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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Busking outside a store? (12 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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TheCardTrickGOD
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I've seen tons of musicians busking outside of grocery stores. Do you think busking would work in this situation? Sounds like the last place you should busk, it works for the musicians because they're doing walkway act. Magician needs people to stop and then impress them. Outside a Walmart, people are on a mission and probably think youre scamming them.

But it interests me because, if youre ever short on money, and you can't get to a pitch, there is always a Walmart nearby or a Ralph's, they always have foot traffic. The people might not be the right type, but I bet you can get someone to stop, show them a card trick or two and hold your hat out.
Dick Oslund
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IMHO, what you are talking about, is "pan handling", not busking.

Showing someone a trick, who is on his/her way into or out of a store, and, then holding out your hat, is not busking.

Busking and doing a trick or two, on the street are not the same thing!

IMO (speaking as a retired professional, with a lifetime of experience) those who "work streets", are, generally, those who have "bought" a few props (you can't "buy" a "trick", you can only buy props or secrets!) or learned a few (usually card tricks) and, are not "qualified" (good enough performers) to book themselves for a paying audience.

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing! Drink deep or taste not the Pyrhean spring! There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, while drinking largely, sobers us again."

Knowing how to "do" (not necessarily perform) a few card tricks, doesn't make you a "god" or even a magician! In my lifetime, I have known many, if not most, of the GREAT CARDICIANS (Charlie Miller, Ed Marlo, Ricky Jay, Alex Elmsley, Johnny Thompson, Jon Racherbaumer, Dai Vernon, et al). None of them ever claimed to a "god".
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
TheCardTrickGOD
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I'm sure if Kosmo or Jimmy talksalot was doing it, youd say "wow such pros, they can even work outside a Walmart"

If you think that's panhandling then it makes it no different when you're busking in your pitch. That's the point of busking, no one expected you but watched you anyway, and thought you were good enough to tip.

What I'm talking about is doing the same thing you'd be doing at any pitch but outside a Walmart when you're desperate. I would probably never be in the situation to try it, just curious if anyone else has.

I don't understand the argument of "these people are on their way to the store, they don't want to see magic" you'd be using the same tactics to stop people at any other pitch, if they stop, they clearly are interested. And hatlines... There was just a thread talking about how to hat a single group.
Dick Oslund
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FWIW, I know Jimmy Talks a lot. I see no reason to continue this conversation. It would be a waste of my time. You talk like you know it all, already.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
TheCardTrickGOD
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I asked a simple question. Anyone ever busked at a non ideal pitch, like outside a Walmart?

You didn't contribute anything other than calling it panhandling and rambling about nonsense like my name.

You didn't have to post if you're just going to try to debate, then run home when you get obliterated with facts and logic. 😂
gallagher
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Well,
actually,.
I'm up to elbows in grocerys bags,
waiting for my lady, who is using the toilet,
"to quickly touch up her make-up,...and tidey up her hair.",
....and I'm false parked.

But, (!)
it ain't every day you get a chance to talk to God!
...and the WiFi here is free(!).

Hey buddy, "Welcome to the Sidewalk Truffle!"

Two short shots.
I can relate to what Dick Oslund is saying.
You're 'wording' kinda comes across as 'desparate dealings'.
And 'hard iron' is on the other end of the pan-handle...

Most Street Performers,
..at least,
we like to think of ourselves (😊),
as having a structured Show..
with what we create 'stages',..
and work a Pitch.

That being said (!),
with a 'structured Show',
we can create 'stages',....
'Theaters', if you will(!..!),
....ANYWHERE!

....in theory.

yeah.
doesn't happen often,
but,...

One big hurdle, with Walmart,...and the such:
It's private property.
And, they will probably be less polite,
...than Dick Oslund. (😕)

'Non-Ideal Pitch'.
This is a nice Topic.
This is 'part of the Art', that is rarely tread in a thread.

Quick thought,
[...my Lady's coming(!),
....looking EXACTLY as she looked(!..!),
when she left(!),.....15 minutes ago!]

I would set up,
and try to pull off 'a proper Show'.
...if I was desparate.
,...and in front of a Wallmart.
Set up and play quick,..
Get a crowd...
Get in one Show...
pack.

If I was 'stopped',
...i'd play stupid.
...i'm a natural. 🤓
Thanks for the ear.
Thanks for the question.
Thanks for the thoughts.
...i hope you never have 'the hard times'. 🙃
gallagher
D. Yoder
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In this case the illustrious Mr. Oslund is not correct. I work many strange and wonderful pitches in my travels. As long as security lets you perform, work your trickle show where ever there are people with money in their pockets and time on their hands. Five minutes to make a tired and cranky kid smile is like gold to a parent. If security shuts you down, what have you lost? Let us know how it goes. **A sign that identifies you as a magician and distinctive clothing helps when you pop up in unexpected places.
Dick Oslund
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YOU may be SURE, as a newbie, that YOU KNOW what I would think what Jimmie or Kosmo would do! I'm not a mindreader, but, I have done a bit of busking. in my 70 years of making a living in this business, and I doubt that either one would work in front of a store with highly mobile people, intent on shopping. They might very well busk on a mall, where there is no automobile traffic. Besides WalMart security would likely not "approve".

I've NEVER been desperate. I usually had tours set one or two years ahead. I was NEVER at liberty, Managers would call ME!

I think that doing one or two card tricks, and holding out your hat, is PANHANDLING. --AND, THAT'S MY OPINION.

I've managed a side show, and, I know how to "make 'em stop, make 'em stay, and, make 'em pay. I've pitched Svengalis, and, I had them tearing their underwear, getting our their wallets.

Mr, Gallagher KNOWS (and, I thank him for his comments.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Aug 28, 2019, D. Yoder wrote:
In this case the illustrious Mr. Oslund is not correct. I work many strange and wonderful pitches in my travels. As long as security lets you perform, work your trickle show where ever there are people with money in their pockets and time on their hands. Five minutes to make a tired and cranky kid smile is like gold to a parent. If security shuts you down, what have you lost? Let us know how it goes. **A sign that identifies you as a magician and distinctive clothing helps when you pop up in unexpected places.


You say that I'm not correct. That's YOUR OPINION!

A guy with a guitar, and a hat for tips, might get a few quarters. People don't need to stop. They can listen, as they pass by. You have some experience on the street. The OP asked a question. I answered it. That's MY OPINION,
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TheCardTrickGOD
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I might just try it myself as an experiment. I think that's how all pitches start. One guy starts playing his guitar, someone else says "I wonder if I can do that too"

In mexico, panhandling is for lost kids and disabled people who can't work. You see buskers everywhere. Traffic lights, plazas, buses.Sometimes they're really good and should be performing somewhere better, othertimes they're pretty much just panhandlers, I'll pay them to not sing again tbh.

So you'll see jugglers working stoplights doing 2 minute acts all day, swallowing fire, unicycle juggling etc... Never seen a magician.

I'm glad it's not like that in the states and bums just panhandle. In Mexico it's impossible to get a good tip out of a street show. People are so conditioned to seeing the juggler in the stoplight and giving him 5 pesos ($.25) So they see you do a street show and no matter how good it is, why should they tip more than what they're used to, they know everyone else will tip 5 pesos and it will add up. But the truth is, for a street show, you build a crowd of 50, and only 7 end up tipping. So you worked 15 minutes for those people, gave your best, and walked away with about 40 pesos. The economy is good too, people have money, these are the same people who will tip a waiter 100 pesos, they're conditioned to tip waiters good.

I rambled but my point was to show that in other countries, people will busk anywhere there is people. In the US, people will ask their buddies on the magic Café what street to busk at.

Is busking outside a Walmart the best place? Hell no, you have security, people will treat you like crap while you work hard to get them to stop. So why try? Busking is all about being independent. One day you will be stranded, that's when you look for a downtown bar or restaurant to busk at for the night. Outside of the nearest grocery store might work and you can collect at least $20 after an hour.
ed rhodes
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Nobody seems to be taking into account that fact that WalMart isn't going to want you outside their store, performing magic.
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
illusionsfortheblind
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You sound like you've tried it
Yellowcustard
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A guitar player sets up close to the wall plays a few songs. Someone parks their car walks across the lot. Gose that sounds nice I have a dollar there you go. The guitarists keeps playing no need for then to engage with anyone or anyone to stop. I think magic can't work this way. Feel free to prove me wrong. I think coffee shops or take away stores and busk to people waiting for there food could be a goer

Try it outsee what happens.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
ed rhodes
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Quote:
On Aug 28, 2019, illusionsfortheblind wrote:
You sound like you've tried it


No. I just know WalMart!
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
noland
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Quote:
On Aug 29, 2019, ed rhodes wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 28, 2019, illusionsfortheblind wrote:
You sound like you've tried it


No. I just know WalMart!


I agree with Ed. If you try to busk in front of Walmart, you're on private property, as you would be at any mall store. In Maryland, where I live, lots of stores seemingly on public streets actually claim ownership of the sidewalks in front of them as well. The property managers don't want buskers or panhandlers soliciting on their property, and the security guards will promptly run you off, in my experience.
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Aug 28, 2019, ed rhodes wrote:
Nobody seems to be taking into account that fact that WalMart isn't going to want you outside their store, performing magic.


HEQQ! I was going to make that point, but, apparently forgot!

BTW: I believe that ED Rhodes works at Walmart.
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D. Yoder
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I very much enjoy Jimmy Talks A Lot's blog. The following is particularly relevant to this discussion in regard with how to work with authority figures. I have never busked at a Walmart, but would be happy to hear from someone who has.

On a side note, I am not trying to get in an argument with you, Dick. Sometimes your opinion comes across as you believe you are stating facts so thank you for acknowledging that it is your opinion.

https://jimmytalksalot.blogspot.com/2019......html?m=1
Dick Oslund
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On Aug 31, 2019, D. Yoder wrote:
I very much enjoy Jimmy Talks A Lot's blog. The following is particularly relevant to this discussion in regard with how to work with authority figures. I have never busked at a Walmart, but would be happy to hear from someone who has.

On a side note, I am not trying to get in an argument with you, Dick. Sometimes your opinion comes across as you believe you are stating facts so thank you for acknowledging that it is your opinion.

https://jimmytalksalot.blogspot.com/2019......html?m=1
Hi

Hi! #@##!, I've forgotten your first name! (I must be getting old! No! I AM old!!

Right! We are all entitled to our own opinions! The OP seemed to me, to be stating his opinions as facts, Cold type is sometimes unclear.

I consider busking to be an honorable way to make a living, (Cf. "Discovery of Witchcraft") I've even done a bit of busking (Fishermen's Wharf. San Francisco, about 40 years ago). Busking is not begging or panhandling! You gotta entertain 'em!

A magician who wants To make a good living by busking, needs TALENT, CHUTZPAH, and, more than a little EXPERIENCE, TO "MAKE 'EM STOP, MAKE 'EM STAY, AND MAKE 'EM PAY! I broke in with a carnival side show, in the mid '40s, I learned "on the job", how to entertain "them marks", and, do a good pitch.

I hope that you found a few bits that you can USE, in my book!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
ed rhodes
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Quote:
On Aug 29, 2019, Dick Oslund wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 28, 2019, ed rhodes wrote:
Nobody seems to be taking into account that fact that WalMart isn't going to want you outside their store, performing magic.


HEQQ! I was going to make that point, but, apparently forgot!

BTW: I believe that ED Rhodes works at Walmart.



Yes, sadly!
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
ed rhodes
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Quote:
On Aug 29, 2019, Yellowcustard wrote:
A guitar player sets up close to the wall plays a few songs. Someone parks their car walks across the lot. Gose that sounds nice I have a dollar there you go. The guitarists keeps playing no need for then to engage with anyone or anyone to stop. I think magic can't work this way. Feel free to prove me wrong. I think coffee shops or take away stores and busk to people waiting for there food could be a goer

Try it outsee what happens.


I tried to work outside the Brown University Bookstore. A very nice lady came out and explained I couldn't work against the building, that I had to work from the curb. Worked for awhile, realized I didn't like it there and moved up a block to the pizza parlor. At the pizza parlor, I had to work from the curb, because a lot of the time, my audience is people sitting in the window, eating their pizzas!

Oddly, last week, I saw a guitar man, his back against the Brown Bookstore building, playing guitar. I was going to get angry, then I realized it was probably as you said and the Bookstore didn't see him as an obstacle to traffic, as people would be walking by while they tipped.
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
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