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NJJ
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I always judge a busker by the size of the hats they pull and little else. I can appreciate a good show and good skill but if they can't get a good hat I tend to think of them as a bad busker (but a good entertainer).

So now its bragging time, what is your average hat and what is the BEST hat you've made?
Dave V
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Las Vegas, NV
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My hat size is 7 3/8. Has been for years.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
JoeJoe
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I perfer to judge my worth by what benefits I bring to the area I am busking.

JoeJoe
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BAH1313
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Whats the best that you've made Nicholas? Or are you waiting to see what everyone else's is to see if you're worthy? The bottom line is sometimes the crowds are terrific, but the hats are bad, and then again again, I've had crowds that didn't seem that great and ended up with $100.00 plus hats. One can never tell. I think the best way to judge the Busker is the content of his act, and how much you would be willing to put in his hat.
I am truly blessed to have a job where people are laughing all the time and everyone believes in magic....Come to think of it, I'm blessed to even have a job.
Bill Nuvo
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A good busker is an entertainer first. If you are entertained then he/she is a good busker (to you). Every situation is different, as is every different crowd. You cannot judge by hats alone.

For example, I am not a great busker. But at one festival I was at, me and another busker were comparing notes. He was a great performer, world travellor...etc. I was doing short 10-15 min shows of no more than 30 people. He was doing large circle shows for 80 plus. It was a bad day with rain and such, but my average hat was $30.00. So was his. Who was better? I still say he was. I wasn't really trying that hard on that day. He was giving his all. That's a great performer/busker.
BAH1313
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Nicely said Mr. Bill
I am truly blessed to have a job where people are laughing all the time and everyone believes in magic....Come to think of it, I'm blessed to even have a job.
Mario Morris
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Mario Morris
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£15,000 one hat, but I am bragging!

There is some truth to what Nicholas says, we can all talk about the noble art of busking but it is also business and I think it should be run like one.

Few pointers:

Like any business the first few years are normally the hardest as you develop your self. Lots of mistakes, low income as you learn the ropes of your industry.
You learn the harshest side of the business;
The few back stabbers in the industry;
No one is just going to give you a pitch you have to fight for it on all fronts at times.
Know when to take a booking, it is when they pay more than the day's hat + the extra effort + expenses well that is my fee. It not about busking today it is about busking in five years time.
A good busker in my mind is someone that is one with the street and can read them like a book.
He is not some kid that has put a show together and has landed himself a good tourist spot but falls apart if you went boo or if you started to pee over his props.

Like any business you don't tell the other guy what is in your hat especially on hear, if you do make it up.
Mario
BroDavid
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For me personally, the size of the hat (based on the traffic) is the measurement of whether or not I got it done that day.

I give myself a little break on the expectations on the hat if the traffic is way down in a location that I know is usually ripe. So I don't go away depressed in that case. In fact, I never go a away depressed, regardless of the hat because I always learn and take away something other than the money, so it isn't all bad...

And for all the IRS agents reading this, I hardly ever make more than expense money Smile

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Mario Morris
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Mario Morris
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BroDavid
Again I agree only in part! It is more about the quality of that traffic.
Do they have money and will they part with it.

I must admit overall the quality of a crowd is better in Canada and I assume the US because half of my crowd was made up of them.

There is one place I work where I am guaranteed to pull large crowds by just coughing, REALLY. Huge crowds regularly 400+ but they are not a quality crowd.

Now if I just go around the corner the street scene changes. People are chilled out reading the paper drinking coffee. Now here I will pull crowds up to 200 but I will make twice as much money.
Mario
saheer
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Pee on the Props!!! Either that's at night or you're outside a nursing home! Seriously though, I think I remember Edini saying he'd had the experience - I'd like to hear what happened to you and how you dealt with it.
"Because, without beer, things do not seem to go as well"

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Mario Morris
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Mario Morris
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Have you got some kind of weird obsession about this kind of thing?
I mean nursing homes come on man, control yourself.
Mario
Steve V
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The most amazing hat I ever saw come together was in Boston in front of Fanual Hall (wipe that tear away Danny) when Blair had a huge tourist crowd and some other performer let him use his dog to walk the edge with a large hat on its back. People who didn't see the show had their kids put money in just because of the dog!
Steve V
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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Here in Taiwan, busking for hats is quite difficult with the culture not really knowing about how to give to buskers. I used the trickle method. Did a 15 to 20 minutes semi-circle show out the front with my wife and kids making balloons behind me. When it came time to tip the hat, I used the balloons to get the people to part with their money. It worked a treat, as we would sell the balloons for a set amount of $$. When the crowd came forward to buy the balloons I ballyhood the passerbys to keep the crowd coming and many times could keep a crowd for an hour or more and then went at it again. Made over $50,000 on the street for a year and a bit. Maybe not too much, but it kept the wolf from the door.

All the best, JoJo
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
NJJ
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Quote:
On 2005-10-31 11:55, BAH1313 wrote:
Whats the best that you've made Nicholas? Or are you waiting to see what everyone else's is to see if you're worthy? The bottom line is sometimes the crowds are terrific, but the hats are bad, and then again again, I've had crowds that didn't seem that great and ended up with $100.00 plus hats. One can never tell. I think the best way to judge the Busker is the content of his act, and how much you would be willing to put in his hat.


Sorry - I should have said. My best hat is $267AUD and my average is about $100AUD. Most aussie buskers make more but I don't busk fulltime...only for fun.
Zack
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I think straw polls like this are pretty useless, since most won't answer, and those that do will lie. Buskers always lie. They either exaggerate to make themselves look good, or poormouth so that others will stay away.

Incidentally, I make next to nothing in Santa Monica...everybody stay away.
NJJ
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Smile Fair enough!
John Bowlin
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I give away $20 every show just so they'll stay and watch.
NJJ
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I know a few guys who pay the kids who help them in the show.
Starry
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When I first started I felt lucky to make $10. After I really got to know what I was doing I used to get an average of around $30 a hat. Once in a while I'd get a large bill and this would make for a great hat. This was a good twenty years ago so you have to account for inflation.

I've got a few tips on getting the money on my web page. One suggestion is to always tell them in advance that you are going to be asking for a tip at the end.

http://www.starry.com/magic/street.htm

-Ace
Ace Starry - Author or THE MAGIC LIFE - A NOVEL PHILOSOPHY
http://www.starry.com/
Tom Frank
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Quote:
Starry wrote: This was a good twenty years ago so you have to account for inflation.


I'm not sure you do. I was making better money 20 years ago. Last summer I called Cellini after a tough day on the street and asked him if it was me, or had the world changed. He agreed the world had changed.

Just a thought

TF
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