Some call it "Hit and Run" magic.
Street entertainer is the way to look at it and Paddy got it right. You set up your table and props and begin to work the public until there's a crowd around you then you start.
These people are now watching a "show" not a "trick" and people will pay to watch a show. The most important thing to remember is to ask for the money!
Twenty years ago I worked the resort areas of Atlantic City, Ocean City and Cape May, NJ and did well with tips. I also worked South Street in Philadelphia and while I had good crowds, they were younger and less likely to add to the hat.
If you want to do this, find a tourist area and get to work!