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Topic: How to Approach Strangers?
Message: Posted by: DaChangsta (Aug 2, 2008 09:36PM)
How should I approach total strangers without seeming like some weirdo, forceful, irritating, etc.?

What would I say if I wanted to perform
- cards
- sponge balls
- thimbles
- stuff in general

What would I say to get them interested and not reject me right off the bat?

Not for busking purposes - simply just want to entertain people when I'm in a place (i.e. mall) with nothing to do

What type of people should I approach (anything I should watch for in terms of the actions they are engaged in when I plan on approaching)?

If this topic already exists, please provide a link

Thanks in advance!
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Aug 3, 2008 12:24AM)
"Hey dude, can I show you something kinda wierd?"


Works for me but then again I have a sort of crazy look along with the personality. You can leave off the kinda wierd part.

I had a college show a few weeks ago and the crowd was a bit sparce with just a few minutes to go. I came up to a few at the tables and asked if they were going to be around for the freak show. I do mostly mentalism with some bizarre now and then. Unless they are small children, mentioning a magic show may not be the best idea. Asking to see some magic is normally okay though.
Message: Posted by: T. Sebastian (Aug 3, 2008 12:38PM)
Just be casual.
"What's up guys, you got a minute?"
"Cool. Check this out."
Chances are they'll think you're a freak no matter what. If they tell you to go away, don't take it personally.
Message: Posted by: jstone (Aug 5, 2008 10:56PM)
I'm Curious:
What are your reasons for showing magic to strangers? I know some people will think I'm being a jerk, but I'm genuinely curious what your motivation is.

When I say "strangers" I'm referring to strangers who aren't a)expecting a magician or b)sitting in a place (like a restaurant) where it wouldn't be as weird.
Message: Posted by: Michael Peterson (Aug 6, 2008 02:16PM)
I would assume it is to practice, you can only show so many tricks to your cat ;)



Mike
Message: Posted by: jstone (Aug 6, 2008 05:19PM)
[quote]
On 2008-08-06 15:16, Michael Peterson wrote:
I would assume it is to practice, you can only show so many tricks to your cat ;)
Mike
[/quote]
Mike,

Thanks for your guess. I, too, have my guesses, but I would like to know what DaChangsta is thinking to better understand his specific needs/motivation, etc.
Message: Posted by: Michael Peterson (Aug 6, 2008 06:14PM)
Jeff,

I'm sure we will find out shortly.


:)

Mike
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Aug 6, 2008 07:05PM)
I like this Jeff more and more.....
Message: Posted by: jstone (Aug 6, 2008 07:31PM)
[quote]
On 2008-08-06 20:05, MagicSanta wrote:
I like this Jeff more and more.....
[/quote]
He's pretty cool... But man don't get too close to him; you might go into orbit around him.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Aug 7, 2008 09:52PM)
If you look more relaxed, the one you approach is going to be more relaxed. Have the item in your hand already before you approach the person. If you walk up to the person, next reach in your pocket, they might think you are about to pull out a weapon.

My number approach is with sponge rabbits. I walk up to the person and say "You dropped this." It disappears with a retention pass. The person is already excited. I already "broke the ice." I already have them undercontrol because they would be interested in seeing more.
Message: Posted by: DaChangsta (Aug 8, 2008 07:07PM)
Hey

Thanks for the replies!

As to why I want to randomly perform magic for strangers
a) Practice
b) Kill off boredom for myself (while hopefully also helping them kill their boredom and perhaps make their day more interesting than it was)
c) Meet new people (i.e. in University)
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Aug 9, 2008 03:09PM)
When in a public/semi-public place like a doctors's office, motor vehicle inspection, a subway station or the like, where people aren't on the move, then do something to attract some attention.
Produce a coin, roll the coin then vanish it. Float a matchbook or something. Do a card flourish. Whatever. When you see them looking, look up, smile and ask if they want to see a trick.

The street is tough because people are moving from place to place.
Message: Posted by: Doctor Xombie (Aug 9, 2008 09:28PM)
[quote]
On 2008-08-07 22:52, Dynamike wrote:

My number approach is with sponge rabbits. I walk up to the person and say "You dropped this." It disappears with a retention pass. The person is already excited. I already "broke the ice." I already have them undercontrol because they would be interested in seeing more.
[/quote]
That's good. :) I like.
Message: Posted by: E.C. Valdemar (Aug 10, 2008 07:07AM)
[quote]
On 2008-08-02 22:36, DaChangsta wrote:
How should I approach total strangers without seeming like some weirdo, forceful, irritating, etc.?

What would I say if I wanted to perform
- cards
- sponge balls
- thimbles
- stuff in general

What would I say to get them interested and not reject me right off the bat?

Not for busking purposes - simply just want to entertain people when I'm in a place (i.e. mall) with nothing to do

What type of people should I approach (anything I should watch for in terms of the actions they are engaged in when I plan on approaching)?

Thanks in advance!
[/quote]

Hey man. I know what you mean. I posted a thread about my view on how to approach. No one comment on it. *Scratching Head* Anyway, here's the link. I hope it help you out.
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=265658&forum=92&0
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Aug 11, 2008 12:49AM)
[quote]
On 2008-08-07 22:52, Dynamike wrote:
My number approach is with sponge rabbits. I walk up to the person and say "You dropped this." It disappears with a retention pass. The person is already excited. I already "broke the ice." I already have them undercontrol because they would be interested in seeing more.
[/quote]
The top 4 lines you will receive from a surprised spectator when doing the above:

"How did you do that?"

"Where did it go?"

"You're a magician."

"Do that again."
Message: Posted by: magic924 (Aug 11, 2008 10:10AM)
Going up to people is definatly a strong point for me so let me see. Key things to remember:

1. Don't make them think your gonna pick their pockets! If you walk around nervous to go up to someone and you keep looking at them. Your going to look suspicious. I personally wouldn't want someone to keep eyeing me. It makes people uncomfortable.

2. Don't ask them if they wanna see a magic trick. That gives them the opportunity to say no. Plus they may think your talking about some trick their kid has been bugging them with ever since they got their Marshal Brodein magic set for christmas.

3. When I do street magic just for fun I approach people as if I know them. That's really the best way to describe it. If I'm using the hummingbird card I will say something like "have you ever seen a card just float in mid air?" Don't pause just go into it. I sometimes use coins so if I'm like in line for food at the food court and I just feel like doing magic sometimes I'll say "have you ever seen a quarter do this?" and go right into a coin routine. Sometimes if people are walking by I will just grab their attention by say "hey guys check this out"

4. I'm not sure why I'm numbering these but it's fun.

5. Look happy. Be enthusiastic. You have to be an actor and when you want to draw a crowd then be louder.

6. RECAP!!!!!One thing I've learned and I love is how to Recap. If someone comes over to watch you do magic and your halway through your amazing card trick, they aren't going to know whats going on they just see a turned over card in the deck etc. So recap let them know what's happened and most of the time they will react very similiar to the people who've been watching the entire time.

Hope this has helped.
Message: Posted by: Airave (Aug 11, 2008 04:07PM)
I always carry a couple/few TTs loaded with
various colors.... so I can just walk up to a couple....

...and ask them "What is the color of Love? Yes, Red!
OMG there is so much between you.... may I materialize
some of it for You? :D?

Or "Oh wow, look at the cloudy skies...
Such a Beautiful woman like yourself
(playing to the husband/bf as neccesary)
always brings Blue Skies! (Produces blue silk).

LOL, I often amaze strangers and emberrase Family
and Friends out in the Street! So much Fun!

Be Prepared and Be Spontainious!
They will Love You for it!
Message: Posted by: DaChangsta (Aug 12, 2008 07:59PM)
Hey!

Thanks for all the responses!

Extra thanks to Jaz, Magic924, and Airave!

I'll hopefully be able to try the suggestions out sometime soon (will be going on a cruise Thursday so I'll definitely try the stuff out then)
Message: Posted by: Airave (Aug 13, 2008 11:58AM)
[quote]
On 2008-08-12 20:59, DaChangsta wrote:
Hey!

Thanks for all the responses!

Extra thanks to Jaz, Magic924, and Airave!

I'll hopefully be able to try the suggestions out sometime soon (will be going on a cruise Thursday so I'll definitely try the stuff out then)
[/quote]

Thank You! Always happy to help. I'm a better performer
then a technical Magician, but get the most mileage out of
what works for me. I Loves TT's and Rubber Bands and Playing
the Moment!

Wow, have a great cruise! Are you a hired Magician?
Message: Posted by: DaChangsta (Aug 13, 2008 01:03PM)
[quote]
On 2008-08-13 12:58, Airave wrote:

Thank You! Always happy to help. I'm a better performer
then a technical Magician, but get the most mileage out of
what works for me. I Loves TT's and Rubber Bands and Playing
the Moment!

Wow, have a great cruise! Are you a hired Magician?
[/quote]

Haha - thanks! Not a hired magician - magic is just a hobby - however I would like to entertain others with it as I've always loved it when I've been entertained with magic (Before I started magic, I was one of those people who doesn't care about how a trick was done - as long as I'm entertained by it [I'm still like that, unless of course I want to learn the trick so I can perform it too]).
Message: Posted by: Airave (Aug 13, 2008 01:46PM)
That is cool! I do stuff at airports,
in line at the store or gas station,
anywhere for any reason... just to
get a smile, make someones day.

See a group of kids? Thrill them!

That is Magic! :D
Message: Posted by: jstone (Aug 14, 2008 07:52PM)
I'm a fan of the approach like the rabbits... did you drop this.

I've used Dingle's "Hey did you drop this red knife? No? How 'bout this white knife?" Using the color changing knives of course.

I've also done this: "Hey did you drop this quarter? No? Are you sure? Look at the date. Can you see the date?" (pass my hand over quarter and change to jumbo quarter) "Can you see the date now?"

At a Jim Sisti lecture years ago he had this approach:
"Did you drop this purse (coin purse)? No? Are you sure? There's a coin in here, a key, a dollar bill, and this." He then pulls out a full sized wooden coat hanger (without the hook). Very funny and very startling.
Message: Posted by: Gate (Sep 3, 2008 10:29AM)
Here a little a something which I always like to do with the sponge balls. It's one of those props I always carry around with me at all times.

What you do is very simple. You go up to a group of people and say: "Hey, guys, I got something to show you all...these are my balls!" Bearing in mind, your body language and facial expression plays a very important part in this. After you say, "I got something to show you all," you want to lean in to the group and look left and right as if you are, like, showing them something very secret.

And I guarantee you will definitely get a huge laugh out of this. From here, you can simply move on to whatever routine you do with your sponge balls
Message: Posted by: Glen (Oct 6, 2008 02:56PM)
I've approached people and with a smile said, "Could I annoy the crap out of y'all for a minute?" And they are most always curious to find out how or what I mean by that. Others notice, and soon you have an audience.
Message: Posted by: Circus Bambouk (Oct 15, 2008 11:40AM)
Continuing in the "Did you drop/lose this?" vein...Fire Wallet. That has worked wonders for me.

In a bar, it works well to begin showing stuff to the bartender. Eventually, more people will take interest, and you can expand from there.

If I'm dressed as a performer, I just crouch down or sit on a rock in a park and begin laying out two sponge balls. Within sixty seconds, I'll have at least one family watching. By the end of the second phase of the routine, I'll have about 40 to 50 people.

To start a larger street show, I inflate a 260 balloon. Then, I swallow it. Slowly.

Reading what I just wrote indicates to me that I belong more on the busker thread than this one; just wanted to share.

-Brian