Last weekend I went out performing some 'street magic' for couples (seeing as it was Valentines Day) weekend. Currently I'm still editing the footage which should be done by this weekend. (https://youtu.be/yNzoFTxdfk4). Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed performing and bringing the magic to couples, there were some rejections along the way from people who didn't wish to watch magic.
Although I know magic isn't for everyone, and perhaps my 'approach' was 'off' and partly to blame, I still found it intriguing that some people would turn down the opportunity to witness magic live in person. Don't get me wrong, I completely understand if you're having a good 'moment' with someone and don't wish to be disturbed. However, the way in which some people said no almost suggested to me as though they may dislike magic.
In hindsight, I probably should've asked them why they said no, but I sincerely doubt they would have answered that question anyways.
This really got me thinking about how the general public view 'magic'? Is the individual's acceptance of magic dependent on the mood of the person at the time? Or is it dependent on their past experience of magic? Or perhaps some people just intrinsically have no interest in magic?
Another thing that bothered slightly is the fact how there seemed to be no other magician busking on that day (at least not that I could see). I know I'm completely biased in saying this, but I've always enjoyed watching magicians busk on the streets. I feel that it is important to have some variety in terms of the street performances rather than just having musicians busking on the streets. As someone who has done busking before performing magic, the difficulties one faces compared to musicians are quite different.
For example, if one was to busk as a musician/singer, one could simply 'perform'/'rehearse' and people walking by may/will 'tip' you. Whereas for a magician, you would need to first grab the attention of a passer-by, sustain their attention AND amaze them enough for them to want to tip you. THIS I feel is much harder to accomplished, which is something that is overlooked by majority of the public.
I also know some magicians have huge respect for jugglers as they understand and admire the hours of practice the juggler must undergo in order to become skilled enough to juggle. Though magic also requires practice, magicians can sometimes get away with a mistake (or a 'miss') unlike jugglers who are judged immediately should they drop what they're supposed to be juggling.
Perhaps it is a matter of 'the grass is greener on the other side', however I feel that magicians have to go through more difficulties when it comes to busking than other busking acts. Not only is it harder for them to obtain the tip and stop foot traffic, they may also have to transport more equipment due to props.
So next time you see a magician busking on the street, please show them some respect by at least stopping to watch them perform. Who knows, they might just amaze you and bring some positive moment into your day.