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Crescent 11-24-02 08:33 PM

BAD way to get money!
I saw a show this summer, and as their tactic of getting money, the performers didn't use hat lines, or anything similar, they literally yelled at the audience! They shouted about how their show cost money to do, and how cheap the people were if they didn't give them money. They most definately weren't doing it in a kidding sort of way, either. I must say I was NOT impressed. And I bet their hats were a hell of a lot lighter than everyone else's!

Rev 11-25-02 06:30 AM

I sometimes use lines like, "Hey, don't be cheap like that guy!" When someone walks away, especially during my hat line. Or if someone only donates a small coin. But I never was impressed with people who were just all-out aggressive about things. It just reminds me of a few of the nastier panhandlers I have encountered.

I like Cellini's philosophy: "Make them laugh or tug at their heart strings and the money will follow."

le pire 11-26-02 11:17 PM

I watched two guys in Paris do something similar. There "show" consisted of a bit of fire-eating, the blockhead (nail-up-the-nose) and then a BIIIIIIIIIIG build up for fire-spitting (he did 3 blasts). Their hats were LOADED with money.

There was another guy who do no real tricks at all, just yell at people and make fun of them-- especially if they were foreigners. He would hit them with a little cave-man club and then have them hit each other. His hat was always loaded too.

Many of the other performers were incensed, but I say if it works, then do it. This is STREET performing, after all. I salute anyone who can entertain 300 jaded Parisians (in whatever way) and convince the tight bastards to hand over 2 euros.

There is a definate skill in getting that hat to be over flowing. Martin wrote an excellent essay on the subject that can be found in the library.


p.s. Hey Cresent, it's easy to criticize if you're not the one up there doing the show.

p.p.s. There was a bum in Baltimore who used to where a sign around his neck that said "Why lie, I want a BEER!" He would work the pub district and rake it in because he would make people laugh--especially drunk people. Was he a bum, or did he make that (exhalted) transition to Street Performer? You decide.

jugglermatt1 11-27-02 05:22 AM

If the man in Baltimore made people laugh , then of course he was putting on a show.If you are increasingthe feelgood factor on the street then its a show no ?
If you are using a hype show with very little technical skill agressively , then the people will pay , sheeplike. But will they come back , go through the rigmarole again and payagain ? I think not .
The very best performers are those who can play the same pitch to the same people again and again .
My best hat line is to runaway with the hat whenever anyone comes near.
If you strive to make people happy with a level of skill then people will pay again and again .

Evan Young 11-28-02 12:55 AM

The show Cresent saw sounds like the performer was very bitter and mean. Mabey that's what works for him, I don't know. Whenever I get bitter and mean people walk off b/c it's out of character for me. I still make mistakes with that aspect of the show even though I know it's wrong, and whenever I do I can see the croud loose energy. I have never had success with the word "cheap", or with lines about breaking into houses.
Probably the most entertaining, aggressive, and successfull hat pitch I've ever seen is "Two's a croud" here in LA. It's also the most funny one I've ever seen. They do their hat pitch and collect the money before they do the final routien and just rail on anyone who doesn't pay, and will continue railing on them until they do pay. If that person still doesn't pay they make them leave (sometimes). They have "your a cheap asshole" jokes for every ethnicity, age, social stature etc. It seems fresh every time and it lasts about as long as any other routiens in their act. It's truly great, but I don't think it would work for me unless I changed my character.

ALAKAZAM 06-22-03 10:57 PM

The agressive hat pitch is very popular with un funny shows,they see other performers making more money than them and then get angry so take it out on the audience by trying to scare people in to giving,doesn't work.
On the other hand ,a money pitch delivered with confidence can often be mitaken as being agressive [2's a crowd].
I think if the audience likes you and you ask in the right way you'll get paid,but everyone has a their own way of doing it,whatever works for you.As long as it is delivered with confidence.

Evan Young 06-23-03 01:12 AM

On friday my audience was being really unresponsive, (typical friday night lack of focus), and it made me kind of frustrated. So I started scolding them a little. I told them they were being unsuportive. And I had these two kids heckeling the crap out of me, so I started scolding them a lot. People started laughing and clapping a lot more. It turned my show around to a winner rather than a loser, even though being agressive is totally out of character for me. By the end of the show I told them that they all owed me a lot of money since I had to put up with their crap, and they thought it was funny. I dont' think I was ever mean.
yes, confidence is the key.

Sam X 04-19-04 03:49 AM

There are always the good old comic quotes such as:

"Sir if you turn around now you will see the back of a cheap skate"

I personally like the tactics used by many of the Covent Garden guys. They just tell the audience that Street Theatre is supported by the people who watch, there is no salary, no wage so please give what you can. If you really cannot afforf to give anything then please just come over and say Thank You, that is just as good.

I think this slightly more human approach works well for some audiences. Depending on their mood througout. If they have really been involved from the start other lines like "If you have enjoyed the show, put money in the hat, If you have NOT enjoyed the show, put money in the hat" are good too, taken lightly but they work.

Kim 04-21-04 05:58 AM

mike knows...
Mike Wood has a very powerful hat line... Sometimes people feel his message so personally that they will track him down in a bar a few days after the show to give him a little something.

$cottbox 06-19-04 03:06 PM

Yeah I don't really blame the guy..once there was a couple from New York video tapin me and just lovin it in general....I performed on their Video camera for like five minutes beatboxin..they loved it...when he was gettin ready to walk away I said "Hey peoples this box isn't here for nothin"..he just laughed..came over and threw in a couple of American dollars...sometimes it works..and I find especially with Americans...You have to be demanding with Americans or they don't take u serious:eek: ...good peeps..they liked it and knew I was just doin what I had to do!!!! I'm excited its finally summer!!!:p

Alice_Of_Hearts 02-07-06 05:54 PM

I have found that I don't really enjoy the more aggressive street shows. I get annoyed at the performers, and if I don't like someone, I don't want to give them money! Maybe it works for people by just constantly insulting the audience, I hope I never have to resort to that tactic!

-Alice of Hearts

jayrodin 12-25-06 04:30 PM

Anyone ever heard of Pepe (prenounced pepay)? Most brilliant street performer in the world some think.

Butterfly Man 12-26-06 02:04 AM

Pep in his prime
Way back in '89 down in Oz, we all worked for Bredon Foley in Surfer's Paradise ... a thing called "Street Live" ... there was a restaurant called the Ozzie Fish Cafe (or something like that) ... they gave us free food for 1 show/nite ... it was my wife-to-be's-23rd birthday ... all the performers decided to switch clothes and characters ... everybody was somebody else ... I was Dave Sheridan, Nick was somebody... I forget ... the point is, Pep became ME ... I mean, he really became "ME" ... I hated it ... it was funny, but I really hated it. Sonofabitch was good.

I don't know if he's "the most brilliant in the world" but he's definitely one of the top 5 I've ever seen.

charliekarl 01-04-07 06:36 AM

Jay>> Pepe is pure legend man. Don't know why you mention him here cause his show is NOT a bad way to make money. Pepe makes money in the sweetest and most deserved way.


I've seen a lot of shows with aggressive hatlines and most of them are aggressive/funny which really works and is fun to watch and the audience likes it. There's a few that are aggressive in other ways and every time I've seen one of these it's been a boring, generic show and pretty shit.
Like the old Hare Krishna airport scam with the flowers suddenly the audience finds themselves standing there with the flower in their hand and a guy pushing them to pay for something that wasn't good anyway and that they can't return. They might pay since they feel forced to by social instincts they cannot control but they don't walk off happy and I think that's shit. Victims of the Hare Krishna airport scam were often seen paying for the flower and then swearing throwing it into the nearest bin 20 yards away while walking off (source: "Influence" by R Cialdini). Fair enough, people can do what they want, but by doing a hatspeech like that they make sure the people they push will not stop to watch another show again which is sad and cruel to the world. I'm not critisizing these few 'performers' since it's not my place, but I'm sure they have very bad karma and they quite often act like wankers on pitch too.

MWGrubb 05-05-08 06:08 AM

Where to get other hat lines?
Since I am a newbie here I was wondering where I should look for other hat lines?



martin ewen 05-06-08 02:06 AM

millard, type 'hat lines' into the search facilty.

As for pepa'h.

He was, as a performer loose but controlled, improvised exceptionally,very playful, very powerful performer.

His show was the most flawless thing about him. As a person he was kind and generous and confrontational and selfish and childish and loving.
You know..the usual street scum cocktail.

I think London gave him some of his best moments onstage and off, but it, and alcoholism ate him up and last I saw he was pitiful.

It makes me sad just thinking about him. He'll not die and be mourned, he'll just disappear, last I saw him he was already seemingly beyond help, he'd lost everything but the tiny bit of mana still available to steal drinks and live, no home, very little left of him to see.

Still, he gave the world more than it ever gave him.
Except Nick, nick was a fucking angel to pepe.

martin ewen 05-06-08 02:18 AM

oh and Robert, While it's true I haven't been haunting pnet like the smell of some dead thing stuffed under the house I have just noted that your post tally total is 5 more than mine.

wanna play?

I don't want to slug it out, I thought we'd just select some random pnetter and go to town.
Is jester still jangling his dingle dangle headpiece upon the deeply suspicious?

You never left robert you would know, any new wankers?

Rachel Peters 05-06-08 09:45 AM

ooO! OO! I'm so excited!!!

Lee Nelson 05-06-08 10:14 AM

Martin the mathmatical mime....

1396 versus 1340. Looks like 5 more to me too!

Hawaii is slowing you down old man


martin ewen 05-06-08 12:40 PM

now you've gone and ruined it. You think Hawaii's slowed me down, I have to visit butterfly every 2 weeks just to tie him up and hose the algae of him, the poor guy's a coatrack.

It's true I have become quite chronically impaired myself. you'll have to forgive me, having just finished my taxes I'm still in 'invent the numbers as you go' mode.

and you, you terminal optimist, show some damned respect. I'll have you know that in my prime I was making up to $37 dollars a day. Yes that's right more money than you could even imagine I know.

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