performers.net forums  

Go Back   performers.net forums > BUSKING STUFF > BUSKING Q&A/GENERAL PERFORMING TOPICS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-27-03, 12:51 AM   #1
Evan Young
Senior Member
 
Evan Young's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Mid Atlantic (PA)
Posts: 1,002
Send a message via AIM to Evan Young
Post Bailing out

When do you bail on a show?
I bailed my first show tonight. I couldn't deal with the front row at all. They were destroying the focus of everything, so I told them to go watch the next show in line. I have never been so annoyed in my life with an audience. I'll do shows in slow times when I can't get many people to watch, and finish them, but I couldn't deal with these people. I'm never gonna do it again though.
__________________
--EvAN--

ka-pow!
www.globalevan.com
www.showoffshow.com
www.evanshotme.com
Evan Young is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-03, 05:42 PM   #2
le pire
Senior Member
 
le pire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,113
Post

I've never bailed on a show.

You couldn't deal with the front row-- where the heckling you, talking during your set... what was it?

In any case, you should just bail because:

a) don't let a few losers ruin it for the REST of the audience that is having a good time.

b) chances are the rest if the audience can't see or hear these losers, so they won't understand why you quit and then YOU look like the jerk.

If you are having trouble focusing then this is YOUR problem, and it is pathetic to blame your audience instead of focusing on the real issue.


etienne
le pire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-03, 06:42 PM   #3
Dan Tastik
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 109
Send a message via ICQ to Dan Tastik
Post

Yeah this is one of my favorite topics of pointless circular arguing! So my theory is that you don't bail a show because of awkward people, you systematically destroy them and then build them back up so that they think that them being ripped was a great experience (this is important.) You dont bail a show just because noone stops, you do more things, or less things or whatever.

However you are, in my opinion, completely justified in bailing a show when your dignity has completely gone. If things go badly up to a stage where you are no longer playing the fool but actually looking foolish it's ok to say rightO bye. Because when it gets to that stage you aren't an entertainer anymore you are someone looking like a dick and what business do you have trying to entertain people? Im sure some of you will know or remember or have repressed that moment when you realise that the predominant emotion the audience is feeling is pity and they're only staying because they feel sorry for you and are too embarrassed to simply get up and leave.

Stopping with dignity is an art. Learn how to do it.
__________________
Dan Tastik: Organised Mayhem
Dan Tastik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-03, 10:50 PM   #4
Steven Ragatz
Senior Member
 
Steven Ragatz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 493
Post

What's the fun of street performing if you can't throw out the script on a whim? There are different ways of "bailing" other than simply stopping the show. Sometimes shows can be salvaged in unpredictable ways if you keep in mind you can change everything as you go. Hey, I think it's the fun part.

It is easy to get into a rut and cling to the mindset that the show is supposed to go this-way and only this-way. On one hand, it helps to tighten the routines and make things look planned, on the other hand, it can force one into being inflexible when unusual situations occur.

When I had to do many shows over and over, I would occasionally shake up my routine by intentionally throwing in some variant. Most of the time it wasn't something that was planned or engineered. Mostly, I would agree with myself before the show that "this one doesn't count" and that the performance's purpose was to introduce the possibility for something new to happen. Probably, in some way I was fighting against any OCD tendency by forcing change even when it wasn't obviously needed.

As Dan suggests, keep your pride, dignity and faith, but be willing to sacrifice a few shows so that some good can happen in the long run. Roll with the punches, and if you up and decide that the show is over, then so be it. Author's prerogative!

Steven Ragatz

[ 06-27-2003: Message edited by: Steven Ragatz ]</p>
Steven Ragatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-03, 12:34 AM   #5
Rick Martin
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Dunedin, FL.
Posts: 82
Post

Lets say you've done several thousand shows and the vast majority of them have gone just fine, so the problem is not with you. But every great once in a while, right from the get go, people don't want to come up to the line that you want them to. They are scared, confused, stupid or just got off the bus from Assholetown. Who knows??? The men have their arms folded across their chest and the women are standing a couple of steps behind them. Everybody's frowning. Maybe it's real hot out or they all have diarrehea and they're worried about when that's gonna hit again. You ask the crowd if they want to see your show and they don't respond. Some jaggoff answers his cell phone and starts gabbing. I tell the whole lot of them to get lost. I'll try again later with some different people.
Rick Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-03, 10:42 AM   #6
The Amazing Beaumanz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Clearwater, Fl
Posts: 437
Post

I agree with Mr. Martin. Sometimes "dumping" a show or "firing" your crowd is neccessary. Especially if your show demands a certain amount of enthusiasm from the crowd.
__________________
Busker Coordinator/ Performer- Sunsets at Pier 60 Daily Festival
Clearwater beach, Florida
The Amazing Beaumanz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-03, 04:16 PM   #7
GlassHarper
Senior Member
 
GlassHarper's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hurricane Isaac Evacuation to NYS
Posts: 174
Blog Entries: 2
Post

Yay for Steven!

I do small circle shows that last for, at most, five minutes. The ambiance depends on getting the audience in close. When I run on to a situation where "the men have their arms folded across their chest and the women are standing a couple of steps behind them," and they just won't move up, I put the top on my instrument, turn around and face the other way, perhaps take a drink of water. I'd far rather start over with a more cooperative audience.

If, on the other hand, after I've accumulated a good audience, an otherwise unstopable heckler takes over the show and the original audience sees I've tried to deal with it nicely (or even nastily), I'll put the top on the instrument, apologize by saying I just can't continue my show under the circumstances and freeze in mime position staring right at the miscreant who will soon leave or be forced out by those that actually want to see the show. "Bless you for sticking around," I'll say as I resume the show, repeating the last line of the monologue (which also reinforces the notion that it is a more -or-less formal show). [img]eek.gif[/img]
__________________
The GlassHarper (I play glassical music)!
GlassHarper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-03, 04:32 PM   #8
martin ewen
Senior Member
 
martin ewen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Trapped-Please send money
Posts: 1,888
Blog Entries: 15
Default

I've never bailed a show,never farted and only actually go to the toilet ceremonially.

Personally (and you may find this shocking) the wonderful sense of self rightious glowing regard in which I occasionally bask as I actively hate individuals and whole crowds for simply being ugly, stupid, predictably facile, shallowly defensive, or any number of banal characteristics that reflect just how pitiful humanity is generally and how very unrealistically high my own expectations ,(of both myself and others which is complicated by the fact that I'm a born asshole)
are one of the advantages street performance has over other jobs.
You owe nobody anything and expectations are yours before they exist for anyone else.
People acting badly are just doing it because you have given them a structure to subvert and most times, as ugly as it is to contemplate, it's all they have in their vocabulary of playfulness.
Recognising that you can go the mother teresa, high-ego route and NEVER bail, thus proving that anyone can be manipulated given the right mixture of patience and a limitless vocab of distraction, also proving that one person CAN make a difference and that dedication and perserverance are the cornerstones of character. (The increadible journey...2 dogs and a cat and a busker endure the hardships of traversing a continent of collective attention span without petfood or positive reinforcement....sniff sniff)
OR
You can recognise that the world is sometimes a tough place but that also you are merely a street entertainer trying to earn a living and as such psychiatric nursing is not a manditory skill. Your responsibility towards your audience is secondary and that they also recognise that you are really not that important to them either.
So little tommy might whine that the funnyman just threw a hissy-fit and didn't juggle as promised..big deal, lets find a balloonclown or some sugar.
Its liberating to, as a street performer, think, or even state, 'I'm sure as individuals some of you deserve to live, but collectively you simply don't strike me as worth the effort and I have better things to do, you think I'm arrogant and I think your retarded, thanks for playing.'
It can be empowering to dwell on the deficiencies of others, a welcome distraction from self hatred at least.
Use it wisely and rarely but go ahead and use it, deliberately withdraw your production of inconseqential public moments .
(I was in Perth Australia and watched in jaded amusement as a guy who passed through a tennis racket for a living waited 2 hours a day for 6 days in a row to spit the dummy in front of a confused audience within the 1st 10 mins of his show. A lesson I've learnt is that if you are going to be effective angry you need to choose something or somebody that , even vaguely, cares...and audiences don't...
because they're not your parents and so don't have to.)
If you never give up then eventually you will always succeed.
Success is good but don't deny yourself the rich diverse breadth of failure.
martin ewen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-03, 05:47 PM   #9
Spike McGuire
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 91
Send a message via AIM to Spike McGuire
Butterfly

Personally, I can tell if an audience is going to rule or suck within the first three minutes of the first routine. I have had some lame ass crowds, but I have never bailed. Here's what I do: Cut to the chase, Just make it a shorter show. If I get a ways into my show, and am getting nothing from the crowd, I'll just cut straight to my finish trick.

Of course, Don't let your self get stuck in "these guys suck, I'm doing a short show" mind set, because new people come up all the time. Constantly analyze the crowd and vary the show as needed.

The crowd can like you but not have to understand you. And you don't have to like the crowd, but you sure as hell need to understand them.

-----Spike
__________________
Of the future only one thing is certain, there will be comedy.
Spike McGuire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-03, 10:20 PM   #10
worldwidese
Senior Member
 
worldwidese's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Clearwater, FL, USA
Posts: 510
Post

Big deal! So you had one show that wasn't a howling success? Happens to all of us once in a while. There's plenty more fish in the sea. Don't feel bad, or that you're a failure. Don't pout or make nasty remarks to the audience. Just end your show immediately with your last trick, smile, and say "That's all folks!" or something similar. and remember that they don't know your show was supposed to be much longer.
Then go take a stroll, get something to drink or whatever to give that crowd time to disperse, and then start again. It's a good idea before a show to "meet and greet" the first few folks who come up to your pitch. Make friends with them, and you and they will have be on the same wavelength and your whole show will feel better. At least they won't throw rotten eggs at you!
__________________
The World On A String.
worldwidese is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-03, 02:13 AM   #11
Evan Young
Senior Member
 
Evan Young's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Mid Atlantic (PA)
Posts: 1,002
Send a message via AIM to Evan Young
Post

Ok, your right, it's not a big deal. but it is a good thread.
here is what happened in more detail. I was gathering my crowd before Tom's show ended... I got a group of girls and talked to them just like you advised. got a few other people too. Toms show broke, and I notice that zip code man was starting a show against me... an unexpected challenge but not a hard one.
So I did my crowd gathering gag and built up a pretty big croud, way bigger than zippy's. but they were really unresponsive.... o well that happens. so I moved on to my devil stick routien. it was cold so I gave my jacket to one of the girls I was talking to before. they were talking to eachother so I told them to stop. they immediatly continued after I continued with my show. I made a self depricating joke and some dip shit dude (wearing a cristina agulara shirt) didn't get it. It was too early in the show to be mean to him so I tried to ignore it after I asked him to repeat it so I could hear. the audience was still very unresponsive and dwindeling fast; I looked over at zippy's show and it was huge. I told the girls to stop talking again, which they did for about three seconds. then I told the audience that if they didn't make enough noise for the next trick I would stop the show. Again I told the girls to shut up. that dude made some other moron remark that I couldn't use to my advantage. they didn't make much noise for the trick and on top of that I droped it. So I told them all to go and watch zippy and proceded to throw my stuff into my flight case in an angry fasion. that dip shit told me he thought I was cool and it was all I could to to keep from telling him what a loser he is. I was on the verge of snapping my devil stick in half.

it is kind of a big deal because I told a large audinece to fuck off durring "prime time" on a thursday night. It does not help my community of fellow street performers in any way, it hurts them. it makes us all look bad.
I'll never do it again.

[quote]Originally posted by worldwidese:
<strong>Big deal! So you had one show that wasn't a howling success? Happens to all of us once in a while. There's plenty more fish in the sea. Don't feel bad, or that you're a failure. Don't pout or make nasty remarks to the audience. Just end your show immediately with your last trick, smile, and say "That's all folks!" or something similar. and remember that they don't know your show was supposed to be much longer.
Then go take a stroll, get something to drink or whatever to give that crowd time to disperse, and then start again. It's a good idea before a show to "meet and greet" the first few folks who come up to your pitch. Make friends with them, and you and they will have be on the same wavelength and your whole show will feel better. At least they won't throw rotten eggs at you!</strong><hr></blockquote>

[ 06-29-2003: Message edited by: Evan Young ]</p>
__________________
--EvAN--

ka-pow!
www.globalevan.com
www.showoffshow.com
www.evanshotme.com
Evan Young is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-03, 12:10 PM   #12
scot
Senior Member
 
scot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Hollywood
Posts: 1,169
Send a message via AIM to scot
Guitar

The community weaps. Don't tarnish the name of street performers ever again or you will be banished.
Sincerely,
Scot Nery
__________________
scot@jugglegood.com
scot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-03, 12:58 PM   #13
Butterfly Man
Refurbished Member
 
Butterfly Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Farthest point south in US
Posts: 1,606
Hat

I fart a lot ... celebrate going to the toilet (anywhere, anytime) and have never bailed on a show (unless you count the time a guy pulled a gun on me).

I have been so ashamed and embarrased (onstage and off) Id rather not dwell on it right now.


Its an unwritten contract ... and you sign it when you start.

Not louder shreiks to pitying heaven are cast,
When jugglers and street dogs breathe their last.

P.S. Ask Rob Torres about the time he killed the moth ...
__________________
butterflyman.com
Butterfly Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-03, 08:04 PM   #14
Mr.Taxi Trix
Senior Member
 
Mr.Taxi Trix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: New York, NYish.
Posts: 1,273
Canada

Nah.

Bail away. If there's an unwritten contract, clause 17 says that people will watch in at least a remotely civil manner. If they don't, fuck 'em. Why plod ahead in a shitstorm?
I was 19 when I saw Gazzo send a full, rivited circle three deep off to the bricks, telling them they were paying the price for the last crowd, who stiffed him. I loved it, and was happy to see that much freedom in a street artist's performance vocabulary.

I've used it sparingly, but yes, I've bailed. Flipping the bird at the hand that feeds.
Sweet rebellion.

ps I definitely count the time the guy pulled a gun on you, you big chicken.

[ 06-29-2003: Message edited by: Mr.Taxi Trix ]</p>
Mr.Taxi Trix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-03, 09:26 PM   #15
Pyromancer
Senior Member
 
Pyromancer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 248
Post

When I am seriously struggling, I sincerely ask the audience whether they want me to continue or stop. That enables me to see which people are really interested and then I can focus on them. Strangely enough, as soon as I 'give up' by asking that question, it opens the way for a more relax approach and a better show and new crowd build.

Or I just call it the 'fuck off show' within my head and see how much of a fool I can make of myself, or how obnoxious I can be for my audience. It doesn't particulary help the audience in liking me, but gives me a a lot of fun.

Less than a week ago I nearly had a riot in my circle! A wonderfull show. Halfway it started to rain, to increase the magic. I unconsciously prayed all day for that rain. But two morons didn't quite grasp it, started fooling around, finding agressive oppression from the crowd and then decided to have a go on one particular audience member. No guns, though. And I didn't bail out. Just took my shoes off because things where getting too slippery.

P.S. Rob, please tell us about the time you killed the moth? [img]biggrin.gif[/img]

[ 06-29-2003: Message edited by: Pyromancer ]</p>
Pyromancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-03, 06:04 PM   #16
jester
Senior Member
 
jester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,084
Clown

I love this thread. I haven't bailed yet but I've been tempted to many times. Martins peice is absolutey brilliant and yet again he has made me want to stand up and applaud by my computer.
__________________
If an artist can't even dream of happy ending what chance have the politicians got of making one?

jester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-03, 10:08 PM   #17
martin ewen
Senior Member
 
martin ewen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Trapped-Please send money
Posts: 1,888
Blog Entries: 15
Default

Please...I don't take praise very well (it tends to make me extremely suspicious and I invariably lash out)
People that have never bailed are either mere puppets to proffessionalizm (and I'd like to point out that as a street performer it becomes a proffession only after anyone pays you, before that time you are as much a mental outpatient as the guy with the stained trousers scolding windblown shoppingbags.)
or simply lack the character to fail on their own terms.
(the little engine that could...."I know I'm crap I know I'm crap I know I'm crap.")
People that have never bailed are stateing baldly that in the public domain they have never been beaten.
Some even state as principle that they never will be.
So the authorities have never closed them down?
A passing parade/funeral has never halted their show?
They have never vomited over their audience before dry-retching and staggering away?
A meteor has never plunged into their planet mid-show, killing all the dinosours?
I respect stubbornness in most of its forms but cannot imagine the type of personality that for what-ever reason, can simply carry on regardless.
Some people just have far too much pride. It 's more humiliating in my opinion watching someone who's worldview cannot comprehend failure bulldozing through defensive structures than it is watching some brave naked soul lose everything but the echo of what was once their spirit of adventure. THATS entertainment!
martin ewen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-03, 02:50 PM   #18
worldwidese
Senior Member
 
worldwidese's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Clearwater, FL, USA
Posts: 510
Post

Ok, let's approach it from a different angle. If "prime time" lasts till after Zippy's show, I would suggest you hold off with yours and grab his crowd as they walk away. Then you'll have a ready made crowd, added to the ones you've already collected for your "nucleus" and the whole thing should rock.
__________________
The World On A String.
worldwidese is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-03, 05:15 PM   #19
Evan Young
Senior Member
 
Evan Young's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Mid Atlantic (PA)
Posts: 1,002
Send a message via AIM to Evan Young
Post

[quote]Originally posted by worldwidese:
<strong>Ok, let's approach it from a different angle. If "prime time" lasts till after Zippy's show, I would suggest you hold off with yours and grab his crowd as they walk away. Then you'll have a ready made crowd, added to the ones you've already collected for your "nucleus" and the whole thing should rock.</strong><hr></blockquote>

You don't know how things work here do you? You go when it's your turn or you forfit back to the end of the line (2hr line). Besides, Zippy wasn't the problem. Did you even read my post before you decided to respond? I wonder about you sometimes.
__________________
--EvAN--

ka-pow!
www.globalevan.com
www.showoffshow.com
www.evanshotme.com
Evan Young is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-03, 08:47 AM   #20
Juggalicious
Senior Member
 
Juggalicious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Boston, Ma
Posts: 340
Send a message via AIM to Juggalicious
Post

if you wait in line then why did zippy go at the same time as you - why didnt he go either right before you or right after you?
__________________
Alex


I have new juggling clubs.
Juggalicious is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.