The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Starting up (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

oliverjoy
View Profile
New user
england
27 Posts

Profile of oliverjoy
I have been learning and performing card and close up magic for two years and have never done any street magic as it were, and was wondering does any one have any tips for approching and performing for people on the street? I hope you can help.
Thanks
olver joy
Kozmo
View Profile
V.I.P.
5367 Posts

Profile of Kozmo
Buy the Cellini DVD

The art of street performing

koz
Joe Mansfield
View Profile
Loyal user
225 Posts

Profile of Joe Mansfield
I did walk around at a festival once and it was difficult to approach. I finally bit the bullet and grabbed a couple as they walked by and did the watch steal and moved into sponge balls. Within 2 minutes a crowd had gathered and I waited till the end of the set to give the watch back. Most of the spectators never saw me touch the girl. I still use this method.
wayno
View Profile
Veteran user
Canada
323 Posts

Profile of wayno
Cellini's DVD is definitely a must have. As well, I'm reading Claflin and Sheridan's Street Magic right now and am finding it a huge source of inspiration.

But don't forget to read every thread in this forum. It is a goldmine of information.
Wayne Stevenson
The SpookClub
http://www.spookclub.com
Pete Biro
View Profile
1933 - 2018
18558 Posts

Profile of Pete Biro
I feel the way is to just go there and start doing something... learn how YOU work, learn how YOU entertain... it may take time, but it will be time well spent.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Blackpool
View Profile
New user
Kingston, Ontario
31 Posts

Profile of Blackpool
Have something else you can do besides cards. One unexpected gust of wind can ruin a routine or scatter your whole act down the street. The only thing you want to be blown away is your audience.
The Amazing Blackpool
Magician ~ Mental Illusionist ~ Hypnotist
Blackpool@KingstonMagic.com
Danny Hustle
View Profile
Inner circle
Boston, MA USA
2393 Posts

Profile of Danny Hustle
Pete has hit the nail on the head. The sooner you hit the street the sooner your show will be worth watching. Smile

There are a lot of great resources on the net for learning how to do it and where to obtain the materials needed.

http://www.performers.net/forums/

is a great resource for busking in general and I have a site (the link is in my signature) that is for magicians who are street performers.

Check the getting started sections at both sites and you will have all the information you need to get started at your finger tips.

Best,

Dan-
Image

"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
Rupert Bair
View Profile
Inner circle
?
2112 Posts

Profile of Rupert Bair
Danny do you hustle? And can I buy a fake wand, cups and balls from you? They sound great!
Also, how much money can you earn busking. I've done some street magic getting tips, but I wouldnt mind getting into 'busking'.

Matt
prospero
View Profile
Special user
Elsewhere
572 Posts

Profile of prospero
I'd like to know how much money is possible, also. I am aware that the busker has his up and down days, but an average income would be nice.

I wonder if the income one gets is different in the UK than in the USA.
Danny Hustle
View Profile
Inner circle
Boston, MA USA
2393 Posts

Profile of Danny Hustle
Matt said: "Danny do you hustle? And can I buy a fake wand, cups and balls from you?"

Matt, that is a nice picture of you, you must be the one on the right. Smile

The fake wands are sold out but I hear you can still buy a set of street pants from Gary over at magicpitch.com. They look about the right size for you, just remember the potato loads in the back. Smile

Matt said: "Also, how much money can you earn busking."

I can earn a lot of money because I'm funny.

You might want to stick with the kid's shows. Smile

Best,

Dan-

In all seriousness about money...

The streets are an amazing place. It is a different experience for each worker and money is determined by many, many, factors talent only being one of them.

1. You need to find a pitch that people will pay. I work almost exclusively in Harvard Square these days. Harvard Square is considered one of the worst pitches in the country (as far as money goes) by a lot of street performers. It is loud, compact, has only one circle pitch, and is usually loaded with college kids who are broke.

If you work a doorway with a table act (as I do) and spend 8-10 hours there you will go home with an honest day's pay. I have never gone home with less than $200 or more the $500. The variables there are weather, day of the week, construction, and amount of foot traffic. This is averaging two 15 minute shows per hour.

If you work the circle pitch at prime time on a weekend you will usually have one or two 45 minute shows shows per evening as the pitch is usually shared by several performers. You can expect to make a $100 - $200 hat per show if you are an average performer.

2. Talent: If you are an amazing talent such as Gazzo, Alakazam, The Jim Show, or guys of that caliber you can make as much as $500 per show if conditions are perfect. I've seen it, it's pretty, but it doesn't happen often.

As much as it is groused about by other buskers I consider Harvard Square to be an average pitch as far as the type of pitch most people starting on the street are likely to encounter. It is a public place, a permit can be obtained by anyone with a heartbeat and $40 in their pocket, and no audition process is needed to get a spot.

The reason most professional buskers complain about it is they are used to working private busking pitches such as festivals, and outside malls. In these situations people are there to be entertained and as soon as you set up your props an edge will appear as if by magic. Starting out you are not going to be working these places because they are expensive to apply to or require an audition process to get into.

3. Also know that you will make very little money when you first go out. If David Copperfield were to go on the street tomorrow he would not make much money. Magical talent has very little to do with your ability to stop people who are on their way somewhere. You have to be more interesting than the place they are on their way to and you have to find a way to hold and control that interest throughout your show. Then, you have to find a way to ask them for money without appearing to be begging. This is something that can not be learned through books or video. Good reference material will absolutely make your learning curve much shorter but it cannot do the work for you.

It is much like learning to play a musical instrument like the piano. You can do all the reading and note taking in the world but you will have to develop an unconscious physical knowledge of the keyboard and the muscle memory to create a tune. This can only accomplished through hard work, hands on experience, and practice.

I mention it because a lot of guys go out and fail and go home thinking, "I stink, and am never going to do that again." Do not feel that way! We all stunk until we got the feel, the rhythm, and the timing. Keep at it and fake it till you make it. You will eventually succeed and let me tell you, when they start dropping the frog skins into your hat like it was confetti there is no finer feeling in the world.

Best,

Dan-
Image

"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
JoeJoe
View Profile
Inner circle
Myrtle Beach
1910 Posts

Profile of JoeJoe
Just do it man! Hit the bricks and find out how much you'll make ... but whatever you do ... DON'T DO IT FOR THE MONEY!!! If you're doing it for the money, the audience will see that and they won't kick down! You hafta do it because you want to do it ... because you love to do it ... because there is absolutely nothing else you want to do! In doing it, you'll make some money, gain some experience, and have a lot of fun.

When I started on the streets, I was lucky to pull $20 in a day, but I kept doing it, because it was what I wanted to do. I can pull over $200 now with the experience I have, but I never ever under any circumstances hit the streets with the objective of making money - I only do it when I want to do it.
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
Danny Hustle
View Profile
Inner circle
Boston, MA USA
2393 Posts

Profile of Danny Hustle
GREAT TIP JOE-JOE!!

The audience can smell the desperation on you if you are only doing it to make a buck. The BEST days I have had on the street were days where I was already flush and just having a ball.

There have been times where I have done shows in cold blood just to stave off the bill collector and I'll tell you, I couldn't make a dime until I was able to let go of that and just do the shows for the reasons I became a performer in the first place.

Best,

Dan-
Image

"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
LBP MAGIC
View Profile
Veteran user
374 Posts

Profile of LBP MAGIC
Joe,

What if that girl left and you didn't see her leave? You have just stolen some girl's watch. Great idea, but if you have a big crowd it is easy to lose track of somebody.
JoeJoe
View Profile
Inner circle
Myrtle Beach
1910 Posts

Profile of JoeJoe
I was thinking the same thing LBP ... not something I'd wanna try.

Building a tip is indeed the hardest part of street performing. The faster you can build a tip, the more shows you can do in a day, the more money you can make. Some performers use sound - like linking rings or a miser's dream.

I myself use hype and build-up with a strong voice projection and the confidence to back it up - "I, the Amazing JoeJoe, will attempt to make myself disappear right here in broad daylight while standing on a solid concrete surface and surrounded by a live audience just like Siegfreid and Roy - God bless them both!" I pretty much say all of that (and a prior sentence) without so much as stopping to take a breath.

I ramble on and on and on for what sometimes seems like forever, until I'm happy with the number of people watching. Everything I say I'm gonna do I build up into the most incredible sounding illusion they will ever see in their entire life.

If you wanna try this technique, I warn you it's not the easiest thing to do - you can very easily let down your audience at which point you're not getting paid. I get away with it because of my charming personality, it works for me. Not only do I make myself disappear, I follow through afterwards - I act like I just made myself disapepar - "Ladies and gentlemen - The Amazing JoeJoe has done it again!" - I'm there with my box on my shoulder and other arm raised in the air with a smile that even Copperfield himself would envy ... it works for me because I enjoy street performing so much I feel like the greatest magician in the world. To me, it's better than being on stage. I have never ever been nervous while performing on the street!

Which is the point I'm trying to make - do what works for you! You can try it, and if you don't like find another gig. But you should at least try it - you will quickly figure out your style - that's the thing about busking: if you don't entertain, they will walk off! You will get good fast! The things you learn on the street will carry over into any branch of magic. It is the absolute best place to try new material - if it's good on the street, it'll work anywhere. If it isn't good on the street, it isn't worth doing anywhere else.
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
maniac
View Profile
New user
Atlanta, Ga
65 Posts

Profile of maniac
Attended Cellini's lecture Monday nite. I would recomend his DVD. He has good tips on gathering a crowd, asking for tips, handling the unexpected and managing props.

Also, if you can find his topit plan, it's the best I have ever seen! Does not tuck in, and that way you can take your jacket on and off. He had a coconut in it and did not tug or show any signs of stress on the jacket.
abc
View Profile
Inner circle
South African in Taiwan
1081 Posts

Profile of abc
If busking didn't make money people wouldn't do it. I am no pro at it but my friend who introduced me to the Café (bless his soul) makes about 500 US on a good night with a clown show busking. Gotta say though that I have driven more than 4 hours twice to hang out with him and see the show and it rained out once so.....
Weather though does play a role so I am much keener on table hopping gigs as you also get tipped and paid.
As for approaching people, it is like approaching a girl in a pub. There are set guidelines but they should be adapted to your personality and the best way to get that down is to get out and do it as mentioned before a few times.
You cannot stay home over weekends thinking of corny pick up lines that don't work. Go out there and get some experience.
Pete Biro
View Profile
1933 - 2018
18558 Posts

Profile of Pete Biro
Chris Capehart owns two homes and put two daughters through college... working the streets.

When he was here working at the Magic Castle, unlike most magicians who sleep late and hang out...he walked down to Hollywood Blvd. and worked the street making more money than he was getting at the Castle!
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
TheAmbitiousCard
View Profile
Eternal Order
Northern California
13384 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
Wow. That is great. I didn't know that.
It was nice getting to see his close-up rings effect
there during the garage-sale.

Quite impressive.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Starting up (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.23 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL