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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Finally! My FIRST gig! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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JIMclubber64
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Not 5 minutes ago, I called the GM of a local restaurant (whom I had talked to before, of course) and just set up my first gig ever gig! I'm gonna go in for 1 hour, and then I'll talk to the GM afterwards and work out the details with him. Now I just have a few questions:

1, when should I approach a table? I've heard you don't want to approach when their eating, so either before they get their food, or after they finish is when I should approach, correct?

2, how long should a table set be? I know that it shold be something that I can finish at a moments notice for whatever reason, but as a general rule, how long should it be? I'm thinking 5 minutes.

and 3, I have figured it out to where all my effects are instant reset, except for my opener (Daniel Garcia's "Greed"). I think I know how to reset it in front of the specs, but I'm not completely confidiant with this. Any suggestions on how to go about this?

Thanks for your help, everyone!
JIMC64
"Magic should always have a purpose. [...] Find your purpose for performing. Only then will you be able to find the right trick!" -- Jay Noblezada
Leeman
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I don't have any advice for you but congratulations on getting the job.
ralphdean
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Congratulations, but you should already know this.

ASAP get "Live At the Jailhouse", a DVD set that will explain all this and much more.

Read stuff posted by Christopher Lyle.

Entertain before the food comes, after the food comes the restaurant wants to turn the table.

Five minutes is good. Do not worry too much about magic tricks. Worry about making the guests feel welcome.

As for number three, leave it out until you are comfortable with it. Maybe do it once and leave it out till you get a chance to reset.

Many card tricks you can reset under the guest's noses but probably not on the opener. You might reset the deck while still at the first table during the second or third trick.

Hope that helps.
slyhand
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In my short experience, compared to many here, I would have to say it all depends on your particular restaurant.

My previous one never filled all their tables so I could stay longer, up to 10 minutes. Also at that one I would try to time it so I would go to their table after they ordered but before the meal came.

The place I am performing at now is so busy I can't afford that luxury. I can only do one effect per table and I have no choice but to hit some tables while they are eating. If I didn't there would be many unhappy customers.

And as ralphdean says, read stuff that Christopher Lyle and Scott Guinn have posted.
They have been doing this forever.

Oh yea, congrats on the gig.
Now take several deep breaths, let them out slowly and go kill em.
I am getting so tired of slitting the throats of people who say that I am a violent psychopath.

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Scott F. Guinn
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5 minutes is a good rule of thumb I suppose, but remember it is just that--a rule of thumb, not a law.

First thing to keep in mind: Folks are at the restaurant to EAT. When the food arrives, get out of the way.

Sometimes, there may be a problem with an order. I've done 20-25 minutes sets for tables at the request of the boss, when an order had to be redone because it was burned, dropped, whatever. When folks are laughing, gasping in amazement, and clapping, they don't notice it's taking a long time for their food to arrive. Flexibility is the key.

In the USA anyway, most restaurants that are even moderately busy want to turn the table after the meal is done. I always go the table right after they order a meal, or right after they order dessert. I leave when the food shows up.

Sometimes, people come in specifically to see me. If a table already has their food but a server or hostess tells me they want me to come over, I'll perform for them while they are eating. I just make sure to do stuff that is my hands and doesn't require them to put down their utensils.

If there are a lot of folks waiting for tables, I'll go over and do a couple of quickies for them as a group--maybe a cut & restored rope trick or something like that so everyone can see. Then I explain how they have me come to their table if they'd like to see more magic. I'd typically do this maybe 3-4 times over the course of my shift, and only for a couple of minutes each time. It really seems to keep people from get agitated or antsy while waiting to be seated.

Finally, I'd wait a while before doing ANY effect that you are not absolutely comfortable doing. Have a couple or three sets of 2 or 3 routines each that you can do in your sleep. After you've settled into the steady gig and you're comfortable approaching people and interacting with them, slowly begin to bring in new routines. But practice and rehearse them first until you have them down cold. I think Greed is a good enough effect for the restaurant, but if you aren't 100% comfortable with it, leave it at home. Because that discomfort will not only show through, but the trick will likely go sideways on you, and you'll be sweating it the rest of the night, ruining an otherwise great experience.

Congratulations, and good luck.
"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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Bill Palmer
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The only exception I would make to the rule about approaching the table between the order and the delivery would be if you are working in a situation where all of the people in the restaurant are going to be there for the whole evening, such as what you might have with a New Year's Eve package. Then, you can give them a bit longer show, and you can approach the table after the meal is over, because the restaurant is not as concerned about turning the table.
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Scott F. Guinn
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Absolutely. Or if the owner requests it for VIPs, etc.
"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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solrak29
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Looks like you already received some good advise above.

But I am curious...

What was your approach in landing this gig?
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SoCalPro
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Soooooooo...did you get the gig on a regular basis?
JIMclubber64
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Quote:
On 2009-10-23 13:26, SoCalPro wrote:
Soooooooo...did you get the gig on a regular basis?


Well, I'm not actually going in till next week, but I certainly hope so!
"Magic should always have a purpose. [...] Find your purpose for performing. Only then will you be able to find the right trick!" -- Jay Noblezada
Wolfenout
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With regards to Greed. I use to do it at the restaurant all the time and I found that I could easily reset if I just engaged in some light hearted conversation with the guests. It's the best misdirection there is.
Pokie-Poke
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Don't bother with greed till:
1) you have it down cold
or
2) you have the table hopping thing down cold
push one skill at a time.

rule of thumb, entertain the bored people. if you see people just sitting there not talking much, that's your next target. Stay out of the wait staff's way, and don't hit a table before they order or they wont have time to look at the menu and you are then holding things up for the wait staff.

Nock em dead!
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The Adventure cont...
lou serrano
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You've already gotten some great advice, so I'm just going to say good luck and have fun!

Lou Serrano
MickeyPainless
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CONGRATS!

Looking forward to a full report after the BIG night!

MMc
pepka
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You want some good advice on working restaurants/bars? Get The Magic Menu.
mediamonk
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Congrats on the gig!
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Joe Mauro
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Did he get the gig? Very difficult to do without the experience, I would imagine.
~Joe
JIMclubber64
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Quote:
On 2009-11-02 00:27, Joe Mauro wrote:
Did he get the gig? Very difficult to do without the experience, I would imagine.


I'm supppose to get a call from the GM tomorrow telling me if I got it. I think it's pretty likely that I did, but I'll give a full report once I get the call.
"Magic should always have a purpose. [...] Find your purpose for performing. Only then will you be able to find the right trick!" -- Jay Noblezada
Christopher Lyle
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Good luck and keep us posted!
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Comedy Writer
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I'd suggest reading one two books on restaurant magic - lots of good advice. You can do as few as 3 routines all night...
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