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 Post subject: First time performer, looking for ideas
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:32 pm 
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Penguin

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I am Thomas Fraser and I am a new magician.
I do not pretend to be an expert, but I am getting better. I am a good presenter and entertainer, but I do not know many tricks. I am ordering several tricks off Penguin; to start with:
    Liquid Metal
    Power Word: Fall (because I wish I was a Jedi)
    Self Tying Shoelace


These seem like a good thing to do, two are relatively impromptu (or seem it) and I have already started trying to master Liquid Metal - and yes I ordered over a hundred Dominion Forks for this purpose.


The problem is I do not know many other tricks, I have looked around the website, but I cannot make up my mind and the descriptions are often not good enough to say weather or not I can do it "apparently impromptu".

I ask for a bit of compassion when you read this, because I strongly suspect I am -and always will be- what my father told me I am:

Unemployable.

I enjoy magic (I have since I was first shown David Copperfield aged 5) and I want to learn how to do a good performance and get tips in my hat for it. As such a list of tricks, places to start, things to do would be very helpful. However I cannot find such a list or such. I don't know how to open a show for example, and I am nervous or this big magic world, where I dream of being an expert but everyone seems to know more than me.

I know I shall be flamed for asking for help, but I am quite desperate and I have tried already to find help.


Please be kind, I feel scared for asking :?

Tom
xx


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:44 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 18 Aug 2004
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Location: Ituna, Saskatchewan, Canada
The first thing I'd recommend is buying one or two good books about the art of busking in order to learn what is expected of you on the street, what you can expect from the street, and what others before you have done to succeed. Dig around in this forum for a bit and you'll find some good titles.

DON'T rush out and buy tricks first, because you run the risk of buying the wrong ones and wasting your money (IMHO, you already have, a bit... but I'll let you work that out on your own).

There are a few skilled and experienced buskers here. If you spend any time at all reading through this forum, who they are will become quite obvious very quickly (I'm not one of them... although I have done some street work, for me to call myself a busker would be an insult to buskers).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:49 pm 
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TheCaffeinator wrote:
The first thing I'd recommend is buying one or two good books about the art of busking in order to learn what is expected of you on the street, what you can expect from the street, and what others before you have done to succeed. Dig around in this forum for a bit and you'll find some good titles.


Any suggestions? The "On the Spot" video seemed good, but that only taught tricks themselves and not about busking. I have not heared of books/dvds related to busking itself.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:00 pm 
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born to perform.

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Location: Ituna, Saskatchewan, Canada
Thomaswadefraser wrote:
TheCaffeinator wrote:
The first thing I'd recommend is buying one or two good books about the art of busking in order to learn what is expected of you on the street, what you can expect from the street, and what others before you have done to succeed. Dig around in this forum for a bit and you'll find some good titles.


Any suggestions? The "On the Spot" video seemed good, but that only taught tricks themselves and not about busking. I have not heared of books/dvds related to busking itself.


On the Spot is a good DVD... BUT... what Wilson does on that video is strolling/walkaround magic. That is not busking...that is not what makes you money on the street. You need to decide what you want to do. If you want to do strolling/walkaround magic for a living, you won't be doing it on the street; you'll be working restaurants, banquets, hospitality suites, etc. You'll be doing mostly close-up magic on your feet (this is one of my specialties). If you want to busk for a living, that's a whole different ballgame; you'll be working on the street, perhaps from a table or platform, perhaps in the round; you'll be doing a mix of parlor and stage tricks (perhaps with some close-up), but with a very unique style of presentation designed to draw crowds and solicit money.

There are most certainly books and DVDs out there specifically about busking. Of course, my mind is a total blank right now... :? , but I know they are out there. Look for stuff by Jeff Sheridan, Gazzo, Cellini, et al. I was just looking at a review of a DVD set which is is basically a collection of sit-down discussions with experienced buskers about their lives and work... I think it was reviewed in a recent issue of Magic magazine.

paddy... help me out here!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:14 pm 
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Well, working in restraunts is a nice idea. But I think street magic is more my game. Laying down a rope circle and performing inside that;

Its amazing how civil people are in North England :)

If the name of the book or dvd comes to you, PLEASE tell me. And what is this magic magazine you speak off? I would love one of them, haven't had once since I was about 14 :P

xx


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:26 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 18 Aug 2004
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Location: Ituna, Saskatchewan, Canada
http://www.magicmagazine.com/


BTW, the DVD set I was thinking of is not actually about busking, per se... it's called The Senior Pitchman’s Reunion DVD by the School for Scoundrels. While not solely about busking, it's useful for anyone "who needs to know how to call and hold a crowd, forge agreement with the spectators and sell them on a product or an idea, or get them to do what you want them to do. Ideal for Street Performers as well as Trade Show sales entertainers anyone who needs to stand in front of a group, gain and hold attention, and sell an idea or product."

To learn about busking, i.e., its history and breadth, get Jeff Sheridan's book Street Magic, An Illustrated History of Wandering Magicians and Their Conjuring Arts, which I think has just been or is about to be reprinted. Try to find a copy of Cellinil: The Royal Touch, if you can; also, ask paddy if copies of his book are still available.


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 Post subject: Re: First time performer, looking for ideas
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:53 pm 
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Location: Milford OH
Thomaswadefraser wrote:
I am Thomas Fraser and I am a new magician.
I do not pretend to be an expert, but I am getting better. I am a good presenter and entertainer, but I do not know many tricks. I am ordering several tricks off Penguin; to start with:
    Liquid Metal
    Power Word: Fall (because I wish I was a Jedi)
    Self Tying Shoelace
...I know I shall be flamed for asking for help, but I am quite desperate and I have tried already to find help.


Please be kind, I feel scared for asking :?

Tom
xx

OK Tom here it is in a nut cup (like a nutshell but bigger.) You need 3 or 4 effects and patter to get a crowd. Then you practice the crap out of those effects until you can't screw up. Next you rehearse the crap out of the act. This is the effects combined with the patter. Rehearse it until you can't screw up even if a smart alek kid heckles you. Remeber that the patter includes hat lines (lines referring to the fact that you want to have people put BILLS NOT COINS in your hat at the end of the show.)

This gives you a good 15 minute sidewalk show. Then hit the pitch and crank out shows. If I have a pitch to myself I will do 3 + shows an hour. I will make anywhere between $10 to $50 per show depending on the day and the crowd. i work until I hit my minimum goal of $300 on a weekday and $500 on a weekend. Then when I get my goal I will keep oing if the crowds are good, or go home if I have had to work my a$$ off.

That's busking. That's how I make my living and yes you don't have to stay home to do it, I go where the weather is nice. I'm in OH during the summers and go to AZ, NM, and TX during the winter.

Paddy

Paddy


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 Post subject: Re: First time performer, looking for ideas
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:28 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 Jan 2009
Posts: 947
Location: Kettle Falls, WA
paddy wrote:
Thomaswadefraser wrote:
I am Thomas Fraser and I am a new magician.
I do not pretend to be an expert, but I am getting better. I am a good presenter and entertainer, but I do not know many tricks. I am ordering several tricks off Penguin; to start with:
    Liquid Metal
    Power Word: Fall (because I wish I was a Jedi)
    Self Tying Shoelace
...I know I shall be flamed for asking for help, but I am quite desperate and I have tried already to find help.


Please be kind, I feel scared for asking :?

Tom
xx

OK Tom here it is in a nut cup (like a nutshell but bigger.) You need 3 or 4 effects and patter to get a crowd. Then you practice the crap out of those effects until you can't screw up. Next you rehearse the crap out of the act. This is the effects combined with the patter. Rehearse it until you can't screw up even if a smart alek kid heckles you. Remeber that the patter includes hat lines (lines referring to the fact that you want to have people put BILLS NOT COINS in your hat at the end of the show.)

This gives you a good 15 minute sidewalk show. Then hit the pitch and crank out shows. If I have a pitch to myself I will do 3 + shows an hour. I will make anywhere between $10 to $50 per show depending on the day and the crowd. i work until I hit my minimum goal of $300 on a weekday and $500 on a weekend. Then when I get my goal I will keep oing if the crowds are good, or go home if I have had to work my a$$ off.

That's busking. That's how I make my living and yes you don't have to stay home to do it, I go where the weather is nice. I'm in OH during the summers and go to AZ, NM, and TX during the winter.

Paddy

Paddy


Well Thomas, there it is. Take or leave it. I'd say Paddy is pretty much our expert in this particular genre.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:40 am 
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Wow Paddy, that IS some really good advice! :D
I shall do exactly that. Thank you so much, I can tell why your a mod :)

I do have two more questions however, one is more interesting than the other though, but here we go:

Question 1:
Paddy (or anyone else who's good at this stuff) what sort of tricks do you do during a routine? I plan on doing a levitation for my last one for example, but are there certain things (like varnish's) that just aren't for street magic/busking?

Question 2:
What do you think of this routine and its effect. See if you can tell how its done.



- Fairy Dust -
The performer (me) tells the audience he is going to make one of them blissfully happy for but a single moment. He gets out a sponge ball and throws it over his shoulder, it is caught by a member of the audience (hopefully a female).

He leads them into the performing circle and tells them that magic itself lies in the users state of mind. He takes their hand; standing apart from each other, only connect by a single hand and facing opposit directs the magician tells him/her to "Close your eyes, and go to perfect place".

Both the magician and the audience member then appear to rise up off the floor simultaniously, floating several inches of the ground, not standing near each other, only holding hands, both smiling. They can be seen from any angle, even underneath. As the magician opens his eyes, they both land at the same time.




What do you think? Any ideas for improvements? Would it make a good finisher? :)

Tom
xx


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:05 pm 
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 107
well I'm no expert, but I went down your same road.
get a book called "the secret art of magic" by eric evans and nowlin craver. it is absolutely the best. I heard great things about royal touch too but it is expensive (80$ or more) and there are only two shops on the planet that sells it (kozmomagic and zauberparadies)

decide your effects. the book will help you with this, but i can give you some advice.
you have to decide if you want to work with a table or not. it is something you decide, you have to consider pros and cons.

cons:
a lot of stuff to bring with you.
you cannot move freely if asked by the cops.
people will think you're a con.

pros:

the cups and balls!

I decided to go with the table (cups and balls is my favourite effect, and the one I perform best). If you do not use a table you still have plenty of choice: ropes, coins, the miser's dream, bill to lemon, straight jacket escape... these are just some of the classics performed on the streets. my personal opinion (it is just me, others will disagree) cards do not work well. people tend to watch with suspicion a guy with a deck behind a table on the streets. plus, kids do not like them that much. so, I chose to go on a different route. again, you decide.


and on this point i disagree with paddy. you have to go out. once you have a show, you know the tricks (and your tricks can stand an audience) you have to go out. it is better to go out and do something, than stay at home and plan to do something. if you just plan, you're never going to hit the streets. I know because I did it. I delayed my first show for over 2 months, until I decided i had to cut with it. I went out, and all my plans crashed on the sidewalk.

and this is the final advice I can give you. no matter how well you planned your show, your lines or your tricks. your first show is going to suck. you will forget about lines, you will have slippery hands and drop coins, you will flash a ball palmed. there is no problem, it is your first time, and you are nervous. your second show is going to suck, but a little less. you will remember to do eye contact, you will learn how to build your crowd, you will learn how to pitch for the money. slowly. that's the way it goes. it is a hard way, but it is rewarding (not monetarily, especially in the beginning, but there are other pleasures you can have on the streets)


and another thing, talk with other buskers. when I did, and seeked for advice, my eyes opened.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:36 pm 
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Thomaswadefraser wrote:
...I do have two more questions however, one is more interesting than the other though, but here we go:

Question 1:
Paddy (or anyone else who's good at this stuff) what sort of tricks do you do during a routine? I plan on doing a levitation for my last one for example, but are there certain things (like varnish's) that just aren't for street magic/busking?...

Tom, My act is very simple. If i bring a table I do the 4 coin matrix and a 3 ring routine and end with Lou Serrano's 3 ball effect redesigned to my standards. (His stands are very high but he uses steel balls & I think they are too heavy.)


If I work out of my pouch I do the 3 ring routine only.


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