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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » How Old were you When you First Started Busking? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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210 Posts

Profile of MitchellMac
Hi guys!
So in-case you are wondering why I am asking this I am 12 years old and I believe after over 1 and a half years of doing magic I am ready to start busking. I definitely don't want to appear as "some kid doing magic tricks" I want to be thought of as a skillful young magician. So what could I do to make myself appear older? I'm talking about some sort of fashion to make myself look as old as possible. I would appreciate a response. Also how old were you guys when you started busking?
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Inner circle
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Profile of DonDriver
Understand the streets are very rough,meanning you can get hurt or even worst.There are some not very nice people out there.It sounds like your mind is made up to go busking so I won't try to talk you out of that.You MUST take an adult you know,Dad would be best,with you when you go busking.When I say an adult I mean someone you know at least in there 20s not some 16 year old brother or friend in the neighbor hood.

If you never took anyone's advice before,take this advice PLEASE !

All the best to you young man,
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Agent of Chaos
3149 Posts

Profile of gaddy
Don't try to make yourself look older. People will see right thru that, and they will not respect you. Find a character and a routine that suit you as a clever, funny kid - because that's what you are!

My advice is to not lie to your audience, except for during your tricks.

Also, heed Don's advice and get some supervision while busking. The streets are no place for a 12 year old to be carrying and showing a lot of money around...

Best bet is to find a trusted adult busker and share a pitch with them. You'll be safer, and you might learn something from them as well.

Good luck, little brother...
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
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Profile of MitchellMac
Alright gaddy, I completely respect your response and now that I'm thinking about it I think that is what I will go ahead and do. I like the idea of finding an adult busker but I don't live in the big Cities. The only magician that I know of that lives near me is Wayne Houchin and I sure doubt he busks...
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Bensalem, PA
883 Posts

Profile of Pokie-Poke
I think I started about your age.... so long ago....don't rember...

My advice for what it is worth

1. if you lie about your age, get younger, no one will by it if you say your older, but they will buy younger and be more impressed "Hay I just saw this 9 year old do this trick...."

2. know the place you are going to busk, I started in central park in N.Y.C. I lived 3 blocks from the park, and know it better than the cops, or the parks people.

If you don't live in a city, Why do you want to busk? and where? odds are you are going to have to get a grown up to get you to your pitch anyway.

I won't tell you to not do some thing, but fare warning, I did my first attempt at a show at 12 or so, doing magic. 5 yeas later I started to make $$ juggling.
The Adventure cont...
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Dargaville, New Zealand
929 Posts

Profile of MagiCol
Mitchell asks: "how old were you guys when you started busking?
I was 65. Yes, 65. How come? Like most magicians I had seen magic shows when I was a primary school age, and I had some interest in hypnotism when in my teens.
Then other areas of interest had interest in my life. Around the age of 60 I bought a book on how illusions were done, and that was the start of a growing interest in magic. I've been part-time busking for a couple of years. But my preparation, in a sense, was developing before-hand. I was a school teacher of primary aged children for some 35 years, and that has helped me get on well on the street with a wide age range.
There's a saying "You can't put an old head on young shoulders." That means a young person hasn't got the perceptions and experiences that an older person has. So you're going to start off with a young approach to magic, and as you grow older and gain experience you'll develop your performance of magic different to what it is today. One important thing for the street is to help people to like you. That means being yourself, or pretending you are someone special, like in a play. But that doesn't mean copying any magician in particular, or whom you know - not even your favourite street magician. Even your special character needs to have your own individuality showing in it. That will grow as you rehearse and get out and perform.
I hope you find an adult magician in your area who will personally help tutor or mentor you so get even better at performing magic.
All the best to you.
The presentation makes the magic.
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Profile of EVILDAN
Follow everyone's advice about being your age...or younger. The crowds will respect you for your skill at that young age.

There is a kid that busks around here playing guitar. I'm bad at marking ages but I'd say he's in the 10-13 year old range. His hook is that he plays the classics: Clapton, Zeppelin, etc. These are songs that I grew up on and wished I could play when I was a kid. And here's this kid playing those songs. He can't sing to save his life, but he can wail on guitar. And his tip bucket shows. He's got gear: amp and mic. And dad's not far behind. He's there every time the kid is out.

So, be yourself. Have an adult bodyguard with you. And go busk.
by EVILDAN....
"The Coin Board Book" - moves and routines with the coin panel board. - http://www.lybrary.com/the-coin-board-book-p-827955.html
"SLASHER - A Horror Whodunnit" - a bizarre close-up routine based on Bob Neale's "Sole Survivor."
PM me for more info.
"Zombie Town" - a packet effect about how a small town turned into zombies. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nzJhcoJtyOM
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Profile of MitchellMac
Good advice dan! thank you
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Eternal Order
24098 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
I started magic when I was 12. I started busking when I was 45.

Be extra careful at busking at the age of 12. Have a cell phone on you if you can. It will help make it easy for you to make a emergency call if needed.

If you are near a store or restaurant, get to know the workers there. You can come into the store or restaurant to put the money in a hidden place after each passing of the hat.

Have a time set for your guardian to come pick you up. If you walk home on your own each time, maybe someone will follow your tracks.

You might want to bring a friend your age to help and support you. It will help out with the buddy system.

Have a small air horn to alert individuals incase of an emergency.
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154 Posts

Profile of Mysterious
Keep your act young & people will like it!
If you look old they will not stop to watch.

I was 30 my first time on the street.
You got guts kid, I like that!
Jamie D. Grant
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as seen in Ripley's Believe It or Not! Twice!
2415 Posts

Profile of Jamie D. Grant
TRICK OF THE YEAR: Industrial Revelation, BOOK OF THE YEAR: The Approach, The AIP Bottle, and my new book Scenic 52, can all be found over here: SendWonder.com
Kindness takes practice. My TEDx talk
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Central Louisiana
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Profile of DavinSimone
I am 28 and just started busking. The kicker is that through my local IBM meetings I met a 13 year old that handles cards better than myself and 99% of the magicians I have ever met. He is an absolute stunner, and I am somewhat of a card guy. We work together anymore. He never went out without his parents and recently we've earned their blessing to go out and busk with him under my supervision since they trust me now. It works out quite well.

He does very well for himself, and he keeps pushing me to be better. They always say in showbiz to never follow a kid, which is true. Worse yet, make sure the kid isn't flat out better than you. hahaa!

So you might try your local magic organization- if you have a mentor that is willing to work with you and help watch out. Just make sure that you watch out for your own interests. I split all the money down the middle with this kid, split rides with his parents, and play the spots he wants to play as much as mine. This took some time to do, since a lot of the old guys in our ring talk to him like he is a little kid, or talk down to him, or ask him why he doesn't learn more effects that don't use cards. (Hint: they do all self working tricks using props they bought, while this kid is doing stunning and extremely difficult sleight of hand. Half the guys there don't even know what the pass is, and this kid makes his next to invisible with his very small hands) Hopefully you wont have as hard of a time getting respect, and maybe you'll find someone to busk with you. Just an idea.
Davin L. Simone

Close up/Parlor Magician
IBM Ring 268 - The Cajun Conjurers

Above poster suffers from a severe lack of judgment and logic. Assume any points he made are wrong and baseless.
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