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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » East Coast to West Coast and back in 48 hours (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Paddy
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Inner circle
Milford OH
1571 Posts

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I have a different slant on this business. I am a busker. Home based in OH but taking off on the road to wherever, stopping in towns, setting up on a sidewalk or in a park, anywhere I see a crowd and performing. I run a 10 to 15 minute show and pass the hat. When the money gets slow I move on. When the wife goes to a face painters convention I work the area where the convention is every time I made more money than we spent for the convention. Worked in all the contiguous states & Canada for the last 17 years. Now due to health I don't run the route any more but it was a blast while it lasted.
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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Mindpro
I spent the first 40 years of my life trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I'm in my mid 60's now I call all the shots, and so do you. It's just that your shots are bigger than mine.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
BrianMillerMagic
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CT
2050 Posts

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Paddy: So much respect for buskers. I have friends that do it full time, and I would never have the energy or dedication to make it.

Zombie: Thank you, and I will indeed!

Mindpro: If only we could all be Danny. And after only a few years of this I already feel that blur of hotels, airports, sound checks, etc. I'm starting to forget which show was where and who I met at which place. Frightening. It's quite a thing to travel all day, as you said sometimes 6-15 hours, only to end up doing a show for 20 students at some nowhere college. But the check is the same, and I do the best show I can no matter how many show up. I've done schools where 800+ turned out, and others with 9 (my smallest college crowd to date).

Al: Who cares when you start? Working for myself is so enjoyable, seemingly compared to most of my friends in corporate America or worse (unemployed with all their fancy degrees, knowledge, and backgrounds).

People looked at me like I was crazy when I turned down PhD acceptances to pursue entertainment. But I'm making as good or better a living than many of the people I graduated with, and I'm enjoying my life while doing it.
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
20552 Posts

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I don't post stories because of exactly what Brian ran into here. It is what it is.

But when I flew here I had breakfast in St. Louis, I had lunch in Atlanta, and dinner in the Dominican Republic. Fun huh? Well not as much as it seems.

I keep a bag packed in my office ready to go. Seriously. I get email that on Thursday says "Can you be in the Dominican Repubic on Monday? It is a blur of airports and taxi rides and blah blah blah. It is life to me, and it never occurs to me anyone gives a rats hind parts.

One reason I tried always to set up in places for a long time. Comedy clubs were week long gigs back then so it made more sense to me. I have spent as many as 50 weeks a year on the road. Not as much fun when you do it like that.

Fun things happen and I would never once think to trade the life for anything elce. Never. I am fortunate. I have a line at the end of my close up show when I am preparing to do the card on the wall that just sums it up for me PERFECTLY. "It always occurs to me at this point in the show how fortunate I really am. For the past 20+ years of my life wonderful people like you have been comming out to watch me... show off, and I couldn't be more thankful for that." I do mean that

It is not for everyone. We are in the Dominican Republic right now setting up a large scale show.

I love what we do, and would not trade it. But like anything, believe it or not it IS WORK.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
BrianMillerMagic
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CT
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Indeed Danny. There are moments in my show, which is extremely silly and ridiculous to the point it is hardly even a magic show anymore, when I think, "I can't believe I'm getting paid to do this."

Easy to forget how lucky we are to be doing this for a living.
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
20552 Posts

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Oh I never feel silly or ridiculous. It is clearly a great show I do. I don't feel as if they get an inferior product. I just feel fortunate to have made the choices I have.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
David Marcus
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3,375.97 miles outside of Paris, France.
81 Posts

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Danny,

You summed it up exactly. I did enough traveling when I was in the corporate world (not a corporate entertainer, but a "suit") and was lucky enough to perform part-time since I was 12. I tried a couple of times to go full-time but as you said, it’s WORK. It’s much harder at times than anything else I’ve ever done. But I always planned on performing, closer to home and part-time, when I retired from the corporate world. And now I do. And there’s nothing else I’d rather do.

It’s sometimes frustrating when friends say, “Oh, aren’t you lucky to be retired and just be able to play with your toys.” Yes, I am lucky. Anyone who can do the work he, or she, loves and be successful is very lucky.

Brian,

Thanks for posting your story. Someone said it (the basics of it) seem typical for working performers. While true, the details are interesting reading.

Al,

I watched the videos on your website. You do o.k. for an old guy Smile

Paddy,

Your story is inspirational. You went for it, got it, and lived to tell about it. A lucky way to have it indeed.


DISCLAIMER: When I mention any of us as being lucky, I don’t for a second mean it to sound like anyone just fell into the situation. It takes a lot of work to create luck. And even more to sustain it.
“Next to music, beer was best.” - Carson McCullers
Dannydoyle
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20552 Posts

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Yea not a fan of the term "luck" as used by most. It completely disallows for the fact that it took 20 years to become "lucky". Good point!
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Zombie Magic
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I went out for a beer and now have
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Someone said "luck is when opportunity and experience meet". I like that.
Dannydoyle
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Yea my dad said it was when preperation met opportunity. Same idea.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dannydoyle
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20552 Posts

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So here is the glamorous lifestyle update. I left Punta Cana at about 8. So get up at 5 to be at the airport at 6. Airport being a grass shack, no kidding.

So I check the bags, even my close up act because I don't carry on anything. Right before takeoff I get called to the podium. They need to open my bag with me there. Obviously confused as can be by what they see on an x ray they open the bag. I explain, "mago" and what not but it just is tough to explain sponge rabbits, tennis balls, huge nuts, bolts and the stuff that makes up my act. Plus boxes of cards that look solid on that picture, and the strap for the bag laying just right. This is why I check the *** thing.

I have to end up doing card tricks in Spanish~ish. (WHICH I HATE DOING!) Now they want the whole show! So I get past and to Miami.

Flight canceled to St. Louis so I get to wait 8 hours for the next one.

Such a great life I lead.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
bowers
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Oakboro N.C.
7039 Posts

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I love the storys keep em coming guys.
Zombie Magic
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I went out for a beer and now have
8737 Posts

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Danny, great story. I wish I could have seen you perform for them. I bet they LOVED what you did!
BrianMillerMagic
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CT
2050 Posts

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This is fun. I'm glad others are chiming in and enjoying the shared stories. I'm home and doing "local" gigs through New Year's so I won't have as much to share for the next few weeks.
Mindpro
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10127 Posts

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Another trip for the road lovers. Just got caught up in a blizzard or blizzard-like conditions (depending on which media outlet you listen to) - 40-55 mile an hour winds, stonger gusts and blowing shows in every direction, a foot or more of snow, and more drivers that drive like they've never driven in snow a day in their lives even though they live in Illiois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Trucks spraying and splattering slush is even worse. Then comes the freezing "black ice" for those of you in the north, midwest and east that know what that is.

Counted 22 jack-knifed semi trucks in the highway, in the medians and shoulders, and over 60 cars off the road and in ditches, shoulders and medians. Visability was about 300 feet. The show must go on (haven't missed a show in 36 years). Yet made it from Rockford, Illinois from yesterday mornings shows (2) to Burnsville, MN for two shows this morning. Stoppig off for X-mas shoppimg after today's gigs at The Mall Of America (right on one of the busiest, craziest weekends of the year), before heading back home for the holidays. Good news is I bought gas for $2.96 per gallon!

Actually made it in just over 6 hours which I was pretty proud of. Now that I've finally pried my fingers losse from the steering wheel, I thought I report another winter fun road story. Happy Holidays!
BrianMillerMagic
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CT
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I was just in Minneapolis/St.Paul a month ago! Weather conditions were just fine though. Glad to hear you're safe. Growing up in the Mid Atlantic and living in New England now I'm all too familiar with driving in blizzard like conditions. The black ice is the worst. But as you said, people up here drive as if they've never driven in snow before. It's unreal.
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
20552 Posts

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More lifestyles of the rich and famous.

On a plane today for Las Vegas. For a change it is to go for fun to see The Who. Back to Chicago on Monday, then fly to Puerto Vallarta till April 15th. Home for a few weeks and then Madrid and Dubai. Not nearly as much fun as it sounds
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
BrianMillerMagic
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CT
2050 Posts

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I am SUPER jealous that you're seeing The Who on this Quadrophenia tour. I saw them do Quadrophenia in 1996, then Best Of tours in 2000 and finally with Pino Palladino in 2002 just months after Entwistle passed.

Best live rock band of all time.
Kevin Ridgeway
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V.I.P.
Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
1830 Posts

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We left Indianapolis and drove 27 hours nonstop to Phoenix for lunch with our pastor. Then headed straight to San Diego. We load in tomorrow morning for two shows tomorrow night in Carlsbad, CA, leave Saturday morning for Phoenix. Monday morning we head to Waco, TX to pick up a trailer, meet with manager in Dallas and drive back to Indianapolis...onlt to be home for several days before heading to Orlando for a 10 day run.

As Danny has mentioned...not all that glamorous, but we make the best of it and see friends and family along the way.
Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

Kevin Ridgeway &
Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini
The World's Premier Female Escape Artist

www.LadyHoudini.com

www.livingillusions.com
Andrew Zuber
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Los Angeles, CA
2658 Posts

Profile of Andrew Zuber
I drove from Burbank to Santa Monica today.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
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