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Loyal user
Montreal, Canada
255 Posts

Profile of aby9plp
I was thinking of starting in a restaurant, but just realised that what I had could not make even one complete hour of magic. I mean my tricks are like: "I put the four kings in the middle of the deck at random places and SNAP they come back on top!". And I'm supposed to make a full hour show with tricks like that? Or even coin or card tricks that last 3 or 4 minutes, how am I supposed to fill an hour with that? Do I do the same tricks in the restaurant at each table?
Or lets say a guy that works like at 4 or 5 bar/restaurants a week, and wants to work there every week for years and years... how much magic does he need? Does he do like the same tricks over and over again at all the restaurants?.
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Eternal Order
24107 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
Learn some gaffed/ungaffed coins tricks. Buy pocket props. Make sure you buy kids tricks also. If the restaurant is big and busy enough to have at least 5 tables always being occupied by diners it can work. If not, try a different restaurant. Spend 3 - 5 minutes at each table. My minimun amout of time in a restaurant is 2 hours.
Peter Marucci
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Inner circle
5389 Posts

Profile of Peter Marucci
Aby9plp asks: "how am I supposed to fill an hour with that? "

You aren't.

You don't need an hour-long show to work restaurant tables.

A basic rule is three tricks per table and three sets of three tricks, for a total of nine tricks. Allow about three to five minutes per table. That's nowhere near an hour of material.

You'll do set A at one table, set B at the next and set C at the third table. At the fourth table, you'll start with set A again, and so on.
That's why there is so much importance put on instant or automatic reset, and on the portability of tricks (no room here for tables, boxes, cases, or -- usually -- even a close-up mat!).

However, if you are working the same restaurant on a regular basis, night after night or week after week, for a long time, you will gobble up material at an alarming rate.

If you have one way to find a card and a thousand ways to reveal it, to the audience, you have a thousand tricks.
If you have a thousand ways to find a card and just one way to reveal it, to the audience, you have just one trick.
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Inner circle
Pittsburgh, Pa
2972 Posts

Profile of davidpaul$
Mr Marucci is right on. I work the same restaurant weekly and have about 9 different effects. You should get repeat customers if you are doing your job so you obviuosly have to do some new things for them.
For the most part you can and should repeat your effects. This gives you the opportunity to really hone your skills ( which you should do before seeking work) and the know how to use the effects differently depending on your audience.

One of my sets incudes a sponge ball routine involving everyone at the table, a signed card effect that the patrons can keep. Birthday, anniversary, or special occasion related. Also using a man's finger ring for a ring & lace routine. Effects that involve your audience, and something they can keep (signed card) for ex. and a friendly smile with a hope to see them again will go a long way.
David Paul
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
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Special user
Hong Kong SAR
585 Posts

Profile of cardfreakhk
If I have a deck of card in my pocket, I can perform for some days with different routines. Smile

Michael Lam
Don't just dream, stay awake and action!
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Elite user
405 Posts

Profile of Allan
while it is a good idea to have an hours worth of material on you (it doesn't have to take up that much room). As previously said you only need to perform 10 minutes or less at tables. I don't think you want to add new tricks to quickly to your inventory. Give each new effect a lot of practice time both at home & on the job. A new effect does not become a worker & a keeper overnight. It takes time to hone both smoothness & entertainment value. When you get an effect to a very high level, you will find that guests bring in their friends & want their favorite tricks done again. Never dissapoint them. Add the new tricks in at the same time as the requested effects, & watch the magic happen. Keep them rolling in, & you will be there for years & years. Unless the management changes, then you have to prove yourself all over again.
Mickey Cohen
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New user
51 Posts

Profile of Mickey Cohen
Like Al Goshman said "you don't do alot of new tricks for the same old audience. You do the same old tricks for new audiences".
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Special user
513 Posts

Profile of Cabrera
If you listen to the same song over and over, it gets very tiresome. As a magician performing for the same audience, you need different material. Even a couple of bar gags or bets can be fun and break up the monotony. Or teaching a simple little trick or gag. Hint: I could have a thousand different ways to to reveal a card or a thousand differnt ways to eat ice cream, but I'm still eating ice cream.
"The quilt of life is woven with many different threads"
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New user
Now Seattle. Before? Who knows.
68 Posts

Profile of Vaclav
You do not have to have an hour of material for you are not going to stay at each table for more then couple of minutes. But if you are going to be at the same restaurant for longer time,you should start including new effects for repeated costumers.
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