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Topic: Card magic busking???
Message: Posted by: WazMeister (Jan 27, 2011 12:57AM)
Hi all,

I've never been one to do any cups and balls or big card tricks so crowds can see. I love my 52 pack of cards and want to be a master at them (dreaming can only do). Basically do people husk or can one busk doing just cars magic, table card magic? Like acr, Sam bell hop, dr Daley last trick ec or is it a no go.
Message: Posted by: Mysterious (Jan 27, 2011 08:36AM)
I have a friend that did only card magic while busking, but he doubled his tips and crowd size when he added the cups & balls.
Message: Posted by: Nick W (Jan 27, 2011 11:26AM)
Can double crowd size if you can manipulate cards really well....but be willing to put in years...
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jan 27, 2011 02:30PM)
There are some very funny card tricks I perform with lots of spectator interaction.
I just take classics and make them entertaining.

Some great plots...

Card to pocket
Cards accross

Paul Harris' Whack Your Pack (which I do not do) is fantastic.

Learn a few really entertaining card tricks and you're got tons of material that you can unbox when needed.
Message: Posted by: Redwulfe (Jan 27, 2011 03:23PM)
Jeff Sheriden is a good resource for card magic and busking. He has a three DVD set showing his street performance that he did for years. It is manipulation but he also does rope tricks as well. That may be a good resource for you.

Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Jan 27, 2011 03:47PM)
I have seen many street shows with only cards.

I have seen close up only shows and parlor sized shows and circle shows.

I think it all depends on the strength of the character presented and the structure and presentation of the show itself.

I have seen people build a crowd with manipulation or a pick a card trick.

I have seen close up card shows with or with out a table.

I have seen great finales like, multiple selection, tossed out deck, card to wallet or what ever.

I have even seen a manip to music finale done after a total spoken close up to parlor act.

I have seen acts finale with tossing a card over a building.

I have seen a monologue 3 card monte with jumbo or standard cards.

I have also seen a close up sidewalk show closed with the sidewalk shuffle routine that this very forum section alludes to.

I wish you all the best and think that if you have enough commitment to this it can happen and you could be very rewarded with your work.
Message: Posted by: troppobob (Jan 27, 2011 06:31PM)
G'day WazMeister
There are some great ideas here for you to consider.
From my experience I have included card effects such as small packet effects, Ambitious Card, Tossed Out deck, Cards Across and the amazing Card Duck in my busking shows and they all get a great response.
Bob Latta (aka Troppo Bob)
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Jan 28, 2011 12:44AM)
Saw Ken Lightfoot do
a brilliant act with cards including throwing them 4 stories onto balconies
but he has a great comic personality and is very funny
He starts off with small card table magic & builds his act up from there with huge crowds!! Mainly cards

Nick Nickolas does a fair part of his act with cards-manipulation,cards from Mouth
plus heaps of gags leading to the cups.. where the tips are pretty good but again cards build the crowds..
check you tube for his act...
Message: Posted by: vernon (Jan 28, 2011 02:26AM)
Yup, Kenny and Nick KILL with a deck of cards Nick during his build and Kenny ( ah Kenny) with the card over high buildings. Worked with Kenny during one year at the Adelaide fringe and knew he was going to throw that card. Except the highest 'building' was the Speigletent at the evening pitch. Not ver high but sheesh what a performance Had everyone in absolute stitches with this kid feeding him cards and being'dragged closer and closer to the tent. Killer show Killer performance & a heck of a good guy.

Nick extracts just sooooo much from Vernons Triumph. Bleeding beautiful, and Gazzo with his floating card. They all have one thing in common. Fantastic presence and chops to entertain.

James James
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Jan 28, 2011 10:27AM)

close up card magic table act.

what your describing is called a doorway act or sidewalk show on the street.

and yes it is not only possible, but is normal and everywhere.

you can do a small table act on a sidewalk with foot traffic.

try and get your self into a door way alcove to cover your back and give you a nice astetic background.

you can stop them one at a time to build a crowd, but I find that frustrating and difficult because the people feel like your are coheresing them.

what I do is some parlor effects(quick eye candy stuff) then I call the onlookers I stopped, to come in, up close to the table.

when they come in, I have a stronger more committed crowd then if I tryed to get them one at a time.

in my opinion, what you want to do, is what I prefer over the big shows.

if you would like to learn more about these small shows on the sidewalk.

please send me a PM and I will set you up with plenty of info and people that can get you going.

I wish you all the best.

your pal jimmy
Message: Posted by: Pizpor (Jan 28, 2011 03:34PM)
Jimmy quickly referenced this above, but I think it's worth mentioning again. I think the best card routine I've experienced is Doc Eason's multiple card selection (Fusillade by Paul Cummins and Doc Eason). Each time someone stops to watch, immediately acknowledge them, get their name and have them remember a card. It can be very playful and is highly interactive. Finish your set with the multiple card revelations. You can totally pimp your hat lines by referring to the fact that you'll remember everybody's name and find their card. They like to stick around and see if you can actually do it.
Message: Posted by: Munskin (Jan 30, 2011 03:13AM)
I'm working on an all cards act, though no table. I've looked at other stuff, but keep coming back go cards. I'm far more comfortable with them; can be more spontaneous and, best of all, don't need to look at the deck to do the tricks, meaning more spectator eye contact!

Message: Posted by: magiclimber (Jan 30, 2011 03:00PM)
Its not about the cards... or any prop for that matter

I think Jimmy's response can verify that.
Message: Posted by: Nick W (Jan 31, 2011 10:57AM)
WazMeister, you say you want to be a master at cards, but you didn't say what kinds of card routines your into....manipulation or "pick a card" type tricks......

ps: what jimmy said....
Message: Posted by: Max T. Oz (Jan 31, 2011 09:08PM)
Hey Lads

Of COURSE it is possible to do a complete street show with nothing but a deck of cards....and hat really well.
For what it's worth, here is moi, busking with a deck of cards (and cig) for 10 minutes. I use to finish this at one time with a 15 min 3 card monte routine....and did extremely well with in many places, Europe, Oz, N. America. :)))



Max T. Oz
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Feb 1, 2011 10:31AM)
Wow max, I am always impressed with your work, so cool.

also I have seen more close up acts where maybe only ten people belly up to the table and watch the magic happen on the table by looking down.

I gotta a clip here of daniel devanport doing some close up card magic on hollywood blvd.

this street is very hard to stop and hold people for very long, but daniel works here with success usually with no table for just a few people very close up (maybe a foot or two away). he may do 5 min or less shows over and over all day and night and makes really good money at it.

daniel can do a lot of magic with other props, but all he really needs to support himself is a deck of cards and a sidewalk.

he is not doing a super close up, belly up to the table type show, here, but he is doing close up magic with cards in close quarters.

Message: Posted by: ernie guderjahn (Feb 1, 2011 11:21AM)
For years I have used a deck of cards to stop people dead in their tracks, and then start building the tip (gather a crowed for the un initiated) but this method will not be favored by many (which is good because it works well for my style and I don't like giving away secrets that put food in my mouth) - I simply use the muffeled card break flutter shuffle, of simply the muff flutter shuffle as Mr. T Jorgenson calls it. This spreads an entire deck of cards into the air and all across the midway (I work in rough spots) a'la the childish 52 card pick up. In the ensuing confusion and madness of cards all over hell and back an number of people stop to pick them up, and out of kindness return them to me, or try to put them on my table - never realizing that they have fallen into my web - an have volunteered themselves to be the show opening with out even knowing it. I could tell you what I do after that but I don't think you would believe me, which is fine; lets just say that some days I go through 40 decks of cards (hey, they ain't new - there are a lot of indian casinos near my house - very cheap, barely used deck abound.
Message: Posted by: EVILDAN (Feb 1, 2011 06:43PM)
I build my tip with by having a selected card turn over in the deck. I try to start by stopping two people. And then it seems there's safety in numbers. Because as I'm going thru the trick, more people stop. Then in my animations of explaining how the card reverses itself in the deck, I get more people to stop. And just so they don't feel out of the loop, I give them a recap of what happened and then I start again. By the time I'm done, we have a crowd of about 20 to 30 people (less on a bad day) and we begin our show.

Cards are great in the street.
Message: Posted by: Max T. Oz (Feb 1, 2011 06:50PM)
Hey Jimmy, absolutely loved the clip of Daniel. So much mileage out simply a deck of cards.
This is the kinda stuff that can play well anywhere, anytime, any circumstances.
Excellent magic and presentation by Mr Davenport!!

Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Feb 2, 2011 08:53AM)
I know this is unorthodox, but I stumbled into a combo busk-pitch when I stupidly bought a gross of cheap cards for about 35 cents per. They were not good enough to use for what I had intended, so sat around for long while.

I decided I had to put them to work, so I cornered one card per deck, put a brief explanation in the box and hit the street. After a couple of tricks using one of the decks I allowed as to how any $5 tip entitled you to a deck of your own- 2 for ten.

Jimmy is probably gonna have my butt for this, but I was desperate...
Message: Posted by: DanielMooncalf (Feb 5, 2011 04:13AM)
What do you want out of this? Do you want to do a big show for lots of people? Lots of people won't stay around if they can't see the cards.

Also, the fewer people who watch your show, the fewer tips you'll get. If you stop three people who don't tip for whatever reason, you have just worked for free. If that doesn't bother you, go ahead and get out there and play some. It's worth the practice, especially if you are new to performing.
Message: Posted by: helder (Mar 23, 2012 09:51PM)
The clip of Daniel it's absolutely great.

Thanks for sharing Jimmy.
Message: Posted by: Hugh Entwistle (Jun 6, 2012 08:49PM)
I do a mentalism card routine (forced cards and a prediction) which is great because once they've made a selection yo invite them to guard the prediction which gives more room for people to see (and makes the selectees stay as well :) )
PLUS - YOu can go into the audience to give them cards so there are no issures with sight or anything like that. A great time to do a few gags like the one where you have a card obviously sticking out and you keep telling them to pick that one - always gets a few laughs
Message: Posted by: Ekuth (Jun 6, 2012 08:58PM)
Wow... necro thread!

Personally, I find if the cards come out, the people start to vanish unless is a d*mn good effect.

That said, I keep about a half dozen effects in my brain to use. I've found card effects make a good middle part to your set, provided you keep it short, visual and move on rapidly. The standard "pick a card/find a card" effects... don't cut the mustard.

Tool, Haunted Deck, Color Changes, ACR (at times), Rising Card effects are my bread and butter.

This, of course, is purely *my* experience, and yours will vary.

Best of luck!
Message: Posted by: solrak29 (Jun 7, 2012 09:24AM)
I found that the only people that don't like card tricks are magicians
and wanna be magicians (i.e. youtube expsoser looker upper).

Jimmy pretty much sumed it up above and I agree it is possible....

I would like to have seen the first link shared; but, it's marked as

I don't do an all card show on the street, but I do have multiple selection
routine in my set....