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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Setting a pitch at a flea market? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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BroDavid
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Many of the ideas here are not just for a fleamarket pitch, but reality for any busking pitch.

I have yet to get to do my full show outside due to the rain here, (Strange weather for June, but in Ohio we always say, if you don't like he weather here, stick around, it will change...) And I have no where else to go so I will stick it out.

I have been continuing my impropmtu practices and showing out wherever there is enough traffic to draw a crowd. It is great for practice and bcoming known.

James, that move just slays the audiences!

You clearly link a ring right through the top, while you already have a ring linked. They can see that between where you hit it, and the other ring is hanging, there is NO WAY to make that link but magic! But Capehart's stuff is very good, with some really nice moves. Glad you liked it.

I still ocassionally whack myself hard enough to get a bone bruise that takes about four days to stop hurting. Then I wake up, and am more precise in my handling. Eventually I hope to quit hurting myself soon and get it right from the start every time.

Yep Patrick, the perfect pitch is the goal.

My hope is that when I get well enough known, I can work out a deal with the Flea Market folks to work inside in a large common traffic area near the food courts during the cold weather.

Great advice, and good comments guys! Thanks!

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
JamesinLA
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BroDavid,
Per the impossible link, I find that moving the whole shabang downward, that is it ends up lower than at the start of the crash link, helps me. The ring that I link stays pretty much at the same altitude, but the other two rings end up lower. And I freeze! Holding the just linked ring in the middle of the key. The moving down helps, I think, because it tends to keep the already-linked ring from falling off. Know what I mean? How much is the Capehart video? Is it on DVD? Where can one get it? Thanks.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
BroDavid
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That definitley helps on that move. I did that link on Saturday, and I just flat missed the link on it, (Loud clank, ring against ring, lots of noise and no link..) and I looked down, and then looked the spectator in front right in the eye, and said, See, I told you it was impossible! Did you really think I could link this one here, while this other one was in the way? And then I hit it again, and linked it slick as a whistle, and you could see the guys jaw drop. Smile

Man, I love these rings and those moves!

The DVD has that move on it, and all of the rest, and is definitely worthwhile from the perfomance standpoint.

However it doesn't give near enough detail on things like that move, and even the unlink is almost ignored. However the combination of the Stars of Magic booklet and the DVD closes the gap on it.

I got my DVD from Chris at a Lecture. It was $25 and had the obvious benefit of not having to pay for shipping.

The quality of the video is good and it shows him in perfroming (In a living room...) and then goes though the moves on a stage where the backdrop is very good to see everything. I like it a lot, but as I said earlier, I think it lacks some teaching detail that I would have found helpful.

Chirs has a web site http://www.chriscapehart.com which has some contact information for him. (Nothing much else, though so don't get your hopes up.) I think he is traveling right now, and he said he would be at the Chicago Buskers conference, so I don't know how quick he will be able to respond. But he lists a phone number as well as a street address. Consider the prices for a lot of DVD,s I thnk this would still be a good deal even paying shipping.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
MagiUlysses
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Greetings and Salutations All,

Bro is correct, although I didn't realize it until now, the two together are a good combination to learn the routine. I'm a visual learner, and I just wasn't getting the whole thing from the book, but once I had both, both made sense, if that makes sense. Ah ha, I have it, they complement each other.

I discovered that it was just easier to call the number listed on the web site. I actually talked to Chris for a few minutes ... very nice guy, and also talked to his wife, Cheryl, who, I believe, arranged the workings for my transaction.

They only charge a couple or three bucks for the shipping, and I think I got it in less than a week after they received my check -- no muss no fuss.

I also got his lecture notes, on which he covers aspects of working on the streets (and a selection of card and coin effects) -- nothing earth-shaking or new but a different point of view from a guy who has been on the streets.

Hope this helps. Have fun playing on the streets.

Hey, James, how was your trip to the Magic Castle? I thought I read a couple of months ago that you were taking your girlfriend there for her birthday? Very clever!

Joe in KC

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JamesinLA
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Joe,
Very clever exactly! My girlfriend and I were laughing about it all night, how I was throwing this great bday party for her by taking her to the castle--but it was really a present for myself as well. We had a blast. We had about 8 people with us and most had never seen live magic before. They were blown away. Especially by Whit Haydn! And, of course, the highlight for me was meeting Whit and watching him perform. He killed us. His humor is quite unique. He was gracious enough to sign a couple of his books for me that I had brought with me.

About Capehart's lecture notes, does he talk about making his money pitch etc., a la Cellini's video? Or is it just about the effects?

How're the fairs going, Joe? I'm supposed to play a fair this Sunday.

Best,
Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
MagiUlysses
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Greetings and Salutations James,

Glad to hear you had a good time at the Castle, and that your girlfriend is willing to share presents ... you're a lucky man.

To be honest, I can't remember him mentioning a money pitch, but I've only had time to buzz over the material. Like I said, I don't recall anything ground-breaking, but I always like to get multiple viewpoints, and it deserves a closer read than I've been able to give it.

Did a little rope and rope-and-ring action at the Greater St. Louis Renaissance Festival during past month, hawking for my game booth, but that faire has run its course and is done for the season.

My girlfriend and I have a couple of business interests at that faire which keeps us hopping for about six months, so the magishing has taken a back seat, temporarily.

Once I get through July I'll be hitting it hard, working on some rings, and the cups, of course, to play with while I do some occasional hawking for a friend of mine at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.

Enjoy your upcoming faire! Do you have a regular show worked out, doing a street act, or walking around?

Have fun playing in the streets!

Joe in KC

Live a great adventure, make magic happen!
Jesse Dains
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I am new here but not new to pitching. I have made a living at it for over 30 years.
And reading this forum has to say the least been confusing.
BroDavid
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Jesse,

Maybe you could start a new thread and tell us what you find to be so confusing here.

Your message is deep into this thread and may be missed by some people. But with your thirty years of experience, I would be interested to hear what you have to say.

BroDavid

James, he really doesn't talk about the money pitch on the DVD.

And as for the Lecture Notes, they are 25 printed pages and include;
1. A two page Intro
2. one page on Choosing A location (he speaks about PHI, NYC, CHI, LAX, SFO, NWO, DC
3. a paragraph on Appearance
4. The rest of the page - Gathering a crowd
5. one page with What to Carry, and Length of Show
6. one page on Money Made on the Street, descriptions of his work and the tip
7. about 2/3 page on Collecting the Money.

That is the performing info other, and then there are the 6 individual effects.

Then there is one page showing how to make the Ones to Fiwes gimmick, which although he does not credit it, is Patrick Page's gimmick. His handling is a bit different, though.

And one page showing pictures (obviously multiple generation xerox copies - so the quality isn't the greatest) of moves used in his routines, like a page with Bobo's Click pass, a page with a couple of card moves, and apage with his continuous coin moves.

All in all, the lecture notes use large type giving about 30 lines per page, and only enough detail to convey the basics. But it is still has a number of good elements in content.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Jesse Dains
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Let me first say I am new to this site and it looks great and I can see I will be able to learn a lot here. And hopefully I can be of some help to others.
There were a couple of things that confused me in this thread, first was the term in the header, “setting up a pitch”. I just don’t know what was meant by that. I do know what it means to set up a pitch joint.
I am finding it very hard to put this in words on a screen, without it sounding like a braggart.
Let me try this angle. In my world to pitch magic you need the right equipment. Not just a trick to sell. You need what we refer to as “the joint”
How you present the pitch is as important as presentation in any magic trick. In a sense I would say the most magical thing about any “trick” is the presentation. Take your favorite trick ….when you perform it, its amazing and entertaining… give that same trick to some one who has never performed it ……and you will get….well not much. The difference is in the performance. The difference in making a lot of money (to me the whole idea of pitching) and not doing much (blanking) is the presentation.
As a magician, if some one came to me and said tell me how do a magic routine.
……….I would tell them to watch magicians every chance they get, read books and watch videos. Talk to working magicians; learn to perform something that interests you. Practice your new routine at magic club meetings or before other magicians.
When you can do it with skill……you are ready go public.
As a pitchman if someone asked me how to do a pitch……..I would say basically the same thing read books, watch videos, watch and talk to working pitchmen..(they are thick at most any county fair). Learn to pitch something that interests you…
When you understand how a pitch works…..how to build a tip….how to set a tip….and how to turn the tip….. how to frame your pitch joint. And what makes a good location. Then you are ready to start pitching.
The easiest way in my mind to learn this, is to work with an experienced pitchman until you learn enough to go it alone.
I can’t teach anyone to be a pitchman in one posting on line. It would be like you trying to teach me your magic routine and timing and booking skills in one posting.
However if any has any one has questions that I can answer, without writing a whole book, I would be happy to do my best.
There is good money to be made pitching in flea markets if it done right.
One last thought about being a pitchman….Pitching is a business, to be successful, treat it like a business.
Hoping this does not offend any one…………………Jesse

Well don’t I feel stupid. I just read that in buskering …Pitch…can mean your location….I know nothing about buskering….and I guess that is what the thread was about. …sorry I’ll try to keep my mouth shut.
………..Jesse
Patrick McKeever
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Jesse,
Now that you have been properly chastised...Many of us on this thread are interesting in pitching and would be very interested in your input. Do you by any chance know Gregg Gibson, an excellent magic pitch man? He has been hitting pool tournaments, lately, pitching his wares. He also does some street work. For that, he simply does his pitch. Woeks great.

Patrick
BroDavid
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Yes, Jesse. I agree with Patrick, I am looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Eventually we will all learn soemthing new.

I certainly wasnt offended that you were confused. So was I when I first came here!

Welcome!

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Jesse Dains
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Patrick……..BroDavid
Thanks for not discounting me as a complete idiot.
I have trained a lot of pitchmen, well maybe not a lot, quit a few is more like it ….OK …OK a few….. The number one mistake I’ve seen, believe it or not, is they don’t ask for money. I watched a pitch-person at a state fair last year who even had a register set up with a second person to take your cash …check…or credit card .
They got to the close and didn’t ask for money! I walked away in disbelief. The only reason I can think of that a person would not ask for the money is that they are uncomfortable (scared) asking for money.
I am sure if I asked the pitch-person why they didn’t ask for money she would have called me a liar. Most of the pitchmen I trained felt that way at first. The reason they think they asked for money is because they told them the price……” I sell these for $20.00”
That is a statement, that is not asking for money.
Here is an example of asking (maybe telling is a better word)…….

”Folks you have seen these on T.V. and on Ebay you know they sell for $60.00 to $90.00 each and they are worth every penny. Right now …today ….I am authorized by the manufacture to sell a limited number of these for just $39.00 if you can use two get two for just$75.00 or 3 for a 100 dollar bill. Please don’t ask for more than three we are here to advertise not to set up dealers. (We still haven’t asked yet…..here it comes.) Reach into your pocket…..your purse…..your wallet….your sock…..or the hills of home….wherever you keep your money…pull out your cash and hold it up in the air, so I can see you and I’ll wait on you as fast as I can. You want one over there….one down here.’
“ Yes we takes credit cards, checks whatever is easiest for you……those of you who haven’t seen it yet….hold on just a second…I’m going to do the whole thing over again as soon as I wait on these nice people…they are giving me money and I appreciate that, but you can relax, you don’t have to.Those of you who already have seen it…step up behind the people getting them now….I will wait on you as fast as I can. Yes I can change a $100.00 bill…..I can change anything but your last name. Thank you sir, who is next?”

Well there is more to asking for money………for now I’ll stop here. Let me know if you want me to keep going. Or change the subject.
……………………………….Jesse
cfrye
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Jesse,

This is great stuff, because asking for (and getting) money after busking is one of the toughest parts of the enterprise.

There was a great show on the Discovery Channel a few months ago called Infomercials: The Art of the Pitch (or something like that). The show featured interviews with Ed McMahon and other experienced pitchmen.

I'd love to hear more from you about your techniques for creating an attractive presentation and getting the money at the end.
John Smetana
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Hi Jesse,
Really glad to see you here. As you've probably noticed you certainly have our attention. If possible could you give us a bit of background on yourself? How old are you..how long have you been pitching..what type of merchandise do/did you handle..where do/did you work? Etc.etc.

Best thoughts,
John Smetana
Smile
BroDavid
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As a long time salesman, sales trainer, and developer of sales training courses, I can tell you that the hardest thing to get a new sales person to do, is to "Close the Sale".

It is easier to get them out knocking on doors, and talk to people they have never seen before, than it is to get them to actually summarize the benefits, and then to ask for money.

I cant tell you the number of times, a salesman talked and talked and talked, and then simply walked away, and never once asked for the order.

Our new friend Jesse has hit on one the major issues that relates to busking. And he has provided an excellent example!

If you don't tell people what you expect, they won't know what you expect. So if you expect to be counting money, instead of sorrows at the end of the day, you had better be asking for it. And most people have a lot on their minds, so if you wnat to get through to them, you need to ask more than once, and tell them what you want them to do.

I love the line from Celliniin right in his opening, (My paraphrase) "People ask what does he do? He does magic and amazes, and confuses and confounds. Some people ask why does he do it? <Pause> Money.... <Pause> No one's laughing now..."

Like the old sales strategy that goes; "close early, and close often", I say ask early, and ask often.

Thanks again to Jesse for bringing up a key issue.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Jesse Dains
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Hey
Thanks for the response it helps me to hear from you, it lets me know you are reading this.
I would also like to know your stories about asking for money when you are busking.

Curt, I just spent about 18 months in Portland, I have family there. I wish I could have met you while I was there. I have been here in Texas less than 2 months. I will be up there (Portland) for a few days sometime this summer, maybe we could chat over a cup of coffee.

John
I’ll be 56 this month; I started doing magic when I was in high school. I did a lot of card stuff like everyone else. I also did escapes, ropes and straight jacket mostly. I also studied short cons. I was really drawn to confidence games. In my early twenties I testified in court as a technical witness against a pair of short change artists. A few years later I was asked to give a lecture, at the University of Oregon, on the physiology of the conman.
Afterward a group of the students sent me a letter saying that my lecture was the most intellectual and entertaining lecture they had attended at the university. Made me feel good.
Right after high school I joined a carnival working in games, this was a great opportunity to meet con artist and I learned a lot from them. I ended up getting stabbed three times one night; I kind of stayed from the rough ones after that. But I stayed with carnivals for quit a few years. I owned a variety of games.
I wanted to get away from the show lot and get onto the independent midway. I had become friends with Jack Waller, Jack was a showman, He had sideshows and pitched the wonder mouse, I talked him into breaking me in and I’ve been pitching ever since.
The mouse was my favorite item to pitch. After several years I learned that there was a lot more money to be made pitching more expensive items.
Through the years I sold a variety of items some magical and other items as well. Here and there I slipped some different things, Like Promoting home shows and concerts. When I promoted an event my pitch agents always got the best locations of course. I believe it was in 1978 I met Don Driver while I was pitching in Baltimore. I caught his act ….we became friends…and he taught me the Blockhead routine. Don posts here and he is a truly great guy, a long time sideshow working act and a magician as well as a pitchman.
I think he has a post in this thread.
It’s getting late here, I’ll add something else about asking for money then close for now.
When you are pitching you have to stop people before you can talk to them. I imagine it’s the same with busking. Sometime it’s harder than others, so when I am finishing the turn (taking the money) when I think I have the last person that’s going to turn, I wont let them go . I won’t even take their money, I will say something like” I know you missed the first part of that, let me show you this first before I take your money, just hang onto it for a minute.” Trust me it confuses people when you won’t take their money, and they will wait and listen and watch. (notice I don’t ask them if they want to watch it again I tell I am going to show them again…If you give them a choice they could say no.)It is much easier to build a tip if you have the first person standing there. You now have an automatic stick this time when you ask for the money, they will be ready, they want to get it and get out of there . They don’t want to see it a third time.
I will leave it to you to decide if you can change that to fit your situation.
A quick story and I’m out of here. Once I watching an agent, who worked for me, finish
a turn, except for one man who kept asking question after question, after
4 or 5 of these questions the agent looks at this guy and says “ Let me explain to you how this works, It’s my job to sell them and it’s your job to buy them, I’ve done my job now it’s time for you to do yours.” The man nodded his head and
reached for his wallet. That agent was a little crude but he understood what his job was.
No matter what happens ask for money, if a car drives by and the tire flips up a rock, it hits you in the head and you are bleeding, make a quick judgment of how long you think it will be before you pass out then use that time to ask for money. I mean that, some of my best turns have been when I was bleeding. If the trick goes wrong……if you break a prop… if you have to stop for any reason …ask for money! Those people have your money in there pocket and if you ask them right (tell them)they will give to you….Really.
Good night friends………………….Jesse
DonDriver
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Hey Jesse...thanks for your kind words...
I learn a two step thing when pitching to get money when I worked the JAM in Vegas.First get it out of their pocket...than get it out of their hand.
It goes like this."who came to have some fun...everybody take out $5.00 and hold it in the air...don't send it up,just hold it up.I'm going to count you in or out
I can do this for about `10 people ...theirs one over their...one over here... I'm not sure if its 10 people or not looking from up here..but from the back,it looks like a stick up in a beer joint. Who thinks this is thirsty work,don't you know it...who enjoyed my show well enough,thinks I worked hard enough,they would buy me a cold drink...Young man...go around to all thoses people and get $5.00...folks don't expect a thing in return for your five...but it might be the most important $5.00 you spend today....I want to thank you one and all...
IT works.... Have a nice Day,Don
Jesse Dains
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Don
Thanks for addition, that is a really great and I know time proven money getter,
I have seen it done, it is amazing how eager people are to be part of the fun. Can’t wait to hear more from you.
………………..Jesse

BroDavid
You are so right…….about sales…..just like you have to sell them the idea that the coin really vanished……..you have to sell them on the idea that they want to give you their money.

...........Jesse
John Smetana
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Ahh...Pitching..Carnivals...Sideshows...Flea Markets...Busking...Money, (not necessarily in that order)..all the things that make life worth living..Is this a great country or what?
Seriously, thanks to all of you for keeping this thread alive and a special thanks to Jesse and David for their insights.Hope they will keep 'em coming.

Best thoughts,
John Smetana Smile
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