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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Difference between street and close-up. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

magical_coinz
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What is the difference between street magic, and close up magic. I mean, the tricks you perform in street magic, like the raven, healed and sealed, etc...... are basically close up! So?
Thanks
Bilal
Michaels
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The street.
"Our technology is ahead of our humanity"
Albert Einstein
jeffb
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magical_coinz,

My take on this:

Close-up Magic - the audience comes to the magician

Street Magic - the magician comes to the audience

And now for the obsessive compulsive version:

Close-up Magic Categories:

Classic Close-up
Performer is seated or standing or alternating seated/standing behind a small table. Audience is usually seated in a small group opposite the table.

Table Hopping
Usually at banquets or in restaurants. Performer is standing and sometimes utilizing the table at which the audience is seated.

Strolling
Usually at trade shows/conventions/corporate gatherings/social events. Performer is basically mingling among a standing group, performing for a few people at a time. Often a small crowd may gather to watch. No surface to work on, just in-the-hands stuff.

Bar Magic
Performer/bartender standing behind the bar, patrons/audience standing or seated opposite. The bar doubles as a (usually wet) working surface.

Street Magic Categories:

Busking
On the street corner with your act. Sometimes with a small, portable table or other surface to work on. Objective is to draw a small crowd. Often involves passing a hat.

Random Acts of Magic
A la David Blaine, just walk up to someone on the street with a line like "Watch this!" No surface to work on, just in-the-hands stuff.

There is some overlap here. For instance Random Acts of Magic is a lot like Strolling, and Classic Close-up is kind of the same as Bar Magic except for the sitting/standing thing.

This is way too detailed, and I'm sure some may disagree with the way I've categorized things. Man, I gotta get a life.

Jeff
In theory, there is no difference between practice and theory. In practice, there is.
jonesc2ii
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Michaels that's probaby not the most helpful of posts and it's not even accurate Smile

The basic difference is that a lot of close-up wouldn't work on the street. You can take six or seven minutes going through a routine at a table but on the street it has to be instant...to start with.

BUT you have to react to the situation. When you first do the street you have nobody looking at you, hopefully, you soon have a crowd of people.

SO, then you move on to something more appropriate for a crowd, it might still be close-up but if you're only entertaining the guy at the front, he's going to be the only one putting money in the hat at the end.

Example, take a coin and bite it and you've got someone's attention which might be a good way to start. OR with a crowd, pass out three coins for inspection, have one spectator choose one and keep it in their hand, then again a second spectator does the same, you take the remaining coin and bite it and invite the two spectators to do the same. NOW you've got thirty people gawping.

There are LOADS of differences. Imagine yourself working a restaurant. This might seem, at first, like the same thing as working the street. But in a restaurant you're playing to a table of let's say a max of eight (plus you want to make some sort of impression on the other tables around). On the street, your job is to draw in as many people as you can but you have to start small and work it.

If you're really good (and I've seen this happen in Covent Garden in London) close-up goes out of the window, you have to SHOUT and you have to do something BIG! A lot of the purists would DIE before moving from an intimate ambitious card routine to a juggling on a unicylcle finale but if you can do it... Smile
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jeffb
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jonesc2ii,

Help me out here. I'm somewhat of a newbie myself and I'd like to know where I've gone off the rails. I realize I addressed structure, not content and it's the content that makes the real difference. But I've always been of the opinion that the structure (environment) is what places the limits on the content.

Your thoughts would be greatly apprecieated.

Jeff
In theory, there is no difference between practice and theory. In practice, there is.
DavidSak
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I really liked the way you described each type, it sounds good to me. Smile
jonesc2ii
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jeffb, first, I agree that your post was helpful and informative.

The structure places SOME limits on the content. BUT if you take my previous example of the coin bite, you CAN use it differently according to the structure. You don't necessarily have to have some stuff that works on the street and some that works on the stage, there's a huge amount of cross-over.

As I said before, on the street you have to RESPOND to the situation. So, if you approach one person and they shrug you off, go on to the next. You can get ten or twenty shrug offs if everybody you approach happens to have an important meeting to get to. So what? Eventually you get one who stops to watch. Then, you're on a roll. Maybe.

To address your question more directly (!) let's say your intention is to busk for a couple of hours, make fifty bucks and go home. How do you start? Thanks to David Blaine, a pretty good way to start is to march up to someone and offer to show them something amazing. Start with something that gets them begging for more and you're away! Straight away you've got any number of passers-by looking over to see what the commotion is about.

OK The coin bite is obviously a winner on the streets, but you don't have to have your act defined for you by your environment. If you do a particularly impressive version of anything you CAN work it into a street routine. It might seem a bit contrived at first but if it's good, who's going to care at the end?

I've seen jugglers introduce a trampoline for no good reason (except they could bounce and spin and juggle at the same time). So, think about the street, think about its advantages aswell as its disadvantages. At the end of the day it boils down to one simple fact, if you're good at what you do you'll succeed, if you're not you're doomed to a life in the office...
...
...
... whereas, if you're doing a paid gig, you'd better be good! And if you're being paid to do an hour of cards you'd better do an hour of cards!

Hmm. Tomorrow I'm off to do a couple of hours on the street!
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marko
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Magical_coinz, when you refer to 'street magic' what you are actually refering to is 'strolling' or 'guerilla' magic. Street magic is generally done for large crowds (hopefully) and close-up effects would not work. As for your question, no difference really except the venue. The real diiference is in the intentions of what the performer is trying to accomplish.
Thought: Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
Frank Tougas
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Location...location...location. Oh wait, I guess that's real estate, never mind. Smile

Actually I think it has more to do with your audience. Close-up there is an expectation by people that magic will be performed. Either a formal show or tableside if it is restaraut work.

Street magic does not necessarily have that luxury. You have to "drum up your crowd" and then perform or in many cases while you perform.

Now there are places where street magicians regularly perform and in that case there is more of an expectation but even then there is a quality of hooking an audience that is different than close-up.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Michaels
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Quote:
On 2003-07-11 20:02, marko wrote:
As for your question, no difference really except the venue. The real diiference is in the intentions of what the performer is trying to accomplish.

My point exactly.
After performing professionally for over 30 years, everything from street magic to stage I can honestly state from experience and not a semantic point of view that the only difference between "close up and street magic" is the method of approaching the audience and the physical venue. The actual magic itself is basically the same.
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jonesc2ii

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67 Posts Posted: Jul 11, 2003 4:04pm              

Quote:
Michaels that's probaby not the most helpful of posts and it's not even accurate.
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Jonesc2ii,
In response to your post may I suggest rereading the original post by magical-coinz. It asks; What is the difference between street magic, and close up magic. I mean, the tricks you perform in street magic, like the raven, healed and sealed, etc..

I stand by my original post "the street", ie the venue, because the tricks I do for close up or strolling are many of the same tricks I use for street performances.
"Our technology is ahead of our humanity"
Albert Einstein
Jonathan Townsend
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Street vs closeup... wow!
the wind
people moving in many directions
working on your feet
having to think on your feet as things happen
the need to engage each audience member to get them to stop as opposed to getting permission to work in their space.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
JesseMagic
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You're right when you say location ... but for myself and the other magicians I know, and to the spectators it doesn't matter (and frankly: they don't know the difference) ... between the "styles"
Smile
wassabi_87
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It is the street.
bike during the day,
do magic at night,
and very early the next morning,
homework.
Ricahato
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Jeffb, great explanation, I also had some confusion between strolling and busking, but I really like the way you detailed it. Now, about the original question; I just think the main difference is that you can do some things on close up like laping and that you have a surface to perform on. Thanks for the explanation, jeffb.
blitzchampion
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Jonesc2ii, can you tell us what tricks do you do? And....ok, could you write what did you do in which order, and the number of people and all? Basically, tell us what happened!
Bill Palmer
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If you really want to understand the difference between close-up and street magic, first you really need to forget about what you see David Blaine doing on television. That really isn't street magic. That's television magic that is done in the street. There is a big difference.

Get hold of Cellini's video and get an idea of what various people do on the street -- jugglers, magicians, the gamut. It's not the tricks so much as it is the performer and his ability to contact the people. It's about gathering a crowd, entertaining them and then, if you are busking, getting the gilpins to part with a few of their spondulicks.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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