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Topic: How long of a routine?
Message: Posted by: magicguy (Dec 30, 2001 01:15PM)
I am pretty new at magic, but it doesn't mean I don't try hard, and pick my tricks carefully. I got an invitation to do magic at one of the Planet Hollywoods.... How long are your routines? 5 mins? 10 mins?

So far my tricks for sure are:

Scotch and soda


Card warp

color changing sponge balls to jumbo sqaure

Pen through dollar bill

would that be enough or should I add more?

Message: Posted by: Paul (Dec 30, 2001 01:44PM)
Have you read any books on performing restaurant magic?

Have you discussed fees with the restaurant?

You don't quite sound ready. You certainly have enough magic for one table...

maybe more than enough.

I assume it is just a one off booking?

Good luck.

Message: Posted by: Steve Landavazo (Dec 30, 2001 05:13PM)
Hi Magic Guy!

I think that just being invited to do magic is itself an accomplishment!


It sure sounds like you picked out some great tricks, and this will be a great learning experience for you. As far as how long should you perform each routine? I think using your judgement knowing that your performance is reliant on a few outside factors such as the arrival of the food and friends interacting etc. Seems that short is best to at least gauge your response, and then tailor what you've learned at your next performance.

A great reference to your interest is, "The Restaurant Worker's Handbook-A Practical Guide To Restaurant Magic by Jim Pace and Jerry MacGregor. It has great openings, strong middle routines; closers and really delves into cards, sponge balls and the appearance/disappearance of restaurant table items. Sounds like just what you may be interested in.

I hope this helps, and again congratulations and have fun!

Message: Posted by: Paul (Dec 30, 2001 05:31PM)
Yes, the book Steve mentions is worth getting if you are thinking of doing restaurant work, in fact in that book Jim Pace recommends one of mine. The Poker Mental routine in there is not really a good restaurant trick, and I didn't think sufficently different from John Mendoza's to warrant inclusion, but the important thing about that book, for yourself, is not really the tricks, it is the other information.

Work looking at another restaurant book though, to balance views out, but no more than two books on the subject because you get a lot of duplication. Then maybe books like Ortiz's Strong Magic. You may as well start off the right way!

Message: Posted by: magicguy (Dec 30, 2001 10:44PM)
thanks guys for the replies and information.... Yes it was just a one time booking for a free show. For me I will be able to show promo clips that I have done magic at Planet Hollywood, that I can show to other resturants. Planet Hollywood does have a strong pulling name.... This is THE BEST forum I belong too!!!

Message: Posted by: Steve Landavazo (Dec 30, 2001 10:49PM)
Excellent Magic Guy! Those promo clips are like gold, and can be a great selling tool! It's very nice chatting with you!

Message: Posted by: dorbolo (Dec 30, 2001 11:51PM)
I recommend "The Magic Menu" reprint books. Vol. 1 is years 1-5 and Vol. 2 is years 6-10. Just about every question that a student of walk-around, bar, and restaurant magic can think of is addressed by pros who know in these books. Lots of great bits and effects as well.

Best of luck with your gig.

In good spirit,

Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Dec 31, 2001 07:33AM)
Magicguy, first of all, congratulations on "getting your foot in the door" at a Planet Hollywood.

Second, the material you have should be fine but I'm a little concerned about your reset problems: S and S, Raven, and ball to cube.

Routines should run about three to five minutes per table; ten minutes at a table can seem like an eternity, for you and for the customers.

There is only one way, basically, to learn restaurant work and that is "in the trenches".

You've got to do it yourself; no book, no video, nobody can tell you all the things you'll find out by doing it yourself -- when to hit a table, how to hit a table, when to leave, how to leave, routining the act, making it modular so you can end it at any time, and on and on.

But don't, whatever you do, let all that discourage you!

Good luck! :wavey:


Peter Marucci

Message: Posted by: magic_kris (Dec 31, 2001 10:27AM)
Good Luck magicguy!

I don't really have any wisdom to give, but I would love to read a full report when you're done. I'm sure you will learn alot.

Nothing can replace experience, but determination and hard work can go a long way. The only way to get experience is to go for it and it sounds like you have. Good for you!

Be sure and let us know how it goes.

Message: Posted by: magicguy (Dec 31, 2001 02:51PM)
You guys are the best, I belong to other forums, some that you had to buy a product, and as an added bonus you got free access to the forums. And there are alot of people just wanting to put you down or saying your just a rookie and etc. I will not lie and say I am not a rookie, and truthfully I want to be my own corporate magician soon. I am 22 years old and have started a promotional marketing company, I thought it would give me a competitive advantage if I could present my products "Magically" Stand out more then my competitors. Also the money I would make at birthday parties and resturants will be a source of funding for my business.

P.S. Do you guys know of good tricks that are instant resets? I was thinking Star Gazer.... I know there is a switch involved, how hard would that be for a newbie?

Magicguy :dancing:
Message: Posted by: magic_kris (Dec 31, 2001 04:45PM)
If you are talking about the same star gazer I am (rubberband effect) there isn't a switch involved so there should be no problem.

Message: Posted by: magicguy (Dec 31, 2001 07:45PM)
Magic Kris

Yes it is a rubber band effect cost around $15 right? is this a self working trick?

Did I mention this board rules!!!!! :bigsmile:
Message: Posted by: magic_kris (Jan 1, 2002 12:24AM)
Yes, pretty much self working. Works well in combination with Crazy Hans handcuffs.

This isn't really on topic for this thread. PM (personal message) or email me if you want to discuss it further. Another alternative would be to search for it in the good, bad, and garbage section and start a thread if you don't find one.

Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jan 1, 2002 09:04AM)
Magicguy, if you want something for table hopping that instantly resets, try my no-gimmick Scotch and Soda.

It uses no gimmicks, no reset needed, only one basic sleight, and -- best of all -- costs nothing!

If you (or anyone else) is interested in it, e-mail me privately and I'll e-mail the routine back to you.

(It originally appeared in my Showtime column in the Linking Ring)


Peter Marucci

Message: Posted by: David Smyth (Jan 1, 2002 03:28PM)
Yep, try it, it's great!!!
Message: Posted by: Andy Charlton (Jan 4, 2002 04:41AM)
Hi ya.

Re: How long you should do.
It all depends on the circumstances.

I have been in situations where I have had 60 tables to get around in 90 minutes. Each table got 1 trick. Or other situations where itís a quiet night and a really appreciative table, and Iíve been there 30 minutes chatting and performing.

Tricks, the ones you listed are all good tricks, but as Peter said, look at reset times etc. I put my Sponge ball routine together off of Pat Pageís video. Everything starts in the Right hand jacket pocket, everything finishes there, and itís modular. It can be anything from 3 to 8 effects, always starting the same, and with the same big finish.

Rubber bands are great. Doesnít need a table, doesnít look suspicious, and lots of things you can do. My second routine at a table usually starts with borrowed ring through rubber band. Then crazy manís handcuffs. May go into ring sliding UP rubber band, and Band around wrist from Greg Wilsonís, "Off The Cuff" video. Up to 5 minutes of good stuff, with no reset and everything examinable.

I think one of the best restaurant effects, and usually my opener is, "Invisible Deck." I think that from an audiences point of view, It starts off being funny, and finishes being mind blowingly baffling, and hopefully leaving them thinking, "That was great! Show us more."

For now, for your gig. Practice resets, practice approaching a table. Really, set a camcorder up if you have one, and see how you look and sound approaching. Practice the whole routine, and think of what you will do if for instance, the waitress brings food halfway through a trick, and get the links between tricks really smooth.

Most of all, Enjoy it. If you approach the gig in a positive confident, happy frame of mind, the audience will enjoy it.

Good Luck

Message: Posted by: magicguy (Jan 4, 2002 07:39PM)
You guys have some really good advice and good routine, I will use some rubber band effects now as I think about it more.

Thanks all! Cheers :bubbly:
Message: Posted by: korneille (Jan 12, 2002 10:22AM)
As powerful as the gimmick version try it!!! :dancing:
Message: Posted by: Jared (Jan 17, 2002 04:54PM)
Iíve been performing restaurant magic for about 5-years and Iíve settled on a formula that I think works great in the majority of situations.

First, I agree that you have to be flexible... we are NOT the reason that people visit a restaurant - itís the FOOD. Therefore, we have to always respect this by politely excusing yourself when it arrives to the table.

Secondly, most restuarants have a bar area which is a wonderful place to try new material. Keep in mind that you will ALWAYS be working out of your hands around a bar. I found that one or two effects works great in this situation. I primarily use the bar area as a place to work when tables arenít ready yet or the waiter or waitress is still serving food.

I also feel that it sends a message to the owner that you are working your hardest to entertain. I would not be happy if I were the owner to see my entertainment standing around.

Iíve also found that most people sitting around a bar are somewhat bored and welcome a pleasant distraction.

Hereís the formula that I found to be very useful for table-hopping:

1) A short visual opener 10-60 seconds that can be done without participation or very minimal.

2) A Lead-in trick that invites audience participation. No card counting!

3) A strong set-up trick (for the closer) that can stand-alone, and almost function as a closer.

4) The closer, which should be the strongest effect in the set.

The idea is to
(1) create interest,
(2) bring them íiní to your act,
(3)dazzle them by building off the second effect, and
(4) finish them off with a powerful conclusion.

I call this routining a 3-4 formation. The reason I work in this manner is that in a good percentage of cases you will find that you will not be able to perform íthe closerí. The hourglass simply runs out.

Yet the feeling is that you want to ensure that you perfomed strong magic, but not leave the impression, that you left in the middle of your act. You donít want your audience to feel guilty for wanting to enjoy their meal.

Typically, Iíll work through the first couple of effects at a sound pace (without rushing) and close on 3 or 4.
Timing is everything, experience aids in determining what is the right timeframe?

If youíre not busy, take a stopwatch and clock the time it takes for the food to arrive at a table. Of course allow for appetizers. With larger tables you WILL have more time. Expect to perform a full-set.

I think that it was Michael Close who recommended working in somewhat modular sets this is great advice. Timing is a skill that comes more easily after repeated performances. I think it took me three years to finally íget ití.

Lastly, I think that the length of a set varies from person to person and the type of restaurant. You want to strive for entertaining everyone who showed enough interest to watch your performance so be flexible.

- Jared