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 Post subject: Skill Needed For A Restaurant?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 5:37 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 13 Jul 2003
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Location: Virginia
Even since I made a trip to Las Vegas back on July 4th, I've been hooked on magic. Every day since then I've got haywire on my cards. I know this is a Loooong :roll: shot but, what kind of skill do you need to work in a restaurant? I live in a VERY :cry: small town with no restaurants currently hiring magicians. I haven't asked them because I'm a little afraid. So I've got the basics down and have a pretty good Ambitious Card Routine. There's some other small stuff such as a TT and Sponge Balls coming in. I don't plan on working there in the fall but come winter, I don't have any sports to do. I think this would be the best time (busting out the Raven), do you think I'll be ready by then? Of course all the restaurants could turn me down and all of this is futile. :evil:
What kind of skill do you guys have when you first started and which tricks gave you the confidence you needed? Any tips? (runs and hides under search button)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 11:05 pm 
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You sound a little premature to be entering the restaurant scene. Give it some time. You need to get a good, if not great, handle on magic and dealing with people before you entering the professional scene. Not only for yourself (because restaurants/customers are going to expect you to be phenomenal) but also for magic in general (so your not blowin tricks in front of specs because your not ready for the scene yet).

I'd say work on your stuff dilligently for a year or so...and when you start feeling confident in your magic, hit the streets/malls/etc. Once you are no longer nervous about your magic ability (you'll just know) and your confident that you can amaze pretty much anyone (you'll know that too, especially because people will always be commenting on your magic or telling you to take it to the pro scene), then your ready. Basically, you got to get to the point where magic is like walking or riding a bike...you know you can do it good and with ease, without even thinking about it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2003 8:15 am 
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In my opinion, it's just as much of a maturity thing as it is talent/ability. You have to wait until you're comfortable enough with a number of different routines that you could walk up to a table of people that you don't know and show something to them that they might not want to see right away. You have to be able to hold a conversation with new people, while showing a degree of confidence that the audience HAS to pick up on. If you enter a restaurant job too early, your audiences will know, and you'll be heckled, etc... Work with the magic for as long as it takes to build up that confidence, and this will be different for everyone. Another piece of advice when trying to get into the business is don't just go into a restaurant and ask if they want a magician. You're trying to sell them something that they really don't need. Go into a restaurant that has the type of customers that you want to perform for and eat a few times (If you enjoy working for children pick a family restaurant). See how things work in the restaurant first and figure out if that's where you want to be. Then when you do go to the manager, you can say something like "last time I was here, it took 25 minutes for the entrees to come out....now here's what I can do for you during that time to make that 25 minutes feel like nothing...etc." At least you have a marketing ploy. Hope this helps...


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 Post subject: Good Trick
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2003 4:53 pm 
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If you want a really good trick that would work well in a restaurant, I might suggest the Mind Bender DVD by Chad Sanborn.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2003 5:05 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
The main skill you need in restaurant work is confidence.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2003 2:21 am 
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The main skill you need to work in restaurants is confidence, yes...



But on the same level you need to know how to deal with and handle people...which is not at all easy. About 3/4 of your success in magic isn't about how technically good you are, but how you engage your audience.

Let me put it this way:

A guy who's been diligently practicing moves for years and years and is the best card handler in the world, but has no people skills, will be lucky to every succeed in the restaurant.

A guy who's only been doing magic say a year, and can only do mathematical type card tricks, but can really engage and entertain the crowd...will virtually be begged to work.


This is the reason I always talk about putting down the magic and learning other things that will honestly help much more than magic books in some ways.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 4:49 pm 
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Location: Don't Bend Forks with your eye.
Yea, I need more people skills. :oops:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:31 pm 
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Location: Las Vegas/San Diego
Have any of you ever worked a restaurant?

To me there's no way to learn anything unless you actually do it. Just work one. Experience will help to polish your technique, as well as your presentation. It doesn't matter what you learn before hand, because being in front of complete strangers, who are hungry, and have no idea why you are bothering them, will test your true skills. You'll get eaten up alive- that's going to happen at least one table out of the night when you're starting out. This is fact. However, with experience, you'll learn to deal with every situation. Learn from life.

"Repitition is the mother of skill."
-Anthony Robbins

Just work a restaurant... you'll either get kicked out, or hired. Most importantly, have fun doing it. It's only magic.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:15 am 
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I been working restaurant for years now...been doing magic for over 10 years.


Your right, working in front of strangers is a whole new ballgame, that is why its important to have your magic down. If you can do your sleights well, have patter down, and have your moves down so that you can do them in your sleep...it will be much easier to work in the restaurant scene. Much easier.

If you got a good handle on magic, you will have less to think about when you have to handle people. You can focus on your presentation and dealing with people without worrying so much about your magic.


You won't be eaten alive if you really know your stuff with magic. It may be difficult to get adjusted and you might have to deal with hecklers and all that for the first time, but you at least will have a good handle on magic and be able to do some sleights with ease. If you can't do that, the nervousness you have dealing with people will be much higher...and being nervous about your magic is the absolute worse thing to bring into a restaurant. Its not right for yourself, and its not right to the spectators. If you can't bring something great to the table, then you shouldn't be working in the restaurant.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:50 am 
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You've been doing restaurant magic for 10 years? How old are you? I thought you were in your early twenties. What age did you start at?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:18 am 
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Been doing magic for 10 years...been doing restaurant magic maybe 4 or 5 of those years.


Im 23...really got going in the restaurant gig about 18.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 4:11 am 
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Interesting posts. Here's my two cents:
The confidence thing is VERY important. Personally, I always try and choose my "first" table very carefully. A family with some older members suits me, as do tables that are all women. I would strongly hesitate approaching an all male table as my first hit.
Once a table has been chosen, start off slowly. These people have no idea who you are. Don't do your best material first. Do something interesting, but mpore important, let them see that YOU are interesting, and that they are going to have fun, and that there is no catch.
Once the first table is into it, the other tables will start to get curious, and it's MUCH easier to approach them. So choose your first table with care.
You will need a range of tricks. If you happen to also be able to do balloon animals, they are often a great hit, especially if someone has kids. There are also "adult" balloons which are great in the right place.
If you have a table that is totally lovoing it, don't do everything for them. Leave them wanting more, as many times they will send someone (or ask a waiter to ask you) to come back.
Once you have done a trick or two, talk to the table. Ask them a few questions. Get to know them a little.
And one more thing: many customers are "regulars". I remember wilting at my first Sunday brunch job when a family came back the next week, and I had all the same tricks one me. Be prepared!


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 Post subject: i say
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2003 12:12 pm 
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i think u should do some street magic before reasteraunt to build ur confidence and handlin and what to say


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2003 6:50 pm 
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Jaysin, i see where you are coming from and all, but if someone has only been doing magic for a few months i don't think they are quite experienced enough to jump into the restaurant scene. you may have been making a statement to all of us on this forum, if so ignore me.

I know where you are coming from though. there really is not substitute for experience. but i'd suggest getting that experience in a different setting. i'd suggest going up to kids you don't know at school and do some magic for them. or just walk up to strangers on the street and do a few trix. it doesnt need to be any specific setting. carry around your magic with you everywhere you go and situations will present themselves.


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 Post subject: More good info.at ...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 5:52 am 
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Joined: 12 Aug 2003
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Flip2005:Go to 'Advice for curious beginners"on this forum. Rich


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