Thursday, November 29, 2007
IF YOU’RE A BEGINNER THE FIRST THING YOU'LL NEED IS A “SET SHOW”!
You need to create a set show and I’ll explain why and what it is, in a minute.
If you’re gonna go out there for the first time there are 3 huge mistakes you wanna avoid.
#1 don’t ask people if they want to see a trick! - just tell them to watch and begin your trick…DON’T ASK!
#2 don’t plan to do a new trick, no matter how good it is! -only begin with tricks that are tried and true, the one you can do in your sleep and have been doing for ever. And do it the old way. NO NEW ADDITIONS TO IT!
#3 only do “improv” after you have a SET SHOW! that’s the real secret to “improv“!
A SET SHOW, is a show that is scripted, memorized, has a beginning, middle, and an end.
It is the same show every time except for the occasional “improv” that seasons it.
I once saw a film of a show done by Gazzo 20 years ago and it was the same show pretty much that he does today.
I’ve talked to old timers who saw Cellini’s show 20 years ago and they described the same show I saw recently.
The list goes on, even and especially to T.V. and stage shows….you think David Blain or Chris Angel aren’t doin a set show?
think again! They are!
For most of my life I did improv magic. I’d look at the people and judge what I thought they should see then I’d reach into my bag pull out the props and do that trick when I was done I’d look at em again and decide which trick was next and on and on…..
I got away with it for a lot of years and made plenty of money, but that’s not gonna work here if you want to make a living or a career or get any better…..
If you want people to watch and pitch like some of those statue guys who don’t do any thing this might work for you but if you want to be any good at this you need a set show. Even the good statues have a set show they do in between standing still.
The way to create this set show is put it together and practice it out on the pitch over and over wether or not somebody stops and watches….you’re like an infomercial.
ONCE YOU HAVE THIS “SET SHOW” YOU HAVE A PERSONAL BELONGING, THAT TAKES CARE OF YOU AND YOU CAN TAKE IT ANYWHERE AND SURVIVE…IT’S YOUR SHOW.
After you have made this set show you will start to see how much it is capable of paying and you’ll we begin making adjustments for it to pay more.
IF YOU LEARN NOTHING FROM ME OR ANY STREET PERFORMER PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS THE MOST IMOPRTANT FOR BEING A PROFFESSIONAL BUSKER!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE RULES BEFORE YOU CAN BREAK THEM.
I’m not suggesting that you have to or even should wear a suit please read this whole post before you start bitching.
when i first became a magician and was learning the rules, the first of course, is always keep it a secret.
and there seemed to be many after that.
one of these is that "as a magician you should always be dressed just a little more formal then your audience."
in the beginning even David Blain was wearing the suit until he created his character to what it is now.
one of the most practical reasons for this, for the -BEGINNER-, is to add credibility to himself so
#1 the people stop
#2 they don't give him such a hard time when he sucks.
#3 maybe the most important is when you tell them your gonna do magic, do you look like a magician or some body that knows magic? Because if you don’t look like that to them you might have trouble.
Well a suit is a nice generic costume that also gives off a little authority.
My suggestion here is if you havn’t “found” your character you might want to think about this.
Now the most common opinion about this is that you want to look nice, but not so nice they don’t pay you…..ya get it?
Now I’ve seen guys in wizard costumes complete with pointy hats and david copperfield or eve david blain stlye of costumes but the point is YOU GOTTA KNOW THE RULES BEFORE YOU CAN BREAK EM.
Heres some suggestions;
IT SHOULD LOOK PROFFESSIONAL.
The costume should match the character.
It should attract attention. A friend of mine bought a bright yellow suit at one of those suit shops for the distinguished black man down town.
Make sure it’s comfortable and portable.
If you’re a traveller you might want a costume that you wear all the time as your regular clothes even sleep in it till it’s comfortable.
Friday, November 2, 2007
when your on the street your on stage and every ones watching.
every ones looking for a chink in your armor.
"THE BAD GUYS" are looking to take your spot, your money, and maybe your life, so you want to have a danger element in your persona and you don't want to dress too extravigantly. you need to give off the impression that you could be somewhat dangerous if pushed the wrong way.
a good example of this is of course; Gazzo or Sonny Holliday
THE GOOD AND DESENT TYPE PEOPLE who are probaly gonna tip you are looking at you to see if your a con or a threat in some way, so you need to have a child like disarming side to your persona. it should be saying "i'm a harmless and a good man to harmless and good people, but i don't like bad people."
mimes are a good example of this.
AND EVERYONE is looking at you to see if you truly are what you claim to be...a magician, so you need that royal touch that something that says your of a higher class, a wiseman, a man who could hold himself with proper breeding even when he's wearing rags. a man capable of being a gentleman even if he's not always behaving like one.
a few good examples of this royal touch are of course; Cellini, Eric Evans, Tom Frank, Doc andrews, and Paul Nathan.
you need to have all three of these to some extent, some have more of one then the other but they all have all three at some point.
strangley i've noticed that Danny Hustle has almost all equal parts to this. i think it may be his heavy entertainment background.
stranger yet theres a guy in london named "Pepe" who pushes "child like" and "street tuff" to an extreme that can only be explained as ominous in a clown car wreck sort of way and it's no wonder why he would get the largest crowds of all.
yet he holds himself like a dignitary even in rags. Pepe has been to the best schools of theater and recieved many awards from the hoity toity theater powers that be, but he chose the street as his venue, and rejected the high institution. every now and then they come and give him awards and recognition and he throws them in the trash and says,
"when are you gonna bring money i can't eat these."
here's a tiny clip of him;
a true genius but don't push him the wrong way. it's also no wonder that him and Sonny Holliday hit it off big when they met this last summer in london.
of the three of these i think the royal touch is the most ignored by the performer in the u.s.
when infact it should be on top of the list. this is where we need it most, people think we're bums and cons here.
you can go out there in shorts and a "t" shirt and without a costume,
you can go out there and be loud mouthed rude and demanding money over and over,
and you can disregard the importants or value of our art,
you can do all these things and make alot of money, they'll pay you good, and you'll make big fat hats,
BUT THEY'LL STILL THINK YOUR A BUM WITH A GIMMICK. DON'T FOOL YOURSELF.
so many buskers out there are fooling themselves into thinking they are greats because their hats are always big.
and sure they figured out how to hustle, big deal, so what. they should go into time share sales because theres way more money there for a good hustler.
ask yourself if you made a bigger hat then Cellini,Tom Frank, Eric Evans or Sonny Holliday, would that make you a better magician or even a better busker?
of course not. because these guys have been doin it for years they have forgot more then most people know on the subject.
but there are actually fat heads out there who think their better because of their hats and i'm sure you'll be hearing responces from them here.
MAKING ALOT OF MONEY DOESN'T GIVE YOU CLASS, IT GIVES YOU ALOT OF MONEY.
YOU CAN'T BUY CLASS.
and the people watching you know this, they maybe watching you like they watch a white trash t.v. show every nite at 7pm.
but that doesn't mean they think you or that t.v. show is important to our american community. THEY STILL SEE TRASH. and americans buy alot of trash.
i've seen it go so far that some guys who can't even tie a tie and who look like junkies will call other buskers "bums" because they arn't making hats as big as theirs.
money is important, but you can make money doing any thing.
it's about dignity.
and it's saturday, so if you'll exuse me i gotta put on my clown shoes and grab my horn and go to work.