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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Card Tricks In Busking? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

fotballski
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I'm a 15 year old magician that has done some busking in shopping centres lately, and I have drawn pretty large crowds doing card magic and sponge balls only.

First of all I would like to ask; does this draw crowds as well as other kinds of magic effects in busking, and how do I make it draw crowds? (Opening lines, chose of effects, attention drawers with these props etc)

Secondly, what are the best card tricks that fits busking in general?

What kind of location would be best for doing magic in busking? (open area, behind a counter, surrounded completely etc)

I know that these questions are hard to answer because of the fact that they vary from person to person, performer personality etc... But give it your best shot, give some tips on your personal ideas on this subject, and perhaps we all learn something from this post.

Ps! If you have some ideas on this subject that does not fit any of my questions, please be so kind to post them anyways.

Thank you, Daniel.
"Someone creates a trick, many people perfect it, but its final success in front of an audience depends on the person who presents it"

René Lavand
fireperformer911
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Peter Wardell Crowd Builder has information on getting a crowd and he does an ambitious card routine in his show. Jim Cellini Street Performing DVDs Volume one has Sonny Holiday doing two card tricks in his routine. Both of these resources are very good both on how to build crowds and what tricks to do.
MagiCol
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Welcome to the Magic Café, Daniel. You should find a good amount of information to help you in your busking. Are you aware that there is a "Café Quicksearch" facilty posted at the top of each major section, under the colourful Café logo? When I typed in "cards busking" I got 142 posts that I could view. Some other users of this site may give you locations of earlier threads that will help you. Your post covers several areas of busking, each worthy of a separate thread. For a 15 year old to be into busking to "pretty large crowds", you are doing very well. Views on the best type of show for busking vary, but a major starting point is the suitability of locations where you can set up. The Sidewalk show is the most useful, because every town has sidewalk/footpath locations. The small space needed means only a small crowd meaning you will gain comparatively small income. If you want a half circle show to involve more spectators you need to have a town/city with enough space somewhere where there are crowds of people to allow the crowd to gather. More people, more income. But income isn't what magic should centre on. It should be about you having fun with tricks the spectators find interesting and enjoy. Once you know your venue and the potential amount of spectators, and how many locations you can visit with a particular type of show - sidewalk, half circle, full circle - and how often, then you can use props/gear that suit the venue and work out what tricks to learn and use. I use a minimal amount of gear for my sidewalk show - the bulk of the gear fits into a doctor's bag measuring about 40cm long, by 20cm width, 30 cm high when opened. I've seen photos of full circle show gear that require a trolly to cart the stuff to and from the site! Think about how mobile you want to be, and how practical it is to cart your gear and carry it all with you in one load [you don't want to be in the silly situation of having to leave some gear on the street while you go off to put away the other part of the gear}.

Cards and sponge balls, I would say, are o.k. for entertaining a small group of people, but for a bit bigger crowd they must be able to see clearly what's going on. A chosen card needs to be shown to the spectators so they all know what is going on. Close-up tricks are not suitable for crowds. So for a crowd of say 10 or more people Jumbo size cards give better visibility. But these cards are of lighter card thickness and generally are more awkward to manipulate.

How to use cards to for crowds? Well, every crowd starts with you stopping and interacting with just a few people close up to you and then "a crowd draws a crowd", meaning more people will then stop to see what's going on. So a card trick may be ideal once a few people have stopped to watch, then as the crowd grows you can move on to more visual and impressive routines. I use a simple "key card" trick called "Do As I Do", using two packs of cards. We each shuffle our pack, swap them, secretely pick a card, cut our packs several times, hand the packs to the other person. We find our own card in that other pack. Spectator produces his and shows it around and with a few seconds delay I produce mine and show it around - we both picked the same card! It's a simple uncomplicated trick, easy for a beginner busker to learn, and goes across well.

Rope for a couple of tricks is compact so I think its useful. I find the Cut and Restored trick where a rope is shown, then cut in half, then restored, goes across well.
All the best in your busking!
Colin.
The presentation makes the magic.
fotballski
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I Do card gambling routines, three card monte, riffle stacks and maybe 50 % of my other effeckts with gambling pattern. Does every one have to see the royal straight flush in order to understand that it is a royal straight flush?

THank you both for the answers, the really do help.

Daniel
"Someone creates a trick, many people perfect it, but its final success in front of an audience depends on the person who presents it"

René Lavand
TheAmbitiousCard
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Do card magic that does not require a table

cards accross (see the lovell live video)
carlyle's homing card (stars of magic)
3.5 of clubs (wherever)

look for gazzo's "uncensored" video
look for nick nickolas DVD


STAY AWAY FROM BLAINE, OZ, NOZEBLEEDA, ELLUSIONIST or any of those people that put out stuff that pretends to be 'street magic'. it's not. it's close-up magic in a "bothering people" setting, marketed to jr. high school students.

card magic is fine but NO it does not work, in general, as well as other things can like:
rings
balls
cups
rope
strait jacket
egg bag

anything can work but that ALL depends on YOU, not the trick.

gambling routines, 3CM, riffle stacking can work for the first few spectators but if you're really trying to draw a crowd, those are non-visual, show off, hard-to-see tricks.

You need to enteratin them with your personality not the tricks.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
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Mario Morris
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Hi Daniel
I found The three shell pea game can be good for a small build.
Mario
fotballski
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This is what I do with cards for busking:

Three card monte (Miachel Skinner)
Triumph (Ace location with the four aces)
Rainbow Cascade
Jumping Gemini
Dr Daleys last Trick
Spectator Cuts to the Aces (John Bannon in Dear Mr Fantasy)
Total Control (My own trick where I give all the players excellent cards twise)
Invisible Deck
Weird prediciton (My own trick with a gaffed card (gag + strong impact)
Card toon (for very small crowds)
Gag with two 3,5 clubs and a force on the seven of clubs twise.

I know that some of these card effetcs are not for big crowds, but som of them play very strongly.
PS! These were the ones I came up with now, know loads more.

Which of these effects should I use?
Other effects I should use?

Thank you for all your replies, it really helps. And yes, I am aware of the fact that performance and personality is even more important than the trick itself (Depends if the trick really sucks though).
"Someone creates a trick, many people perfect it, but its final success in front of an audience depends on the person who presents it"

René Lavand
Jeff Dial
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I'll thrown in a second on Frank's observation to do card tricks that do not require a table. You are in the great outdoors. You need to play big. Especially if you are using cards to draw a big crowd. The more people that can see you the more people can pay you.

If you are looking for a smaller crowds there are other things to do. I had the pleasure to watch Jerry Salazar work in San Francisco last spring. He was working a sidewalk pitch. The crowds were relativly small, but the shows were short and frequent. He never stopped. He only paused between effects long enough to pass the hat. A real master.
"Think our brains must be too highly trained, Majikthise" HHGG
Kozmo
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The problem and this is my opinion only ....with cards as an opener is this....someone selects a card...and the magician shuffles the card intio the pack......next group comes...they don't know whats goin on and they leave...thats my opinion....i have worked the streets for 20 years take it for what its worth

now if your doin a multiple selection of say 7 or 8 cards and your producing them all from imposible places or in impossible ways then it would be great....

again just my opinion...i don't know all that much actually....

koz
TheGiz
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Doc Daileys last trick, Anniversary Waltz, Ambitious card. I wouldn't do more cards than that. Shift to your bigger effects and end with your killer.
Prof. Gizmo
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Brent McLeod
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Cards are but 1 part of the show as you know!

I have good success on the street with diminishing cards finishing any routine!!

Top street performers like Nick Nickolas use signed card to any location but use heaps of comedy & gags in finding it-playing to huge crowds who are in Hysterics- also throwing in cards from mouth, single card flourishes, cigatettes etc but the entertainment is the key before moving on to his classic cups & balls,
Prof. Pabodie
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Doesn't Doug Conn use a lot of card tricks on the street?
Bill Palmer
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Circus jugglers don't juggle small balls, because the audience can't see them.

Sure, your card work may be dynamite, but if you have a potential to gather a tip of 100 people and only 10 can see what you are doing, you lose 90% of your effectiveness.

Do things everyone can see.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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pepka
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On the few occasions I've done busking, it's always for charity work. I've always gotten great reactions with a multiple selection of around 15-20 cards.
JoeJoe
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Quote:
On 2008-11-04 00:13, Bill Palmer wrote:
Sure, your card work may be dynamite, but if you have a potential to gather a tip of 100 people and only 10 can see what you are doing, you lose 90% of your effectiveness.


I both agree and disagree Bill. I agree that if you have 100 people watching, you want to do something that all 100 people can see.

But I disagree in that there is a place for card tricks in busking ... and that place would be before the other 90 show up.

-JoeJoe
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
Dynamike
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Using a Jumbo Deck will help out. The Brainwave and Invisible Decks are good. performing Comedy Card Babies are good, especially with a Jumbo Deck.
G.Gilbert
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I do 1 card trick in my show.. a card to mouth.. Most of my act is visual / parlor manipulation.. and for one reason.. People have been really dumbed down and they don't like to think!! The places I work, the tourist locations.. Well, people are on vacation - and they don't want to think they just wanna have fun!.. So I tried to design my act to where nobody has to use their brain... When people have to start remembering things, or use their brain in anyway I find it's really easy for them to lose intrest.
G.Gilbert
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Especially when your playing at abig tourist attraction where theres a million other things they could be doing.. Ppl have no attention span, and get bored reaal easily.. in this situation my strategy is usually the same.. less interaction, move quick, no pauses, no breaks, and the audience shouldnt have to think about anything -- just witness the magic.
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