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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » What Kinds of tricks should I use when table hopping? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

BiggsTheGreat
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Seattle Washington
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Hi everyone, I am just starting to do walk around at restaurants and I was wondering what kinds of tricks would be entertaining? I use "Deans Box" what do you think about that? Thanks, Biggs The Great

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Paul
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A good lecturer at your service!
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Perhaps you ought to have thought about what tricks would be entertaining BEFORE you started to do walk around at restaurants.

I would suggest buying a few books on the subject quick! If you look around the forum you will see there has been other threads on which tricks are suitable.

But, don't you know which of your own close up tricks are entertaining? Smile They should be suitable if they re-set quickly, are short and don't take up any/or use little table space.

Paul Hallas The Not So Great.
http://www.PH-Marketing-magic.co.uk
BiggsTheGreat
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Seattle Washington
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Hi Paul, I do a few things like the sponge rabbits, self cutting deck, cutting to the aces, Deans Box, and a few other close up things and I think they get a good reaction but I was trying to get an idea of some other tricks I could use while table hopping. BTW I have read Jim Paces, Restaurant Workers Handbook and got a lot of good info out of it. Do you know any other good books on restaurant magic?
Paul
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Yes I know some other good books, and Jim recommends them in the book you read. Jim Pace actually joined the Cafe recently. Another book not mentioned there which may be unobtainable now was one called "Watch Closely" by Jim Klaydor.

But if you've read one maybe one more would be enough. Most duplicate information on getting work. But having two books on the subject can show that approaches at tables can vary.

Sponge bunnies is great, better than balls. I have a handling for that that leaves me completely reset.

If your ace cutting routine starts with the aces on top, you can follow with say, Twisting The Aces. If you leave those on the table as you do another card trick, as you pack away you can add the aces to the top of the deck and your first two card tricks are reset.

If there is room to rest your card case on the table you can reset cards on that crosswise for easy pick up.

Learn plenty of good impromptu card effects then you'll never be stuck and can perform at a moments notice. Also there is nothing mechanical to let you down. Comes in handy for those repeat customers.

Sometimes an odd visual gag like The Square Knot can come in handy.

At the end of the day, all suggestions aside, you have to find the material that fits you, and you feel comfortable with. That way you will not just become another restaurant magician clone. See the latest movies and read the daily papers so you can converse with people about other things than magic or be able to add the topical line here and there when you are performing.

Stewart James used to reckon he could always get at least one idea for a trick from reading a newspaper, if he tried. Someone challanged him and sent him a newspaper. He came up with over 20.

I think my own "Not Another 3 Card Trick" is a great table hopping packet trick. It's easy, different, visual, done in the hands, gets a laugh at the end and can be reset almost instantly.

But books are always the best buy. Start building yourself a good reference library.

Paul Hallas.
Sir T
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I would only like to add one comment about what Paul wrote concerning seeing the lastest movie, read the paper, so you can converse with people. I really try and stay on top of the lastest news, as I am really into politics. I have my share of high dollar Journals and magazines, but I will tell you what, for everyday chit chat, if you want to be up to date and appear really well read, Readers digest is the way to go.

Being able to talk about more than magic will be a plus. I like it myself, when people who are entertaining can offer a bit of chit chat, but that is me.

Kevin Smile
pyromagician
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Here are a few ideas

Triumph
Hopping halves
NFW
Scotch and Soda

There are just a few, if you need more just e-mail me.
P.S. this is what part of the alphabet would look like if "Q" and "R" were eleminated
Platt
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No offense Biggs The Great, but, I would save the Dean's Box for a different occasion. I've seen demos of it and yes, Dean Dill's creation is pretty wild. I just think you'd immediately alienate yourself from diners. Even though it is examinable, the first thing people will think is, oh no, there's a magician with a tricky magical prop. Plus it must be tough to carry around. If you could just pick up a spoon, borrow a ring, or do something with a napkin, you'd be much better off. You'll look cooler too.

Sankey's got some great ideas with everyday objects. Steal from him. Yes, steal. You'll inevitably make it your own.

Good luck,

Platt
Sugar Rush is here! Freakishly visual magic. http://www.plattmagic.com
BiggsTheGreat
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Seattle Washington
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Thanks for the help everyone!
pyromagician
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What about a triumph routine

I have done my own story using the "Sam the bellhop methods"

Smile Smile
P.S. this is what part of the alphabet would look like if "Q" and "R" were eleminated
Fred Darevil
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The things you like! I mean if you want to be unique: select the effects YOU feel more comfortable with, not the ones you think THEY love. Read Eugne Burger on this topic.
Best,

Fred
Steve V
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Northern California
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I would not do Deans Box for table hopping, you want to stay off the table. Carl Andrews has a lot of good information on performing table side and Dan Fleshman put out some excellent magic.
Steve V
J R Thomas
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Champaign Illinois
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I heartily recommend the Burger Books and the Magic Menu.
Those who hear not the music

Think the dancers mad
Geoff Weber
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Pick tricks that can fit easily in your pockets, and won't get messy from food or water drops on the table.. if it's a card trick, pick one that you don't need to deal onto the table.. keep that space for their food. fast or no reset, and angles are also important considerations... you don't want the table behind you, that you might go to next to see your tricks from the bad
"angle".

Think of it like a putting on a show.. don't just show them some tricks.. routine them in such a way that your show has a beginning middle and end. Jokes and stories in between tricks are just as important as the magic, it all goes into being an entertainer and not just a trickster.
flourish dude
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I recently was hired at Applebee's and the manager asked what I did. I told him a few of the effects I do and he said, "You know it does not matter what you do. If my guests like you they will like what you do.”

In table-hopping you need to focus on the people and the interaction more than the effects. I would do anything that’s has everyone’s involvement. Fast, quick, visual and most important FUN!

I also would recommend you have 6 solid routines you do as a foundation. In my routines I do only 2 effects per table as a standard. Of course this can change and does, sometimes, I do three, sometimes I only do 1.

You have to make sure you visit everyone. it is so easy to camp out at one table. I have also broken my routines into 6 sets. This is 2 routines that go well together. I have 2 long, 2 short and 2 kid sets. Again this is only a foundation, but once I have it down I can bounce around them all I want. I can work in new stuff around the routines that I know work. This way if it bombs then it's not so bad because it has a killer before and after.

To start off with do the effects you like. If you like them, they are easy to get the guests to like them. I can ramble about this all night but I will leave you with that to start with. just remember it does not have to be a great "magician" effect to be a great lay person effect. It can be as simple as a 2 card monte it's all what you do with the effect and how you present it.
Nothing of the same will bring any change, take action today!
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DarryltheWizard
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I have worked in a very formal restaurant with tails for special occasions like Mother's Day, etc. I always start with a silly type of gag, a fork with a telescopic handle.

I tell the patrons that I have come prepared. I remove the fork from my pocket and extend the handle." If you need an extra bun from the basket, you just...."

All my effects I chose for Mother's Day relate to show Mom's sons how to cook or at least prepare a hotdog. After I show the bitten section of wiener, I say would you like to know what happened to the other hunk?" and then I show a male bare-chested model eating a hotdog.

If younger children are present, I produce miniature hotdog from under the fan of cards.

I also do the miniature version of the topsy turvy bottles, a spectator gets to hold the tube and bottle. In the climax the name of the previously chosen card appears inside the small bottle held by a spectator. My bottle has a silk with "Happy Mother's Day on it."

Darryl the Wizard Smile
DarryltheWizard
"Life without mystery is like a candle
with a snuffed out flame." Albert Einstein
Magique Hands
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One of the greatest things (too numerous to mention here) that I learned from Michael Ammar, was for your magical effects to touch people on an emotional level. I'm sure most of you will agree. To do "WOW!!" effects.

So, with this in mind, develop your effects with this concept as the base. A pencil or cigarette through the quarter is nice, but, a soft, floating bird feather through the quarter... now that's stunning!!

I've stopped using a cigarette and always perform the effect with a feather. For obvious reasons, I get a better reaction from the audience. I first saw this done, years ago, when Doug Henning was on Johnny Carson. It literally changed the entire effect!

Here's a small list:

1) Sponge Balls
2) Feather Through Quarter
3) Siver, Copper, Brass (in place of Scotch & Soda)
4) Ambitious Card
5) Standing Triumph
6) End with a 'Mini-Zombie' effect (should be performed at a corner table.) Smile
"If you go around sprinkling Woofle Dust on everything... people will think 'My... What an odd character." www.magicmafia.com
Garrett Nelson
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The thing that is so great about strolling magic is that you only have to have a few zingers for each table/group.

A big problem for me after I had been in magic for a short while was simply forgetting all the things I could do. I had a few really good effects and I ALWAYS did them. I knew others, but never thought about them when I was performing.

I felt sort of guilty about it after I realized it. I almost felt like I was cheating..."I am just doing the same stuff over and over. For all anyone could know, I only know 5 tricks."

I just couldn't think of the tricks as I was performing.

Now I have a working list of all the effects I do (in Excel. What a wonderful thing to have!) so I am never caught off guard, so to speak.

Now before I perform I have a list of 10-20 things in my head that I plan on using for that night. Often it is the same as on another night. Whenever possible I still use one of the 5 or so of my favorites. Do I feel guilty about using the same effect over and over now? NO! I just grew and realized that I perform those same things over and over when I do a few tricks for a reason.

I use them because they are strong, I am very comfortable with them, and they go along with me well. I don't limit myself to those, though. I know these people have probably not seen them before, so why not use the things over and over that amazed me the most the first time I saw them?

I guess my point is that you can select a few of your favorites and have other stuff in mind as variety.
Geoff Williams
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The raw number of tricks becomes a more important issue as the number and frequency of "regulars" increases.

After 6 years at the same restaurant, I need to continually look for new, fresh material with which to entertain my guests (some of which return week after week).

This is a great motivation to get back into my library and videos and revisit the things I might not have taken the time to work through.

I keep reminding myself that, before I found my "reputation-makers," they were hidden out there somewhere. I feel there are an unlimited number of reputation-makers still out there... patiently waiting for me to discover them.

Exciting possibility, no?
"Saját légpárnás tele van angolnák."

(Hungarian for "My hovercraft is full of eels")
Corey K
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Rhode Island
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Usually, I don't do much table-hopping, but do more walk around in the bar area. I like it better, plus the people can get pretty "funny" in the bar Smile

Some of the tricks I do are two card monte (I don't know if this is the real name -- queens change to aces), coin in bottle, some coin vanishes and change to jumbo coin, sponge balls, cigarette thru quarter...and the list goes on.

Pick tricks that get good reactions. Don't go by what other people are doing, but what you like to do and are comfortable with.

-Corey
J R Thomas
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Champaign Illinois
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Face it Geoff..they're coming to see Carl.
Those who hear not the music

Think the dancers mad
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