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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Failed first time out T_T (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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I work a lot different from most here because my street show has no magic tricks at all, but I will offer this. I don't ask people if they want to see something cool, or anything like that. I start in one of three ways, depending on the circumstances.

Typically, I will get out my concertina and play a little tune, not really trying to engage anyone directly. When someone seems to notice, I catch their eye and ask them if they've ever seen one of these (the concertina) before. Then I start a little conversation (well rehearsed on my end, lots of jokes etc.. get 'em laughing and comfortable). I have some comedy I do with the concertina and it starts to build a little, growing from a conversation to a routine. Then, after the crowd has grown a bit, I ask them if they'd like to see my little show. I tell them it's real short, only a few minutes, but very funny. Generally I get a few nods and I start. If they shake their heads and walk I say thanks, I introduce myself with a handshake to the first person I stopped, say it was nice meeting you have a nice day.

The second method is to directly engage a kid WHO IS WITH A PARENT. I say "don't tell me, let me guess"... and I guess their name or age. I guess funny names, this gets 'em laughing and comfortable, then I ask them and their parents if they'd like to meet one of my puppets. I get one out and we start. This usually works ok too.

The third method is my fall-back, nothing else is working to stop them method. I get out Henry, my vent figure, and have him start asking questions of people walking by. He flirts, he picks on people, he attracts attention, he gets them laughing. Then, once he has them engaged, I ask them if they want to see a short show and we start. The reason I don't do it this way every time is that Henry is my closer, so I actually have to put him up to start the show and get him out later. It's awkward, but it works ok. I could just keep him out and do a trickle show, which is what works sometimes, but a show with three parts and a strong closer gets more applause and $.

All three methods depend on engaging one passerby (although they may be with a small group, I focus on one), not getting ANY kind of commitment until I am already entertaining them, and making them comfortable enough to stick around a few minutes. I always let them make these 'choices' but if I do it right, it's like forcing a card. They make the choice to stay and watch.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
augiemagic
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Overland Park, KS
162 Posts

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Okamis, thanks you for the congratulations, and I return them to you! Also, I didn't mean to be insulting and say that you haven't read anything. I think that maybe came out wrong. My apologies.

SilvaAce- Yeah, I found that out last Friday. My Saturday was much better.

Mr. Pitts- Thanks for the info! I'm sure everyone who will be able to use and adapt that information.

-Butts
augiemagic
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Overland Park, KS
162 Posts

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Okamis, thanks you for the congratulations, and I return them to you! Also, I didn't mean to be insulting and say that you haven't read anything. I think that maybe came out wrong. My apologies.

SilvaAce- Yeah, I found that out last Friday. My Saturday was much better.

Mr. Pitts- Thanks for the info! I'm sure everyone who needs to will be able to use and adapt that information.

-Butts
okamis
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No, it was a joke that I got a little mad ^^
Why is everyone so stiff apologizing right to left?

Thx Mr Pitts, I definitely think I can use some of your tips to engage people
augiemagic
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Overland Park, KS
162 Posts

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Eh, probably because there are quite a few on the Café who are easily offended, and you never know who it might be.

Sorry I said sorry. Smile

-Butts
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