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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » How many effects do you use? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Deuce
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Okaloma
18 Posts

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Hello,

I am just wondering, how many effects do ya'll use when table hopping at a restaurant?

Thanks,
Deuce
BarryRice
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Indianapolis, IN
88 Posts

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I read an article by Scott Guinn at http://www.online-visions.com covering restaurant magic. I am not sure if it is still on that site, but I do remember one thing in particular about the number of effects that he has.

He has, I believe, four sets of three to five tricks. One set is specificly for kids, of the other three, one is for a group's first visit, another is for the second and the third is for the third.

I was kind of curious about what to show regulars and it occured to me that they are probably perfect in trying out new material.

Setting up these sets keeps you from fumbling during transitions and gives you confidence since you know exactly what you are going to do.

So in summary, 12-20.

By the way, I highly recommend reading Scott's articles at http://www.online-visions.com. The articles offer sound, real-world advice. He has a new book that I am considering getting as soon as I can get my hands on $25 (I hope it is still in print by the time I can get that much extra money:) )
"The magic of the tongue is the most dangerous of all spells."
-Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton

http://www.amazingbarry.com
Peter Marucci
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In my current lecture, Real-Life Table Hopping, I suggest three sets of three tricks each (I open with a comedy bit, so you might consider that four tricks each).
And each trick should -- MUST -- be short, uncomplicated, and reset automatically or, at worst, immediately.
I've been doing this for about 15 years and, believe me, it works on all levels.
I carry everything with me in my pockets -- no close-up mats, no bags to haul around, no tables of any kind.
If you need a case to carry your material in, then you've got too much material! Edit it down!
Deuce
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Okaloma
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Barry & Peter,

Thank you for the info. I am now working on making a routine, well, a few routines. What do you think is best in a routine, cards & coins in the same routine, or, one all cards, and one all coins? I kind of plan on using a little of both, in the same routine, but I am not sure how to make it flow.

Also, I have on the way now, some sponge balls. I assume they are good for restaurants? Also, is the video advertised on the magic Café forums (Technicolor Sponge Balls) good? I am thinking about getting it.

Thanks,
Deuce
Peter Marucci
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Deuce,
Personally, I wouldn't do one entire act of anything!

If the table, or even one person at the table, has no interest in, say, cards and you do an entire act of cards, you have totally lost that person (or whole table).
Mix it up and, as you say, used a little of everything; don't worry about the routine at that stage -- figure out what you are doing and then work a routine around it.

As for sponge balls, they are probably the perfect table-hopping prop; they are non-threatening, intriguing, and lend themselves to light humor.

One point: Don't use balls; they tend to roll off tables and it's pretty silly and undignified to see the magician crawling around on the floor looking for a little, rubber ball.

I use sponge rabbits; they are cute, they lend themselves to a story, and they don't normally roll off the table.

Another point: Make sure your sponges are clean! They can get dirty very quickly in heavy table use. To clean, use cold water and a cold-water detergent, like Woolite. Soak the sponges for a few seconds, soap and scrub, rinse out (squeeze hard!), and leave to dry.

Not only will be the sponges be cleaner, but they will also be bigger. (Thanks to Jay Scott Berry for that tip; he told me at a convention we were working together.)
Smile
Deuce
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Okaloma
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Peter,

Thank you for the advice, I really appreciate it.

Thanks,
Deuce
MichaelSibbernsen
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Omaha, NE
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Quote:
On 2002-11-14 23:04, Deuce wrote:
Also, is the video advertised on the magic Café forums (Technicolor Sponge Balls) good? I am thinking about getting it.

Deuce,

Here are a couple reviews on Technicolor Sponge Balls you may want to take a look at...

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=71

http://allmagicreviews.com/allmagicreview03.html


As far as your other questions. I think the 3 sets of 3 effects is an excellent general rule. Many people starting out carry far too much material. Also, if you worry about "repeat customers", you will be worrying to much. Cycle your sets occasionally, but don't get obsessive about it.

Try to develop as much material as possible that is "in the hands". This ability will serve you far more than you can know.

An interesting piece of advice I once heard; "Develop your sets without any card tricks... after all you can always add one." This somewhat blasphemous statement to some, is certainly not to be taken literally, but has an underlining truth. Card effects are and can be wonderful, but as "different" as you believe them to be, when someone asks an audience member "what did the magician do?", the answer will be "card tricks." Long story short, mix it up.

Carry at least one, maybe two, "pack small play big" pocket items that can work to a larger crowd. Many times you will be performing at a table, look up, and find half the restaurant watching. At this point you wrap up your close-up piece, and play to the crowd.

As far as sponge balls. Yes they can roll, but with proper management, they can be used. I certainly do not recommend a 15 ball explosion climax. Any more than 3 balls, and they *will* get away. Other sponge shapes to consider are rabbits (wonderful), stars, card pips, etc.

Last but not least, I add this special information about "Super Soft Sponge", taken directly from my Technicolor Sponge Balls instructions. I hope readers find it useful...

A note about Super Soft Sponge, its preparation, and maintenance.

"Super Soft Sponge" has its pluses and minuses. Pluses are its "feel" and compressibility, while a minus is its (former) tendency to become deformed over a short time in the pocket. A new type of Super Soft Sponge is now being manufactured by Goshman that has an added resiliency to guard against the later, so you should not have a problem during an evening's performance. A great deal of time stored in a confined area however, like the original packaging or a close-up case, may still cause deformation. A simple solution is to soak the balls in water, squeeze out the excess, and allowing to air dry. The balls will regain their original shape.

As you may also know, Super Soft Sponge has the unique ability to expand its dimensions after being soaked in water and squeezed dry. Many magicians like to do this before a performance to enhance the effect. The problem with this idea however, is that without allowing the sponge to air dry over a good period of time, the ball is still wet. Because of moisture on the hands, the magician may be completely convinced that the sponge balls are dry, but to an outside spectator, they will have an unpleasant "clammy" feel. For routines where the spectator will handle the sponge balls, I recommend the "soak and dry" for two things only; to regain shape after being compressed, and to rid the ball of excess coloring agent.

Before using Super Soft Sponge Balls, it is recommended to remove excess dye by gently washing (soak and squeeze) each ball individually under cold water and with a mild liquid hand soap. Once done, squeeze out the excess water and allow to air dry. When storing over time, do not allow different colored sponge balls to come in contact with each other as small amounts of color may transfer.


Best in Magic,

Michael Sibbernsen
Deuce
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Okaloma
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Michael,

Thank you for the info.

Most of my effects can be done in the hands, there are a few, that I need a table for, but I don't use those very often.

Also, are the Invisible Deck & Hopping Halfs fast enough on the reset to use in restaurants? The Invisible Deck is one of my favorite effects to perform, and it seems to me it would work great! What do ya'll think?

Thanks,
Deuce
flourish dude
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from ? But I know where I am going!
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Here is what I did.

When I first started out I placed on paper all the routines I liked or thought would go over good. After this I broke them down into groups of three effects per set.

I tried to mix and match as best I could (i.e.) one coin, one card, one other than. In my mind I thought what would flow together having an opening middle and closing effect. I then broke this down into groups of short sets long sets kids set etc.

After a LOT of editing I ended up with about 6 sets. NOW keep in mind some of these sets contain the same effects. I tried to make them flow using good simple effective routines.These make up my CORE or PET routines.

Now the real world.
I still use my outline from above but when I went to work the shows I found out several things:

1. My routines are too long!
I was having trouble getting to all the tables how wanted to see me

2. Some of my routines where not working!
This is known as audience testing.
Some worked better than others.

Now what?
I still have my basic list of effects I think you should do the same this gets you thinking and planning out your routine grouping.

After you get started you can modify the list to fit your needs. I work a VERY FAST high pace restaurant if you work a slower one then you may have more time. The list helps so you are not winging it all the time it is a foundation.

Ask for help after you put your ideas down ask people if you can e-mail it to them and get advice for grouping and flow. Your list will always be changing dropping out weaker effects with stronger ones you learn.

I currently do two effects and then balloons for the kids. If I go to a table of older people (and yes they sometimes like balloons too) then I will do the 3 effects. If they already have their food I will just do balloons. Hope this helps in getting you started in the right direction.

Please preplan your performance and practice your patter as much as the moves in restaurants the interaction is more important than the tricks. This will make you a great entertainer!
Nothing of the same will bring any change, take action today!
Just taking a step, is a step in the right direction because when you stop working, your dream dies.
www.magicalmemories.us
Jim Davis
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I have been using the Hopping Halfs for three years now in the same restaurant. I find they almost self-reset. It's pretty easy to reset them in your pocket if you have a good set.

I do two routines with them, one is very comical and the other is very serious. They are versatile in that I can do two different routines with the same set of coins with two different endings that I am comfortable with.

I personally hate borrowing things from patrons, in fact once I asked to borrow a dollar bill and was refused! The previous magician they had seen had borrowed a bill and not returned it! (Shame on you, who ever you are!)

That's another reason why I like the Hopping Halfs, they start in my pocket and return to my pocket. I don't work for tips, so I don't give any away either.

To answer your first question, I always have four routines on me. One for young kids, one for adolescents, one for adults, and one all-around. I like Peter carry no mat, no table or anything else other than what fits in my pocket.

I am lucky in that the situation with the restaurant is very unique, I have my own room. I place a parlor table in there, and can entertain if there is a long wait to be seated if needed. It also allows me to store a few special occasion trick that I would not normally carry with me.
Diamond Jim Davis "The Cardslinger" ~~~ Magic from the '80's....................the 1880's!
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Kaliix
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Connecticut
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I carry the following during my walk-around table hopping:

One deck of cards, set up for a Red Hot Mamma opening. (Inner right jacket pocket)

A deck set up for Torched and Restored. (Front left pants pocket)

Occasionally an invisible deck in the extra pocket in my dockers mobile pants.

TT and hot rod in my right pants pocket.

Sponge balls in my right coat pocket.

Jiggernaut in my left coat pocket

Color Monte and Capitulating cards in a packet trick wallet in the business card pocket of my jacket.

Four containers of dental floss set up for Gypsy Floss in my inner left jacket pocket. This pocket also contains my sharpie and Wonder Pen-a-tration.

Short Hop coins and Scotch and Soda in the coin pockets of my right jacket pocket.

Rubber bands on my wrist.

A silk in the breast pocket.

I admit that I probably carry more than most, but I'd rather be prepared and not have to use the tricks then need them and not have them. I have a few standard sets, but I tend to mix and match just as much, depending on the spectators.

I like using short hop vs hopping halfs as the coins are examinable and it resets instantly.

I have used round two inch super soft sponge balls since I started table hopping. I think they have hit the floor twice and that was early on when I wasn't as adept at audience management. The advice given on caring for them is pretty much dead on. I wash my sponge balls before every gig so they are clean and puffed up.
I haven't had a problem with them deforming in my pocket.
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
ArchMiro
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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I have developed (over the course of the last few weeks and months) about 18 tricks, only nine of which that I use on a given night.

The other nine are for my "regulars" that I see the next week. But with different variations, different things can be done.

Overall though, I generally only do one or two card tricks, the rest use money, string and rubberbands. And soon, I'm adding an OB to my routine.
Deuce
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Okaloma
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Hello,

I would like to thank everyone who has taken time to post, and help me out. I really appreciate it.

Thanks,
Deuce
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