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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Caught by the fuzz (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jim Wilder
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Birmingham, AL
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In an odd (but lucky) twist of circumstances, a police officer, who has 30 years with the police force in my city, moved in across the street from me a few months ago. We have become quite good... neighbors/friends?

He actually is over the precinct where my partner and I work. He told me that we need not worry about being bothered as he would tell the other officers that we are not out causing trouble, but rather entertaining.

Kind of wild I thought.

Jim
Doug Higley
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Bill Palmer: Madame (Waylon Flowers puppet) use to say: "I've never been picked up by the fuzz...but I've been twirled around by the t*ts a few times!"

hhaha

Doug
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daffydoug
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So that's where that joke came from! I heard the joke at work the other day, and had no idea of the provenance of the thing! It made me laugh, though. Pretty durn funny.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
ed rhodes
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Quote:
On 2004-06-04 11:22, Pokie-Poke wrote:
Back to topic. Things I have seen that get you busted..

Fire, most places have safety laws about fire. Unless you live in Transylvania, running around with torches is not looked well upon.
Three card monty or the like.. Funny thing is the cop tend to bother the performers more than the hustlers?!?!


Probably because the hustlers have people looking out for the cops so they can vanish before the police get close enough to snag them!

Quote:
On 2004-06-04 15:23, RandomEffects wrote:
Quote:
On 2004-06-03 12:37, Danny Hustle wrote:
Ooooooo... Yeah, the three card trick is not a great trick to do on the street. Well, let me rephrase that, it is absolutely a GREAT trick but the appearance it can give the performer on the street can put you in a lot of hot water...Harry Anderson's Monte Gras is an excellent choice and a fantastic trick.
Best,
Dan-
I find the Color Monte is simple, entertaining and has yet to be confused by anyone for the actual 3 card monte.


My very first attempt at busking, I was doing fine with a small but happy crowd when I started Color Monte and a policeman broke up the whole shebang and suggested he could have me run in for loitering! Took me awhile to rebuild my nerve!
"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?"
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2004-06-07 12:06, JoeJoe wrote:

There are a lot of legal issues that can come up in street performing. For example, using a line like this is illegal and could get you in trouble: "up to this point it has been a free show, but if you want to see the next trick you hafta place a tip in the hat" ... if you are on public land, then it belongs to the public and they have as much right to be there as you do. I know others that use that approach, but I avoid it for that reason.

Check out this link:

http://www.balloonhq.com/faq/twister_busking.html

And of course, the best place for legal info on busking. including the docket from Goldstein vs. Nantucket:

http://communityartsadvocates.org/



The legality of that line depends entirely upon where you are working. In some areas, it may be illegal for you to perform at all, no matter what you may think your constitutional rights are.
"The Swatter"

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Lee Darrow
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In Chicago, we actually have a license system for buskers and, on the Chicago transit Authority stations, especially the subway portions of the 'L,' there are clearly marked areas for perfoemers to work. While I don't busk, it seems to me that the $50 for a one year license that allows you to work in any legally noted area of the city is a pretty good deal!

But the cops will look at you QUITE hard if you are "tossing the broads" (3-card monte). Trust me on that. And Watch steals and pickpocketing routines are most emphatically a NO-NO.

Just some comments from a city that seems to be a bit more "busker friendly" than many...

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Ignore me...
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I live in the DC area, and used to do street magic to smooth out routines under intense scrutiny. DC itself allows street performing without a license, as a form of protected free speech. (Thanks to Frank Cassel, incidentally, who was the one who really pursued it to the point of DC Corporate Counsel issuing a letter defining it as such.)

I would always approach officers in high-traffic areas, explaining that I was going to do some street magic, and asked if they had an opinion as to where I could attract a crowd without blocking the sidewalks, thus forcing foot traffic into the street. I would explain that I understood that safety was paramount, and the officers would be appreciative of being approached and talked to.

The only money I have ever won (literally) was when I was working in Georgetown, and had gone to where the sergeant was in a parking lot with a bunch of officers. I gave the standard spiel, letting them know I was doing magic and not molly (for some reason, monte is called that in some areas here). The sergeant asked me if I know how to throw the cards, which I did admit to, "but only for entertainment, and never on the street or for money." I was invited to do some monte for them, and when the bent corner came into it, the sergeant put a $20 bill on the bent corner, uninvited. When he turned it over, everyone started laughing, and when I tried to return the bill, he told me to keep it. *laugh*

There was a few times where I was grateful for having brought a small microcassette recorder, for situations wherein either police or spectators seemed to be on the verge of doing something unlawful. It came in handy when one officer was on the verge of unlawfully arresting me on false charges. I first entrusted a spectator to take it with them (large label on the back with my contact info), and then told the officer that he had been recorded looking for things to charge me with before telling me he could just make something up to make it stick. I imagine that it would have been useful if someone entrapped me into selling a prop as well, like the Old Town Alexandria story from earlier in the thread.

Going further from home, I've also done some busking in the Basque country, which has quite a few international tourists. It definitely forces one to work on more visual magic and pantomime, to communicate with spectators with whom one doesn't have a language in common. I got to talk to an undercover policeman in one city, and he asked me about monte and shell games. It turns out that the old part of San Sebastian has a few crews who work the tourists. I did the fast-and-loose for him, which he hadn't seen.

As Whit notes earlier in the thread, a store entryway is a great place to set up. It definitely gives more control over the crowd, and some are very well illuminated.

(Hey, Whit! I loved the book on F&S, and although I hadn't worked with it for a while before buying it, reading it inspired me to take another look. I came up with 4 configurations that can be tossed from the hands onto a surface, looking identical while tossing and when laid out, but being F/F, L/L, F/L, and L/F. Thanks for the inspiration!)
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