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Topic: Table space
Message: Posted by: rtclark (Jun 16, 2005 01:58PM)
Does anyone have any ideas on the best way to gain table space? I would love to start doing a matrix but my small closeup pad is too small, basically just some place I can rest cards, etc so they don't get wet or food on them. I would like to carry a larger pad but am not sure how rude it is to ask for more of their space. Should I ask, or should I just wait to use it at tables with space available? Thanks for your help.
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Jun 16, 2005 02:15PM)
What's a close-up pad?

Seriously, a table hopper cannot always choose his battlefield. Not even his table!

My advice is to be more like me. (Of course.) I have three sets of four tricks (cards, coins, sponges, wallet, knives, ect.). NONE, I repeat, NONE of which use any kind of flat surface whatsoever. Everything happens in my, or their, hands. As far as I'm concerned, this is the only way to fly.

I appreciate that you worked on the Matrix and want to show it off, but I think that's going at things assbackwards. If you want to do table hopping you should choose, and then learn, tricks that are conducive to that environment. There are plenty to choose from. If it's a coin assembly you want, make them disappear from your hand and re-appear in her hand. There's a good version on one of Ammar's Easy to Master Coin Miracles tape/DVDs.

Some workers carry there own little tables around with them and someone will be here soon telling you where to buy one, I'm sure. (After all, it's all about buying, buying, buying more stuff,... but I digress.) I think this is way more trouble than it is worth considering the wealth of entertaining magic available using no table. It's more magical happening in her hands anyway.

So, be more like me. Aaah, the world would be a better place...
Message: Posted by: Eric Jones (Jun 16, 2005 07:43PM)
I agree completely with Randwill and will say that any routine that REQUIRES you to use a table, may not be BEST suited for tableside work. However, the same effect can be accomplished without the aid of cards, and still accomplish the "Matrix" fashion assembly by picking the coins up. Dave Williamson explains an excellent version on his Dave 2 Video. For walk-around, I always suggest using 2 spectators, one on each side holding their hands out for 45 seconds to create the four corners for the coins to assemble.....
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (Jun 16, 2005 10:48PM)
Hey, Godhanz, I like the idea of using spectator's hands, that's really good thinking! The only question I have is -- how do you avoid having the spectators feel or not feel the coins on their hands? With all the nerve endings in the hands, I would think this would be a dead give away. The backs of the hands might work, but I think some spectators would have difficulty keeping the coin on the hand in such an unnatural position. One would also have to come up with some kind of justification for using the backs of he hands.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Jun 17, 2005 05:27AM)
If it requires much table space, I won't perform it in a restaurant. Too much space is taken up by things on the table and those things obscure the spectators' view of other things that are on the table.

For parties, I have a little more freedom. I might even setup a close-up table. At company picnics, I often setup a table beside a line of people, who are waiting for stuff.
Message: Posted by: rtclark (Jun 17, 2005 07:10AM)
Thanks for the advice. Most everything I do is done in my hands or theirs or uses just a corner to set something down. A close-up pad is somethign that is like a mouse pad. It just keeps your cards, etc from getting all gunked uop if you set them on the table.
Message: Posted by: Lantiere (Jun 19, 2005 06:19PM)
I agree with everyone. Normally, I do not do ANY magic on top of their table. There is the occasional time where I might do a card or packet trick like NFW or Color Monte, and need a small part of the table to display the climax. In that case, I use a small - aprox. 4" round - black closeup mat for the display. But then pick it up right after. The small round mat is also excellent for the mini chop cup.

I do not like to intrude on the "customer's space," and many times the tables are cluttered enough with food, napkins, silverware, chinaware or some sort of beverage which has beem spilled.

Again, about 99% of what I do is in my hands, not on the customer's table.

- Joe Lantiere
Message: Posted by: twistedace (Jun 19, 2005 07:45PM)
How the heck do you guys carry a close up mat with you, even a small one?! I use table space all of the time, I usually ask for a corner and the people more than oblige and offer to basically move EVERYTHING. I just introduce myself and then ask, may I leave this here? (usually in reference to my chop cup or my Kennedy box). People usually clear the table for me, not that I ask them to. I have never been turned down...ask for an inch and they usually give you a mile. I always introduce myself first and NEVER place anything down without asking.

I never use a lot of space however. I would never think of doing matrix in a restaurant eventhough I love the effect. I agree completely with everyone here. Choose material and learn material according to what you want to do and where you want to work.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jun 20, 2005 07:09AM)
I hope this doesn't come across as an advertisement...but, I absolutely love this item. I use Shawn Grey's clip-on restaurant table. This is the most lightweight and portable table I have ever seen. The table safely clips onto the edge of any bar or restaurant table providing a professional, clean and stable platform for every type of close-up magic without moving a thing on the customer's table. It uses less than 5" of the restaurant table surface. Rubber cushions protect the restaurant table surface from scratches and dents. The clips adjust to a wide variety of table widths and in more than two years of use I have found only one table that it wouldn't fit. The cushioned black velvet surface measures 16" wide by 12" deep and works well for my cups & balls, chop cup, matrix and a variety of oher card & coin effects. The velvet performance surface is raised slightly above the customer's table surface, so spills, wet spots, food and such are no longer a concern. Disconnected, it's about the size & width of a standard binder and fits comfortably under my arm as I move to the next table. The table also has a snap on servante that I use as a stand-up lapper for vanishes and steals. Contact Shawn at houseofmagic@ameritech.net or call (937) 450-1083 for details.
Message: Posted by: Acecardician (Jun 21, 2005 11:29PM)
On 2005-06-19 19:19, Lantiere wrote:
I agree with everyone. Normally, I do not do ANY magic on top of their table. There is the occasional time where I might do a card or packet trick like NFW

- Joe Lantiere

But the places I work don't even have tables. I've been doing NFW for years with no table. Try spreading the final display of Aces facing the spectator, I have 2 Aces in each hand, each hand is near my ears, the Aces facing the spectators, my fingers and thumbs are rubbing the cards together briskly as eyes come up to see the display, I look into my spectators eyes to see the reaction....and smile. The cards are then right next to my top pocket, where I always keep them. Away they go...on to the next one.....

Message: Posted by: mdspark (Jun 25, 2005 11:26PM)
I would have to second what Skip Way has said about a clip on table..I just started using one, and quite frankly, I think it makes you look more professional.

I say this because EVERY single table I went to the other nite commented on what a "neat" thing to have/use...one table said upon seeing it, "Wow, You must really know what you are doing".

I think when laypersons see any type of specialized equipment, it give them the impression of being professional if that makes sense. I know it's not for everybody, but it seems to work great in my setting.
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Jun 26, 2005 04:58AM)
Maybe the trick lies in communicating that you are professional, though more in attitude and appearance than by the look of your props. If you succeed in that, not only will you don't have to ask for tablespace (it will be created for you), you probably won't need tablespace to make great magic.

I learned from one of the greatest close-up magicians of this moment, that we can decide not to let the venue dictate what we can do, but the other way around...
An Utopea? Maybe, but one worth working for!
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jun 26, 2005 05:23PM)
Maybe the trick lies in communicating that you are professional, though more in attitude and appearance than by the look of your props. [/quote]

I believe it's all or nothing here. Attitude, appearance, bearing AND appearance & quality of props, handling, presentation...it is all important. One magician's style will always differ from the next...especially among the top performers in an area. Where one might disdain the necessity or convenience of a table, the next might require it for their particular specialty. Neither is right or wrong.

If a table surface is a benefit, use the best and make it count. If I am to be judged as an entertainer, let it be by the laughter and applause that follows me from table to table...not by another magician's opinion of my professionalism based on the props I choose to use.

:o) Skip
Message: Posted by: mdspark (Jun 27, 2005 02:17AM)
Well said Skip. To be honest, I never had much problem with table space before. Most of my material can be done with or without one. And, I might add, I never asked for table space. I just did my routine, but I did find that most cleared a small area on the table without my asking. THAT is what started me thinking about using one. As nice as it is to have them spontaneously clear an area, why not just use a clip on table so as to make me even more 'user friendly' and be done with it. That was my only point.

Plus this allows me to expand my presentations, especially for my regulars, of which there are a lot. (In a smaller town you get more regulars).
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 27, 2005 01:45PM)
I don't work restaurants, but...

Has anyone considered working out a humourous way (you have to be instantly likeable) to move things around on a table ... a way that is interesting and fun to watch?
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jun 27, 2005 02:21PM)
I've always considered the table...be it at home or in a restaurant...to be private space. I don't want just anyone reaching across or working over my plate or glass. I don't want just anyone handling or moving my tableware while I'm using it. I don't want just anyone touching my check folder if I'm paying the bill. Call it a quirk...but, this is a personal space and I have the same respect for my customers. This is their space. Who am I to walk up and start rearranging things? This is why I love the clip-on table idea. If I can perform from my hand to theirs, perfect. If not, the clip-on table is a face saver. If I can do my thing while maintaining the "sanctity" of their private space...then this makes me look that much more professional...in my opinion.

:o) Skip
Message: Posted by: paymerich (Jun 27, 2005 02:56PM)
I find it very hard to fit my sub trunk on most tables that I work plus its heavy since it contains Max Maven inside. J/k

Mr Pen , I mean Biro, I usually do that very idea. I humoursly move items on the table so my poor little bunnies won't fall in some one's salad or drink when they hop. Be very respectful when approaching a table and most people I find will invite you right in.
Message: Posted by: jlevey (Jun 28, 2005 03:05PM)
For more than twenty years I have enjoyed working corporate cocktails and retaurants by carrying my own 12 inch by 16 inch table-top, mounted on a standard stainless steel Eureka stand. I place my pad on this lightweight portable table and I'm ready to go. It's easy to "lift and move", "lift and move", and I am able to perform all my card routines, as well as my (three) cups and balls routine without difficulty, and without impinging on the customer's "personal" table space.

I have worked with this particular table system in a wide range of venues: restaurants (with very thin aisles)for eight years, hotel rooms and other places with very tight quarters (ie. on moving buses and trains).

My table has, in fact, served me well.

My table is made from plywood (1/2 inch thick)and painted with a black lustre plastic finish. Although my previous table was made by myself using materials bought at the local hardware store, for my most recent table, I had a professional frame maker frame the table's perimeter with chrome plating ($45). All my tables, over the years have been decorated with a drape of red velvet material that I velcro around the perimeter. This draping includes a white fringe at the bottom and fits the corporate environs which I often perform in. The draping, also allows me to "hide" my watch box, as well as other items, such as a "load" for my cups and balls". You may prefer to use your table without the "drape effect".

If you wish, you can have a good glimpse of my table being used by clicking onto our videoclip found at: http://www.maxmagician.com/en/Max-close-up.htm

If you have never tried such a portable table system, I encourage you to at least consider it.

All the best.

Message: Posted by: twistedace (Jun 28, 2005 08:46PM)
Pete, just start to put things in your pockets...like the saltshaker and tell the table to make sure that if the manager comes by to say the word "porcupine". I do this very tongue in cheek and exaggerated. It works for me, gets a laugh, and people move EVERYTHING.