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Kansas City
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Profile of MagiUlysses
Greetings and Salutations One and All,

Over in the "Street Magic" forum Steven Hart was looking to share ballys and ideas for ballys on one of the threads, and I replied that I would come up with an old one that I had used regularly. As they don?t do much ballying in the hit-and-run world of "Street Magic," I thought I?d toss it in here and see what kind of comments and ideas it would generate.

This is a bally I used a couple of years ago at both the St. Louis and Kansas City renfests. I was the medicine man, front man and MC for a variety show featuring magic, song, dance, and sword play. We usually played on a "stage" of some sort, giving me and the show some height advantage over the crowd.

The following is done from memory. I ran across the original script and it is nothing like the following, although the idea was the same. What follows is what evolved from that original script. I will add the usual caveat that what works for me works for me and YMMV. I didn?t think I was going to be able to remember it, and there may be some bits that have gone AWOL. However, after having done it something like five times a day, eleven Saturdays, Sundays, and Memorial and Labor Days, it kind of gets stuck in the old brain?

Beginning with the banging of a hand-held gong -- very loud and attention getting. (Depending on location, I would now substitute a tambourine. Original street workers would often use a horn or drum to get attention and gather a crowd.)

"Gather round, gather round. I?ve a very important announcement. Yes. Gather round, gather round."

Banging of the gong.

"I say there, can you hear me? Excellent well!" Either pointing to someone a fair distance off whose attention I had caught, or pointing to no one in particular, it didn?t make any difference, I just wanted to attract attention.

More banging of the gong.

"Gather round, gather round. Very important announcement. Yes, a very important announcement. Gather round, gather round."

Banging on the gong again, I?d usually have a small to large handful of people who have either stopped to see what I was going to say, or were taking seats, assuming a show was about to start ? clever people! Smile

"Yes, I have a very important announcement. A very important announcement."

Even more banging of the gong.

"Yes, a very important announcement. Coming up, on this very stage is quite possibly the greatest show you?re ever going to see coming up on this very stage! Think about that, sir. It doesn?t get any more clever than that, and we don?t make any apologies for it!"

Still more banging of the gong.

"Yes, this show has something for everyone ? magic, mystery, mayhem ? exotic entertainment from around the world. Sir, that?s exotic entertainment as in from a foreign land, not from Chi Chi?s Boom Boom Room, but I do like the way you think!" Said to no man in particular but said in the general direction of a man in the audience.

Yet more banging of the gong.

"Yes, gather round, gather round. Coming up on this very stage ? the Caravan Gypsy Show -- with something for everyone. Song. Dance. Mystery. Mayhem. Danger."

And yet still even more banging of the gong. At this point there would be butts in the seats, and I would make the call as to when to start the show. I would work the crowd using all the usual bits of business and some of my own until I determined that the crowd was as big as it was going to get without something actually taking place on stage.

"Lords and ladies, lads and lassies, good gentles of every station, without further ado ? the Caravan Gypsies ?"

And I would lead the crowd with clapping and cheering, and I would be looking toward to back "stage" staging area but the "Caravan Gypsies" would not appear.

"My apologies, my lords and ladies. Prima donas! You understand. Let?s give a big round of applause for the Caravan Gypsies ?"

This attracted about all the attention I determined we were going to get, and I would start the show. I would ad lib some asides with my 10-year-old straight man. Like I said, it was a variety show, and featured me, my (now) girlfriend, our dancer friend and her son, my sidekick.

"My apologies, my lords and ladies, it appears the Caravan Gypsies are still shopping. Let us be on our way, Diciego."

And the show would begin as my sidekick pointed out that we had a crowd and it would be a shame to not work them, bless his mercenary little heart! Smile

I would open with a take-off of Colombini?s Ring Around, Too. The Caravan Gypsies would make their appearance at the end of the routine. There was byplay between the two of them and us; a song; a bottle production (for the "medicine"); a dance; a blendo of some type (I had about five different variations for the blendo effect); my sidekick guzzling the last of my "medicine" (which had a striking resemblance to Surge cola, which it was); him getting sick and producing a mouth coil from his mouth, a hat line asking for contributions to determine which girl was the loveliest, a sword fight between the two girls, and ended with me being "run through" as I stepped between the two girls. And then we?d blow off the audience, thanking them for seeing the show and telling them who was coming up next.

That is the long of my bally and the short of our show. I await the thoughts and ideas it may or may not generate.

Have fun playing in the streets (or fairs and festivals)!

Joe in KC

Live a great adventure, make magic happen.
Steve Hart
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Palm Bay, FL
382 Posts

Profile of Steve Hart
Hi Gang,

I just posted how I would start my street magic show along with my "Bally-Hoo" in the "Street Magic" form titled, "Lines to get people to allow you to do street magic for them?"

I hope you will find this informative and helpful when you want to start street performing.

Steve Hart
Cape Canaveral, FL USA
"Motivational Magicians are some of the highest paid magicians, find out why?"
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