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RedHatMagic
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So I go to a gig, an outdoor event at a care home, old folks, sometimes with family, seated at tables. My plan, start at table 1 and work round anti clockwise. Table 1 polite but mostly disinterested. Table 2 ....snoozing. Next table - lively and that went well. Client points me to various tables (more like drags me really) so I spend the rest of the time bouncing around. It worked but there has to be a better way.
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Dannydoyle
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Seems like a good way to me.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
RedHatMagic
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Well it worked which is clearly a plus
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Dick Oslund
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Hey Red!
I'm 82, so, I guess I qualify as an "old folk"! When I was on the road playing schools all over the USA, the "office" would quite often book a senior citizen center in the evening. (I didn't qualify as an "old geezer" then.) Most of the gigs were "parlor shows". Many times, I would notice a senior citizen, snoozing while I worked. (THAT never happens in a school auditorium!!!)

In the early 1900s, when "flying machines" were "new", pilots had an expression: "Any landing that you can walk away from, is a GOOD LANDING!"

I'm assuming that the client was "happy". --Nurses, and attendants at these places, all understand that their patients have varying degrees of "interest" in life. Even a SMILE from some elderly "grandma" is often a "big reaction"!

So, like a good Boy Scout, "BE PREPARED" to bounce around if it's a strolling situation. Present visual, colorful, simple, FUN "stuff". Generally, I would avoid card tricks (these people forget what day it is!) If all are in wheel chairs, ask a nurse to be your "assistant who cuts the rope".

Old geezers (like me) hand out lots of free advice!

Break a leg!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
RedHatMagic
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Thanks Dick,

It went OK. By and large though restaurant workers tell me they start at one end and work around....no bouncing. The bouncing worked fine but....I just wonder how other people do it. Start at livelier table might be a good start!

Danny
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Dick Oslund
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Yes! That makes sense! By starting at a livelier table, the response from that table could very well be "contagious"!!!

Also, it would give YOU a bit of "encouragement"!

The late Karrell Fox,when he worked a corporate party, in which he would be table hopping, wore a RED Top Hat, along with one of his very colorful jackets. At the start of the party, he would have the MC (I forget what you folks in the UK call an MC!) announce that "our magician will be circulating around the room. He is wearing a RED top hat. Invite him to join your group for a moment! You'll like him!

I think that I'll get one of my old top hats "painted" red!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
MeetMagicMike
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RedHatMagic wrote

Quote:
It went OK. By and large though restaurant workers tell me they start at one end and work around....no bouncing.


Really? I've been a restaurant worker for over 20 years and can't imagine starting at one end and working around. People aren't served in that order so how can you work in that order? You have to visit the tables after the waiters take the menus and before the main course is served (well, that's optimum any way).

Besides that, you have some tables that desperately want a visit and some that couldn't care less. Are you really going to visit three tables that are disinterested while three that are frantic to see you run out of time and have to leave?

I guess some restaurants are VERY different from the many I have worked.
Magic Mike

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Dannydoyle
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They do not seat restaurants that way. Bouncing as you describe it is the norm.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
RedHatMagic
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Thanks...bouncing it is then.

Danny
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jay leslie
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RedH
No. No Bouncing. Bouncing is a concept that is not a plan and isn't any better then shooting into the wind.
You might just bounce to the same type of people at different tables and get the same response.

What you want to do is connect: (In no particular order) entertain people that are sitting in small groups or by themselves and appear alert but not ocvupied, Possibly looking around but no one to talk to. B, people tapping their fingers or showing other signs of anticipation or interest.

You don't want to approach people on the phone, or with their eyes locked in a gaze with another in deep conversation, or people who are kissing in a dark corner, or people who are loudly arguing. Get the idea? It isn't rocket sceince.

You want to approach people who May be talking BUT not looking at each other - or worse - their heads are pointed at each other but their midsections are facing away. You want to approach people that smile when you make eye contact.

You do not want to approach people who ignore you when you open a fire wallet at the table next to them. You do not want to approach people who look away from you when you make eye contact.

It's not rocket science here, just common sence. Imagine that you are not a magician, just a guy who wants to hand-out flyers to paint their house. Would you approach someone who has a mouthful of food and picking-up a glass of wine?

You sometimes want to approach people that are fragmented. For example: there are 6 people at a 7 person table. Two groups of 2 are talking and 2 are in the middle looking around, playing with their silverware and adjusting their clothing. THOSE people are probably good to approach because if you work it right, you might be able to convert the others into an audience.

Now that you got that straight.

Do NOT go on with the notion that you are going to do an exact set of 3 or 4 routines. Some people may be satisfied if you just do a sleight and tell them you'll be back. Some may feign interest and rudely walk away when they see a friend come in the door. Some may watch a routine then say "I saw a guy pull a signed card out of his wallet" and you switch gears because you were ready to do a coin matrix but you do Triumph or OOTW or another card trick because that's the direction the guest takes you.

There are no hard rules except for the one my mentor Jim Swoger said a few thousand times "Anything that can happen usually does"

So stop bouncing and start connecting.

But in retrospect... Ask those guys who work the tables in a row " Are you starting at the beginning of the shift where the place is empty and as people come in, you work them"? That's the only reason I could see working from an end to an end. Also. The pattern of when groups finish eating and new groups are seated can't be timed. They will come and go intermittently and for that reason you can not travel 123 unless it's the doors just opened, as I said before.

I'll get off my soapbox now.... Good luck. Take your best 12 routines and prepare to perform 3 of them a thousand times, but still carry the others just in case the vibe leads you away from your best 3. And "best 3" had nothing to do with the 3 you like the best. It's the 3 that everyone drops their jaw on, The 3 that inspire people to reach in their pocket for tips, The 3 that people mention the second time they see you as "the reason they had to come back again"
Your favorite 3, 4 or 5 are the ones that get you paid.

The bartenders favorite drinks to make are the ones people ask for, pay for and tip for. Yours are the same but you can use the success of the last visit to open the doors so they see new things (translation: you want to entertain and not perform the same thing so many times they figure it out)

And now I will really get off the soap box. Good luck again.
RedHatMagic
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Thanks Jay :o)

I was wondering how many professional working magicians perform tricks which they personally do not fit their personalities because they get good reactions and wonder what your view is. The reason I ask is that I am sure the traditional "ooo sponge bunnies have sex make babies" routine works....but it is not an approach that I am comfortable with....it isn't really me....so I have come up with a different version.

I totally agree that the best three are the ones that get the best reaction....but I am wondering if it is more than this. The three which get the best reaction and which fit with my personality.

Been struggling with the bunnies for a while now....give it a few more years :o)
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Dannydoyle
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Are you entertaining the audience or yourself? If the former I suggest you do routine they prefer. If the latter then do what you like.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
jay leslie
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Agreed
Rocky
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Quote:
On Aug 14, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
Are you entertaining the audience or yourself? If the former I suggest you do routine they prefer. If the latter then do what you like.


Interesting perspective. How do you know what an audience will prefer if the only thing you have to base what audiences enjoy seeing is the magic that you enjoy performing?
Dannydoyle
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25 years performing full time for audiences and simply listening to them. Seems to work.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
55Hudson
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If it works, keep it in. If it doesn't, get rid of it.

Also, the script you use doesn't have to be the same as everyone else's. It is not necessary to talk about bunnies making babies for a great sponge bunny routine.

Hudson
RedHatMagic
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Quote:
On Aug 14, 2014, 55Hudson wrote:
If it works, keep it in. If it doesn't, get rid of it.

Also, the script you use doesn't have to be the same as everyone else's. It is not necessary to talk about bunnies making babies for a great sponge bunny routine.

Hudson


Fundamentally that's what I am trying to do. Various bunny scripts have already gone the way of the dodo (sponge dodo's now there's a thought) because they were lacking but equally I am trying to make a routine that works for me as well as the audience. So I write, I test, I listen, I rewrite or I ditch...with all my routines.

In some ways it is a virtuous circle....a routine works, the audience likes it, I get off on the audience liking it.

Or the audience do not like it...so I rewrite, try again and may ultimately keep it in or ditch it depending on whether it works.

BUT the choices I offer to the audience are limited to what I enjoy or am at least neutral with. I do perform magic I am not mad about if it works well (and that will vary with the spectator as to what they like). But I don't offer magic I personally am uncomfortable with or actively dislike and I am interested to hear how full time magicians see it.
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Montana76
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Quote:
On Aug 14, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
25 years performing full time for audiences and simply listening to them. Seems to work.


Great tip.
Rolyan
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Personally I've never understood the argument that goes "I don't trike the effect, it's not in my style, I'm not comfortable with it, I don't feel natural doing it, but it gets a good reaction so I'll carry on doing it".

Why not do one of the thousands of effects out there that you do like, that fit your style, that you're comfortable with, that you feel natural doing and the gets a good reaction.

Re working the tables, there is no one answer fits all. The customer can be 'strange'. I remember one large gig where I was waiting while the guests were eating and the booker insisted I went up and performed while everyone was still eating. So I did.
Dannydoyle
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I have never seen anyone who said if it does not fit their style, or they are not comfortable they still do the trick. THAT makes no sense.

On the other hand I do some effects I do not particularly like. Mainly because people like them. When you are being paid to perform you have a responsibility to the audience. What you may or may not like is not the point. It is about the audience. Period.

I don't particularly like or dislike any part of my act. It is not about me. I am not performing for me.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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