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jimmy talksalot
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Well firstly I manipulate for a living all day long and I love this section.


it is my hopes that the future of street performing magicians is going to be done by magicians.

this is the main reason I am posting here. I know there are some serious guys here.....i know I have met some of you on my travels.

there are quite a few street performing magicians doing bad magic, that are not magicians.

they are fellahs who are very wise in the art and science of crowd building and extracting money from strangers. they have devoted their lives to this wisdom.

but since they have put all their focus on the business end the show part of show business has suffered for it.

their skills as magicians is very often amatuer. they merely use it as a draw or gimmick to build and hold a crowd.

completely ignoring the fact that it was the magic that had the power to attract.

infact they will deny it and say it was their badgering the crowd to watch and give them money.

further they book themselves as magicians but openly say they are not magicians, but simply entertainers who do a few tricks. they do this because magic is a draw.

these fellahs almost never manipulate, simply, it's takes skill to manipulate and keep a street crowd.

don't get me wrong.

this is great and everyone has their place on the street, that's the great thing about this venue.

AND of course on the contrary the best magicians in the buisness are buskers. but these fellahs are as sonny holliday says, "merely a handful all over the world."

part of the problem is when some one with great chops comes out and fails on the street they get discouraged. this is simply from lack of training.

many of you stage fellahs know if your gonna do a proper stage show you gotta have proper training, usually an astute teacher.

well the streets is no different, only difference is, us street guys always have a venue, and we have very tight acts because of it. we do anywhere from 5 - 20 shows a day....or more. people paying us to practice our manips. and people discovering us and hiring us for gigs.

jim cellini said, "one year on the street is ten on the stage."


stage time, pure and simple.

we have a society and I hope you will look up all the work we have tryed to provide on the net.

cellini and eric evans has books out on the subject which are a great peek into this world.

I also have a book out, a blog and some of my students and teachers have set up a site. called

that has articals and footage.

we follow under the cellini school of thought and of course his teacher Slydini.

we try and provide everything you will need to be a performer, a magician, and a worker.

we make our living busking and picking up gigs.

most of us are manipulators.

please check out my blog

my love has always been for the stage, but the streets allow me more venues and performance time and a steady income.

I believe the streets is our modern vaudville.
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I know that you know what you are doing. Whether sleight-of-hand or self-working, you are the man, Jimmy.
Peter Pitchford
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That is so true also in any realm of magic. As an example, one name has consistently come up of a guy (I will leave him nameless) who bills himself as the top performer in my area. He puts all of his energy into marketing but he is a lousy performer. He may be a very good marketer (at least he claims to be), but I know he is a mediocre performer at best.

I feel myself undercut by many "magicians" just like this. They are widely marketed yet they can't deliver the goods.

It's a shame because it lowers the public's esteem of magic even further.
jimmy talksalot
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Peter Pitchford,

thank you.

this is exactly what I am talking about.

these are the same guys.

this is what they do when they come out to the streets.

they are hurting the reputation of our art and the ones who came before us.

the good news is the streets level the playing fields a little more.

they can't gobble all the gigs from a talented person because the streets are public.

the other thing is that in the states there is less legal spots for great big circle shows 45 mins with amplification and lots of equipment,

this means that one must do a shorter show in a smaller area with less equipment.

this makes a show of skill and talent a little more important.

ironically these fellahs show up on the smaller spots also and badger every single person to watch them and hound them to hustlers, but they have to work a little harder showing magic this time (it's the system of working a smaller show)....bad magic...but magic finally, as half of their crowd seeks an escape route. they use hostage taking tactics to try and keep them and intimidate them into paying.

these people are the people that got the bigger legal spots closed in our country.

towns are just sick of it. and consider them a nuisance.

unfortunately everyone is now banned.

they have a group of these nimrods in covent garden london. 12 guys who have copied gazzo's show word for word routine for routine and they line up all day and show the same show all day. sadly they even do the copy baddly, they are painful to watch as a performer. it's like an unvariety act.

anyway it's no wonder that covent garden after being the premier street performing spot in the world forever wants to get rid of it now.

but like I said the street levels the playing field a little more. the people that want to hire a magician can see right away what they are gonna hire and me an my friends have been chose over the hacks many many times.

you see out there they are not talking up an untangible, there they are exposed that all they care about is the money and not the quality.

the people might pay them in their show, but they wont hire them if there is a talented person performing.
Peter Pitchford
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Jimmy, I'm sorry to hear that. Keep doing your thing and you will eventually receive the props you deserve (and they will receive the infamy they deserve).
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Hey Jimmy,

I have been working up to street level, right now when my girlfriend goes to the major malls in the area, I hang out outside the shops and do flourish routines, when people come up and ask me to do a trick I say , "ahh, but these cards are no good for magic, because when I try to grab them, they disappear!" and go into a backpalm vanish, aquittal and production to get their attention.

They usually watch me do more flourishes and after about 30 sec to a minute inevitably say "do that thing with the one card again, make it disappear"

it seems that no matter how impressive a flourish is they will still prefer to see something impossible. I'll check out your blog and I really like your posts over here too, I am working on many forms of manipulation (cigs, zippos, coins, cards etc) and hope to soon be busking. Yes, it takes much more practice to do manipulations, than the average magician puts in, this is why they are the AVERAGE magician ;-)
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