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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Table hoppers & party strollers Ľ Ľ Routining (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Eric Grossman
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St. Louis, MO
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Hey all of you Close-up workers. Iím interested in some of your theories. For example, when you perform, table, strolling, etc..., how many effects will you use for a given group, at a time?

What are your absolute workers? You know, the ones that you will definitely perform above all others. How do you routine them, and what is your thought process when building your routine sequences?

Iíll start:

I will usually do between five and ten minutes at a time. Maybe three or four effects.

I will pull out a deck with a couple of rubber bands around it, and use the bands for a four phase rubber band routine. CMH, Back Together, Soft Spot, Borrowed ring up band, and Ring off band.

Then Iíll pick up the deck and start with Red Hot Mama. Afterwards, Iíll give the changed card to the spec. Iíll do a Triumph, and then Iíll then go into my ID routine.

Interchangeably, Iíll use a TT silk vanish. Mine involves all the people at the table, and a Haunted key as a magic wand.

If seated, I love a good Matrix.

Itís impossible to do an entire repertoire, so we need to choose and routine carefully. That is my primary set. Iím anxious to here from you all.
family/magic/music/life
Davro
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I always open with two coins in the hand; one vanishes and I still have two left.

I offer to show how it's done, then go into a false explanation that leaves three coins in my hand.

The purpose of this is! Itís short & magical and doesnít need any input from the spectators! They just have to watch.

I try to judge from their reactions to this how much they are going to like what I do.

Sometimes I get a quiet table that likes something to think about, then I would use something like Card Warp with story, or if they are a rowdy bunch of guys, ambitious card always winds them up Smile

Regards, David
Best Wishes, David
<BR>
<BR>Mid way this way of life we're bound upon, I woke to find myself in a dark wood, where the right road was wholly lost and gone.
Paul
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If you are doing up to 10 minutes I'd say you are doing too long, unless you are doing a very quiet restaurant.



In strolling at reception work I just use cards. I open with a red black ace transposition of my own which is set up as the aces are being produced magically. For a younger group this may become a more speedier flashy ace production. Twisting the Aces follows (done extremely slowly as I request them not to take their eyes off the cards or my hands), plus another effect where the spectator apparently does the trick. That's it, the four aces go back on top of the deck, I am re-set. Obviously I can expand on that should I feel the need, which is why I think it important for close up workers to have a knowledge of good strong impromptu card magic.



At the table side I use different material. Matrix is out except maybe as a one off for repeat customers when the table has been cleared and they are on cafe. On another visit you could hit them with a reverse matrix, but such material is not part of the normal repertoire.



I had four different table routines, three effects each.



One of the routines started with Harris' original Flapjacks presentation. The opening line being, "You are obviously connoisseurs of fine food eating here, but did you know it was possible to cook a meal with a pack of cards? I'll show you."



This was followed by Dingle's "Too Many Cards" and the routine closed with "Rising Cards". The gaffed block for the card rise did not interfere with the first two effects. This was the only time I used the rising card deck. Now, I would never use it, it has been exposed far too much.



Paul.
brainman
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10 mins is too long for me! 2-3 short effects and 3 different programs and I feel happy
;)
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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In table-hopping at my restaurant gigs, I perform between the time the order is made and when the food arrives. This time varies. Sometimes it's 3 minutes. Sometimes, the manager lets me know there is a problem with the order at a specific table and I do 20 minutes. They are too busy laughing and having fun to notice that their food took longer to arrive. The only hard and fast rule that I would recommend as far as length of performance is that you stop as soon as the food arrives. That's why almost all of my routines are in phases--I can quit at any time.

As to what effects always kill for me, well, that really isn't going to matter much to you, unless our personalities and delivery are almost identical. What works for me may die for you, and vice versa. Find routines that you feel are strong and suit you, that you feel you have an entertaining presenatation for, and build upon those with more of the same!
"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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DaveVegas
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Leicester,England
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I've found brainwave into NFW into ring and string thing works really well for me... and I can finish anytime from 2 minutes to 15, but I have rarely done more than 7 minutes per table, unless a problem has arisen in the kitchen.
I agree wholeheartedly with Scott... works for me, maybe not you!
Dave
Mark the Balloon Guy
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I say never hold up the table or disrupt the flow of the meal.

some effects I do take 30 seconds or less. Doc Eason's Nuts & Bolts. My longest routine is 1:30 minutes. Twinkle ...twinkle (sponge routine) or Jack Spade (a Sam the Bell hop type routine)

Key to routining for restaurants is a modular style. There should be places you could stop during a routine and leave if you have to. Like when the food arrives. Other times to break a routine is lack of interest, sometimes you maybe breaking in at an inopertune time for the table, they may be discussing business or the couple is about to divorce <ouch>

You need to figure out what your goals are in performing. Are you there to just have fun? Are you there to showcase to prospective clients or filling time for the restaurant?

Also you should keep an eye on the waitline of the restaurant. Gauge your time based upon the best way you can be effiecient for the restaurant.
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark theBalloon Guy
"Bad to theBalloon"
Matt Graves
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Huntsville, Alabama (USA)
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From my one and only restaurant performance (and it was for some classmates in Wendy's), I remember doing "As Easy As Spelling Your Name" from the Amateur Magician's Handbook and "Three and Three" from Modern Coin Magic. Those were the two that for some reason or another really got a huge reaction - I even got a standing ovation when we got back on the bus! So you might want to try those out. . .
Mark Alan
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St. Augustine Fl.
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3-5 min. tops unless your covering for a problem. No more than 3 effects. I like copper/silver (no gimmicks). While they are examining the two coins I use this time to ditch the extra "you know" and bring out my hot rod, or Sponge 3d rabbits I always end with somthing mental. like brainwave or you blew it. and all are automatic reset.
Mark Smile
Peter Marucci
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Three to seven minutes and three effects (unless there is a specific reason to run longer, such as a hold-up in the kitchen).
Never open with a card trick.
In fact, personally, I never open with a trick at all; I talk to the customers and warm them up before I bring out anything.
The table is their space so everything should be done off the table; don't invade their space; never move stuff on the table; and NEVER move their personal property on the table.
Have three sets of three tricks with three backup effects.
Everyone is concerned about how to approach a table but very few devote any thought to the equally important issue of how to LEAVE a table.
And spend as much time routining your short table performances as you would a stage show; it's just as important.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
MxJoKeR
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Nowhere, Oklahoma
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I am a highschooler so what I do is more
"party stolling" then restruant. I go to many auditions/competitions in band and drama ect. and to kill time I hop from table to table.

The haunted key is a good trick for me. It built a reputation for me. I don't use card tricks unless (like most field trips or class tricks) some kids have a deck with them. people think of cards as kinda cliche. I use small props like coins, hot rod, poker chips, and bouncy balls. They seem to think that those are more "real" Smile
Do or Do-Not, There is no try--Yoda
Matt Graves
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Huntsville, Alabama (USA)
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I have a question - do you actually get paid good money to perform 3-trick routines in restaurants?? That sounds sort of brief - but I guess you do it for several people over and over and it's not such an easy task . .. Smile
Tony Chapparo
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Albuquerque, NM
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Hi Serling,

This is something I read or someone told me "always leave 'em wanting more"

I find this to be absolutely true in magic!
Tony Chapparo
Peter Marucci
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Serling asks: "do you actually get paid good money to perform 3-trick routines in restaurants??"

Oh, yes!
First of all, you don't just do three tricks all night; you may do three at one table and then a different three and a different three, for a total of nine, before you start repeating yourself.

This brings you far enough away from the first table that there is no fear of anyone watching the same trick twice.
More importantly, the restaurant has hired you and let's not forget what business the restaurant is in. Not food, really, but space.

To make a buck they have to turn those tables. If you do a long routine at every table (say, six tricks or 20 minutes), not only will you not get to all the tables, but you will slow down the rate at which those tables are turned over.

Remember, you most likely are not the primary reason the customer is there: You are second, third, or even tenth to things like ambience, food, drink, etc.
So cut your cloth accordingly.
Or, to put it in a more contemporary fashion, go with the flow.

cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
cataquet
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I always open with C&R rope. There are three phases, but I can stop at the end of any of them. If I have to work quickly, then I will open with Equal-Unequal ropes instead.

Once established, I move on to sponge balls. Again the routine has three phases, and I can stop at the end of any of them. If I have a bit more room on the table, then I will do a dice routine. If the table is too big, then I will do color changing silks.

To finish, I use a one cup routine of some sort (most often, a ball vase with a jumbo finish). If I have no table space, I'll finish with a goldfish production.

Bye for now

Harold
Harold Cataquet
Kaliix
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Connecticut
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I usually do two or three effects for any given table, usually running between 4-7 minutes (though special tables or repeat customers can go longer). I have a couple
"sets" of tricks I can do, but I don't always do them in that order. Sometimes you just get a feeling for a table and can see where another trick might play better. Sometimes that changes from the time I introduce myself to the first effect. Someone, after I introduced myself, told me they just came from the casino, so I changed gears and went into a gambling routine.

My absolute workers are Crazy Man's Handcuffs, Color Monte, Sponge Balls and Jiggernaut.
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
Alan Wheeler
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Does anybody use rules for designing the short 2-3 effect routines that I have seen used for longer shows, for example,

1. Start with something fast and visual
2. Follow with a very strong effect
3. Save the very best for last

Smile

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Darrin Cook
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In reading through this thread I was going to suggest that you know which effects you will end with. Some effects end so strongly that anything following would be anticlimactic. It's also good to end with a routine that features some sort of object with your name on it. If the spectator chooses to keep it (and I always give her a choice) she is left with a souvenir that also serves as subtle advertisement.
blurr
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Quote:
On 2002-05-12 15:49, cataquet wrote:
I always open with C&R rope. There are three phases, but I can stop at the end of any of them. If I have to work quickly, then I will open with Equal-Unequal ropes instead.

Once established, I move on to sponge balls. Again the routine has three phases, and I can stop at the end of any of them. If I have a bit more room on the table, then I will do a dice routine. If the table is too big, then I will do color changing silks.

To finish, I use a one cup routine of some sort (most often, a ball vase with a jumbo finish). If I have no table space, I'll finish with a goldfish production.

Bye for now

Harold

C&R ropes? Goldfish? What about all the little pieces of rope you cut? Who picks them up? And where do you put the godfish after you produce it? this is an interesting take on rest. magic.

Blurr
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cataquet
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OK, here's where everything goes:
- C&R rope. The knots either fall on the floor directly below me, or I shoot them over the table to the other side of where I'm standing. If the lighting is good, I do the former. If the lighting is bad, I do the later. Why? Well if the lighting is bad, then when the knots jump off the rope, the knots will appear to disappear. No restaraunt I have worked for has ever minded. In fact, the knots served as evidence that I've been at the table.
- The goldfish production is a very strong finisher. I have various versions of it. In some cases, I produce the glass to start the routine. In other cases, I use a glass at the table. I produce the goldfish using Arthur Tivoli's "Balloonafish", so this effect doesn't have to be an opener. I then leave the goldfish at the table, and the waiters will generally pick up after me. Most of the time, the gold fish are actually little plastic toys that float and move like live goldfish in the glass. They make nice table decorations, and a lot of the time, the clients keep them as souveneirs. If the venue allows it, then I can produce up to six live goldfish (ie, six tables) without re-loading. The waiters will pick up the glass with the fish in them and dump the fish into a bowl located in a prep area... I know some people don't like having to re-load, but this is a very strong effect.

Bye for now

Harold
Harold Cataquet
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