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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Paul Wilson / The Restaurant Act video (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Radioactive
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Anyone else seen this tape?

He does a TT silk vanish, brief 2 sponge ball routine, ambitious card and chop cup.

Is it just me or is he really un-entertaining (if that's a word)?

The whole routine just seems to me to be really uninspired. If I were dining out and someone approached me and performed what he did, my response would be, "Uh huh. Where's my dinner?"

Or was I just expecting too much?
Tricky
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So, it's about Ł22 for watching some guy do 4 tricks that are pretty well known?
I have to get it!!! Not!
james
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Maybe the focus is not on the tricks, but the presentation and the thinking of how to put a restaurant routine together?

Although it sounds like his presentation wasn't all that good either. Smile
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
Radioactive
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To be fair to the guy, he does spend quite a while saying that people should come up with an act that flows well, is instantly reset, etc...
Mark Ennis
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Although I don't speak for Paul I do believe that he was not entirely pleased with the production quality of the tapes. Unfortunately that will often distract from what they were intended for.

I do know that Paul is supposedly a seasoned performer and supposedly is a great performer so the tapes may not do him justice. Then again...
ME
Ray Eldard
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I don't do anything off of the tape, but I believe there's a lot of valuable information for anyone who is new to restaurant work. Though basic I think all of the routines on the tape are solid and the fact that the act resets itself cannot be under-rated.

If you're looking for a new trick you can probably find a better tape. If your looking for some solid thinking on structuring and performing a restaurant act you can learn a lot from the video.
Munskin
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Does it go into how to approach tables, get work, prop management or any other aspect of restaurant work, or is it just effects?
Ray Eldard
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Munskin,

Yes, Paul discusses approaching tables, prop management and just about every other aspect of restaurant work. If you're looking for groundbreaking work on sponge balls, thumb tips or chop cups this is the wrong video, but if you're looking for solid effects and good information on structuring a restaurant act you will find some good info.

You should also check out Jim Pace's "Restaurant Worker's Handbook."
James Fortune
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Unfortunately, I wasn't very impressed. Smile

a) The idea of approaching a table with a chop cup in your hand doesn't ring right with me.

b) I didn't find Paul entertaining in the slightest. Now I don't know Paul so I'm probably wrong but he appeared in the video to be dour and solemn.

Ah well Smile
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James

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Drew from Spotlight
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I like this tape. I really do. It’s well thought out and presents a lot of useful information.

That being said this tape is not for everyone. Forget the tape’s specifics for a minute (i.e. What you think of his presenting style, the reactions from the audience, or the actual routines he does), in general he lays out the ground rule for successfully working in a table-hopping environment.

What I take home from it, is that I don’t perform like Paul Wilson (neither do you unless you are Paul Wilson). His style and words are his own and you should be you. He interacts with an audience much differently than you interact with yours. The ways and means are there – how to approach a table, how long you might perform for, what happens if something goes wrong (if you’ve never had to recover from a situation you haven’t been performing very long), tip management, managing your working environment, and a lot more.

What I didn’t come away with are any new routines. MORE IMPORTANTLY I didn’t have too. An underlying theme of the tape is that you don’t have to have the newest gimmick or the slickest moves to be entertaining to an audience. Go through what you already have, and already know, and structure an act like he suggests. Add to it, take some things out, evolve with it, and make it your own.

The routines he uses are not new (he openly and happily admits to that) but they are put together in such a way that he is completely self-contained (no bulky cases or props), easy to perform (basic is basic) so he can concentrate on entertaining the audience (a very important point for me), and has a routine so that he can do all, or part, of the act as his time and situation demands. Once he’s done he’s immediately reset to move on to the next table.

Bottom line – it’s not always what you do, but how you do it and I think in that respect the tape’s teaching comes across well.
thimblerig
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I found this video disappointing as well, particularly after his first tape, which was excellent, IMHO. I was expecting great things, in particular, with the hype given to his "killer" Chop Cup ending. Ho Hum.
tr
Smile
TheAmbitiousCard
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I've seen Paul do "stuff" a couple of times. He is more entertaining in person. Some magicians just aren't very good on video such as Paul Wilson, John Bannon, and Ray Kosby.

They all need to forget that they're being videoed and just react to the spectators more instead of trying to force a spectator reaction.

In person, it's a different story. John Bannon is incredibly witty and humorous. You can also tell that he's a lot more comfortable on his second video compared to the first. It's like night and day.

Given all that. If you look deeper into the routines and how they flow and where the props start and end up. That's the info you really need to take with you from these videos. He does have some good lines, and bits o' business but the timing isn't all that great.

I emailed him about the chop cup he used (because I liked the way it looked) and also told him I was starting to see where my own effects that I perform would fit in with his ideas and he replied that "That was the idea of the tape".

Hype usually does end up with a Ho-Hum ending in magic thimblerig. Just imagine all the purchasers of the ellusionist Ninja videos thinking that they're getting some revolutionary secret magic lessons that are going to make them legendary street magicians in a few hours.

"D'oooooh"


I give it a B+.
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Jeff S.
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I loved Knock'em Dead, but was pretty unimpressed with this video as well. And Twist of Fate was even worse. I think Paul can put out great magic, but these two videos seemed like fluff.
korttihai_82
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Knockém Dead is only good Paul Wilson tape. forget the to others. The Restaurant act is very poor. The act is more confusing than entertaining. There is also very little info on working in the restaurants. Bill Malone and Michael Close tapes are much better.
Mark Ennis
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I got a chance to finally see this video and I recommend that this video is a total waste of time. I think he does very mediocre versions of these effects and there is so much better material on the subject that you would certainly be wasting your time and money on this particular video.
ME
thehawk
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I agree with everybody who thought this tape was a dud. It was very uninspiring and most of the effects really weren't that good. Steven's has a better restaurant tape with Mike Close , Bill Malone and Dan Fleshman. It is far superior to this and well worth getting. Smile Smile Smile
Mark Ennis
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Thehawk is correct.

The Stevens video is great with Malone being the standout but with everything being very good.

Rather than spend money on the Paul Wilson tape, subscribe to Magic Menu. You will find tons of practical information from real working magicians in regards to restaurant magic. This is money very well spent.
ME
mr.ash
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Where can I get the Stevens video?? I did a search and couldn't find the restaurant video.
Mark Ennis
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ME
slap aces
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This tape offers to teach a restaurant act for professional work. It never offers to teach new tricks for magic HOBBYISTS to amuse themselves.

The Stevens tape has great material but I would suggest that none are suitable for people starting out in restaurant magic.

Furthermore, not one of them is stronger than the tricks taught on Wilson's tape.

The handlings taught are SIMPLE. An idiot who has never worked regularly might indeed describe a simple, practical handling as "basic."

This tape says it is for real world performance and I believe it. It teaches a simple routine to illustrate Wilson's approach then teaches MANY important points about working restaurants. These points are WAY more important than the tricks.

An hour before you walk into your first paid gig, you will have many things on your mind other than how to perform your effects. Audience management, resetting between tables, what to do when something goes wrong and a hundred other things should be on your mind. Guess what - that's what this tape is about. Make the act so simple that you can do it in your sleep and let you concentrate on doing the job to the best of your abilities.

Sure, Wilson is not at his best, but frankly, no one ever is on video. The point of buying the tape was not to be entertained but to understand the nuts and bolts of entertaining.

The tape was shot and edited by monkeys. I have heard that Wilson was less than pleased about it himself.

Despite that, the tape delivers what it offers: A solid routine to begin with or to borrow from, and excellent advice on working in the real world.

Most negative comments on this thread are about the tricks. Want tricks? Get a tape that teaches tricks, there are plenty out there. Good luck finding any trick that beats Chop Cup, Sponge Balls or Card To Wallet.

If you are going to review something, at least be objective. Describing it as "garbage" proves beyond a doubt that you didn't even know what you were watching.

If you have no interest in going out to do a restaurant gig regularly, this tape is pointless.

I guarantee, however, that if you watch this before going to your first gig, you will feel better prepared than if you watched the Steven's tape.
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