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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » First Day on the Pitch - Lessons learned (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ekuth
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Inner circle
Floating above my
1539 Posts

Profile of Ekuth
Nice!

If you start to get into money effects, I can highly recommend the Kartis Bill Change and Extreme Burn as killers. Kartis is a little more fiddly, but they're both killer effects.

I've got about 3 floating sets I do, but I've been favoring this one lately:

Pull:
Dancing Cane

Build:

Silk vanish, silk through silk then to coins from silk.

Show:

Coins Across
Matrix
Floating Quarter

And depending on the crowd, finish with:

Cups and Balls

I don't always finish with C&B because the Floating Quarter is so strong it's tough to follow it up.
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
MagiCol
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Special user
Dargaville, New Zealand
929 Posts

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Gr8gorilla:
I've enjoyed reading your posts, thanks.
Regarding the sign. I make my own on my computer and print them off. I have experimented with various signs, usually only small changes, but important to me. My latest "Magic Show" one has that wording written large and under it I have in smaller print "by Colin Schwamm". I think it's important that people know just who you are - you're not just some fellow they saw, but a particular fellow. Using a name gives identity to you as a performer and enables them to use your name.
My current sign reads "Magic Ask me to show you some magic." That may seem a strange sign, but I use it for my most frequent pitch, which is a small city with very low pedestrian count where getting a big crowd is impractical. Besides myself drawing people to my table [been using one only about 6 weeks], the sign gets others to respond to me on their own initiative [well, so they think].
My sign is sized to fit into my doctor's bag, or a suitcase. I have wire hooks on it to hang it from the edge of my table and can put strings through the top of it to hang it from a bag handle.
It's basically the printed sheet of paper from the computer held against a cardboard backing by being under a clear plastic cover to stop the sign warping or getting dirty.
I use one sign or the other, as it suits the pitch I'm at.
The presentation makes the magic.
Magician Shaun
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Huntington BCH, CA
923 Posts

Profile of Magician Shaun
- DAY 2 ON THE PITCH -

Right now, I am going out on Saturdays. I plan to increase the amount of time I spend performing as I am able. I am a college student, and married and have to pull my weight with my wife. She is supportive of what I am trying to do but I can't just quit my very flexible full-time job, YET.

Now on to my day. I set up in the same area but a better spot. I was on the pitch at 8:45 am. The only other person that was out there was a guy playing a Sax. Allow me to quickly explain the location. I am setting up a major tourist draw, the Ga Aquarium, the largest in the world, and the World Of Coca-Cola are in front of me, and behind me is Centennial Olympic Park. The Sax player was on the left side of the cross walk facing the two tourist attractions and I was on the right, also facing them. I did my full show once, and hatted, made about 7$ from a small two family group with about 4 kids. I started working on building another crowd and then a terrible thing happened. This other performer, a musician who is at this pitch like everyday, sets up his drums, all 5 of them, with one of them almost touching my rope. I was a bit irritated. Especially because the first day I went out on a test Busk I approached this fellow and politely asked him about where I could setup to perform my Magic Show where I would interfere with his draw and money. Then today he sets up right on top of me like he owns the pitch. I really thought it was rude. It makes me appreciate the laws they have in places like River Street in Savannah where street performers have to setup a certain distance from each other. Anyway, I ended up moving, mostly because there was a Hot Dog guy setting up on my right as well, and I didn't feel like being stuck in between the two of them. I moved to a nice shaded spot closer to the Aquarium entrance. This was an issue in of itself I will explain that next.

The new location was poor because the line to buy tickets and get into the Aquarium was HUGE. The people going there didn't want to stop, because the line just kept growing and growing. So only the people who were passing by and not going to the Aquarium stopped. I worked about 4.5 hours. I hatted 31$. My second day on the pitch. I was a little bit disappointed but also I learned a few things this day as well.

The first spot was much better, the people going across the street to the park were done with the Aquarium or World of Coca-Cola. These are the people I want to try to stop. There have been problems with the Park Management running off performers. The park is PUBLIC PROPERTY but privately managed. By law I should be able to perform there. The City Ordinance says any public property is fair game as long as you do not SOLICIT. I noticed a guy selling Italian Ice next to the park entrance. As I left my pitch for the day I spoke to him and a woman who was restocking him. I asked them if they were independent or worked for the park. Turns out, they pay the park to set up there. I asked their opinion of me setting up on the sidewalk across from them. They said they liked the idea and as long as I wasn't selling anything, the Park wouldn't care. So next week, I will set up across from the Frozen Treat guy and see if we can't help each other out. I figure people stop for him want stand and eat their Popsicle, so they can watch me. People that stop for me will get hot standing in the sun watching my show. After I finish, they will likely want some cool treats to cool off..It's hot in Atlanta now.

I never really built a big crowd today. I think maybe the biggest was about 10-15 people. Mostly I think it would be described as a trickle crowd. A couple of times families came with their kids, and each time, I performed the entire show, really involving the children, and not holding back to build a bigger crowd. One lady videoed the entire performance with her two small children and another couple of families asked for pictures with their kids. All of these tipped WELL! I only did cards twice today. I did ACR for a lesbian couple followed by my sponge routine. They tipped about 3 dollars. The first time I did my whole show for a lady and her two kids, 20 minutes, and not a single additional person stopped, I thought that was strange. I am attributing it to the poor location choice.

My routine today was as follows:

Levitating Ball - Not part of the show, just a trick to stop people.

The show:

4 ring comedy routine, ala Pop Hayden's the Teaching Act (7 minutes).

Silk Vanish style trick using a Rainbow streamer. (about 3-4 minutes - really didn't play as well as I thought it would. I guess I will try a regular silk next time)

Sponge routine ( 7 minutes - I use a volunteer who holds my wand for the first half of this and uses it at the beginning to saw one ball into two - plays great)

Finale - Professors Nightmare, I call it the Ancient Hindu Rope Mystery.....Ask for a Volunteer, then explain the trick where the Fakir, plays a flute causing the rope to rise from a basket, his boy assistant climbs the rope, disappearing followed by the Fakir and his large sword. You hear a commotion, and then the Fakir throws the boys hacked off limbs into the basket, I turn to the volunteer in my circle and say, "OK, are you ready to help me with this trick?", This gets a good laugh and then I say I am just kidding, I can't do that trick, we are going to do a different rope trick and I do Nightmare, Fiber Optics style. I don't do every bit of it but I run it about 7 minutes or so. seems to get good reactions because it is very visual.

Last bit, I only actually used my Hat Line once or twice. My wife helped me make a nice sign and I announced my finale each time before starting it and most people would have money out for the hat by halfway through the finale. As they did it others would too. I suppose if I build a good size crowd I will deliver the line. I found that almost universally, if you use someone's children in the show, interacting with them and involving them, those people pay every single time.

Later I will post my lessons learned and any other thoughts I have about today's experience and changes I need to make. I would appreciate any advice you have about what you have read and I look forward to hearing from everyone following Day 2.

A picture of me leaving for the Pitch today and the second is of my first setup before the drummer stacked his drums onto my pitch as if he owned the sidewalk.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-c_CIR......2030.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-cHTjo......1639.jpg
Police Magician
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Georgia
647 Posts

Profile of Police Magician
Sounds like you had a great show. I remember River Walk in Savannah. I had a lot of fun going around it.

On the silk vanish with colorful streamer, I use the blendo type where I start out with four seperate silks, different colors. I turn it into a blendo all linked together. Then, I make that vanish and pull out the long colorful streamer.

You will need to TT's for this.

Glenn
Magician Shaun
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Huntington BCH, CA
923 Posts

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I Started a thread for my 2nd day on the pitch so that people could read the new title and comment on the happenings of day 2. I will message a mod and see if it is possible for them to maybe merge my threads each week after I post a new one. Maybe under something like the Diary of a Busker from Day One on the Pitch.
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