My secret to HUGE reactions (long)
OK after 7 years I STILL don't see anybody doing this, so I'm sharing with all of you. Once you do this a few times and look around the room, you'll experience a "WOW factor", almost like a glitch in the Matrix. Don't just read it, try it out - there's a clear difference between you seeing the sequence and saying, "DUH I knew that" and actually performing it.
Introduction (DON'T SKIP)
My second restaurant gig in Colorado was a BBQ place. They had these HOT teen blond waitresses who would dance around when customers had a birthday, and this LOUD ARSE horrible country music would play. My first thought was "OMG I need to compete with that? How?". So I started talking really loud, clapping, dancing myself - nothing worked. The minute they danced, I faded away into nothing. I knew if I didn't fix this issue and soon, I was fired.
Watching a football game that Sunday, I noticed spectators going wild on 3rd down, slamming their hands into the overhanging signs, clapping, cheering and finally traded high-fives once the opposing team didn't make that first down. That was it! I needed to replicate a football game at my tables. So I came up with this sequence after A LOT of trial and error:
Using Chop Cup as your first trick, double lemon final reveal, do the following:
- Reveal first lemon, big surprise, small clap
- Let spectator lift cup for 2nd lemon while drum rolling, have the whole table follow along
- Clap really loud 3 times
- High five the person who lifted the cup
I know you're underwhelmed, no? Yeah you knew that already, whatever. But there's MUCH more detail to this that makes it huge. I'm talking about people from other tables waving me over, someone always asking for my business card, the organizer calling me the next day saying how fun the event was with me, etc.
Most of you know I do weddings primarily now, and this matches PERFECTLY with the loud music. People will stop dancing, and gather around the table like there's something wild and fun going on at my table. You need TO BE THE KOOL-AID MAN. Nobody ignores the Kool-Aid man when he bursts through the wall and yells OH YEAH.
Step 1 - find the loudest table, who are already having their own party
Most people find a random table, perform for them then move on. But when you first walk into the place, or once an hour (I find an hour is about the time that most tables "cycle" and get new people) find the guys having their own party, and go BE EXPLOSIVE.
Step 2 - first lemon reveal
You'll get a fun reaction, and you need to clap medium hard. This sets a tone for the rest of the trick. One of two people MIGHT clap with you, but this sets up for the bigger finish.
Step 3 - spectator choice, moving the cup
Pick the better spectator, left or right of you. Place the first lemon on top of cup (this is VITAL. It "seals the cup" so that people actually wonder what's under there. When I set the first lemon aside or pocket it, I get less of a reaction).
Now move the cup to your left or right, towards the more-fun-spectator. Overreacting women are the best, obviously. You DO NOT want the cup near you for this second reveal, because you'll be drum rolling pretty hardcore and people will hesitate to get near all that.
Step 4 - "IF THERE'S ANOTHER LEMON UNDER THAT CUP, EVERYBODY GIVE BECKY A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE! DRUMROLL PLEASE!"
You are building momentum here - and it's important to say this pretty frickin loud. Now that the cup is near Becky, your over-reacting female spectator, you begin to MEDIUM INTENSITY drumroll on the table. Ensure that everybody else is following along. I tried lower intensity drumrolling, and you don't get the same effect, so start medium hard.
After four "left right left right" hits on the table, BANG ON THE TABLE LIKE YOU'RE PERFORMING AN EXORCISM. I'll slap it so hard my palms sting. Two thing happen here:
- Becky will actually pause for a moment once you crank up the intensity, get a big smile then lift the first lemon off the top, and reveal the second one
- The rest of your table will follow your lead, and up their drum roll noise
Step 5 - Yell and clap hard 3 times
When the second lemon (or lime, we'll discuss in a moment) appears, yell, release all that tension and then clap three times. Hard. Palm-stinging hard.
Step 6 - High five Becky, the person who lifted the cup
This is the grand finale, and you'll be surprised how many other people will high five each other, because you've created a party at the table.
Now the remainder of the restaurant, wedding tables, whatever will wonder WHAT IN THE ^$&# IS GOING ON OVER THERE. If a waitress is bringing food or a drink refill, she'll avoid the table for the 2 minutes or so that it takes to finish your high flying finale. Kids will ask their parents if they can get up and go watch what's going on at your table.
Now everybody in the place wants you, and some will wave you over "Come over here magic man!". And the entire place has warmed to your presence. So you perform the remainder of your tricks, and then go to the next table, and repeat the Chop Cup intro + other tricks. Obviously you need to tone this down for an after-church gig where people are quiet and calmer. But if there's beer at your gig, RAMP IT UP.
So let's discuss limes vs lemons. I find that starting out with a lemon, and doing a lime as the second reveal gets a better reaction. Because it's unexpected and adds that little extra surprise. Audience expects another lemon, and you startle them with the large lime. Highly recommended for milking the 0.001% more reaction out of your routine. Isn't that what tweaking your stuff is all about?
From here you can perform the worst card trick ever, and your table will still applaud. You've set the party atmosphere, and made your act stand out. And for the curious, the girls that sang happy birthday would actually WAIT UNTIL I WAS DONE with my high intensity ending before they started singing. Because I had trumped their act, and now they competed with ME instead of vice versa.