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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » And the best introductory line goes to... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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phonic69
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How do people introduce themselves while tablehopping? I know Terry Seabrooke uses a salt shaker gag, but I'm sure you guys are much more original, so c'mon, what works for you?

Saxon
SloMo150
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Speedway, Indiana
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Hello, Would you like to see something really amazing? (yes) start routine. Have Fun
(no) Sorry to have bothered you and continue on to next table.
Smile SloMo
Hey wanna see me pull a rabbit from my hat, (lion appears). I gotta get a new Hat.
Peter Marucci
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Strangely enough, I usually introduce myself by telling them my name and why I am there! Smile
That seems to work -- or has for the last 10 to 12 years.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
magiker
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I also start with my name and why I´m there.
Then ask if I can show them what I do.
Smile Smile
Magiker

Believe in the possibility of the impossible
phonic69
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Well obviously you want to introduce yourself, but what about killer entrances, something which leaves them completely amazed by what you've done? If you can acheive that from just the introduction then what about the rest of your act, the possibilities are endless!

Saxon
Peter Marucci
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Unfortunately, phonic, it's not obvious at all!
While common sense would tell us that we should introduce ourselves BEFORE we start performing, far too many do not.
One major "name" uses the "did anyone here lose a red pocketknife" opening, and seques into the color-changing knives.
So what happens if someone says, "yes, thanks", takes the knife out of your hand, and resumes his conversation with the others at the table?
I don't know that your opening should necessarily be a "killer"; you want the audience, first of all, to like you and to feel that you are non-threatening.
So, perhaps, a more low-key opening trick might be in order.
Table-hopping should be as routined as a stage act, with an opening, a middle, and a close.
Open with something that wins them over (I apologize, saying that I'm just filling in for my Uncle Linguini, who didn't show up, and then -- as explanation as to why he can't hold a job -- I go into my Professor's Nightmare routine of Uncle Linguini in the spaghetti factory.)
The middle is where you prove you can do miracles. (And there is nothing in magic that is as powerful as the magic happening right in the spectator's hands: sponge balls, signed card, whatever).
The close should be just that: a clearly defined ending. And, for table hopping, it should also be short and able to stand alone (because you never know when you will have to cut the act short for whatever reason).
As to being more specific about tricks, that's almost impossible, since every person, every venue, and every job is different.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Geoff Williams
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My table-hopping opening bit (a bit of Williamson, a bit of Goshman):

"Hello, my name is Geoff. I'm a wandering magician and I was 'wandering' if I could magish for you." I then turn to the youngest person (many times it's a pre-teen) at the table and say, "And you can put your checkbook away. The magic is free."

This establishes several things: who I am, why I'm there, my performance personality and the cost of my services.

Works for me.
"Saját légpárnás tele van angolnák."

(Hungarian for "My hovercraft is full of eels")
Brian Proctor
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Honestly, I think this is something that I need to work on.. but I just go up to someone and say... hey! watch!.... then kinda like Sankey... give them their watch after I'm done.
phonic69
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I like the Williamson opener (I'm a huge fan of his...) and it goes with my act so thanx Geoff!

Saxon
Mike Robbins
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When I was performing at Red Robin, I'd walk up and say "Welcome to Red Robin, I'm Mike Robbins. How is everything going here this evening?"

Often they'd think I was the owner, so after seeing that everything was all right (if it wasn't, I'd do what I could to fix it which usually meant calling over the server).

Then I'd say "I'm the house magician and, with your permission, I'd like to show you a bit of magic. It's a gift to you from the management. Would that be OK?"

This way, I ease into the table and can see by the reactions whether or not they will accept the interruption. I make the restaurant look good by helping to solve any problems. And I tell them it's a gift so that they don't try to tip me. I can proudly say that I've only had one person try to tip me in all my restaurant performances.

Now what works for me won't necessarily work for everyone. Just as it does on a stage, it depends on your persona. If you're not the personable type, but instead rely more heavily on the effects, then you might want to start out with some flashy magic. It also depends on the restaurant. Is it a kids restaurant or a biker's bar? Is it quiet or noisy? Is it dark or well lit?

Mike
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Shakespeare
Fred Darevil
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"Good evening, my name is Fred Darevil. I am your magician for this evening. You can ask me whatever you want and if you pay well I could accept! But remember, I grant only 3 wishes as in the tales. So choose carefully! Before you make any decision about that, let me show you that I'm really a magician..." And I begin. Often, after my little show they come back to the wishes...
Great moment of fun, but I won't tell you how I deal with this moment. I can't give you all my secrets... After all, I'm a magician!

Best,
Fred
John Pezzullo
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When I was working close-up at the "Attila the Hun Family Restaurant" my initial approach had to be direct and decisive.

I'd walk up to the table and, without saying a word, approach the largest male sitting at the table and give him a hefty slap him in the face. Then I'd shout "pick a card you filthy cockroach!"

If the table was an all female group, I'd substitute the face slapping with hair pulling.
"One arrow. One life."
Jeff
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Approach the table with a rubberband in your hand.
"Good evening, the management has asked me to announce that a wad of bills were found in the parking lot wrapped in a rubberband. If this is yours and you can correctly discribe the rubberband, we will be happy to return it to you after your meal."
This is good for a laugh.

I split the band into two and go into CMH.

Jeff
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Jon Allen
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I don't subscribe to the "Do something amazing striaght off the bat" approach.

What you need to think about is what it looks like from their p.o.v. Imagine you are in a restaurant with friends, g/f, wife etc. (not all at the same time!) and someone came up to your table and interrupted you. This is what it is like for your audiences.

If you're approaching a table, remember this:
You need to be more entertaining and worthwhile than what you've interrupted.

Jon
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phonic69
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Thats a very good point Jon, I'll go hunting for the tables where conversation has run dry even before the first course!

Saxon
Peter Marucci
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John Pezzullo writes: "I'd walk up to the table and, without saying a word, approach the largest male sitting at the table and give him a hefty slap him in the face. Then I'd shout, 'pick a card you filthy cockroach!' "

That may not be the BEST way to approach a table, but it's certainly the FUNNIEST!
Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
(Good grief! That gets funnier the more I think about it!)
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Paul
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Yes, I think the introduction first is important rather than attempting to get their attention with something amazing.

With the latter they are more than likely to think, "Who is this attention seeker???"

As we know, first impressions count.

Paul.
mambra
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Hi.

When I tried to catch their attention with a trick, for instance, because I approached the table and they went on speaking, I did not have success. They are a "group", they are not in relation with me and they tried to guess how I could do what I did (sometime they were wrong, sometime they were right... but it does not matter: they always thought to be right, and so the magic always disappeared).

What is importamnt in my performance is ME, not the trick. So now I always try to have a relation (might be the wrong word???) with them BEFORE starting with tricks. Saying my name, asking if they are having good time, and so...

Moreover, if possible I ask the staff to inform there is a free magician walking around. If the place is not top class, they might be VERY suspicious... Even better if it is the waiter who can ask at the table whether the magician is appreciated or not, and call me if it is.

Cheers

Stefano Mambretti
E-Leoni
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John Pezzullo,

I'm still laughing with tears in my eyes.
Thank you.... You filthy cockroach!
I like the hair pulling for a woman.

I'm still laughing. You one funny dude.

E-Leoni.
Jim Pace
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What do you guys do when the noise level is beyond comfortable conversation?
"The drum that beats the loudest is always the most hollow."
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