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prospero
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Elsewhere
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If you're doing street magic, and you are by trade a close-up performer, what should you use to get attention? Something visual, I suppose. It has been suggested to me that I do either the spinner card (market--wrongly--on Penguin Magic as the "Long Distance Spinner) or an IT effect. Any ideas?
BerkleyJL
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Chicago, IL
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I was thinking the same way as you, but the LD Spinner (to use Penguin's lingo) is a knucklebuster and IT doesn't sound very promising to me outside (wind). Cellini says to use sound to GET the attention, and I think you should follow up with something visual to RETAIN it.

A loud bang and when people look your way they see your arm is on fire might work. Smile

Berk
I need a stage name.

Joe Berkley
prospero
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What about fire laws?

Also, what if it's a place that doesn't allow loud noises such as that?
Michael Lee
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Hello

Try taking off your Clothes ! Or Anothert very effective method is to.... Smack a kid in the Head!!!

OR Invest in a good Magic Book, & some Theatre Lessions.


ML
Magicusa
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Quote:
what should you use to get attention? Something visual,


I think it's your Clothes. You need to look apart from the other people.
Jim Wilder
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Birmingham, AL
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Using noise will draw a crowd, but I have found that nothing draws a crowd like a crowd.

If you are set up in one location, eventually, someone will see what you are doing out of curiosity. When one or two stop to see what is going on... more people stop to see what others are looking at.

However, Michael Lee is right... as unrealistic as it may sound to some... theatre lessons are not a bad idea. If you have the opportunity in school, or if there is a local actor's club, much can be learned and applied from theatre.

Danny Hustle has a fantastic forum about busking... I check it out often; Good info there.
Kjellstrom
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Sweden, Scandinavia, Europe
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A weird hat draws lot of attention.
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Linking rings. Or hand someone the end of a long rope... juggle, try to balance a broom on your chin, lay on the ground and roll over and over...
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Mario Morris
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Mario Morris
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Dice stacking, you pull them in tight and them push them out as your crowd grows>
mplegare
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Forest Grove, Oregon
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From my pre-show,

"They say audiences are attracted by shiny objects and loud noises..."

(brandishes multifaceted hi-bounce ball from the Hearthsong catalog - beautiful and a joy to manipulate - and cheap, too!)

"This is a shiny object..."

"... I am the loud noise."
Matthew Legare aka Tobias the Adequate! - http://www.adequateblog.today.com - you know you want to.
MagiUlysses
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Kansas City
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Greetings and Salutations,

Any number of ways as long as you do it intentionally.

During a couple of renfest seasons we used tamborines or a gong to hawk our shows, following Cellini's advise of sound, color and movement.

Your attire is of extreme importance. There are a number of arguements for dressing up or down from your audience. IMHO, your attire is of extreme importance. If you are there to perform, look like a performer. At the very least you need a colorful or eye-catching vest and some type of hat, the more it stands out the better, again IMHO.

That being said, this past weekend, I did the first bits of a show in silence. Complete silence. No music, no noise. No nothing. I should add that I was at a small renfest, working under a shade tree, wearing period clothes, and I'm over 6-feet tall. I just started fooling around with a ring and rope and gathered up a small crowd. During a previous renfest season I was a mute hawker, and won the award as the season's best hawker. I was working directly across the lane from a stage and I needed something that wouldn't interfere with the acts. Wrapping on a handrail with my hands, eye contact and intricate hand jive was all I needed to attract business to the shop.

Use your imagination, use sound, color, movement or the mysterious ... they will come.

That's my $.02 (USD) worth. YMMV.

Joe in KC

Make magic happen, live a great adventure!
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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SW Ohio, USA
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Most places that allow busking don't mind a bit of noise.

My friend, Shawn Dion, opens with card flourishes to catch the eye and starts doing card tricks with those who pause to look. When a big enough hat forms, he declares, "Now we'll start the show."

I do an escape act, so I start my turn with the spring trap stunt, making it very showy, very noisy and doing a lot of bits and jokes.

After getting my hand clamped in the trap's jaws and making a few more quips, I say, "And now for the ESCAPE!" At that point I JERK my hand out of the trap without losing a finger, let it crash onto my table, then follow with the next effect.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
BerkleyJL
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I juggle as an attention getter. Once I master clubs, I'll try torches--then I suppose I'll get all the attention I can handle.
I need a stage name.

Joe Berkley
rsummer27
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BEWARE OF JUGGLING TORCHES!

Juggling torches for a crowd is nothing like practicing in your backyard. Torches can be done somewhat safely on the street, but only after you have control of your crowd. No people walking through your show, everyone standing back a safe distance. Someone pushing through a crowd of people to get to work is not going to expect a torch welding maniac in his path. Be very aware of your surroundings when doing anything with fire.
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Vick
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It's taken me 10+ years to make
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And here I was thinking setting a spectator on fire would be a good way to attract attention
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BerkleyJL
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Quote:
On 2004-06-22 17:20, rsummer27 wrote:
BEWARE OF JUGGLING TORCHES!

Juggling torches for a crowd is nothing like practicing in your backyard. Torches can be done somewhat safely on the street, but only after you have control of your crowd. No people walking through your show, everyone standing back a safe distance. Someone pushing through a crowd of people to get to work is not going to expect a torch welding maniac in his path. Be very aware of your surroundings when doing anything with fire.


Good advice to be sure. I'll definitely look into ways to keep control of the situation before I buy torches I may not be able to use. And to think, my local shop is trying to get me to buy KNIVES! I think I'll stick with clubs for now.
I need a stage name.

Joe Berkley
whitelephant
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Jerusalem
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I sit on the ground "between shows" next to my set-up which includes a clock that says "next show at" and has a clock with movable hands. Some people stop and look, whereas others ask. Any question is answered mutely by pointing to the clock which is never more than ten minutes in the future. By the time the clock is right I have a small crowd-and use the "nothing gathers a crowd like a crowd." I think I came up with the clock somewhere on this board about 2 years ago.
drink water...
zman1234
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When you do you you tricks on the street do you have a table, or are they all stand up tricks?
rsummer27
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Quote:
On 2004-06-22 22:14, BerkleyJL wrote:

Good advice to be sure. I'll definitely look into ways to keep control of the situation before I buy torches I may not be able to use. And to think, my local shop is trying to get me to buy KNIVES! I think I'll stick with clubs for now.



Knives are really safer than torches. In case you don't know, they aren't really sharp. It hurts really bad if they hit you. They don't cut unless you have a really fast spin on them. I use torches in my act and they go over well. I just command control of the situation. If the crowd is too close, if people are throwing things at me, or if people can walk through the crowd, then I just do some swinging moves before I put them up.
******************************
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Pokie-Poke
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My knives are sharp as I stick them in a log at the end of the show (yes I used to bring my own log).

Another "danger" of juggling fire to get their attention is what will you follow this up with that is not a step down? You need to end with a bang; not start with it. Fire is good, though maybe a disappearing torch, or some other fire trick that starts your show with, "I am a magican" not, "I am a juggler, er... I mean magican... ya that's it...I think?" Your opening is the advertising for the rest of your act and is part of your act for the first people you stop with it. Don't disappoint them.
www.pokie-poke.com
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