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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Street Magic » » How to approach people (39 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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sabretooth
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Sorry but the animated avatar referenced in the above post was disallowed. The editable post had timed-out by the time the avatar issue was resolved. The webmaster could inform us of "self-portrait only" requirement for avatars in the profile page and eliminate all this off-topic chatter.

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DT3
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Acetucker,

Perhaps you are misunderstanding the term "Street Magic."

In street magic, the people come to you, not the other way around.

Truer words, Sabretooth, truer words.

D
Adam1975
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It beats me why anyone would want to approach total strangers on the street and force magic on them..I would run a mile if faced with this.....the classic amateur error is to presume everyone loves and wants to see magic...keep your dignity guys!! Smile
Ive upped my standards.Now,up yours!
JoeJoe
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Quote:
On 2009-02-28 10:37, Adam1975 wrote:
It beats me why anyone would want to approach total strangers on the street and force magic on them..I would run a mile if faced with this.....the classic amateur error is to presume everyone loves and wants to see magic...keep your dignity guys!! Smile


More negative thinking. Using your logic, you could argue who would want a stranger to show up at a restaurant and force them to watch magic while waiting for food? Or to go to a Las Vegas musical and be forced to watch a comedy magic act before the main show. Or how about being forced to listen to music over the loud speaker while shopping at the mall?

The idea is never to force someone to watch magic, the idea is to make people interested in what you are doing. David Blaine never forced anyone to watch magic, in fact he put several clips in his specials where people walked away from him some without ever saying a word to him or so much as even looking at him. Rejection is part of the program.

Get over it guys, not everyone in the world is anti-social. Some people even like magic tricks.

-JoeJoe
Watch the Pilot Episode of my new TV Show:As Seen on TV: The JoeJoe Magic Show
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Adam1975
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Quote:
On 2009-02-28 17:26, JoeJoe wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-02-28 10:37, Adam1975 wrote:
It beats me why anyone would want to approach total strangers on the street and force magic on them..I would run a mile if faced with this.....the classic amateur error is to presume everyone loves and wants to see magic...keep your dignity guys!! Smile


More negative thinking. Using your logic, you could argue who would want a stranger to show up at a restaurant and force them to watch magic while waiting for food? Or to go to a Las Vegas musical and be forced to watch a comedy magic act before the main show. Or how about being forced to listen to music over the loud speaker while shopping at the mall?

The idea is never to force someone to watch magic, the idea is to make people interested in what you are doing. David Blaine never forced anyone to watch magic, in fact he put several clips in his specials where people walked away from him some without ever saying a word to him or so much as even looking at him. Rejection is part of the program.

Get over it guys, not everyone in the world is anti-social. Some people even like magic tricks.

-JoeJoe


People are expecting some kind of entertainment in the examples you provide....................
Going for some food in your lunch hour,for example,perhaps not!!
Ive upped my standards.Now,up yours!
TheGiz
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I agree with Adam1975. Screams rookie. I would run too. Most of the advice here, comes from people who havent' really tried this out on the street themselves. It just seems/sounds good. Find a way to engage them. After while you can smell good assistants. If you can't, find another venue. If you walk up to me when I'm with my wife saying, "Want to see something cool?" I'll drop you and ask questions later. There are too many nuts out on the street.
http://blackbeltmagician.com

"And it's a good thing I only use my power for good!!!"
JoeJoe
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I've tried everything I've advised to do on the streets, I was approaching strangers on the Ocean City Boardwalk 15 years before anyone ever heard of David Blaine.

I am always baffled by this street magic debate ... go to the Table Hoppers forum and tell them not to approach strangers. Because there is absolutely no difference in technique. What I did on the Ocean City Boardwalk was exactly the same thing I did at 2001 Nightlife. No difference what-so-ever.

-JoeJoe
Watch the Pilot Episode of my new TV Show:As Seen on TV: The JoeJoe Magic Show
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JoeJoe
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OK, I've got some free time ... so I want to give more info for those positive thinkers that want to give street magic a fair chance and I really hope it doesn't trigger a big fight because I don't have time to fight on the forums. If your not interested in doing street magic, I honestly don't know what you are doing on this particular forum anyway ... other than to argue maybe?? I'm not here to argue, I'm here to provide solid proven workable advice.



And my best advice: LOCATION! Location, location, location ... I can't stress that enough. If you are on a busy street where people are walking from point A to point B, you are in a bad location and will get a lot of rejection.

What you are looking for is a place where people "hang out". Little Five Points in Atlanta, DuPont Circle in DC, The Docks in Annapolis, or the Ocean City Boardwalk - these are all locations I have personally worked so I know they are good spots, or at least they were at one point in time (hopefully they still are). These places have benches where people go and hang out - usually younger people and usually on the weekends.

Be doing something ... even if just rolling a coin in your hand. Smile. Make eye contact. Greet people (see my post about saying "hi" referenced above). The important thing is to not look "scary". If you look like a mugger or a pervert people will want to avoid you.

Spend some time in the mirror without practicing the pass - perfect your smile, make sure you keep your eyes open wide, don't let your forehead wrinkle. These all seem like trivial points, but they are very very very important - more important than your pass even!

It is proven that people that have a "mirror image face" are considered "attractive". That means people whose right side of their face looks exactly like the left side of their face ... you may not be able to change your genetics, but you can make sure when you smile both sides of your lips are equally dispersed and both eyes are opened the same distance. In other words, don't be cock-eyed with a half smile! As you may have just now realized, I have spent a lot of time staring at myself in the mirror. If you want to take this seriously, you should too. If you don't like what you see in the mirror, how can you expect anyone else to??

I've had several people comment to me about my YouTube videos where the kids just run up to me when I offer a balloon - that is what you must strive for, to be "approachable". It starts long before you say anything to them - it starts when they first see you ... what you are wearing, how you style your hair, your facial expressions, what you are doing, your posture ... EVERYTHING. In a split second, people will form an opinion of you and that opinion will be stronger than any other opinion they form of you as time goes on. The truth of the matter is, street magic has very little to do with magic. It has to do with personality. You must search your soul and discover yours, polish it up, and make it shine bright.

Don't expect to make a lot of money, and never pressure people to tip. Soft hat lines can pay off, a few bucks here and there - but you won't make a living do this. To make money, borrow money. Always borrow a bill to do your final trick with - and always return it to them. A tip is earned, if they want to tip they will give it back to you. Guilt might earn you a dollar, but you will pay for it in the long run. You should be thinking along the lines of a "career", not a "job". This is an entry level position; the hours are long and the pay sucks. You want people telling their friends how great you are, and they won't do that if they feel hustled - instead, they will tell people to avoid you! So don't hustle people! Or at least have such a good hustle that people don't feel they were hustled.

Here is a line I used to use: I'd borrow a bill to do pen-through-anything, it was the real deal - John Cornelius' "designer" version (this was before the perfect pen and I had to do a switch). I would explain I want them to put a mark on the bill so we would know it was the same bill later ... as I hand them the pen to mark the bill, I would say "I'll give you a tip - push this button and the pen will write better". It plants the idea into their mind that they should tip me ... and it does so very gracefully without being rude or aggressive.

What you will do is earn valuable experience, which you can later put to good use and make money with it. I would have never nailed the gig at 2001 Nightlife if I had not earned the experience with street magic ... and even if I was able to land the gig, I would have never been prepared for it. It is better to be an amateur on the street. Don't take a paying gig until you are ready, you will know when you are ready. If you take a paying gig and don't have the chops to back it up, not only will they never re-hire you they will tell others not to hire you!

To this day, I still use some of the exact same "street magic" routines when street performing ... they are very useful for crowd building. Just about anything David Blaine has done can be used to start a circle show! You don't have to ring a cowbell to start a magic show, you can start by doing magic ... every single crowd I have ever drawn in my entire life has always started by getting one person - just one single person - to look me in the eye! Once they look you in the eye, you have their attention.

Ok, so I help that helps someone. Some of it I may have posted before, some of it I have never posted ... but every bit of it is something that has worked for me. That doesn't mean it will work for you, but hopefully it will put you on the right track to finding out what does work for you.

-JoeJoe
Watch the Pilot Episode of my new TV Show:As Seen on TV: The JoeJoe Magic Show
Learn JoeJoe's secrets at Magic Joint dot com
cyberdog
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I'm having the same problem except that people in my city seems like none of them like magic. almost everybody just say no and look at me like I was some kind of freak.
I need a style change..
JoeJoe
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If you ask someone a "yes" or "no" question, all things being equal, there is 50% chance they will say no. I know a lot of magicians will advise you not to ask such a question - I always, I mean ALWAYS ask ... and I'm going to tip the secret here. This is how you get them to say yes:

First, you must be doing something - anything! Fanning cards, a hummer card, coin rolls, something anything it doesn't matter what. You can stand there and bounce a ball as long as you are doing something. If you are doing something, it increases the odds that they will watch you - if you are not doing anything, there is nothing to watch so they don't look at you.

Second, ANSWER THE QUESTION FOR THEM! You can see me do it on my YouTube videos... "you want to see a magic trick? I'll do a magic trick for you, come on over". I don't give them the opportunity to say no. The reason I always do this is because it puts me in control - I am already telling them what to think before I even start showing them anything.



That is the secret in a nutshell, although it is extremely more complex then it sounds. If I had the time, I could write a book on the topic. But I don't think it would really help you that much, in that this is an acquired skill - it is something you must learn to do and you learn by doing it, not reading about it.

What you want to pay attention to is your timing - knowing when to look at them, knowing when to greet them, knowing when to ask them. It's like fishing - you have to jerk the line at just the right moment for it to work.

Hope that helps,
-JoeJoe
Watch the Pilot Episode of my new TV Show:As Seen on TV: The JoeJoe Magic Show
Learn JoeJoe's secrets at Magic Joint dot com
BudTCB
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If you want to get more gigs.. I would encourage you to do it! walk up and just do some magic for someone. There is nothing to it at all. That oppurtunity rises for me all the time. when I see the oppurtunity, I take it. if I need to borrow a pen from someone for something,.. I usually do a version of Gregory Wilson's pen trick from on the spot with a few variations. or I'll do a flip vanish with it.
or when you pay for something,.. with one of your coins,.. just vanish it. It gets peoples attention. I honestly can't tell you how many times I Have did that and picked up a gig from it. If you want to make money at this,..You WANT people to know you are a magician. Just do it! They will have fun,.. you'll have fun.. they'll tell people. Soon you will be famous. well.. I might not go that far. One piece of advice that I would give you... is this.. first of all.. I LOVE Card magic! believe me, I do. but when I approach people to do magic.. I NEVER start with a card trick. most people either think,.. ugh.. not another card trick... Or, they will know a stupid card trick too.. and after your first trick they will say.... let me show you one I know. I always start with something like,.. coin across or sponge balls, and then do some cards... that will tell them that YOU are a magician without you having to tell them and they will be more apt to pay attention and just enjoy it. that's my 2 cents.
MagiCol
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JoeJoe: Thanks for the info you posted on making yourself attractant. It's a very important aspect for Street Magicians [the sidewalk show type] so I'm glad I found your posts here. Regards, Colin.
The presentation makes the magic.
JoeJoe
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Quote:
On 2009-03-17 04:09, amazing_gordo wrote:
Joe Joe knows where of he speaks! He is a real street magician! Thanks for the sound advice, Joe!


Now don't go spreading that rumor around ... next thing ya'know, people will be bad mouthing my like I was David Blaine! Well ... the ones that don't already bad mouth me will be anyway. Smile

-JoeJoe
Watch the Pilot Episode of my new TV Show:As Seen on TV: The JoeJoe Magic Show
Learn JoeJoe's secrets at Magic Joint dot com
Owen Thomas
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JoeJoe has some good advice here, thanks.
chronica
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-Start to find a place where people like to walk around. (It's easier during summer holidays near the sea or close to tourist places.)
- Then try to make noise with anything you want: bell, drum, jumbo coin on the ground, music on CD or whatever your imagination can make out.
- Some people will stop to watch why you're making these noises, and it's better, too, if there's something unusual in your way of dressing (could be anything, use you imagination once again).
- Then start your trick silently, and only start the patter after 1 or 2 min.

Just my 2 cents...
WDavis
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Just wanted to make a couple of really quick points.

JoeJoe your right on about the 50% failure rate on asking a yes or no question.

but there are also little things that a street performor can do to improve the odds. you breifly touched on the Socrate's method. get someone to repetively say yes to a couple of questions. another method to improve the YES from someone is to also take away the rejection before they give it to you. I.E. "you probably think I was gonna walk up to you and show you some lame magic trick, but before you say no, know that I wasn't going too, instead I was gonna show you a really really cool one." adding a little humour to the take away makes it more engaging. people don't like confrontation.

another thing is to know your mark. look at them from a wholistic level, walking upright showing confidence, or slouching looking bummed, are they appearing approachable or are they closed off. I would recommend reading the book "the definitive guide to body language" if your working on the street. it will help you pick people more receptive to you.

another thing in the approach is if you make eye contact with them hold your gaze for a few seconds and smile back to them AFTER they have smiled then walk straight up to them head high and don't walk around an object if its in your way (unless its a table you don't want to walk over it) you move it. it will show confidence in you before you even speak.

now when it comes to patter people usually do the lame introductions. I prefer I direct approach with a simple "heeyy" or "hi" slightly drawn out at an energy level just a bit over the other persons. you don't want to overwelm them like a cat on crack and you also don't want to bring down their energy levels. plus when your in front of your mark DON'T fidget. fidgeting shows insecurity. or hands in your pockets. your hands should appear open facing your mark at your sides (think Jesus paintings) this is an inviting non threatening pose. plus stand up straight and don't make unintentional movements. all of that will help maintain your body language of being confident and in control.

give a false time constraint if your approaching a group, they don't know you also they haven't accepted you into the group either. using a false time constraint shows your not gonna just hang around and show off your "mad skillz" appearing needy. people can sense a needy person and will deliberately dissassociate themselves from them.

if all else fails and you need material to chitchat but have none you can always use the FORE method. F-family O-occupation (what kind of work) R-recreation (what do they do for fun, E-expectation (show them something really cool)

don't forget to be aloof and fun, and funny, you want people to engage you.

hope this helps.
cheers,
isid0re
ferrari
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I usally walk up in a place like a mall and say you wanna see some magic
E.C. Valdemar
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You know I started a thread about my way ov approaching ppl some time ago. I'll use a simple lesson I learned from the PUA community. Just bring up the PUA world drew up turned noses and insults here.

Anyway, just know that "awkward" moments ARE going to happen. No matter what. But that's on the other ppl. DO you want to get good? Do you want to learn what is your strongest effect and what is your weakest? Do you want to be known? If it's a YES then don't EVER let a awkward moment or a 100 ov them stop you.

Go grab Magic for Dummies and memorize some the funny lines in there to use if I effect goes wrong or whatever. One ov my fav.s is "It's all part ov the show! It's the part I don't like .... but what are ya going to do?"

And I kool way ov coming up to ppl (other then the way I mentioned in another thread) is a technique I saw David Stone use. Have a coin palmed in your hand. Come up next to some ppl. Look down at the ground and as you bend down pretend to pick up the coin saw "Oh! Excuss me is this your coin?" Whatever they say just go right into a coin routine. They'll be interested right off the bat.

Laugh. Be light-hearted and friendly.

Hope this helped!

Robert EC
Rob-ing you of your thoughts www.themindofrobert.weebly.com
Mike Webb
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You might want to read up on the "Flight or Fight" philosophy to better answer your question.
TheGiz
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You don't ask, you announce. . .something interesting. Show me something. Engage me. If you have to ask or beg. . . find another venue. You don't have it for the streets.
A lot of the previous posts were from people who havent done the deal. Free advice is what it is worth. Talk to someone who's spent some time out there.

Those who can't do teach, or give advice on websites.
http://blackbeltmagician.com

"And it's a good thing I only use my power for good!!!"
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