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Topic: Busking in the Covid Era
Message: Posted by: drmolarmagic (May 11, 2020 07:15AM)
Good Morning All,
I was brainstorming ideas to make busking both safe and legal in this Social Distancing, mask wearing, etc, etc time.
Firstly, the set up at the pitch, I will take a 6 foot rope with chalk and draw a semi circle 6 ft away from my table. Then draw a few lines outside that for 6 ft spacing for audience members. I've been working on a mask that matches and looks good with my Steampunk performance character/costume.
I'm thinking that, there are no audience volunteers so no touching anything by audience, if I decide to do a card effect I'll use a "say stop" approach, for my ropes I'll cut it instead of audience volunteer cutting it. The rest of my show should go similarly to normal, Throughout the show I'll have a very visible sign with my QR code for scanning and payments and alter my hat lines to actually defer cash and encourage electronic method of payment. Everyone has a cell phone and cashless payments are not only becoming normal but are encouraged these days.
I drove by the pitch yesterday and there were plenty of people out and about just walking around and as long as the shows are short and the crowds are kept small I think this could work and there'd be no issues with authorities.
I am really hoping this works and I can get back out there.....although all the time at home practicing has been a unexpected benefit to all my magic.
Let's discuss this
Please chime in everyone!!
Message: Posted by: Illusionsfortheblind2 (May 11, 2020 10:56AM)
I went to a park yesterday and managed to pull off a show. Things will go back to business when they do. I had 2 families of 5, 6ft apart enjoying my show.

Everything I did was visual and from a distance, no volunteers. A lot of street shows are already like this. Instead of picking a card I asked for a card to be named, I told my jokes, did my finale, hatted them and made some good money. It was mother's day so I probably won't get the chance to do this again for a while

The worst part and the reason why I left early, was the crazy crackheads came out and this lady comes up, throws spare change in my bucket and tells me to do magic. Not the people I want to attract so I decided I made enough to be happy with and went home.

It felt great, still can't believe I did it, it's been so long
Message: Posted by: Vandecarr (May 11, 2020 03:02PM)
Stret performing will die, for magicians, under these restrictions. End of story.
Message: Posted by: Zauberman (May 11, 2020 06:05PM)
Ditto what Vandecarr states.

One of the biggest tasks a Street performer/Magicians tries to do is build a crowd. A crowd that has an edge and bonded together. One that eventually bonds with the performer.
By using volunteers & having an audience in a semi-circle and the interactions.

With people spread out in groups, distant from each other, and no personal interaction.....the magic just isn't there.

Picking a card, pulling a coin out of a kids ear, having the spectator actually cut the rope or examine the props....this is what makes Street Theater.

So yeah, until restrictions & people loosen up...it's not realistic.
Message: Posted by: Eldini (May 12, 2020 03:47PM)
I am not a professional magician, so feel free to discount my opinion. However, I believe saying anything "is dead" is premature in this case, and unfounded historically. The pandemic of 1918 occurred, there were street performers then, and there are street performers now. The black plague occurred, there were street performers then, and there are street performers now. Furthermore, we cannot discount human ingenuity. Think of all the innovation in magic, think of all the people who "shouldn't" be able to perform and find a way (e.g. Mahdi Gilbert, Richard Turner, Matthew Buchinger). I believe we will be able to find a way out of this.

Let's come together to figure it out! Illusionsfortheblind2 has done a show already. I've seen video of people shopping and going out already. Maybe the re-opening is premature and maybe not (I'm not commenting on that here), but it does show that people will go back outside.

Will outdoor festivals, concerts, professional sports, and gambling recover? Will shopping malls (indoor and outdoor) go extinct? There are multi-million and billion-dollar industries at stake there. We perform at the periphery of these events and places. If they do come back, there will again be a place for street performance. Yes, there may be modifications or complete shifts in how and what we perform. Yet, isn't that what magic is, to do something that is impossible, and then discover a way to make it happen?
Message: Posted by: Vandecarr (May 12, 2020 09:38PM)
Eldinii, sounds like you've got it all figured out!
Message: Posted by: drmolarmagic (May 13, 2020 07:22AM)
I agree, declaring it DEAD is too premature and negative. It will come back slowly but it will come back, with modifications.
I've now spoken to a few other Buskers and the story is the same, much shorter show, smaller hat, will limit exposure and keep trying.
I'm starting my "season" on memorial day weekend and we will see!!!!
Message: Posted by: scotchrocket (May 13, 2020 03:16PM)
[quote]On May 12, 2020, Vandecarr wrote:
Eldinii, sounds like you've got it all figured out! [/quote]

That's rich, coming from someone who just got finished telling everyone how it's going to go.

I'm with Eldini, the world's been through a lot worse; can't imagine a scenario where street performing disappears.
Message: Posted by: scotchrocket (May 13, 2020 03:26PM)
[quote]On May 13, 2020, drmolarmagic wrote:
I'm starting my "season" on memorial day weekend and we will see!!!! [/quote]

Amazing... Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
Message: Posted by: Zauberman (May 13, 2020 03:51PM)
Not argueing or disagreeing, and I hope as much as anyone, the current situation improves quickly.

If I could predict the future I would have begged borrowed, stole money to invest in Zoom & Netfix. I didn't :-(

At the present time, every festival and event I've been booked for on both sides of the pond have been cancelled. Everything.

The licensed pitches I go to have informed me it is a no go this summer or at least indicated there most likely would be no performers.

As for actual Street Performing where no event or license is needed. I can only guess and hope.

Trust me, soon as this thing is over and it's viable to busk....I'll be the first one out there.
In the meantime, please post your results and how it goes.
I am very interested and wishing you guys/gals success.
Message: Posted by: kcmagic1 (May 13, 2020 05:08PM)
I'm not sure anyone is saying that street performing is over. I don't believe that this year will be a great year to perform. But next year, on the other hand, if the Covid is figured out, will probably be exceptional.

There are several things to take into consideration about this year. The first is the economic impact that is happening. Busking/street performing is, first and foremost, a business! Where you would have crowds of 50, 100, or more, now are crowds of 10 maybe 20 with social distancing. Truthfully, some people are happy to make $20-$50 a day. But those of us who look at it as a business, we need more than that to pay our bills. And then with traveling, two sets of bills.

Then if the crowd doesn't comply with social distancing, what action will law enforcement take? How hard will that make street performing next year? I don't think that anyone is saying that you will not be able to street perform again, just maybe not this year hopefully. The next issue is your own safety. The fact is, it wouldn't matter if you made $1000 a day, if you end up getting sick, it will possibly cost a lot more than that. I hope that everyone that is going out stays safe, is successful and makes the money that they need in order to live!!

Of coarse street performing can still be done this year!! The real question is whether or not you will be able to live and pay bills while doing it.
Message: Posted by: StarManager (Jun 16, 2020 02:27PM)
I created this effect, especially for COVID performances. I hope you all like it. It is in the spirit of our craft and the pain of these times. See effect here: Much thanks to Stevens Magic Emporium for their commitment to keeping us happy during rough times!

Message: Posted by: D. Yoder (Jun 16, 2020 07:37PM)

https://www.stevensmagic.com/shop/covid-......rs-mask/ [/quote]

Link appears to be incorrect.
Message: Posted by: StarManager (Jun 16, 2020 07:41PM)
It's being altered by Café. Goto StevensMagic dot com. In their search box, enter COVID. Select the man with the full face covering. Enjoy!
Message: Posted by: D. Yoder (Jun 16, 2020 08:31PM)
Methinks someone has a wee too much time on their hands!
Message: Posted by: aaron martini (Jul 3, 2020 08:29PM)
The potential for comedy on the street is enormous - yeah, interactive effects etc etc are RISKY -
but there is potential comedically for those who do their homework - it still means that in many
many pitches though that we need to more shorter shows - but with great finales - audiences will
pay for a great comedy build followed by an excellent finale - even if shorter in length.

Aaron Martini
Message: Posted by: jdub (Jul 5, 2020 02:28PM)
[quote]On Jun 16, 2020, StarManager wrote:
It's being altered by Café. Goto StevensMagic dot com. In their search box, enter COVID. Select the man with the full face covering. Enjoy! [/quote]

How many tests did you run before you found the 4 minute "sweet spot"? :)
Message: Posted by: StarManager (Jul 5, 2020 05:56PM)
[quote]On Jul 5, 2020, jdub wrote:
[quote]On Jun 16, 2020, StarManager wrote:
It's being altered by Café. Goto StevensMagic dot com. In their search box, enter COVID. Select the man with the full face covering. Enjoy! [/quote]

How many tests did you run before you found the 4 minute "sweet spot"? :) [/quote]

LOL! The product was not tested due to fear of self-mutilation.
Message: Posted by: 61magic (Jul 6, 2020 09:08PM)
This is an interesting debate. I think Eldini is on the right path, personally I think youtube is more of a threat to magic than the Corona Virus.
Message: Posted by: drmolarmagic (Jul 30, 2020 04:56PM)
So I was out this past weekend and I went out a-buskin!!
All the Covid safety stuff in place, mask that complimented my costume, my "six foot ruler" on the ground to show people where to stand.
I worked about 1.5 hours and did a bunch of small shows and had a bunch of small hats but it was great! And the audiences were very appreciative.
I got cash and even 2 cashless payments ($2 each) on my Buskr.com site.
I look forward to heading out again....and soon
Message: Posted by: drmolarmagic (Jul 30, 2020 05:10PM)
Here is a photo of me doing my show on the pitch this past weekend
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Sep 9, 2020 08:35AM)
Good job, man! You're more dedicated than me!