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 Post subject: "crabby" people at a table
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 10:06 am 
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i am 15 years old, and have been thinking about starting to get a permanent job at a certain restaurant to do walk around magic as maybe a weekly job. i've never done restaurant magic, so with no experience, it could be difficult starting out.

Before i do a gig, i normal try to imagine what it might look like as if i were there, and choose effects according to how it may appear in my mind. some thing i think about cause me to think "what would i do if this happened?". if you know what i mean by this. the one thing that i fear about starting to do these walk around gigs is....

no reactions from crabby, unfriendly people. you know.... you walk up to them to show them something and they shun you the whole time. i don't know about other magicians, but i think that would really make me upset and cause me to feel like i am not good enough. i wouldn't know what to do in these situations because i might be too young, like i wouldn't have any control over it because of my age? so thats one "hill" i would like to jump over before i start doing these gigs, i just need some boost to get over it. how could i solve this problem? how will i handle or control it? should i even start at this age anyway? any help is appreciated. thanks in advance :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 11:42 am 
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Make them laugh, be kind and then ask if you can do a trick? I dont know so much about restaurant magic but ive seen it and thats what most of them do.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 11:44 am 
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You need to learn to "read" a table before approaching. That one skill can make or break a restaurant performer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 12:44 pm 
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IMHO if you start with the rowdy table (drunk or loud women usually) and make them scream and laugh, you nail down your social value for that crowd. Which in turns softens up a lot of tables that otherwise would have been crabby.

If they're still crabby, ask if they'd like to see some magic, they say no, you bail. Quick and easy out. Just my observation from wedding gigs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 3:42 pm 
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Its very simple. Walk up and introduce yourself to the table as the house magician and ask if they'd like to see something. If they say yes then go ahead and perform. If they are crabby and don't want to see something then thank them for their time and go to the next table.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 7:09 pm 
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I guantee that you will run into crabby people. If that happens, just say "OK, see you later" and leave. It whappens all the time. Because you're a kid it probably will not happen as often to you as to me as an adult, people don't want to hurt a kid's feelings.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 10:48 pm 
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paddy wrote:
I guantee that you will run into crabby people. If that happens, just say "OK, see you later" and leave. It whappens all the time. Because you're a kid it probably will not happen as often to you as to me as an adult, people don't want to hurt a kid's feelings.


Actually Paddy it would probably be the other way, as people don't want to disrespect someone thats older, especially if the performer is quite a bit older than them, but they could care less about disrespecting someone thats younger. I have noticed that people HATE to walk off from my boss performing at the magic shop I work in without buying anything because they feel like they're being rude to him, and I have even seen a few times people check the prices and buy the cheapest thing because they feel uncomfortable not buying something from him after watching him demonstrate.

But they don't care at all to walk off from me because I'm only 20, so generally they're typically older than me by quite a bit. And I think it was even worse was when I was younger too. I think younger magicians will get heckled a lot more often too because people think a "kid" can't possibly fool them, which isn't true at all if the "kid" has been doing magic for a long time and has a lot of experience performing.

Cstaskel I suggest trying to work in a magic shop first though if you can, or try to find some way to get some hard performing experience before hiring yourself out. I have been demonstrating in a magic shop 5 years now and only in the past year to two and a half years roughly have I felt like I am capable of performing well for close-up stuff or table hopping.

BUT, if you can't find anything to perform like in a magic shop, then just perform constantly at every opportunity for everyone you can literally, and after doing that for at least a few months consider hiring yourself out.

At some point you do have to start though if you intend to lol. I'm going to be table hopping myself shortly probably.


Last edited by thecooltonto on Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:04 am 
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There is actually a very simple solution. Don't perform for crabby people. If people don't want to see magic, simply don't impose on them.

Before you actually set off on hiring yourself out though, check out the plethora of material on the subject. If you look around this forum, you will find a list of sources that I suggest on reading. I would give you the link; however, in this situation I think it's best to look for it as you will find a lot of great information on the way.

Above all else, have fun though. That is a must in this industry. If you are an entertainer, and hate what you're doing, that is going to show and you will fail. But if you truly love it, are having fun; you will have a better chance of succeeding. Also, do not fear failure. Simply, you will fail over and over again. People will disrespect you, and annoy you to no end. People will reject you, and make your life miserable. However, if you have the talent, the will, and motivation to continue going on, you will be surprised at where you are led.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:22 am 
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I always approach the table by first telling them I'm the house magician and then ASKING them if they'd like to see some magic. If they say no (and they sometimes do) then you say, "Ok, enjoy your meal and thanks for coming in" and leave. Pretty simple. Don't push the issue.

Ted


Last edited by tedricpancoast on Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:29 am 
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tedricpancoast wrote:
I always approach the table by first telling them I'm the house magician and then ASKING them if they'd like to see some magic. If they say no (and the sometimes do) then you say, "Ok, enjoy your meal and thanks for coming in" and leave. Pretty simple. Don't push the issue.

Ted


I have a kind of similar approach but though in something flashy, like a nice big spring with the cards or a spongeball disappearance, it makes them give a small taste and get a interest and they will say yes to see magic, but other times people are just to busy caught up in conversations so you will notice that.

As for crabby people, like Dave said it comes with experience, when I look at a table now i can usually tell if they will tip, their basic reactions to my routine and with experience you can always seems to spot a heckler. . .

Ironically the heckler is usually the one who requests you to perform at their table. . .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:07 am 
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as a customer in a restaurant, i would only want to see a magic demonstration while i'm waiting on my food or after i'm done eating and having some drinks. I think this is an important thing to mention b/c if you approach people as they're eating, you'll more than likely be considered just a pest. Especially since you're young, it's going to also be difficult for you to get that respect right off the bat. So knowing when to approach is also just as important if more important than any thing else......b/c remember, they are there to eat first off. Plus, you don't want to interrupt people that look like they are having an important discussion too.

Alot of times the management will want you to perform for a table that maybe the food is taking awhile to get out to them.......this makes your job even more difficult b/c they are already angry and hungry = grumpy. So you may want to open up with a little joke first, let them know you're on their side, then ask if they'd like to see something cool. Ex. "Yeah, your food should be coming soon, I saw they finally caught that chicken running around back there." You get the idea.....I think 15 is quite young but if you can pull it off, more power to you........good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:53 am 
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notnilc does raise some very good point. There is a time and place for magic at a restaurant.

I think one of the most important things to remember about being a restaurant magician is that you're also an ambassador for the restaurant. You want to make sure that the customer is happy. That doesn't always mean that you will do magic at each table you visit. On many occasions, I've simply gone to a table and talked to the customers in order to make sure they are having a good time, or to see what I could do to make their evening more enjoyable.

Also, with the waiting for food situation, it is good to perform for those people if they want you to. I personally wouldn't mention their food being late though, as it will make them think of it. After awhile, you will start noticing who to perform though in order to make everyone's dining experience pleasurable. Also, the waitstaff will be more than willing to help in order to point you to the tables that "need" entertainment for one reason or another. They know that the happier people are, the more they tip.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:45 pm 
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Definetly DO NOT approach a table that is eating!!!

I would also argue that you shouldn't work at a table that is done eating (espcially in a packed restaurant). The restaurant (and the servers) want the table to turn. You keeping people around after they are done eating will likely torque off the servers sooner or later (and the manager won't like it too much either). I only make an exception to this rule if it's a special request from the people at the table (and then I ask them to try and catch me while they are waiting for their food the next time).

Ted


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:39 pm 
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Hi Tedricpancoast,

Yes, i see that if a table is just sittng there and the server wants to turn that table so they can get another party there then don't approach....However, alot of times, people will have an after meal drink.....or smoke and it's good b/c when you do your magic you can do a couple of things for them and when you are finished alot of times they leave when your act is done. I think it's a psychological thing. Like OK the show is over....let's go.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:10 am 
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You may be exactly right, it may actually HELP the table turn. I still wouldn't do it. Most servers wouldn't think you were helping, they'd just think, "ok...........anytime now!!". I don't think it's worth having them misunderstand.

Ted


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