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Magician Shaun
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This winter I was doing weekend shows at my usual spot. It was busy because there was an ice skating rink and Christmas light display there. I was doing my thing and this lady and man came up. They were obviously having a rough time. They had dirty clothes and looked like they had been sleeping on the ground. I called them over and talked to them a bit and I started my show for them. No one else came over, maybe because of how they looked.

I did my show just like I would for anyone and they smiled and laughed and were happy. For 15 minutes they forgot about all the terrible things in the world that put them where they were. I didn't hat them. But the most amazing thing happened.

The woman and man walked away together. A few minutes later I was back to working trying to build a crowd and the lady came over and gave me $1. Now, I didn't want to take the dollar but at the same time I didn't want to refuse it. I asked her, "Are you sure?" and she smiled and placed it on my table, said "thank you" and turned and walked away.


That is the reason I go out and perform. I go to create that magical moment that lets people forget for a few minutes about all the bad stuff that is out there. I create magic for them. I have found that when your primary goal is making people happy you will do a much better show than if your goal is money. You know what else? People watching you can sense it. When you truly make people happy and share in a moment of magic, that is also going to be when you make the most money. When people feel your sincerity that is when they feel what you gave them was truly valuable and that is when you get a hat full of $20's $10's and $5's. It's something you cannot fake and you will know it when it happens. You can feel it when you connect with the audience in that magical way. Once it has happened once, you tell when it doesn't happen too!

If your primary goal when you go out to perform is to make money, you are going to become bitter and hate magic along with your audiences. That is why Svengali pitchmen are so bitter. If your primary goal is to make people happy, then you will be happy, love magic, and the money will follow. But you can't fake it. And you are who you are so your motives are not likely to change.

So why do you go out to perform on the street?
silvercup
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Quote:


If your primary goal when you go out to perform is to make money, you are going to become bitter and hate magic along with your audiences. That is why Svengali pitchmen are so bitter. If your primary goal is to make people happy, then you will be happy, love magic, and the money will follow. But you can't fake it. And you are who you are so your motives are not likely to change.




Enjoyed reading about what you experienced.
The paragraph selected may be true for you. To say it is true for everyone? Nope.
My primary goal is to make money. That is why I go out. The things you say will follow have not.
People can fake lot's of stuff. Sometimes with thought other times without.
Motives change with people everyday because life is full of change.

ATTENTION TROLL HUNTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This post does not mean I think making people happy is a bad thing or happy people won't tip you.
Nor does it mean that there aren't bitter buskers out there for various reasons.
I disagree on the things selected and choose to offer an opposing opinion for consideration.
Paddy
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Glad you added the 2nd paragraph silver.

Gr8. I do busk to make a living, but you are right. When I'm on the pitch I don't care about anything but my audience. the smiles, the laughter, the people saying "Thanks that was really good." I NEVER look at the money and just take it from the hat and drop it in the place I keep it until I get home. Yes the money is important, but second place to entertaining people and making them happy.
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
tboehnlein
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"ATTENTION TROLL HUNTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "

Now that is funny....http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=CZWZylFtqlNqYM&tbnid=Q5ET4aaMTGG7nM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fguideustv.net%2Ftrollhunter-horror-movie-review-dont-feed-the-trolls-or-else.html&ei=6-yTUbenL-TC4AP44YDgBw&bvm=bv.46471029,d.dmg&psig=AFQjCNGImo3Q_3906xJr616CIJd5FNamvA&ust=1368735138395218
Magician Shaun
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@silvercup,

I will take the time to expound on my original statement because it is very broad.

When you go out to work the street anything can happen. You can have the best day of your life and make $100/hr busking. You can have amazing experiences like I have had where a poor homeless down on their luck couple gives you a dollar for your performance when they might not have $10 to their name. You can do a show for a group of 4 people in running shorts and shirts and get 2 $20 bills in your hat when you finish. You can get booked for shows at $200/hr. However, there is a flip side to that.

You can go out and work for 6 hrs and come home with $36. You can get run off by the police. You can have an off day and flash loads during your finale. You can have walk offs that you just don't understand. You can have the biggest crowd of the day, over 50 people and when you hat them, most of them walk away, and when you look in the hat, there are 2 lonely 1$ bills.

If you are out to make money then when the stuff in paragraph one happens you are on top of the world. But, when paragraph two happens you are down. You don't understand why it is happening. You may have done a good show and people were laughing, why did you get a $2 hat? This can make you bitter. This can make you question why you are out giving your heart and soul to these people when they don't care.

When I started busking it because I wanted to perform my magic but didn't have an outlet for it. So I looked up my local busking laws and took my show to the street. It had been about 10 years since I had performed professionally. When I was 22 I stopped doing everything for a while. I had lots of experience from working at Magic Masters (16+ shows/day, top salesman almost every week), a few restaurant gigs, charity events that I started "paying my dues" with. But that was in the past. I just wanted to perform my magic and doing a trick for friends and family didn't count to me. My primary purpose was just to go out and show people magic and have a good time.

I was good at magic but not at hatting the crowd. Like most beginners, I was shy about asking for the money. I read up on hat lines and how to get them to pay. Remember, there is no art without money. Always though, for me, the money was second and performing was first. After a few weeks I started bringing home real money. I started making more or as much money on my weekends busking as I did at my regular job in a whole week.

Then I started busking festivals. At festivals I often doubled or tripled my average sidewalk income. By the end of my first season I could go out and make as much in a couple of hours as I made in a normal 8 hour day at work (this in the winter, or off season).

The reason I say what I say about the money and the primary thought when busking is because busking is an exercise in trust. You give freely in hopes that others will find value in it and give you something in return for your hard work. You are giving without any promise of return. NEVER FORGET THAT. When you forget that, you turn into one of those Times Square characters that attacks the parent of a child that didn't tip you. You get angry because you forget that you perform in the hope that others understand and find value not with a promise of that.

If your primary purpose is money it is easy for you to become the guy that gets the government to pass laws that regulate us. You make the money the most important goal and someone doesn't tip you and then you attack them, don't say it can't happen, it has. Maybe it wasn't you, yet.

Anyway, remember, as buskers we are giving to the community and connecting with people. When you fail to connect and communicate you fail as a busker. When you let money take over your purpose you fail as busker. That is how I feel about. Others may disagree. That is the beauty of America, Free Speech, freedom of expression. We can all have an opinion.

I hope all of you have good shows and FAT HATS,

Shaun
vernon
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Been too busy to post here for ages as I've been out making folks smile AND making money. Should that be the other way round. Dunno... But I've got bills. I can't go to the bank and smile and be happy to my mortgage lender... Anyway. Got to get back to WORK...
vernon
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But I do get the tenants of what has been opined. A happy busker always wins. No matter what.
JoeJoe
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I perform on the streets because if I stand in the bushes my legs get all scratched up.

-JoeJoe
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
Magician Shaun
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I am not saying that we shouldn't try to make money. I want to make money every time I go out to perform. We all have to eat and pay bills.

I just think you end up being a lot happier when money is second.
imgic
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I thing GR8 is restating what Kozmo and others have said in the past. Focuse on providing for your audience's needs and the money will come. This is a universal principle. I just worked with a large sales group as to why we win (or lose) accounts. Biggest factor for a win was the Rep's replationship and providing for customer's needs. This is huge advantage over our biggest competitor whose reps are seen as being aggresive, pushing for sales and often referred to as "used car salesmen."

Ironically we just saw this yesterday. With return of nice weather, is return of the panhandlers at street corners. Most just hold up cardboard signs. Some are aggressive and knock on windows. Yesterday we saw on with cardboard sign, one side had something about "Be Happy Today" and other side was a happy face type logo that he could hold up to bottom half of face and looked like he had a big ole grin. He was doing a little jig as he stood on corner flipping the sign around. Was so entertaining my daughter insisted on giving him some cash. Wiling to bet he brings in more than guy knocking on windows...
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
silvercup
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Quote:


When you go out to work the street anything can happen.




I've found that to be true for the last decade or so.

Quote:


If you are out to make money then when the stuff in paragraph one happens you are on top of the world. But, when paragraph two happens you are down. You don't understand why it is happening.


This I don't find to be true. When I make money it's expected. I put on a good show why wouldn't I be compensated?
When I don't make as much I'm not down. I had a good time. I always have a good time. I'm alive and healthy. Why did it happen? It's because I was a bit off, they were a bit off, less money in the pockets, it's 104 degrees, or the best one of all...it happens, it's life. "Some days are diamonds..."
Experience has shown that the hat levels off and becomes almost predictable. If not today then tomorrow.
"Oh you got to learn to roll with the changes. Got to, got to, got to, got to keep on rollin'"


Quote:

The reason I say what I say about the money and the primary thought when busking is because busking is an exercise in trust. You give freely in hopes that others will find value in it and give you something in return for your hard work. You are giving without any promise of return. NEVER FORGET THAT. When you forget that, you turn into one of those Times Square characters that attacks the parent of a child that didn't tip you. You get angry because you forget that you perform in the hope that others understand and find value not with a promise of that.



How could anyone forget that busking is an exercise in trust when you get the bum hat? One would have to really not be paying any attention at all. The cookie monster and people that shout others down for cash aren't busking in my book. They are strong arming others, big difference.


Quote:

If your primary purpose is money it is easy for you to become the guy that gets the government to pass laws that regulate us.




I totally disagree with this. Anyone wanting to make money wants the most opportunity to do so. Regulation goes directly against that. It would be easier for me to fly like a bird than it would be to get me to approve of restrictions on freedom of speech.

Quote:


You make the money the most important goal and someone doesn't tip you and then you attack them, don't say it can't happen, it has. Maybe it wasn't you, yet.




Do you realize that you just implied that I will, someday, attack someone because they didn't tip me?
That came from your head Sir. I can't even conceive such a thought much less do it. I propose you have already made a step in that direction. Not that you WILL do it, but you have thought it. Thinking is the first step to anything. Be careful out there. Smile

Quote:
When you let money take over your purpose you fail as busker. That is how I feel about. Others may disagree. That is the beauty of America, Free Speech, freedom of expression. We can all have an opinion.



Disagree here Shaun. Failing as a busker would be punching for no tipping. Failing as a busker would be chapping off the local merchants. Failing as a busker would be supporting anti-free speech legislation/restrictions. Failing as a busker would be putting on a sorry show. That's my take.
Vive la différence!!
gallagher
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Hey Gg8, I enjoy your Posts,.. your thoughts,... your searching.
I enjoy your conclusions drawn here.
But, you asked, "Why do I perform on the Streets?"

It might sound crazy, but when I started,... I had NO other option!
Kid´s birthday Parties? nope.
Boy Scout Banquets? nope.
Free Social Events at the VA? nope.
No one wanted me!
Really.

gosh, the Streets are crazy, eh?
Dirty, stinky, crowded,.... dark as they are,
they welcome us all.

wishing you weather and smiles,
gallagher

and: nö promotion.
nö audition.
nö time schedule.
nö rushing here to there.
nö brown-nosing.
,....nö turning back.
ed rhodes
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I busk because, honestly, it's the best and easiest place for me to perform.

I don't have to get anyone to hire me, I don't have to audition for anyone, I go out to my spot in the park or on Thayer Street and just start performing.

I've had two cases slightly similar to Gr8's. One, in Walt Disney World, the family was waiting for Aladdin and Jasmine to come out, give autographs and pose for pictures. While we were waiting, a little girl just in front of us began getting cranky. Her mother mentioned that it was hot. (She had a ice water fan and tried to keep the kid cooled, but it WAS hot.) I said; No, she's not hot. She's cranky because she's got one of THESE behind her ear. And pulled out a sponge ball. I did half of Mark Wilson's Sponge Ball Routine and the kid perked right up.

The Sponge Ball routine also came in handy when a little girl was being taken out of the Hasbro Playground in Roger Williams Park. Again, I mentioned that she had something stuck behind her ear and pulled out the sponge ball. Again, she was stunned and by the time I reached the end of the routine (the entire thing this time), she was smiling and happy.

I didn't make anything at WDW (obviously) and I don't remember how much I made at the park (although the mother gave me $5 at the end of the show.) But the looks on the children's faces were worth far more than anything else.
"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?"
thomasR
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You will make more money if you "appear" to be genuinely happy and enjoying what you do.
This is true of almost any business in the world. It's why Disney World is the #1 most visited attraction, the employees / cast members at Disney
act happy. Are they always happy? Nope.

To me... I go into a "show" mode where I'm always on my toes trying to make crazy things happen. Things like convincing people I just did something
Impossible. It's very hard for me to walk throgh a show. It's easier to get into it and do it right!
Magician Shaun
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Silvercup,

The possible acts of violence came to me when thinking about the cookie monster attacking someone who didn't tip. My guess is that he felt entitled to the money. IT was his first priority with no care for "Art." This behavior is what is causing governments to regulate us more and more. That was just an example. I didn't mean you exactly.

The statement about not knowing why something happened was referring to a bad hat not the good one. Usually you can feel it when your about to have a monster hat. Often times when I am about to have a poor one, I don't know it till it happens. Not the first time anyway. If it happens again, I realize I am a bit off or something.

Anyway, good luck out there.

Gsllagher,

I started on the street for the same reason you did. It was too hard to make me people pay me ahead of time. So I went out and did my show first. Apparently they liked it because they started paying.

Check out the Ted Talk from a busker. Its a great 15 minutes.
JoeJoe
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You guys are all really overthinking this to the 10th power.

-JoeJoe
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
imgic
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Quote:
On 2013-05-18 19:19, thomasR wrote:
You will make more money if you "appear" to be genuinely happy and enjoying what you do.


Fake it until you make it. It's true. Sometimes your heart isn't in it, but you screw on a smile onto your face and press on...
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Though this can apply to the streets it can apply to all performing.

Thanks for sharing the story about the $ given.
At first it was about ego, I can do this.

The few times lately that I have worked the street, I got a dose of humility and learned lots of stuff about keeping a crowd.

In my 20's I used magic and things like fireeating as a social thing.
Couldn't figure out the talking thing without doing a trick.

My "hat" is off to those that share pure joy,(whether they are doing comedy or straight magic or even playing tunes) as they perform on the streets.

Harris
still 2 old to know it all
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
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