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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Onyl a card show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Gino T.
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Hi everybody,I'm new here and I was wandering if someone could put up a little closeup show on the street with only card tricks.I was thinking about getting a big table,like the nice poker ones,rounded, and have a few spectator sit there.

Do you think it may have a chance that the others would come close and watch ?
Dr_J_Ayala
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Hello Gino, and welcome to the Café!

I think the possibility of doing cards only is a nice idea, and if you have the right set, it may work. When I think of buskers and street workers, flashier routines with varied effects are what comes to mind. I am not a busker, but for me, if I were to sit (or stand) and watch a busker do 5-8 minutes with all cards I probably would be bored and not be entertained. What I am getting at is that from the view of the spectator, cards cards cards can be monotonous and every effect you do starts to look the same.

That is just my opinion, and what I would suggest is adding other objects into the show to use with the cards so it is not just all cards.

I hope my ideas/thoughts are useful to you.
Gino T.
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Ayala, I was thinking about a few story tricks,like sam the bellhop,kannibal kings,and others like that.Then I would also like to perform three-card monte and cups&balls/shell game.
Dr_J_Ayala
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That may very well work out, but keep in mind that unless you have multiple decks ready, Sam the Bellhop will take you some time in between shows to reset, unless you only do it once all day. It could absolutely be made to work for you though!

Cannibal cards are great, any number of the Three Card Monte is good (you can play it like an 'educational demonstration' thing to change it up a little) and a Matrix routine would fit well as you could even borrow the coins for that.

Have you thought about how long each performance should take? That is a very important thing to watch when making the decisions about what to include in the sets.
Pizpor
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The great thing about busking is that just about anything goes. Try it and see what happens. I would suggest that you take a look at the basic structure of most shows - it typically includes building to a 'big finish.' So you should consider how you will close the show. That's really important.

Just a suggestion - take a look at Doc Eason's Bar Magic Volume 1. He does an incredible card routine that continuously involves more and more of the audience. He does several standard card tricks, but weaves them together with a common thread involving the spectators. His card under glass is simple and it kills. When you watch it, you'll see that the more you interact and involve the audience, the more people will enjoy your show.

Try to avoid the tendency to display tricks that focus on you and what you can do, versus tricks that involve the spectators. Just my 2 cents worth. Have fun and good luck.
Gino T.
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Thansk a lot for your suggestions.
Chopingboard
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I think it will only be boring if you keep doing card finding tricks. I was working on putting a card show together that consisted of an ace routine, pass the garbage, and either ambitious card routine or something similar to Michael Ammar's razor blade card trick. I think the razor blade routine adds some much needed flash. Maybe a torn and restored thrown in.
Dr_J_Ayala
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Like Chopingboard said and as I stated before, I think of variation and flash when I think of buskers and street workers; Chopingboard has some great suggestions!

It is true as Pizpor said that just about anything goes, and street work is one of the best places for audience participation so that should be a given. Cannibal cards can involve the audience, as well as borrowing things from them to use. Signed cards/cards to impossible location type effects are very interactive, and rather than doing "find a card" effects, have spectators chose cards that transpose.

If you have two effects that are pretty similar to each other in effect but not exactly the same, find a way to mesh parts of each into the same effect, or eliminate one altogether. The biggest things we are getting at in this thread is panache, variation and strong ending.

Pick a strong closer because you want them to know when the show is over. If you do five different effects for a show and all five have the same 'wow factor,' how will spectators know when you are done? How will they walk away feeling entertained and amazed by what they just saw? The answer is, they will not, that is unless you hit them hard at the end. The same goes for any routine one performs, whether it is one, ten or twenty effects, always close strong and leave them wanting more.

Some great advice from Pizpor and Chopingboard - keep it coming!

I hope this information is useful to you.
travisb
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Pick card effects that have a reasonably quick rhythm, multiple beats, and allow for a good amount of interaction. Build your crowd with this. Then, close on something strong with a big build up and only one major magical beat (e.g. card across, card to mouth or some other impossible location, etc.). A routine that has multiple beats but gets gradually stronger, like a ten+ person multiple selection routine, or a very well structured Ambitious Card with a great finale, should also work as a closer, I think, but either of those would benefit from the last card/phase being in an "impossible location", so it's sort of the same thing.

That structure could work for a small card only sidewalk show. For a large crowd card only show, I'm not sure.

-Travis
Bobert
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I started busking using only cards. It can work! I would usually just stand around and do card flourishes and the Russian shuffle and that would get peoples attention. Then I would show someone a few tricks. During this time the crowd slowly starts to build so I will do a trick where multiple cards are picked from the deck from multiple people and then they "find" each others cards. There is a lot of fun things that you can do with cards. I normally did sidewalk shows that occasionally became a half circle if enough people stopped and got interested. Travisb is correct on the finale idea. My finale was a multiple selection from multiple decks. Or if I had a smaller crowd I would do card to mouth. Feel free to PM me for any questions you might have.

-Bobert
MeetMagicMike
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I think getting people to sit at a table would be very difficult. People don't want to get themselves into a situation they can't discreetly get out of.
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Dave V
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I was thinking the same thing. You'd stand a much better chance with a "stand up" show. If you need a table, that's fine, just work from it standing instead of sitting.
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Gino T.
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Quote:
On 2011-07-07 17:15, prestopresto wrote:
I think getting people to sit at a table would be very difficult. People don't want to get themselves into a situation they can't discreetly get out of.


I was thinking about stopping a group of people(2-3,maybe 4) pretending I need help to open the table and then tell them something like "thanks,I'm starting a show,take a seat".

The big problem may be that the other spectators may not tip.Will do some test and inform you.

Thanks a lot
ebusojar
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Hey there Gino!

You've already had some great tips thrown out in this thread, so I'll try and keep mine short:

All cards can work on the Street. I do a 40 minute half-circle show with the Professor's Nightmare and Card to Mouth as a sweet closer, so there are definitely card bits that work to close.

With that in mind, the most important thing (from my perspective) to keep in mind is that on the streets, very few people care what you can actually do in terms of magical technique and ability. They want to have fun with an amusing presentation, so pick your 3 best effects (i.e. the 3 you are most comfortable and confident with), and build your show around the one you want to close with.

Also, I find it helps a lot to never finish an effect fully without setting up the next effect in some way, so people know the show isn't over and they can't leave yet!

Hope that helps, and let me know if you'd like me to go more in depth into anything,

Evan
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Bobert
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Oh one more tidbit of advice. I find with starting a crowd that if take a knee or kneel when showing a card effect like an ambitious card routine that it attracts more people and I make a better edge. It just seems to relax the crowd. Has anyone else noticed this??
-Bobert
Gino T.
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How strong do you consider,in terms of "wow factor",the bent corner in the three-card monte ? I was thinking at hit as the middle effect,and I'd go with sam the bellhop as the ending
The Burnaby Kid
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The bent corner is strong. There are challenges to doing monte on the street, but if you can overcome them, it's a nice way to climax the routine. The moment you do the reveal, though, get ready to move into the next routine immediately, because it might have so much punch that stragglers might choose that moment to walk away.
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Mike Maturen
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Quote:
On 2011-07-09 02:48, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
The bent corner is strong. There are challenges to doing monte on the street, but if you can overcome them, it's a nice way to climax the routine. The moment you do the reveal, though, get ready to move into the next routine immediately, because it might have so much punch that stragglers might choose that moment to walk away.


You'll also have to be very careful doing Monte on the street...in some places, the authorities will hassle you because of it's closeness to the age-old street hustle. You might have to convince them that you are not scamming folks...which they will figure out if they watch the show.

Unfortunately, many will come in to badger you without finding out the facts first.
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Gino T.
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Quote:
On 2011-07-09 09:52, Mike Maturen wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-07-09 02:48, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
The bent corner is strong. There are challenges to doing monte on the street, but if you can overcome them, it's a nice way to climax the routine. The moment you do the reveal, though, get ready to move into the next routine immediately, because it might have so much punch that stragglers might choose that moment to walk away.


You'll also have to be very careful doing Monte on the street...in some places, the authorities will hassle you because of it's closeness to the age-old street hustle. You might have to convince them that you are not scamming folks...which they will figure out if they watch the show.

Unfortunately, many will come in to badger you without finding out the facts first.


How do you usually solve the problem ? Is a table with "card show" enough ?
The Burnaby Kid
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This hasn't yet been a problem for me. The authorities are generally not stupid. Have a proper performing table, have your busking license out, make sure the regular cards are out, dress like somebody who's going to put on a show, have poker chips available, and make sure no actual money is on the table. You're going to have to convince regular people that it's not a scam as well -- I've found that to be a bigger problem in getting people to stop than dealing with cops. If a police officer or security guard comes by, sees the monte and looks suspicious, smile and stay confident and mention that it's part of the show, and offer to show them exactly what it is that you do. They're just doing their job if they're on the lookout for crime, so be understanding about it, and if you're really lucky then it'll be guys on a specific beat and you'll have to do that just once and then they'll know you as safe from that point on. Heck, done right, you could use them to start the next crowd.
A screed for scams, sorcery, and other shenanigans... Nu Way Magick Blogge

JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
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