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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Almost got arrested (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Regular user
Bay Area
158 Posts

Profile of ddamen
I was performing today in Embarcadero, a touristy San Francisco spot near the seaboard. Wasn't expecting much, but the crowd just kept getting bigger and bigger. Started with this group of college girls, but soon I had 30-40 people surrounding me 270 degrees. Tips start piling on the table

Out of nowhere, this policeman approaches my table, and not to volunteer. The crowd immediately disperses and now I notice there are two off-duty police officers and two security guards. He says "You need to leave before any other cops arrive. You are committing a felony and will be in cuffs." Then I say, "Oh, so performing magic is now on the same level as involuntary manslaughter?" He says, "You're performing magic? That definitely looked like gambling, like three card monte."

They followed me for a quarter mile until I was far far away. The only trick in my act that involved cards was ambitious card. My other effects were more mentalism (eg, predicting which envelope a spectator would choose). The only money on my table was in a cup that was obviously for tips. I never even asked for tips
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Inner circle
1500 Posts

Profile of Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
Wow. Glad to hear you didn't get arrested
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Inner circle
1472 Posts

Do you have a sign MAGIC SHOW?
Nickoli Sharpe
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Regular user
145 Posts

Profile of Nickoli Sharpe
Was anyone hurt?

If not you should have told them to go pedal there papers and leave you alone.
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Special user
Rapid City, SD
723 Posts

Profile of charliemartin
Sounds like a local business did not want you there. I have worked the area.Do not be a smartass to the police.
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Inner circle
New Zealand
1311 Posts

Profile of Yellowcustard
It is best to move on. However the fact they where off duty would of made me likely to question it as well as the fact they where saying leave before the other cop gets here''like there doing you a favor?

I don't know what the US is like but here in New Zealand recently we seem to have some real ill informed security, which I question regularly.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
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Regular user
Bay Area
158 Posts

Profile of ddamen
Yeah I doubt they had backup coming, but I'm not going to call that bluff. Plus they killed the crowd.

I did not have a magic show sign. But since when did performing ambitious card (while repeatedly asking people "do you want to see magic") allow police to assume I'm running a "three card monte" scam? Wouldn't I - and this is a crazy thought - need three cards on the table?

Whatever, never going back. You'd have an easier time peddling heroin than performing magic
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Inner circle
1500 Posts

Profile of Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
If you give up that just means they win. I understand not wanting to be arrested though. When I go home I'm gonna push the limits in Springfield MO and see what happens. You could really set a precedent there
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Loyal user
289 Posts

Profile of Stperformer
I've been fighting this kinda thing for a long long time now. I'm getting old...and tired.

I can only won't win. You'll win some battles here and there. But then things go back the way they were.

In order to effect change, I think you have to change the attitude of the general public. Make them more acceptable and open to the arts in general. To not be afraid of theater on the street. To not feel threatened by us or those that see things/life differently.

I think it is getting worse and will keeping getting worse until something changes. Most decent pitches that are still around are heavily controlled....and most controlling have got very little sense when it comes to performers on the street.

It's a different world, it's getting competetive out there and some of us buskers may have contributed to our own demise.

For you young whippersnappers out there ....good luck.....I'm afraid my genereration has left you with a bit of a mess to deal with.

mike bonfield
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Regular user
181 Posts

Profile of mike bonfield
Uk police shake you hand and say can we see the show
ed rhodes
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Inner circle
Rhode Island
2754 Posts

Profile of ed rhodes
I had ONE cop on Thayer Street (Providence, RI) do the same thing;

ME (Noticing cop) I have a permit.

COP Naw, you're good. I just want to see what you're doing!

Mind you, I had one cop who rejected my permit because it was over a year old;

COP It's expired.

ME They told me it doesn't expire.

COP It's over a year old, it's expired, get out.

(I had to have a new permit typed up that says; "This permit does not expire.")

And yet another cop who just generally rejected the permit;

COP That says "at the discretion of the police," right? Well, I won't have it! You're turning my street into a circus and I won't have it.

I ended up going to City Hall to complain about him as well and discovered he'd been reassigned because all the vendors were being harassed by him!
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
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