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Profile of RupertAngier
Last summer ran a short 15 minute routine that earned an average of about $8 an hour. This act was too short to hold a self-sustaining audience so this year I'm working to expand it into one that could entertain a crowd 20-30 people for around a half hour. Right now practicing a chop cup routine and an invisible deck trick.

In your experience, what parlor-scale effects get the best reactions? Also, what are your favorite effects for medium-sized crowds when performing for tips?
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13414 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
The tricks that get the best reactions are the tricks you've done the longest. The trick itself hardly matters.

What tricks are you best at? Hand Crafted Magic
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Inner circle
Milford OH
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Profile of Paddy
Frank is right there, also all I ever work is a short 12 to 15 minute show and make more than $8/hour. have someone video your show and examine what you're doing. Another thing is to have another busker watch your show and get advice from them. Go to Bobby Mavericks bootcamp.
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Special user
Kansas City
504 Posts

Profile of MagiUlysses
At a local busker fest where I have performed the past few years, I do three tricks, use lots of energy and razzmatazz with the audience; get them in, get their money, get them on their way, and repeat. Frank's spot on, as Paddy said. And for the streets, I agree completely with Paddy, 12 - 15 minutes! Any more than that and they're going to walk because they were headed somewhere when they came across you, right? Follow Paddy's advice, find a busker to mentor you, or do a busker bootcamp. Oh, and in answer to your question, I do a pretty neat trick with a piece of red rope and 13 audience volunteers (my edge build unless I'm spinning plates or doing a T&R Napkin with a kid doing a do-as-I-do ala Flora), the professor's nightmare (or sometimes a ring-and-rope routine), the silk-to-egg (I used to open with a vanishing silk then do the PN but my scripts for the PN and silk-to-egg work better in that order), and I close with the cups and balls. Depending on the crowd and my timing, I cut or lengthen my cups routine to suit the situation. Sometimes, for a change of pace, I play around with the "floating" wand or a jumbo invisible deck. But like Frank said, do the tricks you're best at. The audience is watching you. You're the entertainment, the tricks are a delivery system.

Joe Zeman aka
The Mage Ulysses
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Profile of RupertAngier
Thank you for the advice. Thank you Ulysses for the tricks. I don't know any buskers well enough to ask for input but will definitely try filming my shows and examining them.
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