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 Post subject: Dressing, routines, equipment, and some other questions
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 3:34 pm 
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 107
hello everyone, this is my first post here around (i'm a little excited :lol: ) so i think i should introduce myself first:
my name's giulio, i'm from italy and i'm 17 years old.

i've been planning for a while to dedicate myself to street performing, and before i hit the sidewalk i'd like to ask you a few questions about pretty much everything that concerns busking.
i think it is going to be a pretty long post so i'll try to break it down in points.

first of all, a few introductory words. what i intend to do is busking, not blaining, going for the flush (that is, passing the hat at the end of the show) and in particular a table show.

Dressing and character

on my everyday life i dress the metalhead style (in fact i am a metalhead) but i don't think that wearing ugly t-shirts and looking scary would do me any good on the street. on the other hand, i don't think that wearing too formal (that is, tie and jacket) would reflect my persona. so i thought a pale-coloured shirt (maybe unbottoned), short pants, sneakers and a hat (maybe a fedora) would accomplish a bunch of things:
- first, i would not cook under summer's sun, and i would feel comfortable
- second, it would fit my style without being too aggressive
-third, i wouldn't look like one who doesn't have money to get feeded
- fourth, i wouldn't look like one who doesn't need money, nor like one who's being paid by the city

what do you think about my assumptions?
do you think i did not consider some important aspect?

Equipment

- A table top ( half an inch of plywood covered with velvet) and a keyboard stand

- A bag to carry stuff (not props), like bottles of water, some snacks, spare final loads, money, cellphone, and so on (what do you think i should carry with me of this kind of things?)

- pouch. i haven't bought it yet, but i'm considering buying this one:

http://theambitiouscard.com/aitem.cfm?itemid=72

do you think it is any good? when i will start earning millions on the streets i would certainly upgrade to the busker's pouch, i've read great reviews on that one.
what i would like to do is wear the pouch all the time during the show, carrying inside the final loads for the cups and balls (6 lemons + coconut), and all the other props for the show (i did not really set my mind on what to do, as i'll explain later, but certainly not heavy nor huge stuff, maybe some rope and a couple of silks + tt). do you think they will fit inside it? do you think i'll be able to hold the weight?
also i plan to cover everything with a black silk not to expose tricks.

- cups. i've got the aluminium bazar de magia ones, and again when i'll be rich i'll buy the gazzo cups (do you have any other suggestion regarding jumbo cups?)

- wand. a timbale stick covered with tape. nothing really to ask about this one

- hat. i'm thinking of a fedora style hat, but i still have to decide (it will be funny when i will enter the hat shop with a coconut to try the hat)

learning sources

i already read "the art of krowd keeping" and "street cups with gazzo", and i will certainly buy "tales from the street" by kozmo, i've read amazing reviews on this dvd set, and i've also read it is better than "the art of street performing" since it is less expensive and it is focused on street magicians. what do you think? (keep in mind i'm a bit on a budget, and that eventually i'll also buy cellini's work)


show lenght

i think i am not ready for the full circle show, but i don't think a fast sidewalk show would fit my style, so i'd settle for a 20 minute long half circle. do you think i should start from the shorter shows to gain experience or that i should pick the one i feel more comfortable with?


routines

now, there's the big part of my post.
i know that the routines i do really do not matter, but what i'm considering here is first of all practicity (i'm not sure if that word exist in english, i'm trying to say "something that is practical")

here i'm writing some of the routine i've thought about, their pro's and con's for street performing, and eventually the reason i chose wheter or not to perform them.

- Sponge ball routine
the routine i first considered doing to open my show is the thinking man's spongeball routine, by bill malone (i wish i could find a clip)
here's an outline of the routine:
it starts with the standard loads, then goes in the "2 in the hand one in the pocket", then does a transpo, then ends up with an effect he calls "the balls of plenty" and which basically goes like this: he displays 2 spongeballs, he buts 1 in the pocket, then takes the other one frome the left hand, and puts it in the pocket, and suddenly another ball appears in the left hand, and so on (written down sounds like crap but in fact it's quite nice)

pros: as an opening, is something that can be seen from distance, but is close up in nature, so that will draw the crowd nearer. it instantly resets, has several climaxes and you can end it whenever you want, it has audience partecipation, packs flat

cons: it is not angle proof (especially "the balls of plenty"), and doing it standing could be awkward.

as an opening i would like something angle proof (so that people walking by wouldn't just see how i did it and think i'm sloppy), so i discarded this trick. it has many upside though, so it has been kind of a close decision, and i could still change my mind.

-4 coins routine

here's an idea i had for delivering some hat lines.
it is basically a production of 4 coins, then a coin to glass routine. i think it would be ideal to throw in some lines about "ensuring that your money is not going to end up in alcohol" or semoething like that.
BUT:
i wouldn't do this trick as an opening since i think that delivering such an ingenious hat line to just 3-4 people would not be effective, and it does not have any climaxes (i mean, it's pretty flat as a routine)
and i wouldn't do this as a middle phase since it does not play that big (i think the strenght of the effect is hearing that "clink" as the coin falls in to the glass), so i discarded it

and here are the routine i decided to do (but i changed my mind so many times that this could be meaningless)

-thumbtip and silk routine

a rough outline of the routine: a silk is displayed, maybe even examined, and it is multiplied. i say "no, no, we only need one silk for this trick" and vanish one of the silk. as i make somebody examine the hankie i switch tt and i say: "maybe we could use another color", and proceed to a color change. i then place the silk on the table as i will use it for the finale of the next routine.

pros: it has multiple climaxes, it is angle proof, it draws attention, resets quickly, and it flows with the following routine

cons: the gimmick is a bit overexposed, but i use it in a manner that is not known to the laypeople (i mean, if i just take the silk, vanish it and produce it they may know the secret, but if i color change it they probably don't)

- rope, scissors and silk routine

i display a lenght of rope, a pair of scissors and then proceed to a move with scissors and rope by jeff sheridan (basically i do a loop in the rope, throw the scissors through and the scissors end up tied in the knot)
then i call 2 volunteers, hand 1 end of rope each and do a cut and restored rope in the sonny holiday fashion (here's a clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaBDNdnxikY) but done with a tt (i'm not really sure wheter sonny use it or not but i think he doesn't).
then i proceed with the finale of the routine by tying the silk on the rope, showing unmistakenably that it is knotted, i pull the ends of the rope and the silk jumps off the rope.

pros: it has audience partecipation, it plays pretty big, i can slow it down as much as i want, and it is a strong effect.

cons: the only con i could think of is that i use the same gimmick two times in a row, and that it does not instantly reset (although it resets pretty quickly)

then i go for the finale:

- the cups and balls
i'm doing it similar to the gazzo / vernon routine.
i start with the same beginning (3 balls vanish and reappear under the cups) then i do the 2-0-2 sequence, then the "2 on bottom 1 on top", and finally the same ending sequence as gazzo loading 6 lemons (i've got small, cheap cups, and small, cheap pouch) and a coconut under the hat (i think a coconut would have more of an exotic flavour)

what do you think about my show? and what do you think about the tricks i discarded?



i think that's it, please pardon me if i made any mistakes but english is not my mother language. i hope it is comprehensible.

and finally, thank you for reading my gigantic post, and also thank you in advance if you have any suggestion to make about the routines, or if you want to answer some of the questions.

cheers :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 6:43 pm 
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Joined: 15 Jan 2007
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I would first like to say it is an honor to welcome you to the forums (all the way from Italy!).

A great article that you may want to read which you may find informative is http://antinomymagic.com/swiss.htm

That may help you with many of your questions. You do seem to have a pretty good grasp on the field and other aspects of busking.

Hope this Helps
-Chase


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 1:23 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 18 Jan 2008
Posts: 1329
Location: Sydney
HOLY [edited]! :shock:

It's a miracle!

Who would have thought, for the first time someone has not just said how do i busk as a question, but they have actually given us something to work with and shown they are dedicated and done some research into the topic!

Thank you!

as for a few of your questions:

You should start with a show time that you feel comfortable with. Something like like 15 - 20minutes should do fine and as you progress if you feel the need to extend the time then you can do so, but when your starting out its good to have realistic goals you can reach instead of going right in for the kill and possibly failing.

The gazzo cups are good cups but their are nicer ones, I cant really direct you but RNT2 isn't to bad a website to check out for cups, Paul Fox has some nice cups out there, but its mainly up to preference and use, why bother getting large cups if your only going to appear small crochet balls.

Your routines, are looking pretty good. They are very visual and interactive which is what you want for the street. Then again i have never really worked street i do Restaurant work and cooperate events mainly.

Overall i personally like, but you should wait for someone like Paddy or FallingBlood to comment because them both work on the street last time i heard.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 1:00 pm 
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 107
thank you both for the reply :)

chase, i read the article and i found it really interesting. i have to admit i didn't have any idea of what ellusionist was (i mean, apart from the fact that everybody hates it) and by reading the article i think i have a slightly better idea of how people would perceive me as a magician performing on the streets


orchis, i'm looking for the gazzo cups (or any other jumbo cups) because i feel they will play for a bigger audience then the smaller cups. not really a big deal, but if i could choose, i'd choose the bigger ones, that can play well even for the guys in the 3rd row (and of course i'll use them with bigger balls). i'll take a look for the paul fox cups though, i think they might have some big cups.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 1:02 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 10 Jun 2006
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Location: Arlington, TX
I would buy and watch Tales from the Streets twice before asking additional questions. The depth of information (all five hours) is incredible, and will answer quite a few inquiries.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 1:40 pm 
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akirafist wrote:
I would buy and watch Tales from the Streets twice before asking additional questions. The depth of information (all five hours) is incredible, and will answer quite a few inquiries.


i've got it already in my wish list, and can't wait to get it. do you think it is much better than cellini's work?

i'm also still in need of advice or feedback about the pouch, if anybody has it or has seen it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 1:44 pm 
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born to perform.

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Location: Arlington, TX
You can find a comprehensive review here:

http://www.penguinmagic.com/discuss/vie ... ?p=1191314


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 4:25 pm 
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If I were you, I wouldn't really look forward to making millions by busking. You will probably have to do restaurant or private and public performances. Check out Mark Calabrese's interview. I don't suggest un bottoning your shirt because you most likely won't attract many families. And also, it sounds like the busking bag won't really fit your clothing. Maybe if you attached it to the table it might be good as a servant or something like that. If not, try changing up your clothing slightly.


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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 12:28 pm 
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girspiggy wrote:
If I were you, I wouldn't really look forward to making millions by busking. You will probably have to do restaurant or private and public performances.


yeah, i know, i was sarcastic :)


Quote:
Check out Mark Calabrese's interview.


uh, i don't seem to find it nor on this forum nor on the web (google doesn't help), could you help me out?

Quote:
I don't suggest un bottoning your shirt because you most likely won't attract many families. And also, it sounds like the busking bag won't really fit your clothing. Maybe if you attached it to the table it might be good as a servant or something like that. If not, try changing up your clothing slightly.


thank you for the advice, but what you mean that "the busking bag wouldn't fit my clothing"? anyway, i really need a pouch to perform the cups and balls, and it would help me out with the tt switches, so not using it is not the right solution. what changes do you think i should do regarding clothes? [/quote]


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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 3:24 pm 
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Quote:
thank you for the advice, but what you mean that "the busking bag wouldn't fit my clothing"? anyway, i really need a pouch to perform the cups and balls, and it would help me out with the tt switches, so not using it is not the right solution. what changes do you think i should do regarding clothes?


I think you want to carry the pouch so I too am unsure what he means. Maybe he means that it would be awkward to have a pouch on in the middle of performance... which I will agree on. Leaving your shirt unbuttoned is fine as long as you have a nice undershirt. Thats what we do in Virginia Beach :)

Oh and a little off topic but what part of Italy? I ask only because I lived in Gaeta, near Naples for a while.

All the Best
-Chase


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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 3:36 pm 
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northern part, near milan :)

yeah, i think that putting on the pouch only for the cups and balls just does not feel right. i mean, "and now, i'm putting on this bag, absolutely empty, which has nothing to do with the following effect"


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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 2:28 pm 
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www.timetobeawesome.com for the Mark Calabrese interview. It soudns to me like you want to wear more "rock n' Roll" type clothing, and if that is the case, then I don't think a big bag on your waste will really fit too great. It migth be just me, but yea lol.


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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 3:07 pm 
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girspiggy wrote:
www.timetobeawesome.com for the Mark Calabrese interview. It soudns to me like you want to wear more "rock n' Roll" type clothing, and if that is the case, then I don't think a big bag on your waste will really fit too great. It migth be just me, but yea lol.


no no, what i meant is "i usually wear rock'n'roll type clothing, but i think on the streets i should dress a little more classical, but not too formal"

thanks for the interview, i'll watch it


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