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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Problems with gear at the pitch (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MagiCol
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How much can go wrong with my props?
Wanganui Busking on Sat 2nd November 2013
I was away from home for a couple of weeks, having been to a Magicians’ Convention the previous weekend. So now, having checked out a weather forecast to make sure it was tolerable weather coming up, I had booked for just the day at a Saturday traders’ site to do busking with my set Magic Show and getting money by charging for models made from long twisted balloons. The day turned out sunny with a clear sky and a bit of wind. I turned up at the markets around 8.20 am ready to go by the required 8.30 am. I was required to stay until 1 p.m. and had brought a plastic stool to sit on for breaks.
Somehow in the 50 metres from finding an organizer, John, and getting to my site I lost a corrugated cardboard ‘shelf’ I used under my table to hold props. Two people backtracked to look for the red shelf and didn’t find it. So goodbye to that. Easy to replace, and I’ll probably come up with a better arrangement. Lesson: make sure I get all my gear to my site.
The markets were quiet for an hour or so before many people turned up. During that time I had a little boy of about 3 come over from a nearby stall to check me out. I gave him a balloon model and he came and went from time to time. Having nobody to stand in front of me, I let him look at my coins, which were two big old ones. I showed him the basic palm of the coin and was interested that he quickly could do an elementary hold on the coin, holding the back of the hand upwards. As the crowds grew I turned to entertaining them. Somewhere along the line I realized one coin was missing but it wasn’t essential to my Magic Show. As the finishing time arrived and people started packing up I thought “Where’s that one penny coin? Oh, the last time I remember seeing it the little boy had it. I’d better get that penny back.” I walked the few steps to where the boy was and asked quietly, “Where is that big money you were playing with?” “I don’t know,” he replied. I realized that would be right. I had a grandchild who picked up his dad’s car keys and had played with them and when his dad questioned where the keys were the child didn’t know. Enticements of a lolly or the like would be of little use, because young children just pickup and drop objects without recalling the relocation well. A major hunt in the house found them in a closed drawer. And this child with my penny was a pretty hopeless situation and the coin wasn’t worth either of us getting stressed over. Lesson: don’t let kids handle my coins and other props.
I had taken a glass beer bottle with me to my pitch to use in public for the first time. In pulling my magic gear out of its bag I put the bottle to one side on the street surface and got on with taking out other gear as I set up.
At one stage I stepped back from my table and realized I had knocked over my bottle. I heard the glass fall horizontal on the hard sealed surface and looked behind me. The bottle was broken into four or five bits. All I could do was pick it up and dump it into a rubbish bin. So that trick never even got under way. I did pick up another beer bottle after the event. Lesson: make sure my bottle is sitting in a non-fall position!
I started on my chop cup routine during a show and realized that in placing the cup down firmly on the table top I had made the sticky ball fall down and along with it the small extra magnet I had glued inside the cup had become dislodged and was now sitting on the outside of the ball. I had to instantly alter the routine, and did manage to get the final two big loads onto the table successfully, to the astonishment of the crowd. Lesson: Now I have to fix up that prop.
I had to pay $15 for the site for the day because I was selling the balloons, otherwise it would have been a free site. After the closing time I packed up and went to find John, a fellow in part-charge of sites, and passed over my $15. “Didn’t anyone come and collect the money off of you?” he questioned. Somebody was supposed to but had missed me out, perhaps thinking I was doing busking only. It would have been great not to charged, but I was honest about honouring my side of the deal. My earnings had seem me easily able to pay for my site out of them.
I had heaps of fun with the wide range of people I stopped. Lesson: enjoy myself; getting a site free isn’t the most important thing.
Every time something went wrong I figured it was another thing more to learn from.
What stories have you got to share on similar mishaps?

Colin C. Schwamm
The presentation makes the magic.
troppobob
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G'day Colin

A comedy of errors and learning experiences at the same time.

My favorite was the chop cup episode - I have had that happen but it was when practicing so no real drama. I liked how you got around that mishap and still amazed your audience.

A similar situation from my experience - I was performing "News Flash 2" (torn and restored newspaper) at a fund rasing event - when the torn pieces amazingly restored I saw a bunch of torn pieces fall to the ground. My system had failed but the leaning epereince was invaluable.

There were 2 things I noted from the audience:

1. Most people did not notice the torn pieces fall to the ground and the look of amazement at the restored newspaper was as good as usual.

2. Those who did see the pieces fall to the ground thought it was part of the comedy aspect of the show.

What I percieved as a failure was entertaining to the audience in 2 ways.

This has never happened again - but if it does - and it is possible that it could - I will be raedy to play it as part of the comedy.

Thanks for sharing Colin - fat hats mate.

Bob Latta (aka Troppo Bob)
Devious
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Everyone has days like these, Everyone!

Ali Bongo once told me this,
"If you are irritated by every rub,
How will you ever get polished?"

We were talking about trying out new material.
The comment applies as to equipment as well.
Devious Deceptions
"Gadol Elohai!"
L'Chaim!
troppobob
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G'day Devious
That is great quote from Ali Bongo.
Bob Latta (aka Troppo Bob)
Yellowcustard
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My street routine is 4 effects. Multiplying bananas, Sponge balls from purse frame, egg bag and a rope trick. On one occasion I forgot my sponge balls so paper napkins saved that day. Then another day with a full crowd I got my egg bag out and oh no Egg. Dose any one here have a small object?

Coiln we have to meet up some day.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
magic123
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Sorry but this reads like Amateur Hour !

Yrs ago Michael Lee & Danny Hustle wrote a post about the ins and outs of working a pitch. I found it to be most imformative & helpful.

The Only way that mishaps like the above could occure is one od 2 ways , To simply not be Focused on the days ahead,

or to have moved your gear ( props) from one area to another ie . a ( formal performance ) to a Busking Show.

But again this is a matter of Not being focused .

So in a nutshelll , Your job is not to babysit but to entertain.

FOCUS . FOCUS , FOCUS .

Fat hats

m123
fireperformer911
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Magic123

If you are doing shows everyday you are going to forget things or misplace, break etc. The trick is that the show must go on.
Devious
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A bit harsh I would say, but don't take my word for it.

Let us do the math; If you do several shows a day, multiply
that number times the weekly count, then multiply that number
by the amount of months you perform, you will arrive at the following,

A x B x C = 1 Bad Show

"You will have at least one bad day!
Image
Devious Deceptions
"Gadol Elohai!"
L'Chaim!
DoctorCognos
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Yep, the question is not; what did I do wrong to have a bad day?

The question is; Crap, I had a bad day. Now what?

It is not whether or not you will have bad one. It is about what will you do, when you do have a bad one. Because you will.

As Devious pointed out, it is simply inevitable!

And as with all performing experiences, good or bad, you ask; what can I do, to make it better?

Maybe it is to carry a spare this or that. Or maybe to pay more attention and engage people at the back, or the left, or the right.

I heard a long time ago, that the only person who never makes a mistake, is the only person who does nothing!

Sometimes, the error is your fault. Sometimes it is not. Either way, you can decide to learn to handle it, or you can give up.

You aren't going to give up, so take the lesson, and hope the next one is long way off. But it will happen again. And you will have another lesson learned. However unless you are doing a bullet catch, or some other death defying act, it probably won't be fatal! Embarrassment, I have found, is often ego deflating. But hardly ever life threatening.

Thanks for sharing! It reminds me that we are all mortal, and bear the frailties nature. We are flawed, and being imperfect; crap occurs!

The Doctor
The Doctor Knows.....
troppobob
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G'day magic123

Welcome to amateure hour mate.

Your observation is the type of response that cause forums like these to become shallow - reducing the number of people being prepared to offer insights from their fair dinkum experiences.

Bob Latta (aka Troppo Bob)
magic123
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TotallY disagree !

I Stand by my comment, I am still attempting to figure how you can do an Egg bag routine here you bring bag to show yet forget egg
Its only 2 words Egg & Bag ,Hmmm.

OR Why you would give a kid a coin only to have him/her lose it !

When I hit streets to work I List everything I need check & double check it ( But that's just me . ) , Nothing worse then reaching for somthing ie. prop ,load whatever only to
find you have forgotin it

maybe I'm being hard on the dude but real words working is just that. working w/ no excuses , unless you consider yourself a wkend warrior , which is ok to.


m123
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