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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Where *do* Faires Fall? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

mplegare
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Forest Grove, Oregon
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I know there's a fair number of Renaissansce Faire/Historically Themed Event style performers here on the Café... and I'm wondering if what we people-in-silly-hats do counts as 'Street' or 'Stage'... A lot of us get stage time, but passing the hat is still a big part of where the cash comes from...

Y'all's thouhts?


Tobias!

who will learn to spell 'thoughts'. One day. He went to college, ya know!
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Dave V
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Las Vegas, NV
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Uhhh, both?

In a Ren Faire setting, the stage shows are fun; as a spectator you get a chance to sit for a while (find some shade if you're lucky), watch a show... you pretty much know what to expect. Most of them are (at least in the spectator's minds) "paid" shows by performers hired by the Faire management.

The "Street" shows have a totally different feel. Magicians are part of the "scenery" and shows can range from one shot "quickies" as you walk the fairegrounds to small setups with a folding table as the magician draws their "edge" and the only spectators are the ones he can encourage to stop as they're going between the pub and the fake sword shops.

So, I think we do both (and I suspect most of us do both), but if I were to come here to the Café for help on Ren Faire work, I immediately go to the "Sidewalk Shuffle" as whether it's on the walking path or a platform, the advice seems to fit both.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
MagiUlysses
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Kansas City
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Greetings and Salutations,

I think Mage hit it on the head. Given the nature of most renfest "stage" shows, the same rules apply to both the renfest stage or lane act as to the streets.

Given the nature of most faires, you are thrust into the historical re-enactment of the street performer, whether he/she be magician, musician, mime, what have you. There is so much competing for the specs attention, as it was at the historic fairs, that all the rules apply -- you've got to attract them, keep them, and get them to pay because the management certainly doesn't pay enough to make it work (or at least not in my instance! lol)

Then look to who has performed at renfest, done well on the streets, and move to bigger and better hats, the likes of which include Gazzo, Harry Anderson, Penn & Teller, and Harry Anderson, to name just the ones at the top of my head.

So, to my way of thinking, working the streets or working the renfest requires the same skill set, except at the faire you've got the police/security working for you, and the need to watch your back/props/hat isn't as great, though I'm not saying you throw caution to the wind where your back/props/hat is concerned!

So, to quote Mage: "Uhhh, both?" That's my $.02 (USD) worth. As always, YMMV.

Joe in KC

Make magic happen, live a great adventure!
Whiterabbit
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Kevin Mc Lean
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Just a little curious.

I'm thinking of using a bottler (someone to drum up the crowd and wander about with the hat). I figure a child in a supportive renfaire environment would do well. Probably dressed up as a harlequin or such.

Anyone tried this? It's just so hard not to give money to a child. Again, a supportive environment, the little fellow's into magic and I thought, "why not?" Let's start him off..." His parents would be nearby and are supportive.

Any input (pluses, negatives) gratefully appreciated.
May your fingers never lose their deftness,

May your tongue always lead them down the garden path...



Regards,



Whiterabbit
Pokie-Poke
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Bensalem, PA
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Same show structure, maybe longer as the audience has seats and less likely to walk if your show runs a bit long. Hat lines are the same and be sure to pass the hat!
How old is the kid? Having someone with you to help pass the hat is a good idea as you go to one side all the people on the other side will just leave. Cover the exits and remember that the show doesn't end till every one has left the stage area. Smile and thank everyone for coming to your show.
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MagiUlysses
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Greetings and Salutations,

Use the kid! Use the kid! OK. With a couple of caveats. The kid generally has to have above average savvy for a kid his age, the ability to play with you/off you, certifiably cute -- cute young girls are tip magnets, the boys have to have some type of character, even a beggar boy, just be a good beggar boy.

Down side: a kid's attention span and stamina can come and go, and even the best kid gets antsy, bored, cranky and tired before you do.

Covering the exits is good, but like the street, collecting the hat before the finale is better.

Just my $.02 (USD) worth. As always YMMV

Joe in KC

Make magic happen, life a great adventure!
Whiterabbit
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Kevin Mc Lean
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Quote:
On 2004-07-02 01:13, MagiUlysses wrote:
Greetings and Salutations,

Use the kid! Use the kid! OK. With a couple of caveats. The kid generally has to have above average savvy for a kid his age, the ability to play with you/off you,
[Snip]

Make magic happen, life a great adventure!


Sounds pretty good to me. He's eleven and I can add him to my insurance for an extra $25.00 a year. I figured I'd give him a third of the take and all the magic education I can cram into his skull.

He's loaded with personality, think of him as a young MacCaulay Kulkin. The downpoint I feel that I've really gotta be aware of is child labour laws. But I figure he'll have a blast.

Thanks very much for the feedback MagiUlysses and Pokie Poke. We'll have to develop a few gags that 'feed off each other' as you said.
May your fingers never lose their deftness,

May your tongue always lead them down the garden path...



Regards,



Whiterabbit
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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SW Ohio, USA
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Some friends of mine do a sword combat show as "The Blade Brothers." The wife of one of them passes the hat at the back as the show ends. She is onstage most of the show, assisting. Her husband, the main show talker, introduces her and indicates she will be collecting donations at the back. They add the joke of "giving generously" as she smiles and brandishes a flintlock blunderbuss pistol (non-firing replica, as sold by a dealer at the festival).

While ren-fair performers do get most of their cash flow by passing the hat, I think many visitors think the "passing the hat" routine is just to give a 'period' feel to the show (little do they know).

I love Renaissance Fairs, but then I am an SCA member.

Steve
[aka Dr. Stephen Midnight; aka Lord Richard Henri Sanson]
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Mike: "No."
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Michael Taggert
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Fredericksburg Virginia
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Stphen got close when using a kid or a pretty maid. You do have to make sure that they are recognized as part of your show. Each year, "les jongleurs" takes several young lasses with us to cover the exits and we cover the front of the performance area. We have a typical crowd and collect an amount from each audience member. Most of the girls work the faire with us just to be groupies and we give them a tip for good service as well so they get a little part of the cash. I don't know about a third but definitely something for their service. You also have to be clear but not obnoxious with your tip lines, "Remember kids, if your parents donna give you money for the funny man is jus because they donnaa luv yu."
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Whiterabbit
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Kevin Mc Lean
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Hi All,
this advice has been great. I always get a terrific crowd reaction and store owners love to have me set up nearby, but I've always felt like I needed an extra pair of hands to grab the cash.

I must admit, a third seems okay to me because I figure it'll

a) be spent by the kid mainly on magic gear
b)I'll get more than I'd normally get with him along
c)he can go through more than the front crowd line
d) I'm not making my living by magic.

I'd probably have to give him a lot less if I was making a living from this.

As a point, what's the normal percentage for those of you who use hired help?
May your fingers never lose their deftness,

May your tongue always lead them down the garden path...



Regards,



Whiterabbit
Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
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At the Michigan Renaissance Festival, all of the stage performers collect tips at or near the end of the performance. Some even sell T-shirts for extra income. The best "hats" are collected for The Ded Bob Show, by far -it's down to a science.
Whiterabbit
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Kevin Mc Lean
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Great advice from all, I thinking I'm starting to get hip to the business aspects (where I come from, most people who busk use the trickle method and I have to say it doesn't impress me).

To answer Mplegare's question (my apologies for the sidetrack) - I think renfair's 'street' with occasional stage moments.
May your fingers never lose their deftness,

May your tongue always lead them down the garden path...



Regards,



Whiterabbit
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