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The Great Zoobini
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[I found this cleaning up my computer the other day...It needs credit for an amazing insight.]

Contrary to popular belief, it's probably better to have no talent whatsoever when first starting off busking. This is great news for those just starting. If you want to get involved with busking but don't know where to start, this information will prove invaluable to you. However, if you're a musician of several years, you'll probably want to use your talent to produce music.

Musicians are the most popular, the most talented, and least paid. Unless you have professional tapes and cd's produced ready to sell, the muse faces the task of entertaining a walk-by audience for tips then selling cd's. The best pass the hat. Musicians take years to perfect their craft. Some stay with it and become excellent artists while many give up and pursue other venues. Musicians also usually sing so they must develop a pleasant singing voice which is sometimes impossible. This is a pretty rough road especially in America where it's considered a freak show just for starters and illegal many places. You'd be better off in some foreign land where minstrels and bards have always existed and are the norm.

It's been said, that it's not what what you perform but how you perform it. Believe it or not, there's hardly any talent involved in entertaining an audience. It's your job to change your audience's perspective on your act. Capturing a crowd can actually be a larger obstacle than the show itself.

With the exception of being a artist or perhaps professional juggler, most standard acts require little if any talent. What they do require, however, is the nerve to get out there and perform in front of a live audience and make them think it's pure talent.

I remember a busker swallowing balloons which created a huge audience. A mime held the whole city block captive by simply miming others walking by. These are not rare but rather the typical shows you see. A little balancing and juggling can go a long way in filling in your show. Juggling 3 eggs on stilts will probably take you all of 2 days to perfect. Most of the time, however, it's comedy with a audience participants that really packs them in. Something silly, something entertaining...something anybody can do...yet presented in such a way to make the easy look difficult is what you're after.

We all know how pros set up a trick only to fail on purpose a few times. This makes the unwilling audience think the trick is really difficult but is actually water off a ducks back and works like a charm. You can use this principle in busking. If you can set up the audience to think your act is extremely difficult, you're half-way home. However, if you make it look easy, the audience will agree with you.

Keep the above in mind when first starting and you be on the fast track to a successful busking career. With a whole world in turmoil, something funny and silly that makes 'em laugh and forget it all will win their hearts more than any talent could dream of.

Meet you in Busker Alley Smile
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Nice article Zoobini, thanx for sharing. I agree with most the article....and from a magicians point of few had to chuckle. How many times have we seen someone in the magic shop buying $$$ worth of props...and a short time later, working (?) as a professional, booking shows etc.

The one point I somewhat disagree that you don't need talent to be a street magician. By this I mean, you can go out there with very limited skills and perform self-working stuff with copied patter....but you will not last and most likely fail.

I see this all the time....newcomers on the street who are gonna be a Busker/Street Magician....yet can not do some very elementary sleight of hand. There are rare exceptions but generally they don't last.

On the other side I've seen guys with good skill sets, crash and burn on the, yes, you need showmanship also as an essential.

Anyways, I believe you should have sleight of hand skills to survive as a street magician long term. Part of that Is that to succeed, you are going to have to really love what you are doing, the art,....because the business side can be quite uneven and rough.

Anyways, nice read, thanx for sharing.
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