Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by magicman247, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Hey guys. I'm going to start busking soon, and I have two questions for you all. 1. What is the best way to gather a crowd and start a performance, and 2. How do you maximize the tips you get. Also what should I look for when looking for a good spot to perform? Thanks.
  2. This is what I do - your mileage may vary

    1. saying "Magic Show! Magic Show! You don't want to miss the magic show. Hey kids, stick around - the show's just about to start" (or words to that effect) loud enough to be heard, but not to the point of screaming. I do some visual stuff something until a couple/few people stop. I do some more close-up stuff while trying to bring some more people to the edge of the circle. Once I've drawn as big a crowd as I think I can, I start the show proper.

    2. be likeable and run a good, tight show. I try to get a few lines like "what a stupid way to make a living" in to plant the idea and tell them that "complaints should be written on the back of a twenty, as that will get my full attention." If anything trickles in as the show's going on, I thank them, and say (tongue in cheek) that "we could all learn something from this kind young lady," or "that's so kind - thanks! I really wish I had a better act for you" or "every donation goes to a needy magician."

    At the end of the show, I thank them for watching, and if they have anything they can spare to support the arts, I'd be extremely grateful. I've had a blast working for you all today, and hope you have a great day. Thank you.

    As for a spot, somewhere with decent traffic, where tourists go. They have time and money, and they're looking to have fun. Best luck I've had is at a open-air market that shuts down the streets to cars on some Sundays - it's an artsy, Bohemian neighbourhood, and it's jam-packed with people shopping and having fun.

    Your first 20 minutes will be an eye-opener. Pay close attention to your audience, and they'll tell you what's working and what isn't.

    And good luck - tell us how it goes!
  3. You also should look into a busking license for your area. Otherwise, no matter how good you are. The cops can and will shut you down.
  4. Cellini's Art Of Street Performing Vol 1-3
  5. Yes, what Randy said, make sure you have a busking permit.

  6. Thanks for all the advice. I'll keep it in mind.
  7. I was in Victoria and watched a lot of buskers perform. I am no expert but this is what I noticed. What I noticed is the busker's confidence no matter what the situation. If you are performing in a busy area... people will stop and watch! But will they stay? You want these people to be enthralled by what you are doing.

    What I noticed the entire time in most of the acts that I saw was the promise of a grand finale. What a great hook to get people to stay until the end! It worked on me!

    I also noticed the buskers poking fun at their audiences and assistants a lot. It's great for audiences to know that they aren't the ones getting picked on (in the case of the assistant getting ragged on).

    That's what I noticed at least.

    Good luck.


  8. Thanks. I'll remember that
  9. On the subject of busking, in your opinions, what are the best kinds of routines/tricks to perform? Just curious.
  10. You want things that are easily visible, have multiple climax points, and are very easy to follow. Think about the people that are walking up to your show halfway through any trick. If something doesn't grab their attention right away, they'll just walk off. Most sponge ball routines are good, coins across/coins through stuff, cups and balls/chop cup, maybe an ACR. I've had decent success with most of those. Rope tricks, thumb tip work, D'lites, the right kind of card trick ... yeah. You're looking for material that can pull someone's attention as they are walking by, not expecting to be entertained.
  11. I would have to agree with everything ChristopherT said. I was at Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year (I go every year to perform with three friends) and just being there this year I learnt more about performing than I have in the past year. One thing I would suggest is go out to anywhere there are buskers (especially other magicians) and watch what they do. How they interact with the audience, how they draw them in etc. I learnt alot from the fellow performers I made friends with this year. Also, the best way to learn, is by doing. Go out there and perform. I started performing the day I started doing magic. And haven't stopped since. It's all about experience.
    I obtained a lot of answers to both of your questions, I'm not going to share that info because I believe there are no shortcuts in art forms like this, you must find your own answers. The whole teach a man to fish story.

    So go out there and do what so many "magicians" fail to and perform perform perform. Just by doing that, whether you suceed at first or fail, you are a step ahead of those that sit at home doing nothing but 'magician masturbation' perfecting sleights and moves that no one will ever see.

    And last of all, good luck. And remember, have fun. If you're not enjoying what you're doing, whats the point, right?

  12. I would like to busk sometime...it´s something that is in the back of my head..I like this thread..maybe I´l busk someday just for the funsies!!

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