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MagicDiva
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Philadelphia
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Hey Everyone,

Its the 4th of July and I had the perfect opportunity to peform street magic. I was all ready and everything but I froze. I was surrounded by people with nothing better to do but wait for the fireworks and I didn't do anything. I just didn't know how to approach these strangers. Does anyone have any advice on how to approach perfect strangers, or what to say when you first walk up to them?

Thanks a lot ! Smile
djvirtualreality
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MayfieldNew York
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The stranger the better. Maybe it's because I love to act a fool and I don't care what people think about me. BUT This is what I do. If I see a group of complete strangers that look like they are having fun, I go up to them and introduce myself and ask if they would like to see some magic. They usually say yes, and then I perform. I feel that strangers are easier because it's not like you are ever going to talk or see them again. So just take a swing at it, just go up and do it. You'll feel much better when you do. O BTW keep track of who you perform for, don't wanna perform twice for the same person Smile Smile
Life is an illusion, death is reality.
Alexander the Magician
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"Excuse me, do you have a moment? (my name is...) I am a magician. Would you like to see something?..."

not
"Did you lose a white knife on both sides...?"

I agree witht the DJ, just go for it, be polite, most people will be very responsive. BE BOLD!
Smile
g0thike
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Depends on the venue, is it in public?. If you start peforming close-up for people, then eventually you will build a crowd. Then the police will show up or security and since you don't have a permit you will get your props confiscated or get a fine.

Buy the book "How To Be a Street Magician" by David Groves.
devilsmagic
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scotland
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Im ok. I do a whole crazy dumb man act. It works and it cuts out the embarasment.
Jason K.
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Quote:
On 2003-07-05 20:33, devilsmagic wrote:
Im ok. I do a whole crazy dumb man act. It works and it cuts out the embarasment.


Don't take this the wrog way, but:
A "crazy dumb man" in public would make me feel entirely out of place, especially if he started talking to me. If you are going to perform for strangers, you should at least be civil and polite. As for the cuts down on embarassment bit, I'm sure your spectators feel embarassed for you. I recommend you change your approach.
redstreak
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A.K.A David Kong
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I haven't done a lot of street magic on purpose but a few times I got into it by accident. I was sitting outside a Café with a friend (also a magician) and I was showing him a new trick. While I was doing it, someone who was just walking by stopped and I ended up doing a bunch of tricks for him.
MagicDiva
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Philadelphia
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Redstreak,

Yeah I have had people approach me in public too. I was in a train stations waiting room just practicing some stuff and a few people across from me were watching and asked me what I was doing then I ended up performing a bunch of effects for them. Smile
Heavens to Mercitroids
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Quote:
On 2003-07-05 15:17, g0thike wrote:
Depends on the venue, is it in public?. If you start peforming close-up for people, then eventually you will build a crowd. Then the police will show up or security and since you don't have a permit you will get your props confiscated or get a fine.

Buy the book "How To Be a Street Magician" by David Groves.


Only if they pay you.
Not if you are doing it just for fun.
When it's my time to shine.....The whole world is going blind.....From the Shiesty side of town.....Where a nickle costs a dime!
JesseMagic
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Oxnard, CA
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You must be respectful when you are rejected...like the others said, you are not ever gonna see them again, so just go for it, after performing for for a while you won't be nervous and this will build up your skill.
Ricahato
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denver
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Dear MagicDiva I was reading somewhere that when you are about to perform for someone you can start by showing them a trick that doesn't require audience participation so you can just grab their attention with something quick like, " Hi I'm a magician let me show you something" then do some quick trick, then you can do a second trick that requires audience participation and then you can do something more advance or a little longer then your closer. try that and just do it the worst case is for people to say no but that hardly ever happens. I'll talk to you later!
devilsmagic
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scotland
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The crazy dumb man puts them at ease most of the time it makes them think ahh he's just makin a fool of himself then I do some effects and it gets them thinking mabey he's not so nutz!!! It's tryed and tested and works so I use it.

Alan from http://www.devilsmagic.cjb.net
Raymond Singson
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Well... I'm young, open-minded, and at times... extremely immature. With that forewarning, what works for me may not work for you.

LOL, I got the idea from an MTV television show starring Tom Green. He caused quite a riot in New York just by laying in the middle of the sidewalk, pretending as though he had died. Then he woke up, and cursed everyone out for staring at him. Years later, I think David Blaine took the idea, and utilized it as filler for his Vertigo special.

As djvirtualreality stated, "The stranger, the better." Approaching people may be difficult, but getting their attention is quite easy.

However... if you're more civilized than the younger generation of performers, you can always attempt being as respectful as you can and direct in your approach. Just smile and say hello to random people. You don't need to perform for everyone, just say hello. If you like the way they respond, you should feel more comfortable doing magic for them as well.

Perhaps an obvious costume theme would work as well. I've done a Charlie Chaplin street act (busking) in Atlantic City a few years ago, and as soon as people saw my painted face and walking (dancing) cane, they knew I was a performer. Naturally, I got many people's attention, and approaching everyone was not a problem. In a way, the costume hid who I really was... it acted as some sort of shield.

Take up some public speaking classes or drama courses if possible. I learned quite a lot about human interaction from such classes, and it proved beneficial in my performance capabilities.

I hope this all helps.
RT
“The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers.” -- James Arthur Baldwin



raymond.singson@gmail.com
Eddini_81976
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I don't personally go up to people, (I mean I have in the past for fun), but I have a regular close-up table with a sign that reads "Magic By Eddini". I have been in the same spot now for six straight summers, and people know its summer when they see me out there.

I've become known to the public so I have "regulars", and they love to bring new people (their buddies) to come watch me. On a good weekend I can make a couple of hundred dollars as I live in a touristy type of town. Most importantly though I have fun, and so do they.

Now to draw a crowd as people are walking by I might spring the cards, do some false-cuts, and maybe some pressure-fans. I guess what I'm trying to say is if you can get a close-up table with a sign, and a tip cup attached to the side, and "establish" your place in one spot, and people will start coming to you.

It may take a little while for them to get to know you, but it'll work in the long run. Also if you perform at night as I do, make sure your performing area is lit up. I wear a light attached to a ban that on my head that I wear with the lens pointing downward. I also have a red light attached to my stand, and it blinks on and off like a strobe light.

I have had people come from across the street because they wanted to know what the red blinking light was for. Also be animated and project your voice, and really have that "lets have fun and party" persona mixed with a mysterious personality if you know what I mean. Like a David Blaine/Bill Malone I guess.

I'm not saying to change your style because we all have our own styles, but I'm just saying my own performing style is like a David Blaine/Bill Malone character with maybe a little Michael Ammar thrown in more or less for the kid audiences. NOT that I've gone out of my way to copy them, but I'm just trying to illustrate my performing personality I guess.

It really works well for me I find. Well good luck, and I hope this helps, Ed, (Eddini)

P.S. I'm glad to see more and more females getting into magic. I wish you all the best. Smile Smile

Oh I forgot to say and must mention that street performing is LEGAL in my town.. Smile Sorry. Smile
"Treat Others As You'd Want To Be Treated" - Jesus Christ
cougar261084
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k I know this problem. I had it myself
and you can give him/her all the advice you want it won't matter, it will help yeah but he needs to get over his "fear" if you have done it once you'll do it again it's just that very first time it's really hard.

I know I used to go with friends to a bar with this in mind I'm gonna do magic to strangers today, yet every time I returned home saying well maybe next time
seriously then I've done it once and all my fears just melted away I was doing it everytime since then.
DavidSak
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You can just come up to random people and be like check this out, people are responsive to that as well. I find that people in general are very curious to know what you have to say.
Dynamike
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I always use a sponge bunny as my icebreaker. I walk up to someone handing them the bunny as it disappears saying one of the following lines: "A guy over there told me to give this to you." "Put this in the garbage please." "Excuse me, you drop this?" "Here you are, we are giving out free bunnies today." Once they hand out they're hand and it disappears, they always give me a highlighted mysterious look. I pretend I found it by pulling it out of they're ear. I always have control to do other rountines from there.

Dynamike
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