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Special user
Chicago, IL
935 Posts

Profile of wizardofsorts
I did my first busking shows yesterday and I felt they were a success. I did 4 shows that were about a 15 minutes each. I made a fair amount of money. I was wondering how long your shows are and if you use some sort of "crowd gauge" to make them longer or shorter.
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Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event.
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Inner circle
America’s North Coast, Ohio
3177 Posts

Profile of BroDavid
First let me say Congratulations. I don't know what your measurement of "quite a bit of money" means, but few first timers can say that. So you either had a good day, or low expectations. Smile But either way, I say; well done!

Here is my 5 step performing strategy:

1. Draw until the crowd doesn't grow anymore.
2. Perform until you are done.
3. Take the tip, and turn the crowd.
4. Take a break to let them clear, and for you to rest.
5. Then start drawing again.

The question of "how long" is a hard question with an easy answer; As long as it takes.

Ask yourself; Would the hats be bigger if the show as longer?

But "how long" also comes down to the question of what you want to accomplish; big hats or just more performing time?

Most shows that seem to work, are 10-20 minutes, although Gazzo and some others can hold a crowd much longer. But the point is that you want to give them enough performing time so they are genuinely entertained and feel like it, and feel like rewarding you for it, but not so long that they begin to set up housekeeping on your pitch and tending to their business while they are there.

When you have given enough value for what you expect them to give, you are probably done. And the worst thing a performer can do is keep performing after he is done.

Keep going. It just keeps getting better.

If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Sean Irvine
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New user
N.Ire UK/Ireland
55 Posts

Profile of Sean Irvine
I suggest going for as long as the audience seem to be enjoying themselves. Chances are, they wont stop enjoying but after a while you will start to notice some things from their body language. I think this is the time you show them your 'big finale' and move on.

Good luck with your performing btw Smile
Sean Irvine

"If the world didnt suck we'd all fall off"
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50 Posts

Profile of schmitty65
Yeah, I would keep performing unless the crowd starts to get bored.
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Inner circle
1472 Posts

My shows last about 45 minutes. I can also do a show for 20 minutes. the length of the show depends on your ability to entertain them.

I think it is important that you have a show. some performers take a lot of effects with them. they say,"You never know I might use this".

For me this kind of thinking is a form of insecurity. Take only with you what you need. If your show is great and it is 4 tricks long than only take those 4 tricks with you and leave the other ones at home.

By doing this you will grow a confidence in your ability as an entertainer and in your tricks.

By knowing which tricks you do, you don't have to think in what comes next. This will make the show flow better because you don't have to think. You will need all the time to keep the audience.

I take a look what kind of props I have with me already. for instance I have some rope for a trick. I will look what can I do more with this rope.

So if I want to make it longer I can always add some extra effects with rope. By doing it this way you can perform more without taking any extra baggage with you.

Don't take to much with you. The biggest trick you will learn on the street is to make the show bigger with what you have with you.

The most important prop you have is YOUR PERSONALITY. People stop and stay looking because YOU are interessting. You have to make the show not the tricks. People book people not tricks.

There are a lot of performers who do the cups and balls but if you see CELLINI or GAZZO people want to book these performers. Not because they do the cups and balls but because the were entertained by these people.

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