(Close Window)
Topic: How do you carry your restaurant magic around?
Message: Posted by: Tricky (Mar 22, 2002 02:21PM)
I was wondering, how do you transport your magic around tables? Sure it's ok if you are just doing cards or coins, etc... because they fit in your pockets, but what about things like cups and balls and other big items? Do you have a close up case or something?
Message: Posted by: Dr. JK (Mar 22, 2002 02:27PM)
I think most (note: I said most, however, there are those that believe otherwise) of the pros here would tell you that cups and balls shouldn't be used for table-hopping since you don't want to invade "their space" (the table). My thought would be that if it doesn't fit in your pockets or a little case, it's probably not the best thing for table-hopping. Just a thought, but to get back to the original question, most of my stuff fits in my pockets (I'm usually wearing a coat, though).
Message: Posted by: Tricky (Mar 22, 2002 03:23PM)
Yes I thought about cups and balls invading space whilst I was reading some other topics on the use of cups and balls.

And anyway, come to think of it, in close up and table hopping there is nothing that is really very big.
Message: Posted by: flourish dude (Mar 22, 2002 05:29PM)
I just use a card to wallet stuffed full. Also all my pockets are filled up.
I have been thinking about carrying a small bag around with me with most of my stuff in there. (The effects I use most will still be in the pocket like sponges, coins, string, ECT...) The cups and balls, close up pad, balloons and children give-aways will be in the bag.

What I mean by bag, is like a doctor’s bag or a soft over the shoulder brief case. I picture that I could just walk up, set the bag at my feet (off to the side so I don't trip) and start.

If I decide to do something that is in the bag, I bend down, get it and go. This also gives me spare rubber bands, cards, pens, business cards and so forth. If I don't want to use the bag that night I would place it in the wait-staff station or in the manager's office. What does everyone else think about this idea?
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Mar 22, 2002 08:47PM)
Actually, I do cups and balls table-hopping--a two cup, one ball routine with three final loads. I use mini cups and Fakini Billiard Balls for the final loads. Aldo Colombini has a nice table-hopping C&B routine with sponge balls in "The Close Up magic of Aldo Colombini."

I agree that you shouldn't "invade" their space, but I have a method to get around this.

To answer the original question, it depends. Sometimes I work strictly out of my pockets. In my restaurant work, I have used a case with a pad on top and an invention of mine that allows me the full use of a pad and a case to carry lots of extra and bigger props (Chop cup, Linking rings, etc) without intruding on the guests' table space. It also allows me to have a lot more effects while keeping my pockets relatively empty, avoiding the "bulgey" look.

Works for me! I know there are some who think you only need five or six tricks. I have worked restaurants 4-5 nights a week, 2-4 hours a night, for nearly 11 years. I would get bored to tears with only a few effects.

But again, that's just me. What works well for you is what you should do, and there is certainly plenty of room for different methods, ways of working and opinions.
Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (Mar 25, 2002 02:26PM)
Tablehopping: everything fits in a pocket (even my topit holds a jumbo coin which, by being vanished, automatically resets). I have 8 extra, specially-designed pockets professionally sewn inside my jacket.

I use a modified Klamm pocket organizer in my R jacket pocket.

I have a chopped-down, plastic baseball card collector case with a divider which holds 3 packet tricks in my shirt breast pocket.

Very important: I roll long shirt sleeves INWARD. This keeps coins and other goodies dropped down the inside of the coat sleeve from getting accidentally caught on the way down. I prefer short sleeves under a coat for this very reason.
Message: Posted by: Mandrake (Mar 26, 2002 05:55AM)
Whatever is too big for the guests table, should not be on it, to my honest opinion, anyhow, if you want to do bigger stuff, why don't you just get a big tray and a tray-stand? I know they are very common in the states.... I would borrow it from the place I perform and BTW. playing the (maybe even clumsy) waiter can be the perfect approach for your table... ever thought about it?

Greets Mandrake :bubbly: :bikes:
(Bartender & Magician, from Germany)
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Mar 26, 2002 06:00AM)
Would a strolling guitarist bring his guitar case to your table?
Well, I certainly hope not!
Same thing, essentially.
Everything I do can be contained in my jacket pockets or that old standby, the magic vest (mine are specially made with deeper pockets than normal).
I am of the school that doesn't believe in invading the space of the customer.
Others can do it freely.
It all depends on your style, the restaurant's ambience, and the type of customer.
Personal preference: No case, no table, no "nuttin' ".
But, then, that's just my personal preference.
Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: Aedryan Methyus (Mar 26, 2002 06:04AM)
If their is room I like to bring my fold up stand (like the ones used by waitresses in restaurants to set their trays down on) and my briefcase. I will place my close-up pad on top of the briefcase and I'm good to go.

It takes up very little room and beats the h**L out of working on a table with food and drinks spilled all over it.

Message: Posted by: Mandrake (Mar 26, 2002 06:06AM)
Well, another thought...
since I work at bars or restaurants, I am often there before the customers are.

Whenever I have a chance to know the seating I hide stuff in the place.... under the table or up at the ceiling if I can reach it and you have sort of a shelf-like struture.... It always trips them off, when you pull stuff from apparently nowhere. I am not talking of your basic props, more of stuff that just could not be there.

E.G.: One night I prepared to perform salt shaker through the table (I do it with a tumbler though...) and I prefer to use Aluminum Foil as a cover. At the place I work currently, there is a two-level ceiling. It hides the neon tubes for the indirect lighting and I can perfectly reach into the shelf, standing.

So I hid several whole dispenser, packs of A.Foil up there, over several tables.
I started pattering about the coin and the glass, looking around for a cover.... Then I stood up and with one hand pulled a length of A-foil "out of the ceiling" and tore it off, just like the most natural thing in the world... BINGO... after that, they ate everything...

Just toy around with the options you have...
Greets Mandrake :shucks:
Message: Posted by: Telemus (Mar 26, 2002 11:30AM)
For table hopping and strolling magic everything is in my pockets. Single cup routine can be very powerful. (Ammar has a wonderful routine) Some effects I like very much, but I don't get stuck on having to do that specific trick if it doesent fit the venue. Establish a set of requirements that an effect must meet for the venue. Those requirements are up to you. But remember more stuff doesn't always meen a better effect- As in a Mentalist Effect. Very powerful with, in most cases limited props.
Pack small Play Big
Message: Posted by: Sir T (Mar 26, 2002 08:18PM)
This is a new topic for me, has anyone tried using an apron. I saw a busker using one and it looked rather nice. I have seen one in a catalog, but at present have no use for such an item.

Just wondering what you all think about this?

Kevin :kitty:
Message: Posted by: Mr.B (Mar 26, 2002 11:21PM)
I usually work out of my pockets in the restaurant but I will do the cups for those repeat customer who keep coming back because they know me and there is no problem with anyone's space being invaded. :alien:
Message: Posted by: Shawn D (Mar 27, 2002 02:58AM)
I use an apron I had my wife make me. It can be adjusted to have one pocket on it or more.
I am still playing around with it but I had her make it because there were some tricks I wanted to do that didn't fit in my pockets and with repeat costomers I needed more space to carry new stuff.

I had her make it a little biggger than coat pockets with small pockets inside for extra coins. When I am not using the pockets they just slide around to my back and I can slide them to the front when needed. Working out really well so far.

Message: Posted by: James Fortune (Mar 27, 2002 09:59AM)
I'm with you Peter (Marucci) - it's all in my pockets.

I can do about half-an-hour at each table if required (almost never) from this.

Only way IMHO. :bg:
Message: Posted by: Tricky (Mar 31, 2002 08:30AM)
Actually everything you will need apart from say C&B can fit in pockets, ie... cards, coins, wallet, TT, sponges pen, so really you just need something with some fairly big pockets
Message: Posted by: Jason Fleming (Apr 3, 2002 11:57PM)
I agree with Geoff and Peter -- Well said!

Although I always work from my pockets, one of our colleages works from a "fanny pack", one of those belt-satchels (his is black leather and fits in well with his outfit). This allows him the advantage of more carrying space without the shackle of lugging a bag.

-JF :bikes:
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Apr 8, 2002 01:24PM)
On 2002-03-26 21:18, Sir T wrote:
This is a new topic for me, has anyone tried using an apron. I saw a busker using one and it looked rather nice. I have seen one in a catalog, but at present have no use for such an item.

Just wondering what you all think about this?

Kevin :kitty:

I use a Gib. in my street work and I love it. It would work well behind a bar as many barmen wear aprons. I don't know however how it would be percieved in a table hopping situation. I assume that you are wearing a suit and I don't think a gib or a butt pack would be appropriate with a suit.

Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Apr 8, 2002 01:33PM)
Yes, indeed, Dan.
In doing street work, I use a giberciere that is, in fact, a bartender's apron.
It's black, has three very deep pockets, and a blade fastener at the back.
I can put a number of things in it, including a full gross of balloons.
(Of course, you can't sit down!) :(
And you're right; it wouldn't work in a suit or tux -- unless you were performing for a room full of clowns! :rotf:
Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: magus (Apr 17, 2002 08:44PM)
I use a hollowed out book to carry some of the props (along with extra deck, rubberbands, odds and ends I don't want in my pockets)

The bottom of the book has a hole in it and a plate from a Norm Neilson cane and hat to table.

If I do restaurant work, it's just the book. If I'm doing walkaround at a party, I carry the cane and the book. I make my intro, and if given the OK, I spin the cane and drop the book on it for a small table to set a couple of things on as I work.
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Apr 18, 2002 04:13AM)
Not much to add really, Table hopping I keep everything in my pockets. However, I do not want bulgy pockets (I have said elsewhere I do not wear a jacket and have short sleeves, I wear a waist coat which is slightly longer than normal and square cut rather than tapered at the bottom this looks better as I am not slim) I have extra pockets put into the coat when my talior is making them. actually I am waiting for 3 new ones from her at the moment. depending on what I plan to perform I might also wear a dushecks vest
under the waistcoat.
Message: Posted by: Andy Charlton (Apr 18, 2002 09:40AM)
I always wear a jacket, and everything goes in the pockets. I have my Mullica wallet with " Flash cash", Colour Monte and some odd cards for Hoodwinked and card warp. This gets them used to the wallet before I do card to wallet, (Usually my closer.)

Often people will ask me to sit and join them at the table while I work, and time and sight lines permitting, I can do cups and balls (Jiggernaut), triumph and other card effects that are easier on the table, more variations on sponge balls etc. If not I have enough to work all in the hands and up in their sight line.


Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Apr 26, 2002 03:12PM)
On 2002-03-22 21:47, Scott F. Guinn wrote:
Actually, I do cups and balls table-hopping--a two cup, one ball routine with three final loads.[/quote]

Chop Cup Routine with one of the restaurant's coffee cups is VERY cool...

Message: Posted by: J R Thomas (Apr 29, 2002 12:55PM)
Dittos - Scott Guinn

I usually carry everything in my pockets.
I have a briefcase that locks and usually store it some place relatively safe but accessable. Anytime you can come up with a routine utilizing items on the table it's great (ie... one cup routine with a coffee cup, Williamson's spoon routine, torn and restored napkin, a table knife as a wand... I actually tried the Vernon wand spin with it... don't work there anymore.)

I try to avoid the bulgy look.
I bulge enough as it is.
Message: Posted by: clunk_71 (Apr 30, 2002 09:48AM)
I hear of people going on their rounds with a bum bag (fanny bag) this seems practicle for carrying more props or if doing a longer routine than normal.

As for me, I more than manage with just my pockets :bg:
Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (May 8, 2002 12:08PM)
I've seen friends use a fanny pack/belt bag while wearing a tux.

IMHO, it looked goofy.

I believe the FP/BB should only be worn outdoors (such as at a picnic or park event) and with a less formal attire.
Message: Posted by: Magique Hands (May 8, 2002 09:34PM)
When I first started out in restaurants, I performed with an assistant (my wife). I worked out of my pockets for the most part, but she was able to keep various other props in a very elegant, evening purse.

Many, many times, when I was finished with a routine or an effect, I would hand my props to her and go on to the next routine or the next table. She was also my 're-set man'. This way, I could perform non-stop if needed.

We still perform together in this manner on a number of occassions... people really enjoy our 'teamwork'. And besides... she certainly adds a certain 'Class' to my close-up/table-side show.

- - Troy
Message: Posted by: J R Thomas (May 9, 2002 11:23AM)
Dittos - Geoff.

Fanny packs are convenient but unsightly...hmm..sound like my ex-wife.
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (May 9, 2002 07:47PM)
Fanny Pack--I think I used to go to school with her!

I agree that they are incongrous with a Tux. That's where stuff like the Klamm and Chazpro pocket organizers come in handy.

I did a walkaround gig at the Grand Opening of a water park in a local town. It has kind of a Safari theme, so I wore Khaki shorts, Hiking Boots, a white Polo shirt, a pith helmet and one of those khaki fisherman's vests with about 25 pockets (where I kept my props). It worked well for me and the client LOVED that I came "in costume!"
Message: Posted by: huntles (May 11, 2002 09:38AM)
The venue should help to dictate the kind of storage means suitable. Personally in most cases I use a jacket that I've had altered (best $20 I've payed to a seamstress!) with extra pockets along the bottom insides.

IMHO I find that "FP"'s etc can be distracting to an audience, especially if you have to fish around in them within your set. I like to be able to casually reach inside my jacket to ditch / then produce whatever needs to be used next. :)
Message: Posted by: Tony Chapparo (May 11, 2002 02:19PM)
I try to keep all of my props in my pockets.
Occasionally I will use just the edge of the table, but for the most part the table is off limits... :magicrabbit:
Message: Posted by: cataquet (May 12, 2002 04:01AM)
I arrive at the venue with a briefcase and garment bag. I get dressed and load my pockets with most of what I will need. However, there are some consumables that need replacement. For example, I'll usually do a C&R rope routine which requires about 6 feet of 1/4" rope. I'll load up a few bundles in my pocket, but after about 6 tables, I have to reload. At the same time, I'll add or subtract stuff into my pockets. So, for example, I may add sponge rabbits and take out some dice tricks.

As for cups and balls, I perform many versions: one cup, two cups, three cups and ball vase. Usually, if the venue is cramped (like most restraunts), the ball vase routine is best, as it takes up very little room on the table. If I have a bit more room, then I will do a one cup routine, etc.

Bye for now

Message: Posted by: amakar (Jul 15, 2005 01:26PM)
I'm a big fan of the tote-bag change bag...Its great for storing balloons on one side and smaller props on the other.
Message: Posted by: Countage (Jul 15, 2005 02:15PM)
I carry my cups and close up mat in my hands. When I approach a table and ask if they would care to see magic. I tell them I would like to borrow a portion of there table the size of my close up mat. Every blue moon I come to a table that has no room at all and they would love to see magic. I usually set my cups and mat on the floor and do something that is in my pocket that can be performed in my hands. However 99.9999% of the time people have no problem clearing a space.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 15, 2005 03:31PM)
As far as I am concerned table space availability is a couple of issues. First if you perform after the meal, then there should be no real issue here. Second if they have spacifically asked to see you, instead of approaching cold, then most of the time they clear a space for you.

Once you are invited and welcome, the table space is not an issue. I don't go to tables I am not invited to anyway. Space is not an issue when they are expecting you I guess is my point.

Good Luck

Message: Posted by: mdspark (Jul 16, 2005 06:00PM)
Yes a Gib would not look good with a suite or tux! But looks perfectly fine with a vest.

I made one by sewing 2 generic looking umpire ball bags together side by side..then attacking apron type strings...To give it more of a "pouch" so the pockets tops were not flush with my body and therefor not open and easy for my hands to slip into...I put in a "dart"..or I should say..cut out a "V" shape hunk of material in the center of the top/back...and re sewed it.

Plenty of room/pockets..I can carry a large amount of balloons in once side and plenty of magic in the other including a chop cup or full C & B set. I also made a small table surface the size of a close up mat that easily clamps on to the edge of the table. Works great..very versitile.

Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jul 16, 2005 06:09PM)
Here's the gib I use for strolling...

Message: Posted by: Jared (Jul 17, 2005 09:40PM)
I'm more selective about my material so that I can carry everything on my person. Once in a while I may bring along a small leather 'shaving' type bag to keep a few extra props provided that I have a safe place to leave them.

Message: Posted by: Review King (Jul 17, 2005 09:58PM)
I wear a sport coat and use pants and jacket pockets.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 18, 2005 11:18AM)
Depending on the venue, you, your style and needs, why not carry any bulky stuff in... A DOGGY BAG.
Message: Posted by: paymerich (Jul 18, 2005 12:05PM)
I use my jacket/pants pockets to carry all my stuff I also have joshua jay pro carrier forthe belt loop that I keep my Great Game deck and coins . I keep a Lineman's bag ( $16 Home depot) in a secure location for restocking stuff.
Message: Posted by: bsears (Jul 18, 2005 01:06PM)
I don't use a table but had a good friend fill in for me at one of my restaurants and he used a table. The feedback from the wait staff is that it was always in the way.