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wayno
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I was corresponding with a tourist community this week about their busking bylaws. I was told the third Noise Bylaw covers busking.

No person shall advertise any event or merchandise by ringing bells, calling aloud, playing any type of musical instrument or noise-making instrument or by any other audible means including outside speakers in any part of the town, or outside speakers to convey music or any noise to the public in any part of the town;

By any method, convey to the public in any part of the town music or any other noise from inside any premises.

Now, the municipality of this town interprets this bylaw as outlawing buskers. I interpret this bylaw as outlawing noise. Which isn't going to stop me from performing there this summer.

Anyone have any tips on building an edge, and drawing my hat without any noise, and using an "indoor voice"?
Wayne Stevenson
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KingStardog
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Two words. Flea Circus. Might need some signs but folks crowd around these things even when nothing is happening.

Other than an optical type draw, you might be out of luck. They still may write a ticket, or worse book you. Jailed on a Friday means a Monday arraignment. Might be better to drive to a different town, or hit one of the festival circuts and follow it.
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
MagiUlysses
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Greetings and Salutations Wayno,

My tale is all predicated on your character. During the 2000 season at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival I assisted with demos (non-magical) and hawked for a vendor located very near a stage. As a rather large, loud, and boisterous fellow, I frequently "stepped" on the stage acts, and as they were acquaintances of mine, I had to come up with an alternative for hawking the shop.

I came up with a brilliant plan. I became a mute. A mute "hawker?" you might ask yourself in wonder. Yes. Was I effective? I have a "Best of KCRF" award for hawking presented to me by the faire as proof.

How did it work? Well ... by being larger than life. Be bright. Be colorful. Think of the acting in the silent movies, and how the actors' facial expressions, gestures, etc., had to be exaggerated to make up for the lack of vocal cues.

Now, to be sure, I blew off the patrons and invited them using a very subdued voice once they were within earshot, but, I had to get them within earshot, and I did this when they were within eyeshot.

Everyone, whether they want to admit it or not, wants to be noticed by someone who is being noticed (Kind of like being noticed by a celebrity -- it's a celebrity-by-association kind of thing). It's kind of like inviting them into a private little party. Once I caught someone's eye, I would call them over to the booth through a series of gestures.

How good were the gestures, I once had a hearing-impaired couple watch me for 15 minutes trying to figure out which sign language I was using. I wasn't. I made up my own. After that, I had my girlfriend, who know signing, teach my how to gesture "No, sorry, I'm pretending" and those hearing impaired folks I ran across, or rather who ran across me, thought my act was both clever and entertaining.

Now that I think about it, I may just dust off that old character for this year's faire at St. Louis. Thanks for reminding me. My gig there isn't magic, but I'm going to use magic to gather a tip for my game.

Have fun with it. Think outside the box. How about getting one of those big orange horns you see at ball games, and, dressed in your outdoor performer finery, pantomime sounding a fanfare to the four cardinal points of the compass?

Let's be real. We love people, but they're sheep. Heck. I'm thinking in the right pitch, with enought traffic, you could simply cast your gaze skyward, and within a short period of time you would have a number of people gathered who were wondering what you were looking at.

Where there's a will there's a way. Feel free to steal my mute; nobody can be me anyway, so be your own mute, or come up with something completely different. Let me know what you come up with and how it works out.

Joe in KC

Live a great adventure, have a magical life!
wayno
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Heh. I'm not so much of a flea circus guy. I'm a magician. Smile

The town is in Canada. And as far as I have seen, we ticket, not jail. I've done my homework on their laws and fines. So worst comes to worst, I get a $100 fine. If I get caught again, $300. I'll have no qualms paying the $100 fine, if it happens. But I figure if I keep my noise level down, there is nothing they can legally do that I can't fight and win. And if I can't, well, it's a $100 lesson.

*******

By the way, anyone familiar with these noise bylaws and if my interpretation of it would be correct?

*******

Thanks Joe. That was great advice. I've got a good amount of time to get things figured out, and you've given me a great start. Smile
Wayne Stevenson
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RobertBloor
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Quote:
On 2004-04-16 11:08, wayno wrote:
Heh. I'm not so much of a flea circus guy. I'm a magician. Smile

The town is in Canada. And as far as I have seen, we ticket, not jail. I've done my homework on their laws and fines. So worst comes to worst, I get a $100 fine. If I get caught again, $300. I'll have no qualms paying the $100 fine, if it happens. But I figure if I keep my noise level down, there is nothing they can legally do that I can't fight and win. And if I can't, well, it's a $100 lesson.


Wayno,

Why are you getting yourself so psyched up for a fight over this?

Just seems to me like time could be better spent helping this town promote tourism rather than saying, "I'm a magician and I'll fight if I have to."

Robert Bloor
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
-The Declaration of Independence
wayno
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Hey Robert,

It's not a fight I'm looking for. I want to perform in the town. It's a gorgeous mountain community, and I want to perform my magic there. Smile I'm sure you all have that one place you desperately want to perform at. I do, and I'm going to do it. And I'm wanting to do it legally to avoid any fight at all.

Do understand that if I was looking for a fight, I would not be looking for advice on how to make a memorable magic show for all, with the littlest amount of noise to bring my audience in.

You do make a valid point, for me to question my motives. Simply put, my motive is to have one hell of a show there this summer, and not have to fork over any money in fines.
Wayne Stevenson
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Bill Palmer
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Seems to me that it's mime time.

Last summer in Salzburg, I saw a mime from Croatia who did an incredible bit. He was painted gold, draped in gold lamé, and he had a large sunflower in one hand. When anyone approached him and put anything in his hat, he leaned forward and gently tapped them on the forehead with the sunflower, as if blessing them.

I had seen many painted mimes, i.e. gold, silver or white statues, but this guy was the only one that actually reached out to me. I generally don't even like most mimes. But this guy was different.

So, make yourself colorful, and stand stock still. When someone approaches you and puts money in your hat, then do a trick.

You will get a crowd and then you can entertain them.

But beware that ordinance. Methinks you are trying to work in the wrong place.

Remember the old adage:
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

This may not be a pig, but their city council most certainly is.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Kozmo
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First of all, that law was designed to keep you from working...really....if a cop comes by you can bet that he will be able to look at that law and find a way to go after you. Now the question is, do they want you there or not? If they want you there you will be fine and will likely be able to use your mouth to build an audience. If they don't want you there, it doesn't matter what you do...they will hassle you ...and you will end up moving on. Go out and try it. See what happens. Don't change anything other than using a sound system--or bells--just use your mouth to build an audience and if you are a magician, you don't need to build an large audience to make money. You can do small intimate shows and get more money from each spectator.

A friend of mine has been arrested in New Orleans 2 times in the last month. He's a really good juggler, uses a sound system, builds and builds and builds. At the end of his show--which he ends up with huge audiences and shuts down royal street--he juggles 3 clubs on fire on a 10 ft unicycle. The cops (even though he wasn't breaking any laws) arrested him for "disposing of trash illegally." They will find a way to shut you down. Now they dismissed the charges, but he spent 4 days in jail! The cops won. Next time out there he didn't juggle fire. The thing he didn't understand is, it wasn't the fire--it was the crowd. It was toooooo big and he shut down the street. So last weekend he gets arrested again, for blocking the sidewalks. Now he's afraid to work spending another night in jail!

I have told him and I will tell you. The lesson here is this: you NEED to be able to adapt to your environment in this street world. If you can't you will fail.

So your challenge is to go and make this work. In this community that sounds to me like they don't want you there. Go out, no amp, use your voice softly, build a small audience and work all day. Have fun...and don't go to jail.

Another lesson he will end up learning is this: this kid, 23 years old, makes a ton of money, and he spends it--WASTES it--lives at the Hilton...no ****! $200 a night. He's been there for a month and a half. WASTES...now he can't work and he's broke. Work when you can. Save and conserve so when you can't work you will be ok. Live a simple life, take the time to thank god for this wonderful gift you have been handed--the gift of freedom--save, save, save...

koz
RobertBloor
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Dude Koz,

I don't know what contributions you've made to various notes and such about street performing, but that was stinkin' brilliant.

And no, I'm not being sarcastic (which I generally enjoy being).

That really was something else and frankly should be mandatory reading for all buskers.

Cheers mate!

Robert Bloor
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
-The Declaration of Independence
wayno
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Thanks for all your replies guys. They are all very helpful. Smile

You have all given some great ideas and issues to think about. I'm going to have a lot of fun with this. Smile

If anyone else has something to add, please do not hesitate to post. Smile
Wayne Stevenson
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Reg Rozee
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Have you thought about using a stack of hand-held signs, similar to what Bob Dylan used in I-can't-remember-the-name-of-that-song, somebody help me out here...

Basically what I am thinking is you have a stack of handheld cardboard signs, probably about a foot or foot and a half square. First one says "HEY YOU!", second one says, "Yes, YOU!", third one says "Want to see a trick?", and so on. Maybe a couple extra you can improvise with like "Oh, come on!", "YES", "NO", a happy face, a sad face, etc. You might even have one with a selected card written on it to use in an effect in your act.

I don't think they can get you with noise for this one, but they might charge you with illegal signage! The town sounds a bit like Whistler, and they take their by-laws pretty seriously up there...

-Reg {*}
Reality is what doesn't go away when you stop believing in it. -Phillip K. Dick



Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? -Chico Marx
wayno
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Reg, that sounds like an excellent idea. Thanks. Smile
Wayne Stevenson
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cfrye
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Quote:
The town sounds a bit like Whistler, and they take their by-laws pretty seriously up there...


My guess was Banff.
wayno
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Jasper actually. Smile Banff is a little more easygoing when it comes to busking.
Wayne Stevenson
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Bill Palmer
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That's almost too bad. If it had been in Banff, and you had gotten kicked out, you could have billed yourself as the Man who was Banned in Banff.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Pokie-Poke
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Play by the book and go mime. (Did I just say that??) The reason clowns started to pantomime was because of laws like this, and we are at no lack of clowns now.

Plus if you can do your act without talking you can do it any where in the world.
Bill's idea of the magic statue is cool but will be hard to do (you have to stand still for a LONG time).
www.pokie-poke.com
The Adventure cont...
Hernan
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I just got kicked off of Fishermans Wharf because of amplified sound. I wasn't doing magic. But I did notice that there were not many buskers out.

One particular silver haired bicycle cop, has a heavy hand.

I live here so I may fight the laws (in the rainy season, of course).

And yet, Fishermans Wharf has lost its charm.

So it may not be worth it.

I may leave it to Jerry and the Bushman.
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2004-04-28 11:49, Pokie-Poke wrote:
Play by the book and go mime. (Did I just say that??) The reason clowns started to pantomime was because of laws like this, and we are at no lack of clowns now.

Plus if you can do your act without talking you can do it any where in the world.
Bill's idea of the magic statue is cool but will be hard to do (you have to stand still for a LONG time).


The fellow I saw in Salzburg got enough reaction that he was seldom immobile for more than, say 15 - 30 seconds.

Part of the secret to this is to have a shill or two to drop a coin into your hat. Then you move. Once the audience gets the drift, then things happen.

I may have written this up before, but one of the cleverest street acts I saw in Europe was a fellow who had a marionette that played the piano. The marionette looked a lot like Duke Ellington, with sunglasses. There was a little tin cup on top of the piano. He had a switch in the control stick that turned his tape player on and off. When you dropped a coin into the cup, the marionette stopped, lifted his shades and looked into the cup.

Simple idea, but effective.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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