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Wayne Whiting
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Profile of Wayne Whiting
Beginning buskers are encouraged to get that DVD or this DVD for information on how to start busking. I am re-reading John Carney's Carneycopia. In his opening chapter he quotes Neil Postman as saying,"video instruction is essentially only convenience and entertainment...they provide only a model for imitation ...imitations are only reproductions that are always paler than the originial."

I have heard it said many times (from my lips as well) "I'm just not very creative." Carney goes on to write that "the creatinve source is our own unique human experience. Some people may have more talent than others, but no one is without creativity." Since your approach is unique, that is why it is immoral to steal another person's idea. A part of the creator's identity is stolen.

I can think of several performers who have alluded to this. Jeff Hobson did not give his presentation for his new egg bag because, "that is mine." Michael Finney in his DVDs says here are the tricks, but don't use my lines. "They probably won't work for you like they work for me." Gazzo has said much the same thing. "These lines work for me, but I'm warning you, they may not work for you."

I just finished Jimmy Talksalot's new book who paints his vision for busking in America as a profession that is much sought after. I hope he's right, but I think we would be in a better position to use our own creativity and not become imitators of one another.

Back to the book.
Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Thomas Edison
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Profile of gallagher
Hi Wayne,
This is a really challenging piece of meat you´re talking about here. It´s tricky to season, unpredictable to roast,... mean to chew,..... and even harder to swallow.
I think the IDEAS are there! I´m always amazed at original ideas I hear from other guys,.... doing `standard´ shows! And wonder `WHY!? Why aren´t they trying it?´ I think it comes down to our courage. We don´t want to flop; look stupid,... `bite the big one´. Doing stuff we have `seen work´; we can reproduce confidentally,... and there is a greater chance it´ll work. New, untried pieces, take time and nerves to develope,.... before they really work,... and can be stolen.(I shouldn´t have said that.)

The answer?, I´ve got two; a practical and an `Artistical´. The practical: when trying `new stuff´, on the streets, go with a friend who understands the situation and pressure. Not simply as `moral support´, but as intellectual and creative critique. Part of the creative process, as painfull as it is; is failing.
Failing, and `lonliness´ is fatal. Try to understand the process,.. and try not to die alone.
Artistically; we should really honour those guys out there, who are on an off-the-wall pitch somewhere, trying something new. The expression, "I/He tried something new!", should be as `ahhhhed´, as, "What a fat hat!"

good cooking,... and let me know when the steaks are finished!
Danny Hustle
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Interesting post. Even more interesting is when starting out if a person duplicates someone else's routine on the street that person will fail with that as well until they polish it. Now they just have a polished version of someone else's act. Congratulations, they are a hack, enjoy.

Investing in original ideas on the street when a person is staring out takes no more effort than to rip someone else off unless the person is completely without talent, in that case I would suggest another line of work.

If a person ever hopes to be successful as a street performer or an entertainer of any kind for that matter, rule number one is originality. This very obvious fact is often overlooked which is something I find incredibly interesting. If a person want s to be a sucessful entertainer why would they intentionally use someone else's material? It makes no sense whatsoever.

These people also often find themselves in the very interesting position of showing up to a festival or fair and have several other people doing the same act that they all got from the same source. I have heard some very humorous stories of four or five magicians showing up at the same fair with the same act and then having the originator of the act show up as well! Interestingly, the originator was the only one who made any money. Think about that, there is a lesson there.

If a person doesn't want to "flop" or "look stupid" and if they do not posses the back bone, the integrity, or the talent, to do the HARD WORK it takes to develop an original show, I would sincerely suggest another line of work. The only people who are cut out to do this kind of work AND SUCCEED are those who have the courage to fail miserably in the pursuit of something special to them, their art.

I am not saying a person can not do standard tricks, but EVERYTHING that comes out of that person's mouth should be original to them. Does that mean they should never utter a stock line? No it doesn't, what it means is a stock line should never be used in the same way, with the same trick, as the other guy. Re write, make it your own.

This is basic, basic, stuff entertainment 101.

Think about it, nobody that anybody admires as an entertainer is doing someone elses act unless they are a professional mimic or impressionist.

I have never heard anybody say, "Wow! That guy does a better entertainer x than entertainer x."

Now a person may be able to get away with it in their home town or local elks hall but if a person's ambition is to be a professional entertainer of any kind they really need to do their own thing.



"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
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Wayne Whiting
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Dan and Gallagher,

Thanks for your responses. Fear of failure doesn't bother me. I have found a DL to be amazing to lay people. It's when the magician gets in the crowd that used to bother me. The experienced performer can take the magic for it's entertainment value, but the beginner is likely to evaluate the "moves" or magical impact from his point of view. I have learned to ignore them and hope they will see the light down the road.

I am not saying that DVDs are worthless. I buy them and have learned from them. But to underscore what Dan has said, use your own personality and make it original. A case in point. I can watch Gazzo do the cups and balls and then watch Tom Frank. Wait, I just didn't see the same trick, did I??? In my mind they are two pieces of unique entertainment, made original by two different personalities.

So, let's all sit down and write our own stuff, go out and try it and take the lumps and successes where they might fall. As Carney says, "The more you do the shows, the more confidence you will have."

And Gallagher, I know food sometimes tastes better when someone else cooks it, but in this case I think we should cook all of own steaks and make them them the finest cuts of beef we can find!

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Thomas Edison
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Profile of TheGiz
Wayne, The Streetwise book is in the mail. Let me know what you think!!!
Prof. Gizmo

"And it's a good thing I only use my power for good!!!"
Wayne Whiting
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Thanks Prof. I will!
Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Thomas Edison
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