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Alan Wheeler
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Hello friends!

I am considering what kind of public performances to try when I get back to the States, so I tried an experiment.

A friend of mine here was having a birthday dinner out at a restaurant with some friends, and I was to appear before the food arrived and give about a ten minute performance. (I chose a paddle-move routine with pencils, a shrinking case/card revelation/shrinking deck routine, the mismade bill, and a pen through bill penetration.)

I was nervous, but it went very well. The experience made me wonder if there is a market for this kind of thing. Does anyone book short appearances for special dinners like this--or would this be of little profit and only something to do in a transition period before more consistant work appeared?

Also--though it doesn't seem to matter here in China--in the States would one need the permission of the manager to come in and do a short performance like this?

any other tips about this kind of thing?

Thanks in advance.

alan Smile
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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Harry Murphy
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Terry Seabrook in England is well known as a banquet magician. He is hired as a Master of Ceremonies. He and I discussed this at a convention a few years ago and he encouraged me to give it a go. I did.

Using his Idea, I have played several corporate banquets as well as smaller (100 people or so) private banquet parties. I sit at the head table and act the Master of Ceremonies as well as do some very visual, topical (company theme or party theme), and funny magic. The act is short and sweet and the money is good!

Some of the private parties include Wedding Banquets, Marriage anniversaries (this weekend I performed a 50th wedding anniversary banquet and ball over 300 people in attendance!), and adult birthday party banquets. All good fun!

My philosophy in magic performing is very simple. Anyplace there is a gathering of people who are willing to pay me, and then they will get a good show! Of course, this is not entirely accurate. There are some groups that I will not play because I do not want to be associated with them. Fortunately for me, these types of groups never hire magicians anyway so the issue has never come up in my performing career!

Bottom line, GO FOR IT!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Alan Wheeler
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Thanks for the encouragement, Mumblepeas!

Does anyone else have experience performing at banquets or even smaller "special dinners" or occassions? Does anyone know of any parameters for doing a short performance that has been booked by a CUSTOMER in a club or restaurant, in other words, is this kind of thing that I did--showing up in a restaurant to perform for people--socially and culturally appropriate?

alan

Smile
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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Magique Hands
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Hello Alan!!

Showing up at a restaurant and performing for people IS socially acceptable! It is a fantastic way to 'plant the seed' in the minds of the other people that happen to be watching. Also, it is a great way to self market yourself (the very best in my opinion.) A huge percentage of my shows are booked, because someone saw me perform at a restaurant, or other social gathering. A wonderful proverb says..."Despise not small beginnings." Advise that should be implemented for those just starting their 'table-hopping' careers.

Performing close-up at 'BANQUET' settings, is great. You get to perform for alot of people. The situation is more one-on-one, giving you the opportunity for people to approach you afterwards, to inquire about your services.

Don't Give Up The Day!
- - Troy
"If you go around sprinkling Woofle Dust on everything... people will think 'My... What an odd character." www.magicmafia.com
Garrett Nelson
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If you are asking about performing at a restaurant where you were hired by the group rather than the restaurant, you are fine.

Many times people who have a small private party bring many personal things along with them. One example is when they open gifts at a restaurant. You are a guest of party, and hence a guest of the restaurant. This is all assuming that the party asked you to come and perform for them.

If you are doing more of a parlor type show, it isn’t a bad idea to call and inform the restaurant of this. Try and arrange it so you are performing while they are waiting for their food (if this will allow you enough time). That way you won’t be keeping the party in the restaurant for too long after they have finished eating hence stopping the restaurant from turning the table and making more money.

When the party has rented out a special room, you are set. Then they are already paying for the use of the facilities, and you can basically perform whenever they want you to. It is fairly common for a party to rent out as room and have a magician come in and perform.

So to answer your question, yes. There is a market for this kind of performance.
Alan Wheeler
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Thanks friends!

I think it could be good market for close-up magic.

alan
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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