The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Busking vs Street Magic? (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2~3..9~10~11 [Next]
Samuel
View Profile
Special user
Norway
831 Posts

Profile of Samuel
What is the difference between Street Magic and Busking?
Samuel

Magic is everywhere
chrisrkline
View Profile
Special user
Little Rock
965 Posts

Profile of chrisrkline
I think that Danny has said that Busking is any magic you do for tips. Usually, though, as I understand it, busking has come to mean performing a street show, frequently with a table, where you pass a hat around or set one down looking for trickles.

I believe that since Blaine's special, some magicians (many younger) refer to street magic as what happens when strolling around and asking to show ticks to people, but not usually looking for tips. Obviously, there is some crossover, and I think most buskers will at times do strolling magic.
Chris
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24145 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
Busking is working for tips. It doesn't matter whether your show is magic, music, mime, juggling, sand painting on the street or whatever -- if you pass the hat during or after the show, you are busking.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
TheAmbitiousCard
View Profile
Eternal Order
Northern California
13299 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
A busker knows how to draw a crowd, keep a crowd, perform magic (or whatever) and gets tips (if they're good) at the end. Often they make a living from this.

To me a "street magician" is a new type of magician that doesn't really exist except on TV or in advertisements to sell more magic stuff.

Do you think David Blaine really wanders around the country in the streets doing tricks for people and all of a sudden a TV crew caught him "doing his thing"?

It's a great show but it's...a show.

Or are there really commando street magicians doing tricks all over in sunglasses for people and they're really cool, and all the girls nibble their lips and squeal becuase they can do a riffle pass? Or because they can tell everyone, "hey, everybody stand over here and I'll float... over there. Cool, eh? Oh, you saw? Oh, well, it's pretty cool though if you get your angles right."


Hmmmm, I'm not so sure.


But it makes for a good story and it sells product.

I also heard that "rounding the wagons" when the Indians attacked was a figment of Hollywood and nothing like that ever happened.

I cannot be sure but I've tried to think about this.
Could they really round wagons quickly? What would the radius be for a given number of wagons? How easy is it really to go in a circle. Did cowboys know what PI was?

Were you allowed to tell the Indians, "Go back and re-charge us in 5 minutes. We'll get an ellipse that time and there's quite a few gaps too."


I could be wrong about all of this. I just don't know.
I do wonder though.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
blwrjw
View Profile
Regular user
The Top of the Mountains
177 Posts

Profile of blwrjw
Frank,

Couldn't they just do the square-to-circle? Or in the example you gave, perhaps the ellipse-to-circle?

Barry
...before you go rushing off to show your friends a new field of miracles, you should get well acquainted with tools of the trade.
-- Tony Corinda

One can never have enough socks...
-- Albus Dumbledore
constantine
View Profile
Regular user
Memphi, on the Mighty Muddy
189 Posts

Profile of constantine
It's the original "Drawing A Circle In The Square."
Constatine 49%er
“The way of the transgressor is hard—to quit.”
—Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith
MagiUlysses
View Profile
Special user
Kansas City
502 Posts

Profile of MagiUlysses
Greetings and Salutations,

Street Magic vs. Busking. An interesting question that did not arise until David Blaine's mis-named television show.

For the defenders-of-DB-at-all-costs, David Blaine is an accomplished magician in his own right, has paid his dues, introduced a whole new generation to magic and made illusionist.com and its imitators scads of money. However, he is not a magician in the traditional/historic "street" sense, buskers are.

First, a brief history lesson. Magic started on the street, well, actually in religious-type ceremonies, by shaman, witch doctors, what-have-you.

These tricks found their ways, in turn, into the hands of jugglers, charlatans, mountebanks, medicine men, performers, and pitch men. All of whom generally performed on the streets, in parks, on plazas, etc., anywhere where they could draw a crowd and either entertain them for money (tips) or use their entertainment to introduce for sale any variety of products: from medicines of sometimes dubious value, to soaps, perfumes, trinkets, etc. The wandering magi traveled around regions, countries, continents, or the world seeking to entertain, and often they would travel the fair circuit. Keep in mind that the many Renaissance Festivals around the country and the world are recreations of celebrations that were quite common during the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and beyond to today. One English faire was held annually for nearly 750 years. The name of it escapes me at the moment but it was started in 1133.

The name of the magi who first moved magic indoors escapes me and is on the tip of my tongue but I cannot seem to translate that to my fingers and the keyboard; however, that event occured not more than a couple of hundred years ago.

Up until that point in time, magicians performed shows on the streets, gathering crowds, entertaining them, and then getting that crowd to part with some of their hard-earned coin. These were the "street magicians," and some made handsome livings, others seeked out an existance, and others undoubtedly found other means of making ends meet.

None, as far as I've ever been able to determine, were known to perform hit-and-run, guerilla-style magic on the unsuspecting public. The reason for this becomes abundantly clear when you realize that at times in our history people believed in witches, sorcery, and were highly superstitious, and biting a "groat" in half, and then spitting it back together for an unsuspecting person on the street would have been an excellent way to find yourself burning at the stake. Similarly, today, performing anything that looks suspiciously like a con -- say a two-card monte -- particularly dressed like you want to blend in with your surrounding public at a moment's notice is sure to attract the long arm of the law.

So, my answer is, street magic is "busking" as are performing music, miming, and any other of the variety acts on the street for money/tips, busking.

What most younger performers, not grounded in the history of magic, consider street art is actually strolling, close-up, or bar magic. While these are all fine branches of the magical arts, they are not, with some few exceptions, street magic in the traditional sense.

For more information see Street Magic by Sheridan and Claflin, Conjuring by James Randi, The Illustrated History of Magic by Milborne Christopher (wait, it might by Christopher Milbourne -- look it up). Those will get you started, and they're all the ones I can site from the top of my head this early in the day.

Joe in KC

Live a great adventure, make magic happen, have an interesting life!
The Mighty Fool
View Profile
Inner circle
I feel like a big-top tent having
2104 Posts

Profile of The Mighty Fool
Oh good grief.....we just had a huge discussion on this subject in this room! Check out the thread "What is a street magician?"

Based on my exchanges with the gents in here, and my experiences in the world out there, I've come to see that there are two schools of thought: 1) that 'street-mages' are hit & run performers who are seperate from (and often disdained by) buskers, and 2) that street mages ARE buskers....sort of a 'rotted-limb' on the busking family tree.

Although many of the differences in style are undeniable (see the other thread) the base-line similarity that both occur on the street...for tips...would seem to support the idea that street-magic & busking are one & the same. However, this belief may stem from the fact that many magicians have a strong disliking for guerilla-style magic, and hope that by lumping it with busking, it will invalidate its status as a seperate art form. Sort of a "mabye-if-we-ignore-it-long-enough-it-will-go-away" strategy.

So, getting back to the real difference--the style of performance--yes, it's somewhat like what chrisKline said, that buskers have a set pitch, often with a table & at least 1 article of costume attire, and they naturally stick to areas where performance is allowed & expected (Faniuel Hall, Harvard Square, Covent gardens, etc.). Street-mages are sort of 'stealth' performers. They do their thing anywhere and anytime that it looks profitable to do so, allowed or not. Busking is a great deal more profitable and usually safer, but street magic is very handy when you're unable to do regular busking for some reason. A number of the buskers on the afeoermentioned thread have used street-magic from time to time, either when they couldn't get a pitch or were 'between gigs'. So yes, they can be thought of as the same thing broadly, but it's a different WAY of DOING that same thing.

To the esteemed Frank Starsini: Yes, beleive it or not, it does happen and can be pulled off sucsesfully if you know what you're doing. It's NOT simple, it takes experience, instincts, and guts, but it can be great fun & excitement. As for the rounding the wagons thing...it was all a question of timing. Indians had their scouts riding around looking for targets, and the pioneers had advance riders out looking for Indians. If the scouts spotted the train first and got back to the tribe unseen, then the Indians could spring a suprise attack & the wagons wouldn't have a prayer of getting into formation. But if the advance riders saw the tribe, or the scouts first, then they could fire off the warning shot from wherever they were, and the wagons could get into a circle. As for doing this...it wasn't hard....each wagon would follow the wagon in front of it, and the lead wagon would curve to the left until it came up on the tail end of the last wagon...voila! A circle! Or at least an oval.
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
TheAmbitiousCard
View Profile
Eternal Order
Northern California
13299 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
Quote:
As for the rounding the wagons thing....it was all a question of timing....


So you're saying it did happen? The wagon thing?
Seems like more trouble than it's worth unless it was like .... hey, maybe they did "square" the wagon.

16 wagons, 4 on a side. Add a little curvature for the TV cameras. I can see that happening.
Barry and Constantine might be on to something.

That would make it safe for the "street/prairie magicians" to keep entertaining the laymen INSIDE the square/circle.

I'll bet they had a trick with a real live raven too.
Biscuits over the head, selected card to Pot o' chilli.
I wonder if any of the wagons were Black Tiger wagons?

Mr. Fool, thanks for the history lesson!!! Sounds like, given enough time, wagons were indeed "circled."
You are indeed mighty.

You're restored my faith in cowboys, indians, trigonometry, and timing.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
The Mighty Fool
View Profile
Inner circle
I feel like a big-top tent having
2104 Posts

Profile of The Mighty Fool
Uh....thank you....I think.

(Did he just compliment me, or am I too stupid to realize that he insulted me??!?)
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
TheAmbitiousCard
View Profile
Eternal Order
Northern California
13299 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
Smile
No. That was a compliment!


I think I believe the stuff about the wagons now.
I wonder if it was more like "gathering the wagons" as best they could under duress. But then Hollywood didn't like the look and they made the cowboys do it over and over until they got into a circle.

Nevertheless...

It is easier to believe than the existance of actual "street magicians." I've yet to see one. I've been to New York, Paris, Rome, London, San Francisco, San Diego, even Freehold, New Jersey. Nothing. Never. Not a one.


If a magician does this on a whim just because they've got a pack of cards on them (because they cannot help it) and they walk out of a bar and whip it out (the cards), well I can see that happening. But is he/she automatically a street magician? And if that is enough to be a street magician, do you have to be wearing sunglasses? Even at night? I seem to recall a sunglasses requirement.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
The Mighty Fool
View Profile
Inner circle
I feel like a big-top tent having
2104 Posts

Profile of The Mighty Fool
Well.....

The reason you've never seen one is probably because they look (by necessity) totaly inconspicuous. We don't wear costumes or have set-ups, so unless one had picked you for a target, or you just happened to be passing by at the moment one had nailed a mark, or built an edge (a STREET-MAGE'S edge...3-6 people, not a busker's edge...8-60), you'd pass by one and be none the wiser. Now, to be fair, we probably are one of the rarest variety of magish out there anyway.

The shades are a daytime only thing because wearing shades at night makes it dangerous when the need arises to make a fast getaway. Running into lamposts and whatnot. The shades, or hat/bandana/whatever, serves as a disguise of sorts, often along with a reversible jacket, and in my case, convertable pants (to shorts).
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
constantine
View Profile
Regular user
Memphi, on the Mighty Muddy
189 Posts

Profile of constantine
Street magic is real, otherwise they couldn't put it on television, like wrestling.
Constatine 49%er
“The way of the transgressor is hard—to quit.”
—Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith
chrisrkline
View Profile
Special user
Little Rock
965 Posts

Profile of chrisrkline
Actually, although I can't speak for Frank, he might be saying he has never seen someone, like you describe, actually performing magic--you know with cards or what not. You would think that at the very least he would see someone, once in a while, doing some magic. Even two-card-monte takes a minute or two. People who busk can, and do, spot people who are not in costume--I have, as surprising as it may seem, performed in street cloths before. I have performed strolling magic before, in street cloths. Unless the magic is so stealth that not even the spec suspects, it would show up on some radar screen, somewhere.

In any case, there can't be very many of these out there that do this type of magic.
Chris
MagiUlysses
View Profile
Special user
Kansas City
502 Posts

Profile of MagiUlysses
Quote:
On 2004-11-17 00:32, The Mighty Fool wrote:
Well.....
The reason you've never seen one is probably because they look (by necessity) totally inconspicuous ... Now, to be fair, we probably are one of the rarest variety of magish out there anyway.
...because wearing shades at night makes it dangerous when the need arises to make a fast getaway...running into lamposts and whatnot. The shades, or hat/bandana/whatever, serves as a disguise of sorts, often along with a reversible jacket, and in my case, convertable pants (to shorts).


Greetings and Salutations,

For the sake of clarity I've cut your quote down to the salient points, and by your own description you have more in common with a criminal than a magician. You dress inconspicuously, in disguise, for when you have to make a fast getaway.

Do hit-and-run, guerilla magi actually try to pull this off as entertainment, or are you putting this all out so you can get a rise out of -- at least -- me?

I'm wondering -- and steering up a hornets' nest in the process but so be it -- what is the allure of breaking the law and giving magicians a bad name in the process?

It seems to me, if hit-and-run, guerilla-style magicians would put half as much effort into finding regular gigs -- fairs, events, fiestas, restaurants, etc. -- you'd find yourself making more money, entertaining more people, and reducing to zero the creepy reputation many magicians acquire due to the rarest of magish out there.

Buskers, magicians, musicians, mimes, etc., going back hundreds and hundreds of years, have a long and glorious history of entertaining people on the streets around the world. And they have done it by being entertaining. It's not the magic, the music, or the ... miming, it's about being entertaining.

It is my sincere belief that S.H. Sharpe would have been talking directly to the hit-and-run, guerilla-style tricksters when he said, "Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."

In my considered opinion, leaving the sunglasses on at night, performing a folding-coin routine, attracting the wrong-arm of the law, having to making a fast getaway, and slamming into a light post would be vastly more entertaining to passersby than, say, listening to a "look ... look, watch ... watch" card trick.

But then again, it's only my opinion. I could be wrong. History could prove me a fool and one day great books and historical treatise could be writ large about the hit-and-run, guerilla-magi out there. I've been wrong before, and I'll be wrong again. Ain't life grand?

Joe in KC

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ... 'Wow! What a ride!'"
TheAmbitiousCard
View Profile
Eternal Order
Northern California
13299 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
Are black tiger decks a requirement? Because if you're wearing sunglasses at night and you're using a black tiger deck I can see potential for problems.

In fact....


...um. Forget it.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
The Mighty Fool
View Profile
Inner circle
I feel like a big-top tent having
2104 Posts

Profile of The Mighty Fool
To MagiUlysses:

Yes, we are out there, and we do try (with varying degrees of success) to pull this off. With experience, you can get to the point where you can laugh at the laws regarding the 'zoning' of magic performance. If you want to liken us to criminals, it would be in the same sense that Robin Hood's men were criminals in the eyes of the Sherrif-of-Nottingham, yet loved/admired by many in the populace. If what we do is a crime, then who, pray tell, is the victim? Some may say the spectator is the victim as he/she is paying simply to get-rid of us, but I assure you this is not the case (I'll explain in a moment). Others would say that the art of magic's reputation is the 'victim' as our kind (street-mages) cheapen it, but the street-mages who are good enough to actually DO this sort of thing are skilled enough that they do the effects proud. The silly wannabe Blainiacs who accost someone with a single plastic gimmick are quickly removed from the street-scene by either discouragement or injury.

From what I've gathered of the opinions of many Buskers, wer'e seen as walking right up to random passerby, 'cornering' them, and 'inflicting' magic on them in hopes of them giving a buck or a quarter to free themselves from us. I assure you, the art of street-magic is MUCH more subtle & tricky than that. No we DON'T simply walk right up to some random person & say "watch this!" (That's a good way to get punched in the mouth!) Usually, we find a good-looking 'mark', and follow along with their group, waiting for them to say or do something which we can play off of. For instance, hearing the mark say he needs change for a five...offering to make it for him, and using the 'Visibill' switch to do it. Card tricks are used as a 2nd or 3rd follow-up trick....if they're used at all. We really prefer tricks with (apparently) commonplace objects, like Killer Key, bitten coin, and Pen thru Bill. The "victims' are almost always surprised, amused, and really pleased to have met us. When they get to wherever it is they're going, what do you think the first thing they're going to talk about is? Contrary to wanting to get away from me, I usually hear marks ask for more tricks, and the crowd which forms asks for more as well. And I agree with you wholeheartedly on your idea that the true aim of magic is to give someone a pleasant performance. REALLY good magicians don't just make you gasp, laugh, or clap, they get right into your heart and make you happy every time you THINK of them...even years later.

So you might ask, "well then if your marks are so receptive, why the need for switchable clothes and fast getaways?" That's a good question. Really it's more to protect us from the brave boys in blue than from the marks. Remember that what we're doing is illegal in the eyes of the law, though enjoyed by the public. (Like a lot of things.) And yes, fine...I'll admit there is a certain thrill...a rush you get from doing 'magic-on-the-edge' like this. It's...well.... AAhhhh I really can't explain it. Your profile reads 'seeker of adventure'. Well are you or aren't you? C'mon! Try it sometime! I bet you'll like it!
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
chrisrkline
View Profile
Special user
Little Rock
965 Posts

Profile of chrisrkline
I think we have had this conversation before. Smile

You keep saying "we." Unless you guys have some sort of secret mark or signal, please share your method of finding each other so that Frank can say he has found someone who does this form of stealth magic.
Chris
constantine
View Profile
Regular user
Memphi, on the Mighty Muddy
189 Posts

Profile of constantine
Let's see. You dress in a disguise, go out on the sidewalks, wait until you see a good looking guy, follow along behind him, listen to what thay're saying until you have a chance to 'play-off' them, and you wear dark glasses and a reversable jacket to avoid arrest or injury...ah, yeah.
Constatine 49%er
“The way of the transgressor is hard—to quit.”
—Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith
MagiUlysses
View Profile
Special user
Kansas City
502 Posts

Profile of MagiUlysses
Greetings and Salutations Mighty,

Thank you, but I think I'll stick to picking and choosing my battles with an eye to fewer entanglements, not more, with the Boys in Blue. They have enough to deal with without my giving them something else to concern themselves with.

I believe I'll leave this discussion for others to pick up, should they wish. My interjection was from a historical perspective on the art of "busking," making a living, or part of a living, performing on the streets.

To quote Dictionary.com:
busk -- intr.v. busked, busk·ing, busks
To play music or perform entertainment in a public place, usually while soliciting money.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Earlier, to be an itinerant performer, probably from "busk," to go about seeking; cruise as a pirate, perhaps from obsolete French "busquer;" to prowl, from Italian "buscare;" to prowl, or Spanish "buscar;" to seek from Old Spanish "boscar."]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
busker n.

While your experience may be different, I cannot, in my admitted limited experience, see where your style of "street" magic is going to pay the bills, or keep you deep in magic toys, whichever you prefer. Now, performing for the sake of performing, polishing close-up bits, and leaving people with a smile -- OK. That's your gig, more power to you. And if you can pick up a few bucks along the way, so much the better.

I assumed, which almost always gets me into trouble, that the question was meant to draw a distinction between what the topics on "The Side Walk Shuffle" covered vs. the topics in "Street Magic." Enjoying the study of magic's past, particularly as it pertains to Mountebanks, Charlatans, and historic Renaissance-era fairs and festivals, I answered, to the best of my limited ability, the question from my historical perspective.

And with that, my short response has carried on for entirely too long. As a man of letters once concluded a missive: my apologies for the long letter, I did not have the time to write a shorter one.

Joe in KC
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Busking vs Street Magic? (8 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2~3..9~10~11 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2018 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.3 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