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Topic: Which Applebees?
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Jan 24, 2007 07:29AM)
Hey all.
I'm considering approaching a couple of Applebees in my area. It would be really helpful to tell the GM that "Magic is working really well at the Applebees in _______".

So my question is this. Who is currently the House Magician at an Applebees and in what City/State?

Thanks for your help. :)

JIM
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Jan 24, 2007 08:22AM)
BTW, feel free to PM me if you wish to remain anonymous.

JIM
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Jan 24, 2007 09:00AM)
I am currently the house magician at an Applebees in Buffalo, New York and will soon be starting one in Oneonta, New York as well. However I must say that letting the GM in California know that magic is working well in Buffalo really doesn't mean anything; the demographics are so different. But hey if it helps there you go!
Message: Posted by: MAKMagic (Jan 24, 2007 09:08AM)
Glad you brought this up Jim, we have one locally here as well and I was thinking this info would be good to have as well.
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Jan 24, 2007 09:12AM)
Thanks for the reply Brian. I used to perform at a couple of Red Robins about 10 years ago. I approached one near me not too long ago and was told "we don't do that here". I would love to be able to point out that the magic DOES work in his restaurant as well.

Just trying to come up with responses to what the Applebees GM might reply with. :)
Message: Posted by: MAKMagic (Jan 24, 2007 09:15AM)
Jm, we recently have had a Red Robin as well - If it goes well ( I plan on popping in there in the next couple of weeks) I'll let ya know. I just picked up a new place...nice italian restaurant. Guy was *** near ready for it after 5 minutes of the initial discussion:)
Message: Posted by: Hart Keene (Jan 24, 2007 11:40AM)
I am at the Applebee's in Springfield, Oregon. I have been there for a few years and everything has been great.

My only problem with Applebee's is the clientele. I don't get the same amount of gigs from Applebee's as I do the other restaurants. The ones I do get are not as "high class". This is just the nature of the beast when going after a franchise. You will also notice this at Red Robin. One thing I have learned to do is (when the restaurant is very crowded) is to go to the tables with patrons who "look" like they have money or are the type of people that would hire me for outside work. I hate to be this way but magic is a business and that is what works for me. Hope that helped...
Message: Posted by: MAKMagic (Jan 24, 2007 11:58AM)
I've wondered that about an Applebee's and Red Robin also...I think that's a good way to handle it Hart. I saw that all time at Ruby Tuesday...I'd hand out MANY cards from folks who seemed eager to hire me for this or that but with little return.
Message: Posted by: thegreatsantani (Jan 24, 2007 01:13PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-24 12:40, Hart Keene wrote:
I am at the Applebee's in Springfield, Oregon. I have been there for a few years and everything has been great.

My only problem with Applebee's is the clientele. I don't get the same amount of gigs from Applebee's as I do the other restaurants. The ones I do get are not as "high class". This is just the nature of the beast when going after a franchise. You will also notice this at Red Robin.
[/quote]

I disagree, one of my lowest paying gigs is at a Bob Evans. I was working and a lady in jeans and a t-shirt asked for my card. I thought nothing of it till the next day when she called and she works at a Army post. She also was in authrity to hire entertainment for several units on post. In the past 4 years she has given me (and I guess I kept thru providing a good service) about 25K. If had used your policy I would have missed her and her husband. Sometimes people go out to eat as a break from doing things around the house and you should "never judge a book by its cover"

Now this is the exception not the rule, but you just never know....

TGS
Message: Posted by: MAKMagic (Jan 24, 2007 01:59PM)
[quote]

Now this is the exception not the rule, but you just never know....

TGS
[/quote]

Actually, I don't think this is a factor, as even during a busy evening when you concentrate more on folks you feel will give you a better shot at a private gig you are still going to have more of the middle class clientel than not. It's what you said, it's the exception not the rule. And any which way you cut it, higher income folks are going to book you more often than lower or middle income. They are more likely to host an event that you'd be suited for AND have the freedom to hire entertainment as well. If I shoot a bow and win by hitting any target, I'm going to go for the larger target. Simple as that. Otherwise we'd all be at McDonalds:)
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Jan 24, 2007 02:13PM)
I never approach a table only because they look like they can afford me. I approach tables that look like would enjoy my magic and could have fun with. I DO agree that at my lower class restaurant I tend to get fewer bookings.
Message: Posted by: thegreatsantani (Jan 24, 2007 03:30PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-24 14:59, MAKMagic wrote:
[quote]

Now this is the exception not the rule, but you just never know....

TGS
[/quote]

And any which way you cut it, higher income folks are going to book you more often than lower or middle income. They are more likely to host an event that you'd be suited for AND have the freedom to hire entertainment as well.
[/quote]

I agree that higher income people can and do hire me more than lower to middle income people, the thing is, how do you know who is who? Do you ask for last years taxes, a recent pay stub or judge by what they eat. Me and my wife make a VERY nice income from magic and dress down when we go out. (not on purpose mind you but just our "off duty" style.) A lot of the time we share a plate. Using the "who can afford me" method, you would pass by our table and miss a potential customer.

This is componded by customer complaints such as "hey he did not come over here".

To me, and this is just my opinion....you are hired to entertain, getting other gigs is a side effect of our entertaining and not the reason you are there.

TGS
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Jan 24, 2007 03:50PM)
Agreed. We are there to entertain the guests, and make THEIR experiance more enjoyable. While getting private gigs are nice (I've gotten 2 from Red Robin so far, and I already have a family reunion booked in February), they are not the main reason. I approach any and all tables, and the vast majority of the time, get a yes. I love my job (regardless of the pay) and I would not change it for the world!

Steven
Message: Posted by: MAKMagic (Jan 24, 2007 11:40PM)
Let me just clarify a bit, as I think what was stated was misconstrued a bit...I'm not saying ignore anyone. But if I look at a restaurant full of people and see a table that looks to me to be more likely to hire me for a private gig, I am more likely to ensure I hit that table specifically. This could be based on a conversation heard in passing, the dress of clientel, items on the table (buisness card, wedding planning book etc) This in no way means I'd avoid unkle yochal and his 2 teeth and perform for him with the same vigor. The fact of the matter is, if the place is packed you WON'T hit every table. And if you see folks you deem more likely to hire you outside you'll make sure that table is not one of the ones that doesn't get hit.
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Jan 25, 2007 11:40AM)
One of the magicians in the Kansas City area has about five Applebee's where he works regularly. That really didn't help me get any work in that restaurant though (corporate vs. franchise). It might help you out some though.
Message: Posted by: Hart Keene (Jan 26, 2007 12:34PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-25 00:40, MAKMagic wrote:
Let me just clarify a bit, as I think what was stated was misconstrued a bit...I'm not saying ignore anyone. But if I look at a restaurant full of people and see a table that looks to me to be more likely to hire me for a private gig, I am more likely to ensure I hit that table specifically. This could be based on a conversation heard in passing, the dress of clientel, items on the table (buisness card, wedding planning book etc) This in no way means I'd avoid unkle yochal and his 2 teeth and perform for him with the same vigor. The fact of the matter is, if the place is packed you WON'T hit every table. And if you see folks you deem more likely to hire you outside you'll make sure that table is not one of the ones that doesn't get hit.
[/quote]

Thank you!!!!!

Now can everyone go back and re-read what I said? I said ON BUSY NIGHTS! Listen carefully to what MAKmagic said. He is right on target when he says that you will not get to everyone on crowded nights. You need to choose wisely... If you are requested or you can visibly see that they want to see you then OF COURSE you go to the table!

One of the first lessons you learn in any sales job(especially if you work conventions or trade shows), is to find the buyers and not waist to much time with people that aren't going to buy anything. If you work for commission they are just taking money out of your pocket. You have to qualify them as soon as possible because the real buyer could come and go while you are talking to the person who is actually not going to buy anything. I'm not saying to approach your restaurant shift with this type of cut throat mentality. But I just want to point out that you are selling yourself at the restaurant. If you perform for a living you rely on the restaurant to get your outside work, which is what really pays the bills! Do magic for everyone who wants to see it. But if it comes down to two teenagers getting ready to share a meal or a group of middle aged, well dressed business people, use common sense...
Message: Posted by: Magicmatt1982 (Jan 30, 2007 11:53AM)
I really like were this thread is going. I just approached a applebees last week and they did not have it in the budget this year. BUt it is nice to hear that other applebees are hiring magicians. Also in my area there is a red robin opening very soon.
I agree that when we are performing we can not just go to the talbe that will pay money for a big show. We are hired to perform for everyone we can and not choose who will book me for my next show. Just my thoughts.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 30, 2007 12:47PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-26 13:34, Hart Keene wrote:
[quote]
On 2007-01-25 00:40, MAKMagic wrote:
Let me just clarify a bit, as I think what was stated was misconstrued a bit...I'm not saying ignore anyone. But if I look at a restaurant full of people and see a table that looks to me to be more likely to hire me for a private gig, I am more likely to ensure I hit that table specifically. This could be based on a conversation heard in passing, the dress of clientel, items on the table (buisness card, wedding planning book etc) This in no way means I'd avoid unkle yochal and his 2 teeth and perform for him with the same vigor. The fact of the matter is, if the place is packed you WON'T hit every table. And if you see folks you deem more likely to hire you outside you'll make sure that table is not one of the ones that doesn't get hit.
[/quote]

Thank you!!!!!

Now can everyone go back and re-read what I said? I said ON BUSY NIGHTS! Listen carefully to what MAKmagic said. He is right on target when he says that you will not get to everyone on crowded nights. You need to choose wisely... If you are requested or you can visibly see that they want to see you then OF COURSE you go to the table!

One of the first lessons you learn in any sales job(especially if you work conventions or trade shows), is to find the buyers and not waist to much time with people that aren't going to buy anything. If you work for commission they are just taking money out of your pocket. You have to qualify them as soon as possible because the real buyer could come and go while you are talking to the person who is actually not going to buy anything. I'm not saying to approach your restaurant shift with this type of cut throat mentality. But I just want to point out that you are selling yourself at the restaurant. If you perform for a living you rely on the restaurant to get your outside work, which is what really pays the bills! Do magic for everyone who wants to see it. But if it comes down to two teenagers getting ready to share a meal or a group of middle aged, well dressed business people, use common sense...
[/quote]

I originally thought the implication was that you had TOO many tables to get too almost. In such a case it would be only smart to "cull" them as such. Nobody is outright ignored. ONLY a certain number can be arrived at, and it is a good business move to use your time as suggested.

Or am I misinturpreting? I hope not.
Message: Posted by: MAKMagic (Jan 30, 2007 01:05PM)
Exactly Danny...not sure where the arguments to that logic are coming from.

Good to see ya back
Message: Posted by: INFANTINO (Feb 1, 2007 07:24AM)
I've found that trying to get work at corporate restaurants (like Applebee's, Bennigans, Fridays, etc) is much harder than family owned restaurants. You can impress the manager at Applebee's but he has to bring it to the corporate white shirts for a final decision. Family owned restaurants could hire you on the spot.
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 1, 2007 01:47PM)
This is VERY true however if you get in with a corporate restaurant, chances are they you will be able to get into other locations very easily. Fortunately or unfortunately this has been one of the biggest factors of my success.
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 10, 2007 11:02PM)
Talk about a slap in the face. One of the restaurants that is on my “approach list” is the Applebee’s in my area. My wife is the Vice Pres of the PTA at our kid’s school. When she told me that they were planning a fund raiser there, this made me very happy. My though was, I’ll perform for FREE at this fundraiser to help the PTA (what a nice guy I am) and at the same time I’ll showcase my talents to the management. I would absolutely KILL and talk to the GM shortly thereafter. So far…………… so what.

The person in charge of the PTA fundraiser called Applebee’s and EVERY manager that she talked to said that they were excited to have me. I’m in like Flynn riiiight? Wrong. Keep reading peeps.

So my idea was to use this PTA fundraiser as a crutch to get into Applebee’s. Although it is taught to NOT contact the GM’s on the weekends, I knew what time he’d be in on Sat. (I did my homework) and I thought it’d be ok to call him and “touch basis” about the big event coming up. I told him that I wanted to come in and talk to him about the fundraiser to give him an idea of what I do.

To paraphrase, and I am making him sound MUCH nicer here:

Me: Hi, this is Jim the magician and I was wondering if I could come in today and talk to you about the PTA event that I am involved in on the 22nd.
Him: What do you want to talk about?
Me: I just wanted to introduce myself and give you an idea of what I’d be doing for you.
Him: Well, I don’t know about that. We’ve never done this before.
Me: Oh really, Jennifer (PTA chick) told me that she spoke to several of your managers and that they were all ‘Excited” about me.
Him: I will need to talk to Jennifer about this. I don’t know what our liabilities are here. Like, where do you set up, what you do. There will be some of our guests there as well.
Me: I understand but I can tell you more about what I do than Jennifer can. I’ve been doing this for over 17 years.
Him: I know you are probably good but I need to talk to Jennifer.
Me: Ok, I’ll talk to Jennifer and have her call you.
Him: Ya… have her call me.

So I called Jennifer and she assured me that she spoke to several OTHERS at the restaurant and that they are all very excited to see me. Apparently, she didn’t think to ask for the GM.

I really thought that I had a shoe in because of the PTA but I guess I am wrong. I still plan on doing the fundraiser on the 22nd. and KILLING. The next day I will call Richardhead MC Downer to let him know how well it went and see if can negotiate something. What a bummer of a day. Talk about taking the wind out of your sails.

My whole point of this post is not to ask for advice or ask a question. I merely wanted to vent. If you have a comment or suggestion to add, please do so. If you have nothing but negative criticism for me, let me know and I will PayPal you a Quarter so you can call someone who cares.

Thanks for reading.

JIM
Message: Posted by: derrick (Feb 12, 2007 05:03PM)
Sounds like the GM is a Jacka** to me. I'm not sure how easy it would be work for this guy even if you did manage to get him to agree to some kind of agreement. I mean "What are his liabilities going to be"? Does he think you're going to be fire eating or something? If you are determined to still try and sell this guy, I'd write a press release for Jennifer (the PTA chick) to submit to the local press about your appearance. I've never seen a business yet that hated free publicity. Good luck. I'll be anxious to hear about this guy's reaction to you on the 23rd.
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 12, 2007 07:26PM)
He did sound like a real jerk on the phone. He sounded almost irritated that I was even calling him.
His other managers all said that they were excited to have me there. Why this jerk has a problem, I will never know. He doesn't get it. I am gong to perform for FREEEEE for his guests in his restaurant. I think the "Don't know my liabilities" thing was just a tap dance.

I plan on ding this gig and kicking some serious donkey. I'll make him take notice. GRRRR!!!!!!!!
Message: Posted by: Daegs (Feb 12, 2007 07:45PM)
You sound like a bit of a drama queen... Of course he in concerned about his store and some unknown guy talking about "what he is doing for you"

Not everyone likes magic or knows the upside, I cant believe you are getting upset because a business owner has issues with a completely unknown factor bullying his way into his business.

You can paypal me that quarter any time....
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 12, 2007 08:04PM)
"bullying his way into his business". Are you serious? Apparently you didn't read the whole post. Go back and do that now....go ahead...I'll wait......better? I'm not "bullying" myself anywhere. I'm donation my time for my kids PTA. But then again...you saw that..riiiight? :)

I'm not ticked. Just a little put off by his attitude, that's all. I guess I forgot to add all the little :)'s to let you all know that I wasn't super ticked. My bad. :)

PS..I'm not sending you jack! LOL
Message: Posted by: mustlovemagic (Feb 13, 2007 01:06AM)
In my opinion, if I was the GM, I'd feel like you were some outsider going around the PTA person. Sounds to me like this is a "free, self serving, yea I'm doing this for my kids, but I'd like you to hire me later" kind of thing. It makes you look unprofessional. If you really did that phone approach with those words about "what I'd be doing for you" I could see how he took you as an arrogant salesperson and probably was waiting for some sales pitch or financial commitment.

Then, you go on and use poor Jennifer, by saying that she's spoken to all of his managers and that they were "excited" about you. That's a no win situation. So now, (hypothetically) he hangs up and goes on a witch hunt to find out which of his managers are talking to some PTA person about a magician. Then finds out that no one will fess up to saying anything because now it's been turned into a negative. Then the GM approaches Jennifer and she is uncomfortable about the whole situation.

So...In my opinion, you could have just waited and let you talent, if you have any, speak for itself after the event. Win them over with actions not a pre-mature phone call.

I know...perhaps you could get an application while you're there. Surely, that would get your foot in the door. Thankfully, I see that PTA hasn't changed. It's filled with parents that are more concerned with how PTA will help them, than their kids.
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 13, 2007 01:58AM)
Ok, let me dissect your post paragraph by paragraph. :)

1. They way I said it to him was like I was informing him of what I would be doing in his restaurant. I didn't make it seem like I was there for his benefit only. I really didn't pitch him while I was on the phone with him. Heck, I didn't have much time. LOL

2. "Poor Jennifer" is setting this whole thing up. She had to call and talk to the managers to set a date and time as well as handle all the details. Her problem is that she didn't think to talk to the GM. Every time she called, she got a different manager. In her defense, this is a new school and this is the first time they have done this. So fess up or not...the PTA is going to be there that day from 11AM to about 9 PM...with or without me. :)

3. Very true, I could have waited until that night and I had seriously considered waiting until the next day. I am glad I didn't though. He knew nothing about this fund raiser and I ...no..no..WE...would have felt REALLY silly if I had shown up and Mr. GM had a problem with the Magician Idea. At least now we have time to iron things out.

4. I know this last one was an attempt at putting me down but you have to come at me harder than this. Unlike most on this board, magic is my full time job. I haven't had a "real job" since 1992 and for that I feel blessed. It makes me feel good to be able to support a mortgage, wife, 2 kids, 4 rabbits and 4 doves each month ;) so no... I will not be asking for an application any time soon. :)

Allow me to educate you on how this PTA fundraiser works since it is obvious you have never been involved in one. See... the PTA advertises that they are having a fundraiser at this restaurant and that a percentage of the sales go to the school. The money that is raised from the PTA goes to everything from Field trips to Assemblies etc. Hey, they have even hired me to do 2 shows at the beginning of March So YES...the money benefits the kids as well. I have no idea what makes you think that the PTA is only thinking about themselves and not the kids.

Then again it sounds to me like you have this all figured out. BTW... are you involved in your kids PTA as well? :)

Hey listen, I'm not here to argue with anyone. If your above post wasn't meant as a jab, then I apologize for talking it that way. No harm, no foul.

If it was...then shame on you. Don't you have better things to do than to create such a negative post for such a new user?

JIM
Message: Posted by: Hart Keene (Feb 13, 2007 12:53PM)
Are you kidding me Daegs and Mustlovemagic? I can't believe either of you have the nerve to talk to Jim the way you are talking. Jim is a full time pro who cares enough about his business to ask others what he should do in a tricky situation. You two come back at him with insults and smart remarks.

Look at the both of you, hiding behind your cute little screen names. You should both be ashamed of yourselves for your behavior. Jim is just trying to get a little feed back, and he did it in a nice way. Daegs, I have read your posts over the years and didn't expect this "drama" from you. Mustlovemagic, grow up...

You both need to get off your high horse. I would bet money you two are "arm chair magicians". Maybe not, but do you have any credentials to back your opinions up or will you continue to hide behind a screen name?
Message: Posted by: derrick (Feb 13, 2007 01:25PM)
Hart -I agree with you. I don't get the combative tone of their posts.

A staement like "You could have just waited and let your talent, if you have any, speak for itself after the event" is good for one thing - to make someone mad.

Why?
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 13, 2007 01:30PM)
Ya...I don't understand all the negativity either. Maybe it's just their style. To each his own I guess. ;)
Message: Posted by: RicHeka (Feb 13, 2007 02:38PM)
Jim,I commend you for doing the fundraiser,and I totally understand your trying to enhance your opportunities for turning it into a steady gig.
Had you connected with a more communicative GM you probably wouldn't have been dismayed.

In my experience GM's and Owner's can be some of the moodiest folk's on earth...one week they greet you with a big smile and hello,and the next week they look at you like they barely recognige you.:) I have learned to take them grain of salt...and realize their mood has nothing to do me or my service,but probably other pressures.
Best of luck with your endeavor. :thumbsup:


Rich
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Feb 13, 2007 02:42PM)
Jim did exactly what I would have done. He extended the GM a courtesy visit to discuss arrangements with him for the PTA visit. I believe this showed considerable professionalism...which comes as no surprise from Jim, by the way. Unfortunately, Jim ran into one of our proprietary, suspicious GM types and the courtesy quickly went downhill.

I can't think of a thing you could have done differently, Jim. Once the GM took that stance against you, it was pretty much out of your hands. Don't let it throw you. I hope he makes himself available to see your work...THAT will sell your services quicker than anything. Break a leg!!
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 13, 2007 04:02PM)
Thanks for the nice comments guys, I appreciate them.
Message: Posted by: Daegs (Feb 13, 2007 05:38PM)
[quote]I can't believe either of you have the nerve to talk to Jim the way you are talking.[/quote]

The only thing I "said" to Jim was that his post sounded like he was being a drama queen which I still believe to be true in this specific case... the rest of the post was about the GM's reaction.

Why do you need nerve to call someone a drama queen? It's not even entirely negative, just an observation, its not like I said he was a bad magician or even was bad at anything at all.


Furthermore, what is the logic behind not being able to comment on something unless you are successful at something.

Should we fire all movie critics and put a free-speech ban on anyone from discussing movies because they haven't directed blockbusters themselves and therefore are unqualified to judge whether the movie was any good?

Does it really make a different whether or not I'm even a magician at all to judge whether or not someone sounded like a drama queen in a single post?

I can just picture a scene where an audience is telling a magician he isn't very good, and him saying "Well lets see you do a pass before you can comment on my effects"..... crazy

And what high horse? Re-read what I posted, I commented on why the GM was reacting the way he did, what part of my post is being on a "high horse"?

I'm glad you thing my screen name is cute, but I'm not ashamed and I think you should think and re-read a little before trying to bash other posters in an obvious over-reaction.

-daegs
ps please send me a picture of yourself and credentials before replying to this post as I want to verify your real identity as well as I need to make sure your a successful magician before reading your post.
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Feb 13, 2007 05:57PM)
Daegs...in your Postscript, your attempt at sarcam is grossly overshadowed by your ignorance in not seeing that Hart Keene does indeed have a website with pictures posted as his signature at the end of every post:
http://www.hartkeene.com


Kevin

P.S. Sorry to be Captain Obvious
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 13, 2007 05:58PM)
So here's the Applebees update. I talked to both Jennifer and the PTA pres. and told them of my road bump. The Pres. called and talked to yet ANOTHER manager...who assured her that she "has the say so" in this matter. LOL!!!! When the pres. called me and informed me of this I told her "Noooooo.. you need to talk to MR. GM...he specifically told me that he needed to talk to Jennifer about me". So the Pres. called back and talked to this other manager and made her call MR.GM.(This is fun) to ask about his concerns. He only wanted me to perform for the PTA's guests. He didn't want his guests to feel obligated if they didn't want to see my magic(this is proof that he has never worked with a professional restaurant magician before ;)). Oh, and he wanted me to say out of the kitchen. The pres assured her that I am a professional who does this full time and that I don't solicit tips and that I know how to handle a table that isn't interested in the magic.

OY VEIGH!!

I'm just going to go....do my thaaaang and see what happens. At this point I have no expectations other than I will do the great job that I always do.

Thanks for reading. :)
Message: Posted by: Daegs (Feb 13, 2007 06:09PM)
Kevin, the postscript was for *anyone* replying to my post... Hart's website is in his sig visible with each of his post, of course I was aware of it.

And GL with the gig and everything, I don't see why this was blown out of proportion, but good luck with it. I think you should however be less quick to belittle a GM just because he doesn't know the ins and outs of professional magicians, his concerns are very normal, it isn't his fault if he has had bad experiences or no experiences with magicians before.

Let us know how it goes
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 13, 2007 06:16PM)
Daegs,
I just went back and reread my post just above yours. It DID come off as me being really ticked. It's hard to show the real expression on a silly message board. I should have written that a little different. I in fact was not and am not ticked at his reactions. I found him odd yes, but defiantly nothing to lose sleep over. I have been turned down by nicer GM's than him. As a matter of fact, just today, a GM that I have been trying to meet with for the past 2 weeks told me that the owner doesn't like the concept of magic, even though she hasn't met me in person or has seen what I have to offer. I made the mistake of showing the girl at the counter a few things while waiting for her to NOT show up at our scheduled meeting last week. I can either let this eat at me or just blow it off as "just business". I choose to do the later.

Bottom line is.... this particular GM at Applebees seemed a bit odd, but that's cool. He is one of a thousand restaurants in my area.
Message: Posted by: Hart Keene (Feb 13, 2007 06:54PM)
[quote]
On 2007-02-13 18:38, Daegs wrote:
[


ps please send me a picture of yourself and credentials before replying to this post as I want to verify your real identity as well as I need to make sure your a successful magician before reading your post.


[/quote]

*lol*

Anyway, I wouldn't consider him a "drama queen", just someone who is passionate about what they do. We should thank Jim for giving us a glimpse into the things he deals with on a daily basis. Maybe you are in the wrong forum daegs.

You still commented on the "drama", didn't you? So it obviously had some merit. Or do you just like seeing yourself post? By the number of your posts that could very well be the case...

Anyway, back on topic.
Message: Posted by: Daegs (Feb 14, 2007 02:10AM)
[quote]You still commented on the "drama", didn't you? So it obviously had some merit. [/quote]

Stop trying to put words in my mouth, I never said it didn't have any merit, nor did I comment on its merit at all.

Yes I like seeing myself post, as does everyone here who isn't trying to sell something. What is the alternative, NOT liking to see yourself post? Why would anyone post then if no one liked doing so? Are you saying its a bad thing to like posting???

I'm all for getting back on topic for this post, so if you have any further insults or snide remarks please do them via PM instead of taking up this thread, and if you do keep posting in this thread then stop putting words in my mouth, thank you.
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Feb 14, 2007 09:02AM)
Jim,

Once again, I'm sure you'll do great. Just go there and do your thing! Who knows, it might be a pleasant surprise for the GM...

But only time will tell. :)

Best,
Steve
Message: Posted by: aiki (Feb 14, 2007 11:08AM)
Jim,

Do not give up on the GM. Now is the time to start to get him on your side before the show. We know the show will be the convincer. How about taking a copy of your insurance and stop off to see him. Remind him that you are a professional performer and wanted to make sure he had a copy of your work insurance for his files. Then after the show approach the GM about work. You have already established that you are a professional and the show went great, it should be a much better sell.
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 14, 2007 12:25PM)
Hey aiki,
My plan is to KILL that night, be soooper nice to the management and staff (MR. GM will probably not be there as most GM's work days), getting them on my side, then calling HIM shortly thereafter for a follow up.

They have had balloon people there in the past but I am pretty sure that he/they haven't worked with a professional entertainer before.

We'll see how it goes. :)

JIM
Message: Posted by: derrick (Feb 14, 2007 01:20PM)
Does that mean you don't consider balloon twisters to be professional entertainment? I perform a combination of magic and balloons at my restaurants and consider myself 100% professional.
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 14, 2007 01:30PM)
Derrick,
No...sorry..that came out worng..AGAIN. Most of the "twisters" are just that..."twisters". As you know, some restaurants will hire an agency to just "twist" balloons. They will hire college students and pay them $10 bucks an hour plus tips. Unlike you and I who are multi talented, most of these individuals have no entertainment value whatsoever. Take away the balloons and they have nothing. I hope I cleared my statement up. :)

I, like you, used to do magic and balloons but ended up doing more balloons at the tables than magic so I stopped. I used to be really good. I could make a worm. ;)
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 14, 2007 01:36PM)
I want to say 2 things.

First this got really out of hand and off topic and everyone mad and all without my help!

Nice to see you guys can get all goofy with no help from yours truly.

Second of all, balloon twisters are a form of entertainment. I have seen guys who twist balloons who I would hire long before many table hoppers I have met.
To find a bad balloon twister, is just as easy as finding a bad magician. I have seen MANY supposed magicians who buy an invisible deck, and a TT and suddenly are table hopping.

THEY also have no entertainment value. So in the end, I believe that it is the individual person, NOT the meduium they choose to use.

Get back to your regularly scheduled fight.
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 14, 2007 01:44PM)
As always...spot on Danny. I agree that there are good balloon twisters and bad table hoppers. I have seen both. The twisters that I am referring to have taken my jobs many times because they are $10 bucks an hour. I have visited the very restaurant that I have been bumped from to see these kids only to be frustrated with what I saw. They would walk up to the table and ask my kids if they would like a balloon then proceed to make them a balloon.....that's it.

On the flip side, I have friends who just do balloons who are awesome entertainers.

Soooooo...basically what you said. :)

BTW, we weren't arguing. A couple of guy took a shot at me a couple of days ago but I am thinkking....no..no..HOPING that it has died down. I have no interest in fighting on here. This is supposed to be fun.

JIM
Message: Posted by: derrick (Feb 14, 2007 02:08PM)
I agree with you about sometimes having to do more balloons than magic. It doesn't happen to me every night, but it does happen now and then. Last night was the worst case of too many balloons and not enough magic that I have experienced in a long time. Unfortunately there is no going back once people expect both. I performed Anniversary Waltz once and made what seemed like a thousand Valentine balloon animal thingy hat whatevers. It didn't matter as long as it had a heart on it. I had to escape the restaurant because kids and adults alike wouldn't leave until they got one.
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 23, 2007 01:57AM)
Sooooo..I had my big night last night at Applebees. As you may recall, I donated a couple of hours for my kids PTA fund raiser. Apparently, I was a huge drawl. I got there right on time and there was already a 30 minute wait just to be seated. The minute I walked in, the MOD told me that people were already done eating and waiting for me. OY VEIGH! This wasn't a good sign.

To make a long story short, I ended up doing speed magic all night TRYING (key word here is trying) to keep everyone happy. I couldn't move fast enough. I don't like doing speed magic because I didn't get much time to shine and really impress the guests. Impressing the guests and getting bookings was one of my main goals last night. I got a lot of great responses and the PTA pres. emailed me and told me what a great job I did. Heck, even the MOD told me I did well.

Even though I was a huge drawl, making the PTA and the restaurant lot's of $$, I don't think I will be contacting Mr. GM anytime soon (as much as I know that I could really click in the restaurant), due to his attitude the first and last time we spoke.

What do you guys think??


JIM
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Feb 23, 2007 08:19AM)
In my honest opinion based on the information YOU provided...

You showed up LATE. Showing up right ON time, given the situation with the GM is LATE. ON time, when you need to probably see the MOD first is LATE, ON time when I'm sure you don't walk in the door and right to the first table is LATE.

Attitude is everything they say. Going in that first night getting bookings as one of your main goals, was not the right attitude if you wanted to get a repeat gig at this particular restaurant. One seems contadictory to the other given the situation with the GM.

IMHO given these details.

Kevin
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 23, 2007 12:06PM)
Living Illusions,
Let me clarify.
I arrived 10 minutes early. The first thing I did was ask for a MOD. I introduced myself and he knew who I was right away. I actually did my first table 10 minutes early...I was fine on the time.

As far as my attitude. I've been doing restaurants since 1992, I know the biz. I knew that the GM probably wouldn't be there as most GM's worked during the day.

My reasoning for going there wanting to impress and get the private gigs is 1. That's what restaurant workers do, 2. because of my recent conversation with the GM, knowing he wasn't to up on the idea of having a restaurant magician and 3. I was performing for FREE and wasn't pushing for tips. Basically I needed to make this night worth my while as well as do a good job for the PTA.

I know that my ONLY chance of getting this gig as a repeat was to impress the pants off the MOD's and have them put in a good word. I didn't have time to do this because I was on the go since I step foot in the door. I hope I clarified.

So IMHO, I did it right. I am just looking for advice as to weather I should pursue the restaurant for a repeat gig given my experience with the GM.
Message: Posted by: Hart Keene (Feb 23, 2007 01:47PM)
I would just move on Jim. There are a ton of restaurants in your area that I'm sure would love to have you. If that GM is acting the way he did now, imagine working with the jerk.
Message: Posted by: RicHeka (Feb 23, 2007 03:49PM)
I did not initially comment,because I just knew Jim would never would show up exactly at the pre-arranged start time.
By the way[especially newbies take note]...it's good to get in the habit of arriving early at ALL gigs.I once had to let a young performer[assisting me at a busy restaurant] go because he alway's showed up right on time or a little late.
For all my restaurants,I arrive 10-15 min.early.It shows management that you take what you do very seriously,and it is nice not to have to rush into thing's[Zen] :).
Jim,I think Harte's point is well taken.However,I personally would approach the GM one more time.[try to find out when he is definitely going to be present].Give it a shot! Nothing to lose.
I remember one time when I didn't follow up,and later discovered they had hired another performer.

All the best.

Rich
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 23, 2007 05:18PM)
[quote]
On 2007-02-23 14:47, Hart Keene wrote:
I would just move on Jim. There are a ton of restaurants in your area that I'm sure would love to have you. If that GM is acting the way he did now, imagine working with the jerk.
[/quote]

Ya know Hart, that's exactly what I was thinking. Do I really wanna work for him if he has that attitude? I've been turned down by GM's in the past but this guy was a real jerk about it.

Rich, maybe I'll just wait till he moves on and approach the new GM. ;)

JIM
Message: Posted by: Magicmatt1982 (Feb 26, 2007 02:35PM)
I have gone to all of the applebes in my area and all but one said no. The other ne is wanting to come in and start this fall. Have you found that applebees gm are punks. They all seem like that to me. One tld me that applebees around the country do not let magicians or like she said magic boys to come in and do tricks. GRRGRGRGRGRGR. I did not know what your thought on something like this was.
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 26, 2007 02:56PM)
That's kinda funny Matt. There are several on this board who perform there. Apparently she is the spokesperson for all the locations. LOL

Yes..I did find even the MOD's to be a bit on the jerky side. They tried to tell me how to do my job when I was there for the PTA. You can't convince all GM's, just move on. :)
Message: Posted by: derrick (Feb 26, 2007 04:13PM)
There are bound to be dozens of restaurants/managers/owners that are more receptive. It's too bad you've wasted this much time and effort. Find a good restaurant across the street or next door and draw away their crowd.
Message: Posted by: Brady (Feb 26, 2007 07:56PM)
Derrick,

I like your attitude! I once had a job from which I was wrongly fired. I went a block away to a business that had been my main competitor and was hired immediately. I can't tell you how much satisfaction I got every day as I snatched sales and customers from my former employer.

Brady
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 26, 2007 09:05PM)
[quote]
On 2007-02-26 17:13, derrick wrote:
There are bound to be dozens of restaurants/managers/owners that are more receptive. It's too bad you've wasted this much time and effort. Find a good restaurant across the street or next door and draw away their crowd.
[/quote]

This is the 3rd. restaurant in the little center of 4 that has turned me down. I'm running out of neighbors. Oh well. I'll keep looking. LOL :)
Message: Posted by: derrick (Feb 28, 2007 09:18AM)
Brady,

I worked for a local restaurant chain for over 10 years. On the last week of December 03 the manager walked up to me and said a corporate decision has been made to cut entertainment. Here is you last check. Then he adds, oh, if you'd like to work in trade we can work something out. I told him thanks but no thanks and that was it. I had no warning, no thank you for a job well done even though I had worked at the restaurant years longer than any other employee currently employed - including the GM. I now work within a couple of miles of this restaurant's location and a 10th of a mile from the its second location in town.

I write this because about three months ago I had the gratifying experience of having this GM visit one of my restaurants while I was performing. While there was no wait when he arrived, we had a 20 minute wait before he left - on a Tuesday.

That was a good night.

Derrick
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 28, 2007 12:18PM)
Brady,
Good job man. He probably wasn't paying attention but if he was, he's probably kicking himself I the butt for letting you go. :)

On a side note.... they just built a brand new sports bar in my area. My wife and I went there yesterday and it was AWESOME!!! Top notch, even for a sports bar. I want to pitch it but there is only 1 problemo (that's French for Problem ;) )....... Maximum capacity is only 109!!!! ONE HUNDRED and NINE. Do you guys think it's too small to approach? It's just a small little place (in a strip mall),,,in a REALLY good neighborhood...that is top notch. Everything from the food to the silverware to the 16 (17 if you count the one just above the mens urinals) flat screen TV's is all high quality.

"Deal...or No deal???" :)
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Feb 28, 2007 12:22PM)
I'd go for it. 109 isn't great, but if you think you could get a gig there, and get paid well, why not.
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 28, 2007 12:26PM)
Sorry...the above post was to DERRICK...not BRADY...my bad. LOL

Josh,, I am seriously thinking about it. It's a really nice place in a really nice location. I got one of the owners card and it has his email addy on it. That card is currently in my wallet taunting me..." Jim...Jiiim... you know you want to email the owner Jim.. you can do this Jim...you have a HUGE mortgage Jim...come on Jim....stop procrastinating and get er dune Jim". :)

Well..ok...maybe not in so many words. ;)
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Feb 28, 2007 01:36PM)
Which reminds me...I need to hit the Carlos O'Kellys in Topeka to see about getting work. Which brings up a question. Do you find that once you get a job doing magic at in a restaurant that's part of a chain it's easier to get jobs at the same restaurant in different areas?
Message: Posted by: derrick (Feb 28, 2007 04:08PM)
About two months ago I started to perform at a chain restaurant called Cheeburger Cheeburger once a week. It's a 50's themed restaurant with about 100 seats or so plus a soda/shake/malt bar. It's located in a high end shopping mall and the demographics are great. It's a bit bright and fast paced for me at times but the owner/manager seems tickled with the festive atmosphere the magic and balloons create. I know two months isn't much to go on, but so far it seems to be going well and having approximately 100 seats hasn't been an issue. While it isn't part of my deal, the owner usually offers me a meal, shake or something at the end of the evening. That's always a good sign.
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 28, 2007 06:37PM)
[quote]
On 2007-02-28 14:36, Josh Chaikin wrote:
Which reminds me...I need to hit the Carlos O'Kellys in Topeka to see about getting work. Which brings up a question. Do you find that once you get a job doing magic at in a restaurant that's part of a chain it's easier to get jobs at the same restaurant in different areas?
[/quote]

Oh yes. Use your current restaurant to land you others. That works well. That (and referrals from the GM's) is what landed me 7 of the same restaurants in one week. If you let them know that the magic is working really well at XXX, you have a good chance of booking that one too.
Message: Posted by: derrick (Feb 28, 2007 08:29PM)
Counting the restaurant you got a referral from, you were working at eight of the same restaurants? Were you booked anywhere else at the time? I've only performed at restaruants between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. How did you manage it? What happened to them all?
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Feb 28, 2007 11:24PM)
Hey Derrick,
It was 7 of the same restaurant chain a week. When you figure I still do 2 on Sundays (12-2 and 5:30-7:30), then you add a few more throughout the week, it adds up fast. I've been with this particular chain for about 5 years but it's been about 3 years since I had 7. I performed and still do at a local themed park between 3-7 days a week, a resort and do private parties as well.

As far as how I lost them.... Well..stuff happens. They get new GM's, business slows down, etc. So now I am at 3 of that same chain and 1 different restaurant. I've had between 4 and 7 restaurants a week steady since about 1992. I'm looking to book 1 or 2 more but I want to stay away from this chain. I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket. Been there...done that...stressed much. :)
Message: Posted by: derrick (Mar 1, 2007 11:10AM)
What a schedule!

I didn't really think about it until now (probably because I've never worked at two or more of the same restaurant), but do you find when you have a great night, it's pretty much taken for granted and you don't hear much about it past the front door of that restaurant, but if a night doesn't go well, then it doesn't take long for the managers at all the other stores to know about it?

It's my experience that bad news always travels farther and faster than good news.
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Mar 1, 2007 11:23AM)
[quote]
On 2007-03-01 12:10, derrick wrote:
What a schedule!

I didn't really think about it until now (probably because I've never worked at two or more of the same restaurant), but do you find when you have a great night, it's pretty much taken for granted and you don't hear much about it past the front door of that restaurant, but if a night doesn't go well, then it doesn't take long for the managers at all the other stores to know about it?

It's my experience that bad news always travels farther and faster than good news.
[/quote]

"Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which follows its own laws."

I suppose this is true. The first few weeks I was there, after I got paid, the manager would tell me "X people have come up and told me how much they enjoyed the magic." That doesn't really seem to happen anymore. I guess they grow complacent to it after awhile.
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Mar 1, 2007 03:42PM)
[quote]I suppose this is true. The first few weeks I was there, after I got paid, the manager would tell me "X people have come up and told me how much they enjoyed the magic." That doesn't really seem to happen anymore. [b]I guess they grow complacent to it after awhile.[/quote][/b]

Spot on.
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Mar 1, 2007 04:31PM)
Hopefully he's still positive enough to sing my praises to the GM at the other location...
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Mar 1, 2007 04:41PM)
As long as you bring a positive experience to his restaurant and keep his guests happy then I am sure he will give you a good referral.