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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Best street effects? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Steve Brooks
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Seriously, what do you think the best effects for street magic are? Smile
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smagic166
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I think it would have to be two card monte, great trick, big effect, and it blows their minds, also 3 card monte is a cool effect Smile

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Magicman0323
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I perform a lot of street magic, Although I’m not a big fan, David Blaine was a big influence on me, before I saw his first special, I just did effects for family and friends. It seemed to me that once I showed them something, I couldn’t do the effect for them again. Then it would be back to the drawing board to practice until I did my first show.

Then I saw the special and thought what a great idea, and hit the streets from then on. I found that performing street style magic has made me more confident not to mention the fact that I think it’s plain fun !!!!

I have learned a lot of the tricks that Blaine performs and have made some changes to give them my own feel, as Blaine and I totally differ on looks and personality and presentation.

One effect that I like to perform for people is D’lite at twilight. I once used this at a car show that was close to my house and even the security were gathering around to take a look as I plucked a light from the tail lights of a hot rod and put them into my pocket.

I also use a lot of tricks that I don’t think Blaine would perform such as opening a packet of fire sauce at Taco Bell and having a flame shoot out of the packet, then crumpling the packet into a ball, and vanishing it.

I personally believe that no matter the effect if you present it right, to the right person the effect could very well turn out to be the best effect they have ever seen.

Sorry for the long post, but I made it as short as possible honest.
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Scott F. Guinn
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I think that "true" street magic, as done by some of the all-time greats like Sheridan and Cellini, is different than most people think, largely due to the Blaine specials. The real deal is much closer to parlor magic than strolling close up magic. You want fairly large effects that are easily seen by a group of standing people in all different sizes. One that comes immediately to mind is the linking rings.
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Axman
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I agree with Scott here. The Cellini approach is quite different to Blaine’s and has a more stage/parlour feel to it.

Cellini talks at length about "gathering a crowd" using color and sound, which suggests he lets the people come to him, not the other way around.

Think of a non magic street performer and that seems to be more like the approach Cellini takes. I cannot comment on Sheridan.
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Totally agree! "Doing a Blaine" is all very well and good if you're just having a laugh, or if you've been hired by a mall to entertain people. If you're trying to make your money from the people watching you, then you've got to go for the larger groups.



Which of course means that you've got to be careful what you perform. No bad angles, visual, easy to follow etc.



Generally you'd probably not be using the same gear for a street performance as you would doing a strolling gig at a party. To my mind, most of the effects Blaine did would be more suited to the party environment.







Dougie
magichadley
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I think coin vanishing and card tricks are great to do on the street, but, then again you need to watch your angles.





Smile
Harry Murphy
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Street magic? Visual, interactive, not easily blown away by the elements, and easily re-set are the qualities of a good street effect.

What is your goal? To walk up to a stranger and force them to watch your stuff (you’re in for a BIG surprise!).

The main goal of most street magicians is to turn a tip (get a big hat! MAKE MONEY!!!!!).



First you must develop an act. An act is more than doing some “tricks”. Usually three good tricks make an act.
Three tricks/effects plus an opener is the minimum you’ll need.

The opener is what gathers the crowd. The first thing a street performer/magician must ask him/herself is why would anyone want to pause and watch me (and give me a bit-o-money). Frankly, if you can’t answer that question with some trick/joke/novelty item then you are not ready for the streets!

Openers might include flourishes done to jokes or music (coins, balls, whatever,) linking rings, fire eating, anything to gather a crowd.

Andy Persagin as Sir Andrew performed a linking ring routine to poetry for years in Baltimore as his opener. He always drew a crowd.

Cellini draws a crowd with his unique look and starts out with a simple wand vanish. He specializes in smaller crowds and shorter shows. Turns the tip and starts over.

I watched Jeff Sheridan in 1976 (Central Park, New York City) draw a crowd with a length of rope that he “threatened” to cut and got into a tug of war with a couple of passerby’s. It was funny and I stopped to watch. He proceeded to astound us and got the tip.

OK, so you have a stopper.

What are your three tricks? First let me say that “Monte” tricks will get you arrested in most major cities. They look like gambling and the police treat it as such. Frankly most card tricks are a waste on the streets. Only the front few people truly get to see them. There are exceptions.

The egg bag is a good trick for the streets; a good routine usually has a spectator or two helping. A good rope routine (see Aldo Colombini’s various routines) including a Cut and restored rope works well (in fact Slidini’s cut and restored-professors nightmare routine is perfect). The Signed bill to lemon works (but is messy). Cups and balls always work.

My act involves some gags with a bandana to draw a crowd (make a chicken and bunny and then do the Fatima the dancer bit). Kids always stop and stop their parents! The chicken gag stops almost everyone! I will stall with some magic wand gags (stuck to my hand, and flip stick). When I get about 20 souls I start the act (more will stop as the act continues).

Then the act: A set up for a running gag. I borrow a bill the bigger the better (I have always managed to talk someone out of a 20!). Burn it and go on to the next effect.

The next effect is a simple and straightforward egg bag routine using two spectators. There is continuing banter about the burned bill!

Then I perform a ring and rope routine to cut and restored rope to thumb tie routine. Still banter with the audience about the 20.

Finish with the Cups and balls. Final load includes a lime and a lemon amongst other items. Both the lime and lemon can produce the signed bill. I have the spectator select one, take a knife and cut it open and there is a bill that is given to the spectator to unroll. It’s his/hers. I make my pitch for tips, relax and start over. Show is about 12 minutes I try to get in four an hour. In a good location the average hat is over a $50.00 a show. Do the math.

Finally I would like to say that David Blaine does not do street magic, he does magic on the streets! BIG difference. He is creating a TV special to sell a concept and has done it quite well. He does not earn money on the street. He earns his money in the studio (from the studio).
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Magicman0323
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Mumble I've sent you an E-mail Smile
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Peter Marucci
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First of all, one would have to define street magic -- and it is definitely not what David Blaine does.

I had the opportunity a couple of months back to meet Cellini, described by the late Frank Garcia as the greatest street performer of all time; his approach not only works but it seems to be the right one: do something highly visual and get the audience to come to you.

Several successful street workers/buskers have pointed this out to me and I have successfully done it: Plan to do at least three shows every 40 minutes; with the interim breaks, that should mean about an hour.

Anything less and you're not performing enough to make enough $$$.

Anything more and you're performing too much to get around to collecting the $$$.

At least, this works for me.

If something else works for you, then that is the right thing to do! Smile

cheers,

Peter Marucci

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Steve Landavazo
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Hi Peter!



Where does Cellini generally perform?



Steve
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Peter Marucci
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Steve,

Cellini only recently came back to the U.S. from Switzerland, where he had been living.

I don't know that he performs that much any more, although I did see his name on the bill of an upcoming magic convention (sorry, I don't remember which one).

When he was active, he worked a lot in the Village in New York.

cheers,

Peter Marucci

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Russ
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I like to do something that has a reason for doing it.



Like when I am paying for something that cost less than a dollar and I change a 2 dollar bill into 2 single dollar bills.



Or ask someone if they have seen the new knives at Wal Mart and go into a color changing knife routine. "Be sure to check them out the next time you are at Wal Mart. There in the sporting goods section" Smile



Russ Raper
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Scott F. Guinn
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I know that Cellini was at John Luka's Motor City Convention, and heard he was going to be at Tannen's Jubilee.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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robsigns
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I saw Cellini on a recent lecture tour through Texas. It was a great lecture. Lots of great stuff for not only the street, but just good practical magic.



He's also scheduled to appear at the Texas Association of Magicians convention Labor Day Weekend, 2002. There's a "street show" during the convention that has Cellini, Sheridan, Bob Sheets, and a few others working a downtown park.



As for what to do on the street, I recommend the Cellini book. It's a little pricey and kind of hard to find, but it's got some great magic in it. It also has a lot of info/theory on street performing. There's also a video of one of his lectures available. Try Denny & Lee, they used to carry it.
Stephen Long
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Why do people here feel the need to define different types of magic?



Who really cares if David Blaine does ’street magic’ or not?



If he doesn’t, why criticize him?



He has made magic more accessible, and has almost revived it in a sense.



Which can only be a good thing.



Can’t it?



Smile
Hello.
Scott F. Guinn
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I think the point here is that, if you want to MAKE MONEY and DRAW A CROWD doing street magic, the way Blaine did it on his special (where he was being followed by a camera for the TV show and not working for tips) is probably not the way to go about it. If you want to make a living, or part of one, doing magic on the street, you need larger, more visible routines that draw in more than a few people.



As to people criticising or not liking certain performers, I don't see a problem. You probably like magicians I don't and vice versa. The whole point of these forums is to express your opinions. As long as we're criticising the material and performance, and not assassinating the character or starting rumors, I think it's a good thing to hear differing views.



But maybe that's just me...
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Bernard Lightfingers
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Imagine David Blaine as a waiter. He comes to them, and SOME people may give him tips, but he's not TRYING to get money. Smile Smile Smile
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Scott F. Guinn
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Actually (and no offense), that’s not the same at all. Blaine was doing a TV show, and being paid by the network. The people for whom he was performing KNEW he was doing a T.V. show (they could see the cameras with the network’s logo all over it), and knew there was no expectation for them to tip--they were excited they were going to be on TV. Blaine was performing for the camera and the home viewers, not trying to draw a big crowd to make a living, like a street magic performer needs to do. It’s not being critical of Blaine to point this out. He had a very successful special. The point is, you’re comparing a TV show to a street show. They’re apples and oranges!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Bernard Lightfingers
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Ah...point taken...

I would say the 2 card monte is a great effect, as well as Double Thought Projection and Invisible Deck Smile
There is no life without death...everything has a shadow
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