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Topic: Good Approaches and Attention Getters
Message: Posted by: Big~C (Dec 7, 2001 04:49PM)
I want to know some good ways to get a crowd around me for magic, and good ways to approach specs to do some close up one on one effects.. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



Magic4All coming out Dec. 25 2001
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Dec 7, 2001 05:45PM)
The best way to draw a crowd for street magic (or busking, if you prefer) is to start with something visual, perform as if there was a crowd, and eventually one will gather.


Peter Marucci

Message: Posted by: Stephen Long (Dec 7, 2001 07:30PM)
My absolute favourite attention grabber is the ’invisible deck’ effect.

Absolute stunner but requires a gaffed deck.

Ask around.

Most magic web sites sell them too. :crazydude:
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Dec 7, 2001 08:07PM)
I usually start with ventriloquism, just talking to passersby with the dummy. This is even more rarely seen than magic, and invariably draws a crowd. Then the Dummy says, "I’m getting tired. Why don’t you show these folks some magic?" I put him away and go into my magic act.

Works for me!
Message: Posted by: Michael (Dec 8, 2001 06:31PM)
I attended a lecture by Cellini about a month ago. His recommendation to attract a crowd was to use sound. He banged a stick on the bucket he used for his Miser's Dream routine. It certainly got the audience's attention.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Dec 9, 2001 04:41AM)
And Cellini is considered to be the best in the world -- so that should tell you something!


Peter Marucci

Message: Posted by: Steve Landavazo (Dec 9, 2001 07:48PM)
Hi Big C!

If memory serves me correctly, David Groves uses a white rabbit to attract on-lookers etc.

He simply has it sitting on the table and the people come to him!

At that point, he simply asks them if they’d like to pet the rabbit! Naturally, they always love to. His magic is then introduced in a very non-obtrusive way! After they pet the rabbit, he simply asks them to pick a card or ????

I think his idea is excellent!



Courage is the willingness to be afraid and act anyway!
Message: Posted by: Magicman0323 (Dec 10, 2001 06:34AM)
Steve I agree, play the cute card. :)
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Dec 25, 2001 03:58PM)
I start by staking a position out near an established group of people. I think (mostly at night) start to throw some flames and using D’Lites to pick "flashes of red" from various places, like from the rear of a parked car there, and then up the hand with the burning D’Lite, while asking the crowd if this is anyone’s car cause I think they left a tail Light on.

And, off I go into what ever else will engage as many of them as quickly as possible. Once I have 3 or 4 intent, the crowd grows.

And if not, I move along...

But you have to engage them along with their interest and imagination, and their feet will follow.... :nerdy:



If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jan 12, 2002 03:12PM)
[quote]At that point, he simply asks them if they’d like to pet the rabbit! Naturally, they always love to. His magic is then introduced in a very non-obtrusive way! After they pet the rabbit, he simply asks them to pick a card or???? [/quote]

Actually, I think I still have the article by him and he would wait for someone to pet the bunny and then say; "Y'know, the rule is, if you pet the bunny you have to pick a card."

'course, that works for him. I tried going into an involved rope or silk routine hoping that people would stop before I got to the audience participation part of the act... worked a couple of times, left me flat once.

Now, I'm in Providence, RI... I don't think there's a lot of openings here for random acts of street performing. The only time I see it is either during a Waterfire or on First Night. (And it gets WAY too cold to do magic on the street in Providence on First Night!) :eek:
Message: Posted by: btaxin (Jan 13, 2002 06:13PM)
Once you get a small crowd, a larger crowd will gather to see what they're missing.

Anything that makes those first few curious enough to approach will work. I used to perform near someone who had a chicken on a leash tied to a music stand. He always had a crowd, and he never used the chicken for anything.

At times I've simply stood out pouring water from one glass to another to attract a crowd.

The best (for me) has been fire. When I light a torch, I get an instant crowd.

Bob Taxin
Message: Posted by: Michael Peterson (Jan 13, 2002 07:52PM)
Here is how I do it-

I grab a girl's purse & start running, pretty soon a whole crowd of people is running after me.

Then, I pretend to fall down & all the people who are chasing me jump on me.

They usually hold me until the police arrive & handcuff me. Then I promptly escape & produce a bowling ball.

Works like a charm, feel free to try it yourself.

:rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:





There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.

Message: Posted by: malini (Jan 13, 2002 07:57PM)
:rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jan 13, 2002 10:45PM)
Trouble is, Ichazod, that there are parts of the country where, if you tried that, nobody would notice! :pirate:


Peter Marucci

Message: Posted by: brainman (Feb 15, 2002 05:08AM)
...if you perform naked, certain persons will stop.. and certain persons will stop you... but there is time between the second group arrives.

Only a semi Joke... as I worked also with Jango Edwards...

I usually play with a small mouse.. a la racoon R... (ignoring first the watchers... so they can watch without being watched from you, watching... sorry.. need some food now, only when some are there I start slowly to build up contact to them... but the focus is on the mouse, not on gathering people around me.

just an idea.

Concerning the D`lite idea: I plucked the red traffic light off (a matter of timing)..
they like it

Also Kevin James eye popper is good.. to polish your eyes before starting... and the thing where you apparently hold a chopped off arm in your hand is also a good attention getter (produce your own, not the cheap plastic ones please!!)
Message: Posted by: Michael Peterson (Feb 19, 2002 10:56AM)
Produce your own chopped off arm? Actually I have several for sale-Left arms $19.95 & right arms for $25.00. You can also get a matching set for $34.95

:bg: :bg: :bg: :bg: :bg: :bg: :bg:

Message: Posted by: Bird Brain (Feb 19, 2002 09:18PM)
Yeah, I have two left feet I need to get rid of before the next dance! :lol: :lol:

FREE! Mint condition! U-chop! :lol:

Bird Brain
Message: Posted by: Jeb Sherrill (Feb 20, 2002 06:38PM)
Blast fire! Juggle! It's not magic, but it gets them coming over quick. If it must be magic, use something big and visual: linking rings, Zombie (depending on your angles), dancing cane (depending on your lighting) etc, etc.

:dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
Message: Posted by: hackmonkey (Mar 13, 2002 08:00PM)
I agree that something visual that people walking by can see. Because unless you attract more than two people to start with you will not always get a crowd. A flotation or animation can grab attention easily. One of my favorites when performing at night or dusk in a busy place is Fearsons floating cigarette, I will stop a couple or group of people and ask for a light. In response for their kindness I offer to show them something interesting. A floating lit cigarette usually pulls a few people over, once I have a small crowd, Ii will hand an audience member the cigarette and begin my routine. You have amazed them before you have even started your routine.

--top hats collect money better than most other hats---
Message: Posted by: Brian Proctor (Mar 13, 2002 09:29PM)
One thing I do to get attention is just
"practice my trick." I make it look like I'm rehearsing my illusion. People catch on and want to see more stuff. It's great. Especially on a public city bus. It really cheers people up. :bg: :bg: :bg:
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jul 24, 2008 03:51PM)
On 2002-01-13 23:45, Peter Marucci wrote:
Trouble is, Ichazod, that there are parts of the country where, if you tried that, nobody would notice! :pirate:


Peter Marucci


And in other parts, they won't chase you, they'll just gun you down and take back the purse! (And when the police show up, nobody will have seen a thing!)
Message: Posted by: mplegare (Jul 25, 2008 02:43PM)
True story - happened on Sunday

Near the end of daVinci Days, I was tired but my pesky work ethic demanded I do *something* to entertain the folks still straggling about.

So I broke out my 'sword swallowing' prop and proceeded to stand near the path and slowly, slowly push the blade into my mouth... pause... little 'ta da' pose. A few people clapped...

Then I pulled the 'furled' prop out of my mouth and thanked them. Laughter and more clapping. I put the 'furled' prop back in my mouth and pulled it 'out' fully deployed.

"Now. You folks are laughing and groaning, but now you're all *in on the joke*. So stick around and when I do it this time, cheer and clap and then *watch the new folks when they come over*... "

I did that about six time.

I had a BIIIG crowd after that, so I did a show.
Message: Posted by: ShawnB (Jul 25, 2008 03:07PM)
What I have been doing that has been working great.

I set up my spot.. Set up my table.

Get my cups on the table... and as I am doing this I am yelling. I'm yelling

"Don't Bother"... "It's not worth your time".. "keep walking, he's terrible" . "Seriously he is really really bad, Please just keep walking"
"Nothing to see here".

I have a crowd in 5 mins....
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Jul 25, 2008 06:35PM)
As a filler that is useful for trickle and also pre-show I use a juggling item, a diabolo. It's a bit like a large yo-yo that is not fastened to the string. So it can be tossed up 5 or 10 or more feet above head height - certainly seeable before a person arrives. There are whistling diabolo, but I haven't come across one on the internet that seems right enough to buy it. Noise and colour seem to the key to getting people to notice and stop to watch.