We just got back from the 'Hi Vibes' festival at Northcote where Sue-Anne, Lee Cohen, Nicholas Johnson and I were doing a little cross-promotion handing out flyers for 'The Melbourne Magic Festival'.
I tried a few little things to grab a bit of attention: I did my rope tie escape in a plastic bag in the street (got a crowd once I entered the plastic bag), I tried the rope escape tied to a traffic light (got virtually no attention at all, but it was fun), and I tried doing some living statue work (got heaps of attention!).
Sue-Anne performed her straitjacket escape twice, once on a big stage in the town hall, and then again in the street where - once she bagan the escape - a lot of people stopped to watch.
Lee Cohen, dressed as Trixie, did an excellent job of handing ot hundreds of flyers. Her character and confidence seemed to draw people to her and take the brochures.
Nicholas took a different approach to promoting his show. He set up a little table and started showing me the pea & shell game and, sure enough, someone stepped up claiming to know where the pea was. Nicholas worked that guy and within a few moments there were 40 people watching. Nicholas concentrated on playing with this guy, while offering occasional asides to the crowd, and just before the grand finale he handed out flyers to everyone. The great part was, they were now all "good leads". People who had shown an interest in Nick's scam and were likely to come see the full show.
It was a lesson in street magic and intelligent patter. Nick worked the crowd like a musical instrument and, after they all left but two small children, Nick did a trick for them which rebuilt a fresh crowd and out came the pea and shell.
I had to go but for all I know he's still there working non-stop!
That's the main aim of 'The Australian Institute of Magic' and our Festival - to learn from each other - and you never stop learning in this business!