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Daniel Mooncalf 03-16-08 11:17 AM

How much of an asshole should I be?
Late last summer, the... For lack of a better term... RECRUITERS for some local Christian church would hit up my audience.

They'd have stupid little gimmicks like a Million dollar bill on one side, or optical illusions everyone saw in primary school... The other side was gospel messages, along with whatever church they came from.

Being the passive person I am, I let it happen. This certainly hurt my hat.

What would YOU do? How much of an asshole should I be when this happens?

Lee Nelson 03-16-08 11:47 AM

red rag
A very big asshole!

Before you find out how big an arsehole you can be though, you could try to have a wee chat to them outside of showtime, perhaps explaining how their actions are inconsiderate and hurting your hat. If they continue with their assholeyness in full knowledge of how it is hurting your livelihood, unleash the beast!!!

some helpful starters

refer to them as "God Botherers"
tell the crowd that "These are bad people and will go to hell"

my favourite method might think it would never work but it does...follow the steps.

1/ Draw everyone in the audiences attention to how their actions are upsetting your comedy and focus. Even if it isnt make it seem as though it is.

2/ Get everyone to agree that this is bad.

3/ Get everyone on the count of three to say...
"Go to church and leave us alone"

Trust me, this is a very satisfying experience and will more than make up for past losses to your hat that one show alone.

The more times you do it over the course of your stay on that pitch, the more creative and assholely you can become until they finally learn their lesson. You start to acknowledge that they are not only pissing you off but your crowd too.

They dont hang around long after that. Even losers like them have a self esteem threshhold.
Bewarned though that sometimes they will come back after having decided to play by your rules. This can be devastating. They can form a street group that passes the message eternal salvation thru the medium of contempory/interprative dance. This will make you wish for a Chilean Pipe Band.

However do not use this tactic on the "single mad preacher man". It will never work. He is righteous in his purpose and probably carries a knife.

Good luck with them.

Daniel Mooncalf 03-16-08 01:16 PM

Speaking of the mad minister...
Another distraction that came around once a night was this crazy LOUD dude with a very thick jamaica (or similar) island accent.

He never stopped for more than a second, but it was very hard to regain focus (due to my inexperience, Im sure).

Frankly, he's quite frightening to the children, and the sheltered adults.

I figure if I can build it up, about 20 seconds before he makes it to my little area, by saying "We have a special guest here, you know him and love him, star of stage, screen and comedy; Jamaica-Me-Crazy!", it might lighten to mood about the interruption, and won't scare my sensitives away...

...Or should I not be the asshole who makes fun of the clinically insane, and just let him pass by?

scot 03-17-08 02:36 AM

what school of etiquette taught you to busk?

The church people: do whatever you want to them. I agree with talking to them first. After that, enjoy it. maybe you could say,

"beware the hiding christians. I'm out here to make a living by working hard. All I want is a few bucks. they want your soul. hey kid, I'm gonna teach you some street self defense. what do you do when street evangelist approaches you? you raise your hands up and yell "CULT" at the top of your lungs like this "CUUUULLLT!" so what do you do to protect your morals? Okay, now the guy in the back. alright. If this doesn't give me my space, it will at least be funny."

for the jamaican...

"Watch this. I 'll do a quick magic trick" pull out a scrap of paper, quickly twist it up like it's a joint. Then wave it in the air. He walks up and you just keep yelling "It's not real. It's not real. It's just paper. There's always that one guy at work..."

If you do both of these ahead of time, it shows that you know your surroundings and that you're in control. That's more necessary than anything because when you tell the audience they're gonna pay, you gotta be an authority.

jeep caillouet 03-17-08 12:29 PM

jesus freaks and harry
Pardon the spelling but you get the idea. I've performed In New Orleans give or take some 20 or so mardi gras. Most people don't know that over half the people that attend are religious people that came there to save your soul, and they tend to be very obnoxious and disruptive. I usually tell them in a very loud voice "Thank God for the jesus freaks" and give them a big thumbs up,"mardi gras wouldn't be the same with ya". they tend to leave me alone after that,seems they don't know what to do with me and go on about their business of saving souls. Thank God. The others are the Hara krisna's halking their ball caps and teeshirts etc. When they approach me I ask them in a strong voice "How's ole Harry doing" they look at me in a confused face and say what. "You know Harry,Harry Krisner"Still looking with a confused face,"you mean you don't know your God by his first name"! They usually go on down the street babbling to their selves. They Know they don't want to deal with me. The end...

Evan Young 03-17-08 02:01 PM

When I see people working my crowd I stop the show and just gripe at them. sometimes I get something funny out, sometimes I just barely avoid getting beat up, and sometimes they just stop. I just point out that I built the crowd and I'm not cool with them distracting my audience, and that it's rude to interrupt people who are trying to watch a show. I make it blatant who the bad guy is in very simple language.
I've had people actually apologize to me afterwards.

George Gilbert 03-17-08 04:01 PM

Some of those christian recruiters are tough, I've seen things get out of hand when you call them out, and tell them how rude they are being....

I've seen a couple that When called out just started preaching, or re-acted with violence. Not very christian like...

Bob Carr 03-17-08 07:12 PM

revenge is a dish best served cold
I say show up at their church Sunday and do bits while they are trying to preach. And when they go around with the collection plate, go around with your hat. Maybe you can convert a few while you're at it.

eye for an eye and all that stuff.

(I know it probably wouldn't work but I sure like the image of it.)

Evan Young 03-17-08 08:54 PM

Had the same idea about showing up at the church.
Just hand out flyers that explain how frustrating it is for you and that it causes a lot of anger in your life, and that anger is the devil..... so they are messengers of the devil.

if they react with violence, you win. You press charges and get a restraining order and they can never do it again or they go to jail, or possibly go to jail in the first place. You might even be able to sue the church and get a restraining order on the entire congregation. Loosing one show for the sake of winning the entire war is totally worth it. But for that to work you need to make sure you don't say anything threatening to them, let them do that. It can be hard for some people to be the good guy, but if you stay calm and non violent/unnecessarily provocative you will win in the publics mind every time.

Richard 03-18-08 11:26 AM

Try to avoid offending the other 70% (depending on where you're at) of your tippers who would call themselves Christians. Play their game. Offer to lead the crowd in prayer. Write the 'street performers prayer'.

'Dear Lord I just ask that you save us from your people'......etc, etc, etc.

Butterfly Man 03-18-08 12:06 PM

a prayer for owin' meanie...
You guys don't remember the "Inquisition" do you?

... those were hard times for comedy jugglers.

Rachel Peters 03-18-08 12:21 PM


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