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Topic: Building That Crowd
Message: Posted by: AndyLuka (Jun 21, 2012 11:13AM)
I donít typically busk. However last year I was asked to perform at Summerfest, which is the largest music festival in the world located right here in Milwaukee. The festival has tons of Bands playing all day and all night, and Beer is flowing nonstop from open until close. A friend of mine and I set up a table by the lake, away from the music where people would sit down and relax, and I would perform while he twisted balloons. For not knowing much about busking in general, I would say I did a good job. The crowed loved the show, the tips were generous, and all in all I had a great time. Good news is, we were asked to come back again this year.
I learned a lot from last year as well. This year I have constructed more of a routine, with a beginning middle and an end, constructed better patter, and have picked effects better suited for this type of venue. I do have one problem; I still donít have a crowed builder. I have looked on the forums, and saw some people mention linking rings (I donít perform them) a dancing cane (too cautious about the gimmick being seen). I will be performing during the day, for a few reasons, but mainly because there are fewer drunks to screw things up. What are some Ideas you guys may have? I will list the rest of my routine below

Cut and restored rope
Chop cup
Spread wave
Best invention (Chinese egg bag with class of beer, David Regalís approaching magic)
Devils Nail

Side note (because the best invention cannot be viewed from behind, depending on how we are set up this year, I may perform Jeff Hobsonís Balloon Bag instead)
Message: Posted by: solrak29 (Jun 21, 2012 02:10PM)
I just was thinking about the same thing and found this post very informative...

See the part where Danny Hustle posted:


I agree with the dancing cane; you have to be weary on what is practical for the
streets. Though, I've seen Jojo (on youtube) use this. I've seen the rings
attracts folks...but the post above...I believe can give you another idea...

It's interesting that you listed about 5 effects for your set...which is the
beginning, middle, and end?
Message: Posted by: AndyLuka (Jun 21, 2012 03:02PM)
That short post from Danny Hustle was probably some of the best advice I have ever read when it comes to Building a crowd. Thank you so much for sharing the link. Why is it interesting that I listed 5 effects? Here is a brief rundown on the routine.
Cut and Restored rope- Visual, , and a lot of gags and jokes to introduce my style to the audience
Chop Cup- This is another fun routine with a few jokes and gags and a two punch ending
Best Invention- This is a great for ďintermissionĒ Itís more of a relaxed effect, but very fun to watch, and heck I get to drink a beer. (if I was at any other event I would not be drinking beer, if anyone has ever been to Summerfest then you know how fitting this effect it.)
Spread wave- This is the only trick that requires a reset, but a magic show is not a magic show without a card trick, so while I am finishing my beer, I can joke with the crowd and get them to narrow down a card. And Hit them with spread wave.
After Spread wave I say ďyou guys want to see another card trick, or would you rather see something a little more dangerousĒ Soon as the crowd says dangerous, I then let the crowd know Iím going into my final trick and after I will be passing a hat. I then have a few more lines about how dangerous this effect is and then I place 5 Styrofoam cups on the table, and crack a joke ďWhat? Its Styrofoam, itís not biodegradable!Ē

Devils nail- I play this effect up with lines and a fake-out at the end, Trying to build each cup smash more intense than the other. When I am all said and done I take a bow, thank the audience, and go into some hat lines.
Message: Posted by: The Great Zoobini (Jun 21, 2012 05:56PM)
Using what you already have, I think stacking the drunks in a pile would be a definite crowd builder...
Message: Posted by: solrak29 (Jun 22, 2012 09:21AM)
On 2012-06-21 16:02, AndyLuka wrote:
Why is it interesting that I listed 5 effects?

Your act sounds great....

So what is interesting about 5 effects/routines is how it is broken up
to be the beginning, middle, and end. Perhaps, I am over thinking this,
but I tend to think that such structure lends to only 3 effects or
some multiple of 3. Of course there is no rules, but that is what is

What also adds to my interest is that I am working on an addition to my
act and it breaks the 3's structure to what you have...so that is what
sparked my interest.

Is it clearly define the beginning, middle, and end? Or does it matter?
Message: Posted by: AndyLuka (Jun 22, 2012 11:14AM)
Yes, the classic rule of 3. I thought about this for a while before I decided to perform more than 3 effects. Pros with just 3 effects, is less to carry, shows are a little shorter so you can work more shows into a dayís work. However because this is a huge festival, I wanted to go a little longer. Seeing we will be set up by an area people tend to sit down and relax, a longer show seems to be a better fit.
As far as making it known what the beginning middle and end are, I donít put much of an emphasis on this, except to let the audience know when the end is, so they can get their wallets out.
I could be 100% wrong on all of this, I have no idea, but I am sure I will know by the end of the 11 day festival. Like I said before, I worked the festival last year, but only a few days, this year I plan on being at the pitch almost every day.
Message: Posted by: solrak29 (Jun 22, 2012 03:27PM)
Great!!! I can't wait to see what you say after the 11 day festival.

Please share your experience here...

I didn't mean clearly putting an emphasis, just wondering from your
perspective, what is your beginning, middle, and end.

Example. 5 effects....

Effect 1 & 2 beginning
Effect 3 $ 4 middle
Effect 5 end (including the hat).

It may not matter, but just wondering on your thinking on your show
structure; or is it just adding stuff to make your show longer...

Can't wait to hear about your adventures...