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eddierush
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After almost a year of studying the likes of Kozmo, Cellini, Jimmy, and Gazzo ... after reading a huge number of posts and blogs ... after watching hours of dvds and videoa (Kozmo series, Cellini series, etc) and reading books about street magic (Street Magic - Jeff Sheridan and Lure With Spectacle) ...

I finally took one more step to my goal of getting out on the street and busk - I got my permit from the city to perform in a nearby town in Maryland!! I now have no excuse ... well ... maybe except for the fact that it's still pretty cold here and the places where I am allowed to perform is still covered with snow. Ok, Ok, I can almost hear some of you guys saying, "cold shmold, just get the frack out there!" (just to paraphrase) So, this weekend I will head out there and see how long I can last before performing the "color changing fingers" effect Smile

"baby stepping"

Now ... let the criticisms begin ... Smile
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Pokie-Poke
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If it is to cold, no one will be out and, well, no crowd = no wampum. and a long day.
Have you done some scouting to see if there is any foot traffic?
You have WAY more info in your head than you need.

have fun and heavy (wool?) hats!
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The Adventure cont...
eddierush
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Yeah, during the warm summer months this area gets lots of traffic and idle wanderers - several restaurants, a movie theater, and rail transportation make this place a hub for traffic.

I think you may be right about the cold weather keeping the traffic away but I am still going to "case out" the place. I have a habit of visiting the venue I will be performing, before the performance. I imagine myself at the venue doing my performance - sort of a mental walk through.

You're right, I got way more info in my than I need ... I'm anal like that.

Thanks for the advice.
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Trekdad
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Eddierush:

Congratulations! You're 1 step closer. I just got my Baltimore City permit to do the same. Is that the city you're close to?

Mark Reed, a Café member, is interested in getting a group together when it gets warmer to busk in Fells Point -- more to go through the paces and get some experience drawing the crowds under our belts.

Hope your hats are big, Break a leg . . .
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The Great Zoobini
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If you take someone with you to hold your hand, your first time busking would be the exact opposite of mine
Meet you in Busker Alley Smile
eddierush
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I headed out to the square just to get a feel for the area and crowd. So I did 3 short (4 minutes each) silent acts - with about 10 minutes in-between each. I did my favorite silent routine - The Thing.

There were very few people and I stood in the pedestrian walkway instead of the square (still got snow). All in all I made $6.50. I call it a great success since I expected to make nothing. I was even surprised when the first bits of change went into my hat.

There were very few people there but I didn't care. I imagined my self in my garage practicing with the door open ... if no one stopped, so what but some did and I thanked them.

Most importantly, I had fun! Sorry, no pix ... this time. I'll keep you guys up to date the next time I go out ... maybe tomorrow?
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Joe Mauro
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Eddie, thanks for sharing your story. What a great way to get your feet wet!
~Joe
mmreed
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Awesome Eddie!!!

I may be bringing Kozmo down for a workshop - a small group of buskers out actually doing the work with Koz and getting immediate feedback ect... We kicked around the idea a while back, I just have to nail down a time frame and get back with him on it.


A few of us may also group up and split pitches there and do some self critiques, play with new material and crowd building methods ect...

Grats on getting out there!

There are a number of good spots in Baltimore.
Mark Reed
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mmreed
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Hey wait a min!!! hahah I didn't know this Eddie was YOU, Eddie!!! hahah

awesome dude - I didn't know you wanted to get into busking!

Next time we meet up at Dennys shop or one of the conventions, we will have to chat about it.

You certainly have the chops to get out there and make some really good hats. You connect well with the spectators from everything I have seen from you.
Mark Reed
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willhunter
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I visited Baltimore recently and it appeared to have several places ripe for busking.
aka Billy Boston
Trekdad
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The only place that I'm aware of that's off-limits there is Harbor Place -- they audition the performers for that.
Barnhardt: You have tested this theory?
Klaatu: I find it works well enough to get me from one planet to the next.
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mmreed
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Yep Harbor Place and a bit around it is actually an odd situation. Its public property but managed and outsourced to a private firm, so some of the freedoms of public property are unrightfully taken from us under guise of private property.

They audition, and from what several people have told me, unless you have a solid full circle or an incredible half circle show, they wont give you the ok. They have two circle spots for entertainers, and they do not want performers anywhere other than those spots - so a smaller guy with a table serving more close up will likely be overlooked.
Mark Reed
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eddierush
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Hey mmreed - Small world, big universe Smile You never know who's who when communicating on the web. For all I know, my mother could be a user here ... mom, you here?

Thanks for the compliments! I really appreciate it. I may need to write that down in my "little motivation book" and take it with me when I got out on the street.

---

My first time out on Sat (for only about 45 min) was really nerve-racking. It reminded me of the first time I stood on top of a 11,000 foot snowy peak, ready to snowboard down. I knew I had the skills to make it down the slope (after 10 years of riding, I better). I was alone and I stood there planning and thinking about doing it. After about 10 minutes I stopped my self and said, "Self! Stop the planning and thinking and just do it!" One of my favorite lines in a recent movie is, "Nut up or shut up!" I made my way just over the ridge, to a point of no return. I had to go down now. There was no way back up. So I imagined that my family and friends were out there watching me. I remembered my training and experience and headed down the mountain. It was so much fun that I couldn't wait to get back to the top and do it again.

I say all of this to those who are just starting out or are thinking of starting in any kind of public performance art. You may be the kind of person who finds strength in having your friends and family with you (like myself). However, you can't rely on any of them being with you at each and every performance throughout your career (the human condition). So try this: Get yourself a small note pad. Whenever a family member or friend gives you a compliment, write it down along with their name. Just before your performance find a quite place (if possible) and read some of the kind words people have said about you AND imagine they are there with you. Don't worry about getting a big head. You'll need it for the street. It will be deflated somewhat as you go through your performance.

My two cents (well maybe four of five) ... take it for what it's worth.

Some of you may be wondering, "Hey! This guy is just starting out busking. What does he know to give advice about busking?" Well, I believe that everyone has a little something to contribute. I use what works for me and it just may work for you.
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eddierush
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Hey Guys,

Does anyone know about the busking laws in Federal Hill in Baltimore, MD? I've been there many times (visiting to the magic bar, Illusions) and it has that Fells Point/Georgetown kinda feel to it. Although there are no large public squares it may be a good place for sidewalk shows. With all the bars and restaurants in the area it seems like a good place for those who like to perform for the college crowd.
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eddierush
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Quote:
On 2010-03-07 19:50, mmreed wrote:
Awesome Eddie!!!

I may be bringing Kozmo down for a workshop - a small group of buskers out actually doing the work with Koz and getting immediate feedback ect... We kicked around the idea a while back, I just have to nail down a time frame and get back with him on it.


A few of us may also group up and split pitches there and do some self critiques, play with new material and crowd building methods ect...

Grats on getting out there!

There are a number of good spots in Baltimore.


I would so love to head out with you and Koz. I would even be willing to pay to have him come here and do a street workshop with us. I met and hung out with him last year. It was a lot of fun and very informative just listening o Koz and Bob Sheets talk. Hey, maybe 30 years from now, in some interview with a young magician, I can say, "Yeah, I sat with Kozmo and Bob Sheets. They are wonderful guys. You can learn a lot from them." (like people do now for The Professor)

Please let me know if you ever get that organized. Let me know if you need any help.

Thanks Smile
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eddierush
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It's getting warmer here in the DC area. I'm going to head out to busk towards the end of this week.

Let you know how it goes.
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ed rhodes
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Quote:
On 2010-03-07 14:40, Joe Mauro wrote:
Eddie, thanks for sharing your story. What a great way to get your feet wet!


...and cold! But kudos on having the chops to go out and try.
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
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eddierush
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Hello All,

Day One (I consider the last time a dry run):

Well ... although I didn't get out as early as I wanted to, I still got out there this evening and performed ... until the sun went down. I took Chris Capehart's suggestion and went out there broke (although I drove to the spot, I carried no money for food).

After setting up I used my wand to bang on the same pail I will be using for my Miser's Dream routine. It was very loud and I had at least 15 people around me before I even began. Dear Mr. Cellini, banging the stick really works (God rest his soul). Thanks!

I had three effects prepared to do for the crowd. I started with The Thing (one of my favorites). This is my floating effect that is sure to attract more people. I noticed a few gasps from the audience ... especially when the "Thing" vanished and reappeared again. I'm just not sure if I'm going to leave it in my street act. After I was done I looked around and the crowd had doubled. Sweet!

I then went into my Egg Bag routine. I love the Egg Bag and I think it went well ... it could have been better though. I usually do this routine silent but I talked during my routine tonight since I had no whistle or music. This one's a keeper ... I think I need to add more ... entertainment.

My last routine was my favorite rope routine. Again I think it went well but it needs some more work in order for it to translate to a street audience ... as opposed to a stage or parlor audience. Again I feel that it needs more entertainment.

In between each routine I did my hat lines. They weren't all that creative (like Kozmo's or Jimmy's) or funny (like Cellini's). I don't want to use their lines, so I need to construct some solid hat lines of my own.

One major problem I have (I've been told this before) is that at times I do not project my voice ... especially when I am talking to an assistant or someone in the crowd. I would love to use my portable speaker but my permit does not allow "amplification". So I need to learn to project my voice without yelling.

My shows ran about 12 minutes each ... and I was sorry it was over. Once I got started I was having so much fun but I needed to stick to the 12 minute act I had set ... for now. As time goes on I may expand. I could tell that they wanted more.

Heading out again tomorrow and Sunday. Everyone will be outside this weekend. After several months of winter hibernation and snow storms, they are eager to go out and be entertained.
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Mario Morris
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Eddierush
Keep on keeping on, sounds great and you have great mentor's. I love your qwest to be unique, Chris Capheart for one is a top guy in the eveining I spent with him he gave me undivided attention. I felt very priverliged and encoureged.

Personaly I think it is your addvantage that you cant use an amp.
Learn to project your voice by using you diafram, or how ever it is spelt.

Put your hand on your soloplex and shot a deep sound towards point say 10 yards away. You should feel a small bow in the palm of your hand, if not you are not doing it right and will be tearing your voicebox instead. Long term could reck your career.

It takes a while to master, failing this seek a voice speaclist.

Remeber pa can let your down so don't rely on them, rely on your dyamfram.
eddierush
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Thanks Mario for your suggestion. It really means a lot to me. I certainly will try your exercise.

I think I will take up some voice and acting classes this summer. We're also hoping to get Kozmo to come back to the DC area and workshop with us ... outside. I hope one year I can leave this rock, cross the "big" river, and attend the School of Busking. I think FISM 2012 in Blackpool will give me the excuse I need to give "the boss" (my wife) Smile
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