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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » The streets (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

mindfreak2.0
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102 Posts

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I've been doing magic to friends and family for quite a while and I want to start doing it on the street, but I'm kind of nervous about doing this. Can I have some help to get over this fear?
Andreas S.
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Germany
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I believe there are a lot of people here in the forum, who can give you better tips on this topic. My tip is: Just do it.
If you ever had the opportunity to perform for total strangers, you will recognize that the reactions are completely different to the reactions of your family or friends.

It is normal that you have some kind of stage-fright, especially if this is new for you. But if you want to do it, then do it.

One last thing. Do not drink and perform.
gaddy
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Get your 3 strongest tricks and a small table and a sign that says "My Awesome Magic Show" (in some form or another) and find a touristy, high traffic area of your town and just do it. Oh yeah, and don't block the sidewalks.

The fear you spoke of goes away after you've been rejected, heckled and laughed at about 100 times or so... Seriously. Either you grow a thick skin or you stop going out busking. It's as simple as that. There are worse things in the world than being mocked by complete strangers you'll never see again

Also, don't bother asking for permission -you won't get it. Just be ready to apologize and bug out as soon as someone asks you to hit the road. Knowing the city's ordinances on the subject is probably a very good idea as well...

When dealing with the Filth, remember:

"I've got rights" = BAD
"I want to co-operate with you in every way I can, Officer, Sir." = GOOD

Also, Also, don't get discouraged. Street performing can be tough, but it's very rewarding in ways far over and above merely making some money.

Check out the forum on street performing here on the Café.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
MagiClyde
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Columbus, Ohio
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An excellent book on the subject is "To Lure with Spectacle" by Jimmy Talksalot. He tells it like it is from the perspective of someone who has been in the trenches.
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
gaddy
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Quote:
On 2009-02-11 23:22, clynim wrote:
An excellent book on the subject is "To Lure with Spectacle" by Jimmy Talksalot. He tells it like it is from the perspective of someone who has been in the trenches.


It's a good book, but more of a philosophy than a how-to book. For that I'd suggest "The Royal Touch" By Jim Cellini. Or the DVDs that Kozmo is selling right here on the Café, which is both.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
marty.sasaki
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The best thing to do is to look at the Busker's forum right here on The Café, The Sidewalk Shuffle. This has a large discussion about all sorts of things including effects, routines, asking for money, gathering a crowd, where to work, etc.

It's not an easy thing to do, I haven't really tried, but will head out once it get's warmer in New England.
Marty Sasaki
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA

Standard disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys occasionally mystifying friends and family, so my opinions should be viewed with this in mind.
mmreed
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Harrisburg, PA
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I see a few tossed out solid advice...

1. Get the book by JimmyTalksAlot - To Lure with spectacle.
2. Get Kozmos DVD Tales From the Street
3. If money left, get The Royal Touch by Cellini (hard to find but we have them!)

Go through #1 and #2 TWICE!!!!

Then forget buying anything else or getting any other reading material... simply get out on the street and do it. #1 and #2 will give you enough training to be a professional busker.

The most important thing is to not let yourself get clouded with TOO MUCH CONTENT>... get a few high impact effects that work well and play well to the crowd.. the rest is all performance...
Mark Reed
Wedding and Event Entertainment
urbanillusionist
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You know in my opinion all the books are a great asset to have and learn from, BUT I also don't think they'll help you get over your fear of performing one bit... They are helpful materials to read and get ideas from but it doesn't solve you problem. It doesn't matter if you have the clever lines to walk up to a stranger with from a book if you don't have the guts to do it or are to nervous, you won't be able to walk up to them either way. Before I performed stage shows all I would perform is street magic for videos, my website, and for fun...The first time I performed magic on the streets I was nervous as hell and could barely get the trick done let alone talk to the spectators..it wasn't that I didn't know the tricks cause I performed them easily over a hundred times on myself with a camera, friends, etc..it was that I was just scared of rejection or not being cool. After the first time though nothing amazing happened and I thought I looked like an idiot but the fear was somewhat gone. I knew nothing bad would happen if I went up to people on the streets, the worst that could happen was they would shut me down or laugh! Who cares though, if they do its them who is missing out, and by the way I've found if you don't look crazy almost everyone EVERYONE wants to see magic..yeah it might not be real but they still question if it is! So my advice is not to go buy books on it but to just go do it, if you screw up who cares do it again on someone else and again and again in till you get it right. And once you start getting cool reactions the fear will go away just have fun and they will to!
marty.sasaki
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I disagree, look at the all of the stuff you can. You want to build something that will allow you to succeed. It's like trying to be a stand-up comedian when you don't have any good jokes and don't know how to be funny.

There are definitely bad effects for the streets and poorly thought out approaches. Start with the best you can, then take the advice and go out and just do it. Everyone who is involved in street magic say that you will probably suck and probably not make much, if any, money initially, but get out and work. It won't take too long before you will be successful.
Marty Sasaki
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA

Standard disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys occasionally mystifying friends and family, so my opinions should be viewed with this in mind.
Ogre1234
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Winnipeg, Canada
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I second on watching Kozmos DVD Tales From the Street. Great advice from someone with experience.
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