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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Day 3 On The Pitch - Stopping Crowds in 100 F Heat (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Magician Shaun
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So, for day 3 I did OK, I made almost as much per hour as I do at my 9-5 job. I guess if you figure in what they take from taxes, I made just as much. The thing is, I wound up doing a trickle show again. It was HOT. 99 F and Humidity was like almost 60%. People would stop, I would start the show, do about 10 minutes, they would pull out some money and say "It's too hot, thanks for the show." drop it in my circle or hand it to me and head on.

Overall my show is getting better. My nervousness is gone. I tried to build a crowd by offering them free shade. I set up my pitch under a shade tree. I made sure there was some spectator space in the shade. I was yelling "Magic Show, Stop and watch the magic, Free Shade, I promise that even if you don't like the magic, you will love the shade!" Has anyone else found it difficult to build an edge in inclement weather? Any ideas? Tips?

I fixed my sign. It now just says "Magic Show" Then Tips Appreciated. I did try setting up on the Park side of the street today. I was run off by security. The told me I needed to have a permit to perform on state property. I plan to look into that today as I have a feeling that it isn't the case. I may try again, and if I do I will be well prepared because they like to attempt to keep performers off of the property.

Lastly, Please help. I am wondering if I can't build a crowd because it's sooooo HOT and people don't want to stand in the sun when it's 100 degrees or do I just SUCK? Tips, advice, suggestions? I just don't understand why I can't build an edge. I will stop em, then do a card trick or something that is not part of the show in an attempt to build more. I use the rings to get applause and make noise with a spectator on my STAGE, still I don't build a big enough edge. Does the heat matter? I don't want a trickle show. HELP!

P.S. I know some people liked the show, the few times I did the whole thing. I got 3 5's and a 10, today. So I don't think the show is awful, it's just that I only actually finished the whole show, like 3 times out of 4 hours. The rest were parts of it.
Ekuth
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Unfortunately, weather is always going to be your unspoken and invisible enemy... heat, cold, wind...

I perform in AZ, so I'm busking in 110+ temps, even at night. Last night, it never dropped below 100.

I also don't busk during the day, it's too darn hot and people aren't out. When they are, they're going from one air-conditioned place to another and they're not going to stop to linger. I head out about sundown and work from there depending on my pitch.

Right now, I'm working the local July 4th festival of a local city. Starts at 6pm and runs until 10 - 11pm; folks will be out because of the fireworks tonight and just for something to do. They'll drag the kids out if it's big enough. Fortunately, the city has cooling stations set up, if I can squeeze next to one of those tonight I will.

The heat is another reason you have to be flexible; work your full show when you can build a large enough edge, trickle it when you can't. At least you're still making money. Most of my larger crowds actually start off as trickles and build during the show. Make sure you have a circular trickle show sequence so you can move into your main show seamlessly.

Think about learning to twist; balloons can draw kids like a magnet. Fully a third of my hat last night was from twisting. It's virtually a pure profit enterprise and can get you party gigs if you're good enough. Make sure to specify that you're not 'selling' the ballons. I made a sign that says "Suggested Donation" $1 for simple, $2 for larger. Yes, sometimes I have to eat it and give out a free balloon to cheapskates, but... meh.

So, as a hot climate worker, here's my tips:

1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Can't stress this enough. Drink water the day BEFORE you perform as well as every chance you get while on pitch.

2. Change your showtimes to dusk/night. It's cooler and more folks out and about.

3. Don't underestimate trickle shows. Do they draw the big hats? No, but you can easily start your full show if you have enough people. Hell, I made $30 last night from 2 couples that I actually moved my table to give a personal performance to! So don't say that trickles don't pay.

4. Learn to twist, facepaint, juggle... anything to add value.

Sounds like you're doing well so far, just adapt your tactics to work with or around the weather. Good luck getting onto the private property, rent-a-cops are the worst.
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
Magician Shaun
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The thing is, It's not private property, it's A state park, or so they claimed. I read about a guy that used to do street performances here in Atlanta with an escape finale. He did his research and then went to do his thing at Stone Mountain, another state park. He was smart though. He called the state attorney generals office and asked them if the park was state property. After getting the affirmative on that, he explained to the fellow why he was asking, the guys attitude changed but grudgingly admitted that legally he could perform there. Then every day when he went to perform, the park management tried to make him leave, each day he politely tore up their letter and continued performing all summer. State property, whether managed by a private company or not, is still state property. So I am going to see what I can do.

I drink tons of water, I have been trying to be flexible with the show. I am just glad to hear that part of my troubles were indeed due to the heat. The thing is, I am not sure where to perform at night. I will start beginning to research some good spots.
Ekuth
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Ahhhh... gotcha. Yeah, that sounds like a like of crap you're getting fed there; I'd challenge it.

Good luck out there!
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
The Burnaby Kid
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It's frequently worth it to have a 10 minute show for such an occasion. If nothing else, it gives you a chance to really polish 2 (or possibly 3) tricks by doing them over and over, as well as work on your ability to crowd-manage, deliver hat lines, etc.
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Octopus Sun
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Ekuth, Are you working the Tempe Show?
That's a huge party.
Decent sparkles too.
I never went out to work Mill Ave until after 9pm from May to Oct
Mill Ave used to = Big $$$ till that superbowl happened.

during my time in the Valley I never went out till after 9pm
and I was back home inside by 10am if out at all during the daytime.

I played the Didgeridu to draw my crowd, still play at nights up here in Oregon during certain events. Right now there's the Olympic tryouts happening and the farmer's outdoor market. I'm around there.
It's all new to me here, just moved up here a month ago, and it's wonderful so far.
Nothing like the town of Nederland, CO where I was before.

That's a town Buskers can make a fortune in, it's an eclectic tourist spot with lots of $$$, and freedom to busk. glad I'm gone found a new place with new things to show and learn here.
Magician Shaun
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I am glad that my assessment of the impact of the heat was not totally off. Next week I will do my same routine but after I will cruise around and find some places with good evening traffic and start to plan a more adult oriented show for drunks.

If I find one I will be in touch Ekuth,for one of those lit up canes.

Another thing I have found is that a hundred crash links a day using the rings as a draw can start to hurt!
AndyLuka
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I'm currently busking at Summerfest, and things are going great, line you I am dealing with the heat as an issue, but I'm still getting 30people crowds. In which maybe 7 or 8 will tip, most people are too scared to come up to the rope, even after I invite them forward. I will post more after tomorrow, 3 solid days and Im learning so much
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Magician Shaun
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Well I am not making amazing money, YET. But I am an Engineering Student, and can't afford to up and quit my extremely flexible job just yet. They almost let me come and go as I please, work from home, etc. I am hoping to one day but I need to build my magic into full-time gigs first.

One step at a time!
AndyLuka
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I'm not full time yet either, I have a regular 9-5 with good pay, but if things keep going as well as they are now, then I'll be full time within the next year.
Making Magic and Fantasy a reality in a world where our reality can sometimes be rather cruel



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solrak29
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Quote:
On 2012-06-30 18:12, Gr8gorilla wrote:

Lastly, Please help. I am wondering if I can't build a crowd because it's sooooo HOT and people don't want to stand in the sun when it's 100 degrees or do I just SUCK? Tips, advice, suggestions? I just don't understand why I can't build an edge. I will stop em, then do a card trick or something that is not part of the show in an attempt to build more. I use the rings to get applause and make noise with a spectator on my STAGE, still I don't build a big enough edge. Does the heat matter? I don't want a trickle show. HELP!



These are the questions that will lead you to be a better performer.
I tend to look on what I am doing before blaming the pitch or weather.
And no one can really tell unless they are actually there to see what
the deal is.

One thing, I noticed that you said that you turned to trickle shows;
doing 10 minute routines and then the crowd leaving money because
of one reason or another. Perhaps, your show is too long, and you are
not ready to do the longer/bigger show yet....just a thought...
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MagiCol
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I've just finished catching up on this thread and I'm thinking, Well, being a street magician sure isn't boring!
The presentation makes the magic.
JoeJoe
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Quote:
On 2012-06-30 18:12, Gr8gorilla wrote:
I am wondering if I can't build a crowd because it's sooooo HOT and people don't want to stand in the sun when it's 100 degrees or do I just SUCK?


It is most likely a combination of both.

People don't want to stand around in the heat ... fast short shows work better. Cut out all your fluff and only do your absolute best. I find when it gets really hot, people only want to watch 1 trick, so yea ... it becomes a trickle. I only work nights in that heat, the day is just not worth it.

-JoeJoe
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Ekuth
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@Octopus: Yeah, I work Downtown Mesa and Mill Ave. Mesa's not bad if they're running a festival or something, but it's going to go dead here soon when they run the next spur of the light rail through. Once it's done, however... mwhwhahahha!

Tempe's been kind to me, but right now half the kids are out on summer break so pickings have been slow. Starting to pick up, though.

I grew up in CO, so I hear ya! Much more relaxed attitude, especially in the tourist/mountain towns.

But yeah, like you, I don't hit the pitch until 8:00 PM earliest. The crowds don't really get going until 9 - 12, and there's no way I'm busting my chops in the full sun. As JoeJoe said, it's just not worth it. Gotta draw a balance between my health and the rewards.

Worked the second part of the festival last night, 110 degrees... ugh. I'm whipped today. Well, got two days to recharge before I do a private gig at a resort.

Good luck out there, guys. Stay safe, stay cool.
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
Magician Shaun
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I want to think that my problem is that I don't have skill building the edge. My experience with people who watch the entire show has been positive. I have had a few surprisingly large tips from people who watched the whole show. It just seems like I don't understand how to build the crowd once I have stopped a group and interested them.
mota
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In an old post somewhere Danny Hustle recommended Bro Paul's booklet, X Marks the Spot, for indoor busking when weather is bad.

http://brotherpaulmagic.com/store.html
solrak29
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Quote:
I want to think that my problem is that I don't have skill building the edge.


Once you have your act and you have street time under your belt; this is the
only part left...I think or so I've been told...it's the secret that folks
keep as gold...or are we chasing the holy grail Smile

Quote:
In an old post somewhere Danny Hustle recommended Bro Paul's booklet, X Marks the Spot, for indoor busking when weather is bad.


I go inside when it's below 40....I have brother's stuf, but take a different approahc,
but that should be left for another discussion...like when the season is out for us
in the cold parts...
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Magician Shaun
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We never really have winter here, just a cool Spring...

Has anyone used a fantasio cane as a startling effect for stopping people on the street in broad daylight? Either kind? Vanishing or appearing?
Ekuth
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When I first started, but the things were so slow and unreliable that I gave up on it.

I *may* get a metal cane someday, but the reset time is a PITA; that's why I eventually meandered to the dancing cane.
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
MagicofDesperado
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Gr8gorilla,

Kudos on just getting out there and busting S&@$ up Smile

In reference to a few of your queries and the happenings in your shows, have you seen Kozmo's "Tales from the Street"? I recently watched this and was how I leaned about busking. Kozmo has some definite opinions about what he thinks produces success and many of the points he stressed (off the top of my head) seem to echo some of your experiences. Just a thought.

I really wish you great success!

Dave
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