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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » A new hat line/idea? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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KC Cameron
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I was wondering what people thought of this idea.

Get a cute, young, energetic boy around six as an assistant early on. Give him a large hand-bell to ring any time someone puts a tip in the hat. Demonstrate by seeding the hat with a fiver to which he rings the bell. Use him to pass the hat as well, seeing how much he can "ring the bell" cheering him on (perhaps having the crowd cheer him on too.

Is this too aggressive? I can usually get away with a lot using humor, but I don't know if I am pushing too hard.
KendallScot
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I tried something like this early on. I thought the bit was pretty funny, but twice I had the parent get quite upset with me for using their kid for "begging". I'm sure there is a better way to do it, but I just decided to drop the idea.

You may have better luck than me. I think you should try it and see how it works for you.
Kendall Scot

"The art of a magician is to create wonder. If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives will be filled with joy"
**Doug Henning**

"I drank WHAT?""
**Socrates**
ROBERT BLAKE
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My feeling is that you are more concerned with money then with the show. you can not use a child the whole show doing that. what if the child leaves or the parent don't like this. it is ok to use as an example to teach the people what and where to put the money. keep in mind people should give you the money because you do a good show. experience will learn if it is ok and if it works.
silvercup
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Quote:
On Mar 20, 2014, ROBERT BLAKE wrote:
My feeling is that you are more concerned with money then with the show.


This.
jimgerrish
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Try using a mechanical cymbal clapping monkey hooked to a radio control unit and a secret switch so you can turn the monkey into your little beggar. If you don't want to have to watch the hat all the time to work the monkey, fix it so it operates off a light detector inside the hat or tip bucket that simply senses when something is dropped into the container and activates the monkey. Chris Dunn has instructions in e-Book form for turning any battery powered mechanical toy into a radio controlled toy here: http://www.magicnook.com/MagicianMechani......m#Remote Anythings
KC Cameron
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KendallScot
I think it is hilarious too, but I need to avoid the obvious pitfalls. I may try it out next weekend.

~~~~~~

jimgerrish
I think yours is a good idea, but using a young boy has a lot more potential for humor (for me anyway). I did just buy the e-Book, it looks like fun for other things.

~~~~~

I have been street performing regularly (upon the weather) for the last couple months just for the fun of it. At one time I made a living on it, but that was a long time ago. Today I do mostly family shows and a few college and corporate. I just got my amusement park "OKed" for buskers just recently. This is an idea and is supposed to be funny - or how I would present it anyway. While I would never say money is not an issue, I am no longer a starving artist either.

Perhaps I read Robert's comments wrong, and if so, I'm sorry. Trying to express my show in writing is difficult.

With the little you know of me, the comment "My feeling is that you are more concerned with money then with the show." seems more a reflection on the commenter. I can, and do, get away with a lot more than many Café members believe in my performances - quite successfully. EVERYTHING done in my show is designed to entertain. I slap women HARD, and they laugh, smile, and ask me to do it again. I get people to hit themselves over their head repeatedly. I make fun of specific balding and old men. I tell kids that I hate them and to stop smiling or laughing, I get people to reveal secrets. I purposely try to scare kids. I try to get my parrot to poop on the kids' heads and bite them. I get the kids to chant my name, and scream to their parents that they want me at their birthday party. I regularly advertise DURING MY SHOW of other shows I do - and people laugh about it. I am working on ways for my show to just be a big commercial - a really funny commercial, but a commercial.

People love my shows, and I have tons of reviews to prove it. My audiences' eat it up! Why? because it is done with humor, they know I care about them, and I make fun of myself a lot. That and a &%$#-load of self-confidence. Everything I do in my shows is designed to entertain.

"you can not use a child the whole show doing that." - Why not??? It is called a call-back, and tons of kids would LOVE to do it. I could also rotate different kids in . . .

"what if the child leaves" - Life happens, you deal with it. Also see above.

"the parent don't like this" - If you can read people, and set things up right, it should not happen often. You can't pick nilly-willy, EVERYTHING you do should be well thought-out and set-up. I can always ask the parents if they have an attention hog of a child to send them up to collect tips (if necessary).

"keep in mind people should give you the money because you do a good show." I don't have a good show, I have a great show. They can give me money for any reason they wish. You seem to insinuate this is begging? *&^%$ NO! I have an unspoken contract to entertain them, and for them to pay me accordingly as their means allow. If you don't have an attitude like this, then your busking IS begging no matter how good your show. For tha last couple decades I have offered a guarantee that I have the best show of it's kind they have ever experienced, or it is free. I have never had anyone take me up on it for thousands of shows.

Anyway, the question was: is it too aggressive? Perhaps I should not have asked, since you have not seen my shows and have nothing to which to compare.
ROBERT BLAKE
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Kc I can only comment on what I read in your post. my first feeling was that. if I see your show and understand your personality and your way of working I might had a different opinion and see it more in your style of show. still I like to see a video of you so I can learn who you are.
KC Cameron
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Http://CaptainKidMagic.com has a few videos. None are busking since I have not done any in 20 years. One of the nice things about busking is video is much easier. I am helping open up a park for busking and hope to have a bunch more videos this next month. Oh, and I have a few reviews by "video" you can see too.
ROBERT BLAKE
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Thank you KC. I can understand your style. succes with the park.
KC Cameron
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Please understand the vids are mostly highlights and the audio sucks (I just got wireless mic for my camera, but haven't used it yet. I don't put in what can be misconstrued.
ROBERT BLAKE
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Well it gave me a good review of who you are and your style. good luck.
silvercup
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Hey K.C. I'm curious.
If your show is great as you say, and you have this unspoken contract going on, why have a kid out hustling tips for you in the first place?
Do you think you should be receiving more than you are?

The comment "you are more concerned with money than with the show" is a reflection of the speaker.
It shows the speaker understands that having a kid with a bucket and a bell is directly opposite of the unspoken contract.

I can imagine that you put on a great show but don't have a handle on how to communicate the unspoken contract so you come up with the idea of having a child make it clearer. It's my opinion that is not a good way to do so and has the flavor of begging if not the substance.
KC Cameron
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Silvercup,

While I use to busk full-time, that was 20 years ago. I will start again soon. I do paid shows and some street performances now, not busking.

As for using the kid, well it could be hilarious. Others see it, some others evidently don't.

"It shows the speaker understands that having a kid with a bucket and a bell is directly opposite of the unspoken contract." WRONG, it shows that if the commenter has a kid with a bucket and a bell it would be pathetic. I am sure you and Robert can do things that I cannot, I am also sure I can do things you can't. It doesn't make one better or worse, just different.

The problem we ALL have is trying to view others as if they were similar to ourselves. While it is true we have strong similarities, we also have strong differences. I could never do what Gazzo does, at least not successfully. If I did, it it would reflect poorly on me - yet Gazzo does it with great success.

Anyway, the question was never about if anyone thought I was being too greedy, but if it would be too aggressive. I don't do anything in my w/o an entertainment reason. The adults in my shows this weekend thought it was hilarious when I had the kids yell how they wanted me for their BD party. They laughed when I looked them in the eye during the show, and told them "I do lot's of BD parties, you should look me up." I told the kids I hated them, and to stop laughing in a very stern voice. They loved it. I get them to chant my name (how is that for an ego boost?) and they have fun doing so. I don't think every magician can get away with that.

At one time I tried to be the "mysterious magician". EPIC FAIL. I can do comedy well, I can have mystery in my show, but I will never be that cool magician so many of us try to be. On the other hand, I have no problem being over-the-top flamboyant entertainer who somehow becomes a quirky friend. Trust me, unspoken communication IS the show. Begging is submitting that another is superior in some way, and could they share their wealth. I NEVER come across as begging. I am at least their equal, and I don't need them, they need me. I am GIVING them laughter and mystery, and in turn they give me money. There is a HUGE difference.

I understand this can be hard to follow. My ability to express it in text is limited. When I start busking again I'll post some vids.
The Great Zoobini
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Someone used their kids as part of their busking act and was threatened with child labor laws. I thought it was a bit extreme but evidently they were very serious.
Meet you in Busker Alley Smile
silvercup
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Hey K.C. it's clear we see using a kid to gather tips differently.
I use words like opinion to clarify I don't impose my beliefs on you.
Not everyone views others as if they were similar to ourselves.

Too aggressive? Yes, my opinion is too aggressive.
I can only speak for myself, and you are asking about you so forgive me for not knowing you or seeing your work. You asked what I thought, I told you.

Greedy is a word you chose to use. I asked "Do you think you should be receiving more than you are?"
I asked that because I saw no other reason to have a kid passing your hat except to make it heavier, and to determine your motive. Your motive, you state, is potential hilarity. With that I wish you the best.
My experience is that if I put on a good show and let people know I'm not out there for my health everything else falls into place.

Use a kid in the show? Sure, "stop a child..."
Use the kid to pass my hat? Not my cup.
KC Cameron
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The Great Zoobini,
They may have been threatened, but from what I know of child labor laws, using your own kid is fine. Personally, my kid prefers Nintendo.

Silvercup,
Let's be real. Did you and Robert not mean "greed"?? I have no problem with it, no need to sugar-coat it. Yes I would do it for entertainment value. If I do it, it will also to make a bigger hat. I won't be putting people in (too) awkward situations because I plan to stay long-term, and it also can kill the mood and effect how I make my real money - paid shows.

During a paid show everything I do I (try) to have dual reasons. To entertain and to book new gigs. My audiences know it, it is blatant. It is also funny, so I can more than get away with it. I have a lot of repeat business and so far, no complaints from parents.

I imagine my busking will be similar, but some hat lines will replace my "advertisements"

Anyway, If it doesn't work well, I'll discard it. Can't argue with success or failure. I want to make some cash, but I'll do it because it is fun. Thankfully my paying gigs support me to have that freedom.

That being said, I'll keep a close eye to crowd reactions should I choose to try it.
silvercup
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Hey K.C. I'll not speak for Robert cause, you know, I'm not him.
As for myself I've found real works. Say what you mean and mean what you say is my deal. Eliminates a whole bunch of B.S.
Games People Play is a good tune but a lousy way to live, IMHO.
Thinking you aren't receiving what you think you should is not greed, not my definition that is.

Two thoughts, busking is a paying gig you just don't charge up front & busking is the ultimate freedom endeavor.
KC Cameron
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Silvercup,

Not sure if you are calling me a liar or if you really think you are a good communicator. If it is the latter, you are not very clear in this thread. No need to explain.
silvercup
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Hey K.C. how about none of the above?
Thought I was having a friendly conversation.
Sad you chose to read it otherwise.
KC Cameron
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"Say what you mean and mean what you say is my deal. Eliminates a whole bunch of B.S.
Games People Play is a good tune but a lousy way to live, IMHO. "

Perhaps you may want to consider how "what you say" is interpreted. It doesn't matter much if you "mean what you" say if it is mis-understood. Verbal and written communication is not the same.
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