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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » "Busking" magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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marD
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I am interested in busking, but I wanted to ask some veterans about the type of magic that you tend to use. I know that many will say whatever works for you, and I agree with that. But, what kinds of things do you look for in an effect/routine to determine if it would be useful in busking? I know that many do the cups and balls. What about parlor magic? I saw some things from Martin Lewis that I was interested in using with a crowd. Has anyone else used any of his stuff? Are there any other effects like this that you would recommend?

Sorry for all the questions, but I'm trying to get some ideas together for an act...

Thanks in advance!

Mike
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Pete Biro
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If you can go see what the buskers out there are doing. Rings, rope, cups, whtever. But try to be yourself and the key is not the trick so much as your power in attracting people and keeping their attention and getting the hats.

Posted: Feb 22, 2008 12:15pm
... and... you need only about 3 tricks. They have to be bulletproof, angleproof, easy to understand and easy to grab and do.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Dave V
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What "some things" are you referring to? I have a set of his McAbee Rings and they worked well for me as an early piece when there still only 2-3 people around. It can "expand" to acccomodate more people by coming from behind my table and working the front edge of the crowd. In this regard, it serves a similar purpose as the TT silk vanish, used quiet effectively by Cellini and others, only a bit more "upscale" looking than waving a red hanky around.

Basic rules seem to be:
Portable (pockets or small bag)
Repeatable (with little to no reset)
Plays small, but can grow with the crowd
Visual
Easily understood, even for those who come in mid-routine

All this (and more) has been said here before. Browse the pages and in particular look for posts by Jimmy Talksalot, Danny Hustle, Kozmo (tedb), and others I can't recall at the moment.
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marD
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Pete,

I appreciate your time. I have a lot of ideas I'm tossing around, but many of them are from the same people. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I was told by someone I really admire that I should learn tricks from different magicians so that I don't become a mimic of one of them...Smile I haven't really seen much in the way of busking except what I can find on the internet (there aren't too many buskers in rural AL...).

Thanks again for your help Pete!

Mike
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Dave V
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Are you near Birmingham? The Café's own Jim Wilder busks there on occasion with some friends.
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marD
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Dave,

Thanks for the help as well. I've been making my way through the archives of this forum and have picked up a lot already. I was looking at things like what he offered on his Making Magic DVDs. They seem to be things that would be quite visual, but I hadn't thought about the portability or reset value of them...

Thanks again!

Mike
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Paddy
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Mike, I took a masterclass from Gazzo and learned the cups and balls very well. Then when I got home I added it to my busking act. FAILED had people leave in the middle. Changed it to fit my personality and shortened the routine, still no good. I change the whole act and finished with linking rings, BAM!!! Made fat hats again.

Moral of the story, script an act that fits YOU, don't try to do something because others make money off that trick. Just be yourself, follow your own ideas and relax. That's when you start to make it.

Peter
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marD
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Dave - I'm about an hour and a half north of B'ham...If I get a chance to go down there, I will definitely do it...

Paddy - Thanks for the tips. I have some simple ideas for a couple different shows. I was just wondering what some of you who have done this for awhile are doing. I have absolutely no experience busking...lol Thanks for the help!

Mike
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Dave V
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As you can probably tell by following me around the different topics, my street routine consisted of in no particular order and not all at once: (designed for a non-english speaking audience, or more accurately a non-Danish speaking performer)

Dice Stacking (noisy, visual, non-verbal)
TT silk vanish,
alternatively McAbee Rings, depending on who's watching
Coins (Ammar's See through Coins through Silk)
Cards (color changing backs, "Anniversary Waltz" style signature bonding leaving them with a souvenir card) I was equipped to do Gazzo's "Floating Card" gag but left it out as I felt it required more vocal crowd gathering ability that I hadn't developed yet
Ropes (audience participation with two volunteers, sliding (or vanishing) knot)
Cups and balls (Gazzo routine, without the one-liners or melon)

It all worked for moderately small groups, and the order is pretty much accurate although the middle can be swapped around for just about anything you like. Ropes can make a good early piece once a few people have stopped and can help define the "performance area," ending with Cups and Balls as the "Big Finale." My crowd instantly doubled once they saw the cups come out. Almost like magic!

I'm not offering this for people to pick apart my routine, only to give some idea of things you might consider.
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marD
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I appreciate your help Dave. That sounds like a good place for me to start thinking about what to do. I guess part of the problem that I'm having is that I've just recently been introduced to this type of magic. Between this and the stuff at the Scoundrels forum, I've been having to rethink my whole approach to magic...Smile I am enjoying the ride for sure, but I've noticed that there really doesn't seem to be too many people that focus on tricks designed for busking. I see close-up and parlor and stage and I get tired of wading through all of the different things in hopes of finding something that catches my eye and seems to be something that fits with the street style of magic (not guerilla magic - but that's a different thread...lol)...

Thanks again for taking the time to help get me in the direction I need to go!

Mike
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Michael Baker
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Mike,

If you get to B'ham, look me up. Jim lives about 5 minutes from me, and the weather will soon be warming up. We can find a corner and let you try your stuff. It's not exactly a hotbed for buskers here, but you can definitely get some experience.

~michael
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Dave V
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Michael,
You're the one! Sorry for forgetting your name.
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marD
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Michael,

Right now, I'm having to spend most of my time finding a job and getting some other things done, but I will definitely keep you in mind and contact you as soon as I can get to B'ham. I would love to do that!

Mike
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Michael Baker
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Mike,

If you have a chance to join us at an IBM meeting, you're always welcome. Being and hour-thirty north of here, probably puts you closer to Huntsville. They have a magic club with a great group of people there, too. If you need info, let me know.

Dave,

No problem. I've forgotten my name before, too. Smile

~michael
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marD
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Michael - I'm in Arab. I would love to talk more about busking in general and hopefully meet up with you in the near future. I appreciate the time that you've taken to help me out too! Smile

Mike
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fireperformer911
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Paddy

What linking ring book or video would you recomend for learning rings for the street?

Thanks
jimmy talksalot
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I AM A HUGE ADVOCATE OF USING PARLOR ON THE STREET. it has been the number one reason for me being able to support my art and my family. icouldn't urge you enough to pursue parlor.....to people don't just pefer it they eat it up and crowd up quickly.

I would first suggest hugard's magic manual.

also I have done some video on youtube to give guys an idea of some of the things you can do on the street that are practical;

http://www.youtube.com/user/JimmyTalksalot

I also have a blog set up dedicated to these questions you have. you will have to dig into the blog history to find all the topics on practical tricks to be done on the street.

http://jimmytalksalot.blogspot.com/
Kevin Mc Lean
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Hi,
I do a small magic show, sculpt balloons for the volunteers and state that I'd be happy to sculpt the children a balloon if they missed out and that generates a line of people after balloons which can last a couple of hours.

For the show I use some card colour changes, ending with producing cards from the mouth, some ball manipulation with a Goshman golf ball (adds a couple of unusual moves), a card fusion or card to mouth and finish with the linking rings.

I've also found silk and sponge balls play well if there's no breeze and I like rope and rope and ring.

However, giving kids balloon sculptures at the end of a short show starts a line of people putting money in my busking tin and I believe that a balloon sculpture is one of the cheapest, cutest, most visual give aways for a tip. I would never under estimate the power a bit of balloon sculpting (got to work it in carefully though as it can disrupt the show at the wrong time) for keeping people at your table and would advise any beginning busker to learn to do about ten sculptures relatively quickly.

Hope this helps,

Regards,



Kevin Mc Lean.
FunTimeAl
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Kevin,

I appreciate your insight. I too am a balloon twister as well as a sidewalk performer.

Can you talk about how your hats have been affected once you introduced the balloons?

In my mind it's always been:

"They'll stop tipping me for the show if they know they can get a balloon for the money"

I always figured that if I did a balloon animal at the end of my show then they'd either walk b/c they don't want a balloon, or they'll queue up and only tip for the balloon.

But honestly, I've never tried it, so that's why I ask you to expand based on your experience. I'm really interested in what you've learned on the street about this.

Oh, and I do use 1 balloon in the beginning of one of my shows. Here's a link to the basic use. I use this effect as my draw:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJPt6Z083fE

Quote:
On 2008-02-22 14:33, fireperformer911 wrote:
Paddy

What linking ring book or video would you recomend for learning rings for the street?

Thanks


Hey bro,

I think Paddy uses the same reference that I do: Whit Haydn's Comedy 4 ring routine.

I changed mine into a "do as I do" ring and rope bit...but the sequencing and overall themes are the same.

Paddy...sorry to put words in your mouth. Hope I didn't mis-represent you!
Paddy
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Quote:
On 2008-02-22 14:33, fireperformer911 wrote:
Paddy

What linking ring book or video would you recomend for learning rings for the street?

Thanks


I LOVE both Whit Hyden's and Chris Capehart's routines. Whit has a 4 ring routine and Chris is a 3 ring bit.

Also Cellini's Lord of the Rings is GREAT!!! It doesn't fit my personality so I don't use that one but it is beautiful to see. I am not the slow, silent, performer like Cellini.

Posted: Feb 23, 2008 8:56am
Chad, I didn't see your comment until I posted an answer. But you are right, L LOVE Whit's 4 ring routine. I also do that one with Mom at birthday parties, the kids think it's hilarious to see the mom up there.
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
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