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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » How to Successfully Book a Restaurant (28 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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imDavidQ
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San Diego, Long Beach Mystics Alumnus
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I should mention that many of these ideas were passed on to me by Michael Weber at a restaurant seminar given at a gathering of the Long Beach Mystics held in the early eighties. I still think they ring true today.
illusionistaxe
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Hit right on the target mate! Great tips. Thanks a ton!
Magicdjdon
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I work in restaurants weekly and the best advice I ever got on how to dress was from Jeff McBride and I quote "dress like you are going somewhere better after your show."
Christopher Lyle
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Quote:
On 2012-10-25 17:19, Magicdjdon wrote:
I work in restaurants weekly and the best advice I ever got on how to dress was from Jeff McBride"


Jeff wears pajamas everywhere he goes. Fashion tips from him would worry me! LOL Smile

(j/k Jeff)
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
MagicJim
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I would recommend 3 cd's3 Valuable CD's to the performer

Michael Ammar's Negotiating Higher Performance Fees

Michael Ammar's Making Magic Memorable

Restaurant Magic Business: Charles Green III

I have posted on the magic items for sale
howlinhobbit
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Seattle, WA
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I'm a "re-noob" as I used to do a magic act a number of years ago and am just now getting back into it. my first "steady gig" (and many others thereafter) was table-hopping at a restaurant. this is my current goal as well and this information is priceless. thank you very much!
Bicycle Rider
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Thank you for sharing your experience and tips. I have a question regarding the tricks to perform: as a card magician mainly, is it possible hopping tables using only card magic?
Conjurer of cheap tricks
Christopher Lyle
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Quote:
On 2012-12-31 03:24, Bicycle Rider wrote:
Thank you for sharing your experience and tips. I have a question regarding the tricks to perform: as a card magician mainly, is it possible hopping tables using only card magic?


Absolutely it is! There are some people who make their living from cards alone. With that said, if you're playing a restaurant that caters to children and families, you may encounter problems with younger kids not being able to follow what is taking place so you may need to diversify your skill sets in other areas. But in my opinion, it's very possible. Smile
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
Bicycle Rider
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I will consider some coins routine and possibly some sponge balls in the future then. Thank you for your quick reply. And happy new year!
Conjurer of cheap tricks
Benjamagic
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41°02′20″N 73°36′49″W
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Thanks so much for this valuable information and tips!! I really appreciate it Smile

By the way, you should write a book on this!
Christopher Lyle
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Quote:
On 2013-02-12 18:14, Benjamagic wrote:
Thanks so much for this valuable information and tips!! I really appreciate it Smile

By the way, you should write a book on this!


Well for now, my lecture will need to do. It will be available on DVD with my lecture notes by April! Smile
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
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For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
AAAL
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Do you ask for tips? or you split it with the waiting staff? do you make considerable income from tips?
Christopher Lyle
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No, I do not solicit for tips while performing magic. I do accept them, but I don't ask. I also don't work for tips alone. I am always paid by the restaurants I perform in. I don't split anything with the waitstaff. Back in the day, I was required to put my tips into a "tip share" jar that was split evenly at the end of the night, but that's now illegal here in the states. On a good night, I will make double if not triple what I'm paid from the restaurants in tips. On a bad night, I may make pretty close to what the restaurant pays me.

It all depends on if I'm doing magic or creating balloon art. People tip higher for balloon art. Smile
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
Anthony Istar
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Lyon, France
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That's a great article Christopher, thanks a lot!!
Just a question: if the manager still asks you for a trick —even after he saw the great effect you had on his/her clients— what killer trick would you do to convince him/her? I imagine you'll answer: "the routine that suits you"... but I'm just curious!
Thanks a lot,
Anthony_
magicalmilton
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There is a slight issue in terms of business ethics in having your friends, essentially, as "stooges", trying to inflate the reactions people have to your performance, during your audition. As someone who has been in the position of hiring entertainers and performers I can tell you that this, when spotted, goes down like a lead balloon. It is far far more ethical to perform to your highest standards during your audition and really induce those reactions. If they do not happen then so be it but at least what is reflected is a genuine reaction to your abilities rather than an inflated one.

This also works in your favour for later performances. Instead of you having an amazing reactive audition, followed by two or three incredibly mundane and uneventful performances, you instead maintain a positive curve where people who were genuinely impressed return with their friends who should in turn be genuinely impressed. Thus the reaction becomes cumulative, not an initial crescendo followed by a sharp diminuendo.

It also really helps you to actually make a good performance!

Apart from that though, I have to completely agree that Chris's method is workable. It is important for beginners to note, though, that whilst this is a way of getting bookings, it is not THE way. There are an almost infinite number of ways to book a restaurant/club/theatre. This is simply one of many.
harbour
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Another is being a regular at the restaurants you want to perform in and after having conversations with the general manager, make it seem like HIS idea.
Christopher Lyle
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Quote:
On 2013-03-12 09:28, Anthony Istar wrote:
That's a great article Christopher, thanks a lot!!
Just a question: if the manager still asks you for a trick —even after he saw the great effect you had on his/her clients— what killer trick would you do to convince him/her? I imagine you'll answer: "the routine that suits you"... but I'm just curious!
Thanks a lot,
Anthony_


You are correct...whatever suits who you are...but in all my years, it's never happened! Smile
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
Christopher Lyle
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Quote:
On 2013-03-21 02:23, magicalmilton wrote:
There is a slight issue in terms of business ethics in having your friends, essentially, as "stooges", trying to inflate the reactions people have to your performance, during your audition. As someone who has been in the position of hiring entertainers and performers I can tell you that this, when spotted, goes down like a lead balloon. It is far far more ethical to perform to your highest standards during your audition and really induce those reactions. If they do not happen then so be it but at least what is reflected is a genuine reaction to your abilities rather than an inflated one.

This also works in your favour for later performances. Instead of you having an amazing reactive audition, followed by two or three incredibly mundane and uneventful performances, you instead maintain a positive curve where people who were genuinely impressed return with their friends who should in turn be genuinely impressed. Thus the reaction becomes cumulative, not an initial crescendo followed by a sharp diminuendo.

It also really helps you to actually make a good performance!

Apart from that though, I have to completely agree that Chris's method is workable. It is important for beginners to note, though, that whilst this is a way of getting bookings, it is not THE way. There are an almost infinite number of ways to book a restaurant/club/theatre. This is simply one of many.


I didn't explain this very well when I originally wrote this article. I should better explain...

Whenever I am about to audition for a restaurant, I always post a message to my fans on Face Book, Twitter, etc. and invite them to the restaurant to watch me perform. This is a great way to not only provide my fans another opportunity to see me in action, but it guarantees that I’ll get great reactions from people who are use to my style and seeing me perform. I know that if they're FB Friends of mine, then they "liked me" b/c they wanted to keep up with the going on's in business.

Does that make better sense?

Also, I never said that what I wrote was the "GOSPEL!" It's what works for me and has continued to work for me. By using the methods I describe above, I am able to walk into any restaurant I want and walk out with a gig. Some may think that comment is smug or braggart, but it's not, b/c I can back it up with experience.

Your mileage may vary... Smile
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
Christopher Lyle
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Quote:
On 2013-03-24 17:53, harbour wrote:
Another is being a regular at the restaurants you want to perform in and after having conversations with the general manager, make it seem like HIS idea.


Another wonderful idea!
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
magicfish
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Being a regular has as its pitfalls as well.
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