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Topic: Looking for advice - got a try-out at a *very* classy restaurant
Message: Posted by: shobley (Dec 10, 2002 08:34PM)
Hey guys!

I've been asked to perform at a *very* classy restaurant in town (you have to be 18 just to eat there!)

I would be lying if I were to say that I
wasn't a little apprehensive, has anyone else landed these high profile venues before?

Kind of like "Biggs" in EB Gourmet magic tape - you know the kind of place I mean.

Message: Posted by: Davro (Dec 11, 2002 02:55AM)
Well done on landing the gig. I work at three restaurants on a regular basis and they couldn't be more different than each other. One is a very traditional place where the clients are in the main fairly old, one is a family place with a range of people from babes in arms upwards and the third is a very modern place frequented by young couples and party types.

Now my point is this (hooray, he's got there!) I perform the same routines in each of the places but the way I perform them varies a lot. The first place needs to be polite and I spend a few moments chatting about whatever comes to mind before offering to show them some magic. In the last place I am 'THE MAGICIAN' hopefully entertaining and quick witted. So you need to see what the place feels like to you and adjust your act to suit. I hope this rambling makes some sense. Feel free to PM me if I can help further.
Regards, David.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Dec 11, 2002 07:22PM)
Probably not a popular thought, but I follow the credo of that famous 20th century philsopher, Popeye, who once said, "I yam what I yam." I've performed everywhere from trade shows, to bars, to comedy clubs, to the White House, and the bottom line is that I don't modify my personality based on the venue. If they don't want someone who acts like me, they should hire someone else. Your mileage may vary.
Message: Posted by: Allan (Dec 12, 2002 07:24PM)
I perform in that type of restaurant & have been there for 10 years. You ask for advice, but did not state what your problem is or what you are looking to find out. Please give more info so that we can answer your questions.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Dec 12, 2002 07:47PM)
David Lancaster's post pretty well covers it: Basically the same stuff but a different approach, depending on the venue.
That's what I do and it works.
Whether it will work for you at this place is an unanswerable question.
So, whatever works, works. It's that simple (or complex).
Larry D disagrees with the "change of personality" line and pretty much proves my point: What works for him may -- or may not -- work for someone else.
Table hopping is rife with variables, so it is almost impossible to say "do this" and you will be guaranteed success. (That's why most table-hopping books are worthless!)
Do the job, do it the way that you are comfortable with, and if it works, fine; if not, well, you've learned something.
Good luck.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Dec 12, 2002 08:48PM)
Peter, I agree that what may work for one person may not work for another...but at the bottom line I was trying to say that no matter what you do, be yourself. I could have conveyed that message more clearly.
Message: Posted by: Sneakers (Dec 14, 2002 07:43AM)
Dai Vernon said, "Be Natural." In this case I'd have to agree with Peter and Larry D.: "Be you." To try to be anything else (specifically when you're likely to be nervous about your high profile employer) is to invite more trouble than you need.

If you've practiced and worked hard to get where you are, relax and let your training and past experiences take you through the gig. Sounds to me like you'll be perfectly fine.

Have fun!
Message: Posted by: Stephen Long (Dec 15, 2002 04:26PM)
Scott Guinn has said, and I agree with him, that the problem with the "just be yourself" advice is that (no disrespect intended to anyone here) some people are idiots.
Plain and simple.
If an idiot decides to "just be himself" then the chances are he won't be liked much by his audiences.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Dec 15, 2002 05:02PM)
Stephen, in one of Allan Hayden's books (can't remember which one), his humorous advice is, "Be yourself, unless you're a jerk in which case you should be someone else." The problem is that it's not even good for a jerk to try to be someone else when performing because he'll come across as being fake. It's a no win situation. My advice to the jerks is "be something other than a magician."
Message: Posted by: Jim Davis (Dec 15, 2002 05:34PM)
Everyone here has hit on one point. That is your personailty is your greatest tool. People are interested in magic, but they are more interested in "you."

I have worn my "Cowboy" gear to family restaraunts, themed restaraunts, and even to a "Black Tie" kind of place. It's me and no matter where I stand out.

Allthough, I have drastically altered my stories to fit the audiance. Low key for those who are low key. Poured on the best comedy for those who could handle it. Basically play to them, and let them take you where they want to go.

At the Wagonmaster Steak Co, in Salt Lake City, I get all kinds. Businessmen, familys, teenagers on Prom dates, elderly, young couples, and the list goes on.

What I'm getting at is each table has a different audiance. Some may appriciate clean humor, while others like the Viagra jokes.

Pick your routines well, and you'll do well.

BTW We all want to hear how you did afterward. :) :) :) :) :)
Message: Posted by: Spydur (Dec 16, 2002 11:25AM)
I performed at A white house once. It wasn't THE white house, but it sure was white.

CONGRATS on the restaurant. All I would have to say is hand out a LOT of business cards. If these are high rollers then you want to land a lot of private work.

I believe that as long as you are keeping the guests happy it does not matter what effects you are doing(except for the sponge dong.)

Corey B.
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Dec 16, 2002 01:31PM)
Hey I practice in the living room (of my white house) and some times in front of the bathroom mirror, so I would call that the oval office? :lol:

The sponge dong is wrong, on EVERY level.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Dec 16, 2002 06:28PM)
I performed at the actual White House for a Halloween party, and I can't tell you how strange it was to be followed by Secret Service agents dressed in costume. Nothing like werewolves packing heat. I felt like I was in the middle of a Twilight Zone episode.

Re. the sponge dong, I actually know a knucklehead who had a gig at a restaurant and performed that effect walk-around. One customer he performed it for told the magician that he was offended, and the magician, who had the IQ of styrofoam, replied, "Oh, you're probably an engineer or something like that," to which the customer said, "Actually, I am an engineer, and where's the manager?" The magician didn't perform at that restaurant again. Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in practice.
Message: Posted by: ixnay66 (Dec 17, 2002 09:28AM)
Well you'd have to be pretty stupid to do the sponge dong to someone you don't know but I have a couple of college buddies that thought it was pretty *** funny when I did it for them.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Dec 17, 2002 05:50PM)
ixnay66, exactly. Peforming for college buddies is entirely different. And yes, this magician was more than pretty stupid.
Message: Posted by: Mickey Cohen (Jan 12, 2003 10:11PM)
I work in an extremely high end restaurant.I cater mostly to the extremely wealthy and sometimes very spoiled. I open with the 3 card monte and tell my tale of my life as a poor boy from Brooklyn,which I am. I am unpretentious.I just act myself and hope they take a liking to me.Just be yourself.Oh ,and charge twice as much maybe even 3 times as much.