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Topic: What's in your street routine?
Message: Posted by: mmreed (Jan 3, 2009 10:59PM)
I'm curious what the rest of you do for your busking routine...

Are you keeping it short with a few strong effects? If so, what type of effects are you doing...coins, cards, etc?

Basically, I'm looking to get an idea of how long your routine is, what styles of effects do you use, and if you are changing it up a lot (if so, why?)...

How many hats are you turning an hour?

What is the typical size crowd you draw, and what areas are you hitting?

What are some of the crowd building techniques you use?

What/Who are your influences?
(Mine are Cellini, Kozmo, Jimmy Talksalot, Slydini.)

As I work on overhauling my own work, I wanted to get some meaningful discussion on busking going here....
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Jan 4, 2009 12:16AM)
I see several views and no replies, so I'll throw in here. I'm not sure my show is representative of anything, but... I do only three things. I gather a crowd with my concertina, and I do a couple of comedy bits with that. I pull 'magic' (D'Lite) from the ears and elbows of the kids (and occasional grown-ups). I introduce my partner, Henry, and we do about 7 minutes of 'material' and a few minutes of ad-lib/interaction with the crowd. We pass the hat. Overall, about 15 minutes. I can do three or so an hour.
I typically work around, but not actually on the Riverwalk. My crowds vary from ten to forty or so. I don't work amplified (although I have the gear and am considering trying it, but it can draw negative attention from cops, and it's more luggage to schlep.)
I guess my only direct influence is Cellini, who I met (at a lecture) and who really inspired me.
Crowd building... play the concertina, stop one person to ask them a question about the concertina. (Have you ever seen one of these? Do you know what it's called?) Engage them with some funny conversation. The one person or family forms the seed of the crowd. I begin to stop others and bring them in. Once it feels like an audience, I introduce Henry.
Message: Posted by: ROBERT BLAKE (Jan 4, 2009 03:04AM)
By the way you ask your questions, you are talking about the classic street performer type of magician. Cellini, Kozmo, etc.

For me, there a a few different kinds of street magic.

the 5 minute act / statue or robot type
the classic style / table and C&B - 40 people
the circle show / full circle around performer - 100 or more people
street theater spectacles

I am a circle show performer. My show lasts about 30 min.
I start with a bull whip getting attention.
Set up the show and talk.
Do a game with a child or a Stiff Rope with a child.
Egg Bag - around 8 min.
Thumb Tie - 6 min.
Lasso and finale - 10 min.

How long everything lasts depends on how quick I have a suitable audience to start with.

I am not a machine type magician, so doing 4 to 6 shows is taking a lot of me.

I am not a boardwalk magician. I never liked the C & B with the table kind of magician because everybody does that (except Kozmo, who has a totally different brand of magic) and THINKS that that show looks like a street performer. And, it seems that everybody needs to end with 6 oranges and a melon. So, I want different ways to create my own unique style of street magic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXIv-jZQb3c
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Jan 4, 2009 08:33AM)
Draw: Juggling, Balloon Dog, Sponge balls
Middle: Coins
Finale: Mentalism

I usually go 15-20 minutes with hats from $5-$50+ depending on conditions (external and internal).

The show works surrounded, but I'm more comfortable working a half circle.

I use a table & amp, but I can do a modified version out of my pockets.

My influences are Harry Anderson, Charlie Frye, Whit Haydn & Chris Capehart with invaluable advice given to me from Bobby Maverick and Kozmo.

I can only do 2 shows an hour and max out after 4-6 shows total...sometimes my voice wears out, sometimes I'm outta energy, sometimes I'm just beat up.

I'm a part-timer and have only been working this show for one season. The year before, I was working all kinds of routines looking for my groove. Before that, I was working restaurants more and only busking with balloons.

I still need an alternate finale because it's my finale that wears me out so much. I have a 2nd finale in mind...but not sure how it'll play/pay. I'll try it out this spring.
Message: Posted by: ttorres (Jan 4, 2009 11:05AM)
I too work with a table and use an amp and I do a half circle show that runs 20 minutes. I also do a 7 minute sidewalk show depending on foot traffic. I always open with “Red Hot Mama” but I have alternate ending for half circle shows, I close with the C&B or Linking rings. However, the middle of my show is a bit flexible. For example I perform a ring and rope routine, egg bag, Slydini’s knotty silks and Bill in lemon. Depending on the crowd I may add to or cut part of my show. Now I close my sidewalk show with the ambitious card/card to wallet.

My audience will consist of ten to say sixty people. As for hats I turn as many as time allows.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Jan 4, 2009 12:17PM)
Robert I just watched your clip and if I could I would have rated it 5 stars, exerlent.
Happy New Year
Mario
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jan 4, 2009 01:05PM)
Today >>> Coin manips, giant coin climax.
Rings (4 ring routine).
Chop Cup (Brookes) With Coconut under hat Finale.
15 minet shows (Includes gather and hatting).
Spot shared with 2 other buskers.
2 spots each per hour.
Worked for 3 hours, small crowds 15-40 sidewalk setup. Hats shared we came out with £87 each and the flu.

Ken.
Message: Posted by: bwarren3 (Jan 4, 2009 04:00PM)
Mario,
I also just watched Robert's act, great show, very entertaining and very nice crowd.
Where was this footage shot from??
Bill
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Jan 4, 2009 10:01PM)
Wow! Robert, great video! It looks like an excellent show. The bullwhip is a perfect draw, it's loud AND visual. I love the fancy roping at the end. I'm working on that myself and I know how hard it is (I'm struggling with it).I do a cowboy version of my show as "Prairie Dog Dave - Cowboy Ventriloquist". The costuming is way more comfortable for the hot months here than the top hat and tails are, but I'd like to get my roping good enough to use it in the middle of my act. It makes a great finale for you though because it's so good. That big loop is really impressive! I noticed you didn't video pasing the hat. I suspect you did ok with that crowd. Great stuff, thanks for sharing.
Message: Posted by: ROBERT BLAKE (Jan 5, 2009 01:48AM)
Everybody thanks for the complements. the show was in Bamberg, germany. they have a 3 day festival every year.

performing lasso's (lariats) is also called the frustrating art. but it is worth it. don't try to do the butterfly first, work on flatloops and merry go rounds.
not on the video but in the show now is the texas skip. a vertical lasso and I jump through it back and forth.

I love the lasso finale and it fits my person. I can make a smaller show or a bigger show when want.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jan 5, 2009 10:51AM)
Robert, what is the big open area in Amsterdam in the downtown area where the street performers gather and perform? I saw an escape artist there when I was there over Thanksgiving.

Frank
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jan 5, 2009 11:09AM)
Are you talking about Dam Square ?
Was there about a week or so ago working in front of the Palace and (Translated) New Church.

Mr Talksalot was not in the vicinity or the Station area (Just up from there)When we were working their. Also to update, he was not in Covent Garden today !

Ken.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jan 5, 2009 12:12PM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-03 23:59, mmreed wrote:
What is the typical size crowd you draw, and what areas are you hitting?[/quote]
Half Circle. African American and mixed crowds. It helps enhances because they never saw a black magician before.

[quote] What are some of the crowd building techniques you use?[/quote]
Bright colored outfits and jewelry to help enhance visibility and keep "hobo" from entering their minds.

[quote] What/Who are your influences? [/quote]
Just to name a few in alphabetical order; Bill Palmer, Chad, Chris Capehart, Danny Hustle, Dave V, Gaddy, Gallagher, Jimmy Talksalot, Kozmo and Mario Morris. If I missed anybody, let me know.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Jan 5, 2009 01:57PM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-05 13:12, Dynamike wrote:
[quote] What/Who are your influences? [/quote]
Just to name a few in alphabetical order; Bill Palmer, Chad, Chris Capehart, Danny Hustle, Dave V, [b][i]Gaddy[/b][/i], Gallagher, Jimmy Talksalot, Kozmo and Mario Morris. If I missed anybody, let me know.
[/quote]

Don't listen to me, man -I still [i]need[/i] to end my show with 6 oranges and a melon! :nana:
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Jan 5, 2009 05:28PM)
Wha?!?!?

Gazzo still 'needs' to end that way as well! That's a solid bit man!

Don't let the chatter of forum-speak get the bogus thought into your heed that doin' the cups is a lesser performer's finale.

Da cups is da nuts Gaddo!
Message: Posted by: ROBERT BLAKE (Jan 6, 2009 09:23AM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-05 11:51, Frank Starsini wrote:
Robert, what is the big open area in Amsterdam in the downtown area where the street performers gather and perform? I saw an escape artist there when I was there over Thanksgiving.

Frank
[/quote]


I think you mean DE DAM but there is also DE LEIDSEPLEIN (smaller venue)
Message: Posted by: Scott Compton (Jan 12, 2009 02:45PM)
I am a little unique in that most of the year I am on the street to draw people up to my magic shop which is in the back corner of the square/mall. I build an edge using a tt, d-lites, or a ring & string. Once I get my tip, I do the rings, mouth coil in a kid's shirt, a quick rope routine and finish with the cups. I will then do the turn and start re-setting and building the next edge. I have two son's that work the shop and turn the marks when they get up there. Occasionally I use Don Driver's bally and have a drawing for a free Svengali deck - it depends on the weather and crowd size.

Other times of the year I am traveling and solo so it is more of a classic street performance.

My influences are Cellini, Don Driver and Gazzo, probably in that order. I also learn from the many seasoned performers that I meet and observe in my travels.

Scott
Message: Posted by: Arkadia (Jan 13, 2009 07:48AM)
I do a 45 minute circle show.

Pull
Rope routine with child

Show
Climbing trough a metal ring (Sometimes I do a linking rings routine instead)
Fire eating

Finale
Tom-Horn belt escape with chains

Here´s some pictures: http://heavenlydrunkie.blogspot.com/2008/08/arkadia.html


Alt.

Small half circle show about 20-25 minutes

Coinwork with jumbo finale
Rope (Inspired by Fiber optics)
Cups and balls

/Ark
Message: Posted by: gman (Jan 13, 2009 03:51PM)
Coin Manipulation, Dancing Wand, or Dlites to draw a group.

Miser's Dream

Thought Projector

End with Thumb Cuff Routine

About a 12 min show.
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Jan 14, 2009 01:34PM)
I just found two pics of a show I did this summer.

Pic #1 Draw- Knife juggling while standing on tray jack

Pic #2 Kozmo muggin' it up with Kenny the Clown...I'm in the background doing my finale (getting taped wrapped around my head).

http://s272.photobucket.com/albums/jj193/KeeperofPHI/?action=view¤t=P1110984.jpg

http://s272.photobucket.com/albums/jj193/KeeperofPHI/?action=view¤t=P1110986.jpg
Message: Posted by: aitchy (Jan 20, 2009 07:29AM)
From the very few number of times ive busked -

I kept it simple -

die tube silk change to stop first few-
ambitious card to them - which grew to back 15
sponge balls with watch steal
bill switch
invisable deck under guise of reverse mind reading act - about 35-50 people by now
cups and balls - basically the short gazzo version - getting to the fruit quite quick.

nothing orignal or all that difficult - but I made equivelent to 30 UDS for 20 min of my time - doing my hobby - so I was pleased enough.

its an ass to get the right licences to do it here, ive applied a month ago and got nothing - but I had fun doing some in canada - being britsh abroad or I'm sure american here would help - adds a little bit of rareity value....
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jan 20, 2009 01:08PM)
My outdoor shows are comprised with the classics and little else.
All with my own presentations. I don't do anyone else's routines.
it's taken YEARS to get there but the decision to go my own way
and, admittedly, on 2 occasions being told "NO. YOU CANNOT DO MY ROUTINE" (hey, but at least I asked) made all the difference.

The nice thing about the classics is that everyone can make them their own. And they play huge once you get your ideas kicking in!!

silk/tt
dye tube
egg bag
cups
sponge balls
bill to impossible location
3.5 of clubs
prof. nm.
rings
Message: Posted by: TheGiz (Jan 20, 2009 11:03PM)
Ambitious Card, a couple quick bits of mentalism, 3 shell game with cup to spongeballs, signed bill in nest of dolls, ashes to palm. Occasionally cig thru coat.
Message: Posted by: epoptika (Jan 26, 2009 04:22AM)
I have a fair number of books, lecture notes and DVD's about street performing and there is one question I've never seen addressed. Where do you guys sleep when you are traveling all over the place? Do you stay in hotels/motels. In RV's or vans? Under bridges?
Message: Posted by: Hawkan (Jan 26, 2009 05:07AM)
- Silk vanish/colorchange (Cellini)
- Wand/handkerchief into wand/ball into ball routine
- One coin routine into jumbo coin/handkerchief routine
- Rope routine (cut and restored + parts of fiber optics)
- Chop cup

Håkan
:wavey:
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Jan 26, 2009 07:48AM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-26 05:22, epoptika wrote:
I have a fair number of books, lecture notes and DVD's about street performing and there is one question I've never seen addressed. Where do you guys sleep when you are traveling all over the place? Do you stay in hotels/motels. In RV's or vans? Under bridges?
[/quote]
I stay in motels. If I am not making enough to pay my expenses I quit.
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Jan 26, 2009 10:57AM)
The carney's do the following: Check into a motel as early as possible and ask for a late check out. Shower on the day you check in, and right before you check out. That way you get to shower every day. Sleep on a mattress inside of your truck body every other night. It cuts the motel bills in half.
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Jan 27, 2009 01:01PM)
Jimmy Talksalot mentions the approach you do, jakeg, of commercial accommodation every few days, but mostly sleep "rough" - I think he mentions in his car. It's mentioned in his book but I haven't got it to hand. Some touring cyclists on long trips use a similar approach - in the commercial accom. they shower, relax in comparitive luxury, use the internet connection to upload their photos and catch up their write-up of the journey. Also, recharge batteries. Then its back on the road again, refreshed.
To cut down travel expenses I've thought of going to a city I usually perform at during one day, but instead make it into a two-day event for me: motor over and Street Magician busk on the Friday, stay at a backpackers' overnight, then going out on to the street again on the Saturday. That way I get two days busking for lower expenses than two separate spaced day trips to the same place.
Message: Posted by: epoptika (Jan 29, 2009 08:16AM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-27 14:01, MagiCol wrote:
Jimmy Talksalot mentions the approach you do, jakeg, of commercial accommodation every few days, but mostly sleep "rough" - I think he mentions in his car. It's mentioned in his book but I haven't got it to hand. Some touring cyclists on long trips use a similar approach - in the commercial accom. they shower, relax in comparitive luxury, use the internet connection to upload their photos and catch up their write-up of the journey. Also, recharge batteries. Then its back on the road again, refreshed.
To cut down travel expenses I've thought of going to a city I usually perform at during one day, but instead make it into a two-day event for me: motor over and Street Magician busk on the Friday, stay at a backpackers' overnight, then going out on to the street again on the Saturday. That way I get two days busking for lower expenses than two separate spaced day trips to the same place.
[/quote]
I've read his book and I'm pretty sure there is no mention of sleeping accommodations. I'm freezing to death up in Ohio at the moment but I'll have to take another look at it when I get home.
Message: Posted by: epoptika (Jan 29, 2009 08:19AM)
P.S. I just bought Kozmo's DVD set ( with Danny Hustle );"Tales from the Street". Excellent! One of the best things I've read or viewed on the subject.