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Old 09-14-06, 02:33 PM   #1
The Amazing Beaumanz
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Default Key West

Just got back from a nice vacation to Key West. Once again, i was given crappy spots, but because of the lack of BIG acts, i was able to pull off some good shows.

Will, Jeep, Michael, etc. THANKS GUYS!!!


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Old 09-14-06, 05:45 PM   #2
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Is this place really that bad?
I have heard nothing but nightmarish stories coming out of Key West. No community, Split pitching, all that kinda monkey shite.
Whos got the skinny?
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Old 09-14-06, 11:06 PM   #3
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Default Key West

We did Key West at the Hilton in May. It was passable at best - attention span very, very short and the crowds thin. The hotel treated us very well, though. We looked over at Mallory Square quite a bit, and while the crowds were much, much bigger there, I'm not sure how many of them were tipping. Most of the acts were a dirty, toothless man escaping from a straitjacket or juggling. Rick and Jan were there with their show (can't think what it's called now) and they're very family friendly and sharp-looking, and the fellow who started the Calypso tumblers looked like he was doing well.

What we heard from almost everyone, including the valet parking boys, was that 'season' is February and Fantasy Fest (some people said Jan-Mar and Fantasy Fest) and those days are great. The rest of the year it's fine if you live there, but if you also have the expenses of travelling and staying, it's not worth it. We wouldn't go back unless it was high season.

Our show is a 24-foot tripod with three chicks in fishnets and spandex hanging in aerial silk, plus fire-eating including a 3-girl tongue pass. We do not normally have difficulty drawing and keeping a crowd, and we've been doing this for a long time. So it was discouraging that the audience would watch about 12 minutes of fire-eating and that was it.

Gazzo did very well with a long build. Groovy Guy also did well, but had 10 people on stage to hold the slack rope, so that's ten families that aren't walking. Dominique the Cat Man was gone that week except for one day, and he was mostly who people wanted to see.

If, on the other hand, you are a solo act with a place to stay free, and you love having all day free to snorkel and lie on the beach, it would be a fun free vacation and you might take home a little money if you don't drink a lot.

On the upside, a fan took some amazing way cool pics that have since been used in a ton of publicity, so in terms of free photos, it was worth the trip!

Allison Williams
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Old 09-16-06, 09:55 PM   #4
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Default a dfferent monster

The summer is good because all the big acts are gone. The crowds are huge, but it's as hot as Hades!!

You MUST have thick skin to work here. If your show is geared mainly for kids, you'll fail. Don't judge the pitch by one or two nights.

Although there is a seedier side to Key West. Most everyone is very friendly. Will Soto, Michael Patrick, Rhondini, Dr. Juice, Jeep, Bible Bill, and everyone else have always been great.

I'll be back for FantasyFest!!!!
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Old 09-18-06, 01:37 AM   #5
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Default I wouldn't bother

If you want to take a vacation and work on your vacation then Florida pitches are fine.

Very Shady characters in Key West. All about the drugs & money.

I've worked it and made some money, but once again after travel expenses and the strip clubs you break even.

Hats are very far off from Canadian hats. There are a few nice guys out there but be careful.
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Old 09-20-06, 03:05 PM   #6
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Thumbs Up I woould bother!!!

Not only is this place one of the coolest places in the states to visit, but i t also is one of the best educational experiences as far as street shows go.

It's a fact that if you can make it there you can make it anywhere.

At times certain aspects of the festival doesn't seem fair.(rules apply to some but not others)

For many years, i was quite intimidated by Key West. On several occasions i even bombed! But, each and everytime i have went, i gained some knowledge of my craft. Some positive and negative.
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Old 09-20-06, 04:36 PM   #7
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Default Some good points

You have some good points, but I wouldn't go as far as saying if you can make it there you can make it anywhere.

I think one of the hardest parts of street performing is crowd building. In Key West, 1000's of people show up to watch the performers & see the sunset. Most of the performers blow there whistles and scream (no PA's aloud). He who has the loudest whistle or he who has the most height wins. Some of the best acts out there get the smallest crowds.

If you did that in a non festival pitch and expected to get a crowd, good luck. The people are already there. So you fail to learn the most important lesson.

What you really learn from Key West is this:

Don't trust anyone but yourself.
Work as hard as you can everytime.
He who does the first show, usually gets the most shows
Brush your teeth
Don't do drugs
Save your money
Don't stay in the same place for too long.


Key West is a sunset festival. I have never seen so many dirty performers at a festival. Every festival I have ever been to, Performers wearing clean costumes, showered, clean teeth good health. Not in Key West. Key West needs to clean up there buskers or hire some ones with class. They give buskers a bad name. They should invest a little bit of there money into maintaining their props and costumes.

Dont get the wrong idea, on occasion Key West is graced with some very nice professional acts, but they don't stay long cause the hospitality sucks.

I would love to hear what everyone else thinks of this pitch.
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Old 10-05-06, 01:25 PM   #8
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Default key west busking

HAAAAAAAAHEEEEEEHOOOOOOOO. Boy I love it when wanabees try busking. I'll start with my name is Jeep, you name it I've worked there,in america that is. I am a master banjo picker, master balloon sculpture artist,magician,escape artist,comedian, white face clown,statue, animal trainer, you name it busker. At this time I have an original award winning show(Me and my dog Mo won pet star on animal planet 2 years ago). I have a new dog now,Cleo,as MO died in January. I've worked in Key West some some 20 years now. I'm also chair of performers committee at Mallory square(sunset celebration.) I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all buskers to sunset celebration. It is with out a doubt the premiere busking place in this country. We buskers along with artist and vendors, food people, and characters have created this country's largest free tourist attraction. Not bad for a bunch of toothless, dirty old timer druggies and drunks as we were so labeled by this Christopher cool guy from Canada. You seem pretty cold too me! I remember you, you were the guy with the store bought trick straight jacket and stolen lines from people like me, Will Soto,Gazzo,Mark riggs ,dale the sword swallower,jim chalinni, and OH YES that guy on t.v. that blue that stupid looking glove on top of his head. As I remember you had a large pitch in front of Mallory square called the pit . Every person that comes to Mallory square has to come by that pitch. If you can' get a crowd get a job ..............
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Old 10-05-06, 02:16 PM   #9
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I'll be watching this thread!
LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!!!!
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Old 10-05-06, 02:18 PM   #10
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Default Do Your Homework

Jeep,

If you want to start something go right a head. First I will defend myself by saying a few words. First my jacket is a regulation Posey straight jacket. Yes I did remove the strap on the chest and the two side straps for the arms to lock. I only know of a handful of the performers that can escape from an ungaffed Posey. I did get crowds and I did make a little money.

If you want to start who wrote what lines we can start another forum for that. I give credit & respect to people I have learned from: Daniel Craig, James Jordan, Sean Bridges, Jim Cellini not jim chalinni as you wrote, Gazzo, Dallas Saupe, and yes the guy you can't remember... Howey Mandel. While we are at it, what lines did I steal from you? You played the old banjo and didn't say a word. If you want to slander me, back it up old man.

Wanabees? Pretty sad when you say you've accomplished so much yet still live in your motorhome. After 20 years you think one would be able to purchase a house. "Master Balloon Sculpture" I would love to see your work. Here is a master balloon sculpture: www.dantheballoonman.ca

Your wrote: "Not bad for a bunch of toothless, dirty old timer druggies and drunks as we "

Let me ask you this Jeep: Are you missing teeth? Do you brush your teeth? Do you shower daily? Do you smoke pot? Anwer honestly.

This is a forum discussion of Key West. I gave my opinion. It's the truth.

I would love to hear from anyone who has passed through Key West and doesn't live there.


BTW Mo did win a round at Pet Star but lost in the finals.
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Old 10-05-06, 02:24 PM   #11
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Default Hey Tom

Hey Tom!

How's it going? Enjoy your box seats?
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Old 10-05-06, 02:28 PM   #12
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Box Seats hell, I'm sitting ring side baby!

If I where to throw in my two cents, I didnt see anything too impressive in Key West either.
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Old 10-06-06, 04:58 PM   #13
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bein from new orleans, think i hafta throw in w/ the old toothless drunks.....don't get me wrong i hate crack heads more then the rest but i'm sick and tired of the gentryfication [ don't know if i spelled that right sure you'll find the need to correct] anyway i think y'all made some good points either way, but i would like to say the " old man" might have come on strong but mr cool don't you think things are regulated and uptight enough? sounds like maybe you should get a real job, i mean that inna good way... i guess. by the way i wear a suit and do a family show clean act. don't do drugs and have most of my teeth. but i got into this business cuz i get to do what i love w/out alot of red tape and regulation. mr cool, i think that possibly you miss all that in your life, and are under the guise of making our art more respectable......your a street performer, lightin up...we can't all be canadian.
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Old 10-09-06, 06:53 AM   #14
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Sorry Chris I'm in with Jeep on this one. I found him friendly and straight up with me.

Not to mention I also live in my motorhome in Key West. Personally I prefer it that way, since it's a hell of a lot cheaper and honestly more homey then a cheap hotel room. Not to mention I have full access to laundry ,the pool, and wireless internet. I also remember you wishing you had one. So get off your high horse!

Key West is NOT a corporate pitch, it's a street pitch. It's NOT a festival as you know it. Its not hired, paid, or booked by how good your promo looks. If people like what they see you make money, if they don't you don't. That's how street pitches work.

Are there things about it that make it difficult, damn right! Sheesh I hate doing 30 min shows, but you are one of the advocates of making every pitch in north america 20 mins. So we'll disagree on that point. I do my 45 min- 1 hour shows in Europe.

Can there be politics, of course. There is always politics when that many performers get together in one place. Think it's any different in any of the other main pitches in the world?

Costuming/dirty. So look slick and stand out of crowd. Honestly, you see me wearing a suit jacket to every show and end up half naked by the end of it. I shower twice a day there and it pays off, though I'm still covered in sweat by the end of the show.

Split pitching. Yep it definitly is split up, and the competion is fierce for the same people. Your audience backs the audience from the show beside you. Interesting to say the least.


The hardest thing about Key West is the cost of living there. I'll be back next winter, and I'll still be below you in senority. Sheesh are we Canadains really getting this uptight?

Stickman

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Old 10-09-06, 07:52 AM   #15
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that was brillant, i wish i would have said that. hope to meet you stick man. would love to see your show.
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Old 10-09-06, 03:14 PM   #16
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Default thats the real deal

sticky
you said what id been thinking ever since that that whine started.
street is street. too many people from north of the border dont really know what that means
you gotta help yourself

cheers
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Old 10-09-06, 08:26 PM   #17
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Chiristopher Cool,

I read your critique of Key West's Mallory Square and I have a few comments. First of all, I grew up on Mallory Square as both of my parents are excellent performers so I speak from personal experience in whatever I say.

Second, Mallory Square is NOT a festival......it's a Sunset Celebration. My mom worked on Mallory for about 3 years and we lived in Key West for about 8 years, my father on the other hand still works on Mallory and is in my opinion very successful. I've also worked various festivals throughout the U.S., and Sunset Celebration is NOT a "festival".

Next, where it's true that some of the buskers can be confrontational and overly competitive, they are not ALL dirty, or toothless, or on drugs. That is an unfair assessment. Mallory Square has some performers that stay year around, but many are there for a short time and then move on. So perhaps you didn't get a true picture of what Mallory Square is at ALL times. And perhaps you fail to understand, since you hail from Canada, that in the United States busking is not such an accepted profession. In many places the police hassel you, or the nearby store managers complain that you are taking their business, or one performers actions have ruined it for ALL future buskers in a given area, the list goes on. Mallory Square is one of the few places designated for buskers in the entire country. I speak from 7 years of being around music (busking) and performing from west coast to east coast. In fact, my parents played in downtown Vancouver, in Gastown near the fabled Steam Clock and on Granville Island at the Public Market. In each instance we were treated kindly and well rewarded for our music. There were a few others playing at the time, some dressed better than I, some dressed worse. But I felt I was clean and well manicured......same as we were each time at Mallory Square.

To slam all of the performers and the entire Sunset Celebration because of a few is unfair and unwarranted. The quality and character of those performers and vendors that made Mallory Square Sunset Celebration a reality and a tradition to many tourists that visit Key West, is not to be sullied by the appearance or actions of a few of those who take advantage of the efforts of people like Will Soto, the Cookie Lady, Jeep, Dominique, Michael Patrick or Love 22. These are the people (and others like them) that created the Sunset Celebration.

Every profession has those that don't live up to the industry standard, busking is no different. If you are truly interested in finding a place like you described in your editorial, try visiting the French Quarter in New Orleans. Maybe it will be an educational experience for you. If not, at least you can go home and enjoy hassel-free busking where people are more presentable and hospitable to your needs.

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Old 10-09-06, 09:21 PM   #18
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mr. cool
we're all waiting for you here in the french quarter in new orleans.
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Old 10-09-06, 11:34 PM   #19
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Default What's This Thread About?

Performers.net is a place for performers to network.
The forum "Specific Pitches" is a place to rant, rave or ask about performing in specific cities, countries or pitches.

UCO asked "Is this place really that bad?
I have heard nothing but nightmarish stories coming out of Key West. No community, Split pitching, all that kinda monkey shite.
Whos got the skinny?"

I took the time to answer his question using my past experiences from working this pitch on a several occasions.

If you guys would like to rant about "Christopher Cool" start a new thread under "Blah Blah Blah", "Who's Who?" or maybe "Festival Discussions".

It's nice to see these new members on here.

Gwennybean1: What is the difference between a celebration and a festival? Mallory square's event has food vendors, merch vendors and performers. This event has a start time, an end time and is advertised to the public. To me that is a festival, but you can call it whatever you like. Here is one of many quick definitions of a festival: "a day or period of time set aside for feasting and celebration." Read your dictionary and you will find that the Sunsets at Mallory Square is a festival.

No where did I say that all performers in Key West were dirty, toothless or on drugs. In my first posting I said
"There are a few nice guys out there but be careful."

Yes I did say there are very shady characters there. Here is what everyone on here has said so far:

Isabella: "Most of the acts were a dirty, toothless man escaping from a straitjacket or juggling."

The Amazing Beaumanz: "Although there is a seedier side to Key West." And "At times certain aspects of the festival doesn't seem fair.(rules apply to some but not others) "

Jesus: "I didnt see anything too impressive in Key West either."

Stickman: "Can there be politics, of course." ,"Costuming/dirty." And "Split pitching. Yep it definitly is split up, and the competion is fierce for the same people. Your audience backs the audience from the show beside you. "

Gwennybean1: "some of the buskers can be confrontational and overly competitive,"

You guys are all saying the same stuff. Yes perhaps I should have stated in bold NOT ALL PERFORMERS IN KEY WEST ARE THE SAME. But I never said they were in the first place. Read my posts again and you will see that I'm syaing the same stuff you are. Next time I will be a little more polite about it.

Jeep, maybe you being the chair of the performers committee should read the postings here from all the other performers and say to yourself hmmm, maybe we don't have the best image. Think of some ways to communicate this with the others involved in the celebration and ask yourselves how can we make this a better event.

Jimmy: If you have 3 hours you might be able to watch some of stickmans show. Very repetitive.

Stickman: Are you still a Canadian? I don't think Canada has seen you in a while. Please don't call yourself a Canadian.

Anyways back to what this posting is about...
UCO take a look at the postings they will give you the answer you are looking for.

Once again, anybody not living in Key West? Opinions.
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Old 10-09-06, 11:48 PM   #20
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Default Jeep?

Jeep, I'm still waiting for your reply.

Just so everyone knows... What lines did I steal from you?
I'm sure everyone would like to know what lines you wrote.

Last thing: "created this country's largest free tourist attraction"

Do a google search: "USA Largest Tourist Attraction" Key West isn't even in the top 50 listings. I also couldn't find it Guiness. So how did you come up with that?
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