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Profile of TheCardTrickGOD
Im getting over the beginner phase of going out, being ignored and making 2 bucks a day.

Last night I made 70.
If anyone is familiar with orange county, I worked the orange circle from 6-9. It's just a local downtown area I worked the sidewalk for 1-2 groups at a time. I managed to build a crowd and get my fat hat.

One thing I still haven't figured out is a grand finale. I haven't been building crowds so I don't have a need yet. But when I do it's like the show is almost over and I give them a half show.

I'll be using this thread to record my progress and tell any interesting stories. Might inspire someone to go out.
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Inner circle
New Zealand
1310 Posts

Profile of Yellowcustard
It great you are getting out and doing it.

You mention you have no firm finale yet. But you will only be stronger from all your experience of getting people to stop and stay.

Once you have your finale that will become your promises that will hold your crowd and help you build the crowd. for example, I will perform the worlds oldest trick (cups and balls) or I will perform a deathifying escape (straitjackets).

look forward to your updates and keep up the great work!
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
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Profile of TheCardTrickGOD
Thank you yellow. My grand finale is just rock from shoe it's more of a bonus than anything, but a good way to end a show and leave everyone satisfied.

Im working on a routine like Eric Evans pelota de la muerte for my grand finale.

I worked the same place same time today. 3 hours, made about 50. Decent day very slow on the foot traffic but I managed to do about 10 performances.

I used to average about 2 bucks in tips but it seems everyone is tipping 5s, and when I get tipped a dollar they say"sorry it's all I have". If only the foot traffic was heavier this would be my hidden gem of a pitch.

Yesterday I had a few kids pretending to tip me on venmo to escape an awkward situation. I make it clear the show is free, I say the donations make it possible. Didn't happen at all today.

The highlight today was a couple cosplaying in old style clothing. Not sure what time period but kind of Western style.

They stopped and saw my rope trick, my rope trick makes others stop because of its multi phase. People stopped and left and the guy calls them out saying "hey where you going, it gets better, don't leave"

He did this a few times and ended up giving me a nice crowd.

That's the secret, just have confidence. TELL them to stop, TELL them to stay. You're not forcing them against their will, they're big people they can leave if they really want.

I've had this philosophy of "these people are busy, they have somewhere to go, let them decide on their own" but you really have to not care and MAKE them stay, at the end, I'm giving them the best magic show of my ability, Im not hurting them.

Great guy, seemed like he had some drunk confidence.

Tommorow I'm headed to Huntington Beach, then maybe next week I'll go to Balboa Park in San diego

Is anyone familiar with a juggler unicycle act named Street show Keith? His main pitch is Balboa Park, I ran into him a couple weeks ago and had problems with him, I want to straighten things out if I run across him again.
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Inner circle
Moved to Seattle to see
1142 Posts

Profile of imgic
Great reading about your progress...keep it up, and keep posting.

I believe Balboa Park requires permits:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
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Inner circle
1074 Posts

Profile of gallagher
Good evening.
It's an interesting read, of sorts.
It's interesting to see, hear about,....your actions and motivations.

What does your Show consist of?
öK, there's 'the multi-phase Rope trick' and 'the rock-in-the-shoe finale'.

Are you trying to 'build' an Audience?
Can your Show continue,...with no,..or little Audience?

Actually, I'm writing to ask:
"If YOU could see a 'great(!) Show', on the Streets,
what would THAT Show be?"

From beginning to end,...forget the Hat..
Lay out THAT Show, on the piece of paper....
go for it(!).

i don't think you were asking that,..but..

Wish you well,
Thank you for sharing,
I enjoy it,
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13 Posts

Profile of TheCardTrickGOD
Yesterday was a good day. Learned a good lesson. To make it as a Busker in the beginning, you have to pack a lunch or eat home, also take the absolute cheapest transportation possible. If it's a bike or your legs, do it.

Yesterday I took an Uber to HB, 25 bucks. I was being cocky, I knew I'd make it back and make extra money. Well I did 55 bucks. Profits are 30, minus the subway sandwich, 10 bucks, minus the $10 bus fare home. I was left with a 10 dollar profit.

I could've worked my local pitch and made more than 10 bucks.

I was scared at first. So many people, all there to watch a sunset. Very hard to stop, they know you're a hustler out to make a buck. I was being ignored left and right. I left the pier and searched greener grass. My greener grass was the downtown sidewalk. Sure enough it was easier to stop people there, did some shows, people weren't tipping and I felt like crying. I was going to hop on the bus and accept a -25$ loss. I persisted.

Eventually I stopped a couple. They seemed enthusiastic, that's of course because they were high out of their minds, welcome to HB lol. They loved the first trick, card to mouth, then I moved on to ropes and they loved that, After the first phase of the ropes, they were too high too pay attention and wondered off. A family stopped so I was able to finish my routine. The mom gave me about 3 bucks. Then I look into my bucket and see a 20.

20 bucks for a card trick, I didn't notice the marijuana induced couple left a 20. It gave me the incentive to persist. My first 20 :v

The night was spent doing small shows 1-2 groups. 3-7 bucks per show. The funniest thing is, I always try to get couples to stop, either the husband or the wife come forward, but when it's the husband, the wife is always a little standoffish, 15 feet away and I've got to get her closer. This one couple the wife was rolling her eyes 20 feet away and I pull her in, I do card to mouth with the false reveals in the beginning. She's laughing at me because she thinks I suck. Until I produce the folded up playing card from my mouth and I say "and you thought I sucked". She was engaged and loved my rope routine and tipped me my 5 bucks.

Happened again with another couple and the wife tipped me my 5.

The streets are crazy.

My problem is arriving late to a pitch. At HB I was only able to work an hour and a half. I stay home and think about going out instead of just actually doing it.
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Inner circle
1470 Posts

First do not think you are a hustler. That is negative thinking. Your mind set is not good yet. Go out there to have fun. "Here am I and I am making fun!" If you not have fun how the ...should your audience have it.

First get people then turn them into an audience. How? Involve them. Ask questions. Let them clap.(do you want a fun trick or dangerous trick? Clap for fun trick! Clap for dangerous trick)

For finale trick check jugglers how they build finales. They use height. And people.
I do thumb tie. I need 2 men for throwing rings and a lady to tie me up. See? 3 people involved. Give ring to men. Explain what you want . Do practice run. Next lady ties you up. Make the trick big. BIG.

It is all about you. YOU YOU.AND HAVE FUN!
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Profile of dclxvinyc
Hey, it's been more than a month. I was reading this thread and enjoying it.
Are you still going out and busking? If so, what's the progress like? The holiday season must be a bit more prosperous, I'd say, right?

In New York, most buskers in central park have packed it up. Not only are they cold, but the audiences are cold and don't have attention spans. I'm sure this isn't a problem you run into in SoCal.

I'll be out there in February and would like to try some busking there myself around the Santa Monica boardwalk or in Venice.
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Profile of TheCardTrickGOD
Ive forgotten about this thread, haha.

So much has happened since.

I collabed with a YouTuber to make this video.

This video feels old, I've improved so much since.

The pitch I'm working every weekend is a local historic downtown area full of antique shops bars and restaurants. So people are friendly, I go to an area full of tourists and people are on guard, as to not want to get suckered, there's also more competition in the touristy areas. My local downtown area's only competition is a guy playing Beatles on his guitar.

I don't do card vomit anymore to draw people. I just use me. I say hi, smile, and say my lines. "Hi I'm doing a show, I need a fun crowd!" "I'm doing a show, I saved a VIP section for you"
Or when I'm getting a little desperate I use "hi I need some of your help" I pause and tell them I'm doing a show and I'm looking for some fun people, and tell them ill show them a trick.

I've started doing torn corner to tangerine as a finale and it's been a hell of an improvement by having a proper finale, if I have no crowd after by rope routine, I end my show, I only do my finale if I have atleast 3 groups.

I've also been getting booked. I'm doing my first strolling gig at a company dinner a few days before Christmas, I made sure to negotiate well as to not get taken advantage of.

It's been a hell of a ride and it's only been a few months.

As for the weather, it's hard to stop people after 6 because of the cold, but I still manage to work a little and do some shows.
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Profile of scotchrocket
Thanks for sharing your journey so far, Roberto. I enjoyed your notes, and watched the video which gave a great look at what you're doing to get things moving. Appreciate you sharing!
All about borrowed coins.
D. Yoder
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Veteran user
320 Posts

Profile of D. Yoder
I enjoyed the video and riding along for part of the journey. Best wishes!
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