The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Street Magic » » Crowd Control (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Matt Malinas
View Profile
Inner circle
Romania
1342 Posts

Profile of Matt Malinas
Good day Magic folk! Smile Perfect Spring day over here! Just gonna post my little dilemma and get the hell out.

I thought this is a good place for this topic because on the street you always have to improvise. Find a suitable performance space, especially when a crowd starts to gather.
Often times when performing for people I find myself getting crowded. It seems to me like everyone is trying to get closer and closer to the performer and I have to manage it. Not that it's an impossible feat to keep them under control but it is an annoying one. Please keep in mind that I just made my comeback to Magic so I am still rusty, piecing everything back together, working on my persona, my patter and my routines. I am sure I am overlooking or forgetting a lot of great advice so that is why I am asking for your help. How do you prepare your audience for what is about to come? What do you take into consideration when it comes to picking your spot for performing? How do you handle a heckler or someone who just burns your hands and tries to catch you? How do you get people to stand right where you want them to?

I will be performing mostly behind the bar but I will also do table to table and walkaround at events. Any advice, suggestions, ideas are welcome.

Thanks guys!

-Matt
Your One Stop Booze Abusing Comedy Magic Show!
1KJ
View Profile
Inner circle
Warning: We will run out of new tricks in
3251 Posts

Profile of 1KJ
Hi. Matt.

I'm a bit confused because in the beginning it sounded like you were talking about busking and how to prevent people from crowding in too close, then you talk about performing mostly behind a bar with some walkaround.

I haven't done any busking, but I've learned a lot from busking because buskers are the best at getting the attention from an audience. So, one tip I learned to avoid "crowding" is to place a rope in a semi-circle around you, where you want people to stand.

As for bar or table magic, I think they are different when it comes to how to prepare the audience for what is about to come. At a bar, you could have someone announce that magic is going to start at the bar. Or, you could approach some at the bar who look like they could use some entertainment and start with something simple. I have done this many times. I like to start with a bar bet, like making a paperclip float. As for table hopping, I think the best way is to approach them as if you are just one of the staff. Ask how everything is going, tell them the restaurant pays you to entertain and ask "Would you like to see my favorite trick?" This implies you are only going to do one. If they love it, you do another.

How do you handle a heckler? Keep it light and engaging, don't come across like you are challenging them or you are better than them. don't take everything said as heckling. Also, I like to do only tricks that end clean. Remind a heckler that you are all there to just have fun. If the heckler persists, then go to the next table or move to the other side of the bar.

How do you get people to stand where you want them to? If you are talking busking, use the rope. If you are talking at a bar or tables, I would suggest only doing effects that are mostly angle proof.

kj
Matt Malinas
View Profile
Inner circle
Romania
1342 Posts

Profile of Matt Malinas
Thank you KJ!

I rushed the post quite a bit so the info didn't come across right. Very interesting points you made. I built some routines based on effects that are just like you described. Mostly short and powerful stuff that is done impromptu. Because of my long break from Magic my performances also had to suffer. I find myself being a little paranoid, thinking of everything that could go wrong. Of course this is just irrational and I will get over it but it is an impediment.

I won't be able to use the rope in the bar because it just isn't enough space (it's a small bar) and it wouldn't make much sense to the people here. I will keep working on it. I have 2 mini shows this afternoon and evening that I will do for some friends. This is the stuff I will focus on to get back in "shape".

Thanks again for the smart suggestions.

-Matt
Your One Stop Booze Abusing Comedy Magic Show!
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
6904 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
The rope "barrier" that 1kj mentioned would be used outside on sidewalks, open spaces in parks, etc., NOT IN BARS OR HOSPITALITY SUITES, ETC.

To avoid carrying 20 yards (meters) of rope which must be coiled up and carried with you (rope gets soiled underfoot)some buskers carry a bottle of water. The type of bottle that detergent "comes in". Most such bottles have a "squirt" cap, which ejects a stream of water. One simply walks in a semi circle, "marking the perimeter of the performance area. Most people will respect that.

I suspect that the problem that you are having is that people don't know where to stand! You need to tell them, in a very POSITIVE manner.

Props and "action" must be easily visible. Cups & balls are great, BUT, if the spectators can't see the "action", you have created a problem. I do nothing in which the props are on a table. I create an imaginary window in front of me. The bottom of the "window" is ABOVE my waistline! NOTHING "happens" below that line.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
1KJ
View Profile
Inner circle
Warning: We will run out of new tricks in
3251 Posts

Profile of 1KJ
Good advice, Dick! If I ever do any busking, I'll keep the water method in mind.
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
6904 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
OOOOPZ I forgot to mention that in extremely arid areas, like Tucson Arizona the water may evaporate fairly quickly, -And, it's best to use "bottled spring water the kind that sells for $2.00/liter!!!!! (I own stock in a bottled water company!!!!!!!)hee hee
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
1KJ
View Profile
Inner circle
Warning: We will run out of new tricks in
3251 Posts

Profile of 1KJ
Dick, how about if we use Coca-Cola, then we won't be drinking it, and we will also have the side benefit of losing weight and saving money at the dentist? hee hee.
Nickoli Sharpe
View Profile
New user
Worldwide
63 Posts

Profile of Nickoli Sharpe
Hello,
I have a friend that physically puts people in the place that he wants them to stand.
Seems to work very well for him, only after he has done at least one effect.
I use a rope and never do a thing until at least 10 to 15 people have stopped with there toes on the line.
RoyHarper
View Profile
New user
26 Posts

Profile of RoyHarper
Dicks squirt bottle is an excellent idea. Thanks

R
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
6904 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
It would be nice to take credit for the squirt bottle full of water, but, it was an idea that I saw a busker do in New Orleans!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
JoeJoe
View Profile
Inner circle
Myrtle Beach
1866 Posts

Profile of JoeJoe
Take a look at my "Crowd Goes Wild" series, a two-part online video lecture with example footage of me working a full day at Barefoot Landing. All free with a "pass the hat" license:

http://magicjoint.com/pages/magic-shop/t......d-promo/

-JoeJoe
The Crowd Goes Wild - my free lecture series - Magic Joint - where professional talent meets the local artist!!!
One of the hottest new releases of this year - Amazing JoeJoe's Super Spinner with Penny Reel Technology!!!!
Nickoli Sharpe
View Profile
New user
Worldwide
63 Posts

Profile of Nickoli Sharpe
Real good,
Anyone starting out could benefit from these videos.
furmanmatt
View Profile
Regular user
New York
119 Posts

Profile of furmanmatt
Hi, interesting thread. I watched the link, pretty good. I didn't see any crowd though. You wanna see crowd control in real time??

https://youtu.be/1kVA4XgFNP8
malaki
View Profile
Loyal user
207 Posts

Profile of malaki
For establishing a parameter for a stage, I have used a small, oriental styled rug. This way, both kids and adults know where the edge of the stage is, and it gives you some room to work without trampling anyone.

For the continued care of your back, go to Harbor Freight and pick up a four wheeled cart to shlep your stuff. It will literally save you miles of walking, over the years. Back problems seem like nothing, until you have them.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Street Magic » » Crowd Control (1 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2017 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.16 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL