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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Routine, Tips, and now for the Finale! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Priest
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Ok, I have a question. In my head I am putting together a short street routine.

From the different shows I've seen on the streets here of NYC, it's best to explain to people that you are about to do the great finale, but FIRST, time to collect the tips.

I've seen that this encourages people to tip and tip more, since they will still be sticking around a few minutes longer. Versus the show being over and you trying to collect tips and people are walking away.

Now on to the question. In your opinions, what is the BEST greatest close-up/street trick to do for a grand finale?

~Priest~
"Funk is not something U can buy at the corner store.
It is something that U find deep within Ur Soul!"
.:The One Year Project:. .:Forums:.
p.b.jones
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"In my head I am putting together a short street routine. From the different shows I've seen on the streets here of NYC, "

Have you thought that perhaps some people will be unhappy about you STEALING parts of their acts?

OR perhaps you have done the rigt thing and got permission to use them?

Phillip
Sniper
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Quote:
On 2002-08-02 03:35, p.b.jones wrote:

Have you thought that perhap's some people will be unhappy about you STEALING parts of their acts?


I don't think he has stolen anything, as much as learned how to pace and present a show from successful performers.

With street performing, it is all important to hold the spectators with promise of a big finale. Referring to it throughout the show will keep them there, as well as enhance interest in everything leading up to it.

Which is essential if you want to make any $$$ in this most difficult of venues...

Sn!per
Peter Marucci
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Priest,
You probably want a highly visible effect, that leaves you mobile (so you can wander the crowd, for the hat), and one that is not over too quickly.
I use the Needle Thru Balloon. Depending on the show and venue, I have made the needle up like (a) a huge hypodermic needle; or (b)a jewel-hilted sword (just take the hilt from a kid's plastic sword and hot glue the needle's base in the end).
This involves the audience, can be seen from just about anywhere, and can be done with a (relatively) lengthy buildup.
Besides, you're working the Big Apple, so it's not a bad idea to finish with a foot and a half of sharpened steel in your hand! Smile
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
p.b.jones
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Hi,
He does not say that he learned anything from other acts but,

"In my head I am putting together a short street routine. From the different shows I've seen on the streets here of NYC, "

Forgive me if I am wrong, it sounds as if he is taking a bit here and a bit there of other performers acts and making an act from it.

Fine if you get permission from each performer otherwise I think it is stealing

Phillip
MAGICTOM
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Hey Phillip,
I understand your point of view on the "stealing" issue, there are probably a lot of magicians out there that would be really offended if they saw their routine or act performed by someone else, but my opinion differs a bit. I use a multitude of lines in my acts that I have heard other performers use and liked. I see tricks and routines that I thought were GREAT and have learned them and incorporated them into my act. Of course I added in my own personality, but the general outline of the routine was from something I had learned from watching another magician work the art.

I personally would be honored to see someone else use my act or a routine that I have come up with. I could watch for their mistakes, look for areas of weakness, and give the performer advice on how to fine tune things. It would be pretty cool!

I don't know if I am just weird, but I LOVE to help out other magicians when I feel like I have something to contribute. I don't get caught up in the mess of, "Hey! That's my line," or, "He stole that from me." Magic to me is a beautiful thing. Before I got into these forums, I had no idea there was so much politics involved. I regret knowing it now. It has put a damper on the general image of magicians that I had developed in the past.

I am sure I am not alone in saying that I am completely addicted, totally infatuated, and without a doubt, a magician for life. I will always offer help or advice to any other magician without getting caught up in the politics of things .I respect the ethics involved in the secrecy of magic, illusions, effects, and their creators' credits, but I think that is as far as it should go. If we start putting a copyright on performance style, patter, one liners, and routines,it would be going a bit too far.

Sorry for rambling.

Tom Smile
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J.B. Bobo
p.b.jones
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Hi Tom,
I see your point of view, however, everyone is different. What's the point of going out of your way to come up with new presentations, effects, etc., just for others to think they can lift them as they like?

How would you feel, for example, if you had an act that gave you a living for 20 years and probably 20 more. Then suddenly someone does your act or a part on TV. You are now in the position of having to find new stuff and someone else is getting the praise for your hard work and efforts!

Why not just ask the performer if you can use the line or effect?

With a little effort you can contact almost any magician anywhere in the world. So where is the harm in asking and respecting the performer's wishes?

I too am happy to share, but I like to keep some things to myself.

Don Alan dropped out of magical oranizations for many years because of this.

I do not see this as politics but common courtesy.

Phillip
MAGICTOM
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That's a good point Phillip. I am pretty new to magic, only about 2 years, and I have not had the opportunity
to become a full time paid professional yet. I am learning though, more every day. I can see how someone stealing an act could be pretty devastating to someone who has been performing and working on it over a long period of time. I did not think of it in the business perspective. I guess I should have.

Thanks for the insight .

Tom Smile
No Man is his craft's master the first day!
J.B. Bobo
Priest
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"In my head I am putting together a short street routine. From the different shows I've seen on the streets here of NYC,"

Look at that? You have ONE sentence, and then HALF of the other sentence. Those two sentences don't go together. And when you cut out the rest of the second sentence, you lose the meaning.

What I said was:

"In my head I am putting together a short street routine. From the different shows I've seen on the streets here of NYC, it's best to explain to people that you are about to do the great finale, but FIRST, time to collect the tips."

This doesn't say anything about stealing routines or tricks. I didn't say that I was putting a show together from the shows I saw on the street. There's a period there before I start the next sentence. PERIOD = FULL STOP. What it does talk about is a method of collecting TIPS. This would be the same as if I said, "From the different restaurants I've eaten at, I find it best to order drinks first before ordering your food."

Understand?

Actually, I've never seen any street magicians on the streets here of NYC except for David Blaine. I wonder why that is? I've seen jugglers, breakdancing, singing, etc. Never saw a street magician.

Anyway, that quote was taken out of context and misquoted. It's an honest mistake, where you were probably just misreading it, or didn't take it the way I meant it. It had nothing to do with stealing, or even a routine. It was about collecting tips.

So back to the ORIGINAL topic. Thanks everyone for the suggestions. As I said, I'm trying to get it all worked out in my head before I start putting it into reality. I just wanted a really amazing finale, something to give the audience for tipping me so well. Smile

~Priest~
"Funk is not something U can buy at the corner store.
It is something that U find deep within Ur Soul!"
.:The One Year Project:. .:Forums:.
p.b.jones
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Hi,
Deepest apologies. I do now see my error in reading your post. It was my poor reading. Once again, I do apologize to you.
Phillip
BroDavid
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Thanks, Priest, for pointing that out. I must admit that in my reading of your post, I came to same conclusion as Phillip. So it is good that you cleared it up.

And to Phillip, it seems (since I also misread it) to have been an understandable response to what seemed to be said.

Thanks for defending the art. I fully agree with what you say about not taking someone else's routine and using it without permission. That is right!

Back to Priest, a lifetime of street learning is available in Jim Cellini's The Art of Street Performing, and even at $60, in my opinion, it is a real bargain.

Sonny Holiday sets up his whole act with the statement that he is going to do some good tricks, and then a great trick. So he gets them hanging in, waiting for great! That is a good strategy!

Now, what to do??? I would say that the closing routine has to be one you are passionate about! It will become your signature in time. So you had better love it, and love performing it.

For me, simple and powerful is cups and balls with an amazing production at the end.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Priest
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Philip, it's alright. I figured that it was just a case of misreading it, which could have been my problem. I Should have put a new line between those sentences (I went back and edited it).

But like BroDavid, I also want to thank you for defending the art of magic. I agree with the things you said and I wouldn't even think of stealing someone's routine. Magic to me is just for fun, not a source of income, and it would be no fun if I couldn't just be myself and come up with my own routine.

Besides, coming up with a good routine it difficult, and takes time and practice. Ripping off a routine would be like stealing from a brother. And yet, there are magicians who do that to other magicians.

I don't understand why some magicians want to make this art of ours to be a large competition. Maybe it is. To me, it's just fun and we should all try to help each other out.

(Then again, when your total source of income depends on it, I guess that does make you a bit competitive to be THE BEST.)

~Priest~
"Funk is not something U can buy at the corner store.
It is something that U find deep within Ur Soul!"
.:The One Year Project:. .:Forums:.
The Great Zambini
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Priest:
A suggestion. If you have not been to Reuben's Delicatessen on Madison and 38th (S.W. corner) on a Saturday afternoon, go.
Ask for Sol Stone and inquire about street magicians in the Big Apple. Sol is a true gentleman, not to mention a great magician. He will help you will find great resources. Bring a few effects with you. Give Sol my best from sunny Florida.
The last mayor (Rudy G) was not a fan of street performers. I don't know about the new one. I tried to get permission to perform in Grand Central Station. Incredible number of people, many out-of-towners and IN DOORS! Although they allow musicians, they were not inclined to allow magicians. Good luck.
...Simply Amazing!
THE GREAT ZAMBINI
Peter Marucci
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MagicTom writes:"I use a multitude of lines in my acts that I have heard other performers use and liked. I see tricks and routines that I thought were GREAT and have learned them and incorporated them into my act. Of course I added in my own personality, but the general outline of the routine was from something I had learned from watching another magician work the art."

Well, I'm sure the performers involved are happy that you like their stuff.
But it is STEALING, pure and simple.

MagicTom adds: "I personally would be honored to see someone else use my act or a routine that I have come up with."

Very possibly.
But I know many, many performers (myself included) who would be mightily ticked off to see you using a line,a routine, or an act that they came up with.
That is called STEALING, pure and simple.

cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com Smile
Priest
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I would be honored to see someone use part of my act only if they took small pieces and built upon them, thus creating their own.

I wouldn't want to walk down the street and see someone using the same act that I used last week. Because then, next time I do it someone might see it and just think I'm a Rip-Off of the person they saw doing it.

If I did see someone with my act, I'd approach them after the show and talk to them. If they are nice, or new, I'd ask them to please not use my act and if they would like, I'd help them come up with their own act. But if they were an idiot and just didn't want to take the time to create their own, I'd just tell them to stop using my act or I will expose them.

I think a lot of times, people just getting into will use an act they saw because it was successful and they don't really know where to start. After a while, they infuse their own personality, and make a few changes and eventually they've created their own act. Still, they show try to make it new and fresh from the start.

~Priest~
"Funk is not something U can buy at the corner store.
It is something that U find deep within Ur Soul!"
.:The One Year Project:. .:Forums:.
MAGICTOM
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Well, Peter, I will have to disagree with you on this one. However, true, if someone videotaped an act, and learned it verbatim, and performed it for an audience, it is without a doubt, stealing and would indeed be unethical and very likely ***** someone off. BUT adopting one-liners or incorporating a general idea into your routine and then personalizing it to a degree that it fits your style of showmanship is, in my opinion, perfectly ethical.

Priest writes:
I would be honored to see someone use part of my act only if they took small pieces and built upon them, thus creating their own.

Priest hit it right on in this statement.
I personally have learned a great deal from other experienced magicians. I have learned how to develop stage presence on a performance, I have learned how to gather a crowd, I have learned how to add a bit of comedy into my routine by using the audience and creating impromptu situations. I have adopted running gags that I had seen before and really liked (again, adding my own personality to them). There are so many things that I have learned, developed, and personalized to fit my character that the list is un-ending.

The way you are using "stealing" as a blanket statement is implying that in all of your experience, at Conventions, shows, lectures, competitions, and in general any magic related event, you have not adopted anything you have seen and personalized it?? If this is true, then I guess we can agree to disagree and you must be one of the most creative individuals I have ever had the pleasure of conversing with.

Take it easy Peter.

Tom Defrange Smile
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Peter Marucci
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MagicTom writes that "adopting one-liners is, in my opinion, perfectly ethical."

That would depend on what you mean.

For example, how many magicians are there that use the line, "I'm one of the better, cheaper acts," originated by Jay Marshall?

To take that line, is STEALING. To hear the line and be inspired to come up with your own clever self-introduction is NOT.

There are many lines that performers have originated on their own. That makes the line their property.

I'm not sure what you mean by "adopting and personalizing" a line. But using a line that was originated by someone else, without their permission, is certainly unethical.

cheers,
Peter Marucci
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SpiffnikHopkins
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When I first read this thread, I thought to myself, "Man, we're really getting stuck up," and every time I read it I think that more and more.

To all you defenders of witty one-liners: You're not THAT clever. Odds are someone else has thought up the same line on the opposite side of the globe. Relax and enjoy your work. I'm 1 year into professionally performing magic and borrow a lot of material. Everything from one liners to ideas for tricks. If you buy it in a store and I see it work well, and then go out and buy it ,am I stealing from you? No. I have every right to performing 20th century bra or a stiff rope as you do.

Magic to me is an expression of my personality. If I think something is funny and repeat it, am I stealing? I don't think so. Have you ever re-told a joke you've heard? That's what a one liner is.

Now I most certainly have my own set-up and delivery to every line I use, and to be honest, I'm not even sure what I've picked up from others or thought up myself. I just say what I think works well for the crowd.

I DO NOT think someone should take trick for trick, line for line, steal an act. That's different, but as long as you are more or less doing your own thing, that's cool with me. Who amoungst us hasn't performed a trick someone before us has? Huh? How different is that from a line? You've told jokes you didn't think of haven't you? Odds are you have at best 1 or 2 truly original tricks in your whole act (and if you read more, Robert Houdin has probably already done it).

Get off your high horse and realize what you're doing the whole time is re-performing something someone else has already done. It's not what you do or say, but how you set it all up and deliver it. Ever heard someone murder a joke you've heard told better? Well, odds are anyone who tries to rip off your lines with no talent or anything will bomb even with your witty line.

Chill out and do what you do. Magic is 100% presentation and you can't steal that.

~Spiff

PS If it's that great, copyright it. Oh wait, most of the trick you do ARE copyrighted and you perform them and get ticked when others then take 5 words of your act.
Peter Marucci
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Judging from this thread, those who are going to steal lines, ideas, effects and routines are going to do that no matter what!
So go ahead.
But remember: better a poor original that a good copy! Smile
Danny Hustle
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Peter, you are 100% right. I was going to jump into the fray but figured, why bother.

Thankfully most thieves don't last long and those who do, once they start getting ostrasized for being dirt balls, usually come to see the light.

Those who don't never amount to much anyway.

But you can't argue with someone who has been in magic for a year and thinks they have all the answers.

They don't know enough yet to realize how presumptuous they are being.

Best,

Dan-
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