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Topic: A different corner.
Message: Posted by: gallagher (Apr 16, 2008 02:59PM)
A different show-style,.... a different attitude,... a different street-corner. The street corner where `the show´ isn´t expected. The rushed business corner, the smelly market corner,.... the empty evening corner. There´s lot´s of these spots, around the States,.... around the world. Virgin,.. untouched,... unplayed,... unnoticed. Creating `a Theater´, here, in these spaces, is holy.

While it´s unexpected; it´s all the more surprising, attractive,... yet, all the more scarey. Not so much for the potential audience, as for the potential performer. "Will it work?" "Will I bite the big one?!?" "Why am I doing this!?!?",... confidence has it´s price,..... experience.

That´s the reason to do it. The Experience. Hopping over your shadow,.... starting a show,.... in "no-man´s land",... this is the fastest way of becoming a performer. Something real. YOUR material will develope. The situations are always new, unpredictable. Your `self´ centers, and settles down quickly. Your SELF,... YOUR self... you become authentic. Confident in your Self. The pressure forces YOU out of your belly,----like the popping of a zit.,... `artistic iron pumping´. It´s not for all,... this is not a challenge,... it´s just another street corner.

I only mention it, because often, I get the feeling; that the feeling is: there are limitations/rules in street preforming. "This works,.... these things don´t". The only truth I´ve learned on the streets is: anything is possible. It´s a Magical place,... IF you can become yourself.
I´m not a `master´, or a guru, or a `know-it-better´; but I´ve tasted a drop of the wine,.... and it´s sweet!
fingers crossed,
gallagher
Message: Posted by: Professor Piper (Apr 18, 2008 01:18AM)
Really GREAT post pal!!!

I don't know from your Magic, but you have a way with words my unknown friend...

You seem to have a 'knack' for cutting to the meat of the issue, USE that in your performances and you shall SHINE!

No need for fingers, break some LEGS!

Bravo Gallagher!

Prof. Piper
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Apr 18, 2008 07:03AM)
Gallager,

That is almost poetry. Great post!

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: JohntheMagician (Apr 18, 2008 10:06AM)
Gallager

Words to live by, words to live by... After all it's not where you perform your magic, it's how you perform your magic. Any moment in time can be a magical experience if, and I do mean if your heart & soul is into whatever it is you are doing.

Kudos
Message: Posted by: gallagher (Apr 18, 2008 02:39PM)
Hey thanks guys, that´s why I had my fingers crossed. I wasn´t sure what kind of response I would get. It was just something I had running around in me for a while; had to let it out. Hey Professor, appreciate it. Dan,it´s an honour hearing from you,... I read your stuff and it keeps me going,.. you´re a thinker and a `do-er´.
John, I read your last Post, about playing `farmers markets´,..I liked that.
Thanks for the responces, thanks for thinking about it.

By the way, I played one of those kind of towns today. No other buskers, no other shows,... no guessing why. We turned two out of four shows!,... ahh, was OK.
I say `we´ because I cheat a little bit. I play with a partner. It take´s a lot of the pressure off,... I never `die´ alone!!
wish you all nice weather tomorrow,
and maybe the nerve to try one show
on `a different corner´.
I´ll cross my fingers for you.
gallagher
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Apr 19, 2008 07:02PM)
I agree strongly,

I have based my life on this concept and I believe it is the life of an adventurer, and it is the the most rewarding thing that has ever happened to me.

will it work? it's worked for me every time I tried it and I love it.

great post really inspiring.

great to hear from kindred spirits.

as always I look for more of your posts.

I have been following your posts for awhile and they're all great.

break a leg, fat hats, and may the loveliest of chicks be attracted to you.

your pal jimmy.
Message: Posted by: gallagher (Apr 21, 2008 01:57PM)
Hey Jimmy,.. hearing from you, made a happy-man smile twice as big! Thanks.

A little story, I know you´ll feel. A while back, I was watching a really ancient guy painting the streets. A smart-dress honey boy snickers, "Kinda nice, but can you LIVE from it!" "Live from it??", the old guy askes, "I LIVE, because I do it!"
,...ahh, that made my smile.

Romantics aside, when it comes down to it, it´ll still `a good day´s work´! The weather´s good, the fields have to be plowed!!,.. roll out the show!!!

all the best,
gallagher

p.s.: my wife sends her regards,... and wishes, `the sweetest babes be attracted to YOU!´ ,...she said that, with a smile,.. so I think she meant it.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Apr 21, 2008 02:46PM)
I totally agree. It's not about fighting for a pitch at the "circle" or "tourist spot", it's about having a good solid show and a good traffic flow.

My mentor said to me -find the direction that the competition is going, and move at a right angle to them. Carve your own niche!
Message: Posted by: TheGiz (Apr 22, 2008 03:15PM)
Sounds good, but if your location is too far off the beaten path you'll be performing for a guy and his girlfriend if you can get them to stop at all.
You'll be spending more energy trying to drum up a crowd than performing. Nobody wants to be first and if your too far off the path they won't stop at all. There is a reason buskers will fight for their spots. It's no fun to be standing around waiting for a crowd to perform for.

-Prof. Gizmo
Message: Posted by: Yellowcustard (Apr 23, 2008 10:43AM)
I like the idea. If you work an place your always at may be get to know were the of the track places are. So when the busy place get really busy, rather than battle pitches and suffocate in performers, go to the of the track places which will be like over flows and be busy places.
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Apr 23, 2008 12:44PM)
Prof gizmo,

in my search for all things sidewalk a friend of mine sent me a copy of your book.

it really raised my spirits when I was in California. I was having serious family problems and the California culture makes my skin crawl. so receiving your book was a huge thrill to me and reading definitely helped me cope with the situations I was dealing with.

great book really inspired me and I think it's a great book for the west coast.

in the states I'm really an east coast or southern worker and when I went to the west coast I was having trouble and your book fixed a lot of the problems with my act there. I was doing a lot of things there that wasn't playing well.

not only that but I think your book is a great "how to" book for beginners.

there was huge wisdom for the veteran performer in there as well.

I was gonna write on it at the other Café and in my blog, but I have been swamped so I will get to when I can.

thank you very much for your contribution and years you've put into our work.

your pal jimmy
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Apr 23, 2008 12:48PM)
Sounds good, but if your location is too far off the beaten path you'll be performing for a guy and his girlfriend if you can get them to stop at all.
You'll be spending more energy trying to drum up a crowd than performing. Nobody wants to be first and if your too far off the path they won't stop at all. There is a reason buskers will fight for their spots. It's no fun to be standing around waiting for a crowd to perform for.

-Prof. Gizmo

just thought that should be said again.


I got some guys I've been helping and this seems to always be the missing link.

eric evans also writes about it when he discusses velocity of traffic in his book the secret art of magic.
Message: Posted by: gallagher (Apr 23, 2008 02:22PM)
Hey Prof. Gizmo,
read your point. Hmm,...hmmm,... I not saying, `go play where there is absolutly nobody´. But I´m thinking,`go play where others aren´t playing, or have played.´ There´s lots more of these pitches then `fought over pitches´. Gosh, what an ugly picture eh, two buskers fighting over a pitch!,.. turns my stomach. After such hassles, I find it so hard to turn a good show,... even if I´ve won!,... blah.

A misconception, though, in my experience; is how much trafic is needed. For a hot show, it can be a lot less then most think. Also, the size of a audience can be misleading. I´ll take a nice tight attentive crowd, over the masses, any day.
,... and who knows; maybe his girlfriend has a sister!

all the best,
gallagher
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Apr 23, 2008 03:39PM)
I just mean that when I'm pioneering an obscure new pitch I make sure it has enough traffic to make me money, and then I get where the traffic is walking as close to me as possible, so I don't have to work so hard gettin em to come and watch me.

yeh I hate fighting for pitches very,very,very, rarely will I ever fight over a pitch, I don't want the trouble and I don't have time I need to work.

if I'm fighting for it I need it.
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Apr 23, 2008 05:37PM)
If you ever work frisco it's brutal, a spray paint artist once threw me off a pitch....right through some tables he said it was his spot. he tried to do it in the middle of my show but the people turned on him and threatened him with out any provocation from me, so he waited till they left.

and don't get me started on L.A.

I've worked a lot of the towns there up and down the coast.

on the west coast they are brutal, I've never had so much trouble anywhere else in the world. I'm not sure why, I think it's because of all the regulations in that state for everything not just busking just living or opening a business. I think it raises the tension or something I dunno.

anyway funny enough the people are easily offend in a show because of their insane p.c. wierdness almost completely unique to them. in trying to escape culture they have made a bizzar one themselves, nice beaches tho....heavily regulated but nice.

scary place.

anyway I think I've strayed to far off topic with my mental scars of california.

point is.....um....

I am with you fellahs.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Apr 23, 2008 05:41PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-22 16:15, TheGiz wrote:
Sounds good, but if your location is too far off the beaten path you'll be performing for a guy and his girlfriend if you can get them to stop at all.
You'll be spending more energy trying to drum up a crowd than performing. Nobody wants to be first and if your too far off the path they won't stop at all. [b]There is a reason buskers will fight for their spots.[/b] It's no fun to be standing around waiting for a crowd to perform for.

-Prof. Gizmo
[/quote]

well... unless their is a star embedded on the street under their feet with their name on it, I'd hardly say any spot belongs to any one busker...

I *did* say good show [b]and traffic flow[/b]

The main reason (in my not so humble opinion) [i]most[/i] of the hordes of metal men and breakdancing thugs fight for the circles and tourist spots is because their too lazy, too stupid and too untalented to work anywhere else and hope to make a buck.

As magicians we can mostly fly under the radar, and away from such spots and still make some cash, but I say let these jokers cut their own throats chasing after the same tourist dollars -their going to do it anyway unless that are legislated out of doing so with permits, restrictions and legal harassment... And frankly, I want no part of any of that.
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Apr 23, 2008 07:09PM)
Gaddy said,

"The main reason (in my not so humble opinion) most of the hordes of metal men and breakdancing thugs fight for the circles and tourist spots is because their too lazy, too stupid and too untalented to work anywhere else and hope to make a buck."

fact.
Message: Posted by: gallagher (Apr 24, 2008 12:31PM)
Hey Gaddy,
man, you found the words,... as hard and cold as they are.

One last little thought, though; just try a `different corner´, every now and then. Doesn´t have to become your life´s mission. Just every now and then. It´ll surprise you. It´ll open you up. It can be very humbling,... and very strenthening. You´ll come out somewhere else. ,...you´ll live some crazy stories,... promise. ,...just every now and then.

gallagher
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Apr 24, 2008 01:59PM)
I mostly work Fisherman's Wharf, so I'm a little jaded... Besides Jerry S. and the odd transient busker (who never seems to stick around all that long, hmmm....) I've got absolutely NO LOVE for the other performers out there. Thugs and crackheads, the lot of 'em. The musicians are OK -to your face. But they are a bunch of backstabbing scoundrels the moment you turn around.

I'm so jaded, it's hard to believe I've only been doing this for a year or so...

If I had the skills, I'd ditch my table all together and just do an out-of-pocket show -so I can get out of there if things get rough even quicker than I do. But the Cups and Balls is the only trick that I do that has the power to make 'em pay.

It's so bad out there that I've even thought of "going legit" and trying to get an audition at the Pier 39 stage or Ghiradhelli's Square, but that's just not my style... Also, I'm pretty sure my show isn't quite up to snuff -but I'm working on that.

It's not all bad, though. I've got a couple (2) secret spots here in SF that I've been working this season (and guarding from everyone else!) The money isn't amazing by any stretch of the imagination -but here in SF, to get ANY money out of the hands of the locals (who are probably hit up for money by the homeless about 100 times a day or more...) is an accomplishment!
Message: Posted by: Yellowcustard (Apr 25, 2008 04:27AM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-24 14:59, gaddy wrote:
I mostly work Fisherman's Wharf, so I'm a little jaded... Besides Jerry S. and the odd transient busker (who never seems to stick around all that long, hmmm....) I've got absolutely NO LOVE for the other performers out there. Thugs and crackheads, the lot of 'em. The musicians are OK -to your face. But they are a bunch of backstabbing scoundrels the moment you turn around.

I'm so jaded, it's hard to believe I've only been doing this for a year or so...

[/quote]


Oh man I feel for you dude I just want to say keep working at it man and why note go for the pier give it a try. As for tricks out of pockets and easy to carry stuff iam sure you know and probable thought about one way or another but rope magic is good something like a coat escape or grandmother necklace. Jimmy talks a lot had a video of some one do somthing like this on his blog

I don’t know if this helped but keep going ill think and pray for keep going.
Message: Posted by: TheGiz (Apr 25, 2008 11:21AM)
Thanks for the kind words Jimmy. Glad the book gave you a lift. I've re-edited the book and added a few things to the original. I also changed my pitch from just doing a trickle to having a specific beginning and end rather than an ongoing show. I still leave the money can out for the trickle, but I also make a pitch at the end. My hats are bigger doing this. Don't like to miss any chance for a donation.

Prof. Gizmo
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Apr 25, 2008 11:40AM)
I leave my doctors bag open through out the show people come in now and again drop money.
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Apr 25, 2008 11:40AM)
By the way that's me doin the rope through body.
Message: Posted by: TheGiz (May 3, 2008 11:10PM)
To gallagher,
I can smell a good pitch. There just aren't that many around. That's why people guard them like they do. I've worked 100 yards from my usual pitch and made half what I did at the original site. Location, location, location IS important. that's why Jeff Sheridan and Chris Capehart got into a brawl over spots in Central Park. They are not all the same. Don't post your theories about the street. You can tell the actual performers from the posers. Some of the posts here are nothing but personal opinions not experience. My BS detector goes off the charts with some of the ramblings here. Some theories don't work. You're entitled to your opinion, but you'll go broke on the street.
Prof. Gizmo
Message: Posted by: gallagher (May 4, 2008 07:10AM)
Hi Giz,
Thanks for the kind words. `BS´, that stands for `Bachlors of Science´, or? Actually my formal schooling isn´t so in depth. I´ve spent most of my life out of doors, playing in the streets.

My philosophy/experience of `a different corner´, is the `thought´, of not only discovering news spots, but CREATING spots as well. For me, that is the magic of the streets. `Creating´, this means, establishing something that wasn´t there before. `Creating´, something NEW,... scarey thought, eh Giz?
"Some theories don´t work.", hmmm, I think what `works´, is what we believe in. Unfortunately, most only believe in what they have seen. `This pitch works.´`This trick works.´ `This doesn´t,...´ ,...look how limited our craft is!!,...can almost smell corpse.
Fantasy, Imagination, Creativity, Trying Something New; all such holy phrases.
The real holiness, is the balls to go out and do it, and do it, and do it,... because we believe in it.
I think it´s great that you went out and tried it!!,... even if it was only 100 meters. Yes, location IS important, but there are a lot more spots out there then you can imagine,... spots waiting to be created. We just lack `the creators´,...pity,... how we limit ourselves,... or, simply sell ourselves out for a few cents more.

,...argue for your limitations, and they´re yours.

`chipped´, but not `broke´,
gallagher
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (May 4, 2008 12:56PM)
Gallagher,

I like the idea and I hope you would pursue it, if for nothing else then discovering and opening more pitches helps all of us.

but it can cost you money, it is a gamble, a pitch can make you or break you. this is a fact.

I try and do both. if I need money, I'll work a "for sure" spot and just do a commercial show and what ever works. when I am financially secure enough, I go out exploring. I HAVE FOUND THAT IN MY EXPLORING SOMETIMES I HAVE FOUND BETTER PITCHES THAT MADE MORE MONEY THEN THE POPULAR SPOT. after that I would help out other performers and let them know where they are so they could work too. old school workers don't like this they want less performers and more secret spots. but some are starting to come around. some never will.

I think that if we all work to unregulate towns and search for new and better pitches and create more talented buskers to go in those new spots, society will begin to become familiar and more approving of us....this is about more credability and more money for our industry.

I know this sounds like I'm dreaming, but so does thinking you could make a living on the street doing what you love....heh I found out that wasn't a dream, now I'm living the dream and I'm grateful to everyone who made it possible for me to find out about it and learn how to do it. I've been doing it some years and travelled the world doing it.

gallagher, I believe in what your doin, I'm doin it also, just don't hurt your self financially doin it.

I assure you I travel all over and the first thing I do is try and find out where all the buskers work, the town spot. I go there and check out the situation first, work some, then go looking, often I have found spots that people from their own town never realized and this helps me if I need some thing in the new town they are willing to help me out now.

sometimes a bad spot is a few feet away sometimes a good spot is a few feet away like gizmo was saying, it takes an experienced worker to be able to discern where the right spot is.

good luck gallagher with this venture, like I said before, I believe strongly in this I have built my career on it. and it has never failed me.


gizmo I feel your pain about guys with less experience giving advice to pros, when I said it everybody ripped my head off. if you think I'm off base here with my views please let me know.

your pal jimmy.
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (May 4, 2008 01:18PM)
I would like to add one more thing the #1 REASON THERE IS LESS SPOTS IN A TOWN IS REGULATION.

our popularity and lawyers is the answer here.

if you have some sort of power in your home town or know some one who does please work on this...imagine if you could work any where, I mean anywhere, you wanted the money you could make and the better shows you could do.

since I've been back home recently here in New Orleans I've already helped my friends here open 3 new spots that pay. I played a smaller role then them, but I helped. I'm proud of that.
Message: Posted by: TheGiz (May 4, 2008 02:35PM)
I have had to "settle" for certain spots. It's just so much easier in a good spot vs an OK spot. I once had a goood spot working away at a street fair and 5 college guys showed up with pots & pans. Nothing but noise with a can out for money. They set up 5' behind me. 5 against 1 They drove me to another spot. I did OK but it wasn't my 1st choice. I don't like to waste my energy and voice drawing a crowd. Certain spots eliminate the need to use that kind of energy. People just come up and the show starts. Feng Shway??? I can smell them. They are often off limits or super regulated, hence the competition. Seattle has a place at the Pike Place Market. . .under the clock. It's the primo "spot." Some performers wait 3 hours for 1 hour on the spot. I find other places where I can set up and not be "moved on" by another performer. (Pike Place Market has 1 hour spots). I don't make as much money, but I do get to perform without having to move. I agree with Jimmi. . .I had a secret spot. The mother lode, but it eventually got regulated and disallowed. So the good spots are at a premium at least in Seattle. A guy could do well in a new town without other buskers, but I'd bet LegalMan would show up and close things down pretty quickly.
The only other problem is, the people who live in small towns or non busking places often get this fearful look on their face...they pull their kids away from your table, won't look you in the eye. They don't know how react. This takes energy to put them at ease, get them laughing, let them know your not playing 3 card monte or selling stolen watches. I hate having to do that. I've even borrowed Gazzo's line, "Parents who don't let their children watch magic are alcoholics who don't really love their children." that's how aggraviated I get. I offer a good time, some humor, and a memorable experience. GIVE ME A CHANCE!!! A good spot eliminates most of that CRAP!

Prof. Gizmo
Message: Posted by: gallagher (May 4, 2008 04:47PM)
Nice hearing your thoughts guys, before I go to bed; I can sleep easier! Jimmy, nice hearing your ideas; you think, and experience, AND share a lot. Always good stuff.

Here´s my bottom line though,... the thought behind this whole idea,..`The Big Secret´. Show biz, Entertainment,... `The Streets´; it comes down to Confidence.
The big `C´ comes from Experience. YOUR Experiences. The same pitches, the same tricks, the same lines,.... the same Experience.,... usually someone elses! We make the cage. Broaden your veiws,... it´ll pay for itself,... as uncomforatable as it will taste at first.

Why are 99% of our showmen using the same stuff,.. in the same places? Because they all SAW it work. `Proven stuff´. That gives them the Confidence to perform it confidently,...e.i. `sucessfully´. To go farther, though;.. to go beyond being a "Gazzo-, Cellini-, or Talkalot-Copycat-Zombie", we must take our own steps. Learn to walk our own dance. We all have it in us,.. all a different motley music. All great. All blessed.,.. often the courage falls us though. That´s why I´m saying, `try a different corner.,... every now and then´,.. baby steps at first. But OUR steps.

Jimmy, I´ll get killed for saying this, but; what WE create, express from ourselves, is blessed. You´ll never go broke,...on the contrary.(I know that don´t fit here, in the Magic Café,... but it fits on `the streets´. And it´s not `a secret´, it´s a Revelation.)

sleep well,
don´t bite the bed-bugs,
gallagher
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (May 4, 2008 07:52PM)
Giz and gallagher,

good stuff.
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (May 4, 2008 10:52PM)
I thought of this thread today on a new pitch I was workin. A buddy of mine came out with his family today, Amon. Some of you know him from the message boards. He used to work this pitch...it's not exactly busking. It's paid street performing for an outdoor mall. He gave me his contract, and then came out today to see how I was gettin on.

Anyway. I was set up under the semi-permanent band tent in the main park and had pretty big shows all day. Had my amp cranked.

Well, Amon comes up and says he never set up in that spot all last summer. He worked this other spot by these flagpoles.

Long story short. Amon and I both read the pitch totally differently. It's hard to say which spot is better...ya can't hat your crowds at this place. But, it really struck me that I woulda never thought to try settin up near the flagpoles and he never thought to set up under the band tent (which apparently is only used by bands in the evening, after our shifts).

I get the feeling that not everyone can work the same pitch. Too big, too small, gotta work too hard to draw a crowd, too much disruption, too close to music, too many store entrances, whateva.

I think maybe the thought here is that you gotta search until ya find a pitch that fits the show you're trying to deliver.

I'm still figurin this all out. Maybe I should learn to be more flexible and adapt to different pitches. Hopefully that'll come with more time in a larger variety of settings.

I get excited to work a new place, or to stroll indoors at some function with my routines. I'm into the thought of exploring new pitches. But for now, I have to find ones that fit my shows...I don't think I'm at a point where I can fit my shows to any/every pitch.

Don't like the feeling of not being able to be the correct size that the show needs to be at certain times: low, small, big, elevated, tight, controlled, loose, playful.

I guess I'll either learn to adapt or just be limited in my ability to make money where ever I am. On a related note, I'm still trying to get my head around this thought of 'workin a trickle' too. I think I'd switch to balloons at a pitch that called for that. Dunno though. All I know is I don't have a show that would be good for a trickle.

Prof. Gizmo, I got your lecture notes a while back when we traded DVDs. Still enjoy reading through it. Good stuff!

Ok, now I'm just ramblin
Message: Posted by: gaddy (May 4, 2008 11:36PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-04 23:52, Chad wrote:
I get the feeling that not everyone can work the same pitch. Too big, too small, gotta work too hard to draw a crowd, too much disruption, too close to music, too many store entrances, whateva.

I think maybe the thought here is that you gotta search until ya find a pitch that fits the show you're trying to deliver.
[/quote]

very true- if I try to work a large circle, I [b]always[/b] get swallowed up in the space, and my speckies usually stand, like 50 feet away -not a greatway to encourage the hat. On the other hand, sometimes my sidewalk show crowd gets too big and is a nuisance. It's tricky... My experience is that I [b]always[/b] make better hats working a sidewalk.

[quote]

On a related note, I'm still trying to get my head around this thought of 'workin a trickle' too. I think I'd switch to balloons at a pitch that called for that. Dunno though. All I know is I don't have a show that would be good for a trickle.
[/quote]

Yeah. I don't do this, but another busker on the wharf that I know does. They will just "commando style" hit up individual people with a trick or two (Of the "Pick a card" variety) and then just ask for donations. He'd do well to add balloons to his "show" so he can hit up little kids who cannot get the magic folks too. But balloons are frowned upon by the flatfoots on the wharf (after all, that's "vending"). I don't know what his total hats are like, but more likely than not from what I've seen, usually, the folks he works do slip him a buck or 2...