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Old 02-22-02, 09:20 AM   #1
Danny Hustle
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Post The worlds most dangerous pitch?

I was having a talk with an old friend last night. We tended bar together in New Orleans during the early 80's. I told him that I was busking and his reaction was, "Are you f***ing nuts?"

I was a bit surprised by his response untill he reminded me of a customer (sadly an all to frequent customer) who busked untill the night he was almost killed working a pitch.

I had almost forgotten about this, but it got me thinking.

Are their (well known?) pitches or places you just won't work because it is too dangerous?

I know all to well that crime can happen anywhere but, I'm sure there must be places where even steely eyed buskers fear to tread.

Thanks,

Dan-
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Old 02-22-02, 10:43 AM   #2
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Winnipeg in Fricken January. You'll pray to be mugged just to get the adrenaline going.
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Old 02-22-02, 03:48 PM   #3
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I havent travelled the world, and I wouldn't have thunk it - but had I stayed on Ft. Lauderdale beach for even five minutes longer, I wouldn't be writing this now ...
Maybe it was just a particularly dastardly night.
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Old 02-23-02, 02:17 PM   #4
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Glasgow, Scotland.

Pedestrian mall at night 2 years ago. (Walk-by)

Right: someone beaten to death, with street signs.
Left: another fight, junkie related.
Front: Stabbing, bouncer related.

Sometimes the pitch isn't worth it.

2x circle shows while passing through this year though. Lots of junkie jokes. One in the rain, Buchanian Street.

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Alice Springs, Australia. (walk-by/night)

Riot conditions, rugby hooligans style. In the center of insanity, directing traffic and flying street signs. Quelled and escaped quietly & quickly.

Day pitch during market sunday. Brillant circle show, as long as your not infront of the church. Seems their god doesn't like celebration, which led to an interesting theological discussion. Then moving up the mall, got in a great show.

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Old 02-23-02, 02:23 PM   #5
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[quote]Originally posted by Robnut:
<strong>Winnipeg in Fricken January. You'll pray to be mugged just to get the adrenaline going.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Not to mention auditioning in april, to do it at the forks anyways. (Grin) Never stayed past december. -40c just isn't my scene. Worked a first night on Sparks St in Ottawa though. 4 pairs of long johns, and only fire props. Paid gig, so couldn't bail. Good publicity though, nightly news/newspapers/radio/etc..

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Old 02-23-02, 05:46 PM   #6
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The most believeable physical threats of violence: New Orleans, Venice Beach, San Francisco. The rudest and most unprofessional behavior from so-called "legends": Amsterdam and Melbourne. (Haven't made it to the UK yet, but hope springs eternal.)
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Old 02-23-02, 09:41 PM   #7
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In hindsight I guess this could have been dangerous:
One night Rusty Balls and I did tag-team shows 'till 4:00 am at Kings Cross in Sydney.

I can't believe the stuff I could get away with doing on that pitch.

I had a routine I used whan the audience would turn on me(which was nearly all the time during late night shows) I would tape an extremely large dildo to my leg under my shorts. When the heckling and threats became too much I'd offer to cut my dick off to please them. of course they'd all start yelling "Cut your dick off, cut it off you fucker" and I'd proceed to do so and win them over every time.
I had cut the dildo open and inserted a can of hair mousse so the nozzel stuck out of the tip. I did a 2 balls and my dick juggling routine that climaxed with me spraying white mousse all over myself.
Try that one at a Childrens Festival.
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Old 02-25-02, 07:59 AM   #8
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[quote]Originally posted by Scot Free:
<strong>In hindsight I guess this could have been dangerous:
I did a 2 balls and my dick juggling routine that climaxed with me spraying white mousse all over myself.
Try that one at a Childrens Festival.</strong><hr></blockquote>

DOH!!! I just sprayed coffee all over my new monitor. ROFLMAO!

Now THAT is entertainment! I hope you pulled a fat hat.

Best,

Dan-
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Old 02-25-02, 11:37 PM   #9
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Kurfurstendamm, Berlin, 1991.
The Wall had been down about a year and a bit, but Gorbachov had just, 4 days before, been incarcerated by the KGB. It was a nervous time.

On the day the KGB grabbed Gorby, Jenny McCracken, Roland Jossutis and myself were meeting in Bonn to travel to Geldern where they hold the world's biggest pavement art festival (300-500 artists, lot's of teams, it's very cool). Jenny adapted an old Norman Rockwell, "Saturday Evening Post" cover, substituting Gorbachov as the subject character ( see http://www.chalkcircle.com.au/pavement/pave8.htm for the pic as done in Berlin), teamed up with Roland and won the Grand Prize, regarded by many as the World Championship (I went solo and came fifth so we were all quite pleased).
After dropping Jenny off to catch a train back to Switzerland, Roland and I heard the most astounding story on the radio (really, Roland heard it and was madly trying to translate it to me).

When The Berlin Wall came down everything was rosy for awhile, then problems arose within the basic maintainence of the city and its now wildly disparate management systems. It was apparent that something had to be done but both govt's prevaricated and procrastinated over a solution. It finally came about in the form of an interim "Local Gov't" to cover both sides of the city and, since they had not had time for elections, it was filled with "figurehead" types (artists, academics, writers, community leaders,etc.) just so they could rubberstamp the neccessary documents to keep the city running.
This all took a while and the day Roland was driving me to meet my plane home in Munich, these guys had their first meeting.

The mistake that both govt's made was to install an "Interim" assembly as opposed to a "Caretaker" assembly. The difference being an "Interim" Govt can take whatever measures it deems neccessary to deal with immediate problems whilst a "Caretaker" Govt. can only deal with ongoing public services etc.
The incarceration of Gorbachov severly shook the German people and those that had been installed in the Interim Govt. were no fools. The minute the chair had the floor (it was the conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, whose name escapes me) a bill was proposed, that would entrench the principles of freedom of speech, travel and enterprise and encourage celebration of life. The assembly went into debate and the lawyers into apoplexy.
When they closed their first session they had passed a bill that the right to Streetperform/busk would be forever entrenched in Berlin's laws. Tomorrow they would be a "Caretaker" Govt.

Roland and I turned around, made lots of pleading phone calls (Bev was not impressed but Qantas were forgiving) and hired a campervan. Jenny got back to her base in Switz., heard what was happening and caught the train straight back. We made it to the office in East Berlin at 8am and got the #1 license. We couldn't find anywhere worth working on the east so we went back to the west side of town

The 5 days we worked in Kurfurstendamm were hell, the place was full of eastern bloc desperados (many, many soldiers or ex) running astounding scams. We were in their patch and if it wasn't for the fact that our work was good and we'd been in a fair bit of the media, I think they might have just disappeared us. In the first 2 days, the threat was palpable. I have no idea what would have happened on that street had Gorbachov not been released.

When I was first banned in Melb., I used to work Fitzroy St. in St Kilda on Thurs., Fri and Sat nights starting about 9 at night and go till 3-4 am. It was also full of crazies but the difference was that they weren't all bored, displaced, disaffected professionally trained soldiers (killers???).
I must say, though, that I really think you can conquer any pitch if your work is good enough. We spend more time on our pitches than most street acts and it's only what we create that allows us to claim our bit of space. Most of our stuff takes ten or more days to do. If we are good enough, the skate board kids, the bike riders, "suits" in a hurry, other acts and even the city cleaners will leave our stuff alone. In fact, we don't even get much shit from jugglers on unicycles.
The danger of a site is inversely proportional to the quality of your work.

[ 02-27-2002: Message edited by: Peter Voice ]</p>
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Old 04-29-02, 09:20 PM   #10
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Yesterday some cretin tried to kick my walking globe out from under me as i juggled. Not that dangerous, eh?
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Old 05-19-06, 09:31 AM   #11
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johannesburg..
this year
three guys with guns
i was in the wrong place
or they were
they mugged me while I was doing a show
I hadnt even got my hat yet
I apologised profusely for not having any money whilst packing up
cracking lame jokes while my voice cracked
the entire audience walked away, it was just me and them.
they went thru my stuff but couldnt find anything else they wanted. One guy holding a gun to my stomach.
I left and never ever ever went back

fuck joburg
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Old 05-20-06, 01:49 PM   #12
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Embarrassed Perceptions of Danger

Jackson Square, New Orleans.

Boy friend/girl friend argument out of control by the iron benches to my left. "Pop, pop, pop" of a 22 cal. pistol. Girl friend dead. Callous as it may sound thank goodness his aim was good.

Another night. Scaffolding covers face of St. Loiuis Cathedral while steeple is being repaired. Crazy ranter climbs fence, scrambles 90 feet up the face of the building and launches himself into space. Callous as it may sound thank goodness he didn't land on me. The squishy thud of his body hitting the pavement still figures in nightmares.

Another night. Seriously deranged teen-aged homeless kid yelling at me that I had molested him when he was a child. Audience fled, some apparently believing him. Packed up my fragile instrument as quickly as I could. Fleeing the scene myself the guy hit me from the rear with a flying tackle. Tipped cart over, dumping glass harmonica to ground. No glass broken. Callous as it may sound, had any goblets been shattered I would have cut him up badly.

Another night. Ragged elderly lady on bicycle rides circles around me scattering my audience, shouting scripture and accusing me of things Satanic. Callous as it may sound I got one of the Tarrot readers to cast a spell against her. Haven't seen her since.

Another night. Gutter punk scoops my hat as a performance ends. College football type take off after him. Five minutes later he's back dragging the kid having ended the chase at Bourbon Street. "Couldn't stand the thought of that punk getting the fin I left you," the footballer said.

In light of the lawlesness and disruption after Katrina/Rita I was nervous about returning to N.O. in October. Callous as it may sound it is a relief that the worst of the worst apparently were drowned, killed each other in the post-storm violence, or are in Houston jails making Jackson Square a much safer place!
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Old 05-20-06, 02:08 PM   #13
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I've been threatened by the crips in Venice beach, Tic and Tac and the crew in Washington Sq. NYC, and Silver men in San Francisco
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Old 05-25-06, 10:56 AM   #14
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I have been strolling around tightly packed bars doing caricatures since '93. Several times I have broken up fights that have happened right in front of me, right on me and even involving the people I was drawing at the time.

A couple of years ago, it was a slow wednesday night, not even 9pm yet. There were probably about 15 people in the bar (got busy around 10) and I was drawing and BS ing with some regulars. A gigantic fellow bumps the guy I was talking to and goes, "you got a problem?" Obviously looking for a fight, even though my friend kept trying to diffuse the situation, the guy would not let up. He proceeds to pull a policeman's badge out and slap my friend in the face with the wallet it was in.

Looking around, there were of course, no bouncers anywhere this early at night so, thinking I had the opportunity to reach around and grab this guy and put him into a headlock to pull him outside, I went to grab his arms and a guy punched me from over his shoulder! Needless to say, it was a knock down, drag out in seconds. I was on the ground with the guy who punched me with bouncers on top of all of us. The guy was taking head shots at me from between the bouncer's legs! The bouncer, recognizing me, pulled me up and asked if I was ok. Of course I ignored him and kicked the cop square in the face several times with my steel toed boots before they dragged me out the door too!

No charges were ever pressed and I continued to work in that place for as long as I lived in that area.
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Old 06-30-06, 02:11 AM   #15
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id like to corgualy envite all acts to san francosco Ca.
the pitch is noisy not huge a little distracting. but the money is there and its workable all day if you think you can work with the breakdancers.
have fun

dont settle for showing up after six

whers the buskers with bite
peace
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Old 06-30-06, 02:50 AM   #16
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French Quarter and Venice Beach...hands down
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Old 07-01-06, 08:47 AM   #17
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Dunno about on pitch. But Stickman famously got his van and all $20,000 stuff burned to the ground whilst off-pitch in Dublin

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Old 07-02-06, 06:35 AM   #18
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i remember a story my mate G-man told me about stickman nearly getting stabbed in the back in Glasgow. stickman had no idea that the guys were waiting there to jump him for his hat. i do know that glasgow is better now tho and there are at least 3 magicians and a few balloon artists there who work no problem. as long as u can put up with the crazy bob marley impersonator
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Old 07-02-06, 12:22 PM   #19
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Had a run in with LadderMan once. He's a real prick.

But then, I'd be an ass too if my only talent was to stand still on a ladder all day long.

Was at the end of my last show that he took exception to my hats being considerably larger than his bucket. Probably not the first time another man had something bigger than his.

I was only concerned for my safety when I realized what a tub the guy was. Amazing his ladder held it all.

This was 3 years ago, long before Katrina.
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Old 07-02-06, 02:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Figo
i remember a story my mate G-man told me about stickman nearly getting stabbed in the back in Glasgow.
Aye, heard about that too. He has a habit of getting into scrapes ol' Sticky.

I'll be up in Glasgow for a few days myself soon. Going to stay with Todd Various fromt he 12th to the 17th

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