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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Busking vs Street Magic? (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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griffindance
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Quote:
On 2010-03-12 13:05, gsidhe wrote:
Seriously Griffin?
A restaurant gig if you are serious about being a magician?
Shows what level you are really at. Foisting yourself on innocent diners who don't give a rats behind about your latest move monkey card trick. As a busker I do not foist myself on an unwilling public like an eatery magician. I do the show, they stop and watch. At the end I suggest that if they liked the show they drop a buck or two into the hat. A far cry from begging.

I do work street. I work big stages as well. I get a lot of the big stage work from my work on the street. However, busking by itself makes me a good amount.

Just because you are incapable of making money on the street don't put down those who can and are proud of what they do.
It is an extremely pure way to do things. You get paid what the public thinks you are worth. Turns out, a lot of the real buskers on here are worth quite a lot.

Yes finding a restaurant 'that wants entertainers' is a good place to begin! Stressing on the word BEGIN. Theatre restaurants have a clientele that is interested in comedians, musicians, close up and platform magicians. For beginners its possibly a harsh baptism but a performer can find an audience that wants fresh performers.

P.S. While doing walk around gigs I get a good enough fee not to have to accept "tips."
gaddy
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Quote:
On 2010-03-12 15:58, HerbLarry wrote:
I've got enough great stuff and wouldn't let a dime go anywhere close to the ownership.

A good point, however all those issues have been bought and paid for months, or even over a year ago. If you see a copy in the bargain bin at your local magic shop, help them clear out some clutter by taking one of those home with you. You won't regret it.
Quote:
On 2010-03-13 11:11, griffindance wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-03-12 13:05, gsidhe wrote:
Seriously Griffin?
A restaurant gig if you are serious about being a magician?
Shows what level you are really at. Foisting yourself on innocent diners who don't give a rats behind about your latest move monkey card trick. As a busker I do not foist myself on an unwilling public like an eatery magician. I do the show, they stop and watch. At the end I suggest that if they liked the show they drop a buck or two into the hat. A far cry from begging.

I do work street. I work big stages as well. I get a lot of the big stage work from my work on the street. However, busking by itself makes me a good amount.

Just because you are incapable of making money on the street don't put down those who can and are proud of what they do.
It is an extremely pure way to do things. You get paid what the public thinks you are worth. Turns out, a lot of the real buskers on here are worth quite a lot.

Yes finding a restaurant 'that wants entertainers' is a good place to begin! Stressing on the word BEGIN. Theatre restaurants have a clientele that is interested in comedians, musicians, close up and platform magicians. For beginners its possibly a harsh baptism but a performer can find an audience that wants fresh performers.

P.S. While doing walk around gigs I get a good enough fee not to have to accept "tips."

You should probably take this old saw over to the table hoppers forum.

I'm glad you're so awesome you don't work for tips -but we do, and no one like to be made to feel like they're inferior, especially by someone who seems to be only trolling in the wrong section about how crappy busking is.

You don't think busking is worth wasting your time on? Then why are you wasting it here in the busking forum?
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
griffindance
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Quote:

You should probably take this old saw over to the table hoppers forum.

I'm glad you're so awesome you don't work for tips -but we do, and no one like to be made to feel like they're inferior, especially by someone who seems to be only trolling in the wrong section about how crappy busking is.

You don't think busking is worth wasting your time on? Then why are you wasting it here in the busking forum?

You've got a point. I don't remember how I got into this forum.
Loser kids pretending to be famous magicians are annoying and below par performers annoy me. So this is not the forum for me.

However my point is two fold.

Street Magicians - Doing magic for free doesn't make you a professional. Unless someone is giving you something of value for your time and skills, you are just a stranger who knows a trick or two. From the professionals point of view, doing magic for free on the street gives you an objective audience (rather than your mother, friend, wife) to try new things with. If the trick doesn't work then you've lost no credibility when it counts. But its only practice time.

Buskers - I hate the business side of performing! Talking about business issues with people who I will pay or who will pay me is unseemly. So the final act of a busker is "Asking For Money." A skilled performer is above "So if you liked the show, PLEASE give me money." Most (not all, but most) buskers I've seen are a waste of time and get money because their audience isn't discerning. If you busk out of choice because you like the environment and you are a good performer, then fine, that's your choice, but if becoming a "successful busker" is your goal then maybe work on your burger flipping.

Tips are great. I love when someone offers me a tip. It means that because of something I did made this person happy and want to remember the minutes we spent together. Asking people for the tips before they have offered them is cheap.

P.S. My bottom line is - Do You Pay Your Way. I suppose, as a magician, I don't. I work in a variety of theatre related fields and magic isn't exclusively what I do to pay my landlord. If busking pays your food and board then you are a better performer than I. Good luck to you!
Paddy
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Quote:
...My bottom line is - Do You Pay Your Way. I suppose, as a magician, I don't. I work in a variety of theatre related fields and magic isn't exclusively what I do to pay my landlord. If busking pays your food and board then you are a better performer than I. Good luck to you!

Then why are you here. I, like several others on this forum, am a full time busker. That's all I do is busk with magic and make people smile. My lifestyle is very good, I have a nice apartment with a view of wld deer in the yard, I drive a new Chevy HHR and my wife has a 2 yr old Kia. We eat very well.

Not bad for "begging." Most people get a job review every year I have my job and raise review every day I am out performing.

I don't think your lifestyle is bad why can't you allow us ours.
Paddy
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The Great Zoobini
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I don't think he ever busked and simply got lost here at the Café. He said he was going back to flipping burgers or somesuch...
Meet you in Busker Alley Smile
eddierush
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Griffindance,

I would like to sincerely apologize for whatever bad event made you feel that you had to voice such negative opinions about your own peers.

Street magic has been around for thousands of years all over the world ... and it's not going away anytime in the near future.

P.S. Chris Capehart bought two houses in PA just from the money he made from entertaining those who chose to stop and watch him perform.

Sorry ... Welcome to life of Earth. Smile
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Bill Palmer
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Eddie:

You fail to understand the difference between what Jeff Sheridan was referring to as "street magic" and what David Blaine et. al. are referring to as "street magic." They are not the same. That's why this particular sticky post is always at the top of this section of the forum.

The "street magic" that has been around for centuries is what we call "busking." It was not the kind of magic where you go up to some unsuspecting spectator and levitate for them or go into a basketball court and use a roomful of basketballs to find a selected card. It was formalized magic shows that were often used to gather a crowd, and then pass a hat or sell a product. Yep. That's right. Sell a product. There were buskers who would set up a table, put up a low bench or stool to stand on (the source of the terms charlatan and mountebank), use magic to gather a crowd and then sell everything from pomade to tapeworm remedies.

I don't think anyone on this forum is selling pomade or tapework remedies, though.

The "street magic" of David Blaine is not the same thing at all. It is a new phenomenon, based on set-up street encounters, specifically for a television audience.

Chris Capehart, Jim Cellini, Gazzo and a host of others are/were very successful buskers who worked on the street and/or in parks and even at festivals. I know for a fact that Cellini and Gazzo both worked festivals in the US, because I was working at one of them when I met both of them.

But none of them did what David Blaine calls "street magic." It's the same name applied to two different things.

Think about this. How impromptu can street magic be when there is a television crew that goes up and says "Hey. You guys want to be on television? We are filming a television show about magic. This is a really cool magician who wants to do some things for you. Got a few minutes?"

Maybe a parallel could be drawn using the word "barrel." A pickle barrel and a gun barrel have two things in common. Both are roughly cylindrical objects that are hollow.
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Donnie Buckley
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I think there is an important point that has not been raised in all the pages of this topic that has assisted me in understanding the so-called Street Magic phenom.

That point is that the word "street" is a slang adjective.
According to the Urban Dictionary, their first definition of "street" is:
Of or pertaining to the urban "street" culture, undergound, based around the core of hip-hop, skateboarding, bmx etc.
example: Yo that dude was fly and dressed so street!


Street in this context is a style, not a genre of magic.
When you interpret the name "Street" Magic as magic performed with a "street" culture style of dress and manner, then it is easier to digest and NOT in conflict with the centuries old tradition of professional magicians performing magic on the street, or busking. So it is logical to conclude that Blaine, Angel, and all their mimicking fans, are merely performing magic in a street-wise, urban "style".

And, when I first heard it called "Street" Magic, I didn't think it really had anything to do with performing on the streets. I mean you can watch it and see that for yourself! I thought it was just a TV magic show presented in a young urban "street" style featuring a new dutch faced, dead pan magician named David Blaine. He did illusions on TV and made them look impromptu. Clever, but not "street magic" as a genre.

If the marketing gurus that had named Blaine's first special had instead chosen to call it Hip-Hop Magic, (not Hippity Hop, you goofs!), Gangsta Magic, or Urban Magic we would not be having this debate.

Of course, it is not lost on me that their young mimicking fans don't even realize this themselves. They just think it's dope.
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Bill Palmer
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I really hate it when some fellow who thinks he knows everything about magic decides to put down busking or restaurant work as being beneath his dignity and/or skill level, just because he considers it somehow to be demeaning.

The idea that either of these venues is somehow "suitable for beginners," or passing the hat at the end of a busking performance is begging, shows a fundamental lack of understanding of how it works.

In the field of restaurant magic, there are a number of magicians whose names stand out as being successful by almost any standard. Jim Sisti, for example, has been a "name" in restaurant magic for a very long time. He does very fine classical magic. He also keeps a roof over his head with it.

Another is Jim Pace. He has had a very successful career as a restaurant magician. He knows what to do when he is entertaining at the table. He has written extensively about it. He also maintains an excellent lifestyle.

A third is Dan Fleshman. Dan has a great personality, deals with people well and is not only a fine entertainer, he is an excellent technician. He stays busy all the time and maintains a top notch lifestyle as well.

Any suggestion that these men are "beginners" is ludicrous. Dan was a successful restaurant magician when I met him in 1984. He still is. There are lots of others who have built up a very successful business doing their kind of magic in restaurants.

There are others who either got their start as bar/restaurant magicians -- Burger, for example. Charles Green is another. If you know how to work with a restaurant, and you work at the right restaurants, you can make a lot of money from the side business that you generate.

To say that buskers are all itinerant would be a misstatement. Some travel all the time, others work in their home town. Some use their home town as a base of operations. I know a couple of the fellows on this forum who are genuine "non-imposter" buskers who have nice houses, stay busy busking and have invested their profits wisely. They wouldn't be able to do this if they were just beginners.

Successful busking requires a lot of psychology. It also requires nerves of steel, a thick skin and perseverance.

If you don't have that, really you shouldn't try either one.
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MagiCol
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I think in maybe 5 years the David Blaine type of televised "I'll show you a trick on the street, them I'm off after someone else to do the same" will have gone the way of other fads. Because I think most of us realize its a fad created for TV and entertaining at present because of the novelty.
Street Magic as a form of busking will continue on and on and on...
The presentation makes the magic.
Bill Palmer
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Maybe the same thing that happened to "folk" music will happen to "street magic."

Maybe some of the magic guerrillas who accost unsuspecting people and try to get them to take cards will learn that there is a lot more to magic than the crap they see on bad television shows.

Maybe cows will fly. If they do, wear a hat.
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The Mighty Fool
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I've done street-magic, I've done busking, and I'm doing table-hopping. After street-magic, table-hopping is a walk in the park! I'm not trying to put down restaraunt workers, I'm just saying that street-magic (WITHOUT the benefit of a camera crew) takes some serious guts & people skills not necessarily required of table-hoppers. And busking requires showmanship on a much grander scale than needed in a controlled restaraunt setting. I promise you Griffin, busking & street-magic are not as well-paid as many other venues (restaraunts, stage, fairs, etc) but they are at the TOP of the 'magic-skills-food-chain'!!
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
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Please forgive me if I refer back to 6-year-old comments in this thread; I am rather new to this forum, and slowly reading my way through a treasure trove of information, opinion, and judgment.


I was interested in the side-discussion of "circling the wagons."

With respect to "circling the wagons," I have no idea if this was ever done, or how often it was done, in the American west. I doubt that the idea was invented in Hollywood. It would be difficult to believe that it wasn't tried in actual pioneer practice at least once.

However, the originator of this maneuver, as a military tactic, was the one-eyed Czech general Jan Zizka or Johann Schischka. In the religious wars of the 15th century, during which he commanded the forces of the Taborites or Hussites, the tactic was called the Wagenburg or "wagon fort."

The Wikipedia credits a similar maneuver to Wei Qing (2100 years ago) but I am unable to affirm the reliability of the reference.

Circling the wagons does work, but only if it discourages the enemy from no more than a few attacks.
Eduardo
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Quote:
I promise you Griffin, busking & street-magic are not as well-paid as many other venues (restaraunts, stage, fairs, etc) but they are at the TOP of the 'magic-skills-food-chain'!!

True!!!
The Great Zoobini
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Busking makes the best sauce...
Meet you in Busker Alley Smile
DavinSimone
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After read this whole thing, have to say this has got to be one of the least helpful but most entertaining threads I've read on here. Kudos for getting two awards!
Davin L. Simone

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Above poster suffers from a severe lack of judgment and logic. Assume any points he made are wrong and baseless.
The Mighty Fool
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I just read back over the thread too.....nostalgic!
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The Mighty Fool
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Quote:

eddierush,
Just like many others, I think you're confusing "busker" with "street magician".

Yes, there are buskers. They make a living (or a portion of it) out on the streets.
Street Magicians, as portrayed on TV, a la Blaine, etc. do not exist. It seems there was a brief fad in the past couple of years where teen-agers decided this is what they wanted to do (The Blaine thing). (There was even a magazine on the subject.) They spent their allowances on:
Ravens
Sunglasses
Black Tiger Decks
Fol***g Quarters

and told mom they were going downtown for a couple hours. The more intelligent of them realized it was:
1. pointless
2. bothered people
3. obnoxious

and stopped doing it a.s.a.p. And the magazine is no longer published.

The prominence / validity of something is not always determined by it's number of fans / supporters, but also by it's number of detractors & deniers. The more people that seem determined to convince you that something DOSENT exist....the more likely it is that it DOES exist.

The vast majority of "Teenagers who dropped their allowances on ravens, sunglasses, etc." DID indeed quit for the aeforementioned reasons.....just as probably 90% of those who get interested in any magic field lack the talent / perseverance to carry through. Yes, there ARE street-mages out there, and theyre the 1% who were good enough to do this and get away with it.

The magazine is gone, but the book remains in print! IS there even a book on busking? And by 'busking', I mean MAGIC busking, just as our book is strictly on "Street-magic"!
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
DavinSimone
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Huh... well that was easy enough...

http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=1158

Apparently there are books on it.
Davin L. Simone

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Above poster suffers from a severe lack of judgment and logic. Assume any points he made are wrong and baseless.
The Mighty Fool
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CURSES!!!! Googled again!!! Drat you Simone! Smile

*throws black cloak over face & slinks off*

But I'll be back!!
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
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