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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Dumping Crowds (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Zack
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A friend of mine takes great pleasure in "dumping" crowds. If he's not getting enough response or cooperation, he'll just tell them to leave.

I don't like doing this. It makes me feel like I've failed.

What do you guys think?
Jeff Hayden
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Well it all depends Zack. If he's just at the mall and is just doing it for fun then why stick around and perform for a bunch of people that are not into
your show.

More than likely, if your friend has a habbit of
"dumping" crowds for bad responses and lack of
cooperation, it's probably not the fault of the
crowd at all. Your friend likely has a lot to learn
about the art of performance.

-JH
Did you see that?
Kondini
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This is a new one on me, never heard of or seen a performer dump a crowd, have seen performers walked out on,thumped,heckled and given a hard time but dumping your crowd ????
Mario Morris
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I would not dump a crowd, but I have on the rare occasion pulled the pin, all finished short/early and only if I am busking and on unfamiliar sites.

There are rare times when you pull a crowd that you just don’t connect with, I know they are treating me like a monkey in a cage.

The difference of pulling it short is they don’t know you have. For example I will finish with a nail hammered down my nostril instead of following it up with cups and balls. On this rare occasion, I will finish with the closing words. Ladies and Gents you have been such a pleaser entertain I wont even BOTHER passing my hat.

I find by doing this we all come out as winners, my crowd go away none the wiser and I reserve my strength and self respect for my next show. Which I will probably do in the next five or ten minuets.

For one example I did one show once where I was on unfamiliar ground and I attracted a street gang that was passing by about 15 of them in total. The family’s that had stopped soon became intimidated by them, as this street gang where just sizing me up. One liners like "is that a knife in your pocket all are you just pleased to see" probably would be a mistake.

Armed with knowledge as well that this will not be a fat hat, and if it was could I keep it. I ended the show early made the gang kind of smile and the family’s sigh with a relief. I then slipped into the nearest coffee shop.

There have been other times where the crowd has not being threatening but it was not a good crowd so I pulled the show short.

Mario
P.S I think this should be rare as opposed to the normal, but it is a good idea to know how you will finish a show early if you had to.
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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In some cases, it is necessary to "stall your audience indefinitely" (a graceful version of dumping).

To wit: I do escapes, so the bigger items (Tom Horn belt; straitjacket) are in plain view and intended to help draw curiosity.

Sometimes I'll get a small gathering of pre-teens who want to see something, but the potential of drawing a good crowd at that moment is fair to poor.

I will show them a handcuff escape, and maybe a wrist chain tie, but that's it, since I usually get tipped 50 cents, tops, from this age group (that is, 50 cents from a group of five or six).

They naturally ask to see the larger escapes, but I'm obviously not going to expend all that energy knowing I'll get nothing but a "Cool, catch ya' later" for my efforts, if that.

Instead, I point out that my entire income is in the form of tips, and that I only do the full show when I have a good crowd. "If you see a crowd form over here," I tell them, "come back around and catch the full show."

This satisfies them in most cases.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Mario Morris
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Thanks Steve
That is a great example, I to at times do escapes, and you do use a great amount of energy.
I think you are wise to hold out untill you have a good crowd.
Mario
Danny Hustle
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I still do not know how he did it but I saw Gazzo cut loose a crowd last summer and he still made a $75 hat!

It was about 95 degrees and the audience was dead, dead, dead.

Gazzo was putting on his pouch for the cups and balls and stopped dead, looked at the audience, and said, "You people look exhausted why don't you go and get some iced tea. I can't do a show with no response and right now you people cannot respond. You aren't all Canadian by any chance are you?" The crowd responded in unison, "NO!" Gazzo looked at them and nodded, "Alright then, well done." and with a wave of his hand he sent them off.

He then came over and sat down on a bench between Lucky and I, tossed his hat in his lap, threw his arms around our shoulders, and gave us both his patented "Watch this" smile.

Like Zombies in The Day Of The Dead about 50% of the crowd shuffled over and dropped folding money in his hat and APOLOGIZED for not being a better audience. Lucky and I sat there slack jawed as Gazzo assured them that this wonderful treatment wasn't necessary. He pointed out that the heat gets the better of us all and the shouldn't worry. Then he thanked them.

There were a lot of fives going into the hat too!

When it was all said and done and we were eating steak tips I asked Gazzo how much he thought he would have made if he had finale instead of busted.

He looked at me and grinned, "About $25 bucks."

"So you made more by killing the hat?"

"Oh yeah, definitely."

"Why?"

"Well, they were too hot, Danny. That should be obvious to a smart fellow like yourself shouldn't it?"

"Uhh...okay."

I then thought about it and the best I can figure is, the crowd was really into the show but it was just to hot. If he had continued they would have had no choice but to leave during the cups and balls. Gazzo somehow sensed this and instead of chastising the audience for no reaction he sent them off for iced tea. This makes him look like a good guy.

Sitting down between Lucky and I with his hat on his lap was a non verbal way of saying, "If you would like to tip I won't stop you."

Gazzo, being Gazzo, people just wanted to pay him.

This is all just a theory and to be honest I really don't know what happened, but Gazzo seemed to know right down to the dollar amount.

I thought it was pretty impressive.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
constantine
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Slack jawed!!!!!!
Constatine 49%er
“The way of the transgressor is hard—to quit.”
—Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith
drwilson
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Danny,

That is just amazing. So is Gazzo going to hang up street performing and just go into the psychic business?

Yours,

Paul
Kozmo
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No it's not amazing....it's Gazzo. If you work the streets for a while, in the beginning you think it must be me. Say you have a good act and they give you nothing, NO response and its hot!...man, hot sucks and they aren't going to give much when you are hot...that's just the way it is....the sun zaps all energy. It just does...Gazzo, 25 years out knows this...and let's face it....Gazzo's show is sometimes 25 minutes long before he does anything...the cups...so those people who didn't laugh out loud were laughing inside...they were having fun but it was hot and they didn't express it....it's tough in the heat...they knew the deal and they paid him...

Gazzo is the man.


Magic is a nighttime thing... I beleive...if its real hot it's not going to be great....find some shade...build s crowd and work..not a lot of shade at quincy market...

Next time you are out working in the sun, remember Danny's story...it will help you through...don't take it personal....it takes a time to learn when to work.

Sometimes I work when its the wrong time because I need money....wondering if they will be out at night...you have to have confidence that they will be there....and that you can do this.

rambling
koz is doing it again....
buy the art of street performing part 2 and 3...not for any good reason other than I need money.


PLEASE!
koz
RonCalhoun
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A slightly difference point of view.

I’m a pitchman. I’ve done over 8000 pitches. Many, many times I’ve done 10 to 15 pitches in a roll working with crowds that where great. They laughed, listened, bought, then 5 minutes later, the nasty crowd shows up. They refuse to listen, they dare you to make them laugh and will wait till you start your close to leave, and all of them will leave together. No, it’s not me. It’s the same pitch, the same jokes, the same day for crying out load. Some people just don’t want to be there. And some jerks just want to screw you.

Yap, I’ll cut one of these groups in a heartbeat.

I would rather start over then put up with people who are going to leave early anyway.
Mr Grey
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I agree with this. Cut 'em loose! If you are a pitchman that is.

However, a street magician has to operate a little differently I imagine. It takes them longer to get a crowd in the first place than a pitchman so I expect they are more reluctant to let them go.

Still even here I am sure there are times when an experienced worker will get the feeling-"enough is enough. I am getting nowhere here. Let me cut the show short and get what I can out of them."

I would say though that "cut it short" would be better than "cut them loose."
Kozmo
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I was working the streets in Newbery Port, Mass...I hate that place...and I started to stop people and a family came by with the kiddies...and the parents sent the kids up to the rope...and I invited the parents up and they declined so I played with the kids some more and they continue to decline so I started to use the lines I have to get them up there like
"Don't trust me with these children , didn't you read about me in the papers?" yes you have my permission to use that one.... Smile
All of those lines but still could not get them up to the rope...and there were very few people on the streets...so after 5 minutes of trying I just went back and sat on my chair and looked away.....they went frikin nuts!!!!...calling me names...it was histerical! I lmao....screw it ...sometimes it's just not worth the effort.
koz
Mr Grey
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That was funny, Ted. I laughed out loud reading it.
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2004-10-15 08:01, tedb wrote:
I was working the streets in Newbery Port, Mass...I hate that place...and I started to stop people and a family came by with the kiddies...and the parents sent the kids up to the rope...and I invited the parents up and they declined so I played with the kids some more and they continue to decline so I started to use the lines I have to get them up there like
"Don't trust me with these children , didn't you read about me in the papers?" yes you have my permission to use that one.... Smile
All of those lines but still could not get them up to the rope...and there were very few people on the streets...so after 5 minutes of trying I just went back and sat on my chair and looked away.....they went frikin nuts!!!!...calling me names...it was histerical! I lmao....screw it ...sometimes it's just not worth the effort.
koz


LOL!!!

Koz, I grew up about 20 minutes away from Newbury Port. The people that live there are...interesting to be sure.

It is not a blue collar working class crowd to be sure.

Lucky goes over HUGE there. They love the juggling and his shiny, happy, smooth around the edges, persona.

I haven't had the bal...er...nerve to work the pitch up there yet.

Next time you are up this way you should give Salem, MA a try. Actually right now would be the time to do it, Halloween is HUGE in Salem.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
RonCalhoun
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Quote:
On 2004-09-19 23:55, Zack wrote:
A friend of mine takes great pleasure in "dumping" crowds. If he's not getting enough response or cooperation, he'll just tell them to leave.

I don't like doing this. It makes me feel like I've failed.



Zack, to get back to your post, you have a friend who “takes great pleasure in ‘dumping’ crowds”. Your friend is foolish. Dumping crowds isn’t our goal. It is not something we should take “great pleasure” in doing. But for a minute FORGET THE MONEY. Why would you try to do battle with someone who is going to try to mess with you, and who’s new goal in life is to frustrate you.

NO, you have not failed. Some people were already having a bad day before they found you.

I started with a small group once that had a guy who told the people with his group not to cheer or make noise, He then folded his arms and chinned and started to tell the few people in the group how everything was done. In a loud voice he started to belittle me.

Why on earth would I try to use this group as my foundation to build on? Why would I want to entertain them? Why would I want to give them a chances to NOT tip. I simply took my prop, put it back in the table, and thank everyone for stopping by.

I needed to get rid of the bad crowd before the nice crowd started to show up, which did only a few minutes later.

As I said earlier…

Quote:
… I would rather start over then put up with people who are going to leave early anyway.


Which leads me to MR. Grey

Mr. Grey, thank you for you insight. I noticed you used the words “I imagine” when talking about street magic, am I correct to assume you have never performed on the street. You also said “I am sure there are times when an experienced worker will get the feeling-"enough is enough.” Forgive me for assuming again but I think your saying you’re not “an experienced worker”.

In all honesty, and please fell free to disagree, but when you said “…It takes a street magician longer to get a crowd in the first place than a pitchman.” I’m sorry, but You’re wrong. Now how can I say your wrong. Well, it’s not because I‘ve done both, although I have, and it’s not because I’m assuming you’re not an experienced worker.

The reason is very simple… The audience doesn’t know the difference.

One is an event where they get to see the show and then pay if they want to. The other is an event where they see the show and then shell out cash to take home something they, up to a few minutes ago, didn’t know they needed.

In Fact, if the audience knows the difference any “experienced” pitchman would tell you that the pitchperson would have the harder time because, Let’s be honest, no one wants to hear a sales “pitch.”

Again mr grey if you have an experience, which is different, please feel free to post it. We are all here to learn.
The Great Blackwell
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Halloween is huge in Salem? Naw!
-Dave in Minneapolis

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Danny Hustle
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Whodathunkit! Smile
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
BroDavid
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I think every serious perfromer, someone who can sense his audience's mood and intterest prety much taileors his shows to the crowds. I know that I do.

If I have a good interactive crowd that is really working with me in the fun, I will probably give tehm a buit more, as I know I will be rewared in the end.

On the other hand, there will be times and places, where it just isn't happening for me, and for them. (Rare, but it happens) In those cases, I deliver the goods, get what I can in response, and close the show.

It isn't always my fault. Nor is it always their fault. Somedays, it just down't work for you and for them, so you may as well quit beating the poor dead horse, and move on.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
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