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Old 03-23-06, 08:55 AM   #1
dazmore
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Question a little advice about the law please

Ok so here i am trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life apart from working for idiots. Then i guess i am an idiot for working for them in the first place!
Here's me a magician, a pretty good one too, honestly i am pretty good. I have an act put together which lasts about 10 mins, good for sidewalk shows. I cant bear myself any longer and I really want to get out there and perform. But I am worried about the law. i have found it quite difficult to find any information regarding street performers. Will i get arrested for begging? What about harrasment. These kind of issues run through my mind. Can anyone out there please put my mind at rest and give me a rundown? Your help would be much appreciated!
Also i live in the UK in Newcastle. Very little street performers are seen up here and to my knowledge there aren't any places to meet any. Any one out there with more information about where to see and meet with other performers up here would be great!
Thanks daz
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Old 03-23-06, 12:13 PM   #2
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Dazmore, I do not know about UK laws, but I do know about human nature.

Did you ever hear about when I met a woman and things looked great, I asked "your place or mine?" She replied "hell if you're going to argue about it just forget it!" Same thing, Stop screwing around and talking about it. Just DO IT!

Remember it is far easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. The worst that will happen is a cop will tell you to stop and move on, if he does just move on and set up a pitch somewhere else.

Good Luck

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Old 03-23-06, 12:19 PM   #3
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peter you should know better than to suggest that a performer begs for anything.

good advice otherwise.
you never know unless you try.
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Old 03-23-06, 12:50 PM   #4
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I've performed without permits all over the place, and been shut down by police, security guards, more than a few times . I've even had producers stop me who didn't believe me when I told them that their boss, not on site, had given permission (which was true, by the way.)

Arrests happen when you disobey. I've had that happen too. If you are decent to the people whose job it is to stop you, and do what they tell you, you can learn about the law with minimum inpact. If you keep going, for whatever reason, you can learn from inside the cell.

Either way, learn by doing.

peace. welcome to a wierd family.
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Old 03-23-06, 01:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice guys. Much appreciated!

Any others would be great.

Daz
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Old 03-23-06, 05:01 PM   #6
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Just put on an american accent and start blathering about 1st amendment rights! That's what I do.
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Old 03-23-06, 09:53 PM   #7
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Lurk off the deep end

Newcastle huh. Newcastle upon tyne?
I'd certainly put yourself into a 'what have I got to loose' frame of mind.
Northern audiences like to test. The good news is that if you get used to handling a newcastle crowd you have the ability to survive most others.
I've worked there (because I'm a romantic masochist/ because my father lived there as a boy/because after Glasgow I fear no man)
The police might ask you to stop or they might check you out and conclude your funny and harmless. They won't arrest you without at least warning you first.
Little old ladies might think your marvelous and give you 20p because when they were young you could go to the movies for that (and get an icecream at half time)
I seemed to get a bit of that. Proud but cheap.
Just don't set up where you'll annoy a shop or vendor and run through it.
I'd suggest using the fact that you know what you really want to do to motivate you to at least give it a try.
You'll feel better and you might even feel brilliant.
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Old 03-23-06, 10:58 PM   #8
Peter Voice
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A 10 min. magic show can work beautifully on the street.

If it's compact and you can move easily, you can do lot's of shows in different spots each day. You don't need huge crowds and can use spots bigger shows can't. With spring coming up, there must be many events around the place that you'll be able to crash (at least the edges of). You don't need to make a huge amount per show if you can do 10+ per day.

If your show is funny and good you'll get away with a hell of a lot, just always be polite. I've never really heard of any serious harrassment of performers by cops in UK.

I'm not too sure how it would go in Newcastle but if you can learn to work pubs (ordinary locals, not pro venues which I assume you'll want to tackle some day), you'll find it an invaluable skill when on the road. Like Martin said, if you can get on top of it there, you'll cope well elsewhere.

Buy a couple of train tickets and check out the towns along the lines, market days etc, you might even be able to work the train. You could probably work a couple of towns a day some days.

Just go for it and as soon as you can regularly make a few quid in your home town, leave.

Break a leg.
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Last edited by Peter Voice; 03-23-06 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 03-24-06, 03:47 AM   #9
Lee Nelson
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ive worked newcastle,
it has pitches galore, drunks galore and penny pinching grandmas galore too. Its also pretty, fun and exciting.
You can work the malls, you dont need a permit, you just need to be polite (ish) , not stab anybody who doesnt stab you first, and not piss off somebody who is actually paying for the right to be there.
I know in the summer Sophie and Jacob base out of there and Rob Collins returns farely regularly to resdiscover his roots.
So in short get out there
In my time on the street I know only two hard and fast rules.....
1. respect the locals
2. if you ask first you leave them the option to say no, if you perform first at least when you ask youll actually be able to show what you have added/brought to the venue.

Good luck, i have seen you perform before and youve got what it takes

lee
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Old 03-24-06, 03:49 AM   #10
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forgot to remind you of something you might have forgotten.....


as a street performer who makes people laugh/cry/whatever .... you are above the law!!!
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Old 03-24-06, 06:32 AM   #11
dazmore
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Thanks for all your replies! The advice you have given is fantastic. I hope to see you all on the street some day! MAybe that didn't come out quite right, i mean i hope to see you perform on the streets someday!

Daz
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