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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » What disposition do I need to succeed at busking (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MagiCol
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Special user
Dargaville, New Zealand
929 Posts

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I've started this thread for those at enquiry or beginner level regarding busking with a Magic Show.
I'm not concerned here with the types of tricks, but the type of disposition or personality that will see people succeed at busking. Some types of people will not make a go of busking with a Magic Show and if they realize it they will get a reality shock. So here's some of my thoughts as an experienced fellow working Magic Shows on the street. Anybody's thoughts are appreciated. It would help if you mention where you see yourself at as far as actual experience...


What disposition do I need to succeed at busking with a magic show?
Measure yourself against the following:
You need to have a firm interest in magic. It takes hours and hours to master just one magic trick. Getting a good Show together takes even more time. Steer clear of the idea of busking if your interests in magic are shallow.
You need to be confident in nature. You’ll need to be bold. You’ll have to stand on the street alone with no-one to hold your hand. You must be able to constantly meet and entertain new people, be cheerful, be challenged by their reactions and able to answer them. You’ll need to remind yourself time and again that your Show has value and that you expect people to give you donations for watching and taking part in it. You’ll need to ask for the donations really meaning it. And to accept that a lot of people will not pay you even though they enjoy your Show and it took you effort to present it.
You need to be persistent. Persist at learning a trick and how to present it. Persist at standing on the street. Persist at improving your Show. Persist at improving yourself as a magician and the way you present your magic. You’ll have to pay your dues before you become good at what you do.
You must enjoy performing magic. Don’t go busking simply as a way to make money. There are easier ways if it’s just the money you want.
If you don’t measure up to these things (and other things you don’t even know about until you get out performing on the streets) and you really do want to work a Magic Show then don’t give up if your interest is developing, or strong. Most of these points above can be learnt and developed. You can improve. But don’t expect it to be an easy path to walk along.
The presentation makes the magic.
KC Cameron
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Inner circle
Raleigh, North Carolina
1877 Posts

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I'm not sure how much a firm interest in magic helps so much as a firm interest in entertaining. Magic is a tool I use to interact with strangers. Then again I love magic . . . .

I also don't see an issue for busking as a way to make money. It is a great way to make money! Money can motivate people to have a great show, be more personable, etc. While I am not sure anything should be done "just to make money", busking is as fine way to do it as anything else. I am not saying that one should expect to make good money immediately, like every profession, you must learn the ropes. The problem is too many never get out of "learning the ropes" and actually busk. You can't be a busker w/o busking.

A confident nature can certainly help, and if you continue to busk you will become confident. Busking can be a great way to build confidence.

I have always been a confident person, and so busking was easier for me than many. I always have an open ear for criticism, and I am always looking to improve my show - both that help a lot with busking. if you don't have these qualities, busking will either build them in you or tear you down. If you wilt at the thought of rejection, than the street is not for you.
Yellowcustard
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Inner circle
New Zealand
1311 Posts

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I don't want to push this topic further down a path it was not intended to but something that was mentioned I another topic about new buskers giving up. And that is people get good at something they hear that buskers earn $$$. The reason I think buskers earn $$$ is not of there skill level in there discipline, nor there entertaining performance skill it is there busk skill level that dose it. Yes evry thing else is important but the busk skill is also important. Iam sure we all so ok performer do well due to having good busk skill.

I think that being as good as you can be at your discipline and begin the best entertainer all benefits and is a strong foundation. But if you don't develop that busk skill the streets your not going to make them stop, make them stay, make them pay.

Just a few viwe point from little old me.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
Yellowcustard
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Inner circle
New Zealand
1311 Posts

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Three things I would say to answer the original post is,
1- Busk skill- Be aware this is a different beast to other performance venues. And what works at one venue might not work at the other.
2- Distractions- Ppepoel have not set out to see a magic show. There is back ground noise. And your spectators are not setting on comfy chairs. Every thing should be bold, clear, simple and loud.
3- You will suck- Jimmy talks a lot say this in his book. And only talking to MagiCol earlier this year I noted that I went through that 5 years ago. And on this your go out there and suck, just go out there again you will suck again keep going you will suck less one day. You will only suck less by keep going out there it is unligthly a new trick or asking qustions in the Café will help with this.

Good luck and keep well.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
EVILDAN
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Inner circle
1264 Posts

Profile of EVILDAN
You have to realize that if people walk away from your show it may not mean that they didn't like it. It is more than likely that they had other plans before they ran into your show, or they have to get back to work or any number of reasons. You just happened to be an unexpected stop for them.

On the other hand, if a bunch of people leave, you most likely suck.
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
JoeJoe
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Inner circle
Myrtle Beach
1910 Posts

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Quote:
On Apr 28, 2014, MagiCol wrote:
I'm not concerned here with the types of tricks, but the type of disposition or personality that will see people succeed at busking.


Confidence. Without confidence, you are nothing. Dead in the water. Period.

-JoeJoe
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
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