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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » What is best resources for performing behind a bar? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

asmayly
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San Antonio, Texas
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Hi.
I know that there are various books and videos on BAR magic, but what of them all, do you think has the most useful info in terms of the real-world behind-the-bar scene?

-Thanks for any suggestions,
Asmayly
TheAmbitiousCard
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Northern California
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I just got The Magic of Eddie Fechter and it has a lot of tricks plus history plus bits of business, gags, etc.
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stevehw
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Collinsville, Mississippi
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I believe the way to go is with Doc Eason's Bar Magic videos, a three tape set.
You get to see Doc's live show at the Tower Comedy Magic Bar in Snowmass, Colorado, plus his "explaination session" along with Michael Ammar.
Lots of great magic you can use. And you will learn a lot about the "real work" of bar magic.

Steve
Peter Marucci
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I doubt that there is any "best" bar or restaurant magic book or tape.
Anyone who has done this for any length of time will point out that every night is different, every crowd is different, every bar is different, in short -- what works for one will not necessarily work for another.
Having done this for 15 years, my two lectures -- Bar Magic, and Real-Life Table Hopping -- stress that there are many variables that will change the situation hour by hour.
It's as extreme as: What "fries" them at 9 p.m. can fall flat at 11 p.m.
The absolute "best" resource for performing behing a bar is your own experience!
Smile
MagicBrent
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I agree. It appears that it's more advantageous to examine how to qualify your current close-up act to a bar venue than to subscribe to a set video series. While I like Doc Eason, I also bought Scotty York's stuff. It didn't seem helpful to me because it seemed more catered to having permanent props and a setting than a strolling magician in a bar. setting. Smile
asmayly
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Thanks all for your replies.
(Peter, I did not know you had a video on bar magic-sorry about that).

For those performing bar magic, it would seem to me that "card magic" would be good, but that it may seem be too much of the same thing and too much like I'm a card-magician, and unfortunately, I'm not.

I've been thinking about other things like ring on/off string ala Tabary, Sankey's sliding knot on string (to appear on another string in spec's hand), or maybe Sankey's Holey Moley, and maybe spoon/fork bending, pen thru bill, pk time, or a mental epic using pieces of paper?

Are the "mental tricks" too "cerebral" for a bar scene? Should bar magic be more visual and if so, what? Is Harlan "Squarcircle" too much like "children magic"? For a card-packet trick I was thinking NFW would be visual and good. How about "card warp"? How about a matrix trick with napkins and rolled-up sugar packet wrappers?

Or how about gag-like tricks like cigarette disappearing and then behind ear, or the "spooky napkin" bit with the invisible thread from someone's tie.

Of course depending on presentation, are these kind of tricks mentioned above "strong" enough for paying customers at a bar (also there may be children as this is to be a "family bar"--??? I guess the family that drinks together, stays together).

-Thanks again,
Asmayly
Peter Marucci
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Asmayly,
I don't have a video on bar magic.
It was a lecture I gave to magic clubs and magic conventions, titled Bar Magic.
The notes are still available, but in booklet form.
My current lecture is Real-Life Table Hopping, based on 15 years of bar and restaurant performing.
Smile
Andy Charlton
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I would second the second answer(?!.) Doc Eason's videos are great. With the "show section, the explanations (along with Michael Ammar,) and in between, a section on the important bits of Bar magic, eg, "Get the Money, Keeping eberyone happy, Make it fun etc etc.

I notice you're in Colarado, anywhere near Snowmass? Maybe you could get along to see the guy in person.

Obviously though there is no substitute for experience, but these videos will get you started.

Cheers

Andy
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Joshua Lozoff
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I haven't seen Doc Eason's video yet, but the restaurant owner where I work hired me because he used to live in Snowmass and loved the magic there so much. So I owe Mr. Eason my job.
Joshua Lozoff

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ThoughtThief
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Asmayly, the kinds of "tricks" used by successful bar magicians are as varied as the perfomers themselves and, frankly, are relatively unimportant. What all of them have, or have acquired is a personality and presentation that keeps the patrons entertained and drinking. You want them coming back to see YOU, not your tricks. Read The Magic of Matt Schulien to get a sense of the largeness of Matt's personality and the great fun he had, night after night, year after year. Often he would just chat with repeat customers without doing any magic at all, or would do one or two things for the friends of the customers who had been brought in to meet him. If you can cultivate this kind of RELATIONSHIP with the bar's clientele, you can become a fixture. Yes, do excellent magic, but don't forget that YOU are the attraction.
phonic69
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I recomend Scotty Yorks material, he has some really nice effects on his videos.

Smile
johnr733
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I agree with phonic. I think Scotty sets the standard regarding bar magic. Marvelous performer!
TheAmbitiousCard
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Check out Simon Lovell's "Man of Danger" videos. They're all done at a bar.
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Bravo
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Asmayly,

Card magic is great behind the bar, I always have a close-up pad and about half a dozen decks on hand.

As far as choosing effects goes it's really about reading your audience. I get an excellent reaction from "Card Warp" at the bar, but if a person's had one too many it can be hard for them to follow. The same goes for "twins" which I pull out as things get slower (b/c it's rather long).

If cards aren't your thing I also use Scotch & Soda, and Copper/Silver/Brass with success. Misled is excellent for the bar as well... people bring their friends back to see that one.

Oh -- Even if you're not a card guy "Aces in Their Faces" KILLS at the bar. It's the only "Trick Deck" effect I do, but it's very strong. It's one of the reasons I keep so many decks on hand. I tell guests that I rotate decks to keep them from wearing out quickly, and just rotate the gaffed deck in and out as needed.

Anyway, if you'd like to PM me I can give you the complete list of what I am currently using behind the bar, but the ones I've listed work well and are the most requested right now.

Hope This Helps,
Andrew
JasonDean
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Get the Eddie Fechter book,it should be in your library anyways.---Jason Dean---
Jim Davis
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What is....? Utah
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As above.. I must say that Doc Eason is a great source of info.. (as is Scotty York) he does do card tricks, but he expands beyond them with copper silver brass, all screwed up and many other routines geared at bar patrons..

If I may suggest, examine your patrons well, some bars are nothing more that the truck drivin'-beer drinkin'-karoke singin'-tattoo warin'-good ole boys club.. (No offence intended to anyone) where anything goes.. (I started sniffing a rubber band up my nose at one bar and the next thing I know I'm being paid to vanish everything you can imagine..) But at a fine dinner club you may want to offer a refined magic..

The rule is simple offer your audiance what they want and perform to their tastes, not yours. Other than that you can apply any magic source, close-up, parlor, stage.. and adapt it to fit you audiances needs.

Get Doc's videos just for the advice.. It worth it's weight in gold!
Diamond Jim Davis "The Cardslinger" ~~~ Magic from the '80's....................the 1880's!
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