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Old 01-01-09, 05:21 PM   #1
R. Wade Henry
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Default Glossary of Terms

Does anyone know of a good dictionary of performing terms. Maybe a glossary?

I'm looking for a list of definitions for commonly (and not-so-commonly) used words used by variety entertainers, street performers, showmen, circus/theatre....etc.

Haven't seen anything mentioned in other threads.....

Anyone know if our language has been codified anywhere - even partially?
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Old 01-04-09, 11:12 PM   #2
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What are some performer terms besides pitch?I can't think of any!
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Old 01-04-09, 11:35 PM   #3
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Default Terms

Surely you could think of some. Imagine you're entirely new to the activity of street performing. What words wouldn't you get?

"Busker" is an obvious one.

What about "Hat" (as in 'How was your hat last show?') or "edge" or "bottle" or "Hat Line" or "Giraffe".
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Old 01-05-09, 02:27 AM   #4
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crate slug = low level living statue, usually standing on a milk crate
circle show = act that builds a crowd and has a start middle and end.
Full circle = getting a crowd that is big enough to max out the available spaces to watch you from.
Pole show = show on top of a pole supported by audience members on the end of ropes
dummy line = the line you make that people are supposed to stand on and not cross.
catching a crowd = when another act finishes, you catch their crowd as they disperse.


most of the terms are obvious or aren't unique to street performers:

crowd gather
stock line
rola bola
walking ladder/freestanding ladder
devil stick
diabolo
etc.


I don't know what you're referring to with "edge" and "bottle"
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Old 01-05-09, 08:03 AM   #5
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crowd gather
fat edge
hard pull
building an edge
edge
crashing a festival
dying
fly pitch
there is so many.

I bet this works really well in Spanish and French too.
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Old 01-05-09, 11:30 AM   #6
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Hat

peel - never really happened to me.

schrapnel - the small change in a big hat

stomp - "He stomped on my hat line/stole my crowd/etc."

hat patter - The stuff you say while collecting

pulling in - Moving the crowd closer, forming an edge

Al hat - One of those hats where it takes several minutes to collect, people wait in line to pay
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Old 01-05-09, 11:34 AM   #7
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Default thought of the day, think

Dang, I could have thought of all of that,If I'd just thought!
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Old 01-05-09, 01:21 PM   #8
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Default Wicked-Performakepedia

Cool.

How 'bout we leave this thread for any additional words (and definitions) anyone would like to add.

If you have a word, post it along with the def'n (if you know it).

Additions or corrections can be made if the meaning doesn't sound quite right. Perhaps consensus would thus be made.

This thread could act as a Glossary of Performing Terms...


Regarding the ones I mentioned:

Busker (n) - A performer/entertainer/musician/artist who works in public areas and is paid by donation from the audience(s) he/she delivers to.

Edge (n) - Dividing line or border (Oxford Dict). A performer's "edge" would be the border or band of people that crowd around to watch. Edges can be small, large, wide, narrow, thick, etc.

Hat (n) - The monetary "take" a busker receives from the audience in exchange for his services.
(v) The activity of collecting money from the audience in exchange for the entertainment. Comes from the tradition of using a hat to collect funds, but not all acts use a hat to do this.

Hat Line (n) - The lines a performer uses to educate his audience or otherwise motivate them to contribute money as exchange for the entertainment.

Giraffe (n) - Tall Unicycle.

Bottle - I believe this to be a term used by Aussies & UK entertainers - so correct me if I'm wrong (it's been awhile since I was in either):

Bottle - (v) To place in a bottle (Oxford Dict). A performer "bottling his crowd" is "concluding his show". A well-bottled show might mean he has their full attention, they've agreed to pay him and they're very happy about it all and it's all concluded.

Also:

Throw the show - (v) To bail or otherwise decide to not finish the act.

Heavy Hat - (n) A large amount of dough taken as a "hat".

Light Hat - (n) A relatively small amount of money received by the entertainer from the audience.
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Old 01-05-09, 10:59 PM   #9
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My understanding was that "Bottle" pertained to placing people at the exits to hat the crowd. So that you effectively bottle the crowd in; they can't leave without passing a collection point.

A distinction, but one nonetheless.
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Old 01-05-09, 11:36 PM   #10
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UK bzzzzzzzz

The origin of the word "bottler" comes from the UK in the late 1800's ... the person collecting for the entertainer would have a bottle with a fly in it in one hand and the hat collecting dosh in the other ... if there was no fly in the bottle when the hat was returned to be counted ... well, that bottle might be busted over the bottlers head....

nowadays most big circle acts get a hot girlfriend or hire their own or, as a last resort, they trust the bloody thieves ...
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Old 01-06-09, 12:08 AM   #11
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Default hmmmmm

Ah...that's right, now I remember; someone told me that very thing that years ago.

Thanks for that Mr. B-Man.
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Old 01-06-09, 09:23 AM   #12
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OK -

Bottle (v) - To position people at exit points so the audience can pay at the end of an act when leaving.




BTW, "Dosh" is British slang for money.

B-Man: Ever put a butterfly in a bottle?
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Old 01-06-09, 11:36 AM   #13
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Bottling is also used as a verb to describe the action of telling the people that they have to pay.

This is by far the more common and modern usage
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Old 01-06-09, 10:05 PM   #14
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Default been thinking

Fired my crowd >If you been trying to start a show and just can't seem to get it started or there not paying any attention to what your doing you fire 'm and wait for the next crowd.
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Old 01-07-09, 12:28 PM   #15
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Default Bottling

Do you dawdle when you bottle,
Or do you prefer to go full throttle?
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Old 01-07-09, 01:24 PM   #16
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Club grumbling & tumbling

No, but I struggle while I juggle
So instead of a bottler I use a cudgel
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Old 01-07-09, 07:16 PM   #17
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Thumbs Up from the busker's mouth

A bottler is a British term that describes the person with the job of collecting the money. A bottler may also be called the "hat man" or "pitch man". The term bottler came from a device old world performers used for collecting money. It was made from the top half of a glass bottle. It had a leather flap inserted in the bottle neck and a leather pouch attached. It was designed to allow coins in but not allow them to be removed easily without being noticed by the jingling of the coins against the glass. The first use of such contrivances was recorded by the famous Punch and Judy troupe of puppeteers in early Victorian times.

[2] Bottling itself can be an art form, and the difference between a good and a bad bottler can be crucial to the amount of money earned on a pitch. A bottler usually gets a cut of the money made on the pitch, although it's not commonly a full share. In olden days it was common for buskers to use a monkey as a bottler. That practice has diminished due to animal control laws, but as tribute to the monkey's service there is a device known as monkey stick which buskers use to get attention. A monkey stick is a long stick with bottle caps or small cymbals attached such that they make an attention getting noise when shaken. It is frequently topped by a small monkey doll or figurine.
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Old 01-08-09, 09:33 AM   #18
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Default been thinking again

Monkeys take change,dogs take dollars!But I never thought of my dog being a bottler.B Man you make me think!
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