(Close Window)
Topic: "Dinero!"
Message: Posted by: Devious (Jun 13, 2012 05:50PM)

Busking and Money are inextricably linked obviously, but
by becoming soley concerned with those "fat hats" money can become
the focus of a narcissistic approach to each day on the pitch.

[b]"Look how much I made in comparison to so and so!"[/b]

To put it differently, pleasure in money can take the place
of a memorable performance for our groups. Reciprocity is the
ultimate goal, in my opinion. Creating value for our groups so
the novelty doesn't wear off when something comes along to steal
your thunder or when it comes time to pass the hat.

Sure we all require monetary compensation for our efforts,
but we can still attain those fat hats without losing a hint
of the passion for the real reason we perform. Money should
always be secondary in MY opinion. Your opinion may differ or
you may call me naive, however, there are far better ways to
optimize your time with greater pay scales in other vocations.

The crucial part of remembering to keep the real soul and heart
of our magic is to recognize our attitudes towards money. Why did
I come out here in the first place? To get away from the rut of a
nine to five or was it because you find joy in presenting the
rarest form of entertainment, that of magic performance or was it
because you wanted to get away from taxes, or perhaps you are too lazy
for a standard job, etc....

We deal with money in very extreme and neurotic ways, that can sometimes
intensify and exacerbate our "other" problems. Some folks on the pitch fantasize
and even romanticize both wealth and poverty. "I'm not making as much as those indoor
magicians, but at least I'm keeping it real, or perhaps now I have to buy a more
expensive version of something that already works just fine, but I need to keep up
with the other buskers who own the nicest cups etc...so I'll spend my extra money
on that."

You should have the very best of what you can afford and treat your
articles with lots of respect, for they pave the way for the food that lands on our
table. Also, folks will make assumptions on you, based upon your appearance and your props,
but some folks use these as a sign of status within our own community. Just know the whys
of your intents and expenditures.

Is our attitude about money a defense against poverty, or is it some twisted
understanding about what wealth is? Wealth is relative. Shaquille O'Neal once told me,
"Sure I make great money, but the real money belongs to the guy who signs my check,
I want to think like he does!"

If our attitude about money is essentially a defense against poverty, we may
never truly experience true wealth. Certainly you can be a free spirit when
you have a nice savings account, but it's wise to stop and look over your
little kingdom in the world and see how truly fortunate we are to be living
the dream in spite of how little or how large our current financial portfolio may be.

My brother is a very succesful senior level manager for one of the
world's biggest copper mining companies, yet he has a disdain for his work
environment. I use to be the foolish one, but now as family members and peers are
growing older, they are coming to realize and know, that I lived life on my terms.
I've never griped to them about my boss, co-workers etc.....

What is your definition of wealth? To have your credit cards paid off?
To have the latest pouch or the best set of cups, to own a Rolls Royce,
have the latest shoes, to have loads of free time, or to be able to wake up late,

I once thought it was romantic to take a vow of poverty, which would afford
me a more humble perspective as to the world and my own priorities. I stepped
off the stage and took a few years away from magic before my re-introduction into
the world of magic by way of the streets on the pitch. The money for these types
of performances is vastly reduced, but it sure builds character and causes one to
truly appreciate all audiences, is what I learned along the way.

It's not for everyone, but I needed it. I was indulging too much in the pleasures
and lures of what a little celebrity status will offer.

Buskers aren't the wealthiest kinds of performers in the field of magic,
so we certainly appreciate each dollar we earn on the pitch.

In large shows folks pay good money to enter a venue where live magic is presented onstage.
They feel compelled to clap, cheer, and smile throughout the performance because by way of
having to pay their way in, they are now captive to the general responses of the crowd lest
ye be singled out for not showing your obligatory hand claps or nods. Not so in groups on the
street. They will tell you exactly how they feel, free show or not.

All of the aforementioned ideals shapes our perspective on money and it's attainment.

Money is like sex. Like money, some folks believe that the more sexual experiences one has,
the more fulfilled they will be. It NEVER happens that way, just ask Hugh Hefner or Bill Gates.

[b]All buskers, will be forced to retire from the streets someday![/b]

Do you have a savings account or another stream of income that will support your latter years?
There are plenty of examples where magicians were shelved from our collective memory banks promptly
after they stopped performing.

Are you investing in your future by creating multiple streams of income with your magic by way
of products, side business, or shrewd investments? If you aren't doing one or all of these, ask
yourself, Why not?

Frank Starsini has a wonderful line of busking products that will leave a legacy long after he
has retired his wand and cups. We don't have to create magic, produce dvds/books or fabricate props,
but it is wise to find some revenue source for our latter years. If you can find a way to make money by
creating something related to magic, wonderful and all the better. One would be wise to find something
along these lines if not, a business venture that will sustain your way of life in your "Golden" years.

[b]How much money is enough?[/b]

I've often reminded myself that when I was lacking in funds, I experienced some moments,
I never would have, if I had a large wad of cash in my pocket that day. Perhaps, I was so
consumed in making just one more hat, when I could've walked away and enjoyed something else
occuring in my environment. Take some time to assess how you are doing and if you are maximizing
your life experience, as to your presence on this little planet, or have you sold your soul for the
almighty dollar and forgotten that magic is an artform not just a means to make money.

[i]The revelation to me, was that my soul was nurtured by want, as much as by an abundance of funds.[/i]

Money is like sexual fantasy and the emotions can become resistant to a rational guidance.
We will enjoy great moments with it, but it can easily lead to compulsion and obsession.

[b]The Dark Side of Money[/b]

Greed, avarice, cheating, stealing, rumor mongering, oppression, intimidation, and a host of other
selfish acts can be found in those who have lost their way and are literally obsessed with a need to
hoard as much cash as they can before they die.

I recently had a dear friend and famous athlete Junior Seau, take his life. He had millions of dollars,
women, cars, homes, toys, etc.....he took his life, because he lost his passion for why he was on our
little fragile planet, when his NFL Football career ended.

Moral of the story for me, is to remember why I'm out there and that money is only a means to an end.
Be sure to know where you are going and how you expect it to end. If you aren't going somewhere with
intent, then you are just in a canoe without a paddle floating down stream.

We have many reasons for performing magic. Some of us, because we love the feeling we get from astonishing
folks and hey what do you know? We get paid to play as well!

Sometimes we lose sight of that and become soley focused on those fat hats. The busking
becomes just a job and we lose our passion for making folks smile. I never use the term
"roaches" for anyone who enters my realm. If they choose not to tip, I consider it my gift
to humanity for the day, "Instant Karma" soon to appear my way.

Money can corrupt us in the alchemical sense. It can darken innocence and make us spiteful to anyone
who will interfere of it's flow our way. We are literally turning our soul's "Gold into Lead" instead
of the reverse.

We like paper currency versus coins, but When folks do drop change into my tip receptacle, I always use
it to remind me, if I've changed or if I need to change my attitude out there on the pitch. Sure we don't
like to hear the jangle or feel the weight of change when we leave for the day, but I literally use it as
a gauge of how I'm feeling or doing out there.

[i]Do you think that you are worth less because you aren't making as much as that guy on YouTube?[/i]

Do you think that you need to make lots of money in order to justify your existence out there?
We aren't losing games, we are learning how to win games, is an analogy that may work for you, each
time you don't meet your monetary expectations or connect with your audiences, as you may have wanted to.

We can make quite a tidy some and still never learn the lessons along the way. Are you a better person
because you have become a better busker? Are you proud of what you've become and how you carry yourself?

[b]Are you Gold or have you turned into Lead and lost a little of your soul along the way?[/b]

Here's to our Health, Wealth, and Wisdom!
Rest in Peace - Junior Seau
June 13th, 2012
Message: Posted by: Ekuth (Jun 13, 2012 08:43PM)
Brother Devious, that was one of the most well phrased and heartfelt pieces I've ever read on this subject.
This should be stickied, printed out and pasted on the wall of every performer, period.

I've been at the bottom. I've lived in poverty and scratched and scraped my way from nothing. I've had to make decisions on whether the $10 in my pocket is going into the gas tank or into my children's mouths. I've had to take bags of rotting garbage to a public dumpster because I couldn't afford to pay for trash service. I've stood in food lines in a blizzard for 45 minutes just to get government milk, cheese and some noodles. Things that most folks would turn their noses up at, I've eaten- just grateful that I HAD something to eat at all.

By the grace of God, I've never been homeless- but close enough to where I can appreciate, sympathize and empathize with those who are/have been.

Poverty changes you. Like a crucible, it burns away the dross materialism that we are indoctrinated with from birth and leaves only what truly matters:


THESE are the things that matter. Everything else is transitory.

It's a hard lesson to learn. Some never do.

I pity those who don't, for they lead empty lives; trying in vain to fill the empty hollow within their hearts with material goods and "things".

In the end, we are ALL equal. We all walk a difficult path. No one has a monopoly on pain or suffering.
So are you down on your luck? Think things couldn't get worse? I GUARANTEE YOU SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE HAS IT WORSE.

So what DO you cherish? What DO you value?

What have you done today to pay it forward to those less fortunate? Is it just "Another Day in Paradise for You and Me"?

Most importantly, have you given thanks for the blessings you HAVE? Have you told your loved ones how much they mean to you?
Or are you letting the tide of materialism drown your spirit?

I perform for the hope, the joy and laughter I can bring to those who cross my path.
For that smile on that child's face.
For the "WTF?" look on the adult's face.

For the MAGIC.

The money... doesn't matter. It never did.

Well said, my friend. Well said.
Message: Posted by: DoctorCognos (Jun 20, 2012 12:55AM)
Fine post!

Great advice.

Money is not the goal, it is the result of successful pursuit of the goal.

Hope that all read it,

The Doctor
Message: Posted by: djurmann (Jun 20, 2012 02:20PM)
Excellent post - thank you.
Message: Posted by: Devious (Jun 20, 2012 10:21PM)
I was in a different mindset when I wrote this, so I didn't know
how it would be recieved. I do thank you folks for your input.
Message: Posted by: Ekuth (Jun 21, 2012 04:40AM)
Hey, bro, you nailed it. Next time you get in that mindset, write some more!
Message: Posted by: tboehnlein (Jun 21, 2012 12:51PM)
Yes wonderful post
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Jun 21, 2012 11:25PM)
Brother Devious and Ekuth, THANK YOU both for putting things in perspective for us. Your words were touching and inspiring!