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Topic: Banquet strolling strategy?
Message: Posted by: Chris.Z (Aug 30, 2018 02:53PM)
In working a banquet room, let's say minimum of 25 tables 7-10 people per round table right?
I had always heard you want to do 3 sets of 3 effects. 1 set at table 1, 2nd set at table 2, 3rd at 3 and then back to 1st set again right?

I was watching Dave Bonsalls (of PropDog)lecture, his philosophy is to do 1 powerful effect per table, the best thing you've got, 3-5 minutes, and then do that same effect at each table around the room.
The idea being that if it's a big room, you want to make sure every table gets to see you at least once, and that if they do, they see your best.

If you make it all the way around the room, you switch out routine 1 for routine 2 and so on. You're only dedicating pocket space to 1 effect at a time, if you lap the room, tables know who you are and are excited to have you back, and on and on.

Seemed lots of benefits to working a larger room in this fashion. Thoughts?
Message: Posted by: Chamberlain (Aug 30, 2018 03:31PM)
When I'm working a large room, say 10+ tables of 10 people, I perform the same 3-5 effects per table, performing half at one side of the table and moving to the other side of the table for the rest

Extreme Burn/Invisible Deck/Sponge Bunnies/Chicago Surprise/Ambitious Card to Wallet > Omni Deck, occasionally throw in Shell Coins Across/Cardtoon/Crazy Mans Handcuffs/Trick Shot Production

If there's time left I'll go back to the tables that gave great reactions and perform card tricks, usually That's It/Biddle Trick/3 1/2 Clubs/Multiple Selection to finish

I used to perform different effects for different tables but afterawhile I just stuck to the effects that get great reactions, even if it means doing the same stuff each table, plus it means my pockets aren't as packed.
Message: Posted by: Futureal (Aug 30, 2018 08:31PM)
Minimum of 25 tables? Thereís no way one performer can get through 25 plus tables in a night, not unless youíre there for three or four hours working constantly and there isnít a meal, no speeches, no awards, no breaks, no band etc. In the real world this just doesnít happen. More than often they want you to get through everyone in an hour or max two. And if itís two they want you to work through the entree or mains.
Message: Posted by: warren (Aug 31, 2018 01:01PM)
I agree with Chamberlain ie in that situation I also perform the same set at each table, if need be I can change it up but it's usually not necessary.
Message: Posted by: peppermeat2000 (Sep 1, 2018 11:23AM)
The rules about these types of performing venues are unique to each individual. My only advice is to remember to keep your visit at each table short and sweet. Folks gathered at a banquet are more interested in socializing with each other than being approached by a stranger who is going to show them how a selected card keeps coming to the top of the deck.


You'll catch on to those who really dig magic and then you can make it a point to re-visit these people with some more of your strolling miracles.
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Sep 4, 2018 10:00AM)
[quote]On Aug 30, 2018, Futureal wrote:
Minimum of 25 tables? Thereís no way one performer can get through 25 plus tables in a night, not unless youíre there for three or four hours working constantly and there isnít a meal, no speeches, no awards, no breaks, no band etc. In the real world this just doesnít happen. More than often they want you to get through everyone in an hour or max two. And if itís two they want you to work through the entree or mains. [/quote]

:goodluck:

Be personable not regimented or mechanical or robotic.
You want people to remember YOU and the great time they had.
If your strategy is to focus on what you are going to do as opposed to
how then you will be forgotten unmemorable distraction.
Message: Posted by: Chris.Z (Sep 4, 2018 02:26PM)
25 was a random number,
I'm not asking about HOW to perform.

I'm specifically asking for your feedback on the idea of making 1 lap of the room performing 1 routine.
The reasoning being:

- Your best bit
- 3-5 minutes long
- Faster circuit
- less pocket clutter
- More people see you and your best work.

This concept about how to work the room is all I wanted to share and ask for feedback on.
Message: Posted by: helder (Sep 4, 2018 04:38PM)
[quote]On Sep 4, 2018, Chris.Z wrote:
25 was a random number,
I'm not asking about HOW to perform.

I'm specifically asking for your feedback on the idea of making 1 lap of the room performing 1 routine.
The reasoning being:

- Your best bit
- 3-5 minutes long
- Faster circuit
- less pocket clutter
- More people see you and your best work.

This concept about how to work the room is all I wanted to share and ask for feedback on. [/quote]

I think it's better if you perform more than one routine. Why?!

1st If you perform the same routine in all tables the client and the audience might think that you only know one routine.

2nd After you perform at one table and going to the next, they will see you perform the same routine and it will be easier to figure out the method. Remember for laymen it's doesn't matter if they don't know how every bit it's done, if they know part of the method it's over. So, doing the same routine at the next table it's teaching them.

So my advice is get your 3 best routines, no problem with pocket space with this number of routines, keep the magic at chest level, choose routines that have instant reset, interact with everybody, look them in the eyes, play big and have fun.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 4, 2018 04:47PM)
Nobody is going to follow you fromvtable to table. Ne routine can work. I would have more just to not deive myself crazy. But one can work.
Message: Posted by: helder (Sep 4, 2018 05:08PM)
[quote]On Sep 4, 2018, Dannydoyle wrote:
Nobody is going to follow you fromvtable to table. Ne routine can work. I would have more just to not deive myself crazy. But one can work. [/quote]


They don't need to follow you. They see very well where they are seated. But this is just an opinion of someone that works at 24 years. Don't take my word. Try it.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 4, 2018 05:24PM)
Can we please dispense with the measuring contest? I'm simply not interested.

Do you really think anyone is going to care what you are doing at another table? They are at a banquet. They have other things to do that worry about where the silk went.

Plus if in 24 years you don't have a routine that can be done completely surrounded, well OK.

But if they see it from one angle and figure it out, when you get to their table to do their trick they will be FAR less interested in seeing you because they busted you.

The main point is there is way more than one answer and all of them are correct for the guy doing the gig. Nobody has a monopoly on the right answer here. There is no prize for being right. Maybe that is something you lean at 25 years.
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Sep 5, 2018 07:27AM)
[quote]On Sep 4, 2018, Chris.Z wrote:
25 was a random number,
I'm not asking about HOW to perform.

I'm specifically asking for your feedback on the idea of making 1 lap of the room performing 1 routine.
The reasoning being:

- Your best bit
- 3-5 minutes long
- Faster circuit
- less pocket clutter
- More people see you and your best work.

This concept about how to work the room is all I wanted to share and ask for feedback on. [/quote]

HOW to work the room. I've performed many of these venues. I scan the room and look for that first table to break the ice. Usually people that look like they are having fun. I'm prepared to go in
different directions, effect wise, somtimes based on conversations with the spectators.
Coins, currency, cards of course, ropes, 5" rings , mental effects, etc.

As was mentioned nothing goes as planned. Someone will say " Go to that table over there and show
Charlie that". People will call you over to another table messing up your pre-planned regimented
agenda. You can plan all you want but things never goes as planned when you do what we do.

Just be prepared with effects you know and do well. Sure have a plan to try and make sure you cover
the tables. Check with the event coordinator to see if there is someone they want you to pay special
attention to. Just be prepared to go in different directions than you originally planned.

Have fun, it's contagious.
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Sep 10, 2018 10:28AM)
I just worked this exact venue this past Saturday. (25 round tables, 7-10 people per table)
At this venue people were engaged in conversation and really not paying attention to the other
tables. There "were" a few tables with only 2 people since they didn't seem to know anyone else.

I made a point to pay attention to the "2" person tables first. I felt it appropriate since I invited some people standing nearby to watch. This served to get names and encourage a little
interaction.

I performed about 6 routines total and picked effects that were interactive as opposed to just showing of skills. (ie: ambitious card) There were interuptions, short speeches, raffle announcements, buffet table for dinner etc. Yes,I missed a table or two but the tables let me know
and I promptly accomodated them.

It's not rocket science. Just be aware, sensitive to people who may need some special attention,
curteous, respectful and make it your goal to provide a fun time. It's not about us as performers,
it's all about the people we entertain.
Message: Posted by: Blindside785 (Dec 2, 2018 10:23AM)
Iíve been doing 1-2 powerful routines and more engaging conversation instead of the 3 by 3 trick set. I agree with Dave Bonsall on getting everyone to see you. It really does get you to pack flat, I worked a 3 hour gig with only 4 routines. Beginning to like it over 3 sets of 3.
Message: Posted by: David French (Dec 3, 2018 11:59AM)
As pointed out there are no rules here. We are all different as the venues we work. I recently did a wedding reception that was held under a large tent. The sides were open and it was cold and windy out. I could not do what I wanted/planned. So I chose some other material. I ended up doing the same two tricks for 90 minutes. Everyone had fun and I received good feedback and a nice tip. As our friend Al Goshman said "YOU are the magic"
Message: Posted by: warren (Dec 3, 2018 04:31PM)
[quote]On Sep 4, 2018, Chris.Z wrote:
25 was a random number,
I'm not asking about HOW to perform.

I'm specifically asking for your feedback on the idea of making 1 lap of the room performing 1 routine.
The reasoning being:

- Your best bit
- 3-5 minutes long
- Faster circuit
- less pocket clutter
- More people see you and your best work.

This concept about how to work the room is all I wanted to share and ask for feedback on. [/quote]

This is not something I would do myself however if there were a huge amount of tables and I was expected to perform at each table it would certainly be an option however in that type of situation they usually book more than one magician so it's unlikely in a corporate setting.
Message: Posted by: MeetMagicMike (Dec 3, 2018 10:36PM)
Warren I think your plan is a good one. But I would add that your props end up back in the right pocket at the end of the routine. This will make the event more fun for you and you'll avoid rummaging through your pocket between tables.

I always have a deck of cards so that in itself gives me many routines to choose from if you do get a chance to return to a table.
Message: Posted by: warren (Dec 4, 2018 10:42AM)
[quote]On Dec 3, 2018, MeetMagicMike wrote:
Warren I think your plan is a good one. But I would add that your props end up back in the right pocket at the end of the routine. This will make the event more fun for you and you'll avoid rummaging through your pocket between tables.

I always have a deck of cards so that in itself gives me many routines to choose from if you do get a chance to return to a table. [/quote]

Mike this is something Chris.Z has come up with not me I think you may have got confused, personally I would perform more than one effect at each table.
Message: Posted by: MeetMagicMike (Dec 4, 2018 07:17PM)
Oops sorry Warren you are right. I think someone's idea of "a bit" might be another man's "more than one trick"
Message: Posted by: Charles Gaff (Dec 5, 2018 09:47AM)
I was just watching Dave's video. I'm under the impression he is advocating starting with your best routine as an opener, but he has other routines as well. He does seem to want to move along, but if you watch his highlights, he does offer the tables additional routines as well. He says sometimes you get delayed, food comes, auction starts etc, and if that's the case he wants the table to have seen his best stuff.

I really like this idea. I've narrowed down what I work with to the things that get the best reactions and people have the most fun with. Using your top up front makes lots of sense.

I also like to build into my best stuff, and leave them with the crescendo. My scripts build like this. After picking up ring flight tho and listening to the lecture, I am going to try the "backwards forwards". It is "ringing" true to me as his logic and real world experience are pretty solid lol.

Got to love that ring flight to envelope.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 5, 2018 09:56AM)
Here is my sticking point. You are only at a table for a few minutes. Why would anyone do effects that are not your best stuff?

Even in a standard restaurant setting it is a few minutes each. Where is room for "filler" in this scenario? I just do not understand this at all.

As for how many effects you will land on this on your own. Every answer is right for the individual. You will try several methods and arrive at your favorite.
Message: Posted by: Charles Gaff (Dec 6, 2018 03:59AM)
Certainly there isn't much filler. But if one had 3 effects, one would prob be the best, most exciting, funnest or whatever criteria one measures with. In that case, would you do "best" first and get it in except in the rarest of situations, or build up to the best?
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Dec 9, 2018 12:16AM)
Hi, as mentioned by Danny there are no set rules, I am a Professional Corporate entertainer and regularly perform close up at many tables for 1-2 hrs prior to the stage show, I use a very strong quick opener that leads to a comical signed card effect,depending on the table I may do a 3rd effect, if not Ill move on to another table,as we all know you could perform all night for 1 group that goes well, I find performing 1-2 maybe 3 effects are sufficent to cover the room approx 100 guests per hour is manageable depending on circumstance. I always have a few group effects from tables that are very keen to see you again such as Bill in Lemon etc..the noise & fun created at these tables always ensures other tables will ask you to perform for them again etc. I like to cover the room with quick effects first including tables with 4-5 people that are very keen to see you, that I know work through experience, then you can go back to certain groups that are really interested with slightly longer routines & I often find others will come to that table so instead of 10 people watching you now have 15-20 and much more noise & reaction gets the room all looking to see the fun going on. I don't have set order for tables ,over time you get to know what tables to start with & others come back later, in the corporate world you can tell when people are in serious conversation etc..

Great topic, nice to see all the different ways we approach events

Cheers
Message: Posted by: vincentmusician (Mar 28, 2021 09:05PM)
The best way to get better is by doing. Strolling is one of the things you just have to learn. I take a look at the tables. Then I try to go to the table where people look like they are having a good time. Judging by the number of people and how the angles are, I select material that works and can be seen by everyone. I like to vary the effects. However, if something is getting a great reaction, I will repeat it. I am a bit looser than some here who have planned certain sets to perform. I am a more go with the flow type Strolling Magician. Do what ever works for you. There is no right answer.Cheers!
Message: Posted by: Avocat (Mar 31, 2021 10:35AM)
One thing Iíve had success with is involving multiple tables in larger routines

I learned this while performing linking wedding rings across several tables as an experiment. I wanted to see if anyone would ďcompare notesĒ in a manner that might tip the method. No one ever did. They just wanted to be happy and have fun.

So I began running longer routines (5 minutes max) for larger groups as a way of getting around more. Itís workable
Message: Posted by: Avocat (Apr 8, 2021 03:37PM)
Oh forgot to mention, Bobby Acoba was a successful enough bartender magician that he frequently got flown to Japan, all expenses paid, for corporate gigs after Japanese businessmen saw him working his bar.

Bobby's typical set consisted of a number of killer effects with the loosest routining possible, including some where he could leave the deck or props with the spectators while he worked on other patrons' drinks.

His method of dealing with ballrooms is one that a lot of experienced workers might well condemn.

He'd set up at an unused table off to the side and just wait for people to come to him. Guests would come up, sit for a few tricks, and move on.

In other words, his version of "walk around" involved no actual "walking around."

Yet he kept getting hired and had excellent word-of-mouth recommendations all his life.

I think one lesson we can learn is that laypeople have no idea we're even SUPPOSED to be walking around. As long as people are happy and entertained, they'll be satisfied.

It calls to mind Jon Racherbaumer's infamous 1998 essay in MAGIC magazine, where he points out that strolling magic can be, if I recall correctly, "crass and invasive."

As lovers of magic, we can forget sometimes that, however great our skills, it's still a breach of normal social etiquette to come up to people's dining tables (or just groups of people standing around) and interrupt their conversations. Now, of course, we all have any number of acceptable workarounds; that's why "introductions" are such a common topic in this forum.

Still, it's worth remembering that walking up to strangers and magishing for them, unprompted, is a bit like what mimes and clowns do in similar environments.

Regardless, the bottom line is: at least one workable banquet strolling strategy involves not strolling