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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Qualifying Your Audiences and Hooks (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of Devious
I perform close-up, tablework, half circle, door way, trickle shows. I qualify my groups using the money buddha papers. I simply ask for a 20,10, or 5er to perform the next trick, after displaying some skills, entertainment, and charisma.

You don't want to try this right away at the beginning!
If they trust and like you, they will respond in kind.

I turn the borrowed bill, into four quarters with the buddha papers. I then use the quarters for a performance, of a coin matrix with a jumbo coin production finale.

When I have let the comments and reactions subside, from the jumbo coin production,
I promise to go "Back in Time" at the close, for a reproduction of the bill.

Folks want to see the same trick performed again, in hopes of figuring it out.
Many will remain just to see it again. The owner of the bill remains obviously.

How do I go "Back in Time" as a Chrononaut Steampunk Magician?

I perform a reverse matrix and then reproduce the bill from the coins,
using the buddha papers which are already reset and ready to go.

My pocket watch also goes in reverse and the hands go back on their own.
I set my watch on the table. It goes in reverse during the entire sequence.

When I return the borrowed bill, I declare "Folks get paid at my show!"
This gets laughs and also raises many eyebrows. It has generally been
my experience, that they give it to you as a tip, but they do appreciate
the return of the bill as well. Please return any borrowed item.

When you borrow a bill from someone, you now you have a hook.
More often than not, folks will leave the bill as a tip, so it's best
to borrow the highest amount possible. "It works better with a twenty."

This is a topic that is seldom discussed, but is one of the most
important factors in busking, "getting them to stay".

When working smaller groups, you must compel them to tip, because no one else is around. If they don't have a bill to lend you for your effect, chances are they aren't going to tip, or they are lying.

When there is "No money, there is no funny". We simply come to a close of the performance, as we await the next group for the show.

When working with larger groups, you will not have to necessarily qualify the entire group obviously, but you should still try and hook a few of them.

I suggest using Paul Zenon's "borrowed lighter" business as one method.
If you do qualify your groups or use hooks, what is your approach?
Devious Deceptions
"Gadol Elohai!"
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Floating above my
1539 Posts

Profile of Ekuth
Interesting... I have never used borrowed currency for performance.

Apparently, I've been being an idiot; it never occurred to me. This will be tried.

I use two hooks; a dancing cane routine to Billy Holiday's "At Last" and then I do a traditional vaudeville ballyhoo:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls of All Ages..." ect ect.

If all else fails, I pull out the D'lites and pluck them out of christmas lights, taillights, ect.
Work the kids. If the kids stay, the parents pay.

I also keep my wand in my bucket, which is prominently placed on a stool close to my table. And my hat lines, of course. I use the trickle approach and it seems to work fairly well.

Recently, I was working a daytime pitch (normally I work at dusk by preference) at an art festival and as fortune would have it, a balloon artist set up next to me.

She was quite polite and checked to be certain I wasn't going to be doing balloons as well.
I told her no, and for the next 9 hours we worked the crowds as a team; if she didn't catch them coming one way, I would the other.

It was during my resets that I took notice of the line of children and parents for her creations, which were not terribly complex, but colorful and fun.

That was when I decided to begin twisting and do it between resets... we shall see how lucrative it is next week.

Good post, Devious.
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
Mario Morris
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Mario Morris
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Profile of Mario Morris

My wife Veronica works balloons as a blow off to my show and has done for the last 5 years.
We work it back to back in a lot of places and I enjoy this.

At Festavels we split up, or in some towns that has a lot of traffic we work different pitches.
Often in towns and cities where their is little busking history we work a pitch together.
This has slowly being developing into a double act, where Lady Vee is working as the mischievous assistant.

I pick a kid as a volunteer in my show, who plays a big part and he/she gets a kick ass ballon from Lady Vee for helping me.
I then just plug those balloons. Then back to the plot of the show, hat lines, fernery.

I pass the hat for my show, then Vee will get a second blow off with the Balloons, yes this can cross over in tips.
Over all this works very well but takes a while to learn to just pitch right, you need real clear hat lines and firm control of your audience.

Vee may well be busy for the next 30min or so she will pick up passing public who did not see the show.
As soon as she slows down I start the show.

Working it on your own is way different, What you want to avoid is folk tipping you for your show and expecting a free balloon as well.
On your own their are better things you can use as a blow off that will increase your hat.
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Profile of Stperformer
IMHO Borrowing a bill on the street can be a bit tricky at times. A lot of idiosyncrasies need to be worked out. Obviously if people won't lend/ or haven't the bill, this creates dead time. And the performer looks bad if he starts pleading. In a paid gig or fest it's usually not a problem as people plan on staying the whole show and the trust is all ready there.

I imagine it's a little easier in America as you lot have a one dollar bill. (which confuses me. On my last trip there I actually got one dollar coins??? )

Borrowing a bill, destroying it or switching it to a lower denomination is pretty well used technique I've seen used and use myself on the street. In all honesty, it took me a couple years to work something out where I could guarantee I'd get a bill each time.

But as Devious pointed out in his post, I agree, using a hook such as a borrowed bill or whatever, can be a very powerful aspect to add to your show.

ed rhodes
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Profile of ed rhodes
I had a gig once at the Clam Chowder Festival in Newport. I did a Bill to Orange trick and the woman told me to keep the bill afterwards.
(Of course, by that point it was all soggy and nasty, but it was still a free dollar!)
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
Eric Evans
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Rio Grande
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Profile of Eric Evans
Some years ago, I regularly performed a trick borrowing a bill only to destroy it. Later it would show up in a Lime. It was necessary to borrow a twenty dollar bill and I had to do it comparatively early in the show in order for it to function as a "hook".

As many of you know, borrowing a bill early in a show can be problematic; rapport isn't yet established and people are reluctant to trust you with a chunk of their cash until they know you're legit. It was a problem on several occasions when I couldn't get the bill. I would get upset, on more than one occasion I blew the show off; flushing them only to start over again, now in a bad mood.

When confronted with such problems, I turned to the 36 Strategies.

It occurred to me that there was one Strategy that would solve the problem efficiently and effectively. Specifically, "Exchange the role of Guest for that of Host". It fit perfectly because in the same show I was performing the Misers Dream with the help of a small boy. So, all I did was get HIM to borrow the bill. This also afforded me some byplay adding to the comedy content. A nice indicator that I had struck upon an ideal solution.

Handing him the wand, I would tell him that I was going to show him how to make money with magic. Explaining to him that he could point the wand at anyone in the crowd and when he did, whoever he was pointing it at would feel compelled to reach into their pocket and pull out their wallet, reach inside and pull out a twenty dollar bill, which he could then go get and bring to me. (The instructions obviously included an indirect reference to the fact that I wanted to get paid for what I was doing). But the more important comedy came into play when he inevitably pointed to his own Father. The audience would always laugh at this and I would add the comment that "He knows who has all the money".

This eliminated all of the problems that I had experienced earlier, and added to the value of content. It also bumped up my hat considerably as most of the time I got the twenty at the end of the show.
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Profile of Devious
I really like your approach on recruiting a younger participant,
to coax a bill from the audience.

I've used them in the past and affectionately referred to them,
as my little "Money Monkeys".

Thanks for sharing Brian, Mario, Nel, Ed, Good thoughts!
Devious Deceptions
"Gadol Elohai!"
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Dargaville, New Zealand
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Profile of MagiCol
about the USA $1. It comes in both note and coin forms. On the Washington, D.C. Metro trains the money machine where you pay for/top up tickets gave out a $1 coin for change - may be easier for a machine to operate with. But $1 notes are the usual currency.
The presentation makes the magic.
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