First-Time Street Magician
We get asked for advice on performing street magic all the time; so here are a few tips for those of you future buskers...
Location! Location! Location
Finding a good spot is important. Try to set up somewhere that has a lot of foot traffic. Make sure that you aren't in a narrow walkway or near any intersections; if you block traffic, you might have a run-in with the law. A touristy environment is best. You want to find a place where people aren't in a hurry and are looking for a good time. (It also doesn't hurt if they are carrying around some cash.)
Step Right Up! Step Right Up!
Get their attention. Very few people will see you with a pack of cards and say, "Hey! Can you do a trick for me?" More often than not, you're going to have to ask them to see a magic trick. Once you get a couple of people interested, more will stop to see what everybody's looking at. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.
Looks are Important
If you can set yourself apart from the crowd with your clothes or with a stand or sign, it's going to help attract an audience. By somehow setting yourself apart, you establish a performer/audience relationship right away.
Confidence is important in magic and it is especially important when you're performing on the street. It's not like doing a show on your web cam and deleting bad comments. On the street people can say whatever they want and everyone can hear it. Your job is to not let that get to you. Thinking about these comments during your show will not help you. That's not to say that criticism should not be heard, just don't think about it until you are done performing for the day.
Know Your Stuff
The better you know your material, the easier audience control is going to be. It's also important to plan out your tricks so that your set produces the maximum level of audience, entertainment, and tips. Here are a few examples of tricks that I have used in the past:
Starters: These are tricks that grab people's attention. They are interactive and to the point and work great for building a little crowd:
Reputation Builders: This section of your show should keep the interest of the crowd you've already got, while attracting a larger crowd and making people feel like your show is worth a buck or two:
Closers: These are routines that play big, pack small and build to a climactic finish. Hopefully you'll have a big crowd at this point and you'll want them all to see what's going on; and you want there to be a clear, defined end to your set:
This post was posted in Uncategorized