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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Banquet strolling strategy? (11 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Eternal Order
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Profile of Dannydoyle
Here is my sticking point. You are only at a table for a few minutes. Why would anyone do effects that are not your best stuff?

Even in a standard restaurant setting it is a few minutes each. Where is room for "filler" in this scenario? I just do not understand this at all.

As for how many effects you will land on this on your own. Every answer is right for the individual. You will try several methods and arrive at your favorite.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Charles Gaff
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204 Posts

Profile of Charles Gaff
Certainly there isn't much filler. But if one had 3 effects, one would prob be the best, most exciting, funnest or whatever criteria one measures with. In that case, would you do "best" first and get it in except in the rarest of situations, or build up to the best?
Brent McLeod
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Profile of Brent McLeod
Hi, as mentioned by Danny there are no set rules, I am a Professional Corporate entertainer and regularly perform close up at many tables for 1-2 hrs prior to the stage show, I use a very strong quick opener that leads to a comical signed card effect,depending on the table I may do a 3rd effect, if not Ill move on to another table,as we all know you could perform all night for 1 group that goes well, I find performing 1-2 maybe 3 effects are sufficent to cover the room approx 100 guests per hour is manageable depending on circumstance. I always have a few group effects from tables that are very keen to see you again such as Bill in Lemon etc..the noise & fun created at these tables always ensures other tables will ask you to perform for them again etc. I like to cover the room with quick effects first including tables with 4-5 people that are very keen to see you, that I know work through experience, then you can go back to certain groups that are really interested with slightly longer routines & I often find others will come to that table so instead of 10 people watching you now have 15-20 and much more noise & reaction gets the room all looking to see the fun going on. I don't have set order for tables ,over time you get to know what tables to start with & others come back later, in the corporate world you can tell when people are in serious conversation etc..

Great topic, nice to see all the different ways we approach events

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Profile of vincentmusician
The best way to get better is by doing. Strolling is one of the things you just have to learn. I take a look at the tables. Then I try to go to the table where people look like they are having a good time. Judging by the number of people and how the angles are, I select material that works and can be seen by everyone. I like to vary the effects. However, if something is getting a great reaction, I will repeat it. I am a bit looser than some here who have planned certain sets to perform. I am a more go with the flow type Strolling Magician. Do what ever works for you. There is no right answer.Cheers!
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Profile of Avocat
One thing I’ve had success with is involving multiple tables in larger routines

I learned this while performing linking wedding rings across several tables as an experiment. I wanted to see if anyone would “compare notes” in a manner that might tip the method. No one ever did. They just wanted to be happy and have fun.

So I began running longer routines (5 minutes max) for larger groups as a way of getting around more. It’s workable
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Profile of Avocat
Oh forgot to mention, Bobby Acoba was a successful enough bartender magician that he frequently got flown to Japan, all expenses paid, for corporate gigs after Japanese businessmen saw him working his bar.

Bobby's typical set consisted of a number of killer effects with the loosest routining possible, including some where he could leave the deck or props with the spectators while he worked on other patrons' drinks.

His method of dealing with ballrooms is one that a lot of experienced workers might well condemn.

He'd set up at an unused table off to the side and just wait for people to come to him. Guests would come up, sit for a few tricks, and move on.

In other words, his version of "walk around" involved no actual "walking around."

Yet he kept getting hired and had excellent word-of-mouth recommendations all his life.

I think one lesson we can learn is that laypeople have no idea we're even SUPPOSED to be walking around. As long as people are happy and entertained, they'll be satisfied.

It calls to mind Jon Racherbaumer's infamous 1998 essay in MAGIC magazine, where he points out that strolling magic can be, if I recall correctly, "crass and invasive."

As lovers of magic, we can forget sometimes that, however great our skills, it's still a breach of normal social etiquette to come up to people's dining tables (or just groups of people standing around) and interrupt their conversations. Now, of course, we all have any number of acceptable workarounds; that's why "introductions" are such a common topic in this forum.

Still, it's worth remembering that walking up to strangers and magishing for them, unprompted, is a bit like what mimes and clowns do in similar environments.

Regardless, the bottom line is: at least one workable banquet strolling strategy involves not strolling
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