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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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Dave V
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I've heard stories (probably here) about some countries where the people simply don't know how much, so they tip nothing. I saw this personally in Europe where the buskers would suggest an amount and they would usually get it. Sometimes you just have to "educate" your crowd.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Stperformer
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Everyone is different and what works for one may not work or be practical for another.
Location plays a big part as some people, places, cultures, nations need a little more coaxing to drop a fiver in the hat than others.
I tend to be much more selective where I perform now than I was when I was younger.

A few years ago I started to realise the potential of working on charming the crowd over just making them laugh and doing great magic. The results were that my hats went way beyond anything I thought possible. I believe my show is pretty solid/strong...but learning how to really connect and charm/work the audience was a HUGE jump. Not easy but very possible and worthwhile.
Don't know if any of this makes sense but it is where I channel my efforts now.

I've seen an awful lot of street performers and only a couple that could really do this to the extent I seek to obtain. I think I might be there Smile

Evolution of a Street Magician:

Tricks: Usually starts out with a bunch of tricks one does well. Usually 6 or 7 non-connected tricks lasting 15 minutes.

Routines: Begins doing routines as they hold the crowd better. Tricks like ambitious cards that have multiple stages/effects. Show's a series of routines lasting 20-25 minutes.

Transitions: Routines start becoming connected and the show flows better with less closure during the show.

One Show: The show becomes one with everything having a reason. Hooks are set, call backs, set-ups. Audience stays to see the show and how it ends.

Connecting with the audience: This is where the performer is able to use his magic show to affect the audience in many many ways. They are charmed, fascinated, but most of all really like the time they have spent at the show and delighted to have met this performer. He has made their day a better one and quite frankly....really like him.
JoeJoe
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Your audience knows what the hat is for - they aren't that stupid. If people perceive your act has value, they will crawl through a river of raw sewage to pay you. Understanding the human value system and how it influences human behavior is the key to success.

The act of letting them know you work on tips is a value adder - it implies other people have put money in your hat, which means your act must have value for them to have done so. It has more to do with "monkey-see monkey-do" than education.



An example of this would be a particular Russian student working the snow cone booth at Barefoot Landing. She had a glass tip jar out with a sign that read "TIPS", only she never seeded it ... and never got any tips. So one night I dropped a dollar in it for her (despite her protests against my doing so). She made $4 in tips that night. I explained it to her, and she seeded her jar every night afterwards and never had another $0 night.

The "education" (the sign that read TIPS) did virtually nothing to get tips - it was when people saw money in the jar that they assumed other people had tipped her. Thus, by realizing that other people tipped, her service was perceived as more valuable.



-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
Angela P
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Baden Baden, Germany
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Gallagher I hope your method continues to work for you. I dislike nothing more than watching a street performance and continuously hear about how valuable it is. Your bank robbing sounds much more enchanting. I wish you luck and success. And I present you my first message. Angela
Motley Mage
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Angela--I agree; I cannot enjoy a show where I am constantly (every few minutes) reminded of the "value" or the poverty of the poor, struggling performer. I believe in the power of hat lines, but let them be subtle and few. (And WELCOME! to the conversation!)
JoeJoe
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Obviously the last two posters didn't understand a word I said ... as my approach is very much like Gallagher's (I never once directly ask people for money). The value system I am talking about is not about money. I merely point out to people that I have a hat out for tips - I don't even ask them to put anything into it (they need to know you have a hat out, that's all the education required).

There is "social" value (having valuable friends), "reproduction" value (attractive person perceived as a good mate) ... a man that knows how to hunt his own game would have a higher "survival" value than a rich banker who would have a higher "economic" value. If you want to run for office, you would seek out help from people with a high "political" value (the President of the PTA would have a higher political value than an individual voter, as the PTA president can influence an entire block of votes).



Increasing your value is not about telling people how poor you are or how much in need of money you are - in fact, it is quiet the opposite! Asking people for money would create negative value.

An example value add'er: "This is the same trick I showed Willie Nelson on a sidewalk in Texas"! When people hear this line, a little switch goes off in their mind ... "oh wow, this must be a good trick if Willie Nelson watched it". That will increase your tip.

The stock line "I found this trick in David Copperfield's trash" is a value reducer - as people perceive dumpster diving as a negative value. It might get a laugh, but it will reduce your tip.



Every action you make in this world is influenced by these perceived values (and other values). What increases value in the mind of one person could decrease value in the mind of another.

Your post indicate you give the value system a "negative value"; it may or may not be ... that is irrelevant to they fact that this is the way the human mind makes decisions. If people perceive your act as having no value, they will not want to pay you for it. If on the other hand, they perceive your act as having value, they will be eager to pay you.

Hope that clears up the confusion. Smile

-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
JoeJoe
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Some more thoughts on adding value...

Ever notice a magician that puts on his website something like "Performed for so-and-so and such-and-such event"? He is doing the exact same thing my Willie Nelson line does, he is demonstrating the value of his act in an effort to get people to pay him for it. There is no difference what-so-ever.

You should consider your act your promotional material - it needs to convince people you are the man for the job. Because that is what it is, a job ... work ... you are booking a gig for the people watching you.


I'm not a student of Cellini so I don't know what he teaches, but I do know he is said to have said "get a receipt". That implies you are selling your show to your audience. In order to give someone a receipt, they have to buy it first. They are not going to buy something unless they percieve it has value to them.

This doesn't come in the form of "hat lines" - in all reality, hat lines have nothing to do with asking for money. Nothing what-so-ever. That is not their purpose, at least not in my mind and in my show.


So what are hat lines for then? Hat lines are for AFTER the show ... things to say to people WHILE they are putting money into the hat (not before). They are the "receipt".

Otherwise, you are just standing there looking like a dork watching people put money into the hat. I am of the mindset that hat lines don't do anything to get people to put money into the hat, they are there for when people do put money into the hat.


And so what is the best way to add value to your show?? Improve it! Make it better! Make it worth watching! Then grease the wheels a little by subtly demonstrating the value of your performance. These things should be built right into your routines so people don't even notice them. They should be a part of the show itself.


Okay, so that's all for now. Hope someone out there finds this useful. Smile

-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
gallagher
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Hey.,.. now it's you guys's own fault,.. for keeping this Topic going,..
keeping me thinking,..
(i've got a rainy day!)

You know, a Topic on,.. "Asking for Money.",
there really is only one thing to say,
CAN SOMEBODY SEND ME A COUPLE OF BUCKS?

Like I said, over here,.. it's raining.
Now hey, what does a good movie cost today?
,a live concert??
a visit to your local brothel??
Come on guys,!! aren't I worth at least that?!?

And I'm not talking coins.,.
let's stay with the paper!
,..and fellas, if your wives won't let you give,..
it means they don't love you.
So just fold your donations in half,..
Paper money is so much cheaper to send by mail,.. then coins..
,have I mentioned my CHiLDREN?
ya,.. I do this for a living.
If you never hear from me again,.. it's your own faults.

It stopped raining(!).
Got to go!
gallagher.
RiffRaff
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Gallagher: I found your post to be extremely well written.
However, without the use of hat lines, my hats are practically zero.
Many of the lines that you used in your example are meant to 'guilt' the audience into giving.
I find guilt tactics to be in poor taste, and I also think that for the most part they don't work.
I'd love to see a video of your show.
Endless West
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For the most part I do a trickle show. I perform to a few people at a time, make the money - and they're on their way as I prepare to stop the next few.
I use an old sewing kit box to carry my stuff in. I open it beside my table and on the inside lid it says MAGIC SHOW. I have a handkerchief inside covering up any props and a few dollars on top for seed money.
A lot of times I never even mention money. Most people see the money in the case and after a couple of tricks they pull out a few bucks and throw it in.
Will Stelfox has a DVD on busking and I believe this is the same method he uses.
I bring along the cups and balls and a few other things, but for the most part I do 2 or 3 card effects and then the people pay and are on their way. Occasionally a small crowd will build and I'll do the cups but its kind of rare.
After 3 or 4 hours I usually have about $50 in my case.
I'm still pretty new to busking so for me it's the easiest way of doing things. I may occasionally say something along the lines of "thanks guys, if you enjoyed the show please feel free to throw a few dollars in the hat. It keeps the art of street performing alive and the streets of this city fun and culturally exciting!"
Danatmosci
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I've officially done about 14 hours of busking and I've seen some great success, I was out for 8 hours a couple days ago and I found that the more people that stopped at a time, the less that would pay up unless I said something about supporting me. Thank you everyone for all the great advice, I'll be trying it out the next time I go out.
Dick Oslund
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See what happens when you associate with folks like us! (ABANDON HOPE ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE!!!)

FLEE!!! --while you still have a chance!
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Motley Mage
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>JoeJoe: I did understand what you were saying, and I was not referring to you specifically when I spoke of buskers that push for tips. There is a big difference between educating an audience and being pushy, which is what I was speaking of. My point regarded a lack of class, and I in no way meant to point that at anyone in particular.

I was writing about the MANY buskers and festival performers that I have seen who DON'T understand that their audience knows what the hat is for, who push and push, as I said, by stopping every minute or two, often even in the middle of a trick, to try to make the audience feel like they MUST tip. To say that I did not understand a word of what you were saying is a bit presumptuous on your part.
JoeJoe
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Motley Mage: agreed 100%. I see the same exact problem. Smile

And I'm also confused at to what Gallagher is trying to say ... I took comments like "I can't ask. Never could. I just can't close the deal" to mean he didn't ask for money. But apparently he does? Often his poetic posts go over my analytical mind.

-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
silvercup
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Quote:
On May 14, 2014, Stperformer wrote:


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.


THIS!
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