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Old 02-15-02, 10:02 AM   #1
ben woodling
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Butterfly Ne hat lines guys?

Hi guys,
i've heard alot about hat lines. but i need some help on them. what should i say. have u got ne examples?
thanks alot
Ben
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Old 02-15-02, 06:38 PM   #2
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Dear Ben,


There are three ways to go about this:

1) Use "standard" material - like "and remember ladies and gentlemen, while you've been out here having a good time in covent garden, I could have been robbing your house instead of making you laugh"

2) Watch a really good street performer who does stuff nobody else does, and conveniently be "inspired" to do his/her lines.

3) Come up with your own.


#1 works, you'll get laughs out of the audience, and if you're an arrogant bastard (and I'm not saying you are) you can convince yourself that it's because you "deliver the line better than everyone else." The line is a classic because it works no matter who says it or how they say it. This method will get you no respect from your fellow performers (but if you've got REALLY strong skills, they'll let you get away with it)

#2 Don't do this. It's just wrong. Go up to the guy who's doing stuff you like and introduce yourself. Tell him you like what he's doing and maybe he'll help you out. Maybe he won't. Some performers are generous and love sharing and helping. Others are paranoid and see everyone else as a threat. Sometimes it's just a matter of "connecting." You know what I mean?

#3 is the toughest. For some reason people tend to convince themselves that everyone else's stuff is better. When I need to come up with new jokes I usually go to a bookstore cafe, order a bottomless cup, and start to write. Try this one, it's very difficult, but it's worth it. You'll see.


Good Luck,

t i e n n e
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Old 02-16-02, 10:41 AM   #3
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Ben,

Here are some, original and available.
This guy's got a pretty clued-up take on it.

http://www.performers.net/library/tt-limericks.html

Use 3, not one. Have three mentions of the hat in your show, at least, if you want to pay the rent at this game. Have fun with it!
Create blown up versions of why you need money from your reality.
There are 3-4 articles in that library you might want to read, also, on street performing. Take years off your curve.
Check out Boyd, Hotch, Brian on Hecklers, and Ragatz. Also read Martin's synopsis:

"A flush is basicly your whole show being a subtile (or not so subtile) feat of social engineering that uses tags (mentions of intent ie money and amounts) combined with structured skills, personality and timing to illicit a herd response at its end wherein your crowd, because you've made them feel grateful, guilty, obligated or even entertained (and quite often a mixture carefully calculated) stampede foward like mindless drones to deposit the beginnings of your morgage/orphanage donation/binge, in your hat."

Acerbic, as always, and one hopes it is mindful, not mindless, but the wholistic view of what it takes is in that paragraph.


I still love the idea of strangers dumping their money into my hat because I decided to create it. Its a worthy line of inquiry.
Go get 'em.

[ 02-16-2002: Message edited by: Mr.Taxi Trix ]</p>
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Old 02-16-02, 10:42 AM   #4
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Butterfly

Thanks alot that was really helpful. I'll have a go at tryin to think up some hatlines(i have problems tryin to blend tricks together!!!).
Has anyone else got any views/ideas?
thanks again
Ben
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Old 02-16-02, 12:44 PM   #5
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Be honest. Mean what you say.

If you're asking for $5 bills and in your mind you think your show is only worth $1, you're not going to get $5's. If you really truly believe your show is worth $5 or $10 or $20 and you say it like you mean it, you'd be surprised how many big bills end up in your hat.

If you mention 'change' at any point in your show, you will get change.

If you give them the opportunity to 'decide for themselves' what the show was worth, you will get a lot less than you'd hoped for. Let them think they're deciding for themselves, but plant a seed of suggestion... $2, $5... etc.

Don't look like you NEED the money. The more you look like a professional, the more you will make.

And the best advice I ever received when I was starting out came from Laura Green at a street performing workshop in 1991 at the IJA convention in St. Louis. She was doing Robert Nelson's workshop, but he wasn't there. Anyway, I always thought it was her's but I think she got it from Robert...

"People don't give you money because you just juggled 7 flaming balls... they give you money because they LIKE you."

If you're likeable on stage and you have a likeable way of asking for money, it doesn't matter what you do in your show or what you say in your hat line. It's HOW you say it.

Be honest.
Say it like you mean it.
Believe what your saying.
Don't sound scripted.
Be yourself.... If you take a stock line and it doesn't suit your character/personality, people will see right through it.

And remember, you need to do at least 100 shows before it starts feeling comfortable asking for money.

Jim
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Old 02-18-02, 10:35 PM   #6
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I'm curious as to whether anybody is using (what I would consider) a fairly aggressive hatline? Something that essentially says, "If you don't contribute, you are flawed"? Ex: "Studies show that 50% of a street performance audience put money in the performer's hat, while the other 50% enjoy carnal knowledge of 14 year old boys."

Anybody using this style of line, and if so, what kind of response do you get? How does the response compare to a less aggressive sell, if you've used one?
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Old 02-18-02, 11:31 PM   #7
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As people were coming forward to his hat with tips, I heard Dave Holder use something like:

"If you're paying me, thank you very much, if you're walking away without paying, your dog will be dead when you get home."

It was funny when he said it, but it fit his show. (And of course those Brit/Aussie accents can make anything sound cute.)

I could never use a line like that because it doesn't fit my character. Your hat line needs to be an extension of your show. It's PART of your show. If you deliver something totally out of character WHILE asking for money, you're jarring the crowd on TWO levels. You do not want your crowd confused or uncomfortable in any way while they're reaching for their wallets.

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Old 02-19-02, 09:22 PM   #8
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Dave Holder famously used high risk , sometimes doomed, moneylines including.
"Children if mummy and daddy don't give you at least $5 to give the funny man then that only means one thing"
(long Pause)
'He's shit!"
and he also used to say
"Thanks very much and remember the more money you give me, the more money I need"
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Old 02-20-02, 04:25 AM   #9
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Dear Ben,
this is the line that I use and the approach that I take in my show today-

Ladies and gentleman,if you are thinking of walking away from the show before the end,because you do not have any money and you can not afford street theatre for what ever reason!
Can I just say to you that street theatre is for the people,wether you can afford it or not,it is for the people!
So do not think you have to feel guilty and walk away,stay till the end and enjoy the rest of the show!
But if you do have money,and you enjoyed the show!
You pay!!!!!!
If you did not enjoy the show!
You pay!!!!!!


I have found that if you joke too much about your speech,then they do not take it seriously!
But if you find an upfront,honest approach!
I find it pays off big time!

I also add just before the end that the average donation for the show is gold or plastic!
And I do not stutter or pause or sound like I am not confident when I say this!
I believe what I say and it pays off!

If the product is good and you are a true professional,and you cary yourself well,and do not be negitive in any way,this helps aswell!

good luck,mate!!!!!!


LDR
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Old 02-20-02, 07:08 AM   #10
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Ed Stander used to offer to not sleep with people who bought his cd. Sold like hotcakes.

[ 02-20-2002: Message edited by: Mr.Taxi Trix ]</p>
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Old 03-02-02, 06:08 PM   #11
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I'll finish a selection on my glass harmonica, including (while I'm playing), some history of glass music and a discussion of the physics involved. The audience inevitably stands there in stunned silence.
"Why BLESS you for your wild appreciation," I'll say, applauding myself slowly and deliberately. I'll look dejectedly at the hat and follow that up with "I don't think I've been quite so underwhelmed yet today!"
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Old 03-07-02, 12:23 PM   #12
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Butterfly

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am neither a beggar nor a thief, I am an honest craftsman seeking an honest days wage.

If you liked what you saw, throw in a five dollar bill so that I can eat. If you didn't like what you saw, throw in a twenty so that I can take lessons.

Remember, if you tip a street performer, you will have good luck and long life. If you don't tip a street performer, you will die alone, unloved and a unmourned, with a false hope in yourr heart and a false kiss on your lips.

This show depends entirely on your largesse. So get off of your largesse and put some money in the hat.

Folks, what you have seen has taken a great deal of practice. So far it has made me neither rich, nor famous. But if it has brought a smile to your face, it has all been worth it. And if it brings a buck to the hat, so much the better.
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Old 04-08-02, 01:26 AM   #13
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I agree whole-heartedly on three hatlines, I deliver them all at once, and I qualify at least three times in the show at key points, a. crowd build
b. start of show
c. middle of show (right before something they aren't going to forget)
I would also mention that you shouldn't worry too much about appropriating material, as long as you are moral about it, EVERYBODY gets material, ideas, and inspiration from other people, art is basically a big abstract-emotional-intellectual-gangbang. "There is nothing new under the sun." and stuff... Just make the material yours, or use it until you come up with something better (the second option is the best thing to do).
I actually feel the opposite of lucky, who feels he shouldn't joke about it, but my show is much different. I had a big problem with hat lines because I didn't want to sound like I was pleading, or to be a jerk about it, so I just made it into a joke, I walk on broken glass for most of my show, and my finale stunt is having the heavyest male member of the audience stand on my head and back while my face is in the glass, so get ready to do it, build it up, have one of their feet on my head already, start to count to 3 and then scream STOP! (you want thier undivided attention when you deliver those lines) "So and so, get your foot off my head! I almost forgot something" Inevitably someone asks what as the tension is pretty high."My laundry bag" Their eyes have big red TILT signs blinking in them now, "What the hell does he mean, his laundry bag?"
"This isn't just any laundrybag laydeez an gents, it's a very fine Versace laudrybag, imported from Italy. Young lady, do you know what you put in an Italian laundry bag?" (to a small kid in the front row, I usually pick one that can't count yet, so they always shke thier head no) "mmmmmmmMMMONEY!!!!.... That's right, the long green, crisp benjamins, Microsoft stock. That is why I am here today Laydeez an gents, for the cold hard cash. I am a street performer, this is... blah blah blah(I continue from ther, but none of that stuff is original).
Btw ben, if you are wondering what qualifying is, it's one step below a hat line, something that subtley reminds them that they are going to pay. Like right before I jump in the air and land on the glas I say "Ladies and gentlemen, this is what I call the Leap Of Faith and, hopefully, this is why you give me the big tips... (CRASH!)"
I had issues with hat lines at first, but, remember it IS why you're out there, and there is no reason why money can't be a running gag or a theme in your show, mostly, just like in every other part of your show BE CONFIDENT(people in general are in a completely terrified state of mind, they are nervous and unsure of themselves and think they are fat, unnattractive, and uninteresting, all they are looking for is one steady gaze in a whirling sea of neurotic glances, then again, I work in New Orleans, where all the patrons are tourists, but I still think the above applies to most)
There is sum theory and suggestions for ya ben (from a beginner I must add) hope it's helpful
inevitably,
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Old 04-08-02, 02:22 AM   #14
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[quote]Originally posted by Lucky Diamond Rich:
<strong>I believe what I say and it pays off!
</strong><hr></blockquote>

This is the key right here.

It's not just about confidence, you must BELIEVE that you deserve to be payed.
If you BELIEVE you deserve to be payed large you will be payed large.

NIX the words like "hopefully" from your hat speech.
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Old 04-08-02, 07:57 AM   #15
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Butterfly

cheers Doc, i forgot i even posted this forum!lol. ne ways thats sum gud advice i tink ill take. by the way wen u put ideas of them hadin ova cash in there heads throughout the show. how do you do it? how subtle can u be? u got ne examples?
Cheers
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Old 02-21-03, 07:56 PM   #16
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Hey ben, I forgot I posted here too, but I don't understand your latest question.
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Old 02-22-03, 11:50 AM   #17
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I think what i meant was;
how do you work the idea of this profession being your job and thusworking the idea of some kind of payment into the minds of the audience as they watch. i.e so they are prepped to hand over the money.
hope that helped? im not the best at explaining things!
cheers,
Ben
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Old 03-17-03, 11:09 AM   #18
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Hey, Eric -- right on! I'd only add this: In the business of sales there is an old adage -- you won't get the order unless you ask for it! [img]wink.gif[/img]
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Old 03-17-03, 11:31 AM   #19
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Here's a line that never worked for me:
"If I make too little tonight, I will be beaten by my mom. If I do well, I can pay someone to beat me."
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