“When I grow up, I want to be a professional juggler!” . . . “Honey, you can’t be both”

^ I just heard that line from a fellow busker, Streetshow Keith. One of the things I loved the most about learning street performance in New Orleans was that every single person working out there is an absolute character. If you plan to rely on the public to support you, you NEED to be a character. The silver robot, the fool magician, the charming cheat, the good ol’ boy with a guitar — they all have consciously or unconsciously developed their character. To shape your character, make a list of your characteristics; what attributes do you naturally have? How do you tend to behave? What’s your favorite color(s)? What do you believe in? Now take the things about yourself that set you apart, and exaggerate them. You can use the things about yourself that you love, or you can turn your faults around and make them assets. For example, in my magic show, as I roll up my sleeve and say “Nothing up this sleeve”, I pause to flex for the audience. This gets a laugh, which I perpetuate by saying “Like I said, nothing”. Negatives can almost always be turned into positives. I’m 6’4″, 185lbs. The laughs I get from that line exist because I am lanky. Your good traits and your not-so-good traits are special because they are YOURS. These are what make you unique. One of the lines I’m most proud of having wrote is this:

“Even if you’re a one-in-a-million, that means there are over 700 people on this planet EXACTLY LIKE YOU.”

Do something different. Who you are is the most valuable asset you’ll ever have. Create a character.