Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Busking it

BBC News Magazine: Friday, September 18th, 2009

Busking it
By Jolyon Jenkins

David Blaine seems confident enough doing it, but how terrifying is it to try and make it as a street magician?

"What's your name?" barks the short, pugnacious man, addressing a member of his audience, who mumbles something back.

"You've got to speak up," he retorts, "you're not buying condoms." The man is Gazzo, a legend among street magicians, and at Cardiff's "School of Busking" he's teaching 20 would-be performers the arcane arts of attracting a crowd.

He marshals us, his spectators, moving us around to fill gaps in the crowd, while haranguing and bullying us. "Everyone take two steps backwards! Hands out of pockets: that's another game!"

Most of us here are amateur magicians, and some are captivated by the idea of making a living as a street performer. Gazzo tells us that you can make twice the average income from street magic but most people just love the thought of earning money from their hobby.

Read the rest of the article here.