When should you perform? Why do you perform? Who do you perform to? And can you perform? All four of these questions should be answered step by step.
When Should You Perform?
To answer this question I will get into detail. First of all, there are the obvious answers. Not when it's raining (if performing outside), not too early. Too many people miss the specifics. I was sick with a fever and a horrible running nose, and now am recovering but the nose just keeps on running, the coughs just keep on coming, and the sneezes just keep on sneezing. I went out to perform once my fever was gone, but I forgot to bring kleenex! After the first performance, I decided to call it quits. I think I might have infected everyone with some sort of sickness. (Whoever saw me on friday, you might want to get checked .)
During that performance, I was sneezing, wiping my nose, I couldn't perform Stigmata because I think the audience was afraid to touch me. My finale was ruined, and I was bummed. All that to say, do not perform when you are sick, you will regret it, stay in bed, watch TV, you will do yourself, and a lot of other people good.
When performing in the winter, you will want to be sure to do it indoors. If you live in a cold place during the winter, your hands will freeze and your sleight of hand will disable itself. Stay in a mall, restauraunt, civic center, anywhere where there is heat.
When performing in the summer, be sure to perform on cloudy days with no forcast of rain or in the shade. People will want to watch you perform less if the sun is beating down on them and they are slowly getting skin cancer. Stay in the shade, it will help wonders.
Why Do You Perform?
Why do you perform? You must have a goal in sight. You have to sit down and ask yourself this question, think about it for a second. Poeple will automatically say "For the reactions", or "For money". But this question goes deeper than that.
People react differently. I perform for reactions, but not just to see people smile, laugh, scream and maybe cry. I gauge spectators reactions, so I can alter my presentation to fit their personalities. If I happen to run into a spectator with a similar personality, I will know to use that patter, and this performance style to get the most amazing reactions possible.
Perhaps you perform to achieve a greater skill. I know plenty of magicians who perform to increase their level of magic so the next time, they can be even better.
Maybe you perform to learn something. You want learn something about your art of magic and to know what it feels like to be with some of the greats.
Who Do You Perform To?
If you think the approach of street magic is the easiest thing, then you have got everything wrong. Even before you make an approach, there are big decisions to be made.
I was performing in Downtown Montreal a little while back, and I had approached the wrong people. Apparently, they were on their way to a meeting, they had to cut the performance short and they walked off. The finale was never able to be shown and I was left standing there with a coin about to go in a can.
You are going to want to approach someone who isn't too busy. It may be hard to judge whether this person is busy but if they are wearing a business suit either in the morning (their off to work), or at rush hour (their going home), you know not to approach them. They will just blow you off.
In my experience, tourists are great spectators. They are looking for something special in the city that they are in, why not give them a free show? They will surely love it! How do you distinguish a tourist from a regular folk? Easy, a tourist will usually be carrying a camera, snapping picture, looking around at monuments or buildings. It will appear that they are lost.
Another easy type of person to approach is the bench sitter, yes the good old "I'm waiting for a friend" bench sitter. They have nothing else better to do, so why not entertain them before they die of boredom!
Can You Perform?
Everything comes down to this. Can you perform and are you ready to perform? Yes, there are those initial nerves of the dreaded approach and the first trick, but hey, after the performance, you will feel great.
The decision is entirely up to you. We can't stop you, you just have to sit down and ask yourself, am I ready, do I have the skill to impress groups of people?
To tell you the truth, it's really not that hard. My first real world performance was when I was twelve. I am now fifteen. I choked my approaches the first four times, but then I just when for it, I just let it come out. My hands shook during the first effect, but then the shaking stopped, it was like I did it for a hundred years. And to tell you the truth, I wasn't even that good, I just had courage, and you do to!