The book To Lure With Spectacle by Jimmy Talksalot is fantastic! One of the pieces of advice that I fought for a long time was to make a simple sign that says, “Magic Show”. I finally did it a month or so ago.
It’s crazy the difference that little sign has made. It helps build a crowd before I’ve started. Sometimes the simplest things make a big difference! Also go out and buy his book.
The issue I was having was mentally I was getting upset at people that would stick around for one trick and then leave. It’s a small percentage of the audience, and it really bugged me. In the book Jimmy writes about audiences “doing you a favor” by watching versus you doing the audience a favor by performing for them. This is a huge mental shift and really helped me out. I’m no stranger to performing for a transient audience, but sometimes you forget things and a refresher course is needed.
If you are thinking about street performing or want to make your street show better, I totally recommend this book. I don’t busk, I perform street style shows at fairs. The huge difference is at the end, I don’t ask for a tips. If you’re in the fair market, this book is also very worthwhile!
When I was performing in King City, CA a few weeks ago my buddy Skip Banks let me read his copy of To Lure With Spectacle by Jimmy Talksalot. I mentioned to Skip that there was a couple of things about my street show that I didn’t like and he brought in the book for me to read the next day.
I was a great read and it really helped me solve some of the problems I was having with my street show. I like it so much I bought one for myself!
The current edition looks different from the previous one, it’s got a lot less frills, but the same great information. If you’re interested in doing street shows, I highly recommend it! -Louie