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Forums > Social Chat > Catching people watching me spin....

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serendipity


member
Location: Boulder CO USA

Total posts: 6
Posted:I read the "how to keep people interested" thread and now I have to share this experience I have had a few times. It is quite the opposite of having trouble keeping people interested, and it's very strange.I live in a town (Boulder CO) where there are a lot of people performing (playing guitar, drumming, juggling, etc.) on the street and there are a lot of tourists too. So sometimes I go downtown and find some drummers and spin and dance near them. It is incredible to dance and spin to live drums as you all probably know. When I am dancing I can not even comprehend inhibition, so I twirl and spin and leap about like a puppet being played by the music, and that's exactly how I feel.But I noticed something very strange several weeks ago and have noticed it since then too. People watch me, they are intrigued, mezmerized, entranced. But the weird thing is that they are very shy about it. As soon as I look at them they look away. Like they don't want me to know they are watching. I have seen people standing behind trees and buildings trying to look like they were just hanging out but I knew they were watching me. A lot of people watch out of the corners of their eyes and stuff like that.One time a girl and her boyfriend were walking by and she had a camera and I saw her give it to her boyfriend and ask him to take a picture of me. He held the camera up to snap a shot right as I spun around in their direction and he quickly put the camera behind his back and turned away and so did she, like I busted them or something.And it's not just a few people that behave that way, it seems like it is well over half of them. And in high tourist traffic areas I notice it a lot now that I have started to pay attention to the people around me while I spin, it seems very strange to me. Why are people so shy about watching someone who is obviously performing?I feel like I have gained some new insight into human nature, even though I can't understand it. It kind of makes me feel uncomfortable in some unexplainable way, like I wish they would just stare at me rather than being shy about watching.Has anyone else noticed anything like that?

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SaggyD2034


member
Location: Washington USA

Total posts: 10
Posted:That sounds like a great place to perform. I haven't gone out in public yet, but i assume that it's like that because people don't see that on the street very often so their not sure how to react, even though you are performing for them their just a little uneasy because it's new to them, just like eating a new food, kinda weird at first. I know they all love it inside though.

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PurplePan


member
Location: Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Total posts: 7
Posted:If you put out a hat they might not feel so wierd about watching. It's like an invitation to them from you. Plus you make $$$ for refreshments when you're done.

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:It's funny, In my hood there are so many alternative people doing so many things I actually get more stares when I walk down the street in a tie and briefcase than when I twirl practice poi in the nearby park.I do find it is an invitation for people to come up and talk. When I just want to practice (and be antisocial) I usually just put on my headphones and zone out... nobody ever bugs me unless I make eye contact and smile first (so sometime's I don't make eye contact on purpose if I want to just practice). But that may just be a New York City thing...

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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bassjunkie


member
Location: UK.

Total posts: 24
Posted:I'm not good enough yet to go for the public thing, but when practicing in the park lots of people coming past do that wnat to look but daren't thing!Also they stop talking about you and half smile on the way past then start talking about you/fire ect when you are not out od earshot!I agree that no hat = not busking or performing.... so why are we doing it? ------------------A pleasant chap with no ulterior motives....

If music is the expression of emotion, politics is merely the decoy of perception.I sing with fire.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:"I twirl and spin and leap about like a puppet being played by the music, and that's exactly how I feel" (nicely said, btw) You also mentioned that you have turned to face the people and they act like you are "catching" them off guard.You are. Technically, you are not performing. You are dancing for yourself in a public venue, getting lost in the music and the moment, which creates a magic ofit's own but it is not performing in the capacity we are talking. Watch the other buskers. They make constant and consistent eye contact with people. They talk with them. They smile brightly at every person who walks by. Even the ones that dance don't turn away from their audience for more than a second, and they maintain eye contact while they dance, some even talk. They invite these passers-by into their little corner and ask them to stay a bit. Now, picture this, you are walking down a street and you see some drummers who are obviously performing. You stop to listen to them. Off to the side is the little kid (I am using this as an example, not calling you a child) who is just letting go to the music. Not performing, not with the drummers, just having fun. You watch and the kid turns around, realizes s/he has been caught and hides behind Mom's legs. In the eyes of the tourists, you are that child. You are obviously not with the drummers, you are enjoying the music in your own way, the important part of that is "your own way". People will always be intrigued while you are dancing and leaping joyfully, usually because they wish they had the inhibitions to do so as well. However, if you are leaping and turning and poi tends to make a barrier around a person anyway, you are seperating yourself from the world, a boundary which others do not want to violate. It is a compliment to you really, that you are intriguing to watch and that you are so inwardly focussed that they are polite enough to not want to ruin the magic you have created. They hide so you will continue.I can not say this enough....there is a *world* of difference between performing and spinning and practicing, and the differences are what makes it obvious to an audience which you are doing, and the audience is really the judge of it. You can think in your mind you are performing, but if others do not perceive you in that light, then you are doing what they perceive, not what you think. When most people spin for themselves and get lost in the music, they make themselves appear to be unappraochable. When you are practicing and just having fun, laughing at your own mistakes and such, you are more "human" to passers-by, so they feel more comfortable approaching. When you perform you connect with an audience in a way that says, "Stay and watch, we'll talk after if you like" and people do just that. It is how you present yourself that leads the audience to make their decision as to which you are doing and they react accordingly. You might also want to think about the look on your face. I have seen some spinners have some very interesting looks on their faces, they weren't even aware they were making (myself included, I am certain). This can make a large difference as well.Anyway you do it, keep spinning lovely one, and keep them intrigued!
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------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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theblackunicorn


member
Location: fort worth, TX, USA

Total posts: 119
Posted:yep...i think its offically time to change the name of this board to " ask pele"
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beautiful, eloquent and inspiring as always laides and gentelmen i give you....PELE!!!!!jokker


its to dying in anothers arms and why i had to try it......

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utilitydeamon


member
Location: Saline, MI United States

Total posts: 33
Posted:Well, what i have found in High School is that its not the "cool thing to do" to be impressed by it, and often times, they are but dont want to admit it because thats not cool to do. Man. I hate high school. But i doubt that normal non-high school people would act like that. Almost like they think that were offended that they like it. Strange. Anyone who really enjoys watching is my best friend for the moment.

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TEK829


member
Location: Latham, NY, USA

Total posts: 29
Posted:I've caught people watching me, both when I've practiced and when I've been out in a park obviously doing some real-live "performing" (many drummers and musicians, and I had the fire out and everything).When I'm out just practicing, I find it interesting that people will go out of their way to NOT look at me. I think part of it is the public perception of "It's rude to stare." If the person's not looking for attention, you shouldn't be giving it, you know?With the fire, I'd have crowds of people stop, which was cool. I don't really look at or talk to people when I'm doing a turn, but I like some banter and questions between sets. It's funny, because the instant I'd stop, everybody would kind of turn and walk away. Very few watched a second show. I'd talk to a few, though, and the reception was very easy and relaxed -- and me asking a person who looked uneasy if they had a question seemed to help. Just my guesses, though.... -829

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Cry, and the world laughs at you. It's your choi

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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road, United Kingdom

Total posts: 15965
Posted:I was cold on a railway station this evening. So I start spinning one of my glowstaffs in an effort to keep warm. After a while I noticed that people weren't taking any notice. Which annoyed me slightly. I know i was spinning well. I couldn't see any reason not to watch. There's nothing else to do on Stockport station - you can't even train spot (they've banned it, I was told by a very disgruntled looking gent in a dirty raincoat).Nay mind. Their loss. Not many people get a chance to see me spin. They missed out. Poor deluded fools....------------------C@ntusDo you believe in a god that satisfies,Do you believe in a god that open eyes,Do you believe in a god that tells you lies,Or do you believe in me?Do you believe in a god that brings you down,Do you believe in a god that wears a crown,Do you believe in a god that makes you bow,Or do you believe in me?

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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Twisthead_Si
BRONZE Member since Mar 2002

member
Location: London, England

Total posts: 12
Posted:I've pretty new to this game, but you do get the strangest reactions sometimes! I do fire poi for a club in town; mostly girls will look you straight in the eye, blokes tend to walk straight past with maybe a glance (seeming saying hmmm, I could do that, I just don't want to)!I really have to keep a look out for people walkin up behind me, as if there aren't balls of flame orbiting my head! It's quality when people take an interest and start talking to you though!One bloke trried to light his cigarette of my poi; I let him try for a bit, then I let him use my lighter! :Ppeace out.ps. DOH!, you're making me really miss playing my drumkit!!!!

We do it for those electric moments that are far and few between, the shining times when we became lost in sound, space, time, touch and movement all at once.

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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:How do you ban train spotting? Do you just forcibly remove anyone wearing an anorak from the station?I practise down behind my apartment block, on this rarely used pathway. It is surrounded by other blocks of apartments (& fortunately trees as well), so I get these people trying to observe from their balconies whilst not being observed observing. The funniest one is this guy who has a home gym set up on his balcony, & gets distracted whilst crashing weights. He is gonna do himself an injury one of these days
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R.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road, United Kingdom

Total posts: 15965
Posted:They shoot them.

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:Shoot when you see the orange of their anorak hoods!!!

It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road, United Kingdom

Total posts: 15965
Posted:Don't mention shooting orange. You'll upset Rich (Orange).

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:LOL!! As long as he doesn't wear an anorak, he will be safe...

It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road, United Kingdom

Total posts: 15965
Posted:No. but he does wear orange. And lots of it. Bounces round too much to be a trainspotter though.And remember, when laying a trap to catch the illusive orange, be careful to bait it with cheesecake.....

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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DocLiquid


member
Location: Naples, Florida

Total posts: 97
Posted:Pele, once again your anologies amaze me! I admit you have had many more experiences in life than I have, you are an old soul with much wisdom and I respect you for that.Serendipity, I have had much the same response when I get lost in myself as well, but when I am performing the audience seems to "know" that I am performing and have a respect for that and no longer shy away. So...PERFORM for them already, that's obviously what they want. Well good luck in your endeavor whatever you decide to do.PLUHRDOC------------------Let us Light up the Night

Let us Light up the Night

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0range


0range

stranger
Location: Sheffield

Total posts: 13
Posted:Aw Cantus spinning madly across the sun! i'm supposing the cheesecake expired long long ago! xxx grins all a once and sometimes illusive orange ^^ [p.s. great thread]


swoopedinandbackoutagain,
Rich 0range ...Sheffield U.K.

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