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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Help With Bar Magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

PMVIVA
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Elite user
Argentina
460 Posts

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Hello, I actually don't have experience on working in bars and pubs doing magic, but I'm going to start performing magic in this places, I would really like if you can give me some advices or tips to starting doing it, things like this:

How must I introduce myself when I come to a table to perform magic?

How many effects should I do by table?

What kind of effects are good for bar and pub magic?

Thank you very much for your time.

I hope I Haven't wasted your time.

MAGO68
If you have an apple and I have an apple, when we exchange them we both have an apple. If I have an idea and you haven an idea, when we exchange them we both have two ideas.

Supporting the open source community.
davidpaul$
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Inner circle
Pittsburgh, Pa
2932 Posts

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mago68,
There are some great resources in regards to your question. First is Doc Eason's Bar Magic
videos. There you will see Doc performing for
bar patrons and he gives you many tips along the way. Bar magic is what he does for a living. Other resorces are Carl Andrews'
Making a Living Performing Close-up Magic and
The Strolling Magician where he goes into detail answering the questions you've raised.
Some books as previously mentioned on The Cafe are " The Complete Guide to Restaurant Magic by Kirk Charles, " The Restaurant Workers Handbook by Jim Pace and Jerry Macgregor and Real World Magic by Jerry MacGregor. Also The Magic Menu books by Jim Sisti that is geared specifically to bar and restaurant workers. Well that should keep you busy and I hope these resources help.
David Paul Smile
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
Garrett Nelson
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Special user
644 Posts

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Chicago Bar Magic by none other than Magic Cafe contributer Randy Wakeman is a great video. I think it is well worth it to get it. It shows Randy in a real bar, doing real bar magic (real Chicago bar magic, nonetheless).
Andy Charlton
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Veteran user
Palma Nova Mallorca Spain
311 Posts

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Hiya.

A good start would be to read through the magic Cafe postings, for instance, on page 8 of this section is 3 pages of postings about approaching a table.

Also scroll down to the "In the Freezer section for in depth sections with Doc Eason and Jim Sisti.

Brief answers to your questions.

Introduction:- Friendly, confident Positive and FUN! the words themselves don't matter much

How Many Effects per table:- Depends, A busy night lots of tables background noise, You might only get 1 or 2 effects out, just enough so that everyone at the party etc can say ".......and they had a magician, he was right by me and I still couldn't see how he did it." (NOTE, You must entertain them to get them to watch, but, in my experience, the first thing people say is "I couldn't see how it was done, Then they talk about how funny etc,) On a quiet night, with a table who love your stuff, you might get to do half an hour.

Which effects:- If you are looking to build up your repetoire, start with stuff that you can perform in your hands, and can be seen from across a table. You can't always do Cups and balls, no matter how brilliantly you do it, You CAN always do invisble deck.

Look for effects that are fun and entertaining, and have plenty of non card stuff. There are guys who can entertain brilliantly with just a deck of cards, but they sometimes have to get over the "Not anothe card trick" syndrome, If you start with say Sponge balls, show them that you stuff is fun to watch, it's that much easier when you get the cards out later.

All the above are just my thoughts. There are no rules. Perfect a few tricks and get out there. Perform at a hospitals, charity events etc, you will find out what works for you.

Good luck

Andy
"Keep that smile on your face, that excitement in your eyes." - Don Driver

Check out www.andyandjeansbigadventure.com
or
www.andysmagic.com
RandyWakeman
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V.I.P.
Plainfield, ILLINOIS
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Free drinks for Garrett!

I'll try to answer your questions, but my last trip to Argentina (Entre Rios Province) was for duck hunting . . . teal and rosey bills (pato - pato- pato !) No joke, but let me answer as best I can:

"How must I introduce myself when i come to a table to perform magic?"
It is easier if the patrons know there is tableside magic available- table tents, placards out front, some notice as to what to expect. One of the best ways is to have the waitress ask "have you seen our magician yet?" when she takes the dessert order - - - if this is restaurant work. Now, you come to the table knowing you are expected / wanted. Meet everyone, and start your show!

Not a restaurant, but cocktail tables and drinkers only? Now, you are in walk-around "in-the-hands" magic territory, working mostly out of your pockets. The waitress can still be a big help. Otherwise, just be polite and say "I'm part of the show tonight - - - have you seen this?" Offer a ten second trick and evaluate the reaction. If you've picked a fun group, they won't want you to leave.

"How many effects should I do by table?"

Less is more. You really don't want attention to wane. Contingent on the size of the club, you want to make sure as many people enjoy magic as possible. I don't know how fast you work . . . but 10-12 minutes is a reasonable goal. Hey, if they really love you, you can come back for an encore!

"What kind of effects are good for bar and pub magic?"
Forget the advice of club magicians, hobbyists, and dealers. They seldom have a clue (there are exceptions, of course). Short, direct, easy to understand - with little or no "reset" involved. You are there to work, not to set up your props! And you aren't going to waste time having stuff "examined." Amateurs think like that. A coin is a coin, a card is a card- end of story.

Take a look at Don Alan. He was a fast talker, funny - a razor wit. But the effects he chose- crystal clear. Methods are unimportant, "newness" is unimportant (its all new to your new audience) - - clear and strong effects are important. Chop cup, Benson Bowl, Card Stab, "Lump of Coal," "Invisible Deck," "Ring-Flite."

Also, the $100 Bill Switch / Card to Wallet are good examples - - - both strong, high impact effects.

When behind the bar, you can use a lot of bulkier props - - - many veteran bar workers have a tub or case they move from group to group (behind the bar). Introduce the props, and toss them back in when ready to move on.

Best advice I can give you is to go out and do it! Particularly, forget what other "magicians" tell you. What your audience tells you is FAR more important. They decide what they like-- we don't.

We magicians are an odd bunch. There are hundreds and hundreds of postings debating one move vs. another, one routine vs. another. Audiences decide what really matters-- we do not. Hobbyists want to be "the star." Pros want their clients to have a great time. The rest takes care of itself.

I can make you one guarantee. You'll learn more about bar magic in the first ten evenings of work you have than you can possibly learn anyway /anywhere else.

Share your tips with the bartenders / waitresses you work with. They need to know you are not taking money out of their pockets . . . and they can insure your success, or help destroy it. Make sure they know you are "part of the team."

Have fun,

Randy
trevorsmagic
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Regular user
The U.K.
186 Posts

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Well put Andy,
I too agree that there are no rules just entertain also i agree that if you CAN do a few tricks WELL its better than doing many tricks poor.It is very easy as some of us are aware to buy and take along and try to perform as many tricks as possible i find that in a restaurant three good tricks per table is usually enough as people like to be entertained but also like time to relax and chat,you can always return later in the evening.Just my opinion of how it works for me.
Trevor Smile
Peter Marucci
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Inner circle
5389 Posts

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If you're interested in this line, I can (with no false modesty <G>) recommend my lecture notes:
Bar Magic
and
Real-Life Table Hopping.

Both cover the very points that you raise, as well as including tricks from acts that have been "proven in the trenches" hundreds of times.

If interested, e-mail me and I'll send you my e-mail catalog list.

cheers, Smile
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
PMVIVA
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Elite user
Argentina
460 Posts

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Ok, thank you very much, you have helped me a lot, I will try to performe bar magic and try wich effects work better than others.

Again, thank you a lot.

MAGO68
If you have an apple and I have an apple, when we exchange them we both have an apple. If I have an idea and you haven an idea, when we exchange them we both have two ideas.

Supporting the open source community.
night
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New user
21 Posts

Profile of night
Now you see why Randy is the pro the he is!


Randy I know you don’t remember me. I’m an old drinking buddy of Simon L.
(But who is not… We all sat at the bar at Abbott’s a few years ago. I enjoy you work a lot!

Michael Night
Smile
Stefan Rupar
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Regular user
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Everybody refers to Doc Eason and Don Alan, which is TERRIFIC advice. But let me ad my own .025, which I'm sure you never seen before.

Study the movies of Robert Mitchum. Any of them. He made 62 Bad movies and 62 Good movies but he was terrific in every one of them.

He had a way of making you think what he was thinking without doing any histrionics. It was one of the best magic acts of the 20th century.

You can guide your specs with very subtle acting but it is acting and School 101 is about any Robert Mitchum movie.

The idea is you register something on your face which leads your specs down the garden path, and you do it in a way which makes them think they know what you're thinking.

In other words, 90% of success is sincerity, and if you can fake that, you can get away with anything.
sleightly_impressive
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New user
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MAGO68-

I just walk up and introduce myself. Plain and simple. I let them know that I am there to entrtain them and flat out ask if they'd like to see a trick. I like to borrow things as much as possible too. Especially a cigartetet and then do cig-o-bill. (Borrowed cigarette is submerged in spec drink. You rub it between your hands as if to dry it out, but the cig changes to a dollar.)

SI Smile
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