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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Table hoppers & party strollers Ľ Ľ Accepting tips: Do you? Ľ Ľ TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Steve Brooks
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I feel this is a worthy subject to explore, so here goes.



For myself, I never solicit or accept tips.

The way I see it, I'm already making more money then most the employees in the place,

and my job is fun and easy (most the time).



If a patron offers me a tip, I ALWAYS ask them to add it to the amount they are going to give the wait staff.

This makes me a very popular guy with the other employees, which has a lot of benefits.



What are your thoughts? Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Tom Cutts
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I have had to soften my rigid stand on this issue. Still, I will not work for tips. I will not solicite tips. But if they are offered.....



I think refusing a tip is bad for two reasons. It is likely to be seen as rude or a rejection of appreciation by the person offering. It is so rarely that people do offer such a sign of appreciation that they need to be rewarded for it and be given a comfortable environment in which to do it. Graciously accepting does both of these.



Refusing also teaches people not to tip...other magi, musicians, the valet, the coat check person.



Which brings us to the question of waitstaff. I think it would behoove the mage to take posession of all tips handed him for the above reasons. If his own policy is to not keep tips because of conflict with the wait staff then he may personally turn that tip money over to the table server. This will more solidly cement the connection: magician equals bigger tips. I also think the volume of $ will be greater. I believe there will be some cases where a person about to hand you a fiver will, given the chance, only add a couple bucks to the waitpersons tip if you decline/deflect his tip.



Now the million dollar question. What about the people who ask you if they are supposed to tip you...



Have at it folks,



Tom
Looie Lewis
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I usually tell the guest that I am paid very well by the management and that their tip is greatly appreciated -- if they insist! If they start putting thier money away, I suggest that they give the server a bigger tip for having to work around me all night!



Dave Lewis
Steve Brooks
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Thanks for your reply Looie, and by the way, welcome to our magic community! Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Scott F. Guinn
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I agree with Tom. I never "hustle" or solicit tips. And itís awkward for someone to have to ask if you take tips. I have included a line at the bottom of my table tents: "Tips are always appreciated but NEVER required." If someone offers, I politely accept, but I never bring it up otherwise. Tom makes an excellent point about refusing actually "Training" people not to tip. In short, I never ask or hustle them, and I never refuse them when offered.



I want to stress that this is only in a restaurant situation. Street performers, of course, MUST accept tips, and it is truly BAD FORM to hustle or accept tips at a private party!



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Tom Cutts
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I'm with you on the tips, Scott.



Tips at a private party are a tough thing. It could be insulting to your client who intended on tiping you as well. It could be insulting to the offerer.



I just had a thought, though. I am going to address with my private corporate clients that should their guests ON THEIR OWN decide to tip I would like to donate all tips gathered to _________ in the hosts name.



As long as they are diggin' in their pockets why not get the money and send it somewhere you deem in need. Make sure the host gets a thank you for the donation from the legit(!) organization.



As a bonus this reminds the corporation that they could tip you as well. Many do, some don't.



How 'bout it?



Tom Cutts
Scott F. Guinn
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No offense, Tom, but Iíd have to disagree with that approach for a couple of reasons. Magicians are often viewed as tacky, money hungry "non-legit" performers, and potential clients may have some concerns (voiced or unvoiced) about this. Even if you tell them you are going to give them the tips, i think many may worry that youíre going to be "hustling" for them, and maybe skimming some off the top.



Also, when people go to a private party, they are going to have fun with their friends and arenít planning on having to tip anyone for anything, as the host is expected to have taken care of it. Some may feel obliged to tip when they see others doing so, and whether it is for a charity or not, they will feel coerced, and probably be offended, putting a strain on their relationship with the host.



This has never been much of an issue for me anyway. At a restaurant, folks expect to tip the server, bartender, maitre de, etc. At a party, that just doesnít happen. If you donít hustle tips at the party (and if you donít look like you need them!), I think it will be a very rare occurence when you are offered one.



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Scott F. Guinn

Great Scott! Itís Magic!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Steve Brooks
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Very well put Scott, I have to agree with you on this one Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
John Zander
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Downey, CA
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I always accept tips, always. But, never solicit them. I never even do any magic with borrowed money, because it puts the guest in an awkward spot when you go to give it back.



If you do not accept an offered tip, it can be insulting to refuse it. Plus I have made as much as my salary on some nights... the reason that I am there in the first place is to make money.



My opinion, never solicit, always accept. Have you ever been asked back to a table for a second time? They certainly should tip you then. I was offered $40.00 to do Crazymans handcuffs just one more time... d**n right I did it Smile My friend Carl Andrews made $400.00 at one table once!

Tips are a way for your spectator to show their appreciation. Also your guest may be trying to impress his girl, or some of his guests at the table. Not to accept it would make them feel awkward as well as being insulting. Once that money is out, you do not want them to have to put it back in front of everyone.



Just my opinion

Smile
Thank you,



John Zander







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Tom Cutts
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I hear what you are saying Great Scott and certainly one would have to approach the concept with kid gloves on (not Kid Rock gloves Smile ).



I would never make a point of it but rather if it happens this is what I would do Mr. Client. Keep hashing it. I am looking for tipper wins, client wins, magician wins.



In the past I have told people at private functions that I have been handsomely taken care of by the host. If they wish to show their appreciation they can do so by telling their host what a great addition the magician was to the enjoyment of the event. It might ensure we see each other again soon. And donít hold back (tongue in cheek, everybody laughs)



I have thought of, but not implimented, giving response cards at this point. I havenít quite solved the tacky factor on this one yet.



Keep kickiní it around!!



Thanks,



Tom Cutts
donaldlaporte
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new hampshire
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Take the money. Iíve seen when other performers have refused a tip... it leaves the giver in an akward spot.



If they like what you are doing, and offer a tip, their telling you they like you and itís their way of saying it. Smile
Tom Wolf
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Harrison, Ohio
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I think that it depends on what type of place in which you are working.



My ex-boss made it clear to me that if I were to accept a tip, I would lose my quality as a magician. He felt that I should never do it.



Having said that, I found out that the spanish gentlemen usually will shake your hand after a special performance for them and you will feel the paper bill or bills in your hand. It is a private thing between you and them.



I would never wait for a tip.



As the years went on, I did accept tips only in the above manner.



I happened to work at a supper club with very formal attire, so it required me to be at my best.



It worked for me for over 20 years in this manner.



Memories. Smile
The magic director and performer at the Rincon Gaucho supper club in Mexico City,

We opened the first and only close-up room for magic in Mexico with Wolf Ruvinskis.
have several new coin vanishes and routines to share shortly just as soon as I can find someone to film them for me.


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J R Thomas
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Champaign Illinois
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Every place is different. I have learned to establish ground rules when I am hired. I just flat out ask " Do you have a policy on tips?" If they want me to add tips to the wait staff's tip jar I do. I always have a set fee I work for. I would never want to depend on tips alone. Once while working behind the bar, the bartender, who had hired me, told me to put a tip jar out on the bar. I did not. It is just not my style.

I like Scott's idea of putting a message at the bottom of the table tent and his response to Tom. I agree with John. I had the pleasure of seeing Carl Andrews at Abbotts last summer. My only regret is I did not have more money. I bought all his videos and one of the pocket organizers. I liked his thoughts on magic.



JR
Those who hear not the music

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Robin Parker
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Of course I accept tips. It is moral for virtue, for ability to be rewarded. I do not solicit.
Peter Marucci
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After more than a decade of table hopping, I still don't accept tips.

However, if one is offered -- honestly (and insistently) -- I accept it rather than make the guest feel uncomfortable.

But expecting -- or, worse, soliciting -- tips is akin to begging.

If you are going to do that, at least be honest about it and get yourself a street corner! <G>

cheers,

Peter Marucci

showtimecol@aol.com
Trickster
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I personally, do not work for tips. No offense to anyone out there that does. Almost all the performers that I have seen that work solely for tips come off as jerks. I havenít seen everyone so my opinion is just that and is based on what I have seen, not what Iíve heard.



If a tip is offered, I politely refuse. I tell them thank you very much but it is not necessary. If they insist I will accept. In that case I always do an extra trick to show my gratitude. Even though Iím already grateful for the opportunity to perform.



RDS Smile



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Harry Murphy
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Maryland
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I accept tips. I do not solicit tips in anyway in a restaurant or bar environment. I have never come up with a way of refusing a tip that is not awkward. I simply smile brightly and I act surprised (as I am!) and say a genuine ďthanksĒ.



I work one bar venue that actually has a jar set up for ďthe entertainmentĒ. There are two of us working the place. Interestingly, neither of us is working for tips and neither ever mentions the jar to any patron. We do not split the money in the jar but rather let it go to the wait staff. We are both paid well for our efforts. If a patron at that bar actually gives me a tip directly, I say thanks and later will drop it in the tip jar.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Cliff
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Warrington, England.
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At the start of a set, I tell the punters that they do not need to tip me as Iím a gift of the management. At the end of the set, if someone starts to hand me money I remind them that itís not needed. If they insist then I take the money with gratitude. As soon as the guest has left, I put the money in the staff tip jar. The giver feels good for he has given, the staff feels good as they see Iím not making money off of them and I feel good because everybody likes me. This has the added advantage that the staff are happy to help me look good and that keeps the boss happy.

:yippee: Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile



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All the best

Cliff
All the best

Cliff
Peter Marucci
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Excellent suggestion, Cliff.

Keep the staff happy -- because they can destroy you if they want to.

cheers,

Peter Marucci

showtimecol@aol.com
Mike Powers
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I'm with John Zander on this one. Great maxim: Never solicit, always accept.



The exception for me would be a private party. I think it's tacky to have guests at a party I'm working pulling their wallets out. The host might even think I'm hustling his guests.



I would also suggest that taking a gig based on tips instead of a salary is a bad idea. I would never work for tips and I think it is ultimately bad for the client's business. I would have to put the heat on the customers as in "Did you give me this $5 - thanks - Oh just kidding I'll give it back to you..." etc. Customers don't like people with their hands out. They know that they should tip the wait staff but should probably assume that the entertainers are paid and that the entertaiment is provided for free. Managers understand this if you explain the principle to them. Always get paid what you need to make up front then you won't need to solicit.



MP
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