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slyhand
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Good ole Virginia
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I hit the pavement again today searching for more gigs.
I am running into some unusual requests and I'm not sure what to do.

Restaurant 1. After I explained what I do (table magic), the owner is afraid that I will be bothering her guests and has never heard of table magic before. So she wants me to do an hour to an hour and a half of platform magic after the dinner crowd for the drinking crowd. They have a small platform that's used by bands from time to time.
Isn't that amount of time excessive? Won't peoples attention span start to wain after about 30 minutes, specially if they are drinking?

I don't have any stuff like that. Can I get away with doing close-up as stand-up?
Any suggestions?



Restaurant 2. After I explained to him what I do he asked if I do balloon animals. I can do any balloon animal as long as it's a dog. I explained again that although I can do balloon animals (I lied)my main focus in on the magic at the tables. He just went on and on about the stupid animals (no offense to the balloon workers here). Then he calls me on my cell 5 minutes after I left and wanted to know if I do face painting too. Sheesh. Luckily I have an air-tattoo set-up that I have not used in awhile.
It's in a week and a half

Not sure if anyone can help on this one but it appears like I am going to have to take a crash course in ballooning.
I am getting so tired of slitting the throats of people who say that I am a violent psychopath.

Alec
BCaldwell
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is really regretting his
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I applaude you for getting out there trying to make it happen.

When I first started out (a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far... no wait, that was something else entirely! It was around 1987.) I hit up every restaurant in a 20 mile radius trying to get my first gig. I wasn't then, and still am not now, trying to become a full-time magician. I was just a guy wanting to perform close-up magic. The only place remotely interested told me they would "give me a shot next Friday" if I also did balloon animals. I said, indignantly, "Of course I do!" and proceeded to spend the next 4 days learning how to blow them up, much less twist them into something that remotely resembled, well, anything. Armed with my two balloon repertoire (flower and teddy bear in heart) and my amazing magical ability (well, that is how I remember it) I performed that first night. At the time I was actually glad they talked me into doing the balloons. It made my approach to the table very easy, which I honestly had not really even thought about, and then I would perform a couple of effects. I didn't make balloons at every table (thank goodness, no offence to the balloon workers) and after a while I dropped them altogether.

So I wish you the best of luck and give you this one unsolicited piece of advice. Unless you want to be a balloon guy learn a couple of REALLY GOOD twists and don't give them a lot of choices. The two I used were usually enough (although I did learn to make a pretty good sword) and I could move on to the magic.

:goodluck:
"...that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." Dennis Miller Smile

~Bob~
obsidian52
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United States
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I'm not a full time working magician either, and as someone very dear to me told me when I mentioned that maybe I should learn ballooning or face painting they said..."You're not a clown...you're a magician".

I have gotten a few gigs using the old standby, that seems to work, telling them that you will give them one night (2 hours) of FREE walkaround magic, and if it works out (mentioning discreetly what's going on to the patrons to put in a good word)then asking if they will hire you for an ongoing thing.
greatscott
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Actually, in response to restaurant 1's request, an hour of magic on the stage is not excessive. That actually would be a good amount of time. You could do some of your close up stuff on stage (depending on what it is). There are several card routines that could be done on stage. You could do some rope effects, or even some silk effects, if you get into either of those type effects. Do you do any type of mental effect, at all?
All in all, I think it is possible to work the stage. Go for it!!!
montymagi
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Slidell La
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My response is, you are not a magician you are an entertainer. Beyond that you are a business man. Remember supply and demand? If you run into a lot of request for magic and... the you learn the and... part and make yourself even more marketable. As far as the "will you bother my customers" go in for a night and show her what you do for free.

I for one learned to do the ballooning and found I enjoy it as much as the magic and being able to offer both makes me way more marketable. Good luck and best wishes.
greatscott
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True, learning ballooning does add to your marketability. I do both at some restaurants. I do, also have one restaurant, and an outdoor mall at which I only do balloons. I enjoy both.
slyhand
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Good ole Virginia
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Thanks for the replys.
I know I need to learn the balloons. I also know I can't blow them up with my mouth. I will have to use a pump. I just hate having one of those things hanging by my side. Just so freakin unsightly.I wear a nice pair of khaki pants, a nice shirt with a trim vest. I'm not sure how I should lug that thing around.
And where do I keep the balloons without looking like a clown. (no offense to the clowns meant)

Also how many animals should I learn/do. I have a little more than a week to learn em.
I am getting so tired of slitting the throats of people who say that I am a violent psychopath.

Alec
Michael Baker
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There are some venues that do not want lung blown balloons for health reasons. The pump is not that bad of an idea. However, I don't and won't do balloons, but that's my own opinion.

Regarding Restaurant # 1... for a late night drinking crowd, unless you have a show that is worthy of a headliner spot in a comedy club, the requested time is probably too much. However.........

Use the opportunity to sell them a shorter show (maybe 30 minutes), followed by close-up magic. This way you'll have the opportunity to have your close-up seen by the owner. If you are indeed good, the reactions of the customers should be enough to start her thinking in your favor.

Once you hit that marker, all you need to do is sell yourself on how you seamlessly blend your skills with what the restaurant does, in a way that the customers, herself, and the restaurant staff will appreciate.

Good luck!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Bad to the Balloon
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Clearwater Florida
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Quote:
On 2009-09-03 22:15, slyhand wrote:
Thanks for the replys.
I know I need to learn the balloons. I also know I can't blow them up with my mouth. I will have to use a pump. I just hate having one of those things hanging by my side. Just so freakin unsightly.I wear a nice pair of khaki pants, a nice shirt with a trim vest. I'm not sure how I should lug that thing around.
And where do I keep the balloons without looking like a clown. (no offense to the clowns meant)

Also how many animals should I learn/do. I have a little more than a week to learn em.


Might I suggest the Bad to the Balloon Series two DVDs with some of the coolest balloon hats out there. They are quick and impressive to do. The guy who sells them is pretty nice too Smile
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark the Balloon Guy
As seen on the TODAY SHOW
www.balloonguy.net
Creator of Bad to the Balloon DVD series
Go to my store: http://tinyurl.com/Bad2theBalloon
S2000magician
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Yorba Linda, CA
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Quote:
On 2009-09-03 17:39, slyhand wrote:
I can do any balloon animal as long as it's a dog.

How about a snake?
doug brewer
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"Warm up the crowd" first with strolling for an hour, then do a half hour show. This would be perfect, actually, and after a year of doing this gig you would have one killer, polished 30 minute stand-up show.
Daz Buckley
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I'd suggest agreeing to the gig the way the owner wants it..........and then happen to do a lot of "in the audience" with audience participation as part of the "stage " routine.
You must realise that your potential employer does not know what type of magic will play best for her patrons as she knows next to nothing about magic and whilst she thinks she does,you know better.
Humour her and she gets what she asked for,perform your act so the patrons are applauding,and she will realise eventually that you probably were right.
slyhand
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Good ole Virginia
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More great advise. Thanks to everyone.

More specific questions.

Mark, Are your hats done with one or multiple balloons? I like the idea of hats because they will be out of the way when I do the magic part.

As a person who is going to focus on magic, where is the best place to keep the balloons and pump while strolling?

As far as the stand-up portion goes I think I may do one bit on the platform then go into the audience and do my close-up for everybody at one time instead of just for the table.
I am thinking the silk to egg trick. I think I do that well. Hopefully it will go over well.
I am getting so tired of slitting the throats of people who say that I am a violent psychopath.

Alec
doug brewer
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Great trick
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Put the stuff in a Dr. Type bag and set it on the floor?
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Leeman
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Hollywood, CA
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If the restaurant wants you to do magic for the drunks maybe try and talk them into you doing some stuff behind the bar. Or if they are dead set at having something on the stage maybe put up some adds and make it more of a cabaret show and have some singers, bands, comics, etc with you being the MC. Best of luck.
gadfly3d
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I have a hand pump that I can carry in my back pocket and have a pouch that I wear to contain props and balloons, if its even noticed it looks like an apron.

I have a friend who uses a bag like a doctor bag and a tray jack (or tray stand the type you see in restaurants) that has had the straps shortened.

I am not a great balloon person but it is a definite asset and the more and better balloons you can do the better.

Gil Scott
slyhand
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Good ole Virginia
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I am now thinking I will do balloons at first and then slowly do less and less of them.
Unless, of course, they are a huge hit and people are demanding them.

I figure if I know how to do a cat, dog, monkey, flower, heart and a turtle/ladybug it should be good for a start.

Oh, and I would love to do behind the bar stuff but I am sure she will say that it will interfere with the bartenders.
I am getting so tired of slitting the throats of people who say that I am a violent psychopath.

Alec
greatscott
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Quote:
On 2009-09-03 22:15, slyhand wrote:

And where do I keep the balloons without looking like a clown. (no offense to the clowns meant)



I work a restaurant in which I do both magic and balloons. In this restaurant, I bring a small bag o balloons with me. Once there, I put a handfull of assorted balloons in one of my front pants pockets, and I put the pump in the other front pocket. That leaves the back pockets, and the pockets in my jacket/vest (depending on which I'm wearing) to carry whatever magic I will be performing that night. It works out great for me.
jmccormack4
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Sounds difficult, you should just say your gonna do balloons and do like one dog and the rest magic... haha

but if your considering doing this, maybe you should learn some effects that involves ballon animals as well
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