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Chris Becker
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Veteran user
New York, NY
371 Posts

Profile of Chris Becker
Tata! I recently negotiated with the GM of some hotel in our (holiday) village. We agreed I'll do table hopping (problem) in the hotel's restaurant during the summer season.

My questions now are quite specific:

1, I guess while doing real table-hopping in a restaurant (not a set-up scene where there aren't any people behind you) guests at other tables could perhaps see your dirty work. Is this a problem when hopping tables, i.e. should I leave out a final load in the C&B's routine, for example?

2, Some fellows at my local club usually work in this way: Having finished one table they know exactly which one comes next for each of us would work every table. But if I'm the only magician at the restaurant should I move right on to the next table (provided they're still waiting for the food to arrive) or should I purposedly select a table at the other end of the room?

Thanks a lot in advance,

- - -
<BR>Cards don't cheat people. People cheat people.
Peter Marucci
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Inner circle
5389 Posts

Profile of Peter Marucci
First of all, congratulations!
Now, to try to give you some usable information, in reverse order.
Your second question is the easier one.
The ideal time to hit a table is between when the food has been ordered and when it arrives.
So the decision as to which table to hit next, after finishing at one table, has pretty well been made for you; whichever table has ordered earliest is your next target.
Depending on the number of tables and how they are being served, this means that you may be hopping all over the room (that's okay, just do it discreetly) and it also means that you may have to keep an eye on the rest of the room, while you're working one table, to see which table is next.
That is something that will come with practice, though.
As to angles, that's a bit more complicated.
You mention Cups and Balls; it's not something I would use for table hopping (but others may disagree and many do, in fact, use it successfully).
My objection is that it requires taking space on the diner's table, and that's something I try not to do -- i.e., invade their space.
Again, whether you will have problems with angles depends on the room; you may be able to work in such a way that your angles are covered; or you may have to rethink parts of your routines.
Again, it's one of those things that is different for every performer and every room.
You may, indeed, have others watching you from nearby tables and that is certainly something you have to take into consideration.
Hope this has been of some help; you'll probably get lots more here.
Peter Marucci
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san francisco
152 Posts

Profile of btaxin
Peter's advice is right on the money. As he points out, in most restaurants, the orders are taken in a somewhat random fashion. One party finishes and another is seated, so that you could easily be playing to a table that just ordered their meals, right next to a table that is enjoying their desserts. You've got to scope the scene and assess whether or not you'll have time to do your routine before the waiter/waitressperson arrives with the next course.

I try for quick routines, or multiphase routines which can end at any of the phases. Also, sometimes you can be playing a large room where you don't have time to "hit" all the tables. In this case, you need a system to make sure you have maximum visibility. If I imagine the room as a rectangle, I make sure to hit the corners, tables between the corners, every other one on the diagonals, etc. Of course, if a table I was planning to "miss" calls me over, I'll perform for them, too.

If there's time, after I make the first rounds, I'll return to the tables I missed. I prefer effects that can be done in my hands, without using any table space. Next favorites are those that need very little table space, maybe just enough to lay down a card or two. I also want things that easily fit in my pocket, and instantly or quickly reset. If angles are a problem, I hold my hands close to my body, screening out visibility from the back. I think cups and balls is a great effect, but I never do it table hopping. You'll quickly find out what works best for you. Good luck!

Bob Taxin
Andy Charlton
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Palma Nova Mallorca Spain
311 Posts

Profile of Andy Charlton

good luck with your gig.

my thoughts............

Tables, as said above, the order of magicing, is usually defined by the order of ordering, so to speak. I would add that, time allowing, you should hit every table in the best most efficient order for you, don't just pick the "soft Targets" ie.. kids etc.

For instance, if you avoided the table with the guy with the piercings and tattoos, the 6'2" 270 pound, short haired guy, and the wierd looking, shaven headed bloke, You'd be missing me and two mates from my local magic club, who would probably be your most appreciative table of the night. (BTW, I'm the big guy, The other two know who they are!)

Personally I've never had a problen with angles from other tables. 90% of the time they only look across as they hear your tables reaction, and by then it's too late!

Good luck with it.

Andy Smile
"Keep that smile on your face, that excitement in your eyes." - Don Driver

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171 Posts

Profile of Gawin
I have to agree Andy - never had any problems with angles from other tables!

But you should think about one thing - don´t miss a table - this can be a problem, or can it??
If I´m wrong please tell me the right think! Smile
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A good lecturer at your service!
4394 Posts

Profile of Paul
Everyone works table magic slightly different, when I worked my residency years ago, I entertained people AFTER the meal when they were having coffee. The table has been cleared, everyone is more relaxed and receptive, and you will not be interrupted half way through a trick!!

If the restaurant was busy, sure I would do some tables BEFORE, if there was going to be a wait, and the tables AFTER the meal may not get as long because that table would be wanted, but most people were entertained after the meal and that was sold to the restaurant as the best way to do it, though suggested the other way IF they were extremely busy..

Forget cups and balls! I know someone that does do it at the table, but also heard complaints of him pushing things aside to create the space required. It takes up too much room, probably better with a chop cup routine, but generally these routines are LONG and you want shorter routines.

Good quick impromptu card routines are a must, you don't have to worry about reset.

Paul Hallas
Matt Graves
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Special user
Huntsville, Alabama (USA)
504 Posts

Profile of Matt Graves
J.B. Bobo gives the advice of holding your hand parallel with the floor or the surface you're working on - downward, so a palmed object would not be visible. Also, many tricks don't depend on angles - like some four-ace effects - for some reason I think "Twisting The Aces" might work well at table hopping - I would vary it though by making it sequential - an ace, a two, a three, and a four, turning up one by one in order.
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
6582 Posts

Profile of Scott F. Guinn
You're right--Twisting is a good trick for this venue. Brother John was the first to do it with the A-4 instead of the aces. It's easier for laymen to follow that way.
"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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