I know the older posts are >really< old, but it isn't necroposting if it's a topic that lasts forever
Being a mild circus performer of magic and other things, I use my talents in a defensive way so people don't even try to harass me.
My act used to consist of fire breathing and fireplay, and I highly encourage it (as long as you are an insured magician*cough cough*. If you want to make real money as a street performer I advise getting insurance either way(prop loss, etc.) Thus, not too< many people are going to say "hey I'm a dude with a little knife, I'm gonna go harass that guy spewing 14 feet flames." Now, this has happened still, but you can be playful and legal while protecting yourself
. And i would advise in practicing a few martial arts, as well as carrying mace or pepper.