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Topic: Busking
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Mar 24, 2011 09:45AM)
I just acquired my first busking spot. After 20+ years in showbiz, I'm going to let the audience decide what my show is worth. I have been doing the same routines for many years and am ready for some different material. The problem is I can't put a brand new routine in front of a "contracted" audience, so I found a touristy spot close to home that will allow me to entertain for donations. I start tomorrow night.

I have performed for theme parks, festivals and fairs for many years, but I have always been paid by a company and wasn't allowed to take tips. After all this time of studying and leaning how to build a tip and entertain one, I finally get to turn them!

Some people look down on street performers, which I don't understand. I have always admired the art. Mostly because I had never done it, but also because of the great skill it takes to do it right. Or, is that "done it" right?

I'm a variety act. Juggling, magic, sword swallowing, escapes, fire eating, etc.

I just hope the weather permits it..... Back to the elements.
Message: Posted by: NexusMagicShop (Mar 25, 2011 04:35PM)
Best of luck to you. I am interested in hearing about your progress. I recently wrote about busking in the blog section of my website. There is some tips and a download-able form that explains your rights as street performer. Something every Busker should carry with them in case you are hassled. If you visit the blog, please offer your comments.

The Link: http://www.nexusmagicshop.com/apps/blog/show/5981818-busking-at-the-seams-street-performing
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Mar 25, 2011 04:58PM)
Have fun with it, Rotten! Let us know how it goes.

Message: Posted by: Amazing Magic Co (Mar 25, 2011 05:47PM)
Thanks, Nexus. That is a terrific document, which I have not seen before. I've printed it out and saved the image file.

Message: Posted by: NexusMagicShop (Mar 25, 2011 07:10PM)
No Problem Dan Happy to share. :o)
Message: Posted by: DoctorCognos (Mar 27, 2011 11:36PM)
Thanks for posting the link.

But I also agree with your reasoning to busk. Becuase busking really is the purest test of the "entertainment value" in your act.

If the value is there, you get paid.

If not, you just get tired...

The Doctor
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Mar 28, 2011 11:43AM)
Thank you for the encouraging words, everyone. I searched for a thread to start this topic but didn't find "side walk shuffle." Fortunatly an admin moved it. Boy do I wish I had found this thread before I went out on the weekend. You guys are great. So much advice and great articles. I will be hanging out with you guys from now on!

On friday my day got out of control and I wasn't able to make it out. So I went out on Sat. night and found out I have a lot to learn. I did okay. $85 in two hours. I just kept cranking out the sets as people were always moving. I would wipe of the sweat, reset a few props and go again. 6 sets about 15 min each. 5 min break between. I worked too hard.

What I am learning the most:

I have dealt with hecklers in comedy clubs and on cruise ships but on the street it is different. In a theater setting you can get the audience to turn on the heckler very easy. Not so much in the street because they are on the same side. On the street I didn't have as much command and authority that I do from the stage. I need to work on that. I held my own with the heckles but I was searching for clean lines and kept coming up empty so I went with a few old standards and was fine but have much to learn. A friend loaned me Kitt Summers book on busking. I was shocked that it had only one small page dedicated to money but about 15 pages for hecklers. Now I see why.

I thought I knew how to draw them in. I failed. I gathered crowds and kept them, of 20-30 people each set. I open with a tall ballance that is very visual and stops people. Then I would tell them I was about to do a big show but first I wanted to show them the most amazing magic trick I know. I would then do either a bill trick or a coin trick. Both are solid and small so I was able to get 4 to 6 people to step up close but the rest lingerd back. After the trick I would turn to grab my next big juggling trick and they would run back to the rest of the group. I think next week I'll tell them that it is against ordinance for them to stand on the side walk and they must join me in the street. It's a theme park kind of street, no cars.

I have a few theories besides my lack of experience. This crowd of people is about 25% tourists and 75% locals. The locals are not used to street performing here. I am a foriegn object. Perhaps that was part of the reluctance to come up. Maybe they were just afraid I was going to ask them for money?

I would have stayed later but during my 6th set I had the largest crowd of the night. They were laughing and having a great time. I was in the middle of a 20 year old fire eating routine that is solid when all of the sudden an old man was shoulder to shoulder with me and his back to the crowd. I have a large rope I lay out for my performing area and he was of course inside of it. He barks at me "What do you think you are doing?" Now I had a head set microphone stapped to my face and I said "Entertaining these folks" He barks "What makes you think you can do this?" I said "I have an agreement with the management." He says "Well nobody told me." I must have known this was going to happen because I had placed the "agreement" and a copy of my insurance in an envelope and had it in my money bag. So I informed him I had all the paper work but if he would just step outside of the rope and let me finish what I was doing I would be happy to show him. He barks "NO, NOT good enough. I want to see it now." SO I tell the audience, "Folks I'll be right back with you just give me one moment to clear this up." I hand him the paper work and tell him I would be happy to talk about it after my show. He gives the papers back and shouts "Security is coming" and walks off. I turn to the tip and realize 25% have left. I complete the fire eating. Talk the hat and do the sword swallow. $12 later I was steamed. That should have been my biggest hat of the night. So I tracked him down and got his name. He never appologized but did tell me that he found out it was okay for me to be there after he had interupted me.

I'm going back next weekend and I want to double my money.
Message: Posted by: Riku_Pajari (Mar 28, 2011 12:25PM)
Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm starting to do busking when the snow melts here in Finland and all this stories are better than any guide book. Real live experiences, with real people, in real enviroment.
Message: Posted by: NexusMagicShop (Mar 28, 2011 02:16PM)
@Rotten: Wow that is a great first performance. lets see you were heckled, accosted by an angry native asking for your papers, and robbed of 25% of your audience. Welcome to Busking 101!

Download The buskers rights sheet and print it out. Have several ready, maybe make them into a paper airplanes and toss it at hassler's... lol
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Mar 29, 2011 01:03PM)
WOW I just can't believe all of the wonderful guys that hang out here. So helpful. I have to say that reading Jimmy's blog has been a huge educational experience. Gosh I wish I had found that before. I now know what I did wrong and can't wait to do it again.

I took a large half circle show. I think that may have been intimidating to them. I will take a much smaller rig next weekend and I am going to go out on the week nights with a small sidewalk show. There isn't very much traffic on weeknights but enough for a sidewalk show. No amp or cart. Just a bag and a table. Thank you Jimmy.

I haven't asked Jimmy to be my teacher yet but he already is. Such a wealth of information and so kind to share it. I have completly re thought my opener. The coin! I was doing a coin trick but I never thought of using it the way he does. Throw it on the ground and stare at it. That makes me laugh. I have seen the video of it working for Jimmy and it's such a great passive method. Nothing scary to see here folks just a coin on the ground. Love it.

I was working too hard. I knew it but didn't know how to fix it till now. 4 tricks. That's all I need. And a regular set. Funny, I thought I was going to work on new material on the street but I'm just cutting down old standards of mine to fit the set. BUT I do think that was some of the best advice I read. I was tinkering around too much. Crank it out like something famiiiar to the crowd, an informercial. Great thought, again by Jimmy.

Thank you Jason for the download. As I progress I just might wander into Downtown and give it a shot on a real street. I wouldn't have considered it till I read the rights sheet.


Posted: Apr 2, 2011 1:00am
Went out tonight and learned more.

I took a much smaller rig and a set show. Had better hats and audiences. I also found a better spot than before and will stay there from now on. More intimate and tighter. Crappy lighting but the noise level is better.

I got lucky tonight but I realized I should carry a trash bag in case it rains, to cover my rig. So I put a large trash bag in a small zip lock bag and threw it in the rig for tomorrow. Never know when it might rain in Florida.

I had two kid brothers who decided to adopt me as their parental figure for the evening. Their pop owns one of the shops and they are both "Magicians." They were a pain in the arse at first but I quickly utilized them to gather my crowd. Had to chew one out when he was trying to help me put my gear up. I barked "First rule, magicians never touch other magicians toys. EVER" He meant well.

I decided no more fire. By god I can make just as much money with it than with out it. It only gets a larger tip, not a more paying tip. I'm just tired of messing with it. I'm also cutting sword swallowing. I'm just not comfortable doing it in a crowd on the street. Perhaps it's because last week I heard a kid say "I wonder what would happen if I pushed him." I dealt with that one swiftly but it made me pucker.

So from now on my three best magic tricks, my favorite juggling routine and block head finale.

The coin on the ground worked great! As well as "I'm only going to do this once so if you want to see it you gotta come close." And my Magic Show sign helped too. THANK YOU JIMMY!

Happy Hats!
Message: Posted by: travisb (Apr 3, 2011 04:48AM)
Thanks for the stories, love hearing stuff like that. Keep it up!

Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 3, 2011 01:52PM)
Geez, I still have a so much to learn. Last night I fell on my face and didn't feel like getting up. I had been awake since six in the morning for a corporate gig and then went out last night to busk. I had a head ache which didn't help. Set up and did one show with a huge crowd. I mentioned the hat several times through out the show, but then at the end they just stood there staring at me. I'm hollering out my normal hat lines and they just stood there. So I walked up to them to make it easier. Nothing, just more stares. So I tell a few more jokes about my kid's over bite and badly needed braces. NOTHING! They finally started to walk off. Huge crowd, lots of laughs and awes. NO money? So I finally start to pack it up when a tiny boy walked up and handed me five bucks. I wish he had done that earlier. At least my gas was paid for.

Was it all about that one person to break the ice and me not having it till the crowd had walked off? I was frustrated beyond belief.

So I crawled home with my tail between my legs. I'll get it right eventually. Fire is going back in for now though.
Message: Posted by: joe yang (Apr 3, 2011 02:13PM)
Rotten, keep an open mind about the take. Look at what you are doing of course, but look at the crowd and their spending patterns too. Where are they spending money at your venue? What are the spending it on? How are they paying? Do they even have lose ones and coins on them?
Message: Posted by: francisngkl (Apr 3, 2011 02:20PM)
Keep it up, Rotten, you will not derive great satisfaction if there are no challenges and defeats in the process of learning. I appreciate you sharing your experience with us.
I am sure we will hear good news from you sooner than later.

Message: Posted by: ekins (Apr 3, 2011 02:53PM)
Hi Rotten,

Keep the reports coming. I admire someone like you who actually has the guts to go out and make it happen.

Message: Posted by: The Great Zoobini (Apr 3, 2011 02:54PM)
On 2011-04-03 15:13, joe yang wrote:
Do they even have lose ones and coins on them?

This is an interesting point. These days, I, myself, am guilty of just grabbing my plastic and going. Like minded can't possibly tip you. Perhaps if you handed out cards with your website on it, they could tip you later via the web.
Message: Posted by: joe yang (Apr 3, 2011 04:42PM)
In my street theater days, in NYC, you could make a living on change. Everyone carried a couple dollars in loose change. You could get a slice of pizza, a hot dog, an ice cream or a bottle of beer for less than a buck. Walking around the Village, getting a drink here, a bite there, desert somewhere else, moving from vendor to vendor, you had money for street performers. Then change started to dissapear.

Latter, you could make a living off singles. You could still get something for five bucks and have a spare buck to put in the hat.

Now, I use a debit card for everything....
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 3, 2011 06:32PM)
There is nothing like a day on the street, busking, to teach you what you didn't know about drawing and entertaining a crowd...except for a week on the street, busking.

Keep at it. You will be successful.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Apr 4, 2011 07:44AM)
This is the best thread I have read... ever! Not only rotten's posts about his busking but also all the comments from the rest of you.

Thanks rotten.
Message: Posted by: Fez (Apr 7, 2011 08:32PM)
Good luck Rotten! Let us know how it goes! In fact, you should upload a video of your performance on Youtube!
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 8, 2011 12:37AM)
Was at it again tonight. 4 shows. I had never done a Thursday so it was an experiment. I made enough to make it worth while but mostly I learned more so I'll be better tomorrow night, when it counts.

Wore a different costume and it was better. I had been wearing a "show" suit. Tonight I wore black slacks, white t-shirt and a black vest. Much better but I have to get used to having less pockets to work out of. I took an extra t shirt in case I got mine dirty or sweated it out. Didn't need it but I like to be prepared.

The fire being back in helped. I used it as my second crowd gathering routine and then started the show.

I really organized my rig so there is no more trying to find something. Everything has a place. I also put a little flash light in my case since the lighting is so poor. I never want to have to be searching for something.

I built large crowds once again. Brought them in close with a coin trick then I would do my best juggling trick and they would back away. It's not dangerous. Devil sticks. Not fire. I am a humble man but I have seen very few stick routines I wouldn't put mine against. So I cut it. I want to stop tinkering and start cranking them out but every night I learn what works and what doesn't.

I found out that 15 years ago this place was solid busking 7 nights a week. Two guys could hat 100 bucks each. Now there is so much competition in town the crowds aren't as big. And in the financial climate we live in most aren't being very giving. But I will not blame them or that and will take the credit.

Tonight my weak point was my finale. It can't just be a good, amazing, strong effect. It must be scripted and timed to get the hat. Still ironing that out. More hat lines!

Fez, I will be happy to upload a video once I know what I'm doing. Right now I'm learning so much I haven't even video taped it for my own review. I would cringe too much watching it. I messed up two times tonight on routines I have been performing regularly for over 20 years. No one knew and I covered but I knew. There is just so much going on in my head. My juggling partner of the past 10 years came out to watch and he noticed the hick ups. We laughed about it later. He was shocked I took the sticks out of the show. "That's your golden routine" he said. "Not in this show" was my reply.

Ed, are you being facetious? I can take it.

I'll take pictures of my rig and set up and post them for now. Video will have to be later after I'm happy. That might take a while.

The thing I love is as much as I can rehearse or perform in other venues there is nothing like busking. Each crowd teaches so much. From the hecklers, to the smiles, backing off of crowds, people watching from the side so they don't feel like they need to tip.

Hecklers, I learned that if you zing them good their friends turn against them and on your side. 4 or 5 teens boys walked up and one starts mouthing off. I addressed it but didn't zing him. He did it again and I did the same again. The third time I zinged him and one of his buddies said "BURN" and he shut up. He, and his pals, walked away minutes later but that was for the best. I held back. I didn't expect his buddies to turn on him but of course they would. Doh!

Thank you for all the wonderful words of encouragement. It is hard to learn something new. Challenging and scary. I haven't been nervous before walking on stage in over 20 years but every night I busk, right before my first show, I feel like I'm in queue to ride a roller coaster.


Message: Posted by: solrak29 (Apr 8, 2011 08:20AM)
On 2011-04-03 15:53, ekins wrote:
Hi Rotten,

Keep the reports coming. I admire someone like you who actually has the guts to go out and make it happen.


I second this....keep the reports coming and I can't wait for some shots and video....
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 9, 2011 12:24PM)
Last night a good friend of mine went with me and performed as well. He started as a busker and is now what I call a three C guy. Corporate, College, Cruise. Boy did he have it down. He hadn't done it in many years but it came right back to him. I learned so much from watching from a different angle, the audience. Great hat lines and a tight show. Three juggling tricks is all he did but that was all he needed. The people at this venue really don't want to spend more than 12 minutes watching.

Now that I have a set show I'm finding my groove. Not that I'm making much more money but it is consistent and much less work. I cut the card trick cause it made the show a hair too long and it took too much talking. Killing my voice. Here the more visual the better.

Going back tonight a little later than normal and staying latter. It's starting get more fun and less scary. I'll take pics of the set up tonight.
Message: Posted by: travisb (Apr 9, 2011 03:21PM)
Interesting about the twelve minute thing. I've not busked in a lot of different places, but I would need to see that before I believed it. Are you [i]sure[/i] that only short shows will work in this spot? What factors go into making it that way?

Not saying it's not true--I can imagine a theoretical situation where it would be like that--just wondering...

Message: Posted by: Paddy (Apr 9, 2011 06:33PM)
Sidewalk (short) shows will work anywhere. I think that 12 min. is pushing it, I go for 5 to 7 min shows. Gazzo can pull off circle shows, I have seen him hold a crowd for 45 mins and pull in a $300 hat, but he is an exception. For everyone else I know we all make just as much as Gazzo, it just takes us more shows and a little more work to get the $300. He does it in 45 mins and we do it in 3 hours.
Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Apr 9, 2011 09:58PM)
If you watch the pace that people walk, after a while you will get a feal as to how long you will hold them. as a juggler I hate short/small shows, but if that's what the pitch will allow, that's what you do.
Last year I had a pitch that 5 min. was the best you were going to get.
Message: Posted by: travisb (Apr 9, 2011 10:10PM)
Interesting. Like I said, I've not traveled widely to busk, so I don't have a very good perspective on how places differ. I can certainly imagine a situation where shorter shows would be good, but I can also imagine some of the stronger buskers I've seen pulling off long shows anywhere. Whether that would be the best way to go in a small pitch is the question, I suppose.

If the pitch is large enough to support a circle show, though, I have trouble imagining why one would want to keep it so short. It'll take some of the bigger acts (much) longer than twelve minutes just to fill out their crowd, let alone do a trick.

Message: Posted by: Magic1 (Apr 9, 2011 10:33PM)
Rotten, I am LOVING your posts. Keep it up man!
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 9, 2011 10:33PM)
Imagine busking at a Six Flags and that is what this spot is like. A ton of things to do. Families, teens, couples. All wandering around. I tried one short show, shorter than 12 min, tonight and it didn't work. I have a high turn over due to nagging parents and wives, the boys and men love the show, so I didn't get the time to build up a large enough audience to make what I normally do.

Still tightening my transitions to keep them interested. Building up the finale along the way.

Boy do I wish this spot was good enough to make $300 in 3 hours.

My friend, that is an experienced busker and performed last night, said that if I could make a hundred bucks there I could make$300 anywhere else. Tonight I made 80 in five shows so I still have some work to do. So why am I busting my hump and doing it? It's 15 minutes from my front door and they are allowing me to do it. Then perhaps I'll drive an hour away and do it in a place where it is more expected. It's a great training ground. And my confidence needed it. I have had a few bumps lately. I feel it's like the sky diving of the entertainment industry. Much less scary now but it's still a thrill.

They do have cash by the way. I'm sure some have plastic strapped folks but few. Snow cones, go karts, laser tag, electric bull, these are just a few of my competitions.

I don't know if losing your voice is part of learning but I lost mine. Not all the way, just where I couldn't perform. My last show I couldn't get them to stay in. They kept backing off after every trick. It was weird. So I was hollering how they had to get off the side walk or else the shop keepers would get mad. I have never said that before. Probably won't again cause they didn't move. But after that I was packing up and wouldn't you know the shopkeeper comes up and very nice and sweetly, darling gal, complained about them blocking the door. She went on and on about how much she enjoyed my show and what I was doing and welcomed me to the place. Then apologized for complaining but it was against fire code. I thanked her and said that was the best line and I will tell them that from now on.

So now I'm making friends.

Oh, and there are so many regulars. Once again think of Six Flags season pass holders. "Do you get bored of doing the same thing all the time?" whew..

I'll be back at it in a few days. Going to rest the voice.

I am a juggler but I'm not doing any juggling now. It's a highly visual show and pretty shocking but this is a bunch of hot rod biker guys as well so they love it. I'm going to get one magic and sideshow stunt shows down pat then work on the juggling show. Why? The challenge. I know I can do a juggling show. I have been out of magic for a long time so it's fun getting back in. The sideshow stunts are a passion of mine and I have a ton of lines.
Message: Posted by: travisb (Apr 10, 2011 06:03AM)
Ah, yes, I thought it might be a fairground sort of atmosphere, with lots of competition for the attention of the people--that was definitely one of the scenarios where I could imagine it being wise to work shorter shows.

The thing I love about these reports is that I see in them my own failures/successes and my own growth. I've been through experiences much like you're describing, and it's fun to see that process described through your eyes. The exact details may differ, but the broad strokes and the emotions are familiar.

Message: Posted by: sir real (Apr 10, 2011 06:58PM)
There are herbal teas called "Throat Comfort" and other variations of that made by Yogi Tea, Traditional Medicinals and others.Mostly comprised of licorice root,slippery elm,honey and a few other herbs.A hot cup before hitting the pitch will help you keep your voice going in this situation.Also helps to drink a lot of spring water between shows.
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Apr 11, 2011 02:51AM)
Welcome to the streets

Keep at it -sounds good so far-Your doing well!!!
Jimmys material is first rate!!

As A Professional Pitchman -working the streets is a mixture of a crash course in your act
to people interaction...

From great crowds to Police, Emos, Winos,Street Kids & Religious groups annoying you-
-What a great experience when a crowd enjoys your act...

Have Fun, as menioned -working the streets is unlike any other....

Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 11, 2011 11:22AM)
Herbal tea? I'll have to try that. Probably better than the whiskey and cigarettes I have been having... jk

I want to thank you all again for your support. I don't know if I would have lasted long enough to get over the major learning curve with out having this place to report to and receive encouragement.

I went to a brain storming session yesterday with a bunch of magicians. I don't normally hang out with groups of people unless I'm working but I had fun. Lots of great ideas and thoughts to help me improve what I'm doing.

My first thread, before I had done it, was all about working up new material. In a way I have. I took old material and changed it around to work on the street and then formulated it into a show. So I didn't really work on new routines but I have a new show. A street show.

A few more times out and I think I'll be willing to drive and hour or so away from home and try it where it counts.
Message: Posted by: NexusMagicShop (Apr 11, 2011 03:38PM)
Great Job Rotten it seems like you have come along ways in a relatively short time. The hardest part in the beginning is giving it a go. You have crashed through the personal barriers, and are now seemingly diving right into the addiction. And inspiring so many on the Cafť with your updates and experiences. Thumbs up! Way to give back!

We are all enjoying this thread... Keep it going were with ya! So to speak...

- My thoughts
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 15, 2011 12:15PM)
Right now I'm hitting an obstacle. Exhaustion. Fatigue. Not from performing on the street, but I have been working on my house and am very banged up. Plumbing job requiring me to lay under a sink for hours cutting pipe with a tiny saw. I pretend I'm a prisoner trying to escape to keep it entertaining. I say I was cutting pipe but if you looked at my hands you would think I was trying to cut my fingers off.

The long and short of it is I wonder how a full time street guy gets through the pain, and bad moods. If I am being payed my normal fee I have performed sick, thrown out back, and jet lag. I feel that if I'm not in my best form I shouldn't even bother with busking as I just won't be able to pull it off. I hope with more time under my belt I will learn how to push through this barrier I'm hitting. I assume being even more financially stressed will motivate me.

I am working less. By that I mean, my show is getting easier and in a groove so I can focus more on the crowd and tying strings to audience members (with eyes contact, not literally) but it's still a very taxing job.

I just don't know if I can make it out tonight.
Message: Posted by: travisb (Apr 15, 2011 02:17PM)
It's the hardest thing, and there is no simple answer. Sometimes you just have to take some time off. Sometimes you have to power through it. It's not easy, but in my experience it does always change for the better eventually if I apply myself.

Message: Posted by: NexusMagicShop (Apr 15, 2011 08:32PM)
On 2011-04-15 13:15, Rotten wrote:
Right now I'm hitting an obstacle. Exhaustion. Fatigue. Not from performing on the street, but I have been working on my house and am very banged up. Plumbing job requiring me to lay under a sink for hours cutting pipe with a tiny saw.

Cutting pipe is never as fun as laying it... - ha ha Bad joke!! Bad Jason! Bad!
My inner demon couldn't resist. -Sorry
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 16, 2011 12:20AM)
Thank you guys for the laugh. I didn't make it out tonight but am going to power through it tomorrow. I feel like I should go wait in the truck till I can cowboy up. I'm ready to get out of the truck now.

"Step right up, watch my hands folks cause that's where the magic and apparently the bloody wounds happen."

Need to put some paper in the pocket so I have no choice to go. Motivation! With out that I wouldn't get anything done.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 16, 2011 08:48PM)
Well I cowboyed up and went out tonight. Did one BIG show at the spot that I chose the very first time I went out. Much better hat. My band aids kept falling off and my hands started to bleed again so I called it a night. "Here kid, look at this coin, just ignore the open wounds..." One really good show. They were also starting to crank the music so I couldn't be heard well so I stuck to the visual stuff and turned em fast.

As I was packing up a "security guard", which by the way have all been very nice to me, came up and said they had been getting complaints about me from shop keepers because people were blocking the door to their store. I told him I had been asking them to get off the sidewalk but they weren't listening. He was funny, "Yeah, tell me about it. These knuckle heads don't listen, as long as you say it you'll be fine. It's just cause you are new people are going to complain but we love having you out here." That was nice to hear.

It's not scary at all now. I am getting the show down, the hat lines, the heckler lines. The ebb and flow. Looking forward to my hands healing and getting back at it this week.

And I took a picture of my set up just for you fellas. I got a quarter of my crowd by setting up and taking a picture of it. That was easy. Now the hard part, getting the picture off my phone and on here somehow? Don't know how to do that yet.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 17, 2011 07:16PM)
My set up.

I hope this works.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 17, 2011 07:18PM)
And I added a new sign

"Blocking Shop Doorways = Illegal by Fire Code"

maybe that'll shut em up?
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Apr 18, 2011 02:29PM)

How often are you going out, barring the hand injuries?

You seem to have come a long way in under a month.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 18, 2011 03:45PM)

First I would like to appologize for calling you "fellas." I didn't know we had a lady in the room. :)

I have been in showbiz since I was 10. Started with formal theater, Shakespeare and the like. Living in Mustang Oklahoma that made me an odd duck. If it's not horse poo or pig skin it's not entertainment. So I spent much of my time as a boy doing magic and juggling in my bedroom and theater at night.

In my twenties I decided to give stand up comedy a try. In a couple of months I was traveling around the midwest as a Feature act and paying the bills. Not very well though and I had a son at a young age so I gave up comedy and went back to theater, childrens theater and birthday parties. Then theme parks and corporates. For the past 8 and a half years I have headlined a show on a cruise line with a juggling partner.

So I have had some amazing teachers in my life and have had some amazing experiences that I learned a lot from.

Now for the first time in over ten years I am working solo again. It was very scary at first but it came back to me pretty fast and the creative juices are now flowing again.

To answer your question I have been out a total of seven nights but two of those I wussed out and only did one show. But I still learned from those two nights. And I must say that Jimmy Talks Alot's blog helped me jumpstart the process VERY much. Thank you Jimmy.

-Ted Campbell
But my friends call me Ted
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Apr 18, 2011 09:29PM)
Rotten: I believe that I can name that pitch in one note ;)
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 18, 2011 09:33PM)

I'm just saying that I have been fortunate enough to have many teachers. That helps with any learning curve. Have I fallen on my face? Oh yeah. On comedy stages, cruise ships, now the street. Learned from it and made sure it never happened again. And I didn't mention that I have no other skills or trade. This is it. Learn or starve.


Your question has intrigued me all night. Upon reflecting on my post I realize I failed to mention some important things.

I started street perfroming at 16 years of age at a local theme park in OKC called Frontier City. I had no idea what I was doing. I had a bag of magic and juggling tricks as well as a 6 foot unicycle. They paid me minimum wage and I did that for one whole summer. One week they hired a professional street act called "Darn Good and Funny." It was a trio who went on to win a IJA gold medal in groups. I made good friends with one of them right off the bat, despite the age gap. He was great and everything I wanted to be. He didn't just juggle balls but he juggled everything and the kitchen sink. He was very much an inspiration. Shoot, going back further I had seen the on TV a few years before that, local morning show, and was blown away already. He's the first and only guy I have seen do a running jump mount on a 6 foot uni. I can't remember seeing anyone else do it although I'm sure there are guy that do. I learned it and it's HARD.

That is the same guy who has been my juggling partner for the past 10 years. His group broke up and we started working together. I have learned so much from him. He is one of the best guys I will ever know.

And another one of my best friends came out to "my" spot and showed me how it's done. So I have by no means walked this alone. So many teachers and friends and audeinces. I don't think I can do anything but I sure like to give it a try.

Don't copy, Don't take. Learn and Create. I just made that up,,, as far as I know.

my friends call me??
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 19, 2011 09:50AM)
Pardon me. I misunderstood RiffRaff's encrypted message. Come to find out we are neighbors and he knows the spot I'm working. Now I get it!

Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Apr 19, 2011 02:33PM)
Seems like you came to this well prepared Ted.

I used to unicycle and walk slack-rope as a kid and teen (not very well). You couldn't pay me to do either now, Thank goodness I found Card Tricks before I seriously hurt myself.

Thanks for the photo of your set-up.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 20, 2011 10:12AM)
It's just another form of show biz. Money through art. Doing what I love...or at least the only thing I know how.

It's funny you mention the unicycle out of all of that. Two days ago I wrote a new routine using my uni. I haven't ridden it onstage in many years since my juggling partner does. I have always kept them hanging in my garage but only rode for exercise. So I called my mom and said "guess what. That unicycle you bought me at 14 is going back in the show at 39." I never would have thought I'd be back on one but the routine is going to be my finale so it's worth the training. I think it's gonna be real funny...??

You are welcome for the pic of my set up. Guess no one has any comments or thoughts about it or don't want to share for free? After all the requests I thought I would have had a few more replies. Feeling like Mario and his table post now. :)

Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 23, 2011 03:00PM)
I went out last night and boy do I have a lot to learn. A true student of the art of Busking came out and gave me some wonderful tips and bits. He's a new friend and boy is he welcome.

There is just so much to think about at any given moment. It's still all so new. I keep forgetting jokes I have used for years because there are so many distractions.I will get better. It will get easier.

I am still tightening routines I have been doing for many years but they work different on the street than the stage. Transitions must be faster. And no more bending over. I kept dissapearing from the audience when I went to get something out of my case. So I now have everything on legs and up in the air.

Every routine I ever took out is back in and the stuff that I wasn't as strong with is out. Geez, why did it take me a month to figure out what I already knew? Once I have it down I can fool around. Try new stuff. Till then lock it in.

And I wanted to explain the hecklers. In my experiences my hecklers have been drunks with something to say. I can work with that cause it's what I'm used to. Out here the hecklers are 14 year old boys that walk up in packs, watch 3 seconds of my show and yell "YOU SUCK." Now I have tried several different techniques to address this. My personal favorite is a took I a water spray bottle with me. So when the kid walked up and yelled his brilliant proclomation I said, "It's alright folks, I'm a kid whisperer. SSHHH." Then I sprayed him with water. He didn't like it so well so I haven't done it again. Still trying to find the perfect way to take care of it and get a laugh with out upsetting said boy.

I'll be back at it tonight trying to remember all the bits of wisdom that was shared with me last night. Oh, and I learned to never talk about,, oh, wait. I can't talk about it.


Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Apr 23, 2011 04:48PM)
Ted, you'll do yourself a favour, if you aren't already doing it, of saving your self-critique postings into a file on your computer as a diary to look back over at in a year or two, or even more, and laugh at your ignorance "back then".

Listen to the music of the street - real life in action, and you're part of it. Write down some of it.
I keep a couple of files "Street Scenes in my First Year" and another, "Street Scenes after my First Year". I write up experiences from my street work, or what I see happening during it, and it sure brings back some memories. Do it the day, or day after, it happens. Then you can cut and paste the latest into Magic Cafť thread to share with us [Thanks, I'm enjoying your postings!].
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 23, 2011 10:56PM)
Thank you, great idea.

Tonight I was thinking back at things that I used to be scared of and conquered.

The thing with the street is looking into their eyes and seeing their faces. I know my first night I looked at the ground or up in the air for the most part. I was used to looking out into an audience and seeing a sea of black darkness. Now I look out and see faces, eyes, smiles, glazed over looks. I am enjoying working with that. The way a person is standing. I tease them and get them to laugh at themselves and change what they are doing. It's so different than stage but it's the same thing. Instead of controlling a thousand people sitting I am doing it one at a time, on the street where they are standing.

So many cute kids tonight. I wrote a few jokes to make fun of people giving me change. I never used them. So many of the families I see are out for a cheap night out and don't have much money. So I thank them the same as a $1 tip. Times are hard. Especially for a large family.

I tried to implement everything I learned last night and of course forgot half of that while I was forgetting half of my jokes. SO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT. "Folks, step away from the doorways, we can't block the shops." forget what I was saying and skip ahead leaving great jokes behind. I am getting much smoother and looking like I know what I am doing. Now it's a matter of time before I feel like I do.

Not one heckler. My show is tighter. No room for them now. One drunk guy was trying tonight but he was in the back and every time he opened his mouth was on a punchline and I had a speaker. I kind of wanted him to yell out on his own but my shows were tight tonight. I finally know how many shows to do when and where. Setting up and striking is a pain but it's part of the process. Finding the right spot.

The management approached me tonight, for the first time, concerned about the fire. Oh boy. And security keeps coming up to chat. I think the guy is just bored. He needs to get a life and leave me alone. Now he thinks he wants me to move to another spot. Off the main path. Nope, can't happen. So frustrating to start getting my part worked out and now they come along and want to mess with it.

Muscles are sore, dogs are beat and swollen but I feel great. Going to sleep well tonight.

I learned when asked when the show starts, and I am just standing there on break, that if I want to do a show I tell them 2 minutes and they wait while I get going. If I don't want to do another show yet I tell them 5 minutes and they walk off. I guess those extra three minutes are just too long to wait. Works best when it's a pesky kid repeating "when's the show, when's the show?"
Message: Posted by: NexusMagicShop (Apr 23, 2011 11:20PM)
Keep it coming Ted awesome to read about your progress enjoying this very much.
Message: Posted by: travisb (Apr 24, 2011 01:25AM)
Heh, the two minute/five minute thing rings true, although in the place I go most often it's more like thirty seconds/two minutes. But I've seen that behavior, for sure.

Message: Posted by: djurmann (Apr 24, 2011 05:34AM)
Hi Rotten,

Really great thread. Vis a vis the small tippers I rather like Cellini's line.

"No contribution is too small, just fold it up and put it in the bucket"!

Keep posting,

Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 25, 2011 07:12PM)
I had a friend in town who wanted to see my street show so I went out and did one. Perhaps since he was there and is my oldest friend since we were boys but I was on. Looking around and calculating things, lining them up. Zinging them. I was sparking. I still forgot a few gags and jokes that should not have been forgotten but I remembered some brand new ones and made up a few adlibs that made him and me and one drunk guy laugh.

I just must get a larger amp so I stop using my voice too much. I'm used to having a mic one inch away from my mouth, a sound guy to engineer it and a theater full of speakers. Those were the days. Now it's me, all by myself. AND I LOVE IT!
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Apr 28, 2011 09:31PM)
SUCCESS! At least that's how I feel. After going out for over a month I am starting to be happy with my performance and am inviting my wife and mother in law out to watch on Sat. night for the first time. Now that I have a show that I"m becoming happy with. I'll even have her video it for my own review, for now. I haven't done that yet because I didn't feel like I had enough things worked out but now I feel I have a little piece of Street Theater.

I am loving bringing a group of strangers together and uniting them as an audience unexpectedly. Making them laugh, gasp, and stunning them. Gosh it's getting fun.

Tonight I even received a coveted 20! However I must get a better speaker so one of my best friends and I are going in on a Anchor and will share my spot with him. One show after another alternately. Then eventually we'll both chip in on another and then we'll each have one. I wouldn't do that with just anyone but him and maybe a few other dear friends. I feel the speaker will more than pay for itself.

The lines flowed out of my mouth. I watched the crowd. I didn't forget any lines. However, I changed the order of a few jokes and then later when I was performing I suddenly couldn't remember if I had said them in that particular show yet or not. Luckily there was a little boy who was really into my show so I just asked him if I had said it yet and he said no. lol.

I am really getting my set down finally. Wheh. It was a process. So much tinkering before I was happy with the flow and transitions and lines. I still have work to do but all of the rough cuts have been made. Now it's time to polish.

I have taken some peoples advice and got rid of the trickle bucket. It was okay for when I was starting and was scared I suppose. Now it just interrupts the show so I keep the bucket out of site until it's hat time. I do still stand there with the hat but most people really like balling up the bills and throwing them in the bucket. I don't like that I then have to un-wad them but it works, for now.

I put a zippered money bag in my case and I place 5 envelopes inside of it and numbered them 1-5. So as soon as the show is over I grab the dough and stuff it in the envelope for that show. I don't want to stand around straightening and counting. I stick it in and find out when I get home. Almost as exciting as christmas. I do watch as they put it in so if I get a big tipper I acknowledge them. The other reason I like having the envelopes is that sets my goal. To do 5 shows. Put something in every envelope before I can go home.

Oh and heckler little boys. I had one tonight. I can't even remember what he yelled but it was pointless. Something my dad used to say popped out of my mouth and the adults laughed and he shut up. "If you push on a mule expect to be kicked." Did I mention I'm originally from Oklahoma? It might not work every time because as another one of my dad's sayings "Telling a man to get lost and making him do it are two entirely different propositions."

Thank you everyone for your words of wisdom and support. I couldn't have done it otherwise. I'll keep at it and if I come up with any new ideas or find something that I can share I will be happy to.

Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Apr 29, 2011 12:26AM)
Congratulations Ted,

You are an inspiration and I've really enjoyed your thread!

Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Rashkenes (Apr 29, 2011 05:54AM)
I am quite thourghouly enjoying this post. A wealth of information in here, keep up the great work man, we're all rooting for you!
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 5, 2011 01:11AM)
You know what? I found myself on the street. I'm plum tuckered or else I would expand but assure you me that I may have went out to build new routines, instead I found out who I am. Honesty is the one ingredient my show needed and I found it. You may take the boy out of Mustang but you can't take the Mustang out of the boy. This is a first as I have always been a character name from ????. I already crack whips. What was I fighting?

On the street if you aren't true people see right through it. IT AIN'T SHAKESPEARE. Establish a true and honest character and your crowd would follow you right off a cliff. They just stand there till the ice is broken and then file in. It's like magic. I am getting it now.

As for my rig. I had no intentions of keeping it in milk crates. Not from the start. I was fooling around cheaply to figure out what exactly I wanted to build. Since I'm a juggler I have long props. Plus the amp and table stands, etc. At 6 bucks a crate from Walmart I figured out what I need to build out of luan and 1 by 2's. Bolt some wheels on and away I go. No more navigating the dollies. Some nights I tipped over as I walked to and fro and it made me just wanted to take my dolly and go home. So GOOD BYE dolly. (yeah, I'm straight but I'm not scared of a show toons ref or corny jokes) Going to build myself the rig I need now that I know.

My friends call me Ted and I'm from Mustang Oklahoma. (There, I said it) Find me on facebook cause I have yet to meet a man I can't put with.

Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (May 6, 2011 10:35AM)
On 2011-04-08 01:37, Rotten wrote:
Ed, are you being facetious? I can take it.


I only get facetious on alt.conspiracy, those guys are fun!
No, I'm serious, your posts are very informative and the responses are excellent!
Someone posting; "Hey! I worked outside this place for forty-five minutes and hatted them for $150!" is interesting reading, but not very useful.
You're giving us the ups and downs of learning this side of the business (from someone who actually works on other sides of the business). It's very interesting to read.
Message: Posted by: imgic (May 6, 2011 12:43PM)
On 2011-04-28 22:31, Rotten wrote:
I put a zippered money bag in my case and I place 5 envelopes inside of it and numbered them 1-5. So as soon as the show is over I grab the dough and stuff it in the envelope for that show. I don't want to stand around straightening and counting. I stick it in and find out when I get home. Almost as exciting as christmas. I do watch as they put it in so if I get a big tipper I acknowledge them. The other reason I like having the envelopes is that sets my goal. To do 5 shows. Put something in every envelope before I can go home.


Love the envelope idea! Sets a goal, gives you idea of what works with various shows, and doesn't make you look like a schmuck fumbling around with money.

Would also like to echo the others...this is great thread. Please keep it up. So informative and insightful. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 7, 2011 12:32PM)
Thank you. I appreciate your comment.

Last night my first and my third were my biggest hat. So now I know to work those shows a little more and cut the other three down. Why do five when I can do four and make the same amount?

It has been a huge learning experience and I am glad to be able to share what I figured out. I still don't have it down but I'm getting there. Finding who I am has been the hugest development and that cracks me up. I have had some pretty prestigious gigs in the past that I didn't learn squat from, but the street, I learn something every night. Heck, every show.

I am more than happy to be an inspiration but I want to hear about your perspiration. I've told you all about mine, tell me all about yours. I want to learn too.

I write and write now. My comedy juices are flowing and I have missed them. The best thing about the street is I can experiment. Some lines just pop out of my mouth like I have said them for years but they are complete ad libs. The other night I had two young couples in their late twenties stand front and center and enjoy my whole show until I dropped the hat. Now I don't say any "mean" hat lines but these four people just turned and walked away. So I hollered out "THose guys are my hero's. They aren't scared to look cheap in front of their dates." Got a bunch of laughs and more tippers. Back handed compliments work very well in the street. Sounds like you are being nice until they hear what you said.

It must be the most organic experience I have ever had while performing. Not to sound hippy dippy but you grow with every show. Darn, there I go rhyming again.

Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 8, 2011 12:00AM)
I told myself I was going to share the good, the bad and the ugly. I have been pretty darn honest about this experience so here is the ugly.

Drunk kid. Uhg. Ruined the party. I tried every trick I had. Eventually he quietened down a bit, to the point I could ignore him. Now I couldn't hear all the stuff he was saying but the next thing I know a nice father of a 13 year old boy that was enjoying the show is now in his face and they are yelling at each other. This happened in the blink of an eye. I swear, crazy stuff. I jump in between and the boy's three friends "hold" him back while I gently motion for the father to join his son and I can't remember what all I said but this made his entire half of the crowd leave, the whole right side. So I look at the remaining three quarter and keep them together, including father and son. The kid stays over there with his three buddies, as his girlfriend is now mad at him, as is the whole crowd, and she stormed off. I'm getting huge laughs at his expense now and he is still there. So I quickly wrapped the show with my finale and admitted I shouldn't pass the hat but I know some people enjoyed the show despite of the interruptions brought to us by adolescence. Some people were very kind. About three of the men stayed there as back up since it was four against me.

Then the kid wouldn't leave. He was waiting for my next show and texting on his phone mad at his girl. He was looking for a fight. So I just went over, chewed him out BIG time and he eventually walked off. By then I was so mad I packed it in. I had made my nut but not what I wanted. I shouldn't have gotten mad. I never lost my temper. I talked to him like I would have to my son if he had done something that dumb, which he never would. His buddies all agreed with me in a pansy way.

I'll put it behind me and be back next weekend. I now have security's phone number programmed in my phone. Those guys are amped up on Mountain Dew and just dying to tase somebody. Problem solved.

24 year old drunk boy put the FU in FUN tonight.
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (May 8, 2011 11:32AM)
Keep the pepper spray next to the thumb tip...both should be easily accesible and just barely out of sight!
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 11, 2011 12:10AM)

I bought some today. My mother said the same thing but she packs a pistol.

I have figured out what I think I did wrong and will be correcting it from now on. I have been kicking myself since it happened, that's how I learn.

If you look back to the second post I made, on page one, in my opening sentence I said I needed my street presence to be as strong as my stage presence. Or something like that. After replaying the game tapes in my head I have reworked the entire way I build my crowd. Maybe it's not as much as "entire" but it feels like it.

These are the lessons I have learned for me from that night and a few other of my favorites. Sorry if I repeat any ideas I may have already shared. They may not pertain to you and in another week I may change my mind.

Be Commanding from the start. You are the leader. They are the audience and you work together. They need to know that you are the bus driver and they can trust what you are doing. Sit down, shut up, and let me drive this bus. I have done this before. It's what I do. I got it all under control. If you are talking and I tell you to stop and you choose not to then I will pull the bus over and eject you from it.

Three pieces. Not a fluffy site gag as well. Just three tricks. Leading up to the kicker one that makes them want to throw money at me. I have two to choose from but if I do one I have to do the other finale as a middle. It works but I don't always feel like swallowing a sword.

Dumb it down. If I am doing "high brow" humor and they are staring at me don't expect them to change. They aren't going to suddenly get it. I must change, even jokes I have had forever that always work, will not work here.

MORE LAUGHS! They say in stand up, ah, now I'm gonna forget the numbers but it's like, "if your not getting a laugh every 7 seconds you are the opener. If you get laughs every three seconds you are the headliner. If you get a laugh a minute you are the house M.C." I may be off on my seconds but you get the general idea. Well the reason that is said is because the headliner is the guy who's show is so tight and he can keep peoples attention and the laughter rolling that when the tab is dropped the show still keeps rolling. It's the hardest move of the night. I feel you have to be a headliner out there all the time in the street. If I am talking and it's not funny I will shut up.

I will not do my first routine until my crowd is as large as I need them to be. If I can't get them large enough I will not do a show and that will not happen. Get the crowd, then do the show.

Stand my ground. This is my show. This is what I do for money. I have been performing my whole life. I am supporting a family, my son through college and paying a mortgage here. Don't mess with that!

Polished to perfection are the only routines that truly work. So keep polishing Ted.

Tie those strings, learn names. Talk to people. Involve them. Make them like me and care about what I am doing.

Get their money. A few jokes then I will shut up and start thanking each and every person.

When I am on the street I am alone. I can not rely on the courtesy of strangers. I must be prepared.

I have a new prop for an old routine that will require me to cary pliers so I dug out my Gerber tool from back when I was a Production Assistant. That could come in handy for many other things. If I keep adding things to my belt I'm going to look like Batman.

I also leaned a cool hiking trick. Take about two feet of duct tape and roll it over onto itself so that you have a small roll of duct tape. It could fit in your wallet. You never know when you might need a piece of duct tape.

You know I went into this a little prepared and then I learned and did it again, prepared, learned, did it again, repeat infinity I suppose. I like that. So if you are sitting around preparing go out and learn what you should prepare for.

A friend of mine has told me to post this stuff on a blog. I suppose I shouldn't be tying up the Cafť and he swears it will improve my SEO. What ever. I'll let you know if I do. Then I can also talk a little more freely about some of these experiences. You may not like the raw stuff. It's not for everyone.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (May 11, 2011 01:19AM)
I like it.

What do you do to draw a big enough crowd if you won't start your set 'till you get a big enough crowd?

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Bobby Maverick (May 11, 2011 07:00AM)
Mary, worry about the small show first. Becoming good at a small show will make it so much easier later to graduate into a bigger show...as with anything, it takes time.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 11, 2011 10:42AM)
I do highly visual and loud things that are all very curious. Things that make people wonder "what is that guy doing." I don't tell them. Three of them. First one is all me ignoring the crowd but it's curios. Then one that requires a little kid so I have something to hand him to get him locked in and helps the audience to get to know me. If you hand someone something they can't walk away. My last pre-show is holding a fire torch above my head as I educate the audience about what is going to happen and I unite them. So my preshow is three things and my show is three things. That is what seems to work for me. Keep that in mind as you read my ramblings. I don't know if this will work for everyone and to be honest I am still trying to graduate from salad to meat. :)

Bobby is right. Remember I started too big because that is what I did on stage. Then I went real small and then eventually started to get big again. Now I have widdled it down to very few and small props. 1/4 of a milk crate. The rest is just sound, tables, water, supplies. I started with WAY to much stuff. Keep It Simple
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 12, 2011 02:53PM)
After more reviews of the game tape in my head I realize I didn't share probably the actual gist of what I did wrong.

My fatal error the other night is I got the drunk kid to quiet down and step back but he did not shut up. He kept talking but it was at a volume that I couldn't hear. The reason the father got into a fight with the drunk was for his fowl mouth. After I broke up the little fight the first thing I said was, "This is a family show. If I can make people laugh with out saying dirty words I'm sure you can offend them with out saying dirty words." Got a laugh and I kept getting laughs but I didn't fix the problem so it grew. I can't just ignore a problem and expect it to go away. It will only fester.

I have a "theme song" now. If you search itunes look for "Chasen Hampton" - Album title "Something to Believe" - Song title "Busdriver"

"Sit down, shut up, somebody's got to drive the bus!"

I'm having so much fun I have got to get out of here.

Message: Posted by: KerryJK (May 12, 2011 04:42PM)
Many thanks for your posts on this, Rotten, it's been great following your learning curve and how you've adapted to the circumstances you've found.

I'm finally heading out on the street with my new act this weekend, this thread, along with many others on this forum and elsewhere, has been a huge help in getting prepared.
Message: Posted by: Lundonia (May 15, 2011 06:25PM)
This is my first post here. I've been following this forum for a few days and this has been the most intriguing thread of them all. I just started to learn "serious" magic myself after managing and promoting magicians on two separate tours.

I am really impressed by you Rotten. I have always admired people who have the guts to do whatever they want, no matter what that might be. Your stories are truly captivating and I would definately be a regular visitor to your blog if you create one. On the other hand it would be great to keep following your adventures here at the Cafť. :)

I haven't been able to browse through the entire forum yet but maybe it would be cool to have a section of blog/diares (regular threads, just like this one) where individuals could describe their day to day lives as amateurs or professionals...? Just a suggestion...

And again, thank you for all your efforts Rotten! :)
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 16, 2011 12:16AM)
Awe crap.... This thing has gotten out of control and I have no one to blame but myself.


I had no idea what I was doing. I was misinformed and dearly payed the consequences. If you do one darn thing, I'm starting to sound like Palin here, that I did as far as the broad strokes, STOP DOING IT.

I did so much wrong. If you were trying to do anything. Just imagine the one thing you really know. I mean inside and out. Something you hold dearly to your heart. Something you treasure. Admire. LOVE. It doesn't have to be magic. For me it would be Sideshow. I hate punk donkey kids e-mailing me asking how to swallow swords or Block Head or fire. The first thing I ask them is, what do you know about the history of the art? They never know crud. So I tell them to look it up. Learn who does what, who used to do what. Basic who's who.

I am so sorry to all the "buskers" out there and you know who I am talking to. I screwed with something you treasure.

IF YOU WANT TO BUSK FIND A TEACHER. I say the same thing to any would be sword swallower. I am not blowing smoke. I have tears rolling off my cheeks. I'm so sorry. Now never bring that up again, if you are cool. Ahem...

LEARN IT. Sure, you can prepare your little tricks all darn day. You can rehearse you show. Have you studied the art? I am ashamed I just thought I had.

Do you want to know the difference?

Me too! I have more books than I can count on the sideshow and I have read everyone. Don't give ME a pop quiz cause I wouldn't sound like I knew it all compared to the likes of Harley Newman, Todd Robbins, Ward Hall, and on and on and on so no one gets there noise bent out of shape. I'll only name the first three that popped in my head. Harley has helped me a lot. I'd ride a river with him.

The point is you can study this until the cows come home. Just study it much further than reading some green punks thread about how he is doing it. Uhg. I'm so embarrassed.

Give other artists the respect to learn the *** thing you are so hard up about wanting to try. It's respect.

It's about buying every single book or DVD that some guy is peddling. It's about networking, talking to people, getting know the art and understanding before attempting. You will fall on your face. Not want to get up. Or, and I am not making this up, get seriously injured.


FFS. Do not do this unless you know how to manage a small crowd. And I mean MANAGE. The great thing about the crowd mentality is also the worst thing. They are a crowd. And you say you want to drive this bus? Well have you ever driven a buss? NO!?!?!?!? Then sit down, shut up and learn how to drive this bus. I didn't do that nearly enough.

And if you want to know why my dumb donkey went and did it is because I told myself, Oh you are used to audiences of over a thousand. YES. I am. With a sound engineer, Light Tech, Back Stage Manager, Security, Cruise Director, Captain, and on and on and on.

There are two kinds of dogs. Boy I hope this analogy doesn't get me into trouble. I'm not calling any person a dog. I am merely pointing out the way I see things and I like to train dogs. I speak doglish. Here it is. Two kinds.The inside dog and the outside dog. Nothing in between. They are both animals. They both serve their purpose.

God bless the outside dog for all they do and their short life span. They chase cars and cattle. Dig holes in your flower beds. But they do serve a higher purpose and that is to guard the property. (now don't be getting my analogy all twisted just follow me out it is harmless, at least meant to be) If you bring a outside dog in they will poo on the carpet. Every time. Then a friend might come over and step in it.

Then you have your inside dog. They are trained to live inside and suppress (almost spelled that word with an r) the animal in them. They must not bark, poo on the rug, bight strangers yet they are normally small and not much good for protection. Yet they serve their purpose. After they are trained they are life long friends. So happy to see you every time. You start to communicate with a inside dog so much more intimately. You build a bond that will be around for as long as you both live.

The entertainment business is a lot like that. I'm not suggesting that you either fit into one or the other. I have taken an inside dog out, although they don't last long, and I have taken an outside dog in and with a lot of patience they will adapt and learn. It just takes time.

So go out there and research. Stop practicing and preparing and go study the masters. This isn't for everyone.

Start small. It's much easier. Start in a safe place. Get a good teacher. Have I emphasized how important the word good is?

Just be safe with yourself and the art. It is an art. It may not look like it but that's because it is.

I'm having so much fun I got to get out of here!

WAIT: The most important thing for last. NOT TRYING TO START AN ARGUMENT and would be happier if they deleted this whole thread than this one point! Please do not create anything out of this but I owe Kozmo a deep apology. I put it last because it is the most important. I gave credit for a idea I had "picked up" to someone else and it is his. Not going into detail unless Kozmo would like as I am only saying this out of respect. Don't peddle someone else's goods as some else's goods unless the other some else is the someone else you are meaning to....I lost my thought. Seriously. I am sorry Kozmo. I do not know you but I respect the honor of creation and your fine work.

So go out there and learn. Then do it. Would you try to compete in the olympics with out the right training? Of course not.

Don't do what I did. I was arogant. See, I can't even spell that word, that is just how arogant I can be.

My friends call me Ted
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 16, 2011 12:55AM)
I wanted a smoke somewhere in there and then my wife got to talking to me so I missed my darn point about dogs.

I was an inside dog. I went outside and got bit. I eventually learned how to be a inside dog again and now I am making friends. Licking butts. Getting bit in the but. Get to know the true artist's and don't listen to a green punk like me.

Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 16, 2011 01:42AM)
Lousy proof reader I am. Admin, please feel free to fix. I am only trying to set something straight so no one gets hurt with my careless comments.

"It's about buying every single book or DVD that some guy is peddling."

I meant it's NOT about buying ever single blah blah blah. It's about getting to know the art how ever you can.

Help admin, you are my only choice. They won't let me edit anymore!
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 16, 2011 02:21AM)
And after several cups of coffee and smokes..

I am from the education that

You shouldn't ask for what ought to be offered. (TIPS/WAGE/COMMISSION/SALARY)


You shouldn't take what isn't offered. (MATERIAL/ROUTINES/TRICKS/GAGS/BITS/WHAT EVER..)

And that comes from my back ground in stand up comedy and theater. There is no truth amongst thieves. Nothing truer than the truth.

I'm glad I finally saw the light, or is it seen?, and let it shine on me like the callous it has unjustly caused. (I know, don't give me an english lecture. My acting couch and cousin do that enough)

I'm having so much fun I have got to get out of here.

Message: Posted by: Lundonia (May 16, 2011 05:03AM)
What happened?!
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 16, 2011 11:49AM)
I have learned my history. I have learned about the art. I was careless. I was afraid someone would get hurt.

After sleeping on it I would like to add one more thing....

When someone tells me they want to learn stand up comedy they normally know a history of comedy. Being they know who they like. So I ask them about that and they tell me. Then I tell them to write 3 minutes and go do open mic. 3 minutes is all you need to start.

Same goes for the street. (not time frame) Start small. Just because you can do big things and just because you are used to large audiences in a theater it is much different in the street. It can be scary.

So learn your lessons and then start small.

What happened? I wised up.

Message: Posted by: Bobby Maverick (May 16, 2011 12:24PM)
Ted...you hit it on the head.

Now, keep swinging that hammer. Sure you're gonna miss alot, and you're gonna get tired but keep going. There's nothing like the ring of hitting it right.
Message: Posted by: KerryJK (May 16, 2011 12:56PM)
Is this about people following you before you feel sufficiently experienced to lead them? I like this thread specifically because it isn't by a warhorse. I love and value everything the likes of Jimmy Talksalot, Kondini, Chance, Kozmo and all the greats have to say because they live this art and know it inside out, but what your writing has to offer is the experience of someone a little closer to my own level finding their way; someone who has studied the history and theory, has experience in performing professionally in another field and is now finding their way in the unfamiliar and challenging environment of busking seriously on the street.

Speaking for myself, I'm an amoeba in the scheme of things here, have been since I arrived, and yet in this community I find giants willing to not only give me advice but listen to and discuss what I have to say and treat me with respect (they're also quick enough to put me in my place when I do step too far out of my box, and quite right too). What I get from this is that everybody in this forum is able to bring something to the table, which you are then free as an individual to take, analyse and act upon or not the same as you would any other advice. Of course it's not a substitute for studying the art and getting out and doing it, but it's a fine complement.

Just continue to be honest about who you are and understand that what you have to say is valuable, especially the perspective you bring as a professional stand-up comedian tackling a new discipline. That's a journey worth documenting.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Maverick (May 16, 2011 01:22PM)

Man, you and Rotten have an extremely good take on this! It's refreshing to see, and I am glad to back here and a part of the Cafť now.

You're going to go far!
Message: Posted by: djurmann (May 16, 2011 05:25PM)
On 2011-05-16 12:49, Rotten wrote:
I have learned my history. I have learned about the art. I was careless. I was afraid someone would get hurt.


Well there has to be a certain amount of personal responsibility....and that is not your responsibility. I saw Gazzo's cups and balls routine - I believe him when he says he doesn't want to upset anyone; I am also surprised that no-one has kicked the **** out of him. I am certain if I tried it I wouldn't get the laughs he does and I would get into trouble real quick. But if I try and do a Gazzo style routine and it goes horribly wrong that is MY responsibility not Gazzo's.

When you document your journey it is a great gift. Like all gifts it is up to the receiver to determine how they use it. You cannot protect people from all failure, pain and disappointment, nor should you and it is not your responsibility. The point about the greats is that they show that if you persevere that pain, failure and disappointment will pass and are the crucible which burns away the dross, leaving gold.

I respect your decision to stop. I hope you change your mind. If you do and fail that is your responsibility - not mine. But when you succeed the success is yours also. Whatever you do, blessings upon you, your family and your work.

Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 17, 2011 11:30PM)
Let me clear this up and move on. And by moving on I mean working and journaling.

I am not quitting. I just wanted to be clear that this was a journal and I was not recommending anything to anyone. I wasn't even suggesting they do anything I have done. I was very careful with my wording and tried to not say "YOU should do this!" Or "all you have to do it that." I did tell you fine folks to get out there and I wanted to keep from doing what I did.

I ran out in the middle of a freeway and tried to stop everyone and in the process I caused a few car wrecks and paid the price.

Start so small it bores you but don't let it. Work the crowd. Get used to telling people where to go, and not in that way. If you are used to small hecklers a crazy drunk won't be near as scary.

I was reckless because I am a juggler. All I can do is a big show. It's very hard for me to get people to come to the edge and stay but not impossible. I was just using the fact they wanted to stay away as a reason to let them. NO. I can't. Then I don't have any ability to change the situation. They have all the power.

So I got bit and didn't want anyone else too because of my recklessness.

I have changed so much about my show I don't even recognize it and yet it's the same routines. All about execution. Timing. Pacing. It's a ART! I got rid of the silly Magic Sign. Don't get me wrong, it served it's purpose. But just like the trickle bucket, it has no room in my show. Because it's not me. I'm not a magician. I do magic but not cards.

I started too big. Went back and learned a much smaller magic show and then started growing again. And again I did it too soon.

I was forcing the process. Or at the very least I was rushing. I had my reasons. I have a client who wants video of a routine I do not have on film. I thought I could get it's teeth broken out there and video it and I would have the job. It's been two months and I am going to finally video this weekend. It's still a crap shoot. Weather. The crowd. But I am now ready to go in there and be myself.

Remember when I said something about, at first we emulate and then we create. Well I am done emulating. I'm good at what I do because it is who I am and I have been doing it my whole life. I just had to figure out how to make it fit in the street.

I would also like to add that my pitch is like a biker bar in a rodeo with people from the same class but are black, puerto rican, mexican, cuban, english, etc. So it is a bit hairy but I have security. If you are out there on some un known street you are very much on your own.

So be careful but get out there and just be you. Then come home and prepare how to be you even better next time. If you try to be someone else your audience will be able to tell you aren't being real. So go slow, go small, then grow into yourself and control that crowd.

I guess I freaked out because I have never started a thread that I can remember so the numbers being over 2000 made me pucker.

Happy hats and safe travels
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (May 20, 2011 03:39PM)
Rotten, what do you owe me an apology to me for? Who stole my stuff :)
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 21, 2011 01:44PM)
Kozmo!!! I'm glad you read this. I really respect your work.

I understand that throwing a coin on the ground and staring at it is yours as well as many other bits and tricks. You showed someone else who I learned it from. I did it a few nights so I stole it from the original thief. Would you accept my apology if I print his name here? I don't want to get this deleted but I will if that is the right thing.

My show has progressed faster now than ever. It's a show. Last night one of my shows lasted nearly 40 minutes. My actual show is only about 18 minutes but I won't even start it until I have a crowd. So it took me 20 minutes to stop and bring everyone together but it was a very slow night for some reason. Not many people out.

Pre show is three pieces and my show is three pieces. Sometimes my preshow is two pieces and my show is four. It changes now depending on the crowd. Doing the show in front of me and not the one in my head. My character has come a long ways. It feels so nice to be me.

I started with three pieces and stuck with it at first because I needed to learn how to manage the crowd and not worry about what trick I was doing next. Now they go together.

I'm getting better at this wonderful art form and it feels good. I have grown into my own show and it's not as different as I thought. I kept saying "I need to dumb down my jokes" and there were a few that were just to cerebral but for the most part just by slowing down and talking to my audience they are now hearing and caring about my jokes. I'm getting much more laughs and that is making me more confident which is making the show better.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 22, 2011 11:43AM)
If you want to be a street performer....

Learn from the masters. In my opinion (note the legality of such statement) Jimmy talks allot, the same one I was preaching the gospel of, is teaching Kozmo's and other's material. I also believe that it's like a generic soda and it's not as good as the real thing. If you want the meat learn from the masters.

I look at my book shelves and they are lined with SIdeshow books and yet I would never consider myself a scholar even though I have studied it for many years.

At one dumb moment I suggested you didn't need to buy notes, DVD's and other merch. and yet I have all of these books about the sideshow. More gear than I know what to do with.

I don't mean you should go spend money when you aren't going to use the information. I just mean that if you are going to get into this art form learn from the greats. You get what you pay for.

For the past few nights I have been using Don Drivers method for drawing the crowd. I had bought his DVD a few years back and enjoyed it but had never used what I learned. After doing it about 10 times I have now come to understand the reasons his method works and am trying to come up with my own but I know it will probably not be as good as his. Why come up with my own then? I like to be original. Originality is greatly under rated in show business.

I wish you well,

Message: Posted by: Eric Evans (May 22, 2011 05:47PM)
On 2011-05-22 12:43, Rotten wrote:
If you want to be a street performer....

Learn from the masters. In my opinion (note the legality of such statement) Jimmy talks allot, the same one I was preaching the gospel of, is teaching Kozmo's and other's material.

This is interesting. Where, may I ask did you come by these gems of wisdom?

Your evidence must be pretty compelling to accuse someone so well known, so publicly, of thievery. And who are you TED? Should we know and trust what YOU say here?

There has been much talk of different "camps" in the busking world, while the loudest voice has been saying there are no "camps", or at least he (Bobby) doesn't belong to any one camp.

Maybe there are different camps because one accuses the other of stealing?
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (May 22, 2011 09:17PM)
Jimmy is certainly not teaching from the book of Kozmo. That's so silly it's funny. Honestly, that's probably the oddest thought I've read on this forum in the last 7 years!
Message: Posted by: Bobby Maverick (May 22, 2011 10:32PM)
All I have done is revived some old posts...people noticed similarities on their own.
Did anyone ever stop to think that maybe Jimmy and Kozmo AGREE on some things? And that Jimmy put it in his book because he thought it was worthy of mention? In fact, Jimmy told me Kozmo was in his book (I never read it.). Why would he do that if he's against all things Kozmo? Kind of contradicting one's self isn't it? Jimmy will tell you straight out that Kozmo helped him in New Orleans, inspired him even. So how is it a far cry to think that Jimmy would use a method or something of merit from the man? Whats the big deal? I think the only thing that would be bad is if he didn't give credit where it was due. Like for material or copy or whatever, but that would be way to easy to find out, and I don't think anyone is gonna do that...

Come on guys...I will say it like Rodney KIng said it "Oouch, oh oww! OOhw ahhh...Please stop hitting me with that baton!!!"

Oops, wrong quote...I meant to say "Cant we just all get along?"

I respect Eric and Jimmy. doesn't mean I always agree with them, but I respect them. Why? Because they're in the same boat as me...or on the same street or dancing in the fish bowl...oh whatever...you get my point.

I'm Just trying to start a conversation about our art, not knock one guy or another.

On a side not: Hey Chad!!!! Hows it going man? I miss ya brother! When we going fishing? I caught three bass this evening...
Message: Posted by: Eric Evans (May 22, 2011 11:20PM)
Hey Bobby,

While I alluded to you in my post, my questions weren't meant for you. Unless you're the fellow that told "Rotten" that Jimmy stole Kozmo's material. In which case I can't imagine why you would have much respect for Jimmy as you've repeatedly stated.

I'm just curious as to the source of the slander and now libel. And since "Rotten" a.k.a. "Ted" made the statements, I'd like to know where he got his information from.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 23, 2011 01:26AM)
Hi Eric,

I read posts and learned some history. No one told me anything. I was giving all the credit to Jimmy for some things that I feel should have been crediting to Kozmo but I didn't know it at the time. I was just trying to clear things up and not "start" anything.

I was contacted and asked who I was "alluding" to in pm if I wasn't willing to do it publicly. I then came to feel that I should set the record straight publicly.

I come from a theatrical and then stand up back ground and people deserve to be credited for their work. I have not read Jimmy's book so I can't comment on it.

I am done now. I have work to do. I appreciate everyones support while I learned some tough lessons. First lesson is to shut up till I know what I am talking about so I am going away to learn. If any of my posts need to deleted by the mods I would much rather this whole thread be deleted.

YOU shouldn't trust what I say. I wouldn't trust what anyone with the loudest voice is preaching. I would suggest people research and study the art. I don't know who you are either Eric but I will remain civil. There is no LIBEL when a person uses, "My Opinion." Libel is when you "state or imply something to be factual."' You are free to have your opinion and I RESPECT that.

ďThe trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are real.Ē- Abraham Lincoln

If you enjoyed my silly thread I appreciate you reading it. If you didn't enjoy it why are you reading it?

Message: Posted by: Eric Evans (May 23, 2011 11:11AM)
On 2011-05-21 14:44, Rotten wrote:
Kozmo!!! I'm glad you read this. I really respect your work.

I understand that throwing a coin on the ground and staring at it is yours as well as many other bits and tricks. You showed someone else who I learned it from. I did it a few nights so I stole it from the original thief. Would you accept my apology if I print his name here? I don't want to get this deleted but I will if that is the right thing.


Funny, I don't see "my opinion" anywhere there. Also, while you're citing the "coin on the ground" you've said over and over "many other bits and tricks" or something similar without getting the least specific -- it seems you would rather disparage Jimmy's reputation in general without offering any evidence whatsoever.

Just because you "understand" something doesn't mean you should repeat on a public forum. I can tell you without a doubt, Jimmy got inspiration from the coin on the ground from Warpo. Warpo used the technique when pitching Svengali's and Jimmy applied it to his coin routine. When I saw Kozmo work, he was chasing people around with the coin in his hand asking people to watch and then once he had stopped some people, he would go into a coins across routine on his tabletop.

So, there's some "evidence" of a claim contary to your "opinion". If anybody took it from someone else, it wasn't Jimmy doing the taking.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 23, 2011 12:28PM)
"I Understand" "I Feel" "My Opinion" = not libel

Not libel means I'm not trying to start anything. I wanted to clear up my opinions as they have changed as I studied many other peoples works. I had no intentions to offend anyone and I am truly sorry if my words offended you or anyone else Eric.

You have made your opinion clear. I respect that.

One thing I have learned is how important it is to make and nurture friends in this business. From the shop keepers to the security to fellow buskers. The lady that runs the leather shop at my spot loves my show. We got to talking. Had a bunch of laughs. Now her old man isn't impressed by me but he hasn't seen my show. He is kinda like my dad. But Donna loves me. She comes down and watches and then tips me a five spot. AND she was able to get me a sheath for my new sword and three leather pouches custom made for a pittance. And the security all love me and are always looking out for me when they can. I learned their names and say hi to them but they like what I'm doing and think I'm the coolest thing. I'm new and shiny right now. That might wear off, as sometimes friendships do. AND the buskers. Here is a fact, they are all sharing and compassionate for others that are out there doing it. It's like people on motorcycles. I don't care if it's a harley or a foreign bike. I respect you and will continue to until you prove otherwise.

Now, I have to go get an MRI and and schedule a surgery so I have other things right now that are so much more on my mind. That is why I had to clear this up as I will not have the time later. If it seemed hasty this is why. Perhaps I could have worded it all better? If you heard any tone in my words besides honesty and seriousness about how I feel then that was in your head. I will not apologize to my wife if she has a dream in which I cheat on her. I didn't do it. It was her dream. :)
Message: Posted by: Eric Evans (May 23, 2011 03:51PM)
This is one of the reasons I find that the Internet is often tedious and otherwise unpleasant. I don't find it a pleasant task to pick someone's words apart so that I may find out what and why they think the way they do, especially when much of what they say is contradictory -- either directly or indirectly. Matters are further complicated when other people who are not directly involved spontaneously interject what they consider to be relevant or important opinion(s) in what might be an otherwise direct conversation.

Rotten, I guess I appreciate the fact that you were just trying to tie up loose ends (to paraphrase) before your surgery -- and hope that all goes well for you -- but, I would think that publicly calling Jimmy a thief is more akin to tossing a bomb in a room or a drive-by whatever. Accompanying that, the added irony of hoping you didn't "offend"?

So now I'm clear that your assertion is based upon your "research" into the matter. Yet, you haven't spoken with Jimmy(?), presumably Kozmo (as you haven't cited him as a source), Warpo, Doug, Dante, Peter, Ragnar, Timmy or any of another dozen performers that were in New Orleans at the time that you allege this theft to have taken place.

I don't know what your research consists of, but I wouldn't be too sure of it.

Thanks for your time and back to your regular programming...
Message: Posted by: Paddy (May 24, 2011 08:10AM)
Rotten, Break a leg on your surgery!!! Hope it is not for anything serious. Keep us informed of your recovery

Message: Posted by: Kozmo (May 24, 2011 08:41AM)
"Chasing people around?" I don't think so.....However I do this to stop the first group. I'm sure that coin on the ground was used long before me..

I don't remember seeing coin on the ground but like Cellini used to say, "there's nothing new under the sun"

I think Jimmys show is a combination of stuff that Cellini and Sonny did and not much of me in there although Jimmy used to watch me work a lot when he was first getting started. IF Jimmy was using mine which he isn't he would be welcome to it. Plus there's certainly original stuff in there. I think that Jimmy uses his version different than mine.

This is all I'm going to say about any of this, Keep me out of this crap. This should end this

Rotten, go get em.....good luck and feel free to use my version of coin on the ground, I hope it serves you well.
Message: Posted by: Gazzo (May 24, 2011 10:04AM)
Kozmo wrote
"good luck and feel free to use my version of coin on the ground,"

You have to be kidding .... well your making me laugh
What is this one coin heads up one tails up?
Or one coin silver one copper
or maybe one small coin one big coin
Ha Ha Ha
Or might be that he had a red shirt on and
Kozmo had an Hawaiin shirt on
Could be that Kozmo stares at it longer than most
Oh Oh Oh
funny funny
You should see my version of coin on the mat oh sorry coin on the table
No I mean coin on the stage
Oh Oh ah ah
I have to get off this Green place
I don't mean that in colour
So sad
Message: Posted by: Bobby Maverick (May 24, 2011 10:53AM)
For everyone's information, I invented coins...and the internet...and the double lift...but I cant take credit for the cards...that was another guy. I think his name was John, or was it Istua?

Message: Posted by: Bobby Maverick (May 24, 2011 11:03AM)
I forgot to ask Gazzo...what size is your table?

Message: Posted by: Gazzo (May 24, 2011 11:33AM)
Bobby, What table?
Kitchen table
Pic/nic table
Dining room table
Chess table
massage table
decorating table
Street table
Round table
iron table
no need to Know the size of my table, Not important
First you need to go to Clown........ school so they say

Still laughing
Message: Posted by: Bobby Maverick (May 24, 2011 11:41AM)
Okay...I'm getting it now.

So what you're saying is that real street performers use massage tables or kitchen tables...okay okay okay...I think I'm catching on.

Now another question:

Where do you get your shoes? I really like dem shoes...and that snazzy hat? If I were to get a hat like that, what kind of exercises would I need to do with it before I was a good busker? Also, what kind of sign do you use? I mean what font and size?

I'm only asking because everyone wants to know.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 24, 2011 11:48AM)
I am honored and disgraced at the same time. Eh, that's how I feel most of the time.

Paddy, funny you said break a leg. I broke my left leg in 6 places eight years ago. Now my right knee has finally given up and it gets to be tuned up by scraping it all out and putting it in a blender then jamming it back in. That's the technical jargon of course.

You fellas got the first laugh out of me today and I needed it. Thanks....
Message: Posted by: Chance (May 24, 2011 11:50AM)
And away we go! Not even on a street corner and the egos run wild. Poor Ted, all he wanted was to share his journal notes as a beginning busker, hoping that one day he could be as good as his personal heroes. The same ones that are now at each other's throats fighting over a crowd building gaff that was invented before any of them were even born.
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (May 24, 2011 11:50AM)
Before you use a coin you should ask sankey, he's used a coin before!
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 24, 2011 11:52AM)
I don't hear anyone fighting. I'm the only one spewing here. In my opinion the new posts were made out of humor and kindness. I could be wrong but I like to think that is true. They seem like nice enough guys. As for Heros, I haven't had one of those since I was 6. Evil Knevil. Now you may see why I have a broken leg.
Message: Posted by: dmoses (May 24, 2011 12:07PM)
Wow... this is getting good.
I thought I was in the Pennies section for a minute.
Message: Posted by: j100taylor (May 24, 2011 12:07PM)
This is the most entertaining thread in the Cafť.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Maverick (May 24, 2011 12:14PM)
In fun fellas...all in fun.

Not at Teds expense either. I think Ted has a great future ahead of him in street entertaining.

But at the fact folks can get caught up in the rigamarol of this place...
Message: Posted by: Bobby Maverick (May 24, 2011 12:23PM)
Chance! Hey man, I'm glad you stopped in here! I had a question for ya...

Are you planning to hit that convention thing in I think either Boston or Philadelphia? I cant remember which city exactly
but they're having some type of thing for Balloon Twisters and I know you said you were in Vegas on hiatus but didn't know if you knew about it...?

I guess they're giving prizes and awards for the fastest and most creative sculptures, and I figured you would kill at something like this, so I thought I wold mention it since you're from the area.
let me know!
Message: Posted by: Chance (May 24, 2011 01:01PM)
I haven't twisted in over 2 years. It's just something I pull out on occasion when I'm short on time or space, when my regular stuff won't work right. I do OK with it I guess; I try to make nice things when ever I do pull it out of the bag, but it's not what I'm known for. What I [i]am[/i] known for is over here: http://www.freewebs.com/magicchance
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (May 24, 2011 01:02PM)
Bobby, what's sankey think of this?
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 24, 2011 09:43PM)
I have realized why I have never started a topic.

I realize why I feel uncomfortable at parties.

I have realized why I haven't been to a magic club in 17 years.

I have realized why people don't understand me.

I have realized why I was a nervous child.

I have realized why I am a homebody.

I have realized why I hate wall-mart.

I have realized that all of this is because I am a ass whole.

I have been reading and reading. So much to read.

"If you are friendly and explain your situation most buskers are willing to share their knowledge."
Gazzo's book "The Art of Krowd Keeping" (forgive me for sharing a quote but I did give credit)

I was laid off 7 months ago after nearly a 9 year run with a company. I thought I could just figure this out. I learned better. I was a moron. Study the masters. Don't just listen to one voice. Specially not mine. I nearly lost myself and this is all I know. Entertainment. I was running through the house with my eyes closed.

I even had a chance to see Gazzo at the Edmonton Fringe at one point, 8 years ago?. but I couldn't be bothered. What a dumb arse I was! I was on crutches at the time but still I would beotch slap myself if I could go back in time.

So, I'll work on the friendly.
Message: Posted by: Chance (May 24, 2011 10:03PM)
You're doing just fine, Ted. You're a breath of fresh air around this stuffy place, and I for one hope you don't change a thing! You keep on down that road, and you keep writing in your journal, and you keep posting here as often as you can. Don't give up or give in.

Catch you on the road some day...
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (May 25, 2011 05:30AM)
Ah, Rotten. This thread ain't bad. Just wait til you post a video of yourself and then someone accuses you of being "great"...then you'll really see it hit the fan.
Message: Posted by: Wayne Whiting (May 25, 2011 08:06AM)
"I don't have any cash." I hated hearing that when I was busking. Well...There's an Ap for that! I don't busk anymore but I am working for tips driving a pedicab, which is a whole lot easier than busking with magic. I hear the "I don't have any cash" line a lot. I just whip out my smart phone and tell people I take debit and credit cards. Intuit will send you a card reader (for free) that plugs into the audio jack of an Android phone. They have card readers for iphones as well. No fees other than a small percentage of what you charge, which I figure is better than nothing. I've had the reader for a couple of weeks now and have done over $300 in charges. I can see you guys adding a line to your hat lines that you take debit and credit as you hold up your smart phone at the end of your act mimicking swiping a card. Too funny!
Message: Posted by: Wayne Whiting (May 25, 2011 08:09AM)
Oops...Forgot to tell you the name of the Ap. Go Payment by Intuit.
Message: Posted by: guitarmagic (May 25, 2011 12:29PM)
Whew! I am so far behind but appreciate the good and bad of it all within this thread.

Thanks to each and every one of you who has contributed to this thread . . . you are all my teachers.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Maverick (May 27, 2011 08:05AM)
Koz, I could care less what Sankey thinks. :)

Ted, keep them posts coming!

Chance, dude where did you get a picture of Jeff???!!!! My buddy Jeff has that EXACT SAME PICTURE hanging on his wall and says it's him!!!! LOL!!! I guess I had to believe him since I couldn't see his face, but now I'm starting to think he was full of it!
When was this picture taken Chance? Where? Got any recent ones so I can say LOOK! you are fuul of it! I need details so I can go back and rub it in his face!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Funny stuff. Man he had me going there...dirty ***...:)

Oh and I was positive that my buddy Jory said he ran into you at Fanny Hall last season twisting. O well, I get my dates mixed around quite a bit...

Get back to me with that picture stuff, I cant wait to nail Jeff!
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 27, 2011 09:36AM)
So I get the point of creating a journal. Finally. I can edit it. Iím not just spewing. Iíll do one re read/proof and have Word to help. Ahh. I need to go back and give credit to the first person that suggested this idea. Sometimes I'm slow to pick up on things. Can you tell?

My wife read my last post and laughed. Then she said, do these guys know you? I said, no. She said, then they won't get it. I said, Okay.

If you are just now tuning in Iíll recap as I felt and remember it.

I lost myself when I was laid off work. Was about to get a job selling cars or something after 20 years as full time entertainer. So I hit the streets for my first time as a busker. Took me two months to talk this pitch into letting me work for free.

Been busking for just over two months. Started with a big three quarter show cause thatís what I thought I knew. I didnít know crowd management. I got scared. Started reading Jimmy Talks Allotís blog and from there I learned a small show. I respect his work. If it hadnít been for this silly thread I donít know if I would have gotten past the first few weeks.

In learning the small show I lost myself, again. Itís not what I do and I was doing it like someone else. Not like what I already know, do and have been doing for 20-26 years. I still do things I learned when I was 14. But that is not what I know. It is not what I can do in my sleep. But I did learn some new ways to draw.

So I jumped back into the big show and realized I still didnít know squat about crowd management. I used to use the word crowd control and now I laugh when I think back.
I got bit. Had some drunks ruin my show and ruin my night.

Now. Back to my silly journal, already in progress. I have a blog already so I could whip out another. I just donít like bogging this site down when, if you dig deep you can find a wealth of info from the masters. They are too busy to post now but back when they could!!! Holy Cow. Alas I donít want to start a blog about busking. Iíd rather do it about something I know. ;-)

I learned so much. I wish I had found this topic before my first night and I wish I had mined the hills.

Iím now me. Who was I trying to be? My dad.. Okay but not yet. Iím not that darn old. I tried Jimmy for a few nights. Boy that did not go well. Iím not Jimmy. He is the best Jimmy. Iím the best Ted.

So, I told you about all those books on the sideshow. I have produced and performed my own sideshow many times in theme parks, festivals, cruise lines, bars, fringe fest, but not fairs. So Iím a hack in the eyes a fair sideshow showman. I can live with that. I have juggled on fairs for more years than I care to remember. UHG. I had a thrill ride for a little over five years. The Orbotron. Human Gyroscope with the rider stands inside. I took that to fairs and festivals before turning it into a private party business. 3 or 4 years @ the Oklahoma State Fair in my early 20ís. I learned that wasnít for me. Iím not a gambler. But I did learn allot about business.

Now here is the craziest thing. When I started street performing I was gambling. Big time. And not that you always arenít a little, BUT if you have studied and learned about the history of the art and the big players it will stack the deck in your favor. I wish I had done that.

I started busking to work on my craft and make some gas money. An object in motion tends to stay in motion and an object at rest, blah blah. I wasnít working. So I created a job and now work is starting to come in and with a little luck and allot of preparation Iíll be back on a stage in no time. But I sure do love the street. So free.

Busking aint paying the bills yet. BUT I have began creating again. I had grown stagnant. Now Iím alive. I have been going through a legal pad per week for the past few months. Yeah, I write big but it makes it sound good, don't it?

I am now doing the sideshow on the streets. I already was trying but I wasnít doing it right. Thatís what I know. I can juggle but my right knee is tricky so jumping up and down and pirouettes are getting harder to do until after itís been repaired.

AND Iím doing a single-o now. I already had the gaff. It was in our show at the Orlando Fringe Festival as the blow off ding. My friend, Mr. Robb, told me a few weeks ago I should be using it to get more tips. I didnít see it at the time. Then it hit me.

So I spent the past few days building a little box with a battery powered light to display it in. Is it a crutch? Perhaps? But for now it will keep me in the game while I work on the show.

Itís an experiment. Not sure if it will work but it feels right. Itís what I know. What I am comfortable with. Iím going to drop the hat before my sword swallow finale. Then offer the single-o attraction after the finale. At this particular pitch it is so crazy it just might work. Might?!?

I built and tried a ďnext show timeĒ sign. It didnít do a darn thing but take up space in my case. But I have it for when I do festivals and theme parks. It will draw a beginning there but not at this joint.

This pitch has only been dear on Fri and Sat nights. But after this weekend I hear from the shoppies that it gets better on weeknights. Summer time! Hotter than the hubs of hell. So Iíll wait till the sun goes down. I now have a light so I can work after dark.

Iíll try to get a pic of my set up now. Itís changed. Funny thing is it changed to a rig I built 16 years ago. Do what you know. Be yourself. How simple.

I'm sharing my spot with a friend of mine who is a juggler. We alternate. It's great. I like to stand back and watch the crowd when he is working. To see them from a different angle. In comedy clubs I always sit at the back so I can watch the crowd. You learn so much from seeing how they are acting. That is very had to do while you are performing cause you are so focused on your audience you can't watch the "others." Plus if I have to go to the john I have someone to watch my gear.

I'll give a report how it goes when I can.

Happy Hats everyone!

My friends call me Ted

p.s. I would like to add that I have been reading books and lecture notes from the masters and it has really opened my eyes on this subject. Thank you!
Message: Posted by: Eduardo (May 28, 2011 04:07AM)
Hi Ted,

I read your posts, and is always a pleasure, I like you writing style, thougths, ideas, everything...
you are make me curious to watch you show, after such descritions...

This guys almost kill your thread with silly stupid things like "the size of the table" or "Sankeys coin" or "Jeffs Picture"

If this happens with me, this Cafť, changed the name to "magic red Cafť.com", red=blood

But they know, who they choose, they choose you because you are a nice guy and you even ask if you can steal material...

Steal material is like steal a car, you steal it, you make it unrecognisable, and them you use it...
If some of your peers say something about it, show them, your middle finger in up position... (you know what I mean)

Good luck with your leg... and have fun...
Message: Posted by: Chance (May 28, 2011 06:20AM)
On 2011-05-27 09:05, Bobby Maverick wrote:
....Chance, dude where did you get a picture of Jeff???!!!! My buddy Jeff has that EXACT SAME PICTURE hanging on his wall and says it's him!!!! LOL!!! I guess I had to believe him since I couldn't see his face, but now I'm starting to think he was full of it!

When was this picture taken Chance? Where? Got any recent ones so I can say LOOK! you are fuul of it! I need details so I can go back and rub it in his face!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!![/quote]

No, this is definitely NOT funny. Jeff who, exactly? Every photo on my web page shows me and only me. I would like very much to know who else is using my property. It's bad enough to be using my stuff without paying for it. It's far worse to steal it by saying it's you and not me. My photos highlight MY skill level as an escape artist, and I doubt there are 10 other guys in the world who can do what I can. It's a joke to think that just anyone can be trussed up as in my photos and escape. Your friend is a thief, a liar, and a joke on himself, and you can tell him Chance said so. Some friend you have there.

I won't give specifics about the photos, because then the thief will know more than they should. Right now he's in the dark and that's where he should stay. So who is he? Send me a PM if it helps.
Message: Posted by: solrak29 (May 28, 2011 09:59AM)
On 2011-05-27 10:36, Rotten wrote:
I just donít like bogging this site down when, if you dig deep you can find a wealth of info from the masters.

Iím now me. Who was I trying to be? My dad.. Okay but not yet. Iím not that darn old. I tried Jimmy for a few nights. Boy that did not go well. Iím not Jimmy. He is the best Jimmy. Iím the best Ted.

My friends call me Ted

Bogged down? Actually, I too think you have breathed life into this thread that has
been quiet for some time. It is pleasure to read about your outings.

I too remember first learning this stuff, I went from being Sunny Holiday, to Jimmy
Talks Alot; That's the thing with the video; as you subconsciously imitate what you
seen. Kinda like a kid who imitates his favorite hero; pretending. Now I struggle
to find myself and find that discovery can only happen by performing. But, you can
see the influences in what I do and as soon as my closer friends say, "ok, sunny" or
, "ok, jimmy"; I change or examine it and look to bring out me. Yet, my whole act
is really examined from the how my audience responds.

I've been to lectures, a bootcamp, have ton of videos, and read some of the books and
lecture notes and continue to learn something; especially after an outing.

Keep 'em coming...
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 30, 2011 09:47AM)
Thanks guys, I appreciate your support.

Being yourself sounds so easy don't it? In the face of fear it's not so easy. As my confidence is growing I am coming out in my show. Influences from teachers or other performers are a nasty pit fall.

So the weakest thing about my show is my gather and my hat. My show is okay, still needs polish but it's not the weakest point.

I am going to focus on gathering kindly. Not yapping away with out making connection. I think it will be easier now that I have watched real game tapes of my show and have seen what I am doing wrong. My juggler friend that is sharing my spot has given me very valuable advice. If you have a friend that can watch you, do it. My wife has given me great feed back as well. "I don't like that one thing. It doesn't really go anywhere." ooooh. Hard hit but she was right.

I'm handling the drunks and hecklers now. I was about to give up there for a bit until I learned how to work that out. That was some rough lessons.

As I keep ironing it out I keep finding more and more wrinkles.

Message: Posted by: Chris Capstone (Jun 2, 2011 10:31AM)
Hey Rotten,

This idea of "gathering kindly" is something I try to focus on as well. I try to directly engage as many individuals as possible during this pre-show time.

Between striking my bucket or ringing a bell to draw people from far away, I make small talk with the people who are already there. I try to make this seem spontaneous and a lot of it is, but a lot of it is scripted to make it funny.

I typically tease the kids or ask them funny double talk questions but talk more normally to the adults. Asking them questions really helps build rapport because it shows you have an interest in them. And I genuinely am interested in people.

I sometimes use a memory skill that I've developed to ask the names of all the kids and then impress the audience with a rapid fire repeat of all the names. This takes practice but once you get down people really go crazy over it. Asking their name and repeating it while making a comment or asking a question helps me with the pnuemonic devices to remember later.

When I've gathered my tip and am ready to start I introduce myself and then rattle off 20 plus names of the kids on the front row. It never fails to a get huge reaction and round of applause. It's a great way to build rapport and start the show.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Jun 4, 2011 03:22AM)
Had a good night. Took it easy. Tomorrow is a big day and I'll be working harder and longer than ever on this pitch.

The slow build is nice. I like it. It fits me and I get to choose the front row. It's the same silly thing I do to airline ticket counter people or grocery store clerk small talk. Just be me. Say something unexpected but non threatening. Something to make them smile. If I can make TSA laugh unexpectedly then why not people walking around an attraction site looking for fun? I am just being me. I still laugh when I type those words. I have never felt like I was being me while performing more than I do now.

I have so many wonderful inspirations. I really needed someone, or ones, to hold my hand as I crossed the street. You know who you are. When me meet prepare for a hug. I'm a hugger. That made me laugh too. Only when I have been drinking otherwise don't touch me besides a hand shake and no one is trying to prove something by squeezing hard and never give me a fist bump unless you have nasty street hands. Then they are acceptable.

Tonight I grew a pair and hatted before the finale then dinged them at the end with a gaff. I talked all big at one time that was my intention but I whimped out. Not now. I did it and it worked. It felt right at the very least. It's what I know.

A friend of mine and fellow busker told me he thought I had the perfect elements of a street show. Fire eating opener and sword swallow finale. I just need to tighten it all up.

But it's a big show. I should really learn a small one. I have one but it's lame in comparison. And I have to do twice as many of them to make me happy. More money the more happy I am. But there are times when I have a small show audience and I am playing my big one. It's way OTT as my wife would say. I'll learn. The hard way or no way else. Versatility is key.

I slowed down even more tonight and you know what? I am getting laughs again. I'm starting to crack more smile percentages too. I don't expect everyone to smile but if I can get 50% at once I'm pretty happy. It's a tough spot.

I want to thank Bobby Maverick and Danny Hustle for their kind hands. Danny's is so soft but I am just as comfortable with Bobby's that are like sand paper. I feel a hug coming on.

Message: Posted by: Rotten (Jun 11, 2011 10:46PM)
I have finally gotten consistent. And then my average has went up. However I'm sharing my pitch with a far better street performer than me and his numbers continue to encourage me to improve.

Now I'm doing a soft gather and then two tricks. It's a half circle show but there are lots of people that watch from behind me as well.

The show has gotten much funnier. I started remembering more of my jokes than forgetting and that has made my numbers go up.

My crowd management skills have improved by leaps and bounds. I have lost a lot of weight that I didn't need and am in better shape than I have been in a while.

I am in shape. My show is in shape. Now I just need take the it on the road. At least to a better pitch. I'm comfortable at mine now, and it wasn't easy, so I hope I can get comfortable at another one faster.

I finally feel like I can say I am a busker and darn proud of it!
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Jun 12, 2011 06:26AM)
My hats started at 10-15 bucks consistently when I began. I knew I was onto something when they were at 25-35 bucks for a 20 minute show. I never averaged much higher than that (though I'd occassionally hit a the 50-70 dollar hat) . That was 2 years ago when I was actively performing. Just thought I'd toss out my numbers to offer you a comparison. Buskers think it's taboo to talk numbers, but I think that's whack. It is what it is. I'm not ashamed of my numbers, nor am I bosting. It's just what I could do & where I was at.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Jun 12, 2011 12:48PM)
Al, I have been met with some of the "Don't talk numbers" guys and I don't get it either. I'm sure some will inflate the numbers for what ever reason they have but me and my friend compare and are straight up.

I used to have no consistency. Some were 7 some where 30. Now I'm consistently averaging 23 per and that is up from last week when I was hitting 20 on average. My friend is averaging 38 at my pitch so I still have mucho room for improvement.

It is what it is.
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Jun 12, 2011 02:44PM)
Set your own....never mind.
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Jun 12, 2011 03:54PM)
Somebody else's hat numbers are just that, somebody elses. You're not them and your show isn't theirs.
They get what they get, you get what you get. There's too many variables to take into account. Being too enviable could get in the way of you getting on improving your own show.
The main thing is to work on improving YOUR hats.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Jun 13, 2011 10:10PM)

That is exactly what I shall do! I rarely do mind.

MagiCol, I couldn't agree more. That is why I said, " I still have mucho room for improvement."

It is nice to have a barometer.

I am getting funnier by the day. That is what I do. The more laughs the more fun. The more fun the more money.

Fail to prepare then you prepare to fail. Get out there and learn what to prepare for.

Mine was a weak gather and weak hat. I am cocked and loaded now. I got to get out there and shoot some rounds.
Message: Posted by: dmoses (Jun 14, 2011 11:52AM)
This is true.

I often share a pitch with travisb and his hats consistently kick my hats' ass (or is it asses?)
But he's been working it a whole lot longer than I have.

In addition having a general idea of his hat gives something reasonable to shoot for and his good and bad days provide me with a perspective and education that my hat alone wouldn't provide.

This is also true: people often lie about their hats.

Message: Posted by: Rotten (Jun 15, 2011 02:36PM)
I'm sure people do lie about hats. My friends don't lie to me or else they wouldn't be my friends. It's my pitch and I'm sharing it so we are all straight with each other. I don't ask everyone how much they are making, just my close friends.

My point, which I don't understand why it's hard to understand, is that my friends hats are consistent. Mine are consistent. He is consistently $15 more per show than me. That's not a lot but it shows me that they will pay more than what I'm making. We do the same number of shows alternating so it's easy to see the differences. His show is different than mine. He is a juggler. I do sideshow stunts. He doesn't build an edge and I do. He makes them laugh more and does more "impressive" feats of skill to the layman. Yes the shows are different but the crowds are the same.

My friend busked back in college 15 years ago. He knows more about it than me and has been very helpful in the construction of my show. He only comes out on Saturdays when he is in town. It's nice to have the company and the input. My show has grown leaps and bounds from his input and from watching him. He is VERY likable. He can say things to people I couldn't dare. I hope to out do him one day just because he is kindly competitive and I am out there doing it more than him. He only had to knock rust off. I had to forge the steel.

It's raining tonight so I'll be at home writing. Rain rain go away!!
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Jun 21, 2011 01:50AM)
This weekend was amazing. I out did my friend but he wasn't there cause he was on a cruise ship. Yet, strangely he believes what I told him my hat was. Funny how friends trust you.

I have learned much. I understand I went into this fortunately that I already had a show. I just had to adapt it to the street. The beautiful thing is that what I have learned on a street will parlay onto the stage. I can not imagine someone trying to do this with out an act. I'm sure guys do, I just can't wrap my mind around why.

I went to my knee Dr. today and got a cortisone shot in the knee and we are hoping that with physio I can fix my knee without surgery. I don't understand how I can fix the knee pain by fixing the muscle atrophy from 15 years of babying due to pain. I don't want surgery so pain it is.

On with the show. I appreciate that some think I brought new life to this thread. From here out I am going to work on my art and my living. They go hand in hand and if you don't think that is true you are probably eating out of a trash can.

I am selling plasma this week so I can go to busker boot camp. (joke) I have no intention of busking (why does the green room insist that busking is spelled wrong?) for the rest of my life. I'm an indoor dog. But I truly believe that I am becoming a better performer by busking. That should only parlay into what I truly love. Theater. That is my passion but street has become my heart.

I wish you all well and if something of major significance comes up I may report. Right now it's time for me to make as much nut (the immature side of me always laughs when I say that) so that I can go and have my performance torn apart and they had better put it back together. If you are feeling generous a small donation can make my dream come true. If you would like to chip in on me going to boot camp as a thanks to the info I have shared just send money to Jim Baker. I bet he'll send the donations onto me. I don't think he can send it to Heaven.

I am so honored by the few guys that have reached out and helped me from falling on my face more than needed.

I'm having so much fun I have to get out of here.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Jun 23, 2011 02:46AM)
I said I would only post if something significant happened. Well it did. After receiving Kozmos DVD I watched the workings before I went out tonight. I doubled my hat. Just saying. Learn from the masters and you will learn. It's so simple it has to work.

My busker Library is increasing. My art is increasing. My money is increasing. I love this!
Message: Posted by: NexusMagicShop (Jul 20, 2011 05:13PM)
On 2011-06-23 03:46, Rotten wrote:
I said I would only post if something significant happened. Well it did. After receiving Kozmos DVD I watched the workings before I went out tonight. I doubled my hat. Just saying. Learn from the masters and you will learn. It's so simple it has to work.

My busker Library is increasing. My art is increasing. My money is increasing. I love this!

That's Excellent! Congrats Rotten, please keep the posts coming. This has been an enjoyable thread to read.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Maverick (Jul 21, 2011 09:46AM)
Yeah! I like reading this stuff!

Ted, you have a great way of wording things.

Keep it up!
Message: Posted by: philip tilston (Jul 30, 2011 04:34AM)
Rotten - you made comment a few posts ago about connecting with people instead of just talking at them. I have only done a little busking, but I was watching some "professional" buskers at Covent Garden in London earlier this week. I noticed that they shouted their standard lines at people incessently but I am not conveinced that they connected with many of them. Given how easy it is to start a crowd there (as many people come to Covent Garden to be entertained by street entertainers) I was surprised at how small their hats were.
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Jul 30, 2011 06:06AM)
On 2011-07-30 05:34, philip tilston wrote:
Rotten - you made comment a few posts ago about connecting with people instead of just talking at them. I have only done a little busking, but I was watching some "professional" buskers at Covent Garden in London earlier this week. I noticed that they shouted their standard lines at people incessently but I am not conveinced that they connected with many of them. Given how easy it is to start a crowd there (as many people come to Covent Garden to be entertained by street entertainers) I was surprised at how small their hats were.
[/quote]The small hats proves the point Rotten was making. IF they had connected to the audience, and not treated them as a "crowd" the hats would have been BIG!!
Message: Posted by: philip tilston (Jul 30, 2011 02:51PM)
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Jul 30, 2011 11:17PM)
I think that an easy pitch can lead to bad habits. When you have to work for it you learn what doesn't work faster than what does work. But if it's like shooting fish in a barrel a performer might not see the err of their ways and get away with all sorts of bad street theater. I'm still working on connecting myself. Some shows it's there and others I can feel the force is weak. But if you don't listen to your audience and watch them, each and every one, then you might not even feel the difference.
Message: Posted by: Devious (Aug 9, 2011 03:49PM)
It's been a wonderful read Mr. Rotten. Thanks for your candor and experiences. Don't be so hard on yourself. I'm certain that you have realized that sometimes folks are carrying plastic and not as apt to let go of the little green they have for the parking meters etc... There are also many tourists in San Diego from Europe and the culture hasn't caught on to the tipping philosphy as well as we try to here statesdide. You must continue to educate them to the gesture during your sets as I'm sure you do.

Jim Davis is a close personal friend of mine and most likely he has introduced us in the past. He has introduced me to many talented buskers since my return to San Diego from Phoenix.

I shall look forward to meeting you someday guy!