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wafflesthemagician
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Hi there! I'm a young magician who's been doing magic for two-ish years. Bits of everything, but mostly Micro Magic. I've got a gig for a wedding this summer, and I now realize that I've never done table hopping before! It's supposed to be about 30 tables, with 10 people at each table. I understand that I'm supposed to know ~ 9-10 tricks, so I can have 3 "routines", with ~3 tricks each. I'm not really worried about my people skills / approach, but I'm just wondering how long would be appropriate for me to stay at each table, and if anybody has any good suggestions for any more tricks. I've got my own, but I'm open to more suggestions. I'm mostly looking for magic that happens in their hands. I've got 5 tricks that happen in their hands, so far. My list of "tricks" / routines so far:

Routine 1, Choices: The theme to this routine is the Choices we make, as people. Open with a self working trick that makes them end up with the four aces in hand, and for the second and third, I'm using a slop shuffle trick, that sets up the deck for Wandering Travellers.

Routine 2, The History Lesson: The patter is about the history of magic, and a demonstration of practical uses. Start with a 21 card trick that involves the spectators, with patter about the Chinese origin of the deck of cards (which had 21 cards). I've got an open space for the second trick here. For the third, I've got a Biddle Trick, showing a practical example of magic used by merchants in India.

Routine 3, Control: This is probably the least magical, in the sense that it's more like a gambling demonstration. Start by dealing a royal flush blindfolded from a shuffled deck, Ricky Jay's Cutting the Aces, and Card Control, ending with an ACR, with two deck switches in their hands.

So, I'm missing one trick in routine #2, but I've got until June to figure it out.

TL;DR version: I don't know etiquette for table hoppers. I'd like to know how long I should stay at each table, etc. Also, if possible, if anyone could recommend a couple tricks for me to learn. Preferably something that happens in their hands.
Mule Henderson
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I'd mix it up more. Less story/patter driven effects. And please don't do the 21 card trick, people will instantly lose interest.

Start with a non-card trick, something really quick maybe, then go into some kind of combo with cards.

All of your routines seem to be three tricks with cards. That's not bad necessarily, but it's more interesting for you and for the audience, potentially, to have a slight variety of props.
puggo
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Try not to use effects that use the table space if possible - wedding tables tend to be very cluttered.
I agree with Mule - consider effects that are not heavily story / patter driven. Quick, snappy and easy to follow (visual if possible).

Scroll through the most recent pages of this section / do a search and you will find lots of useful advice.
Good luck.
Charlie
Gary T.
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Nix the stories, they'll just get in the way, substitute them with personality lol, in other words make them laugh, treat them as friends and entertain them, as hard as it may be to understand, YOU are the entertainment, not the tricks, and certainly not the stories, all that really means is that anybody can show you the tricks, but not just anybody can really entertain with them, you've got to entertain them, with the magic, the magic doesn't entertain them, you do. furthermore most stories with card tricks are just annoying, when you tell a story with an effect the people need to be able to relate to it, and they need to be able to relate it to what you're doing. for instance, when people think of choices, how many of them think of cards? none, plus they're not at the wedding to learn about life, they're there to celebrate and have a good time. most spectators aren't gonna care about history much in general, let alone the history of magic, and how many of them can relate to china and india, it's all irrelevant to them, and as such, boring, the control you don't tell us much about but I would nix it as well, just because you're going from doing magic at one table to doing gambling demonstrations at the next they really conflict, you need to put out one image at the event, switching back and forth doesn't do that. I know people are always preaching about putting stories to your magic and everything but it's honestly ridiculous in 99% of cases when people put stories to card magic, there are very few people who can make stories work at all, and they've had a lot of practice doing it lol, also nix the 21 card trick, it's just seen as something that everybody knows, because face it, loads of people do, plus it's really just not up to par with the rest of your material.

now I know I just said a lot of negative stuff about your material, but don't take it personally okay, I'm sure your magic is excellent, and you don't have to listen to any of my advice, but I hope you will consider it, furthermore I'm positive you'll do great, take the time you have before the gig to really work out your routine, stick with things that need little to no setup, so the aces might be out, unless you keep a deck set out for that only and you're able to have that deck still in order at the end of the routine so you don't have to reset before the next time you do it. you have plenty of time, review your material, avoid stories, and go for the effects that don't need a lot of setup, you'll do great.
MagicWGH
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Hey Waffles,

It is good to see a young magician putting a lot of time and effort into their performance. I think the key for your event (and all walk around events) is to be FLEXIBLE. People (magicians) say to have three sets of three tricks because THREEE is a convenient number; it is not a rule. Sometimes people will see one trick and not want to see anything else. Sometimes they'll see three and ask you to keep going. I did a walk around gig last night and two tricks were requested over and over from group to group...wait for it....CardToon and The Invisible Deck! These two tricks are "old" but CLASSICS. They let your audience create their own stories in their own heads (imagination, drawing, playing, childhood memories).

At my gig last night I did Copper, Silver, Brass under the guise of how I used to collect coins as a kid (I really did collect coins) and it led to a conversation about coin collecting with one of the gentleman that hired me. As Gary said, you are there to entertain. By conversing with this gentleman about coins I was doing my job by just speaking with him.

Last thing: Some of the longer card demonstrations can be used in walk around gigs but wait until you know your audience LIKES magic. If they've asked you back over then they will be willing to listen and watch the longer effects.

Hope this helps!
AndyLuka
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Yes, please mix it all up.

Sponge Ball routine
Color changing flash drives by chad long
4 half dollars and a [
Dollar coin and and Jumbo
chop cup
what about a TT for the vanish salt/sugar?
Making Magic and Fantasy a reality in a world where our reality can sometimes be rather cruel



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AndyLuka
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Also lean an anniversary waltz for the bride and groom. They love that stuff.
Making Magic and Fantasy a reality in a world where our reality can sometimes be rather cruel



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Http://www.bigguysmagic.com -The Best Magic Shop
wafflesthemagician
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Thanks for all of the tips & help guys, I realize I really need to expand on doing things other than cards. XD I figured that table work would be best, I see how it's not the greatest idea for a cluttered wedding table, now. Also, the 21-card trick that I use isn't the one that you guys are thinking of. It's more of a story kind of thing, depicting the wars between the Three Kingdoms in China. (Shuffling one of the "kingdoms" with itself, to show panic, during an attack.)

@AndyLuka, I've looked into the Anniversary Waltz, and I'm thinking of doing one of those with the 3 and a half of clubs, though I'm going to have to make the gaffs myself. Thanks for the suggestion!
themagicguy
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Wafflesthemagician Ditch the stories till you get more experience. Its not easy getting their attention at a wedding, do some visual and simple tricks. Remember, they could also be drunk so following a story would be quite difficult. If they like you and call you back than break out into one of your stories.

Chris
AndyLuka
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Its best if you were to buy a deck of double face cards from your local magic shop. This way when you hand the bride and groom the card to keep, they don't dump their drink on your face and say yell "YOU don't HAVE REAL MAGIC POWERS" because they noticed you glued two cards togeter.

On the other hand you can perform the verson on John Carey's "Handle with Carey" dvd which uses no gaffs, and is very simple to do.
Making Magic and Fantasy a reality in a world where our reality can sometimes be rather cruel



Http://www.lukamagic.com -That's Me



Http://www.bigguysmagic.com -The Best Magic Shop
steve ehlers
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Waffles,

Another thing you may have to consider is that the wedding will probably have a DJ. The music will probably be loud and it will make whatever you perform more challenging because it will be hard to hear you. When you are working a table you will get a feel for how long you should stay. When I'm working a situation like you are talking about here are some of the routines I do: I do the Ambitious card which is signed. Then the card vanishes from the deck three times. Twice to different pockets, and once to my wallet or into the card box. I then do a Jim Swain trick, I think it's his Tampa Opener. This might be the wrong name. Its a twisting the kings effect where a selected card changes places with one of the kings at the end. A card warp effect by Howie Schwartzman called Star Warp it's a great effect where you borrow a bill from one of the spectators. If people are interested in gambling routines, one of the best is Harry Lorrayne's poker deal from Close-Up Card Magic. It's easy to do and gets a fantastic result. I do a lot of actual gambling routines but since you only have until June I would recommend this poker deal. Another very nice trick is Acrobatic Aces by Paul LePaul. You have plenty of time to learn this routine and it gets great reactions. The effect is the cards are faro shuffled but the deck is not squared. You shake the deck and the aces jump out.

Any way, selecting trick is very subjective and try to pick tricks you like.

Best wishes,

Steve
wafflesthemagician
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I've noticed everybody keeps mentioning to "dump the stories", and "get their attention first". When I say that I've got a "routine", I don't mean that it's all I do. I usually do whatever seems interesting on the fly, things that usually interest people. I know when it is appropriate for magic, and I think I have reasonable experience in that regard. I have plenty of experience, it's just that table hopping will be a different experience for me, as a performer. Just wondering on what different kind of mannerisms I should follow compared to, say, busking.

@themagicguy: Note: my table hopping is not during the wedding. It's after the wedding, during the reception, before the food. So, it's unlikely that anybody will be drunk at that point, and it gives me plenty of reason to talk to them, asking how they know the bride / groom, etc. People will probably just be relaxing / resting after all of the excitement of the wedding.

@AndyLuka: Unfortunately, with what I'm thinking of doing, I don't think they sell / make DF 3 and a half of clubs. So, I'll probably have to make it myself. I'm not quite the best, but give me a couple hours, and I'll have a few very realistic DF's by the end of the day. So, unless if you think that somebody out there sells a single high-quality DF'ed 3 and a half of clubs for less than $10, I'll probably make it myself. I was actually thinking of taking a 7 of clubs for the newlyweds, that they "freely picked". At this point, I'll probably joke about having to share it, now that they're married, so... PBrush change to a DF 3 & a half of clubs, and a normal 3 & a half of clubs (because they have to share it equally Smile). After some turn-overs, autographs, me asking the bride's bra-size, awkward dancing, and maybe a pelvic thrust or two, they end up with a DF'ed 3 and a half of clubs, with their signatures on either side.

@steve ehlers: The wedding will most likely not have a DJ, but it will be loud because of 300 Asian people talking across the tables from each other. Fortunately, when you're at just ONE table, everyone can hear you just fine. It'll be just like a crowded (well, not REALLY crowded) fancy Chinese restaurant.

@everyone: Thanks for all of the suggestions! I'm learning quite a bit, you guys are great! Smile
Futureal
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Hate to break it to you, but your stuff sounds BORING. No one wants to see the 21 card trick or hear a history lesson or see a gambling demonstration at a wedding.

Do five minutes MAX at a table. Unless people are yelling and cheering and demanding to see more.

Do two cards tricks MAX at a table. And that's only if you're entertaining. Bill Malone can do an hour with cards, I'm not aware of anyone else who can.

Start thinking more about THEM and less about YOU. Hate to break it to you but most people don't care about magic.

The whole "three sets of three" thing is good on paper, but it's not necessary. You can get away with doing the same, or a similar set, at most tables. Stop worrying about putting all these different sets and presentations together and just work on getting ONE set together that's GREAT. That's more than most magicians ever have.
Zombie Magic
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Quote:
On 2012-11-15 17:52, Futureal wrote:
Hate to break it to you, but your stuff sounds BORING. No one wants to see the 21 card trick or hear a history lesson or see a gambling demonstration at a wedding.




Did I perform at your wedding?
Daryl -the other brother
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Waffles,

The DF cards that Andy mentioned are for the anniversary Waltz. The bride and groom each select and sign a normal playing card and in the finale they fuse together back to back. You can buy a whole deck of DF cards at most magic stores.
wafflesthemagician
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@Futureal: A-HA! I've been waiting for this one. This is what I'm looking for, actual numbers, and telling me limits. You say that no-one wants to see a 21 card trick, listen to boring history, and see gambling moves. You say 5 minutes max a table, and 2 card tricks max. That's great! Now, with that in mind, I've got a bunch of questions:, not necessarily for the general public, but a little bit more personally (I'm assuming you've done plenty of table hopping, yourself, and are experienced in this field): What kind of magic would you do in this situation? What do you usually end up talking about? Does two card tricks mean two CARD tricks, or just two tricks, and that's it?

I'm doing 30 tables in ~ 3 hours, so 5 minutes per table seems reasonable / more than plenty. Anyways, Great advice, thanks!
Zombie Magic
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Wafflesthemagician, have you ever been to a wedding reception as a guest? It's loud ( music and social chatter ) and alcohol. Forget gambling demos and procedural tricks.

Look at the demo for the Executive wallet. You can see David Penn working just such an event:

http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S14033

While it's a card to wallet, It comes with a DVD and David teaches his #1 set. David's philosophy is to "beat them up with magic" and he gets as many people at the table involved. While the card is being signed he's hitting other table guests with fast, amazing card magic. No counting, no long winded patter, etc. He also covers how to approach the table and take control.

David says there are events when this is the only magic he performs, just going from table to table.

The DVD alone is worth the $100 for the advice and routines. You can use any wallet, but the on it comes with is perfect for a posh event.

Good luck with the wedding and tell us come summer how it went. I'm sure they'll love you and your magic!
AdamChance
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You might want to try just doing about 3 minutes at each table... that'll still take 1.5 - 2 hours at least to do all 30 tables.

if you just bring an invisible deck, a chop cup (w/ final load) and a TT (with sweat and low packets)... you'll do great. or anything like that. just bring 2-4 tricks that you can repeat over and over again... maybe doing 2 tricks per table.

then after you've done every table, take a short break... then go back to the tables who enjoyed it the most and give them your full card routine with story and all that stuff if you want.

I'm not familiar with a lot of the card tricks you mentioned... but that 21 card trick doesn't seem too impressive. there's a lot of better stuff out there. just take your best tricks and make one routine w/ story... but if I were you, I'd stick to tricks like the invisible deck. sometimes I wonder why I even bother practising new tricks and learning new routines when I can just go around doing the ID to people and look like a champ every time.
Daryl -the other brother
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Also try to do routines that don't require table space. Wedding tables tend to be crowed so do routines you can perform in your hands at chest level IE: rope magic like prof's nightmare. Also have routines that involve your audience, magic that happens in their hand is very powerful. That's why after 40 plus years I still use the sponge bunnies, if you include a sponge ball or rabbit routine with your ID and TT you won' be sorry.

Your time per table sounds about right but don't forget that 5 minutes also includes time for approach and conversation (Hi my name is***, Are you friends of the bride or groom? ECT)

Wear comfy shoes, drink plenty of water and most of all...HAVE FUN!
S2000magician
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My advice is pretty simple: have fun! If you're having fun, it's easier for your audience to have fun.

(Some people say that if you have fun, so will your audience, but that's going too far.)
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