The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » How do you start in restaurant table hopping magic? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

ClodAppleleft
View Profile
Regular user
Manchester, NH
195 Posts

Profile of ClodAppleleft
My main focus of magic is Ren-faire's doing street work and a stage show. The thing is, at one faire I work, there is a group of us that go to the same restaurant every Saturday night, in full costume, during the run of the faire. As a token of my appreciation to the service the restaurant provides for us, I walk around and table hop for the other patrons while I'm waiting for my food and I hand out passes to the faire. I had a lot of fun doing it this year and I'm thinking about doing it on the side. There are a lot of restaurants in my area that I could potentially do this at, but I'm not sure how to begin, or how much money I should ask for.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
There are many different ways to cut an apple.
Peter Marucci
View Profile
Inner circle
5389 Posts

Profile of Peter Marucci
ClodAppleleft,
You certainly seem to have a ready-made market and built-in promotion!
But before you even consider doing table work, make sure you have a product to sell.
In other words, have an act -- a viable, effective, and entertaining act for table work; and a table act is far different from anything else that you might do.
For example, you could be interrupted at any time by a new guest's arrival, the fact that the food comes early, or any one of a dozen other reasons; you have to be prepared to stop and wrap up your act in LESS THAN 5 SECONDS! And do it while your audience's attention is mainly directed elsewhere.

As for beginning, go where you are known and apply there first.

What to charge depends a great deal on the location, the type of restaurant, and the type of clientele. Without knowing that, it's hard to set any standard.

Good luck, though.
Sneakers
View Profile
Regular user
Melbourne, Australia
106 Posts

Profile of Sneakers
As usual, Peter is absolutely correct.

Perhaps as a starting point, you might want to consider a small investment in a book that will answer most (if not all!) of your questions about restaurant work. If you can, pick up a copy of "The Restaurant Worker's Handbook - A Practical Guide to Restaurant Magic" by Jim Pace and Jerry MacGregor. It is an exceptional book on the very subject you seek.

Best of luck!
BenSchwartz
View Profile
Elite user
Southern California
499 Posts

Profile of BenSchwartz
An easy way to start at a resturaunt (this is what I do)... is cold call... or just walk up... I ask for the owner or manager... say I love the resturaunt and I wanna perform... I tell them how I can bring in business.. entertain people if there is a hold-up for food and also bring people in a better mood. This usually gives almost no chance for the person to say no. I have talked to over 15 resturaunts and 2 have said no to me... Maybe I got lucky... but hey I got gigs...
"The experience of astonishment is the experience of a clear, primal state of mind that they associate with a child's state of mind." ---- Paul Harris
Dynamike
View Profile
Eternal Order
FullTimer
24107 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
I give a call at first also. I offer them a promo for two hours.

The day of the promo I pass out small notes to the spectators. They read, "How did you like the magician?," "Would you like to see him here again?" I tell them to drop the notes off at the cash register when they leave. It helps me get appovals because of all the good remarks the people write about me. The main reason is because of how I performed.

Step #2 is staying there after the approval. Be nice to the workers. And stay out their way.

You can learn alot from a good book called, "The Restaurant Workers Handbook" by Jim Pace.

A good casette tape is called, "Restaurant Magic Business," by Charles Greene III.

In Michigan the average is $50 hourly.
m@t
View Profile
Loyal user
London, UK www.MatthewLaskey.com
250 Posts

Profile of m@t
I strolled in during the afternoon on a tuesday when most places are empty and asked to show the mananger something then I showed him a trick or two and gave him back the contents of his jacket pocket. Then he gave me the gig!

Just don't give up and see lot's of places. Take your best things and show them some stuff!
Paul
View Profile
Inner circle
A good lecturer at your service!
4397 Posts

Profile of Paul
Quote:
On 2002-12-29 01:53, BenSchwartz wrote:
An easy way to start at a resturaunt (this is what I do)... is cold call... or just walk up... i ask for the owner or manager... say I love the resturaunt and I wanna perform... i tell them how I can bring in business.. entertain people is there is a hold-up for food and also bring people in a better mood. This usually gives almost no chance for the person to say no. I have talked to over 15 resturaunts and 2 have said no to me... Maybe I got lucky... but hey I got gigs...


Do you now have 13 residencies? Smile
Paul.
tink
View Profile
New user
11 Posts

Profile of tink
I have a quick question. I am in the marines and currently in ft. leonard wood missouri and there isn't much to do here go to dance clubs and gentlemans clubs. my question is would it be just as easy to be able to do table hopping there as it would be at a restaurant?

thanx
tink Smile
"What the eyes sees and the ears hear, is what the mind believes."
BenSchwartz
View Profile
Elite user
Southern California
499 Posts

Profile of BenSchwartz
Ummm noo... it means that over the past 4 years I have had 13 resturaunts that I have done... by the way I have never been fired from a restaurant
"The experience of astonishment is the experience of a clear, primal state of mind that they associate with a child's state of mind." ---- Paul Harris
Paul
View Profile
Inner circle
A good lecturer at your service!
4397 Posts

Profile of Paul
Quote:
On 2002-12-30 02:03, BenSchwartz wrote:
Ummm noo... it means that over the past 4 years I have had 13 resturaunts that I have done... by the way i have never been fired from a resturaunt


I was only kidding Ben. Never assumed you'd been fired for a second.

Tink, sounds like a good idea to approach these places, it woulds only be like doing close up at receptions or banquets. If you already have a reasonable close up repertoire it should be no problem. And one bonus is that you wouldn't get any kids, lol.

Paul.
ixnay66
View Profile
Inner circle
Denver
1504 Posts

Profile of ixnay66
Nice Ben! When I was living in the Bay area I managed to get an appointment with the manager of a restaurant for a gig. The day? September 11th. I called and cancelled to say the least.

Ben, one question. You said you got 13 or 15 cold calls. What are you charging?
Kozmo
View Profile
V.I.P.
5412 Posts

Profile of Kozmo
well...i dont always agree with peter .....

hes right ...but...if you think you have an act...and you take it out to that restaurant and everything fails...the lines dont work...then what......heres my view...have some magic that you can do...and you have done it so many times that it never fails...you have done it so many times that you really dont have to think about any moves....

then go out there....and test that act....get a gig...if your magic is strong you will get work.....and the show will come along...too many magicians...sit around in the house...thinking about what to say....and they never get the courage to go out and try it...and the courage to fail...go out and do it....have fun...make friends with your audience and kick butt with strong magic and you will be fine...and work on that set....to be good at anything you must practice...must...right?....so how do you become a good performer with out practice?....good luck

koz
Mickey Cohen
View Profile
New user
51 Posts

Profile of Mickey Cohen
Read the Manual of Restaurant Magic and Standing Up Surrounded by Kirk Charles...even more importantly contact Kirk or Eugene Burger or any other magician that makes a good living doing Restaurant magic and ask him to mentor you . Pay him to mentor you. It's a wise investment.You will avoid alot of mistakes.When I decided to go into Restaurant magic back in 1994 the first thing I did was call up Eugene Burger and asked him if he would mentor me. He did. I still have all the tape recordings filled with his knowledge and wisdom in regards to restaurant work.I was doing magic since 1968 but now I wanted to make the leap and was scared.One of the first things Eugene told me was that he was also scared.He related to me one very embarrassing situation that occured to him in his early years when he just started working in a fern type bar restaurant in Chicago and how he told himself this situation would never happen again. I give Eugene Burger alot of credit . He had to be very brave to go out there and learn from his mistakes.I am still learning some very painful lessons albeit they would have been even more painful if I hadn't listened and learned from his words.Get a mentor. When the student is ready the teacher will appear.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » How do you start in restaurant table hopping magic? (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.13 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL