Unfortunately, the weather today was much, much better, which meant that most people went to the beach instead of going for a walk. I moved to a new spot and started as yesterday: Performing one trick over and over again. This time, though, nobody stopped. I guess they just wanted to get to the beach as well, without unnecessary delay.
Oh, that’s right, there were some people who did actually stop. They would stand in a distance and stare at me but refuse to come closer, pick a card or even admit that they had been watching. They simply wanted to see the trick through, while pretending that they were not interested at all. That was quite irritating. Even more so when some of them succeeded.
I got to do some mini-shows that I enjoyed a lot, although they paid very, very little. Still it felt so great to give some joy and amazement to people who could not afford live entertainment (and in some cases could barely afford food). Until now I had not thought much about this aspect of street performing – it was simply a new skill I wanted to acquire and a new adventure I wanted to try.
Anyway, seeing all those rednecks sitting in a distance and staring at me, and also my boredom, made me look for a new way to draw people’s attention. So I went to the beach, took a swim and let the ideas flow. And they did.
The easiest one and at the same time requiring the least amount of courage was this: I would spread some playing cards on a sitting bench, along with some strings, markers, pencils and pretty much all of my props. Then I would pretend I was just setting up and try to make some noise when doing that. If someone stopped, I would proceed to the first trick (the one I had been using earlier for drawing attention). That led to some more mini-shows that did not pay at all (since I had removed the bag with coins).
But one time I did it. I got a decent crowd (probably approx. 30 people, half of whom stayed to see the entire show), did my set, took my hat off and the tips would fall in. That single show earned me 21 zł, which I consider a very nice amount for the first show done ‘the right way’. Also, after that show I earned my very first bill.
One funny observation: You might be waiting half an hour for a single person to show up to see your tricks. You might be waiting several hours for some adults to show up. But if at some point you get a few people to come watch you perform, within the next 60 seconds you will be surrounded by one or two dozen spectators.
During the show I was definitely too anxious, but that’s something I should get rid of with some more experience. Anyway, after that show I left. It was such a great experience I wanted it to by my last experience performing that day. The one I would remember when going to bed tonight and when going to the pitch again tomorrow.