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Old 01-18-09, 06:19 PM   #1
Schuyler
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Default Pitch Death

Well, I know that I'm going to find my own answers to this shortly, but it's a terrifying prospect so here I am wailing into the internet again. Hear me holographic robot people.

Spring is fast approaching and at the same time I'm hitting the bottom of my magical pot of gold that's kept me alive and where I am over the winter. Luckily the season for street performing starts much earlier in Edmonton than it does in Sylvan Lake when I started last year. I'm pulling the old show together again for another, hopefully, bigger and better run. However I have no plans to travel. Due to several things tying me down to the area I'm in I plan to perform almost entirely in Edmonton and the surrounding area for the spring and summer.

Then it hits me... that's a long time. A lot of months. Farmers markets are going to be my best venues for the next little while until it gets consistently warm and tourists start flooding Churchill Square, the only pitch in the city that I'm aware of, and the first "real" pitch I'll have worked. I'm just a young upstart with naught twenty minutes of anything special cobbled together and a bowler hat to keep me afloat. I need to live off of this.

Or take a real job again but I'm so out of place in that world that I'd rather not dwell on it, instead focusing my energy on making this work.

I have faith in what I've put together, I enjoy doing it, people seemed to receive it well last year. Still though, I imagine Edmontonians are going to have seen it by the time summer rolls around. I'm starting to worry about people getting bored with me by the time festival season hits. Just how DOES one keep from growing too old while working one place for a whole season?

I'm thinking of maybe limiting the work I take to what I absolutely need... Of course I can always try to do more booked work, which grows easier to find in the summer to help a little. I'd love to change the show and add more but I'm not quite ready for that just yet. That is to say I don't have any more material I feel is presentation ready. I'm trying to do my best not to piss people off by being another young new guy working an area to death. It's bad for me and for performance as a whole. I'm just not sure exactly how I'm going to avoid it.

Well, we'll see.

Wow, that was a lot of paragraphs. Concise points are not my forte...
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Old 01-18-09, 09:34 PM   #2
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Default

If it really is your first or second year, your act will still be changing every day. There will be subtle changes every time you do it, but they'll add up over time and by the end of the summer, your show will be much different.

Don't try to come out with a whole new act. Just add a bit here and there. Once one new bit starts improving, take out the weakest bit. If you add one bit per month, you'll have an entirely different show in 6 months.

And even if your actual bits don't change, the WAY you do them will. And your confidence and stage presence will improve every time you get in front of an audience.

I wouldn't worry about it too much at this relatively early point in your career. Just be open to new stuff happening in the show and watch it evolve.
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Old 01-18-09, 11:25 PM   #3
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Default Listen

Ya, what Jim said, and LISTEN to your audience, they can teach you/us a lot.
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Old 01-19-09, 10:16 AM   #4
Daniel Mooncalf
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Default What I've learned....

... Is that, even hundreds of miles south (and a couple east), that if you need to LIVE off street performing, you have to work most of the year.

Also, having not yet travelled form Kansas City, the tips I've made have increased every year... I get bigger crowds and better reaction. I get repeat viewers who tip again.

Over the last 10 years, I've probably tipped a hundred bucks (in ones and fives) to the acts I love to see again and again.



Anyway, Cellini says that you WILL eventually grow stagnant, and if you're seriously wanting to live off street performing, you HAVE TO TRAVEL.

Your money depends on the tourists. Can you spend time in Calgary, too? Can you head west to Vancouver?
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Old 01-21-09, 05:16 PM   #5
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Youre comin from a good place
Dont worry too much
I dont know the pitch but I ask you one question.
In your life how many times a week do you walk past the same spot?
YOU may not be an 'everage Joe' but I guess others are the same - Not many times and thus your audience is unlikely to be the same people watching the 'same' show.
Even if they are
Some of the best pitches ive worked have had locals that know and like what I do - they tend to cheer the loudest and get the rest of the crowd there/going
I understand you need to make a living.
If you persevere you will.
If its not much, try to think of this time as an investment in your show and dont get down on the hat.
Above all stick with it - after all....whats the alternative!!
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