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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Mall Busking Issues (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Blaze Magic
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I don't know if there is any solution to my problems, but if nothing else it will give me a chance to vent.

I have started busking recently at a local market, and while I could improve a lot, I have been very happy with my progress. The market is limited to the weekend though, and I found out I could busk in the (very fancy, up market) food court of a local mall (I had to apply through am entertainment company and book in for certain dates to get it).

I haven't busked there many times, but it has been far, far worse than the markets. My current problems are:

1. The spot itself is far from ideal for magic and building crowds, plus it's sort of surrounded, which can be a pain (I had one person taking props out of my case while I was performing - fortunately I saw him). Changing my spot would be the obvious solution, but it's literally part of the buildings structure, so that isn't an option.

2. Getting people to stop in general is a lot harder. Over lunch things go pretty well, but after that, people speed past with their shopping carts, and drag their children/yell at them to hurry up if they try to stop for a second.

3. Far less people seem to even considering tipping (they will scream that it's the most amazing thing they have ever seen, and then just walk off), and many who would, can't because they don't have any cash. I know there are some cashless solutions for tipping, and I might look into them, but I don't know if it would be worth while. I should mention that I have had a lot of people who walked off, and then came back a while later to give me money.

Currently, I am thinking of just finishing up the dates I have booked in for and then leaving it (both so I am free for actual bookings, and so I can work on other things if I am free). If anyone has any suggestions that might help though, I may as well make the best of it with the bookings I already have.
gallagher
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Blaze Magic,...Welcome.
(One of my favourite singers,..song-writers is,..was Blaze Foley;
I couldn't let you hang. 🙂)

Welcome to the Sidewalk Shuffle.

I speak for me, personally.
Two strikes:
Shopping Malls.
Cafés.
('Scheduled Times' and 'Screaming Children'!,
...well,
I won't even get into that. 😫)

I find,
in Shopping Malls,
folks are there for other reasons then 'possible entertainment'.
,..no matter how "amazing".
'Consume' is a powerfull drive..
right behind,...'Eating'(!).
Cafés,...ohhhh.
Maybe as a Table-hopper,
while the folks are waiting for the meal....
But face it,..
they're sitting in a restraurant,...to eat.

For me,
the 'third strike' would be "inside".
Somehow,....for me,
performing 'inside',
as a Street Performer,
...doesn't work.
It might be ME,
....and the crazy vibes,
...my head is sub-consciously spouting,...
But, I doesn't work for me.

As advice, I would suggest asking for 'pay',
from the mall-management.
I would set up a 'clock', in the food court,
...when you will be playing.
I would avoid the restraurants, directly.

I would,....
play the Streets
and listen to Blaze Foley,
as much as I could! 🙃
Here's one for you,,..
https://youtu.be/KB_2CUj3y6Y

Hope you have a nice day.
Your 'Streets' develope.
And you take the time to write back,
and share your thoughts and discoverys,...
Gallagher
Blaze Magic
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Thank you very much, and I think you are correct. While I was performing and trying to get peoples attention, I was thinking that maybe if I was slightly better, I could get people to stop. Then I realized they were literally trying to avoid looking so they could sneak past, so more skillfulness at least wouldn't really help.

I don't think I can get the mall to pay me for busking, but I'm hoping I can use it as a stepping stone to possibly get them to hire me for any events they have.
JoeJoe
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Myrtle Beach
1907 Posts

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Flip the script: don't so much as look at them as they walk past, you don't want them to stop. The word for it is "desperate" ... you are desperate and they can tell, I can smell your desperation all the way over here through my computer screen.

Watch my "Crowd Goes Wild" online lecture, it will pretty much clear up your issues ... two parts, twenty-minutes each with example footage taken from my pitch - real footage of me working. It is free under my Open Source "pass-the-hat" license:

http://magicjoint.com/pages/magic-shop/t......d-promo/

-JoeJoe
Watch the Pilot Episode of my new TV Show:As Seen on TV: The JoeJoe Magic Show
Blaze Magic
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Thank you for the advice. For I tried extra hard, and got a few children to stop and watch, except each time their parents yelled that they need to get to the car, and I see no reason to fight with parents who are determined to get home.

After a few attempts, I decided I might as well just ignore everyone and spend my time practicing for my own benefit, so the time wouldn't be entirely wasted, and that's what I did for the last half hour or so. In a better spot it could have worked maybe, but where I am, unless I go to trouble to be seen, most people don't even realize I'm there until they have almost walked past me. The area might work for a musician, but doesn't really work out for magic.

Thank you for the link. I have a show to get ready for at the moment, but I'll watch all the videos as soon as I have time.
drmolarmagic
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Brooklyn NY
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I just want to endorse JoeJoe's online course.....very well explained and yes his plans work
Bruce
JoeJoe
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Myrtle Beach
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Quote:
On Jul 3, 2019, Blaze Magic wrote:
After a few attempts, I decided I might as well just ignore everyone and spend my time practicing for my own benefit


And that is EXACTLY what you want to be doing, which changes your question to "what can you practice that people will stop and watch??".

Cups and balls or linking rings are the classics that always work in the right hands. If the lighting is good, a Dancing Cane is visual and a prefered choice of mine. And the "Origami Frog" routines from my Super Spinner DVD were specifically designed to catch people's attention.

Just start doing tricks at the table and they'll come ... I generally like to do cups and balls for myself and then the dancing cane, then I go back and do cups and balls again and then I'll do the dancing cane again. Again. And Again. And Again.

IF they aren't stopping, keep practicing. Everything will fall into place when ti is meant to be. Smile

-JoeJoe
Watch the Pilot Episode of my new TV Show:As Seen on TV: The JoeJoe Magic Show
Blaze Magic
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I watched your videos and I am impressed at your busking ability! Even with the advice in them though, for this particular situation, I'm still a bit stuck, and I don't think there is a solution, other than busking somewhere else.

I use the linking rings as my opener, with a variation of Chris Capehart's 3 ring routine, which I have been performing for a decade, so while I keep trying to find ways to improve the presentation of the routine, I can do the moves themselves in my sleep.

For the mall, during the good times, I can get people to stop, but I can't build a crowd. First, because my spot is out of the way, and secondly because there just isn't enough room for everyone. Even with a single family I have to be careful of them blocking things, and constantly move myself and my audience around to avoid shopping carts.

Then later in the day, I still have children calling out there is a magician, but their parents don't even look, and often may be talking on the phone as they walk. During the earlier part of the day, I had people come back to see the same trick four times. But later in the day, it reminds me of Joshua Bell busking on the subway (not that I am in anyway that talented, but in their determination to get to where they are going after lunch without stopping for even a second).
Magic_son
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Joejoe should be lecturing at conventions.... Said this for years...
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