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DeadMoney
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Hi,

first thank you all for this great community.

Probably I will have to start busking and I thought to start "easy" with no table and with minimal props.

I was thinking of two possible approach...first just a deck of cards (maybe two for TOD) and a sharpie pen or just ropes.

Here the first dilemma...about an effective way of getting a crowd:
1: Is effective to get the first people to stop just by voice and stage presence or a first visual fast effect is mandatory (like silk vanish or continuous sponge balls production)? I know that there are artists like Gazzo that start with cards but they have a table, a magic wand in their hand, rope on the ground to indicate a stage and he is a world class comedy artists too...
If voice and stage presence for a stand up unexperienced busker are not enough to stop a crowd I don't have with cards (without gimmicks) or ropes fast visual effects at the moment...and I don't know if they exits...

Second dilemma:
2: Audience participation "weak" with cards and ropes?
Audience participation is huge and starting with sponge balls for example seems way more powerful also for the visual aspect...moreover cards (with the exception of multiple cards selection, that at the moment I have no routine for, and TOD but that would be only eventually a finale) involves generally only one or two spectators...ropes are very visual but it seems they have poor audience participation (for example with CnB even if you don't have a person near you can engage all your audience in an easier way).

Third dilemma about ropes only show:
3: Cards are probably the most versatile weapon a stand up magician can have...you can do several routine because the effects are different ...from mind reading to transposition to impossible location to gambling plots etc...ropes have "just" illusion like PN or escapes...at the moment I'm not able to structure a little 10-15 minute show with just ropes with a great finale, moreover I don't find ropes routine with great climax for the finale ( for example Homing card plus or CnB have a very strong ending climax but what about ropes?)...any suggestion on how to build a short but effective ropes only street act?

If I would go cards only, my middle and finale would be ACR (with CTW) and Homing card plus (perhaps TOD too but I would prefer to use just one ordinary deck)...


Any suggestions and help about the above will be of great importance for me Smile
DeadMoney
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Hi,

I think I have "solved" problem 2 with cards...I have to develop a strong fast multiple selection with a good ending...no way around this if I want to go cards only...any good source of multiple selection routine beside Eason one?

The other 2 stand still Smile
Dick Oslund
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First! IT AINT TRICKS! IT'S THE PERFORMER!!! Tricks are only vehicles!

>>>>>>>>>>See any of Robert Blakes posts in this regard in this forum.<<<<<<<<<<<<<

It is apparent to me that you need a bit more "learning" and experience, before you "hit the road"!

Sophocles said it a few millenia ago: "One learns by DOING the thing." However, one must have a bit more basic knowledge than you seem to have. Have you read--and studied, TARBELL???

How much actual experience have you had, performing?

There are lots of strong rope tricks that have excellent climaxes, and they are d**n good illusions, too.

I repeat: IT AINT THE PROP OR THE TRICK! IT'S THE PERFORMER!!! Props are only tools used in performing a trick. I'll add to that a bit: IT'S THE PERFORMER,AND HIS PRESENTATION OF THE TRICK!

If the Professor's Nightmare had been "around" when I was 16 and working in a sideshow, in 1946, I would have thought that I had died, and "gone to Heaven!"

I could make a living with a few pieces of rope! and a few bandannas. Of course, I've had 65 years of perfoming experience.

P.S. A table (of some sort) with a "magic show" sign on it, lets strollers know that you aren't just a pan handler. It helps to establish you as a performer. Even Jimmy Talksalot has a small case on the sidewalk!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
DeadMoney
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Hi Dick,

thank you very much for you help.

It's true of course that I'm less than a beginner that's why I value so much any help especially from real world experienced performers like you.

Thank for the tip about the table or some king of small case...from what you are saying it really is mandatory.

From what I read you have a lot of experience about ropes and performing...that's great...

Unfortunately I have never seen a complete magic street act for an adult audience done with just rope magic...It would be great if you had some source to share to see how a good performer with good presentation can pull it off ...do you have one?
Dick Oslund
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I'll PM you~ (This is a "party line"!)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Yellowcustard
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It is totally possible to do a street routine with cards alone as well as rope alone. It may also help to look at the pitch your busking. Has it got the space and foot fall for a big circle show or is it a door way act of 15min to 10 people and instant repeat.

I finsh with a rope routine. Its basically a single rope fiber optics. At the end I wrap the rope around my neck and say don't try this at home. The crowd is hooked there not going anywhere. I start my hat-line at the end the Rope goes through my neck. I thank every one and reforce hat line. its a great moment with a simple effect.

I have also played arpound with card to mouth and this will work to big crowds I just need to get out there and get on with it.

Keep ligth and fast. A smaal case with a magic sign on it is perfect and a reapeatable trick to get pepoel attion. Card fans and vainsh and productions as well as card flicking could help.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
David Fillary
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Not sure why you're limiting yourself to just cards or just rope - why not use both?

Dick is a wealth of valuable advice, listen to him and I'm sure his PM will be informative.

Busking magic is one of the most daunting ways to do magic unless you're already very confident at public speaking. There are far easier ways to get started performing for the public, like looking into charity events that you could perform at.

What's the rush to start busking? If you really need the cash, there are probably better ways. It will take you many years to get to the stage where you're earning a reasonable wage if you are a complete beginner. Just enjoy the journey instead!
DeadMoney
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Yellowcustard: thank you for your help...you too even if a very important part of your act is done by ropes adopted for opening without ropes but with other tools like sponge balls and bananas...any comment and reasoning why you choice to not use ropes for that?

David Fillary:
I don't understand why if someone can do a good act with just one small prop like a deck of cards should instead carry more props...if is not possible that's another matter or better that was the real topic of this thread Smile

I don't need to earn a reasonable wage to start...and probably neither to finish...and I think everybody can agree that is what in magic give you more freedom and what is more effective to force you to became good fast..

No problem at all to getting "hurt" really bad in the beginner phase...getting hurt in the learning curve is what I'm really good at Smile
troppobob
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G'day Dead Money

Lots of good advice above and I expect you will have picked up some helpful tips from Dick's personal message to you.

I am interested in seeing you develop your performance - whether it be street busking or some other venue as suggested by David above.

In response to a similar question (beginning as a magical busker) - I recently bumped 2 long threads of discussion back to the front page - one by "Magic Shaun" documenting his jouney into the world of busking and also the one started by "Jimmy Talksalot" - "If you wanna learn how to street perform" - both of those discussions will give you insights into the experience of starting out - including a link to Jimmy's blog and other useful online resources. You will notice that bthese 2 threads have 20 and 60,000 views (which seems to be above average).

There are lots of other helpful resources out there as well - but those will certainly get you started.

Now specifically in regard to your question - from my own experience - you can't go past the central point of Dick's first response to you - First! IT AINT TRICKS! IT'S THE PERFORMER!!! Tricks are only vehicles!

Also in my own performance the main part of my performance is often a combination of cards and 2 rope routines (and my finale is a rope routine) with a quirky balloon effect to combine them into my most basic show.

All the best mate.

Bob Latta (aka Troppo Bob)
DeadMoney
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Troppobob thank you for the inputs...I'm an avid reader...and I'm reading this forum for a long time Smile

I have all the beginner problems...but reading and watching other performers gives me good idea to work on...

Every prop/routine has is weak/strong point and I'm trying to understand...

For example cards generally don't play well for children and ropes play better for that...I know is the Entertainer....and for example you can involve children making them print a smiling face on a chosen cards and engage with talk with them but still I'm thinking of what a routine/prop has to offer in terms of situation/effect/visibility/engagement etc...

I have almost an act with cards...but..I have some doubts in the "getting the crowd" part and it does not offer children interaction... if I image me with a deck of cards and a signal with written on "world best card trick" I think people are less attracted that if I have ropes in my hands and on the cartel is written "Original (Original with an X on it like to cancel it) Indu Mystery Rope"...moreover I have the feeling that new audience is going to stop if they arrive in the middle of a rope trick but will stop less if they arrive in the middle of a card trick (this problem is lessened with good cards effects selection: acr/multiple selection/homing card plus)...

I know cards tricks reactions....parlor or few people they are very good...but I have never done ropes..so just to go back to reality I will develop a "PN/fiber optics/daryl ending (knotting before they change size to the original one)" easy to follow and short routine and see how it plays for layman...If it rocks I will develop and try to develop a finale and openings...I have some ideas...
David Fillary
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Deadmoney,

"I don't understand why if someone can do a good act with just one small prop like a deck of cards should instead carry more props...if is not possible that's another matter or better that was the real topic of this thread"

It's certainly possible, but if you've "never done ropes" before, you don't need to go straight into a full rope act. I've never used Billiard balls, so I wouldn't create a whole act around them. I might put them in the middle amongst the stuff I know works for me. Do your card stuff and also throw in Professor's Nightmare or something - try it out before you jump in.

"I don't need to earn a reasonable wage to start...and probably neither to finish...and I think everybody can agree that is what in magic give you more freedom and what is more effective to force you to became good fast.."

You said in your first post that you will HAVE to start busking, so I wasn't sure if it was for financial reasons.

"No problem at all to getting "hurt" really bad in the beginner phase...getting hurt in the learning curve is what I'm really good at Smile"

Cool, that's all good then Smile Many people drop out fast in magic, so I just try to find ways for people to get hooked and not disheartened. Being optimistic is the best start! Smile
MagicofDesperado
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It will be WAYYYYYYY harder to start without a table if you've never busked before and are trying to go the minimal prop route.

A table buys you credibility and an easy place to hang signage et and in actuality to hide behind as you build confidence and learn to project. If you've never busked indorr performance will do little to prepare you....or as my pal Jimmy Talksalot put it the day I met him..."Indoors I could do 3 hours....when I went to the street I had 3 minutes....":)

Rope is a great street prop btw.

I think it really depends on your personality and ability to start to build your character.....which is by far and away THE most important aspect of any act - the tricks, in actuality - don't really matter.

I say this at the end of my first full year on the street where I forsook a table and signage in favor of a deck of cards & a single piece of rope - so I know a thing or two about starting having just gone through the process myself.

Sincerely,
Dartagnan
DeadMoney
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MagicofDesperado: Thank you a lot for your help!!!

You and Jimmy ( I have of course watch his video and read his site) are an inspiration for me Smile... I know it will be a very hard process at the beginning.

Now I'm developing 3 rope effects to go on the street...

The middle is PN ( an extremely streamlined version of fiber optics ending with Professor's Daydream...), the ending will be The Great Coat Escape ( still to develop the handling)...and the beginning I don't know...perhaps rope through neck/jumping knot and a version of Kellar rope tie not in print (I just have to figure out the way Randi does it) just for the comedy situation especially to make people come...but I have no idea if it works and it's not angle proof so maybe I have to think something else...)...

So at the moment the weakest point is to make them stop and build...of course I know that when I will actually try it I will have to face that basically will be almost everything a weak spot Smile ...I have zero confidence that the first try will be any good...I have confidence that I will persist and figure it out.

Can I ask you any suggestion/comment on how to make people stop/build with just cards or ropes?
DeadMoney
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David Fillary: thank you for you comments.

It's true I have to learn a new tool...but I will start with 3-4 effects ...I don't know why exactly I want to use just one tool....I know people don't care less as long they are entertained ...but I'm a focused person by nature I like to zoom in and focus on one thing intensively... it always has worked fine for me and this approach give me confidence...

It will "easier" to do something like working with a table cards and CnB...for the long run and for personal satisfaction I will try the hard way (like it was not hard enough Smile )...
DeadMoney
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...of course when I will hit hard by reality I could have be forced to change approach...but there are people like Jimmy can are able to pull it off... ( yes it start with manipulation and sound so at the moment no proof that the stop/build with just ropes can work out)..
ROBERT BLAKE
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A street show concist of three parts:

1) getting the crowd - STOP
2) keeping the crowd - STAY (the show)
3) get paid by the crowd - PAY

learn the three parts in correct order 1 - 2 & 3. if you don't know how to get a crowd you cant do a show and get paid. if you have a show but don't know how to stop people you are not doing a show. learn to understand what YOU needs to do to get the crowd. this proces will take a while because YOU have to figure out how YOU should do it. we can give you thoughts , ideas and tricks in the end it is YOU who has to bring them to life.

TIP: go to YOUTUBE and look at the street shows NOT the magic shows. and look how the start thier show. learn from them then apply them to YOUR show.

my lifesaver trick: stiff rope. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2436dG8m2w
you see here a small bit out of my show. in my back pocket prof. nightmare. great trick. give out the piece when YOU start YOUR building of the edge. get into contact with them.

important make the crowd curious after YOU. make some noise, announce that YOU start. explain what YOU will do. set up YOUR performance area. draw a chalk line, invite people up to the line (same as with a piece of rope) COMMUNICATE WITH THEM. MAKE THEM CURIOUS. don't show to much.

TRICKS ROPE OR CARDS: it does not matter what you do when you understand what you have to do with it to get to your goal. try to do tricks you can do with out speaking. if they don't speak your lanhuage they still enjoy your show. cards across with jumbo cards - stiff rope - chinese washingline - card in mouth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So2KdK5KpxM / jeff hobson (this is great because the trick makes it crazy to whatch. the duck mouth is perfect for the street)

don't try to fingeflinging tricks you are there to entertain them not to bore them with technical skills. above all have fun.
DeadMoney
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Hi Robert...thanks...and thanks again to all for help...having the help from performers is huge Smile

I have watched several street performers...it's a bless that nowadays we can have tons of information...

Time to fix my "character" and effects/ lines and learn the hard and rewarding way and growing from a starting short act that I can do in the sleeps (of course with patters timing and lines).
MagiCol
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Hi, DeadMoney,
It's great to see yet another person inspired to perform on the street. You've already got lots of advice above from street magicians above.
Busking has a season which is basically when the weather is decent enough to go and stand on the street for several hours at a time. Hour after hour. Be prepared with suitable clothing and footwear. Don't go learning a whole lot of tricks. Four or five is enough. Perfect those and decide which ones you will use.
Find out the places with suitable pedestrians - a good count and people not in a rush past you.
On the street you must be constantly doing something to catch people's attention before they arrive at you. But keep in mind that noise can generate a nuisance value if you're at one location for too long. If you use cards the shuffle them face UP, so people see constantly changing looks to the cards. Learn to shuffle with the right hand and also the left hand. You have the face-up cards facing the flow of foot traffic coming towards you as you look in that direction.
Rope: learn some basic moves that don't need re-setting so you can catch people's attention. Even twirling a rope catches people's attention.
Your first goal on the street is to greet people as they approach [speak out reasonably loudly -you want to get their attention and get them to stop'. Then tell them, "Watch this magic!" It doesn't have to be a complete trick. Do not ask "Do you want to see a magic trick?" [Thanks, Jimmy Talksalot, for that solid advice. Once people stop, introduce yourself. and get their name. Shake their hand if appropriate. Tell them "I've got a short Magic Show for you to enjoy. etc... It will take just a few minutes"

It may help when you go out for the first time on the street or at a festival/market if you have a friend along, standing apart to give you some support and to move in with the growing initial group of two or three people to start building your group standing around you.

Remember, tell yourself, I AM MY SHOW!

Oh, and hatting: I've watched lots of YouTube videos of street magic. Seldom do the folk walking the streets with their cameras making the Street Magician" videos they put up on YouTube show any, let alone all, of the hatting section of a street show. In their ignorance they think that the last trick is the end of the Show. It isn't. The end of the Hatting section is the end of your Show. You'll have to look to street workers advice for that.

If you live in the Northern Hempisphere - USA, Great Britain, Europe, then winter season is coming and getting out the streets will be very limited with the poor weather conditions. So, you've got months to learn and perfect your practice of the few tricks you will use.
And time to look at magic books, DVDS, You Tube videos, and other street performer internet threads:
If you want some more solid advice besides the Magic Café Street Shuffle threads, try Danny Hustle's site at buskerscafe.com. A lot of the posts are just chit-chat material, but Danny, experienced street magician etc. sometimes has threads that are solid gold for advice.
http://www.buskerscafe.com/forums/index.......19494d2e
You should be able to just be a lurker, without posting, easily enough.
Another thread, English-based and not so much street work as use of magic gear is http://magicbunny.co.uk/phpBB3/index.php......17608b90

Use to be quite lively at http://sidewalkperformers.freeforums.org/index.php but when the administrator changed, about six months ago, postings have come to a standstill. However, you should find some good threads there.

All this is preparation for one sunny day grabbing your few bits of gear, maybe a table, and getting out on the streets. It's the street where you learn to interact with people, develop your character [I AM MY SHOW], improve your tricks, change tricks for ones that work better, see the public reaction that you work up, and get accustomed to realize after a month or two, or maybe a year or more, "I am a street magician. I am my show."
The presentation makes the magic.
DeadMoney
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MagiCol: Great advice!

Just out of curiosity...Do any of you know something about family tourist places in India? there the visa last six months and doing 6 months India + 3 months Thailand could be an idea...they are "near" each other and perhaps is a way to stretch the favourable weather condition...

I'm from Italy but in Europe good weather does not last long...
cheesewrestler
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Quote:
On Nov 3, 2014, DeadMoney wrote:
MagiCol: Great advice!

Just out of curiosity...Do any of you know something about family tourist places in India? there the visa last six months and doing 6 months India + 3 months Thailand could be an idea...they are "near" each other and perhaps is a way to stretch the favourable weather condition...

I'm from Italy but in Europe good weather does not last long...


An all-rope act sounds like a great idea for busking. Very visual, very effective (WHEN WELL DONE!), simple props/equipment. And people can just SEE what you're doing - no need to learn how to say "Pick a card, any card" in sixteen different languages.

If you do go to India you can introduce whatever your favorite effect is as "the famous Italian Rope Trick"!
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