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Old 06-02-03, 12:53 PM   #21
The Amazing Beaumanz
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to be honest with you Jester, I opened this thread to see how some other's might handle situations that some of us who perform nightly near a playground could encounter.

I NEVER stated that this was some type of problem, because we all deal with them in our own way. And I NEVER said anything about calling people prostitutes.

Although I did love seeing Gazzo hand the kid a "space helmet" once. And in the 1980's I remember seeing Butterfly Man in SF and the way he handled the kids and the style of his show was the single most influence that put me where I am today.

Although Gazzo was "harsh" for our environment, his show was one of the best I'd ever seen.


I would like to offer you, JESTER, an open invitation to come perform at our pitch so I can see first hand your abilities on the subject.

please send any promotional information ( your website is non existant) to:
Dallas Saupe
Busker Coordinator- Sunsets at Pier 60 Daily Festival
1295 Santa Rosa St. #5
Clearwater, Florida 33756
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Old 06-02-03, 02:26 PM   #22
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Thank You for the invitation.

I will gladly send you some promo. However I don't really want to go to Florida in the near future. I live in England, Europe.

I'm afraid I still stand by what I said. Some of the lines offered are genuinely funny and good, but a few are damnright malicious, nasty and only suitable for the weak. Looking at your web site I don't think you have a problem, but I think anybody who uses the nasty lines does.

Sorry if I made you fall off your seat. Maybe the seat was on a unicycle or something else equally unstable.

My web site is www.jonathanthejester.co.uk

It wasn't non existant 5 minutes ago.
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Old 06-02-03, 02:33 PM   #23
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Something else to consider is taking a different approach. Rather that being reactive, think preventative.

We all know there are different types of hecklers. Drunks, stoners, walk-bys, and mentally handicapped hecklers all pose certain situations that need to be dealt with on a case by case basis - some harsh, some gently. But for the rest of the time, both child and adult hecklers pop right out of "normal" audience. Unless you go out of your way to invite heckling, the comments that get thrown up on stage may very well be a reflection of your show rather than an indication of the audience member's malice.

I've seen several situations where the audience heckles are simply because they want to have a good time. After all, nobody is making them see the show, they could just walk away. They are there to be part of an entertaining experience, so much so that they often will take it upon themselves to make the show entertaining if the performer isn't keeping up.

If you are getting heckled regularly, it may be because you have spots in your show where the energy and interest is lagging. Dead spots are prime opportunities for audience member to pipe up with some wise crack. Hey, they don't know it consciously, but from their point of view they are really just trying to do you a favor and save the show! The audience doesn't like it when things get slow and dull, so if they think that the show needs some interest, they will provide it.

Point being - tighten your show and keep the audience engaged. When the routine is clean and there are no dead spots, your audience will not have time to heckle you because they will be to busy listening, laughing and clapping.

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Old 06-02-03, 03:59 PM   #24
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I think that is a very helpful post Mr Ragatz.

I may have created the impression that I think I am never heckled. This isn't so. The thing is I enjoy it all so much. When I am heckled I see it as an opportunity. The heckler has invited themself into my show, so I use the opportunity to bring them in but on my terms.

I always assume that the person wants to be part of the fun. I think spending a few years as a lousy stand up comedian trained me well for this. I think 90% of going down well is about the audience liking you. I have seen buskers with really basic acts and tricks go down a storm because the audience liked them.

My all time favorite Rex Boyd, has a brilliant act, but at the same time the audience adore him which makes him for my money one of the best street performers in the world.

Another secret I will pass on is I keep the kids busy. Counting down to a trick, get them shouting loudly and think of funny things the kids can say or shout at the right time. Audience participation takes care of most of them.
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Old 06-09-03, 04:30 PM   #25
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Hi

I just want to say that i dont get heckeld often, as like jester said to keep the audience active by getting them to count, as it keeps them occupied.

but yes there has been times when certain bits of a performance has been boring and during these times i do have the publice heckling me

[ 06-09-2003: Message edited by: Jamie The Jester ]</p>
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Old 06-10-03, 10:21 AM   #26
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It is my opinion, which is surely a biased one, is that the level of energy and the amount of audience participation in my show is very HIGH !! I personally don't feel that there is really a "low" point in my show. But what I do KNOW after working the streets for over 10 years, is that there are some just plain RUDE people!!! Audults, kids, every age group.
Depending on your persona in your show, i feel that "ripping" on them gains control over them and lets anyone else know not to f*ck with you, that you are in control.
I think that after gaining this control that it increases the hat because you are once again TELLING them to give you money.(in a kind and funny way, i might add)
It's all ATTITUDE and PERSONA

A clown can't really call a woman a prostitute, but GAZZO sure can!!!
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Old 06-10-03, 12:40 PM   #27
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Given the history of street performing, I would propose that there are certain expectations that have been established over the past two or three decades. The notion of running into a guy juggling knives or a person in whiteface standing on a box on a street corner isn't really novel anymore, and despite their entertaining abilities, I would be surprised if passer-bys would consider the discovery to be something out of the ordinary. I don't think that it is so much the recognition of the technique, for the common audience doesn't know anything about specific tricks or routines, rather I think that today's audiences have learned about the character of the street act. Can you say "t-shirt and suspenders"? Part of that character is the rapport and banter between the performer and the crowd.

Everyone has to deal with the confrontational loose cannons - those people who just want to be difficult and try to bully the show. They get what they deserve, but usually they won't stick around, and once the threat has been warded off, the performer can get back to the rhythm of the show and work those who really count. But beyond the conforntational individuals, there are hecklers who are actually "paying customers" - people who stay in the audience, and who often turn out to be the best tippers. I call those folk "enthusiastic hecklers".

Establishing control is going to play a major factor with how empowered the audience feels to yell things out. But I think that it is important to look beyond that, and to see what sort of messages we as performers are actually conveying to the crowd. I've seen lots of acts that "ask" for people to yell things out in ways that were unintentional, and other acts that use lots of comebacks and insults even when nobody in the audience is heckling.

Consider the message that the young-male-hyper-funny-juggler exploding with extroverted energy conveys to the audience. Running around with torches waving while trying to throw off jokes clearly invites the audience to challenge. He with the testosterone rules the roost and must be prepared to defend it. If that is the convention you wish to use, then be prepared to accept the unrelenting stream of spectator's heckles, after all, you asked for it. But remember, they only have to be funny one in ten, whereas you have to be funny every time. Doesn't seem fair, does it?

Conversely, if the character of the act has a more introspective energy, then the audience is much less likely to be aggressive and confrontational. In many ways, repect will begin respect. I would guess that street musicians that sit and play rarely have to deal with enthusiastic hecklers (though I'm sure that they get their fare share of confrontational ones!)

Take a good look at your act from the spectator's point of view. At what points are you inviting them to yell out? Are these points where you really want them to feel free to participate? If not, what can you do to focus the crowd's attention, and diffuse that urge to challenge?

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Old 06-10-03, 12:48 PM   #28
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- snap your fingers as if calling a waiter, indicate offending organism- "More sugar, please!"

Is it me, or are some of you not reading the topic of this thread? Someone asks you for a light let me guess... you... lecture on smoking?
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Old 06-10-03, 01:45 PM   #29
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OK, how about:

"Beat it kid, ya' bother me."

Is that any more help?

Steven Ragatz

PS You shouldn't smoke.

[ 06-10-2003: Message edited by: Steven Ragatz ]</p>
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Old 06-11-03, 06:59 PM   #30
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[quote]Originally posted by Steven Ragatz:
<strong>OK, how about:

"Beat it kid, ya' bother me."

Is that any more help?

Steven Ragatz

PS You shouldn't smoke.

[ 06-10-2003: Message edited by: Steven Ragatz ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well Steven, the quality of it certainly affirms my viewpoint on your rhetoric; in that sense, yes, it helps.
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Old 06-11-03, 07:54 PM   #31
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Hey kid, tell your Mom no more drinking when she's pregnant.
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Old 06-11-03, 11:13 PM   #32
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Yo don't make me come over there and slap a diaper on you, boy.
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Old 06-12-03, 09:03 AM   #33
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I bet you skip school but the teachers don't want to spoil it by telling your parents.
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Old 06-14-03, 01:22 AM   #34
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It's bad-lib time. Fill in the blanks with the dirty words of your choice.

1) Shut the ___ up. I don't take _____ from any person the size of my _____.

2) Good news for you, ____ face, only the best dye young

3) When you're impregnating your sister and spiraling to the depts of welfare, remember that you're a _____
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Old 06-14-03, 07:28 AM   #35
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[quote]Originally posted by jester:
<strong>If one can breathe 7ft flames like you can and the kids are still heckling you have a real problem.</strong><hr></blockquote>

So that is why the kids hardly ever heckle me? Luckily, there is always this guy trying to be tougher than me during my show. I love volunteers who offer themselves... Saves you the search for a good one and keeps the rest quiet...
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Old 06-14-03, 05:16 PM   #36
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Kids love to be scared in an entertaining way. My three year old loves scooby doo. His word of the moment is "Scarey" and his eyes light up when he is thrilled by something slightly challenging.

The opening line to my show is "Can I have a volunteer for a really dangerous trick." This really gets the kids interested.

The one heckle I hate from kids is the word "boring." That is rude and consequently easy to deal with because if your act is good you have the moral authority. But if I get annoyed I will lose. I have a great time at the hecklers expense, but they laugh too.

"I've seen somebody else do this before." Well it must be good because here you are watching it again.

My tricks are safe and really quite mild but it is the way we do them that makes a trick work for us. I recently had to follow a fire breather blowing 7ft flames. I have all the lines and I can follow it but it is difficult.
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Old 10-23-03, 07:32 AM   #37
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how about just stopping what you are doing, look straight at the rude kid, walk over to prop box, pull out a roll of duct-tape and rolling it on the ground to their feet??

or pulling out a muzzle?
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Old 10-23-03, 12:13 PM   #38
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Here's something that most of us posting to this thread haven't considered; I saw it this past weekend:

We got to the stage for our timeslot and the act that had just been on warned us there was some big, obnoxious kid in the front row who was yelling out pointless shit all through their show--a real pain in the ass.

As we discussed various comments, bit, and lines we could use to shut him up, Liz, one of the women in our show walked out front, sat down on the kid's lap (he was a big kid, but still pre- to early teens) and quietly told him that he was getting a reputation for interrupting shows, and could he please keep it down so no one would have to ask him to leave.

He got a very sheepish look on his face, and was a perfect gentleman the rest of the show.

Yes, I know it's not a "heckler line" and it's not as fun as showing the audience how cleverly cutting our razor-sharp wit can be, but it was classy, dignified, and completely effective.
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Old 10-23-03, 12:26 PM   #39
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because our pitch is located at a playground on the beach, we are faced with "local kids" nightly. Same kids, night after night. After awhile, they know your show as well as you do.

Many nights, i have been able to quietly whisper in a childs ear "all these people haven't seen my show yet, i'm glad your back to see it again, but let ME do the show."

This, for the most part, works quite well.
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Old 10-23-03, 07:40 PM   #40
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Getting hekled comes with the job being a performer you gotta excpect that. If you know how to deal with the situation when it occurs then do that.
One thing that's not good is when in a family invironement we should be careful on how we deal with heklers especially kids that hekle us some street performers say some things that are pretty boarderline in a family invironment or say things that are to harsh to say to a kid.

Some of us make realy realy good money doing what we love to do but we can't forget we all had to start some where and when we first started we were happy to have any audience at all watching us perform let it be children or grownups and we delt with heklers the best way we knew how as a matter of fact that's how learned to dael heklers in the first place.
Our break dance show very rarely gets hekled because in the beginning of the show we use music and do a high energy dance routine so we take control of the crowed from the start. Not only that, to the kids were "KOOL" and the parents like us also. After our opening dance number we can pretty much do what we want with the audience.

Some performers need to become more hip do something in the beginning of there show that the kids like something kool. Wheather it's setting up your props useing some of todays popular music like my friend Dallas aka BAUMONZ in Clearwater Fl does,dress hip just be in tuned with todays styles and lingo what ever do someting kool. Alot performers are still dressing and useing traditional circus music in there shows that's lame according to todays kids.
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