Busker Central

Audience Reactions - Seek First To Understand
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Author:  Tom Frank [ Jun 21, 2005 ]
Title:  Audience Reactions - Seek First To Understand

Evolving, moving forward, discovering what it is that I am doing as a street magician is an exciting journey. The rubber meets the road when I am face to face with the audience that I have magically produced. Today I took a different approach. Rather than revisiting the cerebral quicksand of my mind, trying to figure out why some people / audiences won't react, yet they stand there and watch; I tried something new. I decided that it didn't matter what the reason was. My goal today was when dealing with unresponsive spectators, not to care why. . . but to rise to the challenge and accept the responsibility of MAKING them react. My conviction to what I was doing, went through the roof. It wasn't over till it was over. I never let up, I never stopped believing that it was possible. Technique, delivery and conviction met eye to eye with the people I was entertaining. Did it work. . . . no. . . . but it was worth a try. I raised the level of my performance and it made me care more than I have about doing a better show for them. The constantly changing dynamics of street theater is an interesting study. Today was slow traffic day. I was one of only a few buskers out there today. Given the amount of people there, I did well. It wasn't about going out and trying to make a lot of money. What was it about?

It was about continuing to get a better understanding of what I am doing. Street performing is about creating a sense of community. Taking people walking down the street and molding them into a living and breathing work of art. Unifying them and connecting us all in a spontaneous magical experience. When I got home and counted up my cash, I was pleasantly surprised. I spent the early evening going through some relevant texts from my library. A few of the books that I pulled off the shelf were, "Street Magic & the Art of War", "Passing The Hat" & "Comedy Writing Secrets".

I'll go out there and do it again tomorrow. I feel as though I am coming full circle. When I dropped out of High School and moved to New York City in 1983 to start my street performing career, it was about magic, art, love and freedom. Strangely I feel that way again, and I like it.

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