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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Asking for money (21 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Danatmosci
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Ogden, UT
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While I do want to share my talents and amaze the people in my city, I don't want to do it for free. I'm still really new to busking. What strategies have you found work well to pull in a lot of tips? Is there something you say or a trick that you use to put the audience in a tipping mood? How do you transition from performing to passing the hat? How do you incorporate it?

Daniel
#SLCMagic
Dick Oslund
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Ah! Now we get into the "real secrets"!

The tricks are merely vehicles to amaze and amuse the marks! The name of the game is to "MAKE 'EM STOP", MAKE 'EM STAY", "MAKE 'EM PAY".

Neil Foster (Eastern Chavez Course) used to charge the young guys $1500 for the Chavez course. Then they would come to me to find out how to get booked. (This, they expected for free!)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
JoeJoe
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And you need to learn the skill sets in that order - learn to make them stop, then learn to make them stay, then learn to make them pay. Knowing how to make them pay is worthless if you can't get them to stop or stay.

Going out to the sidewalk on the first expecting to make money is the wrong approach, even if you already are a great magician. Great magic has little to do with busking.

My advice it to set out a "tip jar" of some sort (even just a hat on the ground during your set like Sonny Holiday does) ... people will know what it is for. Then start doing your thing ... it will come to you naturally. You will learn more on your first day on the sidewalk then you will reading every post on the Café. And once you have that frame of reference, a lot of what you read here will make more sense.

So to paraphrase ... just do it!

-JoeJoe
Watch the Pilot Episode of my new TV Show:As Seen on TV: The JoeJoe Magic Show
Learn JoeJoe's secrets at Magic Joint dot com
Nate The Magician
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I normally just have a trickle jar- bu5t on those occasions when people seem to not catch on I sometimes go a little more direct by picking up the jar and shaking it while smiling at them.
Or you can just be like this guy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWnVmQZS_pU
Danatmosci
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Ogden, UT
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Thank you everyone.

I went out again today for about 3 hours and made $25. After I did a short routine I would say "Thank you, if you were amused feel free to drop in some change, if you were amazed, a dollar, if you mind was blown feel free to drop in a 5, 10, or 20." It seemed to go over well most people would drop in a dollar or two, I got very little change. I used a trickle tupperware with a sign that says "#SLCMagic" then right below it "College Fund" with an arrow pointing to the container.
ed rhodes
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Here in Providence, it's made clear that you are not to "directly solicit funds," my answer to this is to end my routine with;

"My agreement with the city of Providence is that I am allowed to perform as long as I don't "directly solicit funds." And so therefore I will not "directly solicit funds." I will not tell you that you HAVE to give me money, that would be rude. I will not beg you to PLEASE give me money, that would be pathetic. I simply point out that in the city of Providence, tipping is not something done with cows!"
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
TheAmbitiousCard
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The Street magic #1 Cellini / Kozmo DVD has some great advice in this area.

I think soft hat lines sprinkled thru the show, as seen on that DVD, are a great start.
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Devious
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Take a listen and if you're pressed for time start
just before the two minuto mark for the hat delivery.

Best of luck out there kid, I'd offer that you never say, "Feel Free"
They're also free to walk away...that's like a limp handshake, you must
deliver a firm handshake if ya' catch my drift.

I'm proud to have mentored Rogelio over the years.
Seaport Village, San Diego filmed in April of 2014.
Devious Deceptions
"Gadol Elohai!"
L'Chaim!
MagiCol
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Dargaville, New Zealand
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During your show you mention money and the hat casual-like so they know hatting is coming. Then before your finale "Before I do my final trick, the great one that's going to astonish you, I want you to know that I'm collecting donations/tips/going to hold out my hat at the end ["because"... so your request sounds fair and reasonable. You entertained them, they liked it, it's time for them to show their appreciation].
Then do the finale and immediately receive their applause, and before they have a change to move off pick up your hat and tell them that "this is the time to give. etc. Thank you." And make sure you thank each and every giver who comes up, if practical. Don't put your hat down until all the around have finished giving.

I worked part-time on the streets for four years before I got serious about hatting deliberately. It took me a long time on the streets to realize [arrive at real understanding] that my Magic Show was good and deserved to be rewarded by deliberately hatting the folk.
I started learning my few tricks for the street not long before I went out on the streets so I had to deal with both that and starting out on the streets. I was so naďve. I don't know that any street magician can say they've stopped learning about being on the streets. That's the beauty of working on the streets amongst constantly changing folk to entertain, changes in the environment, weather, nuisance people etc.
For those who are like I was a soft approach to hatting at the start meant I put the emphasis on improving presenting the tricks and improving my Show overall.
The presentation makes the magic.
Yellowcustard
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Yes all of the above. Look at the video he sets up the last trick and the crowd will now wait for him to escape so he has all the time in the world. The crowd is not going anywhere. Its something I am working on trying to get to the point were I can hook the crowd.

Something that dose work for me I do use money line in the show. At the end I do rope through neck. As I put the rope around my neck I say 'don't try this at home. And as it pass through my neck I say 'do it on the streets people pay you for it. ive done my bit for street entertainment now you need do yours'

Here is a real life example of what works for me. But I am also working on this as well so will follow this topic clos.

Thank you.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
Devious
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Daniel,
Here is the number of a busker in Salt Lake City.
760-712-9577 His name is Occam and also one of my
students...tell him I sent ya'.

I notice you said, "Drop some change." lose that as well.
Increase your expectations, for you will benefit. Smile
Devious Deceptions
"Gadol Elohai!"
L'Chaim!
Dick Oslund
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Yes! Listen to the comment that Devious just made! ("Drop some change") What you need to get across to those who have "stopped", and those who have "stayed", that NOW is the time that you should get "paid"!

Yes! INCREASE YOUR EXPECTATIONS!

Here is a story that may 'inspire' YOU!

Back in the '30s (it may have been the '20s--I wasn't born until '31) AIMEE SEMPLE McPHERSON travelled (at least the) eastern part of America. She did a religious service in a big tent. At or near the end of the service, an "offering" was taken up. The ushers did not pass a "hat" or a basket, they would stretch a rope (clothes line) across each seating section, The rope had safety pins attached at short intervals. Aimee would say, "Please pin your contribution to the clothes line!"

It takes "chutzpa" as well as talent, to be a busker! Busking was never my full time "occupation". I was booked by school assembly bureaus, but I did a bit of busking, mainly. just to see if I could "cut it". --and I could!

You asked about a "transition"...You need to subtly insert 'hat lines' along the way. A young friend of mine (years ago) would announce, once he had grabbed a tip (made them stop!): Folks, this little sidewalk circus is brought to you by HAT productions! Then he would start the actual show. As he performed, he would remind the folks that "HAT productions" was bringing them this "al fresco" performance, frequently.

A young man wanted to be an insurance salesman. He developed a fine sales presentation which outlined the need for insurance, and how his policy wss great, etc., and presented it well. But, he wasn't making much money, because he was so interested in doing a fine presentation, that he "forgot" to ask them to give him the money!

The late Heba Haba Al (bartender/magician at the Pickle Barrel in Chicago) had a small sign on the cash register: (just four letters! >G T F M< If you need a 'translation' PM me!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Thanks WRITEALL for your very kind thought! If you see Gene Anderson, greet him for me.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
writeall
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I wish. You guys travel in different circles - the stratosphere even. The only way I'm going to run into Gene Anderson is if the chemical plant explodes and I crash into his car while we're trying to escape. But thanks for the kind thought anyhow.
imgic
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Quote:
On May 13, 2014, writeall wrote:
...The only way I'm going to run into Gene Anderson is if the chemical plant explodes and I crash into his car while we're trying to escape.


Member of the optimist club? Smile
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
gallagher
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There's a lot of good advice here, and everything has been pretty much said,..
correctly so.
Before we let the Topic sink into the fathoms of forlorn, I thought I'd share the perspective of a hopelessly helpless "can't asker".
Now, I' not saying I'm a bad businessman,..
but ,
my Lady likes to introduce me,
as....". the former financial advicer for Lehman Brothers".

I can't ask.

Never could.

As a bank robber,
seeing all those folks in front of me,
with their hands in the air,
I used to say,
"gee, I've got my accordian with me,..
why don't we just clap those hands together,..
a dance a Polka or two!?!"
,..then finish up with a Waltz,.
give the two best dancers five bucks,..
and invite the rest to the next bank I was planning to rob.

I just can't close the deal.

I've been coached, couched, counceled, and co-hozzled to have more Cojones,..
but I just can't do it.

I'm sure if I'd use to books of tips, advise given above,..
simply two or three 'money lines',...
my baskets would be heavier.
,but,
we are what we are.

I only write in case there might be another out there,..
like me.
Hopeless, but not Helpless.
True, "Nö Art without Money."
,...but the rest of the equation goes like this,..
"..Nö Giving nö Honey.
Nö Smiling nö Funny."
....and two out of three ain't bad.

Throughout our Show, the Basket is always out,
but we never ask for Money.
True,(!), two out of three ARE 'bad',.. and walk,.
and we see them,..
and it hurts,..
and usually they take four fotos before leaving...
,but at the end of the Show,
we always say,
"Thank you for watching.
Thank you for your time.
Thank you for the COURAGE to stand, smile, and listen."

Like I said, a good 'money line' would double our drop,..

. . . . . . . . . , . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .! . . . . .

Pushing the Show into a small town by Hamburg, last week,
9 o'clock in the morning,
a guy came running after us.
"I've seen your Show a couple of times in the past,
but never had any money to spare,.
here's 10 Euros.
Have a good one today."

Sometimes setting the Show up,
a Lady will walk by, drop an Euro,.
before(!) we've played!
,"got to run,.. have fun!"

To the one or two others,
"can't askers",..
don't worry.
You'll still Receive.
More then enough.

,now hey,.. while we're all here,.
I have my accordian!
gallagher
Stperformer
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I'll add a slightly different perspective to all this....

If your show is SOLID, and you've CONNECTed with the people......you merely have to lay down your hat and they will WANT to tip you.
Sometimes, to solicit for money can be counter-productive.

Merely let them know you're a busker and prefer paper $$$ Smile

The whole "make 'em pay" thing should be 'Make them want to pay'.

If people are walking away without paying, it might be best to work on your show rather than persuading them to tipping.
bluemagic
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Stperformer, do you draw crowd and do your show or just do your show?
JoeJoe
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Quote:
On May 14, 2014, Stperformer wrote:
If your show is SOLID, and you've CONNECTed with the people......you merely have to lay down your hat and they will WANT to tip you.
Sometimes, to solicit for money can be counter-productive.


Absolutely correct!

-JoeJoe
Watch the Pilot Episode of my new TV Show:As Seen on TV: The JoeJoe Magic Show
Learn JoeJoe's secrets at Magic Joint dot com
Eric Evans
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Rio Grande
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I'd have to disagree with joe joe and St. Performer in the context of making a decent hat. Sure if you connect with an audience some may WANT to tip you, but as to whether they will or not is still a ways off. In spite of the desire to tip, there may be social pressures to not do so, (in the U.S. especially) there are many people who are uneducated and wouldn't realize what the hat was for. There are so many reasons why they wouldn't tip, if they even thought about it to begin with.

I get the gist of the sentiment as advocated by St. Performer, but as a practical matter, I'll keep telling them I want their money in a myriad of ways until the most dimmed witted get it.

Smile
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