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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Can being a busker hinder other areas of your magic business? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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keeblem
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Hello all
I'm a full time children's entertainer. I mentioned a while back I was interested in getting into busking/street entertaining. There's no hidden agenda here - I want to do just because I want to do it! Smile

I've mentioned this to my wife and she in turn has mentioned it to some of here friends. One reaction has quite surprised me. Her words were: "If I had booked a children's entertainer and then saw him busking on the street I would cancel him." Wow! That's quite extreme IMO.

Now I know this person quite well. I won't go into detail but suffice to say I'm going to take her opinion with a pinch of salt. However I am interested in what you guys think. Have any of you had the feeling that being a busker can impede you get other bookings?

Eagerly waiting to hear your thoughts.

Mark
Kozmo
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People in the US have this idea that entertainers who work on the streets are lower than them and there must be something wrong with them,
And I guess perhaps they might think "isaw I'm on the streets, why should I pay him when I can watch him for free"

I was working on 3rd st promonade many years ago and this guy came up to me after the show and said "man youre great" and I said thanks. Then he asked if I could work his kids party on saturday and I said sure $350.. for 45 minutes. He looked at me and said How about $50, you work on th streets. Then I showed him the $85 that was in my hat from that show and explained that I can do 10 of those a day and why should I walk away from this to work for his kids for $50.....I was nice to the guy but that show never happened.

Good luck wiht your decision.
Nick W
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Kozmo is correct. I have friends who are afraid to work street because they feel it will affect their bookings. so in turn they shut the possibility door to working the streets and really cutting their teeth, as well as making fat hats. Then again, I have been hired becasue I have been seen performing in the streets. Depends on your goals. Is the streets a stepping stone? Or do you have your street show, then your birthday show, then your festival show. Or are you just starting out and learning the craft?

Heres my ending thoughts: A magician I know once said "nobody respects a street performer(magician)". theres a bit of truth to that. However when the public sees a good street entertainer, the bar is set very high and is seldom set higher. Great street magicians are referenced to. "I once saw a guy who ..........................." Is there any higher compliment (besides a $100?)
Kozmo
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And when a street performer goes inside hes better than everyone....
Dick Oslund
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YES! "One learns by DOING THE THING." (Sophocles said that--on the street,in Athens,a few millenia ago, after seeing a busker doing the cups and balls!

I cut my teeth in a ten in one in the mid '40s. 12 to 15 shows per day, DOES contribut to one's learning the thing!

I watched Kozmo in the French Quarter a few years ago, He made them STOP, he made them STAY, and he made them PAY. (He didn't learn how to do that by attending magic club meetinga!)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Yellowcustard
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Quote:
On , Kozmo wrote:


I was working on 3rd st promonade many years ago and this guy came up to me after the show and said "man youre great" and I said thanks. Then he asked if I could work his kids party on saturday and I said sure $350.. for 45 minutes. He looked at me and said How about $50, you work on th streets. Then I showed him the $85 that was in my hat from that show and explained that I can do 10 of those a day and why should I walk away from this to work for his kids for $50.....I was nice to the guy but that show never happened.

Good luck wiht your decision.


Yep got a simallaur story. A guy said to me how much do you make in a day. I said I do about 2hrs and make $80-100. he said oh that good. then he mentioned he is running a club nigth and will be in touch I mentioned I will charge more then $100 a hr, never heard from him. I have also had a market orgniser see me and ask if I would be intrested in doing his mar. .ket over Christmas. I took a chance and said it a gamble to leave this spot as well as the extra travel cost. He said he would cover the extra travel.

Sorry of topic. I can see how some people might presume your cheap on the street. But you can break that image easily. If props are clean and well presented, patter and performance is up there along with clean costume and grooming people will relies your good. I make I clear I choose the street because it a great stage.

Now you have a few choice set up as a children entertainer and just do busking on the side. Use as a way to try out new stuff and make a extra bit of cash. So when your doing kids shows don't mention the street. And unless someone directly asks don't mention kid shows when busking.

But if your going to do street show for festivals as a offering as well as kid parties then they both need to be as clean as each other to keep up the brand. Also make them different shows so if the kids see you at a street show and want oyu at there party they see something different.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
troppobob
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G'day Mark

Yes there can be that perception that the busking performer is not as "proffessional" and in some vague way associated with an undesirable element.

However from my experience busking localy - (where I also offer a range of "paid" options like childrens birthday parties etc) - my busking performances do not negativly impact on my other work.

One positive spin off is that drawing my audience when busking is made much easier because as soon as I am spotted setting up - famileis who know me come over (with cash in their hands) and organise themselves in a good spot to watch the show and say g'day etc which encourages the others who do not know me to join in.

I am also happy to inform "paid" audiences at birthday parties etc to keep an eye out for the busking shows and to be sure to say g'day.

From my expereince it is a win win.

Enjoy the journey mate.

Bob Latta (aka Troppo Bob)
Ekuth
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Busking is free advertisement for your other shows (if you offer them). I had out business cards like candy. I also get gigs from it.

You'll always have people who look down on you, whether you're busking or not. What matters is how you carry and conduct yourself, and the energy you put into your performance.

You want fat hats? Ask for them. Earn them. Have you scripted your routine(s)? Do you know the rule of three? If not, do.

There is, bar none, no place like the streets for earning your chops and learning fast.
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
Mario Morris
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Great question Mark as this is often the thoughts that other performers have of buskers.
(I think some times an excuse why they wont busk)
From my experiance this is a huge misconception.
Yes the door may close on one or two gigs because of type casting. You need to focus on the doors that will open.
Saying that, remember it takes time and remember them business cards.
MagisterFreud
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Quote:


You want fat hats? Ask for them. Earn them. Have you scripted your routine(s)? Do you know the rule of three? If not, do.



Why not take a moment to tell us the rule of three?
Dick Oslund
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Make 'em STOP...make 'em STAY...MAKE 'EM PAY!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Ekuth
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Precisely, Dick. It had already been mentioned, so I wasn't going to re-iterate.

This also refers to routine/set structure. Find three effects that 'go together' logically; that flow into each other. That's your first routine. Now come up with three routines and arrange them so that the strongest is last- there's your set.

Also, remember to give a nod to the dramatic arc: Build up, create tension, release tension.
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
Foole4Hire
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When I busk (balloon art, I will mention) I get a fairly firm average of about $50/hr. I see about 30 kids in that hour.

When I perform weekly in a restaurant, I get $50/hr and see 30-60 children in the hour.

My rate for corporate ballooning ranges from $100-150/hr. and while I say I will only see 40-50 children, in a pinch I can crack off 70 figures in an hour. Tradeshow and commercial clients who book more than a dozen hours see ratez as low as $75/hour.

Has anyone seen any REAL discrepancy between any of these rates of professional remuneration?

I have stats for all of my 30 years in the business and never have complaints. Nor do I see busking as a come down, particularly when so doing offers potential clients a venue in which to view me and can yield $1000s in potential business.

I think it far more detrimental to your career to ignore a good venue. However, I have justified my participation in busking with a strong financial comparison. Can you?

After that, the person who would cancel your birthday party after seeing you busking has no clue about the reality of performing. Don't expect to educate them any time soon.
ROBERT BLAKE
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If you think that it can hinder you then it will affect you. because you are more concerned with what other people MIGHT think about you. you are afraid that they won't like you any more and that it will cost you money. if that is your feeling stay away from the street. you will bomb with that kind of attitude. do the street because you like too and you will have fun.
Foole4Hire
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When I busk (balloon art, I will mention) I get a fairly firm average of about $50/hr. I see about 30 kids in that hour.

When I perform weekly in a restaurant, I get $50/hr and see 30-60 children in the hour.

My rate for corporate ballooning ranges from $100-150/hr. and while I say I will only see 40-50 children, in a pinch I can crack off 70 figures in an hour. Tradeshow and commercial clients who book more than a dozen hours see ratez as low as $75/hour.

Has anyone seen any REAL discrepancy between any of these rates of professional remuneration?

I have stats for all of my 30 years in the business and never have complaints. Nor do I see busking as a come down, particularly when so doing offers potential clients a venue in which to view me and can yield $1000s in potential business.

I think it far more detrimental to your career to ignore a good venue. However, I have justified my participation in busking with a strong financial comparison. Can you?

After that, the person who would cancel your birthday party after seeing you busking has no clue about the reality of performing. Don't expect to educate them any time soon.
Ekuth
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Holy double post, Batman!
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
RiffRaff
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Busking will help make you the best entertainer you can be.
You'll never know how bad your show is until you take it to the streets and watch them walk away mid-trick.

Indoor magicians have it easy.. they just don't know HOW easy.

The few, if any, gigs you lose shouldn't be a consideration.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
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ChrisPilsworth
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I like how busking routines evolve more quickly on the street. There is the luxury of being able to experiment with moments in a routine. If it doesn't work then I'll try it differently. I'm not worried about how it is received because the audience doesn't pay until the end. Many of my favorite routines got to where they are because of the number of reps I can get with them on the street. That makes my pre-paid shows even better.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Absolutely, Chris.
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