One of the issues I deal with nightly at work, is where people's heads are at when they're watching me. I'll clue you in, they just spent all day in Universal Studios being visually over stimulated by the most fantastic of things to look at and experience. Besides being a working studio with a tour, its also a theme park with rides (The Mummy Roller Coaster ROCKS!). Anyways, as the sun goes down and the park is letting out, there I am, fighting the loud music piped in where I perform, amidst an amazing array of architecture, neon and over the top store fronts. They're hot, tired, broke and emotionally bankrupt but, God bless their souls, they stop and watch me like a television commercial. If they could only see their own expressionless faces.
So, I ride the roller coaster of my own emotions as I try my best to entertain these people and motivate them to give me their money. . . it's no easy job. I play all sorts of games trying to get the types of reactions I want (smiles, laughs & applause).
Lately, I've been experimenting with something a little more organic. I'm trying to "OWN" the lack of reaction. I acknowledge it, I understand it and I accept it. No more lines like, "Is this an audience. . . or jury?" I'm letting the magic speak for itself, I give the audience an opportunity to respond, if they don't, I move on with no consequence to them.
I told another street performer friend about this strategy, he asked, "How's that working out for you?" I replied, "I don't like it, but I'll try anything".