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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Best Way To Lose A Crowd? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Blaze Magic
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Has anyone else had issues with trying to get rid of a crowd?

I often have children who will stay and watch my performance over and over again, which can be great as I can use them to start building each new crowd.
Occasionally though I have ended up with some children who have the entire day free to watch me, but they are very badly behaved and keep grabbing props, starting fights with each other and generally disrupting the show.

In most cases I have taken a break and that normally is enough to get them to leave, but I have had cases where they were staying in the area whether I was performing or not (with their parents elsewhere, and me as a free babysitter), so I just packed up. Under other circumstances I would move to a different area, but sometimes I have a single spot I am allowed to perform at.

If anyone has any stories to share or suggestions on dealing with it other than packing up and moving, I would be interested to hear them!
Of course, reasoning with the children is a great idea and works 99% of the time, but unfortunately the 1% has to come up eventually.
Dick Oslund
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As an old carnie, who has done a wee bit of busking, "eons" ago, I suggest.you, "change locations.
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D. Yoder
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I have asked children to leave on several occasions when I was being used as a babysitter. I was called an "old money grubber" once when I told some 12 yearolds who didn't have money on the boardwalk to come back when they actually had money to put in my box. This was after explaining that this was my way of making a living and entertaining them for 15 minutes.
dalo
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I would try to involve them and make them useful in different ways.

Try to win them over on your side an they can be quite useful.
Blaze Magic
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Dick Oslund: Changing locations would be the best idea. Unfortunately most of the time I have to get assigned a busking spot (you can't just busk anywhere here), so moving isn't always an option.


D. Yoder: I can strongly relate to that. I had a case recently with a small group aged around 12, who watched my performance 3 times or so (which could easily be an hour with time in between). I don't mind, but then they started to become annoying with endless challenges and demands while I was trying to perform for other people. I got rid of them in the end, but it was a pain.
And other times I have had the same thing happen, but the children were really polite, so it was actually a huge help to my show, since I already had someone watching each time I started.


Dalo: That is a good idea, but I find it doesn't always work out. Such as trying to involve one of the children, and then it turning into the physical fight between the others because they wanted to do it (even though they did the thing literally just before). Or handing them the wand and then they just try to smash it on things or hit people, or other generally violent and uncontrollable behaviour.
TheGiz
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I've had kids stay for a few shows. Soon they started tipping the audience on what was coming next. Telling what my "kickers" were. I had a group of 3 stealing from my tip jar. Two shows and they have to go. I'm not going to be a baby sitter for the parents. Young kids rarely have any money, so 2 free shows and goodbye.
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ed rhodes
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Put a sign on your table; "Children left unattended will be fed sugar and given a kazoo!"
"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?"
daffydoug
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Quote:
On Nov 16, 2019, Blaze Magic wrote:
Has anyone else had issues with trying to get rid of a crowd?

I often have children who will stay and watch my performance over and over again, which can be great as I can use them to start building each new crowd.
Occasionally though I have ended up with some children who have the entire day free to watch me, but they are very badly behaved and keep grabbing props, starting fights with each other and generally disrupting the show.

In most cases I have taken a break and that normally is enough to get them to leave, but I have had cases where they were staying in the area whether I was performing or not (with their parents elsewhere, and me as a free babysitter), so I just packed up. Under other circumstances I would move to a different area, but sometimes I have a single spot I am allowed to perform at.

If anyone has any stories to share or suggestions on dealing with it other than packing up and moving, I would be interested to hear them!
Of course, reasoning with the children is a great idea and works 99% of the time, but unfortunately the 1% has to come up eventually.


I encounter this challenge every single year when I perform at the 4H fair. I can count on it.

The fair situation, though, is that I am stationed behind my own vendor’s booth in a building with vendors in a long row in either side of me. So there is no ability to move or change spots. I’m there from open to close for six days straight.

And every single year there is always that ONE KID who keeps coming back and hanging out at my booth for more and more tricks. The only way I figured to handle it is to have a plethora of effects so I won’t be stuck showing him the same one over and over till I get busted by the kid.

It’s both a blessing and a curse at the same time.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
kcmagic1
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How to handle this situation greatly depends on your personality and character while performing. I explain to them that I don't mind if they watch the show but not to shout out what is going to happen. If they do, I stop the show and explain to the audience that they have seen the show 20 times today, which typically gets a laugh. If I see them walking up and their parents hanging back, I tell the kids to go and get their parents and then explain to the parents, as loud as I can, that I am not a babysitter and that they will enjoy the show as well. Again, I typically get a laugh from this. It is important to mention that this will not work for everyone and you could very quickly lose a crowd. This works for me because of my personality and delivery. You can always try different things and see what works. I am sure that I don't have to explain that if something doesn't work, try something else. The goal is to get the crowd on your side and I have found that laughter works well for this.
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