He's clearly looking for advice on approaching random strangers on the street without feeling incredibly nervous... even though searching for a thread that already covers performing nerves would have been just as good.
ilovestreetmagic- It's always nerve wracking and from what I hear it doesn't get easier, but once you start performing the nerves will go away and you'll get into "the zone". I personally don't see the point in approaching random strangers who are busy and asking them to see a card trick but that's just me .
The nerves will go away but they go away with experience and confidence. Remember to have fun, if you are having fun your audience will too. Its perfectly normal to feel nervous about approaching strangers. I've been doing magic for a couple of years and honestly, I still get nervous. Once you start having more confidence in what you do you will notice your nerves will lessen. Maybe start out like I did, I only used to perform for friends and family too. I got more comfortable by showing magic to friends of my friends (still strangers to me) as well as friends of family members. Eventually I got comfortable performing for more and more people that were strangers to me. Like I said, at times the nerves are still there but that's normal its not bad to be nervous just have fun.
But anyways, I would type up a long post of advice, but I don't really feel like it. Try using the search function. (I know, its hard to believe, but there is one) You'll get tons of helpful threads about how to get over nervous-ness.
The only way to get over it is to get out and do it. Don't be scared of rejection, not everyone is going to let you show them magic, in fact, you will probably hear "no" more ofthen than yes. Maybe try self working tricks so you can stop worrying about the sleights and focus more on presentation, that will help boost your confidence. In my opinion, that's really what it comes down to, experience and confidence.
Here's the problem, you are affirming to your self that you "CAN'T" do something when in fact YOU CAN. You simply lack the nerve or "confidence" and that condition will haunt you until you kick yourself in the hiney and get out there and, as the Niki commercials say, JUST DO IT!
That Said I would detour you from the guerrilla tactics so many have started using these days, its a really good way to get slapped or punched in the face not to mention ROBBED should someone notice how busy you get and the cash that gets tossed in the hat. So play it safe vs. stupid. Respect the people that are in the area and simply start with material that grabs their attention. The old gag in which you have a bit of of money ($5.00 bill) on the ground and you're trying to catch it yet, it moves each time you get close to it. . . it's just a bit of thread work but it's funny and people never fail to pay attention and will route for you to win in your pursuit. . . follow this up with something that's personable but related to the money thing, say maybe a Miser's Dream. . . something that will pull more people into your performance circle but likewise draw them in emotionally, into what you do. Help them to become A PART OF the bit. There's a thousand ways of doing this, especially if you are good at manipulation.
If the desire is there all you need to do is find the niche that fits best to you and your offering. It may mean studying a bit more and creating routines appropriate to building the tip. In busking you must first build the tip, hit them with a short 15-20 minutes of silliness that is an expansion to the first part, deliver one really "big" bit of business and then suck them in for the money part. . . this is typically done by deliberately "borrowing" a $5.00 or $10.00 bill from someone and running a routine with it closed by the joke "This is the bill you GAVE me, yes?" and when they confirm, say thanks and put it in your pocket. You follow this almost instantly with your pitch and passing the hat but silently AFTER you've appealed to folks, you offer the victim back their cash. . . usually they'll decline and let you keep it. Make a big deal of this by showing off the bill as you very deliberately place it into the hat and move on from there.
Instead of going for something direct, perhaps try an indirect approach if you're feeling shy about approaching people. Do something that you know people are going to see without having to approach them, i.e. making something levitate. You could also try to orchestrate something situational that feels organic, like paying for something and upon receiving the change show them something "strange" you can do with one of the coins or bills.
Also, work on learning to approach people without showing them magic. Being able to walk up to a group of strangers and start a conversation and get them interested in you is your first step in getting them interested in seeing your magic.