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Topic: What's your best 2 openers to draw a crowd?
Message: Posted by: bwarren3 (Jan 4, 2009 04:07PM)
For some reason, gambling topics seem to draw them out of the woodwork. If I open with a chop cup, especially the chop cup from Frank with the diamond as final load and an extra kicker or two, draws them in almost as good as the shell game. Everybody seems to want to help them lose their money.
What 2 effects seem to draw better crowds than others???
Message: Posted by: ttorres (Jan 4, 2009 04:17PM)
Why do you start performing magic before you have an audience?
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Jan 4, 2009 04:27PM)
Theres nothing wrong with doing magic for the first 3 or 4 people and build slowly...nothing wrong with that...i disagree strongly with that don't start until you have so many people thing... its bull! you do have to have a least someone there to work for though,,,,proof, I start with 2 or 3 no issue... you just go slow... and what that first effect is is very important..... something that's modular and you can make last longer...and sections to it... and it needs to be something that new people coming to the table understand right away whats happening... that they understand what's happening... no that I know anything ....the thing is you need to talk to them and tell them who and what you are...and you have to be willing to leave your table...of course this is just my opinion....i talk about this on "the tales " dvd set... bwarren, you have the dvd's right... why not try what I'm talking about before you go to something else.... truth is if a performer is unable to communicate with his audience then they simply cannot do this

cellini started with just 2 or 3 people.....
Message: Posted by: ttorres (Jan 4, 2009 04:58PM)
Kozmo, I donít think we are to far apart on this one. If memory serves me correct even you said that you begin building your edge as you start setting up your show. I am also of the school of thought that you donít need a hundred people to start your show but your do need a few. I do not believe in performing to no one in hopes of building an edge.
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Jan 4, 2009 05:38PM)
Ttores. agred.

NEVER START FOR NO ONE ever BUT 2 or 3 is enough....take your time and build....its not a race SLOW DOWN....its worked for me for the last 20 years :) the opening effect is so important

and for you guys who don't have my dvd set BUY IT!... it amazes me that people would go out there and try to do this...the most difficult performing environment in the world and not acquire all the info that you can before you do it!
Message: Posted by: mmreed (Jan 4, 2009 07:57PM)
I have to say that Koz's DVD really opened my eyes to some areas that I need to focus on. I kept trying to reinvent the wheel, and found things tough. After watching Koz and Danny, and having Koz lecture, I wasnt feeling like I was a loner trying to discover the cure for cancer....

Looking over many of the posts, even many of my own... I am seeing that most if not all are answered directly by Koz and Danny in Tales from the Street.

I think the next evolution in busking info would be a documentary style video where we see it all from start to end - no edits... the raw footage as it plays out in life... hey maybe that's where JimmyTA is... hahah darn Jimmy... show yourself!

just my .02
Message: Posted by: Faulkner (Jan 4, 2009 08:14PM)
Thank you Kozmo,

That point about taking time and being modular is a pound of gold.
Message: Posted by: bwarren3 (Jan 5, 2009 10:09PM)
Hey Guys,
Maybe I wasn't as clear as I should have been or maybe more to the point.
I was asking a fairly general question..
Basically I was asking do others prefer a specific one or two openers that they use to draw a crowd that seems to work better than other effects..I'm always looking for ways to improve my show and keep it fresh.

I don't perform for nobody, I target groups that look like they are having a good time together then focus on one or two specific people with peppered questions to draw them to my table. I'm not working for free either.
Koz, your DVD set was great, I need to shorten my shows, they're too long...
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 5, 2009 10:54PM)

There is no magic bullet. It isn't the effects that work better or worse it is your presentation of them.

I talk to people. Contrary to what Kozmo says, I won't do any magic till I have five or six people. The show has started with about two people, I'm just not doing any magic till I have five or six. :) So I guess really, I will start my show with just one person.

I think it is important to establish your space and to start connecting with your audience. Collecting the golden threads as Billy McComb called it. However you do that is going to be different from individual to individual.

Any trick can be a good opener if you have presented it as an opener.

Kozmo has a great one coin opener on his new DVD but better still, he tells you WHY it's a good opener and gives you the where with all to apply it to what YOU want to be doing.

Bottom line is, opener or closer, it's never the trick, it's the presentation.

But for the sake of example....er...the boomerang card. Learn to throw a card 20 or 30 feet away from you and catch it back in the deck. Stand there and do this all day long on the pitch and the knack is not as tough to develop as you might think. Keep doin it and every time you catch it say "OOOOHHHH" the next time you catch it "AHHHH" encourage people walking by to join in. If you miss point at the card on the ground and say, "DESERTER!" and encourage the crowd to do the same.

When you have a big crowd say, "Are you ready to see the show say YEAH!" when they say "YEAH" scale the card one last time and when it comes back cut it in half with a pair of scissors or scale it on to a roof and start the show.

That's a great opener for building a huge circle crowd or just a small sidewalk crowd.

Can you see how it's the interaction and not the trick?


Message: Posted by: bwarren3 (Jan 6, 2009 04:51PM)
Thanks Dan,
Well put...
Usually by targeting a couple of people that looks like they would be interested or are definitely having a good time in their group usually brings them closer to the table.....in a small group they usually play follow the leader hoping to have more fun, just curious about other people's approaches to drawing the crowd...effect-wise.
Message: Posted by: RWhit (Jan 10, 2009 01:04PM)
I always hang a card ( jumbo ) up real high as a prediction, lotsa people come over wanting to see what it is. This goes back to Eddie Fechter I think.

Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Jan 10, 2009 01:28PM)
I have a DVD out on this very thing. "Building a Tip /Getting an Edge" for busking or anytime you need a group of people in a hurry.

Here are the reviews:


Check it out at my site,I have a clip of it.Just look below to get the URL.

Thanks, Don
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Jan 10, 2009 03:02PM)
I've been using a modified version of Don's tip building strategy for a couple of years now. It draws people like flies.

Think about it: You pay $30 and you learn how to draw a crowd without fail...it's simple and effective.

Best bang for the buck out there!
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jan 10, 2009 03:57PM)
On 2009-01-04 17:07, bwarren3 wrote:
What 2 effects seem to draw better crowds than others???
#1. Being the only black person in a wealthy neighborhood festival.

#2. Dressing Hip Hop.