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Szymon Krzysztoszek
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Warsaw, Poland
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Hello! I want to start busking in March 2015 (or whenever when I will be ready and wheather will be optimal). I want to start small, without table with 10 minutes shows each. I watched Cellini and Chris Capeheart's lectures and I want to put up some routines. I think I will do ambitious card, vanishing of handkerchief, professor's nightmare and maybe miser's dream. I don't know what else can I show, I'm into card magic, but I think this is not very good for busking. Please give me some ideas what can I check out and try. Thanks you in advance and sorry for terrible English!

Szymon
ROBERT BLAKE
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A street show consist of 3 parts:

1) get a crowd
2) hold the crowd (the show)
3) get the money

go to youtube and see as much possible street shows. look how they start and build the crowd. this will be you toughest lesson. if you only concentrate on tricks you will have a big problem. so go and learn that first. look for the jimmy talsalot book. if you don't know how to get a crowd nobody will see your show.
Szymon Krzysztoszek
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Warsaw, Poland
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I get few ideas how to get crowd from that lectures I saw, but I want to have good show too, but thanks you for book recommendation!
Mortimer Graves
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New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.
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Just remember that busking can be in the form of a magic show, but doing a magic show on the street isn't necessarily busking.

It's a whole other business, and a whole other art form. Until I learned that, I made 7 dollars a day. Cellini once said my home town was the hardest place to make a living as a busker, and one of the best places to learn, and he was right.

And I'm a hard case; it took me a couple of years (of having my table kicked over and getting spit on, etc.) to really learn the difference, and start to do it for real and start getting paid. I'll tell you though, even if being a good magician didn't make me a good busker, being a busker for so long definitely made me a better magician, and a better entertainer overall. I wear my scars with pride.
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
Dick Oslund
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Na zdrowie Szymon! (Notice that I'm not even trying your surname! I can pronounce Wawrzsdzek, Prsykucki, and Przybyla, but, I will need to practice Krzysztoszek!

You speak much better English than I speak Polish!

Listen to my friend, Robert Blake. He KNOWS!

I don't really KNOW Mortimer yet, but, from what he says, it is evident to me that he has "paid his dues"! (Read his last two sentences AGAIN!)

When I was breaking into the business, 69 years ago, the old timers consistently told me: "It's not WHAT you do, it's HOW you do it!" --YOUR PRESENTATION is what makes the difference.

The tricks that you mention CAN work just fine! --it's your presentation that must "sell" them to the spectators.

BTW...Ten Cards Across is a good trick for busking. --Not an opener or closer, but fine in the middle.

Robert gave you the "rule of 3". It's THE rule. (otherwise, you "don't eat"!

I'll give you one more rule: K I S M I F. (Keep It Simple Make It Fun)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Mortimer Graves
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I just realized Robert mentioned my friend Jimmy.

Jimmy Talksalot isn't necessarily the best-admired amongst those who knew him before he was a busker (because he does his own thing and not theirs, I can relate), but even back then he had my respect. When I met him he was a traveling salesman.

He came to sell at the magic shop I worked at, because the owner asked him to guest-sell, and I have never seen anyone sell so much magic in one day. He knows how to hustle.

He wouldn't recognize my name on this forum if he saw it, but if you ever mentioned my busking name to him, he'd tell you more about my experience as a busker than my modesty allows me to say myself.

I helped him break into street performing, and taught him a few things. Yeah.

Where I'm from, if you suck, you'll either get nobody stopping because you're invisible, or they will literally walk all over you, knock your stuff over, spit on you, tell you to get out of town, and throw things at you. I've literally had to fistfight at my pitch before, because drunk people like grabbing shiny objects that cost others money.

I count Sonny Holliday amongst my dearest friends, if that means anything. That man... tough as nails. The silver dollars I use used to belong to him. He's the only guy I ever met who did manipulation with 10 silver dollars at once. I don't know if anyone does that kind of thing any more.

Take the advice, and learn about busking from the ground up. Even if it's just learning how to stop people and engage them in conversation at first. You can grow from there. The horse goes in front, then the cart, then the hoofprints. Do it any other way, and that horse will stomp the living poop out of you.

I know awesome magicians who hate busking, because it's sometimes, well, standing out in the heat with people walking by refusing to look at you for ten hours a day. And I know buskers who know two or three tricks, and make hundreds of dollars a day, because they know how to talk to people. Nobody cares what you do, it is, as has been said, how you do it.

Color, motion, and sound. Create a spectacle and learn to control it.
Stop them, make them stay, make them pay.
Go home, eat ice cream, relax with some herbal tea, rinse and repeat.
Get sciatica, arthritis, and pneumonia. Live with it.
Rejoice in having lived free, regardless of the price it commands.

Busking is the hardest way in the world to make an easy living, but you'll never know if you're cut out for it or not if you never try.
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
Yellowcustard
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First up here is a link to Jimmy blog http://jimmytalksalot.blogspot.co.nz/ . I would also suggest the book as well.

Sounds as if your doing your research and pulling things together. But you need to get out there hit the streets. you will suck and it will go bad but you have to just keep going and it will work out.

I don't know how use full this is but I going to tell you what I do and why them suggest what you might want to do.
1) Multiplying bananas - This is visaul and repeatable. I use it to pull in a crowd and start to concet with them. I do a few other little gags to build and form my edge.
2) Sponge balls- This uses a 3 kids and it is fun and full of laughs. At the end I send 2 kids back and keep 1 I make hime a ballon dog and do a few gags. I also introduce the show a make a promies of grea things at the end.
3) A single rope routine- This can be as long or short as I like. But I also set up my final trick in this time.
4) Signed card to mouth- This is hard hitting and most pepole have seen nothing like it.

i suggest you use vanishing hanky as a edge builder. Then miser dream followed by Professor nightmare .

Also ther options to use card tricks as edge builders and miser dream could be a good finsher it has hat line option.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
Szymon Krzysztoszek
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Warsaw, Poland
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Thanks you guys a lot for that GREAT advices! I will try to improve myself with that notes in my head. BTW Dick Oslund if you want you can PM me and I can help you with Polish Smile

Oh and another question, curiosity. How much hours a week are you working guys? Aprox.
mike bonfield
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STOP STAY PAY you have a Show may be Sponge Balls Card Trick Rope Rings Ect
Mortimer Graves
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New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.
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How many hours a day?

When I do it, I usually work evenings, now.

It used to be I'd get up in the morning, go out, stay until late at night. Switching spots to adapt to foot traffic patterns, taking breaks during times when everyone's out eating dinner and it slows down, and leaving when there weren't enough people to justify being out any more.

Be prepared to work it, is all I can say.

I've known guys who would go out and do one or two shows and go home, but they were pulling a couple of hundred dollars per show. Don't expect that right off the bat.

Most of us just tend to do it until we hit our money goal, or until we get tired.
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
blue dragon magic
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As street performer for over 5 years there is no cookie cutter formula for success, I admire your gumption to perform because the best advice to me was to just go out and do it one never knows what tricks work and don't work until you have put it to the test what works for some may not work for you. prepare yourself to suck we all do until we gather wisdom I have found out over time its not what you do but how you do it. I TOOK UPON myself to challenge myself I went to Walmart bought a brand knew deck of cards had a simple sign made up at OfficeMax all it said was worlds greatest card trick and on the other side worlds greatest coin trick I do a coins across in the spectators hand and lethal tender for cards I do micheal skinners ultimate 3 card monte and a few card tricks I have learned over the years the challenge was not to spend over ten dollars go out and perform recoup the cost and make a profit. no table very simple went to salt lake city Utah and made about 500 dollars 8 hours granted you will not make that first starting I first made 5 dollars thenagain you might you will find out what works and don't some of your best material will come from your experience street performing. also take some business cards for private shows great way to promote yourself. although I use a table type my name Kerry Prescott on youtube click on ogden art festival gives you an idea of what I do video is done on an old ipod not the greatest once you come up with a winning routine just repeat the same successful formula over and over its comforting to know that under any circumstance no job bad economy a deck of cards is all you need to make money. another thing you cant calculate your earnings the math don't work like I made 5 dollars in one hour work 8 hours and make 40 this is only an example if you go out every day and hustle you will soon learn what days are busiest and slowest keep a journal with you to add up each days earnings add it up for the week and that's where your true earnings are. I should say that I did this challenge to myself because I had a stroke last year since the video and wanted to prove to myself what I can and cannot do anymore hint straight jacket is out. I have redone my show involving a mobility scooter knowing what I know goes a long way. and all the books videos and whatever cannot replace experience it does point out pitfalls and learning from others mistakes and god do we make them most of them uniquely your own. also I try to stay from gimmicked apparatus as they will fail at the worst time also anything that you have to replenish after each performance its just isn't cost effective like spoons and forks if you do a bending fork routine such as liquid metal decks of cards rubber bands are ok well enough rambling good luck and enjoy my problem is the cold performing with cold freezing hands during winter once summer and spring comes around watch out hope this helps
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