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Topic: First time of table hopping
Message: Posted by: Ar_B (May 18, 2005 01:24AM)
Hi all,
For the first time of table hopping, what should I prepare?
And any thing I need to care about?
Message: Posted by: magicsoup (May 18, 2005 09:51AM)
You need to have pocket management figured out. You need to have kids routines figured out and adult ones figured out. You asked a pretty vague question.
Message: Posted by: Cameron Fisk (May 18, 2005 11:34AM)
Honestly, I don't think that the answer to your question could be summed up in one post. I usually don't like it when people tell me this for a specific question, but in your case you need to invest in a book. I would highly recommend The Complete Guide to Restaurant and Walk around Magic by Kirk Charles. All my questions were answered in this book addressing suck issues as, dress, fees, tips, effects, kids, hecklers, marketing, etc. There are a few other books that are very good as well, but this is the one I liked best. Something for you to think about.


Cameron Fisk
Message: Posted by: Paul D (May 19, 2005 12:40AM)
The worst thing (for me) when table-hopping is just having way too many things in my pockets. For example today I went to an audition at a new restaurant that opened last week called Perkins. I think itís a chain restaurant. I had all kinds of crap in my pockets 2 decks of cards, flash paper, lollipops, nest of boxes, DoubleX, hopping halves, close-up wand, business cards and a rubber band but that was on my wrist. I was prepared for war. So I get inside I tell the host who I am and they get the GM. After the formal introductions we sit down. I then take out my cards and unroll the napkin to my left to make an impromptu close up pad and I perform McDonalds Aces. That was all I had to do. He didn't want to see anything else. He then asked me my price I offered him a nice deal we shook hands and Iím due back on Friday at 6:30. I didn't need anything else just 1 deck of cards. But I do plan on being fully loaded on Friday!
Message: Posted by: broothal (May 19, 2005 02:55AM)
Table-hopping is a very large and complicated area. Many books have been written on the subject, and there are probably many more to come. It's impossible to digest all that info in a post here at the Cafť. But hey - I'll give it a try anyways ;)

Table-hopping is very much "learning by doing". You're probably a skilled magician (otherwise - don't do table-hopping). So - just walk around to the tables showing tricks. Forget about "which tricks are best for table hopping" for now. Just show the tricks you like and do best. Forget about intro lines. Forget about the best way to hand out business cards. Just focus on the magic. Walk from table to table and do what you do best - entertain. The rest will come with experience.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (May 19, 2005 11:29AM)
In my opinion you don't really need more than six tricks ready to go. I recommend a set with a card effect, a coin effect and an effect with something else. Two sets like this are plenty. You can alternate between tables in case the next table sees what went on at the first table.

If you end up doing the gig long term, and thus start to see repeat customers, you might need to expand your repertoire.

Remember, you are there to entertain laymen for a short period of time, while they are waiting to do what they came to do, ie: eat.

If doing the same 3 - 6 tricks over and over again all night doesn't sound like fun, well, that's why they call it work. Resist the temptation to do all the different things you do for your own amusement. That's not why you are there.
Message: Posted by: steve j (May 19, 2005 04:10PM)
To work restaurants in my own experience, you need to know your material in and out and must be able to start and stop because often times you will be interupted by other tables wanting to see the magic or the waiter/waitress comes with their food. You need to be able to resist the grind, your doing essentially the same handfull of tricks for two or more hours, you have to stay fresh for each table. Lastly try to improvise to the surroundings, acknowledge something the happens during your set. Don't zone out during the trick speaking the patter line for line, mine changes a bit every table because everyone is different and everyone is incorperated into my set one way or another.
Message: Posted by: Ar_B (May 20, 2005 12:38AM)
On 2005-05-19 03:55, broothal wrote:

Table-hopping is very much "learning by doing".


Yes, I think that also.
I am worry about that because I didn't do it before.
Maybe it will become better later on.
Anyway, thanks for all you guys answer my question.
Message: Posted by: Ben Train (May 20, 2005 01:57AM)
Know your stuff cold.
I can't stress this enough.
If you've worked out every detail, from when people are supposed to laugh, what lines to say (and how) to when to excecute a move, you'll be fine.

But you got to know it cold.
I can't tell you how many times I've struggled with a trick because I didn't know it cold yet, and it didn't work as well as I thought it would. I'm not talking move wise, I'm talking routining. Laughs occured when I didn't expect them, and didn't show up when I did. Plots were not as clear as I originally thought, and effects didn't register as well as I thought.

All I can say is this: You're going to struggle. Maybe not much, but there will be moments when you feel yucky.
I'm not saying this to discurage you. On contrair, I mean this as encouragment! If you know your stuff, you'll probably do ok. But you shouldn't worry about times you don't kill (which will be more common) because after doing a trick 100 times (which is usually, for me, 10 nights of work) and making the necessary changes, you'll start killing for sure.

As far as material available: the Kirk book, workers, art of table hopping (levridge), webber, and a whole bunch of other guys.

good luck man!
Message: Posted by: Jonathan P. (May 20, 2005 04:25AM)
I still feel the hardest part is to go up to the table and interrupt the discussion. I found a way that satisfies me (more or less) and fit my style but I still feel that that is the hardest moment. When they accept and smile, that is when the fun begins (according to the important fact that your repertoire is not a source of thinking and fumbling.)
Good luck!
Message: Posted by: kinesis (May 20, 2005 04:53AM)
Watch your tables, look to see what tables have just cleared and the customer is waiting for the next course. Read the body language of your customers (are they holding hands and gazing intimately into one-anothers eyes or are they bored etc.) Have your material rehearsed but be prepared to do a lot of ad-lib. Every person is different and many unpredictable. Be prepared for rejection, not everyone is there to see magic. Interact with your customers and enjoy yourself.
Message: Posted by: Ryan S (May 20, 2005 06:30PM)
Remember, your there to make money for the house. That means you need to watch the table turnover and don't hold that up, unless your good at getting them to order dessert or another drink. I try to only approach a table after they have ordered while they are waiting on their main course. Once the food arives, I leave, let them enjoy there dinner while it is hot! Just stop and offer to come back while they are enjoying there dessert if they would like to see more, that is if your not done with your set. Be respectful with there space and time and they will respect you and your talent. There are great books out there on restaurant magic, check out http://www.magic36.com regarding a magic convention in Indianpolis,this July where there will be a class on restaurant magic and the business side of getting hired and working in this great environment.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (May 24, 2005 11:25AM)
On 2005-05-20 05:25, Jonathan P. wrote:
I still feel the hardest part is to go up to the table and interrupt the discussion. I found a way that satisfies me (more or less) and fit my style but I still feel that that is the hardest moment. When they accept and smile, that is when the fun begins (according to the important fact that your repertoire is not a source of thinking and fumbling.)
Good luck!

Jonathan, I'm with you. Perhaps we share some culture in European manners, but I do not like being an uninvited guest at someone's table. I'm not paying the bill!

However, that invitation can be invited and encouraged by the entertainer without barging in on another's territory. Eye contact is critical. Carriage is critical. Timing is critical. Once you have gained notice, let the guest make the next move. If they look away, go away! They have plans that don't include you. There are also "buying" signals that serve to invite you to the table. It's very much like dating! "What's your sign?" (Please pick me! Let me entertain you! Fear of rejection is a common disease of entertainers for all of the right reasons. We hunt audiences. That doesn't give us the right to abduct them.)


Magic By Sander