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Topic: Help for an opener?
Message: Posted by: jmccormack4 (Aug 8, 2009 03:08PM)
I am having trouble finding an opener for my set. I plan on working at a restaurant in about a month and a half or so and I need some help coming up with this opener. My style is more of not using cards as something to open. I usually like to do my opener kind of spontaneously. but anyways heres my set so far
Opener - ?
Middle- UV nightshades
Closer- bill switch to mismade bill with the sunglasses up on the mismade bill (i was going to hand the bill out)

still in rough draft mode
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Aug 8, 2009 03:33PM)
Walk up to the table and ask, "Does anyone have a Penny?" If so borrow it. If not bring one out and say something like, "Well we can use this one... I just got it as a tip." Hand it out. Bring out a Morgan Dollar. "Oh this came with the penny." Hand it out.

Then do copper silver in spectator's hand having dollar change to a dollar size giant penny.

This never fails. NO table space needed.
Message: Posted by: Nash (Aug 8, 2009 04:56PM)
First of all, congrat on taking the plunge.
Now, this isn't some esoteric performer BS, but if you haven't worked a restaurant gig before, you should worry about the REAL opener. It is what you do before you perform any magic. How you enter the table, your demeanor and your lines are the first thing you need to prepare. They need to know right off the bat you are WITH the restaurant and not some stranger walking up the table for tips.

Trust me, if you approach the table without enthusiasm, looking like some creep, or mumble your speech, you will confuse them. When they are confused, you have an uphill battle to climb.

Get a badge, work on your opening lines. Get their names, be friendly.
personally, I always give them a choice to say "no". PERSONALLY.
You never know if they just got back from a funeral or in a midst of a break-up.

As for tricks. I open with a 4 coins production (a combo of David Stone's and Shoot Ogawa's surprise production). Something quick and visual and doesn't take more than a minute is ideal. Given that you will use dollar bills in your middle and ending, it makes sense to use coins in the opener.

And as Pete said, NO TABLE SPACE. Your materials must be visible to everyone.

I hope this help bro.
tell us how it go in a month
Message: Posted by: montymagi (Aug 9, 2009 10:47AM)
I second Nash. As for opening trick, if you see they have extra napkins at the table as to borrow one and produce a silk from it. Visual, quick and uses a borrowed item.
Message: Posted by: twistedace (Aug 9, 2009 11:27AM)
I always open with the sponge bunnies. It's in their hands and it's the strongest magic trick out there...hands down.
Message: Posted by: Mediocre the Great (Aug 9, 2009 12:13PM)
Johnny Ace Palmer suggests you ALWAYS open with a coin trick. When I first started out, that's exactly what I did. And it worked very well for me. Here are some of my thoughts on openers for strolling magic:

1) in general spectators may start out a little jaded on card tricks. They’ve probably seen more back card magic than any other kind.

2) Your opener must be fast and visual. It should also be a good trick for sizing up your audience – determining how much fun they are and who the trouble makers might be.

3) In general, I don’t open with very much audience participation. See #2. I prefer to do sponge bunnies or some other audience participation trick after I’ve sized up my audience members.

4) Your opener may also be a closer. It should stand alone as a single trick if you determine the table is not interested in more magic, or if you get some interruption.

Do I break these rules? I sure do. Sometimes I do open with a card trick. Sometimes I do open with audience participation. But I do so when the situation seems to warrant, and that 6th sense comes from experience.

So, when you’re first getting started, refer to Johnny Ace Palmer’s advice. Always start with a coin trick.
Message: Posted by: Jason A (Aug 9, 2009 06:00PM)
What works for me.
I go up to the table and ask if everything is o.k ( if thay say "no" its even better for you ) at this point thay think I just work there as a manager or whatever. I tell them that they have something in there hair,napkin, or sometimes in there bread role and I pull out a silk. using the elament of surprise ( if they were not happy with something . they will start laughing because they just complained to a magician not the manager. tell them that you will see what you can do to make things better ) and go on with your routine ... now you got then in your hands.
but 99% of the time there always happy.
Message: Posted by: Jason A (Aug 9, 2009 06:02PM)
And congrats and good luck.
Message: Posted by: Hansel (Aug 12, 2009 03:11PM)
As an opener I use a effect in where I don't use people from the audience, here I establish my character, maybe produce the sponge balls in magical ways to next do a routine...or producing coins for a coin across...
My best wishes,
Hansel!
Message: Posted by: Bryanpier (Aug 12, 2009 04:07PM)
If the table has never seen me before I always open with Your Name Here. Its fast, visual, and requires no parricipation.
If they've seen me before I have no problem opening with say a sponge ball/ bunnies routine with participation.
On a side note, please don't touch the food on the table. People don't like that very much. Just my 2cents.
Message: Posted by: Rpascual (Aug 12, 2009 04:47PM)
How about opening up with Lit by Dan Hauss and Dan White? Two phased routine where the spectator just has to hold the matches.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Aug 12, 2009 06:53PM)
Walk up to table and TAKE one of their fries saying, "I'm the fry inspector." Toss it into your mouth and say, "That one was OK."
Message: Posted by: tedski (Aug 12, 2009 09:00PM)
Maybe it is just me, but I would not be happy if someone came up to my table and touched me, my napkin, or my food as an introduction. I am not a restaraunt worker so take it for what it's worth - but I have eaten in enough nice restaraunts to have the opinion that this is going too far into someone's personal space as an intro - just a thought.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Aug 12, 2009 09:24PM)
I was kidding :kermit:
Message: Posted by: tedski (Aug 12, 2009 09:30PM)
I figured you were Pete, but another poster said a similar thing that didn't appear to be a joke.......hey, it might work :)
Message: Posted by: Hansel (Aug 13, 2009 01:49AM)
I don't like to open with a participation effect because I need the people see what I do to be comfortable in participating on the effects. If I open with lets say: Pick a Card...they maybe refuse or be a little shy.
My best,
Hansel!
Message: Posted by: Jonathan P. (Aug 13, 2009 04:02AM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-12 19:53, Pete Biro wrote:
Walk up to table and TAKE one of their fries saying, "I'm the fry inspector." Toss it into your mouth and say, "That one was OK."
[/quote]

Excellent, I'll be happy happy for the day thinking of this one!
Message: Posted by: Hansel (Aug 13, 2009 09:54AM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-12 19:53, Pete Biro wrote:
Walk up to table and TAKE one of their fries saying, "I'm the fry inspector." Toss it into your mouth and say, "That one was OK."
[/quote]


LOL!
Message: Posted by: Jason A (Aug 13, 2009 01:18PM)
I agree with you ( Hansel ) I Never open with a card trick. I find that your giving them a way to tell you to leave.

and I agree with ( tedski ) don't touch there food. take something from the middle of the table. ( bread , salt etc...)
I never had a problem using there napkin . just don't forget to replace it.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Aug 13, 2009 01:51PM)
No offense, but there should be THEIR in the case above. That and LOSE instead of LOOSE are two words that drive me nutz when used wrong... :)
Message: Posted by: Bryanpier (Aug 13, 2009 02:25PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-13 14:51, Pete Biro wrote:
No offense, but there should be THEIR in the case above. That and LOSE instead of LOOSE are two words that drive me nutz when used wrong... :)
[/quote]

Agreed. It drives me crazy when someone uses 'to' in the place of 'too' as well.
Message: Posted by: GTRICH (Aug 14, 2009 12:59PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-12 19:53, Pete Biro wrote:
Walk up to table and TAKE one of their fries saying, "I'm the fry inspector." Toss it into your mouth and say, "That one was OK."
[/quote]
This is a perfect setup for a vanishing act where your assistants are the bouncers!
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Aug 14, 2009 01:23PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-08 16:08, jmccormack4 wrote:
I am having trouble finding an opener for my set.
[/quote]

Why are you having trouble? What have you explored so far in trying to find an opener for your set? Is this the set you'll be doing as you approach a group for the first time?
Message: Posted by: Tom Stevens (Aug 14, 2009 07:32PM)
Just say something to make them laugh.
I usually make a positive judgement statement about the group I am approaching, and this always gets a laugh.
I have a zippo palmed, or thumb palmed and a coin held at the fingertips. I do a kind of bobo switch, in essence turning the coin into a zippo. Even though palming a zippo is awkward, they haven't started "burning" your hands so they do not notice anything unusual. This production gets their attention, and they also will begin paying attention. At this point I light a tiny piece of flash paper to produce the coin.


I think that it takes 20 to 30 seconds for people to be comfortable enough to want to select a card or write their name on a card. Though it is possible to do it sooner if you come across as likeable and are able to chat with them like old buddies from the onset.
Message: Posted by: Michael Bilkis (Aug 20, 2009 09:08AM)
When I do walk around, I open with Jay Sankey's "Holey Moley" or a 4 coin production that leads into a coins across routine. Bob Solari's "Beetoven's Suprise" is also a good opener with the production of a full size miniture baby grand piano
Message: Posted by: Mediocre the Great (Aug 29, 2009 04:39AM)
I just remembered the PERFECT Opener... Check out Johnny Ace Palmer's lecture notes and video - he has a little routine calls the "perfect opener", and it is. I"m sure it could be adapted to any restaurant setting - In his video, it's the coke bottle production. Check out his excellent video that's been re-released on DVD it's a gem!

http://www.hanklee.org/xcart/product.php?productid=5629
Message: Posted by: dlcmagic (Aug 31, 2009 08:19PM)
Color changing knives is a good opener. I do Michael Skinners routine with some Whit Haden moves thrown in.
Message: Posted by: JIMclubber64 (Aug 31, 2009 08:40PM)
I'm certainly not as experienced as other people here, but I agree with Mediocre about starting with coins. It's something familiar to the spectators, and it will allow you to get a feel for the table before you get audience interaction, and they get a feel for you. I don't own the effect (yet), but if you're allowed to use fire, Pyris by Nicholas Lepage could be a great opener, and I've not heard anything bad about it. Plus it's a great lead in to a coin routine.
Anyway, there's my 2 cents.
Message: Posted by: JIMclubber64 (Aug 31, 2009 08:41PM)
I'm certainly not as experienced as other people here, but I agree with Mediocre about starting with coins. It's something familiar to the spectators, and it will allow you to get a feel for the table before you get a lot of audience interaction, and they get a feel for you. I don't own the effect (yet), but if you're allowed to use fire, Pyris by Nicholas Lepage could be a great opener, and I've not heard anything bad about it. Plus it's a great lead in to a coin routine.
Anyway, there's my 2 cents.

EDIT: Oops, sorry about the double post, guys.
Message: Posted by: jmccormack4 (Sep 1, 2009 11:27PM)
Thank you to everyone for all the useful tips you taught me! :]
Message: Posted by: gadfly3d (Sep 2, 2009 09:32AM)
I agree with the color changing knives, I approach the table and ask for fashion advice and say "should the knife match the shirt or contrast" each time changing the knife and the going into the routine.

Gil Scott
Message: Posted by: Hansel (Sep 3, 2009 03:15AM)
When music is TOO loud open with an Invisible Deck is good. Handling the invisible cards to someone to shuffle and all that stuff looks well. I need to mention this is for Strolling in where the music is very loud!
Hansel!
Message: Posted by: Corbett (Sep 25, 2009 10:14AM)
Because you're in a restaurant, you should consider Zander's Precious Metal. This is a funny and amazing bit about bending a spoon. Great topic for restaurant. You present a large spoon in your hands, and do some funny business about making it bend, blah, blah, blah. What you try to make look like bending the spoon, is just the spoon swiveling in your hand. But to the audiences surprise, the spoon has now changed into a fork! Wham! Immediately let them see the fork. Ungimmicked.

I've used this as an opener before, and it always get a good reaction. Total time from start to finish - 30 seconds. I like to poke fun at the "Uri Gellars" of the world when I do this, because the bending part is a complete spoof.