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Thread: I am a magician and trying to street perform in Charleston S.C

  1. #1

    I am a magician and trying to street perform in Charleston S.C

    That is the short version

    This was posted at a "Magic Forum"

    We were downtown today scouting locations to set up and perform. Found several great ones, one where we could catch the cruise ship traffic, one in front of the Customs House, and a great one close to "The Market". We also found another one at "Battery Park" which was ruled out due to lack of foot traffic.

    Decided to ask a police officer about the local laws regarding "busking". He wasn't real sure but knew we would need a business license to "preform for charitable contributions" and directed us to the County Office Building. Went over there and were directed over to the City Office Building because we would be inside the city limits. Drove over to Calhoun Street and went to the business license office.

    We will need the following:

    Criminal background checks preformed by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

    Background checks will be submited to the Charleston Police Department along with the application for a business license to "perform for charitable contributions" They will need to approve it.

    At that time we will return and recieve the license

    The license will cost us $75.00 for the first $2000 of "potential" revenue and a factor of $I am not Sure.00 for each $1000.00 of revunue. This is based on what we think we might reviece for the year.

    We were then given a map of downtown showing the "restricted" ares where we CAN NOT "perform for charitable contributions".

    We will be limited to a 3 block area of Meeting Street and the College of Charleston Campus. All areas of the "tourist district" are is strickly off limits.

    We are also "stricky prohibited" from any type of performance that will cause disrubtion to the normal flow of pedestrian and/ or street traffic either automible or carriage.

    The only thing that makes it better is that our license to "perform for charitable contributions" must be displayed at all times while performing.

    Needless to say we are alot discouraged at this time.

    Several replies later I posted this;

    So what do we do....set up and perform. When told to stop, resist. Get ticketed or arrested, post bail retain and attorney and fight it ?

    I don't know what we do.

    I keep saying we, I am teaming up with a pretty talented musician to do a combined act.

    I am at a dead end. I am thinking about contacting an attorney and going from there. I just don't know.

    I was told I screw up by asking a police officer to that I replied;

    do not see how trying to be a law abiding citizen is a screw up.

    What if we had set up and began to perform the police roll up and rather than asking us to stop, they inform us that performing for charitable contributions without a license in a restricted zone is a no tolerance violation. That they must immediately without question confiscate all properties associated with the performance that their hands are tied. They also inform us that there is a minimum $10,000 fine associated with the violation. We get hauled to jail, props get inpounded, and we can tell it to the judge in six weeks.

    Oh and by the way, you will need an attorney. The city council as well as the mayor take this type of thing VERY serious. We plead with them saying that we didn't know. They inform us that ignorace of the law is no excuse as they cuff and stuff us?

    One other thing that I found funny was that in SEC 17-107 "Obstructing Public Ways". "Save and except those peddlers who are blind, physically disabled or who vend traditional sweetgrass baskets or flowers shall, at all times, maintain a constant foward motion in the peddling of his goods and services; provided, however that any such pebbler may cease foward motion, for such time as nessecary for the transaction of a sale"

    I think I am dead in the water.

    and advice?

  2. #2
    That sounds grim alright. The Home Rule there is rather restrictive. Maybe you can find out when the City Council Meeting is and go inquire what the recipe is for performing there?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Treefarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    in the woods known to some as Tanasi
    Find a different city?
    Or a different country maybe, like in Europe. I remember seeing lots of very talented street performers in Germany and Paris, France.
    They made good money there, supporting their families. I used to chat with a young American expatriate folk singer and guitar player in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He had a German wife and kid. He sold recordings of his songs and performed in the Fussgängerzone several days per week. He also played in restaurants.
    I also remember talking with a Peruvian acrobat there. He said he could support himself and his travels with his performance arts in Europe.
    Granted, this was over 15 years ago, but I don't think much has changed in this regard.
    It would probably help to get to know someone over there and get some leads.

    Bright blessings to you.

    There is power in the blood of Jesus

  4. #4

    Before I go further, I would like to ask you a few question.

    By what arrangements have the "We" of your group decided to distribute profits to each other for your services rendered?

    Where exactly is the location of the services being rendered? On the sidewalk, or the street? I know you have stated "to street perform", but many People make no distinction between "street", and "sidewalk", and both definitions have different meanings and purposes in the opinions of the State.

    We borrow the present from our childrens future.

  5. #5
    Welcome Bear Eagle!

    I hope your comment and question are still timely.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the welcome David.
    We borrow the present from our childrens future.

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