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AndyLuka
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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I had a Crazy busy weekend. Started off waking up at 5am Saturday Morning to make the 2 Hour hike from Milwaukee to Madison. In Madison I met up with Nickey Fynn who was kind enough to share his pitch with me. Looking back at my magic career and how it has evolved as I matured as a performer, Nothing was more influential and eye opening for me than to share a Pitch with Nickey. In the few hours I worked with Nickey I learned so much about busking, my head was spinning. It’s not that Nickey and I sat down and had a talk one on one, in fact not much was spoken at all. I just watched, learned and took mental notes. Saw what was working and what was not working. When it comes to Street theatre, Nickey Fynn puts on one Hell of a show, his crowds and his Hats says it all. I saw how he built his edge, I saw how he interacted with his crowd though the does not speak for most of his performance; I saw how he passed the hat. Will I use anything Nickey Does? No, not at all. Will I take the theory and concepts of what Nickey does, Alter it to my performance style (which completely different) to better myself as a street magician. You bet your best hat that I will. I am not going to tell you what Nickey does; I will let him share that with you if and when he wants too. But I will say I am very thankful to have been able to meet up with Nickey.
What I realized most is, I spend a lot of time doing magic at bars, and bowling allies, and those types of venues. Busking at Summerfest was easy, Summerfest is a huge bar like festival, people are drinking talking and listening to music, those places seemed to fit my raunchy sense of humor very well. I have a lot of repeat customers, who love that style of magic. Because that had worked so well for me, I thought I would just take the style to the street. That is where I went wrong, though I toned things down a bit, the general public did not relate to the humor.
As for my performance in Madison, I am not happy with any of it. I was having an off day to begin with, I had a lot of trouble building an edge, and my jokes were not as effective as I wanted them to be. However I did make enough to pay for my gas out there, lunch, and still have a few extra bucks. However the information I learned was worth more than twice the amount in my hats.
If you are new to busking, I cannot stress enough how beneficial it is to be able to share a pitch with a professional. My routine is remaining the same, but I am re scripting a lot, adding a new edge builder, and a few other tweaks here and there.
Making Magic and Fantasy a reality in a world where our reality can sometimes be rather cruel



Http://www.lukamagic.com -That's Me



Http://www.bigguysmagic.com -The Best Magic Shop
Stperformer
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Quote:
On 2012-07-23 10:24, AndyLuka wrote:

If you are new to busking, I cannot stress enough how beneficial it is to be able to share a pitch with a professional.


Yes, but is it in any way beneficial to the professional? Remember the pro is working...and when he shares a pitch with you it is cutting into his performance time/take. So at least buy him a beer Smile
AndyLuka
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Quote:
On 2012-07-23 19:15, Stperformer wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-07-23 10:24, AndyLuka wrote:

If you are new to busking, I cannot stress enough how beneficial it is to be able to share a pitch with a professional.


Yes, but is it in any way beneficial to the professional? Remember the pro is working...and when he shares a pitch with you it is cutting into his performance time/take. So at least buy him a beer Smile


For sure you are, As far as being beneficial to the professional, Nothing comes to mind. I'm sure a pro won't do this for anyone every chance they get, I got really lucky.
Making Magic and Fantasy a reality in a world where our reality can sometimes be rather cruel



Http://www.lukamagic.com -That's Me



Http://www.bigguysmagic.com -The Best Magic Shop
Magician Shaun
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Maybe, but why do you think Cellini worked with so many magicians that wanted to do what he was a master at? Was it because it made him money? Brought him fame? I don't think so, I think that Cellini did it for two reasons. First let me say that I have never met the man and I consider that a tragedy in itself. I plan to do the best I can making up for it by meeting as many of his "pupils" as I can.

My opinion, and if you knew Cellini and I am wrong or totally off the mark, feel free to BURN ME AT THE STAKE!

1. Cellini loved his craft and hoped that others would and could continue to make a living bringing magic to the masses.

2. Cellini knew that man was mortal and that his best chance at immortality was to live on through his legacy, in his case, the many very successful street performers that he mentored throughout his life.

In my personal opinion, those are two amazing benefits that far outweigh simple monetary gain. Earning the respect of an entire community of performers is not easy, being regarded as one of the greatest men (or women) of your profession is also a tall order, Cellini did both. He was both a master of magic and master of earning a successful living from it in the most hostile enviroment possible, the street. Cellini apprenticed with Slydini, one of the greatest magicians of the last 100 years, and chose to take his show to the street. Then he succeeded where many, many other's had failed. As an example, Joshua Bell, considered a Virtuoso playing the Violin, performed for 45 minutes in the Washington DC subway in 2007. He netted $32 while playing 6 songs on a hand crafted 1713 Stradivarius Violin worth 3.5 million dollars (http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/bell.asp). Obviously he was not a master of performing on the street like Cellini, but my point is that Cellini was as much a master of Magic as Joshua Bell is of the Violin.

Anyway, there is much more to sharing your skill and expertise with others than simply making a few dollars. That is 95% of what is wrong with magic now. There is no other profession on earth where so much is lost to the deaths of it's masters as Magic. We as magician's should not take our secrets to our graves greedily holding them and refusing to teach them to others. If we as professionals were more like other master craftsmen, our profession would much further advanced and hell, who knows, magicians might rule world instead of being regarded as tricksters and charlatans.....

Imagine where we would be in the world today if Isaac Newton had burned all of his work regarding Calculus, or Einstein, or any number of great scientists. You wouldn't be reading this right now on a computer because computers wouldn't exist. Now imagine how much more advanced our craft would be if all of the great masters had recorded their work as diligently as Einstein or Newton? HOLY ****, WE COULD BE GODS, but no, we are mere entertainers, that are looked upon with the same view as clowns...
AndyLuka
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Quote:
On 2012-07-23 22:57, Gr8gorilla wrote:
Maybe, but why do you think Cellini worked with so many magicians that wanted to do what he was a master at? Was it because it made him money? Brought him fame? I don't think so, I think that Cellini did it for two reasons. First let me say that I have never met the man and I consider that a tragedy in itself. I plan to do the best I can making up for it by meeting as many of his "pupils" as I can.

My opinion, and if you knew Cellini and I am wrong or totally off the mark, feel free to BURN ME AT THE STAKE!

1. Cellini loved his craft and hoped that others would and could continue to make a living bringing magic to the masses.

2. Cellini knew that man was mortal and that his best chance at immortality was to live on through his legacy, in his case, the many very successful street performers that he mentored throughout his life.

In my personal opinion, those are two amazing benefits that far outweigh simple monetary gain. Earning the respect of an entire community of performers is not easy, being regarded as one of the greatest men (or women) of your profession is also a tall order, Cellini did both. He was both a master of magic and master of earning a successful living from it in the most hostile enviroment possible, the street. Cellini apprenticed with Slydini, one of the greatest magicians of the last 100 years, and chose to take his show to the street. Then he succeeded where many, many other's had failed. As an example, Joshua Bell, considered a Virtuoso playing the Violin, performed for 45 minutes in the Washington DC subway in 2007. He netted $32 while playing 6 songs on a hand crafted 1713 Stradivarius Violin worth 3.5 million dollars (http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/bell.asp). Obviously he was not a master of performing on the street like Cellini, but my point is that Cellini was as much a master of Magic as Joshua Bell is of the Violin.

Anyway, there is much more to sharing your skill and expertise with others than simply making a few dollars. That is 95% of what is wrong with magic now. There is no other profession on earth where so much is lost to the deaths of it's masters as Magic. We as magician's should not take our secrets to our graves greedily holding them and refusing to teach them to others. If we as professionals were more like other master craftsmen, our profession would much further advanced and hell, who knows, magicians might rule world instead of being regarded as tricksters and charlatans.....

Imagine where we would be in the world today if Isaac Newton had burned all of his work regarding Calculus, or Einstein, or any number of great scientists. You wouldn't be reading this right now on a computer because computers wouldn't exist. Now imagine how much more advanced our craft would be if all of the great masters had recorded their work as diligently as Einstein or Newton? HOLY ****, WE COULD BE GODS, but no, we are mere entertainers, that are looked upon with the same view as clowns...


Once again, another amazing post. I'm really getting sick of saying that to you
Making Magic and Fantasy a reality in a world where our reality can sometimes be rather cruel



Http://www.lukamagic.com -That's Me



Http://www.bigguysmagic.com -The Best Magic Shop
MagiCol
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Andy, I contacted Nickey Fynn shortly before he came to New Zealand for a Busking Festival in Jan 2012, then met him at the Festival several times, and watched his Show about half a dozen times, each time interesting to me. I found him to be a great guy, and learnt a lot from him - more from watching than long talks together. I found the structure of his Show was inspiring. So much so that I started a folder for myself "Busking Show Structure". Not about the effects/tricks. But how a Show itself is structured. Nickey's a great teacher, I reckon.

Gr8gorilla, some really good points in your post, thanks.
The presentation makes the magic.
solrak29
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"When the student is ready...the teacher will appear..."
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Sir Richard
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Quote:
On 2012-07-23 22:57, Gr8gorilla wrote:
Maybe, but why do you think Cellini worked with so many magicians that wanted to do what he was a master at? Was it because it made him money? Brought him fame? I don't think so, I think that Cellini did it for two reasons. First let me say that I have never met the man and I consider that a tragedy in itself. I plan to do the best I can making up for it by meeting as many of his "pupils" as I can.

My opinion, and if you knew Cellini and I am wrong or totally off the mark, feel free to BURN ME AT THE STAKE!

1. Cellini loved his craft and hoped that others would and could continue to make a living bringing magic to the masses.

2. Cellini knew that man was mortal and that his best chance at immortality was to live on through his legacy, in his case, the many very successful street performers that he mentored throughout his life.

In my personal opinion, those are two amazing benefits that far outweigh simple monetary gain. Earning the respect of an entire community of performers is not easy, being regarded as one of the greatest men (or women) of your profession is also a tall order, Cellini did both. He was both a master of magic and master of earning a successful living from it in the most hostile enviroment possible, the street. Cellini apprenticed with Slydini, one of the greatest magicians of the last 100 years, and chose to take his show to the street. Then he succeeded where many, many other's had failed. As an example, Joshua Bell, considered a Virtuoso playing the Violin, performed for 45 minutes in the Washington DC subway in 2007. He netted $32 while playing 6 songs on a hand crafted 1713 Stradivarius Violin worth 3.5 million dollars (http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/bell.asp). Obviously he was not a master of performing on the street like Cellini, but my point is that Cellini was as much a master of Magic as Joshua Bell is of the Violin.

Anyway, there is much more to sharing your skill and expertise with others than simply making a few dollars. That is 95% of what is wrong with magic now. There is no other profession on earth where so much is lost to the deaths of it's masters as Magic. We as magician's should not take our secrets to our graves greedily holding them and refusing to teach them to others. If we as professionals were more like other master craftsmen, our profession would much further advanced and hell, who knows, magicians might rule world instead of being regarded as tricksters and charlatans.....

Imagine where we would be in the world today if Isaac Newton had burned all of his work regarding Calculus, or Einstein, or any number of great scientists. You wouldn't be reading this right now on a computer because computers wouldn't exist. Now imagine how much more advanced our craft would be if all of the great masters had recorded their work as diligently as Einstein or Newton? HOLY ****, WE COULD BE GODS, but no, we are mere entertainers, that are looked upon with the same view as clowns...


I'd met Cellini for a whole day one time and got to watch him work, and I did learn a lot from him. However I never knew him well enough to say yes or no to the point brought up here about the kind of performer he was except to say that he was a really nice person and never had a cross word to me or anybody else that day. Both Kozmo and Tom Franks were students of his and very close also, maybe you can find out more about Cellini from them. That being said you can learn a lot from an experienced performer!

Sir Richard.
"In the land of Murphy there is but ONE law!"
imgic
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Andy

Did you and Nicky have any problems busking? I'm assuming you were on State street for the farmers market. I had friend perform there and was doing fine until he hatred the crowd. A policeman came forth and informed him that he could perform with a top jar out, but could not specifically ask for money. They've really cracked down on panhandling on State street and won't allow anyone to ask for money. Did you two run into any problems?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Nick W
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Andy,

It was great to share a pitch with someone. The last person that came to the pitch was Kozmo, two years ago!

I remember a street performer once saying that you have to do 1000 shows until you start to see some results...

Literally, we have to suck before we get good.

one of my friends and mentors said to me "it will take you 5 years before you begin to find your character"

It's taken me more than 5 years to work out that 20 minute show you saw...and its not even near being ok in my eyes.

Nickey Fynn
DoctorCognos
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When you are completely comfortable with your performance, quit performing.

If you ever feel that you are doing as good as you can do, stop performing.

If you don't have a burning desire to be better, why bother?

I spent some time with Jim Cellini on a couple of occasions, and found him gracious, extremely knowledgeable, and an outright perfectionist when it came to his craft. I have his Magic Anyone can do DVD, and although I don't use a lot of it regularly, except for one routine that is elegant, effective, amazing, and downright easy. But there is a lot there.

Gazzo is similar, although his personality is a lot different, but his performing skills are downright amazing. And don't try telling a joke around him, if you don't want him to beat you to the punch line. And don't sit directly across from him at dinner. Enough said. His mind is as quick as can be, sense of humor will cause you pains as you are forced to laugh uncontrollably. But when he is teaching you, he can be demanding and unmerciful. And usually, that is what it takes. I took the master class on cups and balls from him, took copious notes, and bought the DVDs, and can almost perform cups and balls ala Gazzo. Apparently I am a slow learner, but I guess that I am somewhat trainable.

Kozmo isn't too bad either, if you are the kind of person who likes that sort of performing....

The good ones never stop honing their craft. And the more you perform, the more you learn about yourself, and your act.

As Socrates said, the unexamined life, is not worth living.
And as I now say, the unexamined performance is not worth performing.

Only by asking, what can I do better, can you even begin to do better. As much as possible I video my performances. Not to see how good I did, but to see what I can do better.

I probably haven't said anything that anyone who gets out and does it, hasn't already said.

Doctor Cognos
The Doctor Knows.....
Ekuth
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Perhaps not, Doc, but you sure as hell state it elegantly.
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
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