." When Nick delivers that line, he rocks. You should have put your hand high up in the sky.


Yeah, I love that line, but I knew the second I used it that the situation didn't lend itself. Every hand had already been up. And you know, I never noticed that subtlety about that line. That's clever, I like it. I'll have to remember that in the future.



I don't know if we are pointing the same way here. What I mean is that Nick Nickolas makes his audience afraid. He is brutal, hard and funny. When he talkes about people beeing afraid - some of them are. I bet noone was afriad of you. It could be fun if you lifted your hand, but I think it is contra productive. So, don't use lines that isn't you. You're not tough, hard and brutal. Be who you are and find stuff that fits.

And about books and DVD:s. You already know the moves. What I am talking about is the craft of busking. The books and DVD:s can never stand up to real tryal and error.

"I know it works in practise, but does it work in theory..." that's a funny and way to real way around in the magic world... the wrong way around I think.
Don't miss out on the great new mentalist magic: www.metalwriting.com
TristanBuckley
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Oh, I see. That's a lot clearer.
KPhilip
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I guess the crowd is walking away, because they feel blocked by the kid that is 'helping' you. They can't see what is happening on the table.

You lost your 'string/connection', because you were only entertaining the boy, not the whole crowd.

But that is just the way I see it...

You will find your way and good luck on your magical adventure on the streets Smile
Paco iglacias
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I think someone already said something to this effect, but it kinda looks like your hiding behind your table, so it didn't really come out as connecting with the audience. On an up note your mechanics are pretty good, just do like the folks above said and you'll be fine. Good luck!
Joe Mauro
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Quote:
On 2010-02-21 20:38, TristanBuckley wrote:
Hey, I'm new to magic (started in May) and busking (started in October), and I'm working in State College, PA for pocket money while I work on my Film/Video degree.




WHAT? Started in May and this was your first busking and you made $54.00? You got what it takes: guts.

I enjoyed it very much!

Joe
~Joe
TristanBuckley
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I've started on some of the advice, I've built a cheap, but very functional and much more professional-looking tabletop. I just bought a $9.00 cork bulletin board and carefully stapled on some black t-shirt fabric, then sharpied the staples to hide them and pushed the edges of the fabric into the frame to make it neater. I'm still gonna have to stick with the same stand until I can order a waiter's stand and get it delivered, but meanwhile, I've got a brand new 17 x 23 working surface that feels like a close-up mat.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4037/4380......8397.jpg

I'm also looking into a set of professional cups on ebay (mine are a cheapo $20 aluminum set that are getting beat up already). It's $89.00, copper, same weight as some >$300 copper Paul Fox cups, and they fit tennis balls. Do you think these might just be a ripoff?

Unfortunately, I can't get out and work today, because the weather's awful and I have a paper to write.

And no, this wasn't the first time I've busked. It was more like the 6th or 7th. My first time was in October, and I sucked a lot worse XD. My hats have been getting progressively bigger, though. I'm learning the importance of good hat lines and getting a bit better at being bold enough to make a little noise, in order to create curiosity for the first audience members.

My show is also getting a little more structured as time goes on. Little tricks and curiosities at the beginning, lots of audience participation with card tricks and sponge balls as well as a coin trick or two, then cups and balls when I've hopefully built a little crowd.
HerbLarry
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Q. What's wrong with a beat up cup?
A. Nothing.
You know why don't act naive.
SilvaAce
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Keep it up Tristan!
My biggest problem was the(K?), way too many. Just be aware of it and slowly it improve. I have a word or two that I am always conscious I don't use, especially when I do a kid's show!
Just like others said, don't forget about the crowd when you have a volunteer.
I haven't busked yet,(can't wait, its below zero here) but this advice applies to any performance.
I like the improvement on the table top!
You got the balls,Busk on Brother!!!
All you have to do to change your life, is to change your daily habits!



Carlos Silva
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Quote:
On 2010-02-22 18:02, TristanBuckley wrote:
Unfortunately, I can't get out and work today, because the weather's awful ...


What about the HUB?
Mac_Stone
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Quote:
Don't use lines that doesn't fit.


Very important advice here. One of the hardest things about finding material that works for you is that it doesn't matter what you think of yourself the words have to fit what your audience thinks of you. When I look at you I'm reminded of McLovin from the Super Bad movie, don't take that negatively, it's in fact quite a positive thing. I'm sure I'm not the only one that looks at you as the type of kid who plays Dungeons & Dragons on the weekends, use that, build your character around it. When you have a well defined character the material writes itself, just look at Jeff Hobson or Harry Anderson.
Pokie-Poke
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Your cups are fine, and you fixed the table problem.

Don't back up, hide or worry about foot traffic till some one tells you. then give what you have to.

You are in school, take some theater classes. Improve, voice, any stage craft classes. you will be glad that you did.

Keep hitting the bricks, you are on the up side of the learning curve enjoy it.
www.pokie-poke.com
The Adventure cont...
ShawnB
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Just keep getting out there... the more you get out in front of people the better you will be. If you do 5 solid hours of work per day... and get out there consisently you will see improvment.

I would get some new cups.... What you have are just too light.

Don't get those fake paul fox cups on ebay... They are a rip off, I hear they are only copper plated.

You can get some second hand cups here on the Café "for sale" section. You just need 50 posts first, to see the section. Pick up some used copper cups for 100 or 150.

The cork board tabel is nice for now... but will not hold up. When you have a bit of cash go to the hardware store and get some plywood, .5 inch works fine and then cover it in automotive headliner from a fabirc store... use a towel under the headliner for cushion, it works well.

Good luck.
Shawn
Shawn.
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