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FunTimeAl
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Street performing is an art in and of itself.

Don't expect a stage master to automatically be a master of street performing. Sure Copperfield would do OK...if he were in a part of the US where his face was known.

But take a master, say Ammar...whose face is not widely known to the general public and put him next to Bobby Maverick on the street...who do you think is gonna make the bigger hats?

Street performing is not about having the best chops, the most creative routine, or the newest trick. It's about making a connection with the audience that randomly makes up a street show...not the audience that willingly goes to the Castle to see a show. It's a whole different ball game...which requires its own strategies/subtleties/methodology.

Any performer can do a show on the street...but that's not being a street performer. Street performing is not a second eschalon ability. It requires its own mastery.
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2009-01-13 14:55, spacecop wrote:
Wow I dont know weather to start with the ignorance or arrogance. I have lived in several foreign countries and visited others. I have spent time abroad with other Americans and have never found this to be the case. For one person to say that he knows that 99% of people, in a crowd that he has never met, will think a certain way is amazing.


Don't be confused, I was talking about the 99% of the crowd I DID MEET. That is why I said YMMV. I also admitted I could be all wet on the topic and that it was based on my personal observations. It is also based on conversations I've had with people from other countries and how those people have viewed Americans in their land. It is certainly a reputation we enjoy in other countries, the term 'ugly American' is not one I've made up and has even been portrayed as a stereotype in many films both foreign and domestic. An equal number of films also portray us as 'good guys' so I wouldn't worry too much about it. I do think it is something to be aware of and something to keep in mind weather we are dealing with visitors to our country or when we are in foreign lands.

Quote:
Are there rude, stupid and insensitive people in America? Sure. Just like every other country I have been. Are there polite, sensitive and intelligent people in America? You bet; Danny himself is one judging by his story. Furthermore it is my experience that these people are the vast majority. That is the American way. It floors me that the people that would never stereotype people from another country or culture would so quickly stereotype Americans. When you insult Americans you insult me because I am an American, my children are mostly American (one is a duel citizen) and most the people I love are Americans. Im sorry if this is seen as flaming but I believe it is still on the original topic. Was the woman unknowingly insulting, yes. Was the other 100 people that past by that day insulting? It does not sound like it.


I understand your wanting to defend America...it's another trait most American's share (myself included!). I often try and do this when I hear someone say, "to a foreign person or about a foreign person, "learn to speak the language!" I am sure you will admit you have heard this term over and over by people if you live in a multicultural area. My response to that is always, "What makes you think they are not?"

Denying we have this reputation is the same as not doing anything about it. I'm sure you are not one of the 'ugly Americans' but they are out there, and they are out there in droves according to what I hear. Again, YMMV I'd just like people to be aware of it, if a person is aware of it they are more likely to be sensitive to it.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! Im 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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Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2009-01-13 15:42, John Bowlin wrote:

One story comes to mind for me. I walked into a bank and noticed the teller looked as though she might be due to give birth in a month or so. I looked at her...smiled and said...when are you due? I just wanted to acknowledge what I thought was a joyous and anticipated event. She turned bright red and in a very angry voice said.."I'm not pregnant". All I could say was "oh..I'm sorry".


OH JOHN! My skin just crawled a foot on that one! I think we have ALL done that ONCE! Smile

Oh god, I can remember my own run in with that particular experience and you are 100% right! Good point!

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! Im so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2009-01-14 08:40, John Bowlin wrote:
I remember the violinist experiment. He also stated that most to all of the money dropped in his case seemed out of pity as opposed to appreciation of his music and talent. The majority that dropped money in didn't even stop to listen. I wonder if we could get Copperfield to go for a busking experiment.


As Chad pointed out and I will try to clarify, the true ART to street performing is to remove the idea of begging from your audiences mind and have them see you as ONLY an entertainer. You know you have achieved this when you start booking corporate gigs from the street.

In Boston there is a violin player that makes $500 a night, he's a great violin player but he's also a great entertainer and street performer.

People give you more money when they see you as an entertainer than they do when they see you as a beggar. Like the 'ugly American' the 'beggar performer' is another stereotype I would like to see changed in the eyes of most people here in the states. I try and do it one show at a time.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! Im so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Some say to dress like you "need money".
I'm not sure what she was wearing but clearly this incident gives credence to the opposite approach.
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rockwall
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I wish I could find the link but I remember reading about a study done not too long ago. Sometime late last year. The study interviewed Hotel workers in cities througout the world and were asked something like, "Who are the most rude travelers." I think that the French won in that case.

My point isn't to denegrate the French, (I may even be wrong about who won), but to just point out that we here in the US often think of ourselves as the worst because of the long standing myth of the "ugly American". I suspect most countries have, percentage wise, just as many rude travelers as we do. I also don't buy Danny's comparison. Even if you've seen it happen, too many variables for it to be a valid comparison. You performed for a bunch of Japanese "girls" VS American "tourists". Could age have been a factor? How about the quality of the performance? How about the sophistication of the people watching. How about cultural differences and previous opportunities to see street performers? Maybe it was a totally new experience for the Japanese girls and 'fun' because of it while it was a bit pedestrian for the American tourists and they lost interest.

I just saw it as a bad attempt to draw a larger inference.
rockwall
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Boy, that didn't take long. I just blew one of my New Years resolutions not to waste time on argumentative posts. Dang!!

BTW, my son always finishes off the leftovers that we bring back from the restaurant. Does that mean that he is no better than my dog???
Dave V
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I don't see the lady as "rude." Her actions may have been misinterpreted, but it sounds like she was sincerely trying to help.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2009-01-14 12:44, rockwall wrote:
Boy, that didn't take long. I just blew one of my New Years resolutions not to waste time on argumentative posts. Dang!!

BTW, my son always finishes off the leftovers that we bring back from the restaurant. Does that mean that he is no better than my dog???


HA!

Glad I was the one who got you rolling! Smile

the variables in your post do not apply as I have had this same experience street performing for people from other countries as well and they are always VERY appreciative of my attemts to use their language.

I said it was MY experience and that a lot of people (NOT ALL) feel that way about American Tourists. It was not meant by any means to be a scientific survey or one to put Americans as a whole down. I threw it out there because I think it is something we should all be aware of and try just a bit to be sensitive too. MANY PEOPLE ALL READY ARE> I was not trying to be pious at all and John made a GREAT example of how we ALL can step off on the wrong foot from time to time.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion and you may also be right...Maybe the world does see us as sensitive free thinkers, that has not however been my experience. I think it would be great if one day that were also the stereotype of Americans.

It was just my opinion and certainly not worth arguing about. Felling differently about it is absolutely A-OK in my book and you don't need to convince me. Smile

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! Im so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
rockwall
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Danny, no comment. back onto the resolution! Smile

Anyone see Gran Torino? Funny part where Clint Eastwood is in the neighbors house and pat's a vietnamese child on the head and instantly offends every adult in the room. He is then taken to another room where he is given a quick lesson in all the ways to offend that he's not aware of.

I agree that she probably thought she was making a nice gesture and didn't mean to offend regardless of how offensive many found it. So, my question. Should we be disgusted by people who inadvertantly offend or should we be more interested in their intentions?
Tony Iacoviello
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Quote:
On 2009-01-14 14:54, rockwall wrote:
... Should we be disgusted by people who inadvertantly offend or should we be more interested in their intentions?


Can't we have both?
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2009-01-14 15:04, Tony Iacoviello wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-01-14 14:54, rockwall wrote:
... Should we be disgusted by people who inadvertantly offend or should we be more interested in their intentions?


Can't we have both?


Only if you make one decafe. Smile
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! Im so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
amerigo
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Quote:
On 2009-01-13 13:29, Danny Hustle wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-01-13 11:39, spacecop wrote:
so you are going to lump all Americans into one class because one old woman thought she was doing a good thing but was actually insulting?


Well...yes, that's the American way! Smile

Reminds me of the story of the Mexican taxi driver and the American tourist

The Taxi driver tells the American he can speak 4 languages Spanish, English, Italian and Japanese.
The American is amazed and upon asking why Japanese is told that in Mexico there are many Japanese tourists and it became neccessary for his job.

The taxi driver then asks the American " What do they call you if you can speak 3 languages?"

The American replies " Trilingual."

The Taxi driver then asks " What do they call you if you can speak 2 languages?"

The American answers "Bilingual."

The taxi driver then asks " What do they call you if you can only speak 1 language?"

The American has no idea.

The taxi answers "American , and then goes on to say that Americans think if you can't speak English, you must be stupid."

God bless the U.S.A.
.



I'll tell you a funny story. A couple of weeks ago I was working pre game for the Boston Celtics. there was a HUGE group of Japanese girls that I called over to see a card trick. I said, "HI" They all said "HI" I asked if they were enjoying the game and they all said, "Yes, very much" they said ALL of this without a hint of a hesitation or accent so I ASSUMED they might be American college kids.

Well, I start doing card to pocket and it becomes fairly obvious that I have a HUGE language barrier. As a guy who grew up in a multi cultural neighborhood and a guy who started his street performing career at a multicultural tourist mecca this wasn't a huge deal.

I say to the group, "No matter how bad your English is, it is MUCH better than my Japanese. To this they all started clapping and laughing. They got it. I then said, "So together I think we can have some fun are you ready? " They all said, "Yeah!"

And so I took a very professional position and said, "Konbanwa" (good evening) and they laughed hysterically. With just a few words, holding out the deck and saying, "Dozo" (please take one) and "Wakarimasu Ka" (Do you understand). I was able to do a 15 minute set for these kids that they loved. As a matter of fact, a pretty big crowd gathered and when I would say, "Warkarimasu Ka?" the girls would ALL respond with, "Warkarimasu!" (I understand!). By the end of the show the rest of teh audience were calling it out as well like it was the magic word.

After the show they all came up and thanked me and took pictures with me, etc ( I even got a couple of kisses on the cheek thankyouverymuchdon'ttellmywife! Smile )

After they all walked off teh woman who hired me came up and said, I didn't know you spoke Japanese? I said, "I don't! I know like four words. but they are the right four words! Smile )

Now you may be wondering why I bring this cute little story up... Let's put the shoe on the other foot and a group of American Tourists are in Canada and a French speaking performer is doing his show and realizes that he has an American speaking crowd and tries to pull off a show using the only four or five words of English he knows to bring them along for the ride. Within moments 99% of the people in the croud are going to think he's stupid because he doesn't speak english. When he mispronounces something he will be corrected like he is an idiot, and before too long they will become bored and move along. I've seen it happen.

How many times have you been standing in line to buy something and a person from another country is in front of you trying to make a purchase and is having problems but is really trying with the language. The cashier will often be frustrated and talking to that person like they are a moron when no matter how badly that person speaks english it is 1000 times better than the cashier speaks the other persons language. Now this person in line is probably NOT stupid. For all we know they may be a rocket scientist in their own country. Americans have no patience, a lot of ignorance, and tons of arrogance. It's the reason why a lot of other countries love us so much. Smile

I may be totally off base here but I see it all the time, this is just my personal experience. YMMV

Best,

Dan-
Magic is Everywhere
Mario Morris
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I was in Portugal, a young man watched my show Afterwards he came up to me and thanked me for my show. He explained that he had no money but he like it if I came back to his for dinner. I said no thanks I am fine, ten min latter he was back and I was now pulling a new show. He struted up to my case and put a bag next to my prop bag and than just strutted off. At the end of my show I looked into that bag and their was a half eaten Idian Curry, with half of the rice left and a half eaten nan bread.

Some days latter the same guy joined my audiance and watched my show. This time he came and poured hundreads of one all tow cences into my hat. I reckon about 5euro worth he explained he had to break his pig but wanted to give what he had

The way I see it he was the poor *** and I felt sorry for him.
Mario
PS The ones the P me of are the ones that watch my show enjoy them selfs then sneak of with their money deep in their pocket, bloody theives.
Kondini
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I will not go into details here, but there was an occasion in the Midlands UK when we made no money at all from a three day busk on a showground. We were supposed to be paid on completion by the management but they ran out on us. We were broke, out of food and diesel.

It soon got around about our plight and yes we accepted doggie bags,,,hell it saved us. Also a family of gypsies gave us fuel for the trip home!!! Been there and done it out of neccesity.


On another note >>> have busked all over and there is nothing wrong with the yanks, in fact on a human and understanding plain I have found American audiences to be the most responsive, non offensive and truly generouse with the hat. I would put them in second place only to the Dutch on a rateing basis.

My own observations based on thirty plus years of on and off busking.

Ken.
Mario Morris
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Happy New Year Ken
That is a fact, their have been times in my life to that I would have eaten his left overs for sure, would have saved me looking for it. Where was he when I needed him, hay? (Answers on a post card)
Mario
PS Trust the Brits to stand up for the great doggie bag.
rockwall
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Quote:
On 2009-01-14 16:55, Kondini wrote:
...
I have found American audiences to be the most responsive, non offensive and truly generouse with the hat.
...


Well, that must be because all Yanks are rich! At least, that is what I discovered everyone believed on my last trip to China! Smile Everything is relative, right?
TheAmbitiousCard
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I was an American tourist in London and Amsterdam in the fall. Everyone was dressed nicely as we toured the cities. When we got to the airport to come back to the US we were directed to "get in line over there" so we started walking and...

...well...

It was a crowd of loud, obnoxious people.
They were wearing cargo shorts that hung way too low (or cargo pants that were way too high), flip flops and hoodies. They strutting around like they owned the place(i don't know how you can strut while you stand in line but they did). It was not the proudest moment of the trip for me.

I kinda wanted to hide.
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FunTimeAl
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To bad you weren't wearing your change bag/cargo pocket pants...you coulda been audi 500 in a heartbeat.
acephale
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Quote:
On 2009-01-14 04:51, Bill Palmer wrote:
During the Great Folk Music Scare of the 1960's, I told a friend of mine that I had met and played for Lightnin' Hopkins, who was one of the great blues guitar players of that era.


Holy crap, you played for Lightnin' Hopkins? Someday I'm going to have to buy you drinks. Plus I figure you for a Von Ronk type of guy with the Folk Music Scare phrase.

On the topic, last year when we were traveling the news was showing a story about the worst tourists. I can't remember if it was hostel workers that were surveyed so it might not have been the same one, but the ranking went Brits first, then Germans. Americans came out fourth or fifth which caused us to breathe a sigh of relief.
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