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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » If right you win, if wrong you lose... » » Three Shell Game: Public performance? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

ImpromptuBoy
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Toronto, Canada
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Hi Everybody.
I'd love to hear your experiences performing the three shell game in a public place. Not for money, not a street hustle. Just a basic public performance.
Does it take a lot of guts to perform it in a public place.
Thanks.
Michael
KirkG
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No more than a private performance, but be careful. You may get arrested for gaming or having gaming paraphinalia.

Kirk
Whit Haydn
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Kirk G is correct.

You should not do the shell game in a public performance, such as street performing, festival, etc. without it being a sponsored event approved ahead of time by the mall, festival, park or appropriate authority. They need to know what you are going to be doing, and not be surprised. You don't want to do your explaining in court.

You need to have the permission and protection of authority in order to avoid having the police misconstrue the activity. Oftentimes police will arrest as soon as they see the shells on the table.

They do not need evidence that you have taken advantage of anyone. They do not need to see you playing for money. You can be arrested and sometimes convicted just for attempting to demonstrate the game in an unprotected place.

It is best to save the shells for private parties, restaurants, and corporate events where your sponsorship and integrity are clear.
bishthemagish
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I just did a five day fair in Dexter MO. I did close up magic before a single hypnosis show for five nights.

The close up show included close up card magic, the cups and balls and the thimble rig and the shell game. I wore a normal suit and tie - gray... Not a tux...

The place was loaded with cops. This was a no booze county fair. And the cops were there to keep the booze out...

Often when I did the shells and the thimbles under these performing venues I have been checked out by the local law... This time I was not. I have no idea why except that on the fair board was the local police chief. But he did not know I was doing the swindles as part of the act at the time I was booked.

I had a contract with the fair and if the local law was interested in me I would have just let them see a copy of the contract and then they would have most likely left me alone because it is my job to be there doing shows. And the contract would have proved it.

I have never done it at a place without having a written contract that says that I am suppose to be there. I am also one step better dressed than my audience.

I would not choose to do the shellgame thimble rig or three card monte when performing street magic. I can see that if cops saw you performing these classic swindles they may think you are a crook...

And may bust - the performer.

I was performing the shellgame in 1974 at the state street mall and was almost busted by the cops. A look at my contract and the magic table - (not a performing stage a con man would choose)... Made them think twice about busting me.

But they did watch me all week and I got a short clip of me doing the shellgame on ABC news one night.

I have also had a problem with cops with the shellgame once or twice - when I have performed this in restaurants and they were sitting at a table. I had one say that they were going to bust me for doing a swindle... I said fine go ahead - Im a magician employed to be here doing this and Ill kick your ass in court.

The owner came out took his bage number and wrote to the Mayor...

It ended up with me doing two shows for the Mayor... And the whole thing was a big laugh...

If anyone is performing these effects in an outside venue make sure that they have a contract to be there. Because cops can be a problem...
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
Riley
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Darlington UK
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Bish . . love your posts!

Ever thought about practising a cell escape, just in case????? Smile

Riley
ImpromptuBoy
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Toronto, Canada
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LOL!
bishthemagish
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I was performing in Carlo's Murphy's Schaumburg or was it Downers grove?

Anyway Terry Vecky and I were performing close up magic at the tables for this restaurant chain.

I was doing the watch steal and I learned it from Buddy Farnan. I was performing at a table full of cops but at the time I didn't know they were cops. I lifted the watch off the cop...

When I gave him the watch back to him he pulled out his gun and put it on the table after the whole table flashed their badges...

Then I did the shell game and every move I did the cop patted his gun. It was a running gag and got huge laughs...

I had one cop say that the watch trick was boarderline stealing... I said back to him not if it is part of a show - and I give it back - anyway I just found it and gave it back. I just found it on his wrist...

I ended with a card shark expo demo and as I remember they gave me a big tip and other cops came in for weeks to see the card shark stuff...
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
Kihei
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Has anyone every tried the 3 shell game on the monte to raise money for charity? No gambling just donate to watch a "demonstration".
Whit Haydn
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Quote:
On 2004-09-27 11:23, Kihei wrote:
Has anyone every tried the 3 shell game on the monte to raise money for charity? No gambling just donate to watch a "demonstration".


Yes. Many have done this, including myself, especially at "Casino Night" type fundraisers where it is very appropriate.

The opertator can take all the chips that the "suckers" have purchased before they get to the roulette or blackjack table, so they have to go buy another stack of chips.

Usually you get like a $100 worth of chips for $10, and of course the chips have no real value and the money all goes to charity.
Kjellstrom
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Sweden, Scandinavia, Europe
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I have performed Shell Game many times on the streets and people love to watch it. Yes, yo need nerves of steel to pull this kind of magic/game on the street, some people can be very annoying. This summer I was in England and did some work and one day I visited englands oldest town York and this city was perfect for street magic. The streets was shock full of people. I worked 2 hours and I had over 40 Pound (60 dollar) in my box. Pretty good.
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