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Old 07-06-09, 05:23 PM   #1
Lagtime
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Question Walk by street performing

I live in Colorado Springs and started street performing this year. We can't solicit for tips or gather a crowd really for longer than five minutes, so I do a juggling bit with people just walking by with another friend who juggles.

We don't do horribly, but I feel like we must be missing something since we are pretty new to this kind of performing. (We do full length shows with a vaudeville group around town.) I've searched the threads and looked for info about this, but didn't really find anything, so if anyone has some advice I would surely appreciate it.

Thanks!
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Old 07-07-09, 12:05 AM   #2
elbonko
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Default screw subtlety

so you're looking for tips on making more money? even if you can't mention tips, there are ways to make it painfully obvious that they should tip you. when doing smaller sidewalk stuff i'll do a small bit and take a bow. then, just before doing anything else, i'll suddenly remember to put the hat out. then i finish the next bit and when they applaud i take a bow and make a very big gesture pointing to the hat on the ground in front of me. anytime someone puts something in the hat, i make sure to applaud them for being fine, decent human beings and setting a wonderful example. kids get a high five.

and the hat. i use a very obvious big red hat that has a 5, 10 and 20 safety-pinned inside and coming out the top, so they know exactly why it is there and lets them know they can put more than change or a 1 inside.

the point is, there are definitely ways to tell them you are working for money, without just telling them you are working for money.

oh, and when you do your bit, don't just do your bit independent of the on-lookers, try to connect with them in any way possible. that might just be eye-contact, or talking to them, or a wink and a smile. give them a reason to see you as a person and a performer, not just background noise.


heavy hats,

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Last edited by elbonko; 07-07-09 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 07-07-09, 12:11 AM   #3
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I like that, nice subliminal messages for the folks. I'll have to try the bow and gesture thing next time, should be easy enough. We usually keep fives in the hat when we first start, and then empty it out periodicly so it looks emptier, anybody else try that? It seems to get us more tips, but could just be coincidence.
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Old 07-07-09, 01:15 PM   #4
Daniel Mooncalf
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So as part of an ordinance, you can't solicit tips, or carry on for more than 5 minutes?


Talk to your local ACLU chapter.


Yes, seeing tips in a visible container does tell people to tip. But nothing beats saying "Hey, tip me. I'd prefer a five or higher."
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Old 07-07-09, 02:30 PM   #5
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It's not really that we can't carry on for more than five minutes, the cops just get antsy when we do and then they start to ask questions and ruin the flow for the evening, and at our pitch when a crowd gathers it usually blocks the sidewalk which they say hinders buisness on the street.

What kind of information should I seek at the civil liberties union?
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Old 07-07-09, 02:41 PM   #6
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I'm running up against a similar problem where I am. According to the wonderful little letter I have giving me permission to use the pitch, one of the rules is that I cannot set a dollar value on my show or ask the crowd for money.

The people who issued the letter insist that they understand what I'm trying to do.
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Old 07-07-09, 05:45 PM   #7
Lee Nelson
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I think you are facing one of the greatest street performer dilemnas.
Space.
My advice to you would be to work the space available in a way that will maximize its returns without pissing other humans off.
This is the key to longevity.
Try to remember that while you have right for freedom so does everybody else.
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Old 11-27-09, 04:21 AM   #8
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You mentioned "Another friend who juggles." I there are two or more of you try doing your acts separately from each other, but not far. Do yours first for five minutes. When yours in finished, have your partner do his/her juggling act. Keep rotating in that manner. You can try being 10 feet away from your partner. It will help show you are different acts.
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Old 07-25-10, 07:55 AM   #9
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Why am I up this early? I dunno. Can't blame it on my alarm cock, yep that's cock not clock, he's a banty and has a very piercing crow, but I'm used to him.

Anyway .... I lived in the Springs for a bit, it's a small town. I'm heartened (there's a word for you) to hear of anyone doing well at all performing.

I'd consider getting up to Boulder a bit, is there a bus that goes up there, or can you actually drive up?

I was kind of sheltered, living in the Springs, since I lived at the olympic training center.
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Old 07-25-10, 11:20 AM   #10
jeep caillouet
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Hey Lagtime you can work in Manatou Springs. Do you every see Fiddleing Willie up there?
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Old 08-13-10, 12:33 PM   #11
Cate Emily
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lex Brodie View Post
Why am I up this early? I dunno. Can't blame it on my alarm cock, yep that's cock not clock, he's a banty and has a very piercing crow, but I'm used to him.

Anyway .... I lived in the Springs for a bit, it's a small town. I'm heartened (there's a word for you) to hear of anyone doing well at all performing.

I'd consider getting up to Boulder a bit, is there a bus that goes up there, or can you actually drive up?

I was kind of sheltered, living in the Springs, since I lived at the olympic training center.
If you're still interested....

Things are starting to wind down a bit here in Boulder, but there's still money to be made. It's really not that far to drive up from the Springs (it's like 2hrs, but really not that bad) and I'm sure that there's a bus that will take you there.

If you do fire, knives or anything high you'll need a permit. Permits are free, but you'll need insurance. Otherwise, bring your stuff, get in line and let's see what you got.

Cate
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Old 08-13-10, 03:19 PM   #12
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As for insurance, isn't there a national clowns association or something like that, you can join and get insurance through?

Once I'm good enough on this horn of mine, I plan to join:

ACLU
International Trumpet Guild
And perhaps this clowns' organization or something for insurance needs.
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