We Remember The Magic Café We Remember
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Street life and people I meet (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

View Profile
Special user
Dargaville, New Zealand
929 Posts

Profile of MagiCol
Here’s a sample of one day in my experience:
A pleasant Saturday morning, with the sun shining and a bit of a breeze happening. Spring time in New Zealand, where I have live. November 2012. I anticipated a hot day. After I drove the ¾ hour to my nearest city with its population of almost 81,000 I parked my vehicle in a low-rise car park building to go busking. It was going to cost me $1 an hour, except I overheard the parking officer tell somebody else to pay just 3 hours because he was knocking off at 1 pm. In other words he wouldn’t be policing the parking in the building after that time. So, I was staying later, but I too paid till around 1 p.m. I haven’t parked at this place before while busking and to exit I found myself in the foyer of a picture theatre complex with stairs leading down to the street. I didn’t like the idea of bumping my gear on my luggage carrier down those stairs and found the lift and took that down one or two floors to the ground floor. Then a pleasant walk along half a block under shop verandahs to get to one end of the public street mall. My pitch was at the far end and as I walked towards it I saw standing out in the sun a fellow busker I recognized. An old fellow aged about 85 and thin and scrawny and fragile. A street artist, who’s chair and easel and samples of work were set up against a walled area of a nearby shop, away from its entrance. “Hi!” I greeted him.
We stood and chattered for about 15 minutes. He had found it too cold in the shadow under the shop verandah with the coolish morning breeze wafting along, so had come out into the sun. “There’s very few people today,” he told me. I had to agree. It takes an experienced eye just half a minute to figure out the traffic flow and the likelihood of people stopping for a street performance. He talked of his trips to USA and Germany and I shared about mine to USA. Stewart said “I’m the last of my kind. Street artist work is a 19th century thing. Everybody has a camera today. There’s no call for drawings. I’m getting too old for this.” I took a careful look at him. Yes, he was fragile and time was running out for him. Still, he obviously enjoyed drawing. Stewart was a very particular pencil and crayon worker, sometimes using photographs of people and dogs to help him reproduce them. I asked him about drawing people who just turned up. Yes, he could do those. A quick one in 15 minutes. “What about caricatures?” I asked, thinking that maybe he could make some money that way. “Some people have good distinguishing features,” he said.
“How about approaching the SPCA [and animal welfare group] to see about drawing animals there,” I suggested.
“Hmmm. People are hanging on to their money on the street. All that I’m wearing,” he said [and I thought he was going to say he had bought it cheap at a welfare or opportunity shop, but he didn’t “was given to me.” He touched his cloth hat and I looked at it. A good quality one. He went to his shirt. A green long-sleeved one. Good quality too. And his long black pants. They were good too. Better than the ones I was wearing.
“I should have dressed a bit warmer,” Stewart continued. I shared about polypropylene material that was good insulation. Stewart wasn’t aware of it. “Where do you get it?” I told him from sports shops.
I was aware that time was passing and even though the street was quiet, my purpose in being here was to work. So we bade each other goodbye, me extending a handshake to this pleasant old-timer.

I walked over to the private shopping mall that leads off from the shop and hadn’t gotten more than 20 steps into it when I heard my name being called. I looked back A woman was hurrying towards me. “Colin,” she repeated. I took a closer look and recognized a woman I had first met some 15 years or so back, at a tramping club. I no longer tramped, but had passed on some printed information on an isolated tramp to a tramp leader just the day before. So we stood and talked about the tramp and the mishap of a broken ankle resulting in a helicopter rescue. I asked about some of the features on the tramp, wanting to know the present state of things. And so another 10 minutes or so passed. Then I got to the toilets and the usual one I used had the ‘Engaged’ red sign showing. Hmm. A problem now of having to use the smaller part where my loaded trolley blocked part of the way. Well, I needed to use the toilet. I would just have to forgo a sit-down and have a **** instead. Once out on the pitch I was loath to pack up and move off for a while just to use a toilet. As it turned out, after I had finished out busking I came back to the same toilet, found the Engaged sign still showing, but the door very slightly open. I tried the door and the place was empty. So, I should have done that earlier in the day.

While I was out on the pitch twisting balloons I became aware of a pretty tall blonde young lady standing back watching me. In time I was able to talk to her. “You look like you know me,” I said. Yes, it was Rosie, now a 13 year old. I had taught her at public school when she was 6 years old. Yet at times my thoughts called her up. And now she was here. “Can I give you a hug?” I asked and I did so. I have so many happy memories of children I have taught, and at times they come up to me on the street and make themselves known. They usually need to do that because there’s considerable difference been a round-faced 6 year old and the adult look with a longish face. And hair styles and colours get changed also.
At one time when it was quite I went over to the nearby security guard that I talk to from time to time, to say Good-day. As we chattered he told me, “Over there,” indicating with his eyes, “is a real bad bunch. That girl in white is 15 and she’ll think nothing of backing you against a wall and hitting you.” He didn’t mean me in particular, she was a fighter. As we talked I eventually turned my head to look behind me, under the vast shading tree that I used, and over to one side of my pitch. About 10 metres from where I worked but separated by a waist-high wall sat a couple of teenage-girls and about four fellows. “They’re trouble,” continued Terry, the security guard. “That’s why I tell buskers to empty their hat.” Well, mine had a number of coins, maybe a $5 note as well. I took a look to my hat – nobody was around it. “They’ll think nothing of taking the money out of your hat and walking off,” said Terry. And the group stood up and walked off, away from my pitch I’m glad to say. I shifted back to my gear and watched discretely as the moved away in a group, separated briefly, and then crossed the street, dodging vehicles as they went. I’m not one to stir up trouble and I’m not sure how I would deal with it if it came my way. I’m not a fighter. The area used to be so bad from teenager’s who hasselled shoppers by confronting them, looking threatening, riding bikes and skateboards in the mall, that the city council decided to hire security guards to police the area. As well, Andrew, a blue uniformed youth worker is in the area, and he also knows the trouble kids well and talks with them. I don’t feel threatened. The security folk have been around during the 4 years I’ve been on the mall and I guess that has made it safe for me and other buskers to work the area. What it would be like without them, I don’t know. I like to think I can get teenagers and others on my side so they wouldn’t threaten me, or steal from me. But if it came to a physical event, at 70 I wouldn’t get far against a group of two or three or more threatening people. Streets in New Zealand, at the places and times I work [I don’t work in the evenings and night] are safe for me.

After I finished on the street I packed up and headed to the private mall and at the entrance was Billie, a busking guitarist, with her guitar strap over her shoulder. “Hello,” I greeted her with a smile. “Are you going busking?”
“I’ve been busking,” she answered. Well I hadn’t heard her playing. I guessed she must have been down a side street. We walked together for a few steps, then I went my separate way.
Such are some of the people I meet at and around my pitch. Every time out on street things are different. Being out on the streets with Street Magic is so interesting. I’ve long become comfortable being at my regular pitch and enjoy being there.
The presentation makes the magic.
View Profile
Elite user
413 Posts

Profile of DoctorCognos
It is an awesome life, isn't it mate!

Thanks for sharing part of a day in your life with us.

The Doctor
The Doctor Knows.....
View Profile
Special user
Dargaville, New Zealand
929 Posts

Profile of MagiCol
Thanks, Doctor. It's great that in spite of so many set-backs and unpleasantries that come our way, a positive attitude about things is the best way to live. I was reading Dale Carnegie's book this morning, How To Win Friends and Influence People. Great advice in that book. Positive social interaction, conversing, is a key to enjoying life.
The presentation makes the magic.
View Profile
Inner circle
1109 Posts

Profile of gallagher
Hey MagiCol,
I really enjoyed your story of the day,.. you´re right, there´s a lot out there to take in!,.. The Show, The Pitch,.. The Hat,... haa!!, that´s just the tip!!!
I´d liked your Rosie story,... hey in a couple of years, you´ll have to play that Pitch again!!

A book, you might enjoy, (look for it used,.. I´ll GUARENTEE you savour it(!)),... "Notes to Myself" by Hugh Prathner.

thanks for your `day´.
Ray Bertrand
View Profile
Inner circle
Ottawa, Ontario
1425 Posts

Profile of Ray Bertrand
Great post MagiCol. Keep up the good work and the reading. Gallagher gave you another good book to read. Hugh Prathner will make you think.

Mentalism in Ontario.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Street life and people I meet (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.2 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL