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Topic: Tips on performing to random spectators...
Message: Posted by: DJP (Apr 15, 2003 01:32PM)
Dear all,

I thought this forum would be more popular... however...

A friend and I are going to go onto the streets and film ourselves doing magic to random people to asess ourselves in our real world environment.

Any tips on this would be appreciated as we are accomplished magicians but novice street performers.

Message: Posted by: phonic69 (Apr 16, 2003 08:16AM)
Yavid, firstly may I commend you, it takes a brave person to begin performing street magic!

Tips wise, be kind to the spectator!

Message: Posted by: Rocky (Apr 16, 2003 03:33PM)
Tip number one: Be very selective. Observe before you approach. The normal looking dude strolling down the street could be a recently released mental patient who was traumatized at a young age by a perverted magician.

Tip number two: Get permission from the spectator(s) to videotape before you go into your schtick.

Tip number three: Unless you have been doing magic seriuosly for a number of years, don't trounce off into the street pretending to be David Blaine. Better off taping grandma's pained expression as she watches you do NFW and wondering when her laxative will kick in.
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Apr 16, 2003 06:16PM)
Or simply do magic for everyone, then edit the video later...
Message: Posted by: David_Libertine (Apr 16, 2003 07:57PM)
Pay no attention to anyone that says anything negative.

Carpe Diem... do your thing.

It is much too easy to be negative. Don't worry about rejection.

Get out on the streets and do your stuff.

Be different. Don't worry about things that
"aren't done"... Be sneaky. Do things people tell you not to do... "Guerilla magic".

Pay no attention to what other magicians say are their best effects. You are not them.

Develop your own style and flair. Be you... not David Blaine. There are already too many David Blaines.

Be flashy... let the people see you and approach you.

Be in their face... walk up to people who look bored or unhappy. Change their day. Be the magic.

You could do one little thing that could change their whole outlook.

As for permission to videotape... if you are videotaping on the street in public view you don't have to get anyone's permission.

If the video is only for your review purpose... you don't need to get anyone's permission.

If you videotape inside a business or other property you need signed releases from the property owner and the people you videotape.

(I spent years in TV and do video production now.)

Well... I'm sure that will ruffle a few feathers...) ;)

Message: Posted by: Rocky (Apr 17, 2003 08:05AM)
Please, please, please be very careful. My first reply to your post was a bit off the cuff and done with a bit of sarcasm. I shouldn't have been so candid. I believe it was Michael Close who commented on David Blaines street style and its possible reprecussions. He pointed out that David had a crew of technicians as well as a producer who could hold his own in the weight room surrounding him as he approached people.

I'm sure that the edited material contained more than a few people who didn't want their gloomy day changed with a magic trick. As magicians it's hard to escape our sometimes distorted reality of peoples need for magic in their lives.

Imagine walking down the street and being approached by a trombone player. he asks, "want to hear something cool?" and starts in with a rousing rendition of When the Saints go Marching In.

Being the type of person I am I would probably stop for a quick second and listen. However, I would also wonder why this guy isn't a good enough musician to be playing in a band for people who WANT to listen to music in a comfortable chair in a theatre or jazz club somewhere.

As a friend of mine once commented after a restaurant magician visited us table side,
"Why is he doing magic in a *&)**(^ restaurant? Isn't he good enough to do a real magic show?"

Face it guys and gals, street magic is nothing more, a sophisticated form of panhandling. Magic deserves a better reputation than that. I don't want to discourage anyone from their dreams. If doing street magic is your dream, go for it. Just keep in mind that David Blaines best trick was the editing of his television specials to make it appear that street magic is an easy way to perform magic.

Believe me, I've been there.
Message: Posted by: tattoo (Apr 17, 2003 09:57AM)
I love street magic, I do it every day. I leave the house, I am ready to go magic. When I get gas and the clerk gives me my change I pull a quarter and do a vanish and they get a kick out of it. I don't take up any more of their time than I have to.

But yes, you do have to be careful. People value their time and will be defensive if you take it. Pick your spectator carefully I usually approach someone who isn't going anywhere anyway, for instance the gas station is great.

I have always had positive feedback so go ahead and do street magic regardless of what anyone says, do your thing not theirs. Make people smile :bigsmile:
Message: Posted by: Mago Mai (Apr 17, 2003 01:43PM)
In my country, if you are walking by a park or the sidewalk and someone approaches you asking if you want to see something he is probably a drug dealer, a con artist, or a guy trying to sell stolen goods.

Another thing is that most of the people here don't like to be taped unless they know for sure they don't need to comb their hair or after checking in the mirror, if they look great or not.

I think is as hard as aproaching a woman at a bar or any place and ask her out before you even speak some words with her.

Mago Mai
Message: Posted by: Michaels (Apr 18, 2003 03:34PM)
As Dave stated do what you feel comfortable doing, but may I add, make sure the people you're doing it to are also comfortable.
Message: Posted by: markkwan (Jun 13, 2003 11:02AM)
I usually go up to people who look bored. I mostly go to bars and that is usually how I meet new people. One time I did a trick with the kaps on fire, and it quickly drew a lot of attention in the dark bar. It made her day, and by doing so, it made mine.
Message: Posted by: djvirtualreality (Jun 13, 2003 12:15PM)
I walk up to people in my shcool, and when I visited my old school I had huge crowds.....but they were friends. I don't know how to approach someone on the streets. If I asked if they want to see something they might think I'm weird.....Should I say excuse me may I show you something? What should I say? Thanks in advance
Message: Posted by: denny_Corby (Jun 13, 2003 01:10PM)
I just say, hey man, check this out. And they normally watch. And you just have to know who to walk up to and who not to.
Message: Posted by: VampOfVegas (Jun 16, 2003 07:59AM)
I usually walk up to people who are sitting down. Like men waiting for their wives or girlfriends to get out of a store. *whim shot* It's hard to do tricks in Vegas because people are always moving, wanting to do something, no time.. need to check out that new casino. That's why I like to approach people who are just sitting down, looking as if they are waiting for something (you). Also, I've been there.. I've been afraid, having my friend "you go first.. I'll go next".

You seriously have nothing to worry about, they will probably never see you again and if they do, :shrug: probably won't remember you if you didn't do any magic to them. So just go out there and ask someomeone if they'd like to see magic, etc. Just don't walk up to them with a camera, it just makes them insecure.. as would I if someone with a trombone and a camera came up to me :)
Message: Posted by: Jesse Dains (Jun 16, 2003 08:04AM)
What David said about the legal side of video taping in public is true.

“Ask for permission to videotape... if you are videotaping on the street in public view you don't have to get anyone's permission.”

But for me, when anyone gets out a video camera during my routine, I pull out a small camera and point it at them.

Is it just me? Do you let people video your performance?

Message: Posted by: jerryd (Jun 29, 2003 01:39PM)
Don´t be afraid of blowing tricks up. There will always be mistakes and no one will remember those anyway. Perform in areas that you are familiar with and try to be loose. It´s good to plan all the camera-angles and your patters before. When you learn to be loose you don´t even have to think what to say. If you feel comfortable so will everybody around you. :P
Message: Posted by: JesseMagic (Jun 29, 2003 03:53PM)
If you mess up, who cares... you won't ever see them again in your life... be calm and respectful, if they say "no thanks" just move on to the next person... be respectful towards others. :coolest:
Message: Posted by: stine (Jun 30, 2003 06:22PM)
When I was doing close-up full time I would go up to a table and ask " were you the one's that needed the matches"? then I did John Kennedy's flaming match saying " good, we've had a number of complaints". The point being instead of trying to get them interested in a magic trick you could do something extremely visual close to someone and watch as they come to YOU asking to see more!