The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » First table hopping gig (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
jaizon
View Profile
Inner circle
By time you read this I will have
1540 Posts

Profile of jaizon
I'll be doing my first table hopping gig at a local restaurant next weekend. I am not looking for advice on any specific effects to do, but
would love some input on how to approach the tables, how long to stay, etc. Thank you.

Preston
John C
View Profile
Eternal Order
I THINK therefore I wrote
12060 Posts

Profile of John C
I walk up to the table and open with, "you want to see the only magic trick I know?" I get a laugh. They usually say, "you only know one?" I say, "yes, but its a good one. " then I perform my first instantly resetable trick.

I don't tell them who I am yet. At the conclusion one of them may say who are you or do you work here or are you just walking around....I interrupt and tell them who I am.

Now,do you need to be me to use this approach? Perhaps. I look like me have the personality of me and this has always worked for me.

As far as tricks make sure they are instantly resetable. Try not to use stuff that will get dirty with food. Only approach tables where they are not eating. You are there to help the waiters and waitresses. Don't spend too long at each table unless the restaurant is a downer and there's no one there. Hahaha

There are books written on this stuff so take my advice for what it's worth. To some it may be valuable. To others it may not. That's all I have for now.
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
Gourmet
View Profile
Loyal user
247 Posts

Profile of Gourmet
How long to stay :
Don't perform until they are fed up. Leave the hungry and wanting for more.
David Williamson quotes his crazy uncle (?) who said to him before he ran naked into the forest :"Only give them 40%"

Opening effect:
I've thought long time about it until it gave me headaches and came to the conclusion, that a simple promise, that they are going to see something amazing is enough for me.
I start with an effect, they don't get involved too much. They can just watch and enjoy Smile
Tom Jorgenson
View Profile
Inner circle
LOOSE ANGLES, CALIFORNIA
4452 Posts

Profile of Tom Jorgenson
I'd offer this:

• When you figure out your run of effects, prepare a graceful cleanup and bow-out at the end of each one, as you may be interrupted at any point in your 'set'.
• As this is your first table hopping thing, try to learn when to quit. Don't overstay your welcome. Pay attention to their attention spans. A good time to quit is right after your best effect. People remember (and keep the emotional 'flavor' of) the last thing they see or hear. End Wowzer and they remember Wowzer. Also, be attentive of how many at the table don't want you there (body language, disinterest, vaguely looking around)...they may like magic, but also may have something more important going on at the table. That seldom goes on, but be aware when it does.
• Tip the waitstaff as best you can, in whatever way you can (a small $10 box of chocolates for the back room works as well or better than loot). Waitstaff feedback can be a big influence in your getting hired back.
• And, of course, It's not about you, its about them. ( my favorite with a family was to flash Dad's selected or force card to a kid, do da Booga Booga and let the kid slowly read Dad's mind. Great reaction as the kids are thrilled to get something over on Dad.)

I always had several mini-sets of (generally) 3 effects each that flowed, built and finished nicely. I could join them together when needed.

You might want to set your routines based on table occupants: Old adults...young adults...new families...lotsa kids...funny people, serious people, etc.

• And the best: Have fun and make fun happen.

Some of my intro lines, depending on the place and table were

"HI, I'm your free entertainment for the evening...would you like to start with the cards or the tassels?"

Howdy..._____ has hired world class entertainment for the evening, absoletely free! That would be me. I specialize in Impossibilities and Minor Miracles...do you have a preference?

Hi all....I happened to notice you have a whole table of weird kids...out of curiosity, now, which one is the weirdest one? You? I could tell because of that ball you have....the red one...can I borrow it?...the one behind your ear...hold still, I'll get it....(etc)

Have fun...doing it will teach you the most. The books available will speed up your learning.

Please post on how it went and what your impressions and take-home were on your first Table Hopping experience.It would be interesting to read.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
Mindpro
View Profile
Inner circle
9868 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Be aware. Being consciously aware of the people, timing, business, and personal response and acceptance. Gain the support of staff as well.

I also agree on having a pre-planned intro and exit strategy. Bets of luck!
John C
View Profile
Eternal Order
I THINK therefore I wrote
12060 Posts

Profile of John C
Whatever you do don't tell the waitstaff to "wait a minute" so you can finish your 21 mathematical card trick.
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
jaizon
View Profile
Inner circle
By time you read this I will have
1540 Posts

Profile of jaizon
Quote:
On Nov 16, 2014, John C wrote:
Whatever you do don't tell the waitstaff to "wait a minute" so you can finish your 21 mathematical card trick.


The wait staff love my work. Smile But no, I would never do that.
jaizon
View Profile
Inner circle
By time you read this I will have
1540 Posts

Profile of jaizon
Thanks for all your comments so far!

Preston
Scott
View Profile
Special user
UK
544 Posts

Profile of Scott
"Hi guys my name is Preston, I hope you are having a great evening, the management has asked me to come over and entertain you while you are waiting.

Would you like to see something amazing".

Watch for the waiting staff and time your effects accordingly, don't get in their way, and keep in mind the food is the priority.

Good luck
Scott Creasey - Mind Reader

Original Routines With A Mental Flavour

http://www.mentalmagicism.com/
Amirá
View Profile
Inner circle
MentalismCenter.com
5134 Posts

Profile of Amirá
Quote:
On Nov 17, 2014, Scott wrote:
"Hi guys my name is Preston, I hope you are having a great evening, the management has asked me to come over and entertain you while you are waiting.

Would you like to see something amazing".

Watch for the waiting staff and time your effects accordingly, don't get in their way, and keep in mind the food is the priority.

Good luck


Yes, that's my recommendation as well in terms of psychological attitude towards opening a group.

First of all... a genuine smile while you say "Hi" , look everyone, connect with them and introduce yourself.
A nice technique to break the ice even before performing is ask for everyone´s name. You can show indirectly that you have a good mind repeating everyone´s name and play with that..

"Whats my name Richard?.... Pablo...very good"

"What`s his name John (pointing to Richard...normally this is funny because most of the time they know each other).... Richard. Very good, and my name is?... Pablo"


Then perform something modular, not too long in procedure as opener. If they want to see more, one more piece.
Identify the "leader" on the group and stand/seat close to him/her


All the best!
Pablo
Performer and Author

Mentalism Center: The best online space to get quality Mentalism
www.mentalismcenter.com

Arkanosophy: The Boutique for Mystery Performers
www.arkanosophy.com
saysold1
View Profile
Eternal Order
Recovering Cafe addict with only
10618 Posts

Profile of saysold1
Quote:
On Nov 17, 2014, Amirá wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 17, 2014, Scott wrote:
"Hi guys my name is Preston, I hope you are having a great evening, the management has asked me to come over and entertain you while you are waiting.

Would you like to see something amazing".

Watch for the waiting staff and time your effects accordingly, don't get in their way, and keep in mind the food is the priority.

Good luck


Yes, that's my recommendation as well in terms of psychological attitude towards opening a group.

First of all... a genuine smile while you say "Hi" , look everyone, connect with them and introduce yourself.
A nice technique to break the ice even before performing is ask for everyone´s name. You can show indirectly that you have a good mind repeating everyone´s name and play with that..

"Whats my name Richard?.... Pablo...very good"

"What`s his name John (pointing to Richard...normally this is funny because most of the time they know each other).... Richard. Very good, and my name is?... Pablo"


Then perform something modular, not too long in procedure as opener. If they want to see more, one more piece.
Identify the "leader" on the group and stand/seat close to him/her


All the best!


These two above are my favorites - I do 5 to to 7 strolling gigs a month and I always try to introduce myself to everyone before starting a set.

Also:

1. Your typically interrupting a conversation or multiple conversations. Be aware of that and always genuinely smile and apologize for interrupting. The tell them who you are, what you do (mentalist, magician, etc) and that you would like to show them something amazing.

2. Your first effect must hit hard - very hard. Some nearby may act disinterested - ignore and they will pay attention later.

3. For the 2nd or 3rd (final) effect try to get the grouo to make some noise, cheers, or clap. That gets the attention of others in the room and makes the stroll easier through the night.

4. The first 20 minutes of most strolling gigs are toughest. You must earn your performing "cred" before you are accepted and welcomed by the room.

5. All strolling effects should be your "A" material. No weak effects at all - all must hit hard.

6. Thank everyone at the end - shake hands again. Tell them that you will be around later and may show them some more perhaps.

7. By the end of the night don't be surprised if some people give you hugs goodbye. You in many cases become like family.

8. When people compliment you remind them that your energy comes directly from them.
Creator of The SvenPad Supreme(R) line of premium, made in the USA utility props. https://svenpads.com/
Christopher Taylor
View Profile
V.I.P.
British Columbia Canada
2193 Posts

Profile of Christopher Taylor
I have had a regular gig at the same wonderful restaurant for nearly four years. When first starting there, it quickly became apparent to me that I did not want to be there if I had to approach each table cold and "break the ice". I discussed this with the owner/manager. Firstly, I felt that it was important that I show the management that my primary concern is the smooth running of the establishment and creating a pleasurable experience for the patrons which he appreciated. This approach means that your main focus is NOT pulling in tips. If you need them, the tips come on their own from happy patrons. With that established, we came up with a solution that has evolved over time. The restaurant began to include mention of me in their regular local advertising. We also printed up tent cards which were placed on every table. The card introduced me and suggests the patrons ask their waitress to invite me if interested. We found that many of the patrons simply did not read the cards. The procedure has evolved so that when the group is seated the hostess delivers a quick pitch about me after mentioning the day's specials. If they are interested, she then places one of the tent cards on the table. I then spot the card and approach to table knowing I am expected. Believe me when I say that this makes a HUGE difference in the group's experience and the effect it has on the restaurant's atmosphere. The group has a much more relaxed experience and are appreciative in terms of their response to my performance. That in turn catches the interest of other tables and more request for me to visit from people who may have not been interested when first arriving. Patrons now frequently show up after calling to ensure I will be there.

All the best,

Christopher
Christopher Taylor

Member P.E.A.

www.taylorimagineering.com

MAKING MENTALISM MORE IMPOSSIBLE
jaizon
View Profile
Inner circle
By time you read this I will have
1540 Posts

Profile of jaizon
Great idea Christopher!
John C
View Profile
Eternal Order
I THINK therefore I wrote
12060 Posts

Profile of John C
Like I said there are books written on this subject. But for quick advice, piecemeal, here it is.
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
saysold1
View Profile
Eternal Order
Recovering Cafe addict with only
10618 Posts

Profile of saysold1
Quote:
On Nov 17, 2014, jaizon wrote:
Great idea Christopher!


Yes a really groovy idea - however not quite practical for typical strolling gigs.

Most strolling gigs mean being dropped into an unknown environment, sink or swim.
Creator of The SvenPad Supreme(R) line of premium, made in the USA utility props. https://svenpads.com/
Zephury
View Profile
Elite user
Hollywood, FL
488 Posts

Profile of Zephury
"Welcome to (Restaurant name), my name is Harley and I'm the house magician. (I emphasize the word magician) as odd as it may sound. (When I say the words "as odd as it may sound," I add a bit of style to it, emphasizing that again.) Would you be interested in seeing a little something?

By adding the words "as odd as it may sound," I got a large increase in the number of diners that would agree to see something. It gives them a little bit of a laugh, thus makes it hard for them to say no.

I tend to open with a coin trick, then I do a card trick. Three sets of three tricks is a wonderful thing to go by, but I often find myself straying away from my sets.

I wayyy over thought things before my first restaurant gig. Find 2 or 3 tricks you love doing and do them. Experience will better prepare you for your next night of performance than anything else, I think. It's really not that complicated. Do what you love and you'll find what works for you.

For me, I have that opening line. If they say yes, I do a quick one coin routine with a jumbo coin finale. I then do a card trick or two.
It's important that you can finish your set in case their food comes at just about any time. However, if your timing is good, you wont have to worry about it. Learn how long it takes for their food to come, and do nothing that will remotely take up all of that time. The moment you approach a table is the moment their menus are taken by their server, once their order is taken.

If they say no to seeing your magic... which people WILL, it's unavoidable. Smile and say "That's okay, maybe next time. Have a wonderful evening." It's so important that you don't force people to watch, also keep your cool if they say no.

Good luck and have FUN. I don't know of any magicians that don't love what they do. We all have a passion for it and that's why we do it. There is nothing to fear. This is what you LOVE.
Christopher Taylor
View Profile
V.I.P.
British Columbia Canada
2193 Posts

Profile of Christopher Taylor
Quote:
On Nov 17, 2014, saysold1 wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 17, 2014, jaizon wrote:
Great idea Christopher!


Yes a really groovy idea - however not quite practical for typical strolling gigs.

Most strolling gigs mean being dropped into an unknown environment, sink or swim.


Very true. However, the question was about a restaurant gig which is usually the result of a performer making a pitch to the management with perimeters clearly laid out. I do suppose though that it could be a one-time-only corporate gig that happens to be a a restaurant. Still, if that were the case the people involved would be expecting a performer to approach them.

All the best,

Christopher
Christopher Taylor

Member P.E.A.

www.taylorimagineering.com

MAKING MENTALISM MORE IMPOSSIBLE
Rolyan
View Profile
Special user
I'm fencing in my land; so far there are
586 Posts

Profile of Rolyan
Pm sent
jaizon
View Profile
Inner circle
By time you read this I will have
1540 Posts

Profile of jaizon
The first gig went quite well! Thank you all for your contributions. They did make a difference.

There were a couple of hiccups,, but I used them to refine what I do and how I do it.

I expect next weeks performances will be even better.

Warm regards,

Preston
themagiciansapprentice
View Profile
Inner circle
Essex, UK
1381 Posts

Profile of themagiciansapprentice
Quote:
On Nov 23, 2014, jaizon wrote:
The first gig went quite well! Thank you all for your contributions. They did make a difference.

There were a couple of hiccups,, but I used them to refine what I do and how I do it.

I expect next weeks performances will be even better.

Warm regards,

Preston


Glad to hear

Now reflect on the hiccups .... And the successes

What worked that engaged with the audience? Which tricks flowed best?
Have wand will travel! Performing children's magic in the UK for Winter 2014 and Spring 2015.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » First table hopping gig (8 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.17 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL