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Topic: Table Hopping... Advice Wanted!
Message: Posted by: YoelMagic (Apr 4, 2008 09:55AM)
A restaurant called me to do some table hopping... I've been working on some routines, but I want someone that can give me some advice on which effects to use and how to prepare for that.
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Apr 4, 2008 10:26AM)
Hmmm...welcome to the Café!

What kind of magic do you already do, and what routines have you been working on? Knowing that might help come up with other ideas.

Mark.
Message: Posted by: granata (Apr 4, 2008 10:29AM)
Hey Brother,

I personally work at a banquet hall as a coat check attendee, but usually I will go into the hall where the party is and start performing tricks to people at their dinner tables. I personally recommend impromptu tricks, such as pen thru dollar and fire wallet. Well, not completely impromptu, but gimmicks that look like ordinary objects. All the magic that I do is close-up material only. In my opinion, your best option is to stick to money and card tricks. If you do want to get a little wack with different materials, use tricks like Poker Chip Polka or a penetration frame. Don't bring the whole cups and balls routine trick because people want the trick to be short and good.
One thing is, don't ask them if they want to see a trick while they are eating; but you can while they are waiting for their food and/or waiting for their bill. This is because they don't want to be bothered. Trust me, I had to learn the hard way. I have gotten cussed out once. Point is, stick to cards, money/coins, or not so wack objects.

Cheers
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Apr 4, 2008 10:41AM)
You prepare by practicing, rehearsing, and trying the tricks out on live people.

Hopefully, you have time to practice and rehearse the effects you're working on before performing. I'd hate to see you bomb because there was no time to really learn them well.

There's tons of advice here in "Table hoppers & party strollers" on what to expect from restaurant gigs and which types of tricks are usually best.

Creating sets of 2-3 tricks that last a few minutes, doing tricks that don't require a working surface, and being angle conscious are a few tips I've read here.

Good Luck,
Message: Posted by: Adam1975 (Apr 4, 2008 11:06AM)
A bag full of Tenyo items performed to classical music... Man, it slays 'em. ;)
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Apr 4, 2008 11:33AM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-04 12:06, Adam1975 wrote:
A bag full of Tenyo items performed to classical music... Man, it slays 'em.
[/quote]

Weeding out the competition, Adam? :)
Message: Posted by: Adam1975 (Apr 4, 2008 11:42AM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-04 12:33, Skip Way wrote:
Weeding out the competition, Adam? :)
[/quote]
Funny!!
Message: Posted by: Michael J. Douglas (Apr 4, 2008 01:20PM)
Adam, it would be better if people who ask serious questions get serious answers, especially if they only have a couple posts. While YoelMagic may know you're kidding, some who come looking for advice may take what you say literally. [i]From the rules: "You can't count on sarcasm and irony getting through...Even a :) or 'just kidding' won't always work."[/i]

YoelMagic, Jaz gives the advice to heed. Have 2-3 sets of 2-3 tricks that you know [b]really well[/b]. The best type of effects have little to no reset, are able to be done at chest height and off the table, and are pretty angle-proof.
Here's a question for you. What kind of restaurant is it, i.e. what are the ages of the patrons?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 4, 2008 01:33PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-04 10:55, YoelMagic wrote:
A restaurant called me to do some table hopping... I've been working on some routines, but I want someone that can give me some advice on which effects to use and how to prepare for that.
[/quote]

To answer your question in complete fashion (and seriously as Michael has suggested, and by the way is right), could you give us a bit more information?

I don't want to be flippant about the next statement, but if you don't already have stuff to do, how is it you got a call to do work in the first place? This is where my first little bit of confusion lies with your post.

Do things you already know well, things which you are familiar with. Do NOT walk in with a bunch of new items you have just bought and routines you are trying out. You want to be working with things you already have a familiarity with, which you know work and get reactions you are looking for.

No need to add anything till you are comfortable with what it is you already do.

Choose items which suit your personality and showcase YOU, not the magic. One thing is as Michael said also, 2-4 tricks should be plenty. Less is often more in cases such as this.

Let us know a bit more about the situation in which you may be in, and we can help a bit more.
Message: Posted by: Adam1975 (Apr 4, 2008 04:36PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-04 14:20, Michael J. Douglas wrote:
Adam, it would be better if people who ask serious questions get serious answers, especially if they only have a couple posts. While YoelMagic may know you're kidding, some who come looking for advice may take what you say literally. [i]From the rules: "You can't count on sarcasm and irony getting through...Even a :) or 'just kidding' won't always work."[/i]
[/quote]

Yes, just a little humour there. But I would say as Danny is sort of suggesting, if you're asking this kinda question, perhaps you're not ready for paid work...?
But that said, everyone has to start somewhere I guess....:confused:
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 4, 2008 05:07PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-04 17:36, Adam1975 wrote:
But I would say as Danny is sort of suggesting, if you're asking this kinda question, perhaps you're not ready for paid work...?[/quote]

Wait a second. I NEVER suggested he was not ready. I asked how he got the inquiry, and I told him to use the tricks he already knows. I have NO IDEA IF HE IS READY OR NOT, and neither do you.

I simply want more information so I can give a better answer.

Man, I get in enough trouble on my own! LOL. Please, no more help please.
Message: Posted by: Hansel (Apr 5, 2008 02:05AM)
Yoel:
Welcome to the Café!! Remember the thought I always said to you, "Less is More"...think of the "Bruce Cervon Elevator", Ambitious, and Sponge Bunnies!!
Thanks,
Hansel!
Message: Posted by: Paolo Venturini (Apr 6, 2008 04:32PM)
That's right, usually the most simple tricks (as Invisible Deck, D'Lite, Sponge Balls) have a terrific impact on the audiences. So perform what you do best (in a second time, you could add something better) and be yourself all the time.
Message: Posted by: Scott Compton (Apr 6, 2008 05:39PM)
Firstly, welcome to the Café!

Listen to Danny, and you will not go wrong. As you will learn, Yoel, there are some VERY knowledgeable magicians on here that have already been where you are and can save you plenty of despair. Michael, Paolo and Hansel give great advice. Now the question becomes, will you listen to them? If so, you can be successful. If not, you will most likely stumble along the way. These guys know what they are talking about, and they are kind enough to give you advice. If you listen and heed their advice, they will continue to help. If not, you might get advice like some of these other posts. Personally, I would check with management before I whipped out a fire wallet in a restaurant.

Also ask yourself, what would you consider good entertainment if you were out with YOUR family? Also ask yourself, what would a bad magician do? A lot of the answers are in your head, you just need to draw them out. The fact that you are asking for advice is a good first step.

A clue sometimes can be in the amount of posts that a user has. If you come on here with nothing to add, you don't last long. Trust these guys, and you are on your way. Personally, if I went to war, these are the kind of guys I want with me.

Good luck!

Scott
Message: Posted by: YoelMagic (Apr 7, 2008 09:00PM)
Thank you to all of you for the advise. For those who need more information, I've been performing stage magic for about two years now, and I work some close up. I have three card monte, some effects with ESP chips, ambitious, and many other effects, but I just want to know if is better to do coin effects instead of cards and things like that. Maybe the part of how to prepare was misunderstood, so erase that part and go along...
Thank you,
_yoel
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Apr 7, 2008 10:24PM)
-yoel
If you want the restaurant patrons to have a great time (that's the goal), then
make sure sure they have a vested interest in what you are doing. By that, I mean
they MUST be involved in the effect. If a card is to be signed, have a
husband and wife or dad and son/daughter sign it together. Your presentation should be about the people that signed the card. I'll say something along the lines that when they sign the card together, something very powerful happens.........or.....when performing coin effects, or any effect for that matter, let them make the magic happen by giving THEM a magic wand to wave mysteriously. Encouraging them to snap their fingers during your Ambitious routine gets them involved.

I was at a party supply store and purchased some drink stirrers that were available in a club, heart, diamond or spade shape as a decoration on top. It looks like a wand, and I use the heart shape one when I encounter a couple at the table. These little touches are what make your performances more memorable and enjoyable to the patrons.....so my advice to you is to evaluate what effects you have and do "well", and then sit down and think about how you can present them in a way that involves the patrons. Ask about birthdays, pets they have at home, upcoming anniversaries. I've come up with card routines where I draw cartoon characters on cards. It may be a little girl's pet fish. I draw a funny fish on a card. Guess who's going to keep that card??? Guess whose parents are going to call me to do a party??

What I've mentioned above is what people are interested in, NOT YOUR ABILITIES.
(Although, you better have them.) People care about their own lives and what's important to them. So, go out and fulfill their desires. That, my friend, will result in a successful magic career. FWIW
David Paul
Message: Posted by: Review King (Apr 8, 2008 01:17AM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-04 10:55, YoelMagic wrote:
A restaurant called me to do some table hopping... I've been working on some routines, but I want someone that can give me some advice on which effects to use and how to prepare for that.
[/quote]

What tricks did you perform for the manager that prompted them to call you? Since they want you, if we knew what you did for the manager, we could give helpful advice.
Message: Posted by: mrsmiles (Apr 8, 2008 01:10PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-08 02:17, Christopher Kavanagh wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-04-04 10:55, YoelMagic wrote:
A restaurant called me to do some table hopping... I've been working on some routines, but I want someone that can give me some advice on which effects to use and how to prepare for that.
[/quote]

What tricks did you perform for the manager that prompted them to call you? Since they want you, if we knew what you did for the manager, we could give helpful advice.
[/quote]

It's a fair question to the kid; in 20 years, a restaurant has NEVER called me up. Your information might help us, too. Mind you, I've cold-called restaurants (in person, not the phone) and been hired on the spot. However, I really would like them to save me the trouble and ring me instead. Tell us your secret, kid. Even with advertising, it's just private party work that pick up the phone to me.
Message: Posted by: derrick (Apr 8, 2008 03:10PM)
I got one of the current restaurants I'm performing at after the owner called me to see if I was free on that evening and, if I was, what would I charge him. No negotiations, just a done deal. I got the gig without even performing so much as a card trick for the guy. I'm not sure the guy even went to my web site. It was because I had worked with a waiter, who highly recommended me when he found out they were considering a family night at this new restaurant. Just another reason to be nice to the wait staff where you work. You never know when you might run into them again.
Message: Posted by: mrsmiles (Apr 8, 2008 05:06PM)
Great - personal recommendation (from the waiter), the best form of advertising.

I think this is somewhat akin to getting into restaurants as already stated...either you cold call the restaurant, or someone who's seen you recommends you. In other words, you don't just get the gig without selling your skills - either you sell them directly in person to the restaurant, or someone who's already seen you (to whom you have therefore proved/sold your skills) does so for you to the restaurant (i.e. the waiter in this case). I doubt they'd just ring someone out of the blue otherwise.
Message: Posted by: YoelMagic (Apr 13, 2008 09:27PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-08 14:10, mrsmiles wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-04-08 02:17, Christopher Kavanagh wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-04-04 10:55, YoelMagic wrote:
A restaurant called me to do some table hopping... I've been working on some routines, but I want someone that can give me some advice on which effects to use and how to prepare for that.
[/quote]

What tricks did you perform for the manager that prompted them to call you? Since they want you, if we knew what you did for the manager, we could give helpful advice.
[/quote]

It's a fair question to the kid; in 20 years, a restaurant has NEVER called me up. Your information might help us, too. Mind you, I've cold-called restaurants (in person, not the phone) and been hired on the spot. However, I really would like them to save me the trouble and ring me instead. Tell us your secret, kid. Even with advertising, it's just private party work that pick up the phone to me.
[/quote]

Well, of course the restaurant didn't called me out of nowhere. I have several people that work for/with me, and they do the advertising. This one was booked by my PR.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 13, 2008 10:33PM)
You have PR?
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Apr 14, 2008 12:25AM)
You have employees that promote your magic in different venues, but you're not sure how to prepare to perform in a restaurant? I'm confused.

This sounds a lot like that other guy... um...
The guy with the his own "crew".

Anyway, if you're not sure what to perform or how to go about performing in a restaurant, I'd start doing some free shows at churches, cub scout meetings, nursing homes, friends, family, etc., until you feel like you've got several tricks that you can do close-up flawlessly. And I mean FLAWLESSLY!

Then, go get your gig. The only way to become expert is to DO IT! If you do well, you'll keep working. If you're no good, they will not hire you back. That simple.

But you MUST be proficient at several tricks first. Once you're proficient at the tricks, you'll probably still be a bad performer, but you need to learn that part on the job. There's really no way around it unless you're extremely gifted socially...unlike most magicians.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Apr 14, 2008 09:25PM)
I guess what we suspected from the original post was confirmed. At least we were delicate about finding out, instead of just coming out and saying it.

4 Post Magi: A hotel in Vegas called me to do a stage show... I've been working on some routines, but I want someone that can give me some advice on which illusions to use and how to prepare for that.

Experienced Magi: A hotel called you to do a show out of the blue, and you need ideas for a show?

4 Post Magi: My manager knows the owner and told him about my stage show I've done the last 20 years. I just need to know how they do that sawing a lady in half and how the elephant vanishes.
Message: Posted by: mrsmiles (Apr 16, 2008 09:19AM)
I think my first somewhat "direct" post, goaded him into showing that this post comes from fantasy/newbie land. I'll let him know through my PR/manager/agent/lifestyle-guru/rabbi/mentor/priest/shrink that I charge £20 a word for email advice or £200 an hour (+ expenses) for advice in private.
He currently owes me £160. I'll write it off as a bad debt.
Message: Posted by: Adam1975 (Apr 16, 2008 01:11PM)
I am vindicated. lol.............;)
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Apr 16, 2008 01:33PM)
Well, this just got interesting. Regardless of how truthful YoelMagic has been regarding PR and other likely nonsense, there are still valid answers to a valid question that is at the heart of this thread. Danny, Paolo and others have suggested that you do what you are most comfortable with when performing restaurant magic, especially if it is your first time. I have four effects that I plan on doing at each table, and at least one-two more effects ready to go should a table be enjoying my magic so much that they are just begging for more. In addition, each week I come prepared to do one new effect that I only perform for repeat customers who have seen everything in my regular repertoire.

Remember that guests at a restaurant are more interested in you than your magic, so make the experience about your interaction with them. They want to ask questions like, "How did you get into magic?" and other such cliches, so you should have solid answers ready. In addition, you should be able to strike up casual conversation about their own lives, current events, etc. Many times, I can easily spend 10 minutes at a table having only performed one effect, simply because the majority of the time is spent conversing. To a guest at a restaurant, you become a personal face associated with that particular restaurant, and THAT is what people enjoy.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 16, 2008 02:24PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-16 14:11, Adam1975 wrote:
I am vindicated. lol.............;)
[/quote]

You were never a question in my book, just didn't want you to misquote me is all. I get in PLENTY of trouble for calling out fantasy-land posts and am told I am mean and such. Now, here we get to the interesting part. Since it is not ME doing it, seems as if it is ok. Go figure. LOL
Message: Posted by: Adam1975 (Apr 16, 2008 02:56PM)
Well, what can I say, Danny................even George Orwell himself couldn't have predicted some of the nonsense on here!
I think a lot of your posts seem to get to the heart of the matter, so don't know why they get such flak. Oh well.
Who's George Orwell? I can hear people saying this already. lol ;)
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 16, 2008 03:59PM)
Yeah, go figure. LOL


Thanks a lot, buddy.
Message: Posted by: Hansel (Apr 16, 2008 10:19PM)
Guys, you name this magicians helping magicians??? Yoel is a Great person. I've met him personally, and he's a great friend. Please understand, our English is not as good as many of yours. Maybe his question is badly understood, but he only searched for different opinions of magicians that he knows. I'm not saying that we need to answer all the questions everyone asks. This a public place and is full of hecklers too. But I'm only saying I know Yoel personally, and he is a good person and serious performer. Come on, guys, you are great people too!
Thanks,
Hansel!
Message: Posted by: Dustin Baker (Apr 16, 2008 11:30PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-16 15:56, Adam1975 wrote:
Well, what can I say, Danny................even George Orwell himself couldn't have predicted some of the nonsense on here!
I think a lot of your posts seem to get to the heart of the matter, so don't know why they get such flak. Oh well.
Who's George Orwell? I can hear people saying this already. lol ;)
[/quote]

There are people who DON'T know who George Orwell is?
I'll tell you - he was an animal farmer in 1984; some pigs killed him. :lol:
Message: Posted by: Review King (Apr 16, 2008 11:42PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-17 00:30, dbaker_creator wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-04-16 15:56, Adam1975 wrote:
Well, what can I say, Danny................even George Orwell himself couldn't have predicted some of the nonsense on here!
I think a lot of your posts seem to get to the heart of the matter, so don't know why they get such flak. Oh well.
Who's George Orwell? I can hear people saying this already. lol ;)
[/quote]

There are people who DON'T know who George Orwell is?
I'll tell you - he was an animal farmer in 1984; some pigs killed him. :lol:
[/quote]

I still feel George Orwell's ground breaking film "Citizen Caine" and the sequel "The Caine Mutiny" are in the top 100 films ever made.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Apr 16, 2008 11:49PM)
4 feet good, 2 feet bad.
Message: Posted by: Dustin Baker (Apr 17, 2008 12:09AM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-17 00:49, Frank Starsini wrote:
4 feet good, 2 feet bad.
[/quote]

Ha!
My big brother loves that quote.

Christopher,
Citizen Cain is without question among the top 10 films of all time.
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Apr 17, 2008 10:41AM)
Yoel,

If you are serious about getting into strolling restaurant magic, then I'd recommend you buy [i]Live at the Jailhouse[/i].

http://www.kozmomagic.com has them.

It's a great DVD and will offer you a variety of routines in addition to showing you how some pros work a restaurant.
Message: Posted by: spatlind (Apr 17, 2008 11:06AM)
All posts are equal....
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Apr 17, 2008 12:05PM)
I agree, and some are even more equal than others. :crazy:
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Apr 17, 2008 12:13PM)
Is this directed towards me? Am I breaking a Café rule by recommending a video that I have NO connection with?
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Apr 17, 2008 12:15PM)
I'm not sure if you're asking me if my posting was directed towards you, but if you are, the answer is no.

Larry

P.S. - I don't have that DVD, but my guess is that it's very good given that it's from Koz.
Message: Posted by: spatlind (Apr 17, 2008 12:26PM)
Chad,
My post wasn't directed at anyone, just following a theme in the thread.
Scott
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Apr 17, 2008 12:47PM)
I guess Chad needs to read the book.
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Apr 17, 2008 12:59PM)
Ahh!

There's too many books!!! There's the Good Book and the Big Book, and then there's all the Tarbells (aka the one book ((series)) to rule them all).

...can't take it all...gonna pop....
Message: Posted by: spatlind (Apr 17, 2008 01:41PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-17 13:47, Frank Starsini wrote:
I guess Chad needs to read the book.
[/quote]

Just don't watch the DVD...
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Apr 17, 2008 04:15PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-07 22:00, YoelMagic wrote:
I have three card monte, some effects with ESP chips, ambitious, and many other effects, but I just want to know if is better to do coin effects instead of cards and things like that. Maybe the part of how to prepare was misunderstood, so erase that part and go along...
Thank you,
_yoel
[/quote]

Hi Yoel,

Some people like card tricks, some people don't.
Have a couple of 'sets' of 2-3 tricks.
Maybe do a card trick like 'Picking off the Pip', producing a sponge ball and moving into sponge ball effect. Then, maybe, do something with something borrowed from the patrons or from the restaurant like a spoon, napkin, etc.. Throw in some mentalism perhaps.

While using all cards or all coins for a set is, eh, OK I like a bit of variety.
Mix it up a bit. Use a few different types of props.

Good luck,