Without a stage and assistants to pay for, you can easily etch out a good living by being a street performer. By taking advantage of the natural environment of the street, you can easily attract a large crowd, even if nobody has ever laid eyes on you before. Don't be shy to pass a hat around or to leave a hat on the ground. Many people will appreciate that you are performing without payment and if you amaze and amuse them, they are likely to let their wallets show their appreciation.
One of the most important aspects of street magic is getting as large a crowd to gather around you as possible. People will show more interest in you if they see that others are interested in what you are doing. It's important to remember that you are a performer and although you may not at first feel comfortable using your voice to get their attention, you cannot only rely on the trick itself to get the crowd gathered.
The key to being successful is getting a small audience to respond and by adding the volume of your own patter to the equation, you are likely to bring in more and more spectators
You won't have to start by screaming at the passers by, just work a small crowd and as the audience grows you will need to raise your voice to accommodate those further away. Incorporating members of the public in your performance is also a great way to get the crowd going. Children in particular are always a great way to get the general public involved. Watching a child's naturally amazed expression is not easy for the average person to ignore. Curiosity is definitely your friend when it comes to street magic.
As soon as you have the attention of a decent sized audience, you will want to make sure that you hold their attention. Make sure that you project your voice so that everyone can hear you and try and get the children to come as sit near the front. That way the adults cannot leave before the kids want to. They will also need to come forward to collect their children at the end of your performance, which means you should be able to offer your hat to them before they walk away.
It's also very important to remember that you are going to be working outdoors and the sun does not always shine. If the wind is blowing, you're going to have a hard time performing any card tricks at all, but if you manage to find a good weather day, keep your performances short and entertaining. People who are out shopping will stand and watch a performance for a few minutes, but generally won't hang around for too long. If you keep your performances short, you are more likely to earn small amounts more often which is a winning formula.