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Topic: Mentor Wanted
Message: Posted by: swingjunkie (Feb 27, 2008 05:17PM)
Are there any full-time Buskers out there who will be working predominantly in the US during the upcoming season and would be kind enough to take an eager-to-learn 22 year old college student under their wing? I'd really love to learn how to do this but have never really had a mentor. 6 years of learning from DVDs and the Café, it'd be nice to have someone critique and share one-on-one. I always heard a mentor was the best way to learn and I'm willing to learn.
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Feb 28, 2008 05:00AM)
When the student is ready, the master will appear.

Just go out there and suck for a while. If you're at a decent pitch, somebody else will be there too most likely. Learn what you can from a short conversation with him/her...but don't ask them about mentoring the first time you meet.

A good mentor is NOT going to sign you up site unseen. Rather a mentor is just someone who sees something in you that's worth investing his/her time in.

I've had mentors (and been a mentor myself) in church, martial arts, woodworking, the Marines, as a teacher....and yes, as a busker. (I've not been a mentor as a busker...don't think I'd ever be ready to do that!!!)

Mentoring programs are GREAT like you said. The important thing to realise though is that the mentor/mentee relationship is as likely/unlikely to work out as is any 2 people who meet at work: maybe they'll be friends, maybe just co-workers.

Ya gotta meet the person that would have the ability to be your mentor. You have to decide if that person walks the path that you are interested in exploring...and then you gotta wait and see if they have any interest in investing their time and energy into you.

Last thing, mentors are just people who have a skill set that you are looking to learn about. They're not flawless kung-fu monks. I've never had a mentor that I wanted to be Just Like. No way. I'm my own person and it's always important to remember that when entering into a mentoring program...no matter how informal of one...like a busking one (in my mind).

Oh, and once you do get a mentor, remember this: Give back to that person 200% of what you reap. This person is NOT helping you out cuz he/she's a saint. They are looking to give back to the world what was given to them (quite often) and perhaps looking to make a new friend in an otherwise lonely profession. However, it don't hurt to give back. I'm not talking about money here. But everyone has a skill set. Perhaps your skills can benefit your mentor...well shouldn't you outta thing about returning the favor every now and again???

That's about all I know. Just go out there with a set show, bang through it for a while, get your hat lines down. Learn a tad about crowd control and maintaining your edge...and then travel around a little bit to other pitches.

If I were a potential mentor, I'd have much more respect for the guy that was already out there doing it, then someone that hadn't even started yet.

Just my thoughts. I'm probably totally wrong about all of this...and I'm certain someone here will quickly point that out. ;)
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Feb 28, 2008 11:12AM)
I agree. chad is speaking from experience here.

the best teacher is that which you incounter on the street. one that you can watch first to judge if they have merit first.

but in the states it's difficult to track down a good teacher on the streets. it was a wise decision to make it known in the obvious place.....the magic Café' in the buskers section. granted.....

but beware, there are those on here that claim to know all the ins and outs but are simply saying this for their own egos not out of actual experience on the street. these folks could cost you a lot of time and money. they are not bad people they are just people that have a preconcieved notion and figure it to be the truth.

mentors of any profession are looking for commitment in an aprentice. having a set show is definately a sign of commitment in our line of work.

busker fests will only take entertainers with a set show, because they only want proffessional shows.

when you have a set show, you have a certain amount of independance and understanding of how the process works and therefore you will better be able to understand what the teacher is telling you.

chad has made a great point.

infact you may want to put a show together and see if you can hunt him down!

thanks fellahs your pal jimmy
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Feb 28, 2008 11:15AM)

you might wanna try posting this on the buskers Café also.

tell em jimmy sent you!
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Feb 28, 2008 11:29AM)
It is my dream to have more buskers in the u.s.

but more importantly for them to be quality performers to change the mindset of the american people.

when ever I watch the reaction of a crowd that has watched a quality street performer, the reaction is always a surprise that entertainment can be good even if it's not on tv.

saddly I know that many people have witnessed bad performances on the street and it has negative reinforcment to the public at large.

and certainly swingjunkie I am not saying that you are a bad performer I'm sure your a great one, what I'm saying is that the people are conditioned to a certain structure of performance and will judge accordingly.

it doesn't matter how good you are if you don't have a set show the people inmass will never know how good you are.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Feb 28, 2008 02:10PM)
On 2008-02-28 06:00, Chad wrote:
I've had mentors

Thank god for that.
Message: Posted by: BAH1313 (Feb 28, 2008 02:34PM)
Those werent Mentors Chad, those were Therapists...

and like Frank said "thank god for that"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Call me.
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Feb 28, 2008 02:37PM)
Tomaito tomato
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Feb 28, 2008 06:56PM)
Like I said...not exactly flawless kung-fu monks. ;)
Message: Posted by: BAH1313 (Feb 28, 2008 08:15PM)
Message: Posted by: G.Gilbert (Feb 29, 2008 02:24AM)
On 2008-02-27 18:17, swingjunkie wrote:
6 years of learning from DVDs and the Café[/quote]

Swingjunkie, what kind of material would you like to do in your show? Just curious,,

listen to chad and jimmy.. .

only thing I got to add to all of this is...

read some books .. I think Dvds are good, and I look for them to learn technical sleights that I cant figure out in books...

unlike DVDs, with books there is always kind of a gap you have to fill in when learning, and that gap is a part of you... your natural style..

Plus there is a lot more magic in books than on DVD... EVERYBODY HAS DVDS now adays.. but if you wanna find something NOBODY is doing look deep in a book. (jesus christ I'm glad I'm starting to take my own advice)

check out the modern magic manual..
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Feb 29, 2008 02:57AM)
Check out Jimmy's blog and look at his recommendations for resources. Check out all of the magic in your area, seek out performers giving lectures. Most folks will answer direct questions if they can, including things like, "how do I get started", but be reasonable. Don't impose on them.

I've learned more about magic by talking to performers than from reading The Café and viewing DVD's and quite a few books. These folks often said something that pointed out the significance of something that I've read or viewed on a video.