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Stperformer
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I am seriously considering putting my efforts this winter into a cigarette routine solely for the streets.
Not fairs, not gigs...but solely for the street.
I plan on going to the US next summer and I have heard there is a pretty vocal anti-smoking attitude in some USA places. Do you lads think an unlit cigarette routine as follows would work in America???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79SNguHaZoQ

The magician is a really decent Canadian chap named Max who I met in Europe couple years ago and he killed with it here when I saw him do it in Germany.
Or would it be 'politically incorrect in places such as California??
FatHatter
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Don't worry about PC. Let the skill shine.
RiffRaff
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Stperformer:
I would refrain for three reasons:
1. I have had members of my crowd leave because one of the audience members was smoking.
2. Some cities are considering banning smoking in outdoor public places.
3. Americans are looking for reasons to be offended.
Dave V
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Look at Ron Jaxon's -No Smoking routine. Its easily framed the you would like to smoke, but it won't let you.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
FatHatter
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Quote:
On 2012-12-12 15:57, RiffRaff wrote:
Stperformer:
I would refrain for three reasons:
1. I have had members of my crowd leave because one of the audience members was smoking.
2. Some cities are considering banning smoking in outdoor public places.
3. Americans are looking for reasons to be offended.


To rebut:

1. He's not gonna light it.
2. He's not gonna light it.
3. Then they will be offended anyway.
Harry Murphy
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It will play well. Skill will win out.

It will play especially if it is played up front as Not PC and you're trying to get rid of the cigarette, etc.

Johnny Fox does a cigarette sequence where he borrows a cigarette from an audience member, lights it with a borrowed lighter, does some basic slights and then a tonguing sequence. He gets a great response even from non-smokers.

The few offended will walk away. I've had folks get offended by a color changing knife routine! Go figure.

I'd say go for it and if you don't get fat hats then drop it. Do give it a chance and do make sure that you have plenty of comedy built in.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Gary T.
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There's a reason why the US is trying to raise taxes on cigarretes, it's the same reason for why the banning of cigarretes is a big deal, people do it, lots and lots and lots of people do it. so I say go for it, the ammount of people who are gonna enjoy it are going to far exceed the ammount of people who think that they're superior because they don't smoke. people are gonna be amazed when you pick up something that some of them literally go through 20 or more of a day, that is so familiar to them, and you start to do things with it they never thought possible.
RiffRaff
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1) FatHatter, I don't understand what you wrote.
2) Harry, Johnny Fox doesn't do street; he does festivals.
3) Let me rephrase my position: What's the sense in working on a new routine that may lose you audience members and perhaps be disallowed on a pitch? Some routines can have questionable elements that can be adjusted based on audience reaction (for instance blue lines), but a cig routine can't be done with any other object. Those that already have a polished cig routine may try to ride it until it's completely unusable, but to begin working on a new routine is probably not the most efficient use of one's time.
bostonzero
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Honestly, just like all magic, some people will enjoy it, some will not. The fact that it is a cigarette may make some parents who are watching with their children not want to stick around. But trust me, here in Boston, there are a large amount of smokers. And those who don't smoke, won't necessarily run off just for the fact that you are performing with a cigarette.

Are you performing east coast, west coast or travelling the whole country? I say go for, entertainment is entertainment! I assume it wouldn't be your entire performance right? Don't use it as an opener and people will already be drawn in. Doubt they'll leave just because there is suddenly a cigarette involved in the performance. You could always use an electronic cigarette too, so puffs of smoke can be blown out throughout the performance and people may be more receptive to it not being a real cig...

Plus, I've performed around Boston for many years and people around here tend to think of anyone not from the USA as exotic and intriguing, so if you have an accent and you're performing, people will already be drawn in and a cigarette in the routine will not matter!! So bonus there for you. It may seem strange, but it is very true...at least here in Boston it is! Good luck!
Nick W
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Cigarette magic is fantastic. I do it and so should you (if your considering) I never smoke the fag, rather just keep the smoke in my cheeks. Heres my thoughts:

if someone would walk away from you smoking on the streets, they would most likely walk away or get offended at your regardless.

when you do cigarette magic, it clearly tells the audinece that your not a childrens entertainer. I personally don't want to be seen as a kids performer. although my street costume is a little kiddish. contrast is good.

it is possible to do a anti smoke routine. however, manipulating smoke and lit objects gets really good reactions. fag in jacket? classic.

I worked the auckland buskers festival last janurary and at the evening show, with hundreds watching, I motioned to borrow a fag. I stood on "stage" for litereally 5 minutes until someone finally gave me one. I almost died. Kiwis are proud to not smoke. and fags are really expensive there. now I just bring my own.

cigarettes are edgy. and anything edgy sells. fact.
Harry Murphy
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RiffRaff, I've seen Johnny on the streets well away from festivals in the past. Perhaps he is only a festival performer today as he gets older.

The block-head routine offends many, but they watch. Balloon swallowing is seen as offensive by many. Heck, the "Color Changing Knives" got me "talked to" by police after an audience member with small children complained. I continued performing it after they left by the way. I have and do perform a cigarette manipulation sequence in bar venues. In my state smoking is not permitted in bars. It is better received than card or ball manipulation (both of which I have tried in the same venues - subjectively I get better reactions from the cigarettes).

Horses for courses. The routine can work and can lead to fat hats.

I do see the point of why alienate any part of a potential audience. A walk away is a person that is not dropping anything in the hat.

However, let me say that just being a busker offends many people in the USA (and in many other countries as well). I've seen people complain loudly about Gazzo amongst others. I have had the police called on me (mentioned above). There is nothing you can do that won't offend someone. Just being on your pitch, in costume, doing a vanilla act, will offend a number of good folks, If you are lucky they will simply not stop to watch. If you are unlucky they will call the police and complain or make a disturbance as they walk away in a huff.

Horses for courses.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
fireperformer911
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Cigarette routine are good not as good as using fire in your act.

Problem with cigarettes and fire some pitches you can't work with cigarettes or fire.

So really just a matter of choice.
ed rhodes
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If the cigarettes aren't lit. I don't really see anybody making a fuss.
"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?"
The Great Zoobini
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Quote:
Just being on your pitch, in costume, doing a vanilla act, will offend a number of good folks


I agree with Harry's insight that just the act of busking is highly offensive to some.
I've had a few people insist I move and threaten to call the police. I came up with this. I stand silent as the person rants, make sure everybody is watching, then offer the schmoe a quarter to go call the police. My edge would just laugh at them. A cop never showed up.
I guess a phone call is 50 cents now...if you can find a pay phone, that is.
Buskers are a unique lot...
Meet you in Busker Alley Smile
Gary T.
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Quote:
On 2012-12-13 23:59, The Great Zoobini wrote:
Quote:
Just being on your pitch, in costume, doing a vanilla act, will offend a number of good folks


I agree with Harry's insight that just the act of busking is highly offensive to some.
I've had a few people insist I move and threaten to call the police. I came up with this. I stand silent as the person rants, make sure everybody is watching, then offer the schmoe a quarter to go call the police. My edge would just laugh at them. A cop never showed up.
I guess a phone call is 50 cents now...if you can find a pay phone, that is.
Buskers are a unique lot...

I think I have some old net 10 phones arround here, I'm gonna load one up with a few minutes and do this but offer them the cell phone to call with, make it a bit more modern.
Nick W
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I have had a guy come up to me and complaing that I was wasting salt. I do a salt pour. Stay edgy. People like it even though they act like they don't.
ed rhodes
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Or, you could make the argument that you're causing a dangerous hazard as someone might pass your spot and slip on that salt.
"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?"
Nick W
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To come back to Stperformer fag concern, just light em up. Keep it magical.

In this day and age, if you do the right thing, your gonna be wrong. If you do the wrong thing, your gonna be wrong.
Kozmo
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Cellini has a nice cig routine he Did on the streets for years
G.Gilbert
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I've been thinking about cutting it out of my act... a well respected performer (rightly so) in our industry told me that its disrespectful to audiences. He compared it to "spitting in front of them"... to have a well rounded act that can work around the world, as a professional, I may avoid it....

On the other hand, I'm stubborn, and did not become a street performer to put up with BS.
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