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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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Motley Mage
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Profile of Motley Mage
Thanks, RiffRaff. I LOVED the list! Especially #9.
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Inner circle
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Profile of gallagher
Hey guys, I've really tried to hold myself back;
ask my wife(!),
she's still got the keys, to the handcuffs, I've used, to lock myself the the table.

When I first read the Thread, I thought,..
"stay out of it. They're behaving logically, civil, and fair.
hey,.. they WANT to speak about 'the business' aspect"!

As the week went on, I kept getting this itchy finger.
At first, I thought it simply had to do with my Jock Itch.
,but last night, I took a bath,.. and fully shaved,..
,my finger twitched an itch, this morning,.... söö,..
This doesn't fit here, I'm sure,..

I think, a lot of it, has to do with OUR attitude, about ourselves,..what we are doing,. where,..
Street Performing.
Our attitude.

The List of guys, who 'started',on the Streets, is cool.
But, think about it,..
they 'started' there.
Who wanted to 'finish' there?

This attitude of 'starting' there,..
or,... sit down boys,
the thought of using the Streets to test, try- out, or form new material,..
what do WE see the Streets as?
....,our audience as?
Guinia pigs??,..
(...,"but they better pay!")

yeahh, with gigs,.. offers from the Streets;
when I started, I hopped at every quarter tossed in the air.
Then, I got more "professional", and bartered,.. 'better'.,
..and played for bigger checks,..
,but,....hmm, I lost something,
,..something "i" didn't want to loose.
The gigs were,,..more 'professional',..
I know this, because, the other 'Professionals',' only seemed to talked about "with who", "where", and " for how much".
The 'Profession'.
After the Shows,.. "fvvmmm",..everyone raced to get away, as fast as possilble.

,..it's experience,.. it's MY experience,
but, today,..
I don't let 'business' interfer with my pleasure.

I play the Streets, because,.. THAT'S where I want to be.
,..to be performing.
I'm a Street Performer.
I have a Street Show.
I feel good there.
,it's taken time,..
(it might change tomorrow!).

Still, when folks watch us, my lady and I,..
they think "wow!".
(well,.. at least that's what WE want 'em to think!)
Folks never think we're cheap,.. because we're playing the Streets!
In fact, the opposite!!.
It's often, "I know this will probably cost me a bundle, but,.. we're having this party,.. and..."
"Buddy, forget the money,.. what's the Show?"
if we like the 'feeling',..
if it's 'play-ible',.. space-wise, time-wise,..
If we WANT to do it,..
We've never NOT played a gig, we wanted to play,.. because of a 'money-question'.

We don't let business interfer, with our pleasure.

,might sound crazy, but somehow,.. I think our audience smells it,..
(maybe, the cheap-ies,..probably half the crowd,.. maybe ALL,.. see me as an arogant blasturd,.
and therefore stay clear,.!??!)
But, I hope they scence,
"god, these guys are playing the best stage in the world,...,
what an honour to be part of this."

Pounding out Shows,
, " making 'em pay."
god, this sounds like work.
,..maybe your Show comes across 'cheap'?
(This is a question, not an accusation.)

oh, gosh,..I've got another itch,..
hey, maybe it's worms.?..
Maybe, instead of writing a Post,..
I should sit on a Post,..
like really SIT on it,..?
got to go,
my wife's moving the table,..
I still haven't found those keys,..

your friend and mine,
givin' it easy,
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Profile of silvercup
"I think, a lot of it, has to do with OUR attitude, about ourselves,..what we are doing,. where,..
Street Performing.
Our attitude."

(a picture of hands clapping) [cause it ain't working right now]
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Profile of noland
I busk in the greater Washington DC area, and I also do kid shows--in fact, kid shows are the biggest piece of my business. After a decade of busking, I've only gotten 4 or 5 bookings from busking (although I've had a much greater number than that ask about hiring me for a show). The problem I've always run into is that people who see me busk have this perception that I work cheap, and they simply can't make the leap to paying me the professional fee I ask for a regular show, even though my professional fee is in line with what other area children's performers charge (about $275-$400 for a 45 minute show). So for me, busking has not brought me more work. On the other hand, most people who do hire me for kid shows come to me through my web site (or referrals), which is where they go to hire a magician, and my busking isn't in any way a consideration in their decision making. Therefore, I don't actually lose business because of busking. Busking is something I pursue separately because I enjoy it, it makes me a much better performer and it brings in some extra cash.
Nate The Magician
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Profile of Nate The Magician
May I just say how awesomely lyrical Gallagher's posts are?
Every gig I've gotten has been from street/festival performing- including the weddings! Must be the tux.....
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Inner circle
Essex, UK
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Profile of keeblem
Everyone - I'd really like to thank you all the great comments. There is some great advise above and also food for thought. As I said at the beginning of the post there is no hidden agenda here. It's just something I've wanted to do for a long time. The children's shows provide me with a semi-decent income. But I also want to do something that is more... real? satisfying? hard? spiritual?! I'm 47 and have a young family (2 girls 6 and 3) - so it would be difficult for me to have a true alternative life style. However I spent much of my younger years travelling, drifting and dreaming. And I'd like to recapture that to a certain extent. Also, I'd like to show my children that there is more than one way to skin a cat! - more than one way to live your life. You don't have to play by other people's rules - make your own.

Thanks again
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Inner circle
Essex, UK
1167 Posts

Profile of keeblem
BTW - Gallagher - I'm glad you didn't hold back! Smile
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Floating above my
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Profile of Ekuth
Gallagher always has something worthwhile to read. He's a gentleman through and through.
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
Iron Butterfly
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Profile of Iron Butterfly

My wife and I live in Manhattan NYC. I have been a children's performer since 2004. that's 10 years to all you mathematicians. When I first started I knew little magic except gimmick stuff like the magic coloring book. My first real sleight of hand was in using the sponge balls.

I have slowly evolved from clown to magician/musical performer to busker. Its about the performance not the appearance. Perhaps its the NYC mentality but I have never ever worried about what people think. That does not mean I do not care or give a crappy performance. The point is you can perform your heart out and some folks will find reason to complain while on the opposite side, one can mail in their performance and some will love it.

One of the reasons I strted busking is that our business is weekend oriented. I would never consider working for anyone for less then 100 an hour and that is the rate I charge for agecies to sub contract. I went to the streets to supplement my income for week days. When I am working the street I never ever think about what if someone sees me. Maybe that's because most of the crowds are tourists I will never see anyways.

I will say that if someone offered me 50 dollars to perform I would laugh in their face.
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Profile of EVILDAN
Here's a different ending. I was just talking to a friend on Monday and he shared this with me.

Back a few years ago, a friend of his was working a festival (sort of like busking, but getting paid up front) and a corporate type saw and enjoyed his show. He was contacted within the next few days and was asked if he can come out to Las Vegas and perform for a corporate hospitality suite. They quoted him a price of over $1000 per day and said that they would make all the arrangements for flight and hotel accomodations. He's been doing this for the past 3 years.

So, if you lose that $100/hr birthday gig, you just might have room in your schedule to fly out to Vegas for the corporate gig.
by EVILDAN....
"The Coin Board Book" - moves and routines with the coin panel board. - http://www.lybrary.com/the-coin-board-book-p-827955.html
"SLASHER - A Horror Whodunnit" - a bizarre close-up routine based on Bob Neale's "Sole Survivor."
PM me for more info.
"Zombie Town" - a packet effect about how a small town turned into zombies. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nzJhcoJtyOM
Iron Butterfly
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BINGO! lol We all need goals.
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Profile of MagicianFromHades
I can tell you, it was a street performer who inspired me to go into magic. I don't look down on them at all!
Michael Taggert
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Fredericksburg Virginia
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Profile of Michael Taggert
Y take on this is that as a street performer I have only gotten a handful of gigs from the street. what I have gotten is a skill that has made me a much better performer. Noland is humble he is a very shard well scripted performer he got there on the streets in here in DC. My skills at movement and presentation came from years on the Renn faire circuit. touring and performing as a street and platform performer. These skills make you a better performer and thus better at getting inside gigs. Incidentally see Noland at magi-whirl 2014 as a guest performer.
Believe you then that I do strange things
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