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Topic: Looking for a little help
Message: Posted by: R Allen (Jan 4, 2003 05:33AM)

I am a close-up performer who does a lot of "walk around" magic out on the sidewalk to give away business cards, brochures, and flyers to generate calls for private shows. I have become very interested in doing the ACTUAL street magic.

Here's where you experienced guys could help.

I am wondering what you would say to get the money. I already know some magic and routines that would go over great -- tested and true killer stuff. The only thing I don't know is how to get the money.

I know that sometimes people ask "What should I say when 'such and such' happens?" and then everyone types in all kinds of things to say... that is what I really need some ACTUAL help.

Please do not list all the books, videos, DVDs, and whatever else there is for sale. I will buy those things as soon as I can afford them. Right now, I can only afford to ask for help -- that is all.

I hope some of you experienced guys will have a heart and tell me some actual words and phrases that I can try out so that I will be able to buy the Cellini and Gazzo material.

That stuff costs money -- you can help me with that -- you know who you are.
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Jan 4, 2003 11:26AM)
Ok...we won't list the Cellini video...the art of street performing....because you can't afford it.....but the truth is...you can't afford not to buy it...

Friend of mine owns a magic shop...this juggler, a friend of his came into his store, depressed...'what's wrong?....I was out there for 3 hours and didn't make any money!....Well do you have the Cellini video?...nope.....I tell you what...buy the video, if you don't make money the first time out after watching it....then I will refund the money.....so the guy layed out the $60 and went on his way...2 days later the juggler came in with $200 in his pocket....how long did it take to make the $200 the store owner asked ...3 hours....

Pal, you can't afford not to buy the video!
you want to learn this with no investment...you can...it will take years but hey, you will save $60.00..

Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 4, 2003 11:35AM)
What Kozmo says is true. And I bet you've plunked down more than sixty bucks on tricks that you don't use if you are like the rest of us.

Sixty bucks is a small price to learn enough to get out there and earn the real money. I paid 80 bucks (that I couldn't afford) on Cellini's book and that book paid for itself double my first day on the bricks after reading it.

It would take me a 50 page email to explain what you really need to know and what I could tell you would not be nearly as informative as what Cellini gives you in that single video.


Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Jan 4, 2003 11:42AM)
Danny.....I have a bad attitude....now I don't know if this is true...and I mean no disrespect to R Allen....but it seems that everyone wants it to be free...and you are right....guys spend a fortune on tricks because they think that's what it is....but it isn't...the tricks are just not that important.....I might spend $50 a year in the magic store these days...although I should be buying some books and video....I would have bought the Cellini video...but well I didn't need to...I got a free copy....but it seems that $60 is a small investment to learn the real secrets...no what I mean

Message: Posted by: Swami Bill (Jan 4, 2003 11:46AM)
As someone a little further removed from the Cellini circle I agree with Danny and Koz 100%! The Cellini DVD changed my performing life. If you are at all interested in really performing on the streets, get the video and the book, screw on some legs and get out there and have some fun. Also, take the time to re-read Danny and Kozmo's prior posts on this topic as well as the posts of other people here who are working the streets... and always GTFM!

- Bill
Message: Posted by: mslj (Jan 4, 2003 06:09PM)
Every time I take a look in the magic chest I mentally add up the cost of the crap that I've bought.

The Cellini video and Gazzo's work on the Cups and Balls are not only cheap for the insights they provide but amount to, in my excellent opinion, superb value.

I made a decision some time ago that street work was where I wanted to go. To work it I have to study it and I want the best materials I can get my sweaty palms on. Imagine this, experienced street workers at the push of a button in my home, telling me the real deal. Got to be worth money I paid!

The decription of the tables, the pouches, the clothing is worth the value of the *** tapes in themselves.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 4, 2003 07:51PM)
Not just street workers, THE BEST two street magicians on the planet. Over 50 years of experience on the street between the two of them.

The power of that is awesome when you think about it.

There are other threads in this section that will give you ideas and examples of closing pitches but without the information on those tapes and books you will never get that far.

I was a magician for over 20 years when I took to the street I had a lot of experience as a pro. I couldn't draw a decent edge until I got Jim Cellini's book. That is the gospel truth.


Message: Posted by: MOTO42 (Jan 5, 2003 01:09PM)
I don't want to be rude about it, but is this a thread or an infomercial?
You can take that any way you like.

To be on topic I plan to say something along the lines of "I'm a college student by day, and this is how I'm covering the costs that the grants and my parents won't. So please tip if you enjoyed the show."
<Note: I've no street experience yet. Take with 2 grains of salt.>
Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Jan 6, 2003 07:38AM)
Take Danny's and Koz's Advice, but all of it, 339 posts between them, some of which not selling vidios :) . there is a book there in itself.

If you can't get any of the videos, find some one performing near you, watch them like a hawk. It doesn't matter what the act is, watch the crowd, how thay respond, and what you think is right and wrong about the act. Watch as many shows as you can, more than one day if you can. After all this, if your magic is up to par, hit the streets, bring some one with you to watch you like you were watching the last guy. Don't stop. You'll learn next to nothing on the first show as you will have nothing to compair it too. Pay your dues, take your lumps. It's not that bad the next day. realy :lol:
When you're done with that, let us know how it went, and ask more spacific questions. You will probably get better response then.

Go thru the old posts here, you have time. It's snowing good hear in Philli. I bet Wisconsin isn't doing mutch better. :bg:
Sorry I can't be of more help, but that is what I did. Theater classes help also. Improv, set and costume design. You are creating your own theater on the street, so treat it like a theater.

bla bla bla I talk to much.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jan 6, 2003 02:19PM)

I understand your sense of immediacy, but you will find that it pretty much works itself out.

In a sense, it doesn't really matter what you say. The standard French phrase is "A votre bonne coeur" or "From your good heart." Gazzo and Cellini have entirely different approaches. I always said something like "Please support the cause. If you don't help, I may have to get a job..."

Gazzo would say, "Please give me some money. If you don't, I might have to go back to my old job--selling drugs to children."

Every performer will have a slightly different approach, depending on his personality and on what seems to work best for him.

The main thing is the attitude. You should act as if you expect people to want to pay. I always conveyed the attitude that the show was "free" for those who didn't have any money, but those who could support should give what they thought it was worth.

Having a sense of humor is important not just for gathering the money, but for cloaking your own ego as you do. It is a scary feeling when you first decide to go out and draw a crowd and ask them for money.

There is no right or wrong way to go about it. Everything depends on your own personality and attitude to the work and attitude toward the spectators.

I spent several chapters on this subject in my book, and Cellini, Gazzo, Sheridan, Groves and others have all explained it in detail from their unique points of view.

There is a lot more information to be given that is important than can be covered in a few even "long" posts here. It is not really about having a couple of good "lines" to use when asking for money. It is a skill, almost a technology, in itself.

It would be better for you in the long run to get some of this information that has been offered by the experts. It will be well worth it.

But it wouldn't hurt to go out and explore for yourself. Once you have tried working the streets, all of the advice will be more meaningful and useful.

Maybe you should plan to spend the first sixty bucks you earn on the streets to buy Cellini's video. You will find that it is a very profound investment.

Cellini is tipping the inside stuff he has gathered over thirty years of performing the streets and working with and sharing with other street performers of all kinds.

It should be gratefully received and acknowledged. If no one wants to pay him for his work and thought, why should he take the immense amount of effort and expense required to organize and produce a video?

I am sure that other guys on the board will be glad to give you some advice on what to do or say to get the money. But you need to remember that Gazzo, Cellini, myself and the others who are providing the information in books and videos have all pretty much moved along in their careers, and are not afraid of being "copied" anymore, and no longer feel they are competing with other street acts. Gazzo would not have put his Cups and Balls routine out on the market ten years ago, for example.

You will also find that most of the current working guys are going to be more protective of their lines and methods than the older guys. You may be seeing some of that here on this thread. Why do you think so many guys keep referring you to what is already in print or on video for everyone to use? So don't expect too much from other working pros.

Remember, you are just now moving into the arena that most of these guys are struggling to master and make a living in. You are potential competition. If you were going to start a new bakery, would all the other bakers in the neighborhood be likely to line up to give you help and advice? So when they do help, you should be extremely grateful. It is not something they owe to the beginner.

The main thing is, go out and try things for yourself. Don't be afraid. It isn't brain surgery, and even if you make a fool of yourself, no one will know your name. That is part of the beauty of street performing. You get to constantly start over again, and your past errors and mistakes, like your name, all are forgotten by the crowds.

Make yourself a rule about investing in your own career. When you take in money, put a little back into the books and videos that you can't afford now. This is just how all business works. You have to put some of your profits back into development. If you treat street performing both as an art and as a business you will do well.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 6, 2003 07:12PM)
Seeing Iím pitching everybody elseís stuff it should be added that Whitís lecture notes (now a booklet) on street performing are very, very, good.

A lot of people donít know that Mr. Hayden worked the bricks in the early 70ís (and late 60ís?). He was very careful in his approach to the booklet and concentrated on the things that always remain relevant when working the streets, selection of effects, drawing a crowd, keeping them, and Getting The Funny Money! The information is not dated at all. As a matter of fact some of it appeared to be glommed and added to another guys (kind of) recent book on street performing (credit to Mr. Hayden was given of course).

It is a slim volume to be sure, but that is because it contains very little B.S. (Blues Songs). If you are already a good magician and you can pick a decent spot to work you will be able to fake it till you make it (something I continue to do).

Also included are a couple of great tricks and one FANTASTIC trick for the day you need to do a trick for someone who has lost their sight.

Best of all? It is pretty darn cheap and available from the school for scoundrels.

Good to see you posting to this thread Whit. The competition thing for me isnít part of it. Guys who probably should have told me to go spit up a rope shared busking with me. I was fortunate, and am happy to pass along what (little) I know. But, they made me work for it. I think the information is more powerful to the user when hard earned. I know it was for me. Luckily if a guy was to search this area long enough between all the great guys who post here and have done it and are doing it (Koz, Peter, Whit, Harry, etc.) A person could really get a handle on the bare minimum of what it takes, but itíll take the guy some work.

I just donít like to spoon feed it to anyone. Search first, ask after. Heck, I even have an entire hat pitch posted here somewhere.


Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Jan 6, 2003 09:41PM)
Three things:

1. The only easy way to do anything, is to work hard at it....
Search this site and especially this forum!

2. The only way to make money, is to spend money....

Buy and study the definitive material on the subject, anything by Whit Hayden, Cellini, or Gazzo.

3. The only way to avoid mistakes, is to make them......

Then just get out there and do it!

If you do the first two steps, you will have a lot better success when you get to step 3.

And all of the little things that you read or watched, will suddenly have light up in your mind, and have real meaning for you.

Then, for the first time, you will own the knowledge you have accumulated. And the Steets will be your stage.

Message: Posted by: R Allen (Jan 6, 2003 10:58PM)
Thank you all for the super fast replies to my question.

I will be getting the books. I want so much to hear what the pros, that have become experts, have to say.

If I had the money right now, I would gladly buy the books. The guy who made $200 dollars in three hours at least had $60 to start with -- I don't have that luxury.

I am faced with a super money crunch at the moment. I even had to pay a portion of my rent in change. I have an empty stomach and an empty stretch in my schedule and I need to go out and try something right away -- before I go under.

I know that you guys who listed the books, videos, and DVDs, are not trying to deliberately avoid answering the question. I understand that there is nothing you can say that would come close to the advice I could get from that material. I realize that you are giving me what you believe is the BEST advice by listing the books and what not. I thank you for that.

Thank you, thank you -- to those of you who actually listed some words and phrases -- I will try those. I am going to be learning the hard way until I can buy a book. You have made it a bit easier.

I am sincerely moved by the amount of help that has come in response to my question. I know that you guys do not owe me anything and like Whit said, I am actually your competition -- but the brotherly love that I feel from all these replies is really something else.

Thanks :smiletear:
Message: Posted by: rkrahlmann (Jan 7, 2003 12:20PM)
If you feel you can't make the investment in the video right now (which I can't vouch for--I've never seen it. But it seems to be getting respect), then do a little more hunting here then hit the bricks. Do what you think works. If it doesn't, ask yourself why. Then do more. If you make money, you're on the right path. If not, change something. When most street performers got started, they did just this. They didn't have the benifit of information, free or otherwise. They just did it because they wanted to be there.
As I think has been mentioned, the key is not the tricks. It's the performer.
Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Jan 7, 2003 04:01PM)
I did'nt have vidios when I started, I just did it. Just do it and keep doing it till it works. then do it for another 10+ yrs. and then produce a vidio of your own!

The more time you spend thinking about it is less time spent doing it.

I think one of these days I'm going to go thrue the past posts and make a list of all the "good stuff". also to see how many times we anser the same questions, and how the responce changes.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jan 7, 2003 04:14PM)
I can't agree more with the turn of this thread. Pokie Poke is dead right. There is no royal road to street magic. You just have to get out there and do it. You will not even have the right questions to ask the older hands until you have tried some things out.

You will not appreciate the advice you get until you get out there and discover what it means for yourself.

Everyone wants to have the most information possible before he tries something new, but there is a point at which you just have to leap blind. And it will be a blind leap no matter how much you have studied and prepared. It will never be what you expected, Rob. So shuffle on down to the sidewalk and see what happens. Good luck!
Message: Posted by: R Allen (Jan 7, 2003 04:20PM)
Hello all,

I am so happy to say that the help you guys gave me paid off!

I am through the tough times and I got a couple of spots filled in my schedule too.

Look out books and videos -- here I come!
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Jan 7, 2003 04:47PM)
Whits right on the money. No guts, No glory.

I went out a couple more times, and guess what? My effects were just too small. Of course I could have read that here, But Nnooo.... Mr Sinatra had to do it ....His Way

BTW, Whit that's 50 posts for you. Banquet Time!!! :lol: