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Topic: Uncomfortable encounter
Message: Posted by: boboswitch (Jul 24, 2014 11:30PM)
Had a VERY well known busker make me feel very uncomfortable during their set. I'm going to assume that this is the exception rather than the rule. I also am going to assume that I would like this performer if I talked with him while not performing.
Message: Posted by: SmileAndNod (Jul 24, 2014 11:55PM)
Did he know you were a magician or was it just the standard making fun of a certain member of the audience thing and you happened to be it? I've heard that Gazzo is unbelievably nice when he's not performing, but boy is he an *** when he is. It's just a certain type of performing. The thing about busking is that someone who enjoys the show is worth more than someone who doesn't. If you can **** off 1 person, but in the process make 5 people enjoy the show more, it is worth it because those 5 people will donate and the person you ****ed off will just walk away. This is different than all other types of magic where a bad review or complaint will put you in the hot seat.
Message: Posted by: magic123 (Jul 25, 2014 11:02AM)
Common Boboswitch , names please that way we will all be ready when he shows up

m123
Message: Posted by: boboswitch (Jul 25, 2014 01:30PM)
It would be unfair to say the name but I guarantee that you all know who he is. I was in his audience and noticed that my young son was not beside me. I was near the front and started to leave -- to go look for my boy. The performer started to rag me and trying to explain was futile. He actually said that I had to pay to leave. I threw him some money and got out of there. See why I am hesitant to tell you who he is? I did find my son within moments but did not return to the show.
Message: Posted by: Nick W (Jul 25, 2014 02:11PM)
Don't take it too personally. performer was just responding to the situation: an audience member was leaving during his show. look at it from his shoes: you were near the front and started to leave. from a crow building standpoint, as a performer is sucks when someone at the front walks out. it tells others that they can do the same. so if you work at building your edge and people start to leave, its affecting how you earn a living. I'm sure he knew you would not come back, but he had to make a point to get a laugh out of it. also he controlled his edge by letting others know if they try to leave, he will make a joke of it.

don't take it seriously.

street shows absolutely cannot be candy games and fizzle pop. they need to make people feel uneasy at times. pushing everyone to their limits is what makes a good show great. magic shows that are too kidd friendly are, sorry fellas, boring. adults need their release as well.
Message: Posted by: The Great Zoobini (Jul 25, 2014 02:37PM)
[quote]On Jul 25, 2014, boboswitch wrote:
I guarantee that you all know who he is. // See why I am hesitant to tell you who he is?[/quote]

Is this a game show?
Message: Posted by: fireperformer911 (Jul 25, 2014 02:39PM)
Boboswich its a show and things are ment to be fun buthen your child is missing nothing is fun so need to cut performer a break because he is in show mode. You found your son that is all that matters. Smileandnod, Gazzo is a nice when performing and when not performing. Watch how much he smiles in a show. Gazzo builds his crowd with people who get his humor just as if you go see Chris Rock you know what type of humor you are going to get. So if you don't enjoy Gazzo's humor you will not stay and watch that is one of reasons why video of his show doesn't work near as well as Gazzo live ( just my opinion). Nick W very well explained by a working pro
Message: Posted by: boboswitch (Jul 25, 2014 03:31PM)
I am very glad that I posted here. I very much have a different perspective now. Thanks Nick W and fireperformer911 for gently educating me in a topic where I am unfamiliar. I get it much better now. I appreciate you taking the time to help me see the situation from a different point of view. Your constructive comments are well taken. Again, thank you.
Message: Posted by: writeall (Jul 25, 2014 09:33PM)
I'm sorry. I didn't know you were so worried about your son. It was impolite of me to put my show ahead of your parental instincts like that. I wish I had listened to what you were saying instead of staying in "performer mode." Sometimes it's easier for me to be aggressive instead of human. I'll work on it and I'm glad you said something.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Aug 9, 2014 08:45PM)
I don't get this. It doesn't matter WHY he wanted/needed to leave. I don't think you should harass a member of your audience. Oh well, that's why you're a professional and I'm just a weekend warrior.
Message: Posted by: Nala Nosmoht (Aug 10, 2014 06:47AM)
I agree with you ed! I street perform regularly, you're in a public place, the public has the right to stay or leave as they please. I don't "sweat" it or question
it. And I certainly wouldn't call them out for it.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Aug 10, 2014 09:57AM)
As a street performer if their is a distraction in your show in most cases you should, you must acknowledge that distraction and bring the focus back into your show. If this is what you do for a living then a walk of at the wrong moment can be a costly distraction. Now we can debate ways and their are a number of ways of doing that, it does not have to be an insult or a put down but to do or say nothing is bad practice.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Aug 10, 2014 07:40PM)
I'll grant you that. AND I'll grant that doing so WITHOUT making negative remarks about the person leaving is far harder than just ripping the guy up. But I still think the rip is wrong.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Aug 11, 2014 05:32AM)
Their are rips and then their are rips,
Using a stock line as an example "I did not leave when you got hear sir" Is both funny (when timed well) and none insulting as far as I am concerned.
Just as somone walking through your show wearing a bright shirt. Nice Shirt sir (pause...) It reminds me on me tea towel. A bit closer to the bone? Perhaps but its not insulting if your dealing with grown up.
You also got to bare in mind this may be a cultural and pitch differences. So the above one linner may still seem insulting or upsetting to another.

The truth is some pitches have real tough but good audiences, audiences that are out to test you and if you are not loded with come back lines or physical theater reaction, your show will get torn apart and you will die on your feet. As granted Thank you, it is harder to do that WITHOUT making negative remarks.

So I being a family street entertainer like to see hear (and I think it would be more constructive) is not what you think it wroung but some examples, addvise on how you go about dealing with this?? I have shared thoughts on this on other posts I will add some more to this thread if their is more interest but I love to hear some working idea's not just ideals please.
Message: Posted by: fireperformer911 (Aug 11, 2014 08:08AM)
I think it also depends where you are in your show when audience member leaves if you address it and how. If at beginning of show audience is not with you address it with kitten gloves . Tell mom I said hello. If in middle and you have large audience I tend to not say anything and make sure it doesn't happen in a lot of my shows because its problem in my show. If smaller audience in middle of my show and audience is with me might say. Was it something I said. Most times I say nothing and get focus on getting attention back on my show. If during hat line I don't address it at all. I think you don't want any negativity . Every pitch is different, Every performer character is different just have to figure out what works for you on the pitch you are working
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Aug 11, 2014 11:10AM)
Great addvise Shell thanks for sharing.
Message: Posted by: EVILDAN (Aug 11, 2014 12:59PM)
Back when I was growing up, if you told a Polish, Irish or Italian joke, everybody laughed. Everyone had a sense of humor and were able to poke fun at themselves and each other.

Today, skin is thinner. It's funny if it's someone else. But if the joke is directed at you, or your "group", whatever that may be, then it no longer is funny. EVERYTHING else is still funny, but the stuff at you is not.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Aug 11, 2014 05:55PM)
Back when I was growing up I use to hang out with Gino who was Italian and Eric who black and together we use to run or get the crap beat out of just because we had diffrent names and because we had foreign mothers mine being Spanish, Eric just because he was black! I do understand a joke is a joke as in Rome they say 1, 11, 111

But you got agree racial joke is racial abuse and its hear you must draw the line?
Message: Posted by: EVILDAN (Aug 12, 2014 07:10AM)
Okay, I started with ethnic jokes, but I mean jokes in the broadest sense.

If you tell a joke about a blind person, it's funny unless you're blind.
Same thing goes for jokes about waiter/waitresses, construction people, bikers, bakers, and magicians.
It's funny as long as it isn't about you. Where do we draw the line?
Do we stop telling jokes?
Do we stop TRYING to be funny because we really aren't, we're just being cruel and abusive?
Message: Posted by: EVILDAN (Aug 12, 2014 08:10AM)
By the way, I'm not trying to get into a p*$$ing contest about this topic.

I just think it's hypocritical when you can laugh at everything else except about what pertains to you.
Everyone is different. There are different thresholds of funny depending on who you are and where you are and what situation you are in.
Something funny in one situation can be offensive to someone in the very same situation.
Likewise, something funny in one situation can be offensive to the same person in a very different situation.

So what do we do? Can we do anything? Are there standards to set? I don't think so. Offensive or not, I think creative, artistic license should allow one to do whatever you want provided it's within the law.

It's up to your audience to decide whether they will support you or not. So, if you're making a good paycheck, you'll keep doing what you're doing. If it starts to drop, you will most likely change to survive - or become a starving artist.

But I'm a Libra - so naturally I see both sides of an issue.
Message: Posted by: silvercup (Aug 12, 2014 11:31AM)
[quote]On Aug 11, 2014, Mario Morris wrote:


But you got agree racial joke is racial abuse and its hear you must draw the line? [/quote]

Rickles would surely disagree...as do I.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Aug 12, 2014 02:16PM)
[quote]On Aug 12, 2014, EVILDAN wrote:
By the way, I'm not trying to get into a p*$$ing contest about this topic.

I just think it's hypocritical when you can laugh at everything else except about what pertains to you.
Everyone is different. There are different thresholds of funny depending on who you are and where you are and what situation you are in.
Something funny in one situation can be offensive to someone in the very same situation.
Likewise, something funny in one situation can be offensive to the same person in a very different situation.

So what do we do? Can we do anything? Are there standards to set? I don't think so. Offensive or not, I think creative, artistic license should allow one to do whatever you want provided it's within the law.

It's up to your audience to decide whether they will support you or not. So, if you're making a good paycheck, you'll keep doing what you're doing. If it starts to drop, you will most likely change to survive - or become a starving artist.

But I'm a Libra - so naturally I see both sides of an issue. [/quote]

Great thoughts I agree with you.
Message: Posted by: Stperformer (Aug 12, 2014 08:38PM)
-When some one in the crowd (front edge) leaves the show.....it can be very infectious...and result in many more leaving.

-When someone/bodies refuses to move in/ come closer it also causes others to stay away.

-When someone refuses to participate...pick a card, lend you a bill....then you will suddenly find it very difficult to get someone else to participate/ sign & lend a bill.

All the above can kill a show.
Sometimes, as a matter of survival, the performer has to take control. There's different ways of doing this, often charm & humour will work...but not always.

Recently I was watching a mate of mine build/gather/work a large crowd in which there were many people refusing to move/come in. He politely asked them to please come in & when they refused he rather aggressively told the stragglers to bugger off as they were wasting their and his time. Yes he lost a number of people but he retained control of the crowd and when all was finished....had a very very large crowd with a very very large hat.

I must admit it worked ...he sacrificed a few.....but he was able to gain control over a crowd on a rather tough pitch and hat better than 99%.

Understand I'm not taking sides.....but I find the whole topic (maintaining control over the crowd, getting the audience to co-operate) being discussed here quite interesting. How reliant you are on your hat $$$, may also be a factor? :-)
Message: Posted by: fireperformer911 (Aug 13, 2014 07:57AM)
Here is the balance I am still trying to find. Would like other workers input. You got that one guy who won't move up you know he is messing up your edge. If you too hard on him you will take your audience and your energy to negative place. I known I should just move on with my show and do but my brain is going that f*****g guy when I should be consentrating on my volunteers not that one guy. What is balance? My new saying is my job is just to do my show.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Aug 13, 2014 02:49PM)
Deepends on where you are in your show, one thing you can do is call your edge in hence blocking his view then push them out again.
Does that make sence or do you want me to unpack it more.
Message: Posted by: fireperformer911 (Aug 13, 2014 03:10PM)
Mario makes perfect since I attend The Busking School blatant plug for you.

I know to do this method and others but all that time, energy and mental focus spent moving around your crowd for one Jerk audience member. Is that time, energy and mental focus maybe spent better on your show and audience members who are GOOD?

In one show this season I ask a few people to move up they did even this one guys girlfriend. The guy stood right where he was at and it did cause a pocket in crowd later in the show I paused my show to say this gap here that I told you would happen is your fault. This was a victory to me but at what expense was this victory, because I was thinking of this one jerk. This pocket in audience did not hurt my hat.
Message: Posted by: ROBERT BLAKE (Aug 13, 2014 04:30PM)
You are showing who is boss. you know what you do and you lead the people through your show. if somebody does not listen others have to wait. but you show that you are a leader and that you take care of your show and people. GoAL: the best show of thier life.
Message: Posted by: G.Gilbert (Aug 14, 2014 02:16AM)
[quote]On Jul 25, 2014, SmileAndNod wrote:
I've heard that Gazzo is unbelievably nice when he's not performing [/quote]

You most certainly did not hear this from me.
Message: Posted by: G.Gilbert (Aug 14, 2014 02:28AM)
And if a performer would have done this on the pitch that I work, I assure you he would not be working the pitch again... We keep shows family friendly round here, and do not disrespect our audience under any circumstance.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Aug 14, 2014 03:04AM)
Sorry Gerorge I find that hard to follow can you give an example of what your talking about?
Message: Posted by: EVILDAN (Aug 14, 2014 07:34AM)
I agree with Mario, move the crowd in front of the guy.

I work town festivals where I stroll, set up and perform, so my performing space/spot is pretty fluid.

About 2 years ago, I was building my edge and had a couple that didn't want to move, from where they planted themselves. They were on my left side wouldn't come closer. They wouldn't move a little to either side. They looked pretty rough with sleeveless denim vests and hiding behind dark sunglasses so people didn't want to move in front of them. So, I starting playing a little "do what I do." I patted my head with my right hand. The crowd followed suit, except the couple which is what I was hoping for. I rubbed my belly with my left hand and the crowd did the same. I said, "You know what is going to happen next, right? But first this. Turn to your left. Take one step forward. Stop." This effectively put the stubborn couple to the extreme left of me. If they turned left, they would find that they were now at the very back of the crowd. Saying nothing, I moved my table and gear to the front of the newly situated crowd and started the show. The couple left.

Another time my wife and I were performing at an event in a bar. Strange event. Set up like a carnival where people can roam and see different performers. Later in the evening there was a burlesque show. They only thing is that it wasn't promoted well, and likewise wasn't well attended. So we did maybe 3 or 4 sets that night. Sometimes to only two people. At the end of the night, people started gathering towards the back area where we were. I told them to step right up because our last show was about to start and everyone gravitated to the safety of the walls. In a moment of frustration and inspiration I said, "Alright ladies and gentleman, if you want to see the show, you need to form a crowd right here. If you want to stand back there by the walls, that's fine too. We just won't do the show. Because frankly, I don't care if you see the show or not. So it's up to you." I then turned my back to them and walked back to my table and my wife. As I turned around, everyone came close to see the show.
Message: Posted by: Yellowcustard (Aug 15, 2014 03:17AM)
[quote]On Aug 10, 2014, Mario Morris wrote:
As a street performer if their is a distraction in your show in most cases you should, you must acknowledge that distraction and bring the focus back into your show. If this is what you do for a living then a walk of at the wrong moment can be a costly distraction. Now we can debate ways and their are a number of ways of doing that, it does not have to be an insult or a put down but to do or say nothing is bad practice. [/quote]

my first thoughts pretty much carry with what Mario said.

We have to use our tools wisely I have seen a few buskers which I feel are to strong. I have also seen one guy use all the stock put downs on a crowd that were perfectly fine. I have also heard pepoel say lets go be fore he picks on us.

It is a tricky field on using joke about ethnic groups or types of people. I like to fire the humor at me first then put out a few comments at the audience as a whole or a small group then if needed a few shoots at individuals.

Something that happened to me once was a show was going well and the crowd loved a one liner and dum jokes. Towards the end of the show a few more people joint so I thought id stretch the show more. So I did a few jokes about Dyslexia. At the end a women came up and told me my jokes about Dyslexia were wrong and unnecessary. I asked if she had Dyslexia. She said no and that's not the point, she knows many pepoel that are and my joke are helping no one. She then walked off. I feel she forgot to ask one thing and that is ask me if I have Dyslexia?
Message: Posted by: EVILDAN (Aug 15, 2014 07:35AM)
There is a built in mentality that people will get picked on or made fun of if they are brought on stage. I believe that's why people tend to hang in the back rather than get the best "seats" right up front.

I talked to the manager of the restaurant that we perform our show at. She said that a lot of people told her that they won't go to comedy nights because they don't want to get picked on by the comedians.

That being said, we never do anything to make fun of or embarass our audience. The only time we bite is if we have people that want to disrupt the show. At the beginning of our show we do an effect where we need 5 people to help out. They are chosen one at a time. After the first person is done, they see that it's just a fun time and we don't have a problem getting people to help out during the rest of the show.

Also, people talk about getting a crowd while busking. I usually get one or two people to stop and show them a card trick. It's a trick where they sign a card and I find it. As they are signing I draw more people in by saying, "Come here, watch this. This person just picked a card, they're signing it and in a few moments something really amazing is going to happen." It's easier to draw these people in because they are safe, they aren't going to be picked for anything right now. I do this at all stages of the trick. By the time I'm done, I have a nice crowd, they see that I didn't insult the person helping me out, AND they walk away with a special souvenir from the show. Win-win.

I'm a big fan of Gazzo. I like what he does. But I'm not Gazzo. I have to take the EvilDan approach.
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Sep 8, 2014 08:10PM)
First:
http://www.esquire.com/blogs/culture/joan-rivers-power-of-not-apologizing?click=feed
Now Mr. Boboswitch, you're not a pro, or at least not a well read one. By causing a disturbance, and worse trying to engage a performer in conversation you are endangering that man's source of income. It the same as the guy who pulls out a deck of cards to show Jim Ryann a trick. He responded the way the books say to. It was not an attack on your personality. Take Joan Rivers' advise; grow up. I noted two other non professionals in the audience, stick around guys, you might learn somethin'.
Message: Posted by: G.Gilbert (Sep 10, 2014 10:37PM)
You guys are all wrong and, boboswitch, you're absolutely right...

You don't have to verbally abuse anybody for leaving to get the audience to stay.

If you have a good crowd, and you are good, they will stay... Simple as that...

Bashing somebody for leaving is basically saying "I NEED you here, please don't leave, pleeeeeease, I'm not confident in my abilities to entertain, and I'm afraid people will follow you" ....

The sense of entitlement wanna b performers have is beyond me!!!!

The performer might lose his income??? LOL, We're street performers... Nobody OWES us a dime... Secondly, the guy who is leaving might lose his kid.....

What is really important here....


Seriously guys.....

What are you thinking?
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Sep 11, 2014 02:59AM)
I agree with you in part that is it does not need to be insulting. As for the rest of what you said I could not respectfully disagree with you more. Dealing with walk offs is a skill to be learned. It takes years to get it wright and I am still working on it. You cant master audience control you just get better at it. You don't have to bash any one but its more like playing your audience like a symphony if you work it right your audience will love you for it. This could include the person walking off, no reason at all why it can not. Often I have made the person walking off laugh together with my audience. It does not even have to be funny it can be just an acknowledgement of your understanding of their time, "I understand sir you have to go but if you have time latter perhaps you can come back and watch the rest of the show." It all depends on the perfromer.

For any one who like to learn in a green house enviroment the Focus on street performing is coming up in October hear we will unpack a lot of busking insights we have VIP guests visiting as well as Jeff McBride, Chris Cromartie Grndl and mor will be their which brings together a melting pot of idea, experiences and magic.
http://www.magicalwisdom.com/events