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Inner circle
The Socialist Republic of the USA.
1051 Posts

Profile of RobertBloor
Here's my question...

do you expect to make any money performing with this stuff?

Large illusions on the street are impractical. Completely impractical.
You've got to lug them too and from.
What if a heavy rain comes in suddenly?
You're all wet.

Your act should be able to move at a moments notice.
What if the police start heckling you?

I'll have to echo the question at hand....

Robert Bloor
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
-The Declaration of Independence
Paul Jester
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759 Posts

Profile of Paul Jester
I've thought about doing a street illusion show too, but right now I don't have the budget for it. I'm interested in an illusion show because it is bigger than other shows, can contain far more, and is different.

For the illusions I looked at Andrew Mayne. A lot of his stuff can be adapted to play surroundable, or almost surroundable (most street stages are backed up to a wall anyway...). Lot's of illusions can also be made to pack flat, and out of water-proof materials, think plastic sheeting... like they use for signs. Also remember that small props can make big illusions, or play big, like the sword through neck.

I think it is possible to put together a very good illusion show for the street, but I don't think that some of the more classic illusions are suitable such as Zig-Zag, or ashrah which require quite a set-up. Seat-suspension is a very common illusion for such difficult enviroments. So I would tend to sway away from it and try to adapt and use other illusions.

For my show I was thinking of appearing my assistant, but I don't yet know of an easily transportable version, then a comody assistant saws magician in half (An adaptation on 2D sawing by Andrew Mayne), then a classic like the sub-trunk, and to end it something with a bit of danger, like a pellet catch from a pellet gun (I do know a perfectly safe and wonderful method) or perhaps sword through neck, I haven't really decided.

And for a little kicker, maybe the classic rabbit from the hat. I pull the rabbit out, they'll put the money in Smile All of which should fit in the back of a car.

But having said that, I am not in a position where I am able to start spending so much money Smile

Soon... sometime soon.
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Inner circle
The Socialist Republic of the USA.
1051 Posts

Profile of RobertBloor

A bullet catch of any kind is probably not going to fly on the street.

But you're right on a lot of points most especially that there are plenty of things that will pack small and play big.

Robert Bloor
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
-The Declaration of Independence
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Inner circle
MayfieldNew York
1347 Posts

Profile of djvirtualreality
Andrew Mayne's touching sky is cool....His floating on the edge is an impromptu ungimmicked version of his pocket levitator. I would say that's the only lev from that booklet able to be performed on the street. Someone in another post had an idea doing that on an escalator. I love mid-air and airborne from that booklet. It's only $10.45 on penguinmagic.
Life is an illusion, death is reality.
Whit Haydn
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Profile of Whit Haydn
I wonder what impression a lot of expensive illusions in a street performance would make on the spectators, and how that might effect the hat.

A sleight-of-hand artist with a nice table and some expensive rings and cups can still look like a starving artist on his/her way up, one that may need support from those who "discover" him.

A performer with a truckload of illusions piled on a street corner may look more like a dispossesed loser on his way down. At a festival, or sponsered show it might be worth a try, but as a busking act in real street conditions, I am not sure it will work.

Aside from the impracticality of hauling illusions around and performing them under the stringent conditions of the street and in inclimate weather, what does it look like to the spectators and how might it effect their putting money into the basket?

Will the take justify the expense of purchase and the wear and tear on the props?

If you have a mid-sized illusion show, you might do better booking schools or four walled shows.

I used the Zig-Zag, the Sub Trunk, and the Sword Basket in the past when I had a three person illusion show in amusement parks. All of these look fine surrounded and close-up.

So I think that you could easily have a show like this that fills up a single van or SUV. It takes some heavy lifting, and a lot of time in setting up and breaking down.

Illusions tend to suffer somewhat at every move from location to location even under the best of situations. Your beautiful new Zig Zag will quickly become dinged and scratched and wobbly as you use it under outside conditions.

The sun can wreck havoc on most illusions, causing warping and cracking and other damage.

The bright sunight also eliminates many otherwise good illusions for the street such as the Dagger Box, Arrowhead, Doll House, Twister, etc.--anything that depends on black art, mirrors, or depth illusions.

If you can be working in the evening, then a trick like the Arrowhead or Dagger Box might be really practical and fun. Relatively inexpensive as well. A good wrist or head chopper might also be a good bet.
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460 Posts

Profile of magicsoup
The Fringe Festival in my city would be a great place to do a street illusion. I think it would make for a big ending. Personally I think one would be enough. A friend of mine did a sub trunk routine on the street and it was great! It also passed as a portable stage and his box to put all his stuf in.
Steve Dela
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U.K. London
961 Posts

Profile of Steve Dela
For a street style illusion check out he sells an illusion called in flight! I don't own this but it has had amazing reviews and can be performed on the streets! also sell it.
hope this helps and good luck
Steve Dela
Associate Member of the Inner Magic Circle
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581 Posts

Profile of gulamerian
Illusions on the street is a bit hard. You will want to use smaller illusions. Head chopper, Light bulbs thru Girl, Head Twister. But the real problem will be where will you keep them from prying hands when they are not being used?
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