The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Anyone lost equipment/props to thieves? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
deadcatbounce
View Profile
Special user
the Wilds of Ireland
841 Posts

Profile of deadcatbounce
It seems to me that maybe you have to be a bit careful in handing out stuff for inspection, like cups, for example.. What to do if one of the specs makes off with it, acting as a decoy? And the other(s) swoop in while you're distracted and have your stuff away?
Now, I know that in most spots, that's unlikely, but I live near an area where it's not safe on the streets after 10pm. These same streets hold the same people in the daytime, and I've seen them harass busking magicians.
Of course, there are other, perhaps "easier" spots to work, but I'm wondering what other sort of tactics any of you have come up against. Props are one thing, but - anyone who's any good, will be holding a reasonable amount of cash...

Anyone care to share a horror story?

Tks

DCB
"With every mistake - we must surely be learning..." George Harrison.
TheGiz
View Profile
Veteran user
335 Posts

Profile of TheGiz
I had 2 street punks hanging out show after show. I do a trickle for my hat. My money can is right in front of my table. They would be reaching for my props joking & horsing around with 1 hand while reaching into my can with the other. I caught one of them red handed with a $5.00 bill. They did have good misdirection! I told them to leave and don't come back. . .they didn't.
Lost 2 meat cleavers that I juggle. Lost a blank gun. Don't know who got them. Was busy shmoozing with the audience. All replaceable. One of the hazzards of the street.
Once had a rough looking wino look into my can and see the $$$ He had a German sheppard dog with him. He looked in remarking that I had his dogs money in the can. I told him, "If your dog tries to get his money he'd be a dead dog." He rambled off cursing under his breath. If I had wilted he would have taken it all. (I'm not that big of a guy, but I wasn't going to let the guy intimidate me.) If you're easily intimidated the streets may not be for you!!!

Prof. Gizmo
http://blackbeltmagician.com

"And it's a good thing I only use my power for good!!!"
Tony Iacoviello
View Profile
Eternal Order
13151 Posts

Profile of Tony Iacoviello
I've seen some awful things and heard some terrible things.

During a lecture, a name street performer explained why his amp was reinforced in a wooden frame. It was so that he could stand on it during performance; not just for the visibility factor, but to keep people from running off with it. He lost his previous one that way.

As for stealing the hat, and props, that happens all the time, and most times the crowd just watches it happen and does or says nothing.

Tony
MagiCol
View Profile
Special user
Dargaville, New Zealand
929 Posts

Profile of MagiCol
I haven't lost anything in my short time busking on the street. I have had the odd child or two of about age 3 take a coin out of the trickle hat, in their innocence. I usually say nothing cause each time the Mum tells the child to put it back. A security guard told me to empty my hat every so often as thieves were known to grab the hat and take off with it. I was more worried about replacing the hat than the smallish amount of trickle money they would take, so I changed to using a $5 cheapy fedora that looks o.k. on the ground for my trickle, and wear my good felt fedora on my head.
The presentation makes the magic.
gallagher
View Profile
Inner circle
1083 Posts

Profile of gallagher
Thru the years, I've `losts' a couple of things along the way. On the streets, it's inevitible I guess. In the moment, it's always been a bummer; but a couple of years down the road,... they're `memories'.

Besides the money stories, I have two kinda funny ones. Once, while drinking coffee, someone stole my piano stool!,.. from the top of my piano, in broad daylight. ****ed, but wanting to finish the day; I went to Travel Agencies and collected Catologs. Stacked them all together, and sat on them. What I didn't know at the time, was how slippery glossed catologs are! It was a real balence-act trying to play right, while trying to stay on top of the stack!! The stacked moved around, like a belly dancer who needed to pee.

Once, I had some weird influenza, where my nose ran constantly. Between each number, I used a Kleenex and blew out masses of snot,.. as non-chalantly as possible. Then, I stashed the used snot-rags, in a bag, on the back of my piano. In the middle of one of my last numbers, some guy walked behind the piano, grabed the bag and went running! ,... hmm, to each his own, I guess.

Thinking about it, as Buskers; Stories, good or bad, are our greatests `Hats'.

all the best,
gallagher
kid iowa
View Profile
Loyal user
Oklahoma
300 Posts

Profile of kid iowa
Lost a set of cups, rings and some other odds and ends one of my first times out. turned my back for a second and all was gone
Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile...can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served in the United States Navy." J.F.K.
gaddy
View Profile
Inner circle
Agent of Chaos
3226 Posts

Profile of gaddy
I've been pretty lucky and have not had anything stolen as of yet, but then I'm still pretty green and have lots of time to "learn"...

I keep a pretty sharp eye when I'm out, and I don't wander too far from the oak.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
ed rhodes
View Profile
Inner circle
Rhode Island
2754 Posts

Profile of ed rhodes
Ditto. I did have a couple of kids horsing around and pretending to reach into my bucket (I don't rate a hat yet), but they took off.

No one's ever taken props. I mean, what would they DO with them?
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
deadcatbounce
View Profile
Special user
the Wilds of Ireland
841 Posts

Profile of deadcatbounce
Ed,
People don't necessarily steal things because they can use them ... they just think how much they can GET for them - all they have to do is find a fence/buyer...and... keep in mind - those of a certain mentality actually think the cups do the work, for example. Even scrap value would attract a certain kind of thief. A wand? That would seem an attractive item to me...and then you have the amp, speakers, etc.
If I was a crook, I'd lure the guy away from the pitch and have my accomplice lined up ready to take off with the amp.
I'm not a crook, but if I can think of it, it's surely been done. I worked Covent Garden market in London as a trader years ago, and someone stole my radio, which was playing and plugged in! It was the only thing I lost in 6 years....

I can see a few places where I'd be reluctant to hand out a nice set of cups...

Hence my question....

Regards, all.

DCB
"With every mistake - we must surely be learning..." George Harrison.
G.Gilbert
View Profile
Elite user
baltimore
495 Posts

Profile of G.Gilbert
Yeah, I lost a jumbo coin...but don't tell Eric Evans!
FunTimeAl
View Profile
Special user
987 Posts

Profile of FunTimeAl
Hey George,

If you lost one of the Eric Evans jumbo coins, I'll mail ya one of mine (or both). I don't use them.

...one's gotta hole in it, though.
Scott M
View Profile
Special user
Apex, NC
524 Posts

Profile of Scott M
PM'd you, Chad!

-Scott M
gallagher
View Profile
Inner circle
1083 Posts

Profile of gallagher
Come on, George, tell the truth...you tried spending it!!
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24274 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
One technique I found that works in some areas is to take a look at the various group dynamics while you are setting up. If you find a group that apparently "runs the show," instead of getting on their case, go over and talk to them. Sometimes that's all that it takes to make a connection.

I was doing a show in a mall in San Antonio, and a bunch of the kids from the local vocational school came over. They acted like a gang would, but not quite as belligerent. So, I went over and talked to them a bit, got acquainted with them, and then when I got ready to change costumes, I asked them if they wouldn't mind watching things for me. The small "stealable" items were all locked away behind my backdrop. I had my assistant watch them inconspicuously. The mall manager had warned me about them, saying that they were basically good kids but didn't have anything to do.

I did four shows during the next two days. They were there for every show. I occasionally got one or two of them up to help me as audience volunteers. During one of the shows, a group of local thugs showed up to give me trouble. My little group of supporters set them straight very quickly, without causing a stir.

After we completed the run, they helped me load up my van.

Sometimes, it's a good idea to make the biggest bully in the class the crossing guard!
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Scott M
View Profile
Special user
Apex, NC
524 Posts

Profile of Scott M
Bill,

I wish you were my friend in elementary school.

:)

-Scott M
Dynamike
View Profile
Eternal Order
FullTimer
24107 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
If I caught someone trying to steel my props on the streets, I would be behind bars this moment.
Phil J.
View Profile
Elite user
460 Posts

Profile of Phil J.
Only once have I 'lost' anything, and that was to a fellow magician. He borrowed several books and DVDs before disappearing without trace. I tried his mobile and house phones, but all were dead, and emails were returned as undeliverable. Suffice to say, I'll never lend anything to anyone again.
You were born original... Don't die a copy Smile
Mr. Pitts
View Profile
Inner circle
David Pitts
1054 Posts

Profile of Mr. Pitts
I posted a story on another thread about a mishap I had this weekend where my vent figure fell off my trunk and was damaged. I managed to fix him so I could continue performing, but it made me more aware of how I was managing my props (or mismanaging, I guess). Because of this, I restructured my street show so I'd have better control of my props. Now, Henry starts and ends the show in his trunk. I gather a tip with my concertina, do a couple little comedy music bits, then with the concertina still in my hand, I do a little D'lite bit, pulling 'Christmas Spirit' (for this particular gig) from the ears and elbows of the kids. The D'lite goes back to my pocket, then I introduce Henry and get him out and, at the same time, I put the concertina in the trunk. I close the lid and use the trunk to prop my foot on and have Henry on my knee for the vent act. Then applause, Henry back in the trunk, concertina out and ready to build another tip.
Before, I just left my props, even Henry, in plain view for the whole show. This way works much better and gives the show better flow, and I have complete control of my stuff at all times. The mishap made me aware of how vulnerable my stuff was just sitting there.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
deadcatbounce
View Profile
Special user
the Wilds of Ireland
841 Posts

Profile of deadcatbounce
Nice post, David. It highlights the sort of thing I'm trying to avoid. I'm sure that even in some cases, it wouldn't be a good idea to hand ANYTHING out for inspection... never mind an expensive cup.
Doing kid shows is teaching me how to guard my stuff... they get into EVERYTHING if you give them the tiniest chance.
James James advised me to try the street, "It'll improve the rest of your magic," and I took that as correct.
Doing kid shows certainly sharpens you up. I've done close up for years, and been groped and grabbed and had my hat nicked, but that's about it.

Cheers, all...

DCB
"With every mistake - we must surely be learning..." George Harrison.
Mario Morris
View Profile
Inner circle
Mario Morris
2044 Posts

Profile of Mario Morris
I've had so much stuff nicked over the years.
jacket
keys for my padlocks
mobilessss
money pouch
bag

I have had my hat scopped a few times.
I have had knife pulled out on me during a show; not for money, he was just nuts.
2 skinheads threw cans full of bear at me.

As far as the props for my show are concerned, I have a copy of everything.
Cups, pouch, table, and so on. So if I do get cleaned out, I can just turn it around.
Mario
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Anyone lost equipment/props to thieves? (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.19 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL