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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » T-t-t-tricks? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Chris H
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Melbourne, Australia
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Been thinking about putting together a street show. Not a "David Blaine wander around and freak people out" kinda show, but a real street show, with an audience.

I wanted to finish with with a straightjacket escape. I know it's been done, but it's one of the few big things that I think would make a good finale for this kind of show. I have seen a guy do a straightjacket escape on the street before, but that was his whole show. I don't wanna do that. I think the whole straightjacket routine should keep the audience interested. 10-15 minutes maximum. So I'm looking for about 7 or 8 really good effects to lead up to this. Any suggestions?

So far I'm thinking of 'Houdini's Needle Swallowing', 'Jay Sankey's Airtight' (maybe...don't know the effect too well), and 'Bill in the Lemon'. I dunno. This street show idea was just something I was thinking about at work today. I was reeeeeeeeeeeally bored.

Anyway, I'd love to hear some suggestions on some good effects for this kind of situation. What's worked for you in the past? What hasn't worked for you? Any other stories. Post 'em! I'd love to hear them.

Cheers guys!

-- Topher
GaMBiT_101
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Adelaide
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Just a caution on the neddle swallowing, I thought of performing it. Keep in mind people will come along with children, and NO amount of caution can prevent a child copying what they saw the "magic guy" doing.
"Being able to do tricks, doesn't mean you're able to be Entertaining!"
Mario Morris
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Mario Morris
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Hi
Sounds great, but eight tricks is a lot. You got to take into account pulling a crowd in the first place. As Cellini instructs Sound, Coulor and movement. This make great curiosity combination.

Find three or four routines and work them, that includes your finish. I use to do ropes at the begining, then Dippy duck, which lead me to Rocky the raccon ballanced on a tray while I played amazing grace on a Kazzo. I then I used to do a mail bag escape for my finish. This whould take 35 to 45min long, depending on my crowd.

The truth is, I don't think the public want to see trick after trick they want to see, as you said it, a show. So give them you with some tricks, and enjoy it.
Hope that helps!

Mario
JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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I'm with Mario on this. Way too many tricks. Concentrate on getting your personality across in a likeable, fun, and funny way. And interaction with the crowd is the most entertaining thing a street show offers of all. All the best street performers--magicians or otherwise--use interaction with the audience to big effect.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Bill Palmer
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The David Blaine "wander around and freak people out show" is not street magic, no matter what he called it. It is more like "guerilla" magic.

A 10-15 minute straitjacket routine is too long for someone who is new to busking to pull off. Besides, you'll DIE in the heat! Unless you are performing in the winter.

And PLEASE don't do the needle trick in front of kids. Do razor blades.

Just kidding. Really be careful what the kids see you do. They will imitate you.
"The Swatter"

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Scott Xavier
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I would say Blaine is a street magician, not a busker, however.
RandomEffects
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As to the "Bill in lemon" idea remember that most buskers perform several if not dozens of sets every day. I only use a 15-20 minute show before passing the hat. Thusly you have to figure.. how many "Bill in Lemon"'s do you to to set up every day.

The only break I take in between my sets is about 5 minutes to make sure everything is back in place, grab a quick swig of water, and make sure that my cash is safetly stowed away. All of the tricks I do are usually reset by the end of the trick so I can maximize on the time I have.

Personally I don't see "Bill In Lemon fitting into that working.... but that is just my opinion.

Mat Random
Harry Murphy
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Maryland
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Whew! There have been dozens of threads about what to include in a real “busking” street act. There have been threads on just the “best” magic tricks to use and what different individuals do in their act on the street. There is a thread discussing cards on the street, the egg bag on the street, and even illusions on the street. There are dozens of threads talking about cups and balls, props, and the pouch on the street. Man there is a Ph.D. in Busking on this board, and it’s all given to you if you will just dig a little. The new search function will help you get started.

More specifically to address your question, I prefer tricks that are very visual, that play big, whose premise is easily understood (especially important if you have a big crowd, there is a lot of background noise, or if you have a number of non-English speaking folk in the crowd), and tricks that can involve several spectators.

I tend to do ropes, Signed-bill-to-Balloon, and cups and balls or chop cup (OK, there is some warm-up, show-off, crowd attracting stuff too). It sounds sterile but is really a lot of fun for the audience (and for me!).

There are three big advantages to performing the “Bill to Balloon” over the “Bill to Lemon”.

The first is NO dipping mess and no soggy bill to hand back (and thus no paper towels to carry around). The second advantage is that a bag of balloons is much easier to truck around than an equal number of lemons (ten performances worth of balloons fit easily into a pants pocket, try that with ten lemons!). And finally, you don’t have to worry about having a knife sharp enough to cut a lemon open (sharp and pointy knives can cause some little nervousness to some law enforcement types and to some spectators).
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Kozmo
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I do a chop cup bill to lemon.....plays very, very strong....its mixed with my own sense of humor....which is not appealing to everyone....trust me....i have to buy lemons every day...its an expense...along with a signed card routine when I'm working the sidewalks....so on a long day I might go through 25 lemons and a pack of cards or more...expense and replacement...for me it works....i'm used to it...but you might want to look at effects that you don't ahve to spend money on everytime you perform them....but I can tell you...bill to lemon is very strong....VERY STRONG...

harry, hows that dvd?...do you like it...are you working yet thgis season?...street stuff I mean?

One more thing....making money performing on the streets has very little to do with tricks....thats the reality

koz
Doug Conn
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Tip of the day (heck, tip of the century) from Koz... read the post above
Kozmo
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Doug,
I hope to see you this weekend?....
I will bring presents!

koz
Harry Murphy
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Yep, read, reread and reread yet again Ted’s last post. “Making money performing on the streets has very little to do with tricks”!!!!! That is a hard learned truth.

I love the DVD and am working on an egg-bag routine using a paper bag and a loop-egg (a la’ Chinese egg-bag egg) and stealing, er…. borrowing much of Jim’s loop-ball-and-hat moves. Hopefully it will work into something. I hope the DVD is selling well for you guys. I’m looking forward to the next one!

I’ve actually hit the streets twice in the past two weeks (two weekends) once in front of the Baltimore Convention Center, which was holding a coin show (which I attended looking for junk coins). It was a beautiful weekend and thin hats. But the police did not bother me or “move me on!”

The other gig was a crafts festival in western Maryland. Can you believe that there was still snow on the ground! It was cold. I worried that my hands would stick to my cups (like a tongue to an ice tray – remember “Christmas Story” and the kid licking the pole? It was that cold!). Hats were OK, and a local bar owner invited me to front for the band. He kicked in a nice bit of cash! (“Isn’t it sad Mabel that such a nice, clean, little, old man has to sink to this!?!” was heard from the back of the room).
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Kozmo
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The dvd is not really on the market yet.....sitting here putting them together...packaging....but I finally have all the parts...the only reason why you few...maybe 5 guys have one is cause we talk here....the world is about 2 weeks away...

doug conn is working with jim on a webpage...should be a nice project...you will be able to buy all cellini products there....loop balls...dvd's...tables ..the whole gamit...that will be up soon/....talk top doug about all of that

koz
JamesinLA
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Harry,
Was that your first time out this season? This past weekend was like summer out here in LA. I had the opposite problem: my hands were sticky doing the cups and balls. Love that overheard line from the back of the room.

Ted,
Which dvd are you talking about? The loop ball or the street part deux?
Can't wait to see Cellini's web page. Wonder if he'll be selling his cups on it? How about his street book, "The Royal Touch?"

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Harry Murphy
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Maryland
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James, I’ve been “out” a number of times since January. The reason for the quotes on the out is that I have really been doing my street show inside! That is, I have done a couple of winter fests (Dark Ages Winter Fest, March Madness, Mardi Gras, etc) and were held in convention centers, National Guard Armories, and enclosed shopping centers. I was “out” in that it was a Busking job and payment depended on the hat!

Most of the performance work (December to now) has been paid, indoor, stand-up gigs. Got to love parties and pubs/clubs.

This has been a rather difficult winter here. Snowstorm after snowstorm and cold, layered on top of bone chilling cold! It has not been fun. I am from the Southwest originally and wonder what in the Blue Blazes I am doing here! In a couple of years I plan to move back west! If I never see another snowflake it will be too soon!

I guess that winter in LA is like summer here in western Maryland!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
kid iowa
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James, I think Denny Haney has a couple copies of the Royal Touch, check them out at his website. If memory serves correct they're about $90.

http://www.dennymagic.com
Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile...can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served in the United States Navy." J.F.K.
Kozmo
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I'm not sure exactly what doug will be selling on the site....he will be letting everyone know very soon I beleive...

koz
MagiUlysses
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Greetings and Salutations,

James, Denny & Lee currently shows it on their on-line catalog for the price quoted above. I paid $80 a year or two ago.

It sounds crazy but the book's worth it. All of the routines on the DVD are in it plus, plus, plus many more routines, and the info from "The Streets, Part 1" plus more info is in it, plus his ring video, and stuff from the London Lecture and his lecture notes are all in it.

If I could only have one book, this would be it. For two reasons: 1) Cellini autographed it for me when he was in KC; and 2) I believe this is all I would need to master in order to perform virtually anywhere.

If you're still not sure, beg or borrow a copy to peruse, and then you'll order it, trust me.

For anyone interested in it, here's the description from the DL site: (NOTE TO THE POWERS THAT BE, THIS IS NOT A D&L PLUG, THEY JUST HAVE A GOOD CONCISE RUNDOWN THAT WAS EASY TO FIND)

Cellini, The Royal Touch
Here is one of magic's most sought after books. Cellini is a true legend in the performance of magic. This 188 page hardbound book covers the work of this famous magician. His tips on Street Performing are priceless and the effects are the epitome of "pure magic." Contents include Where to Work the streets, Street Performer's Workshop and Tools (including the famous Cellini Topit), How to actually perform on the street, Law of the Street, Bibliography of Card Books, a collection of great black & white photos AND the effects and routines. Just read this list of effects: Vanishing Silk, Birth of a Rose, Thumb Tip Tips, Thumb Tip Drop Steal, Sugar Bag, Vanishing Cigarette, Wand of Merlin Flip Stick Routine, The Wand Spin, Infinity Cups (Water appearance in bowls), Bill in Lemon, Bill to Wallet, Cups & Balls Routine One, Cups & Balls Routine Two, Paper Bag Routine, Here's Mickey (mouse production), Fire Eating, An Escape Act, Vanishing Glass, Grapefruit Production, Cellini Sponge Ball Routine, Indestructible Handkerchief, Cigarette Routine, T-Bar Glass Vanish, Three Ring Switch, Lord of the Rings Linking Ring Routine, Six Ring Routine, Cut & Restored Rope, Card Manipulations, Jumbo Coin & Handkerchief Routine, Color Changing Coin, Copper Silver Routine, Coin Juggling, Cascade of Coins from Cards, Coins in Glass, Billiard Ball Work, The Miser's Dream. I must say that this book probably contains more usable material for real life work that most books I have ever read. A true classic in magic!!! Hardbound By McFalls. E.M. From Magical Classics 188 pages pages Price: $90.00

Joe in KC

Live a great adventure, make magic happen!
Kozmo
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Well...times are different..and some of the ideas might need to be changed a bit...but certainly a great book....great storys from his travels...good stuff...worth the $80.....but seeing is worth a 100 words...and that's what makes video so important...

and I need to sell them Smile

koz
MagiUlysses
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Greetings and Salutations koz,

True, koz, true! Some say, "Build it and they will come." Me, I'm saying, "Sell it and I will buy!" Smile

I'm looking forward to the even newer offerings. The "Magic Anywhere" DVD is fantastic. The sound's good. The video's good. The tricks are great. Give me more!

I like the book because I can take it where there is no power, like stranded on a desert island. I like the videos because I want to "see" the nuances and timing that is not possible from a book.

When will they be available? I thought I read somewhere in about two weeks. Is that still true.

Thanks for sharing the wit and wisdom of Cellini!

Joe in KC

Live a great adventure, make magic happen!
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