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Old 06-01-05, 07:55 PM   #1
s0ymilk
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Default first time on the street

My friend and I are planning on putting together a show and performing this summer in harvard square. We are both in high school and we are pretty advanced jugglers. Any tips for putting an act together? We think the hardest part will be constantly interacting with the audience. Any advice? Also, I know there are probably threads all about this so don't elaborate, would you recommend leaving a hat down the entire time or just collecting at the end?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-01-05, 09:14 PM   #2
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In the library there are some good articles on street performing that are very intresting and helpful.
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Old 06-02-05, 11:25 AM   #3
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when I am putting together a show, i think what would I want to see if I was in the audience? Think about that, it may help ya out.
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Old 06-02-05, 01:56 PM   #4
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This has always helped me…

Start a notebook of ANY idea you have (tricks, lines, promo ideas, etc). No matter how strange or ridiculous they may seem. Then at the end of each week/month/etc review your ideas and breakdown the ones you might work and pursue them.

Good ideas can come anywhere, so be sure to keep your notebook handy. I used to think I would remember it, but I usually forget…

Good Luck!
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Old 06-02-05, 02:55 PM   #5
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Start by throwing something really really high in the air to get people to make noise or maybe just turn on a chain saw and let in run...
Oh sorry that been done, and done and done and done and done
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Old 06-02-05, 03:51 PM   #6
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Old 06-02-05, 08:11 PM   #7
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Old 06-04-05, 01:00 AM   #8
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Also, what is the deal in Harvard Square. I mean, we know you need a permit but would it be cool to just show up there? I doubt we would be going for any peak times to start out but just in general, how does that work?
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Old 06-04-05, 02:12 AM   #9
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Browse around the forums and use the "search" feature. There is a lot of talk about Boston and starting out in general in other threads.

Brendan suggested the library and he meant this library not the one downtown.

Here's a post I made on Harvard Square a couple years ago:
http://www.performers.net/forums/sho...id=167#post167

And the advice I give everyone starting out is that your first hundred (or so) shows are going to SUCK. So just get through them and take notes on what worked and what didn't. After 100 bad shows, you'll still probably have learned something new in each show. With 100 lessons learned, something is bound to click in that 101st show and you'll be off and running.

Have fun out there.

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Old 06-04-05, 02:40 AM   #10
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Well, I agree with Jim. Your first 100 shows are going to be rough. Accept it, and go through with it. I had to work at it for almost two years before everything began to fall together and I had something that resembled a professional street show.

It is not a road easily travelled. Might I suggest, as others have, by reading the p.net library. Read all you can about theatre, facial expression, mime, and movement. Take an improvisation class at your local theatre. Watch great street shows, and watch how their presence and charisma, aside from the stunts or tricks performed, makes them great. Go out to the street, try your hardest, and die many times, but never give up.

In time, your show will be one of the ones watched as an example. Good luck.
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Old 06-04-05, 09:06 AM   #11
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Australia Harvard sq

The main pitch is normally free during the day,and then a few acts will roll in for the evening shows.
After a few shows you may lose the heart for it,but stick it out to 100 and you'll know if it is for you.
Learning to street perform is a tough road,there is no school like the street,but you have to keep at it if you want to learn.You can't just work the summer and then stop for 9 months,you'll be back where you started when you come back to it.
The best advice i can give is...
1.work as many different spots as you can [all over the country] this will help you to be adaptable to any situation and not get used to only working one spot.
2.Travel,watch street performers with reputations you've heard of,ask them questions about your show,these people know what they are talking about.
3.The 3 s's.......Smile,Shave and Slow down [you have to relax when you perform,if you are too high energy,people just leave]
4. Look good,you will get paid what you look like,if you look like a clown you'll get paid like a clown,if you look like a hippy,same.But if you look like a proffesional,clean props,clean clothes/costume,well groomed,It'll help people relate to you.

That's it for now.
AL
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Old 06-04-05, 04:00 PM   #12
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it's been a few months since i started doing my own solo shows ...
and only the second year that i've done any street performance...

the advice given is good... i take it to heart...

give it a fair chance to see if you really want to do it..
watch other performances and learn from them.. the good .. and especially the bad... but be your own show... if you copy another performance then you are just a copy ...

don't lose heart when a day crashes around you ..

be respectful.. of the people you share the space with.. performers , other street workers, close by shops.... and any re-occurring fans you might have...

and like al said.. shave...

oh and comfy shoes....

always wear comfy shoes...
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Old 06-04-05, 04:41 PM   #13
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This all sounds like really good advice. Thank you guys a lot, I think this will all really help.
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Old 07-16-05, 03:18 PM   #14
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So two of my friends and I did start performing. One of us plays the fiddle while I and my other friend juggle. We've done our show in Harvard Square, the Newton Farmers Market and a Harry Potter party at a book store. All with reasonable success. I just want to say thanks again for all the advice, it really has helped a lot. And especially to Jason the escape artist who we shared a space with for being really cool and helping out some new performers.
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Old 07-18-05, 04:18 AM   #15
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Default allright!

the Newton Farmers Market thing sounds like virgin territory for busking. Way to go! - Kev.
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