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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 6:57 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 11 Apr 2003
Posts: 7
Location: Nanaimo, BC
Quick rundown of the routine i'm using...

1. Red silk and TT
2. Sponge balls
3. A comical 'Marked Card' routine that some local buddies of mine made up
4. The Insurance Policy...another comical routine

After that I either move on or do the Invisible Deck or another regular deck card trick. If they ask for my business card then I like to do 'Miracle' from Michael Ammar's Volume 6 DVD.

I don't do a lot of knucklebusting tricks at the restaurant because I don't think people need all that to be impressed. That's why i use some good ole faithful tricks that still give me great reactions. But if a smart alec comes along then i'll show off some card skills just to shut him up. But really some of the simple stuff amazes the average person just as much. And in my opinion, magic is probably 75% performance if not more. With that in mind, I feel that I can perform some of these basic tricks with a good entertaining patter and be just as affective as guy doing some knuckle-busting card stunts.

Bottom line is you should entertain and amaze people. That is what the manager pays you for. If you can accomplish this and earn the money that the manager pays you, then I don't think it matters whether you use gimmicks or advanced sleights.

But i do agree with the others when they say you shouldn't practice at the restaurant. Get you routine down pat and dazzle them.

Jason


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 2:30 am 
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Joined: 07 Oct 2003
Posts: 14
Is 'Watch and Wear' better than the 'Masters Time Machine' for restaurants? More examinable for instance? Any info. would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2003 1:16 am 
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Joined: 15 Sep 2003
Posts: 19
I'm not a pro magician, but I am gaining extensive performance experience at school every day. And although I often use gimmicks (right now, anyway), it totally builds my confidence, and allows me to develop the social skills and ability to -perform- a magic trick.

I do tricks with sponge balls, regular decks and coins, all obviously involving basic sleight of hand. And, oddly enough, I get the BEST reactions with probably one of the simplest routines I know, and that is with sponge balls. After seeing someone start screaming and jump off the ground when they open their hand to find two blue balls in it, I knew right away that the hours of practice to totally perfect the sleight of hand to do it right every time was worth it.

In my own opinion, after getting back into the magic scene just this last month (I did it more when I was younger), gimmicks are invaluable for developing performance skills. I know enough about entertainment to say that the simplest trick with a good performance makes the best trick. Any day. The most complex sleights are worthless if you don't PERFORM them! Doing tricks with 'dime and penny' CAN blow people away--if the performance is good. Otherwise, forget it--try doing a good little trick like that to someone without saying anything or building it up at all. It will lose most of its power.

I don't mean to step on anybody's toes, I'm just voicing my opinion on this. I do think sleights should be mastered by every magician. But that doesn't mean gimmicks are worthless; they are valuable crutches for the the magician who lacks good social or performance skills. Do a trick that you just CAN'T mess up on to a bunch of strangers, and you'll gain some confidence and learn a few things about performance!

I've spent quite a bit of money (for me) on gimmcicks and other magic supplies (including decks, hankies, gimmick decks, coins, gimmick coins, etc...) as well as a couple good books. I don't see myself buying any more gimmicks anytime soon, but rather purely educational matieral for the purposes of developing skill in sleight of hand and performance.

Anyways, yeah--I'm tired, just thought I'd say something... again, not challenging anything anyone said, just putting in my two cents..

Dawson


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2003 4:48 pm 
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Joined: 12 Aug 2003
Posts: 25
ATTENTION ATTENTION!! All folk's that desire to perform in Restaurants doing table to table magic:Go back and read B's and Kronos posts...then read them again.Let this advice penetrate your being for it is the absolute truth! They saved me a lot of typing.
I have been performing Restaurant Magic for 16 years(been the house magician at one restaurant for 14 years straight).Before I started,I honed my skills by reading,practicing and routining.Like B said:"this is WORK"not playtime.
Perform for friends and family,and at gatherings for at least a year before seeking a restaurant gig.Make sure you have at least 3 sets of 3 strong effects that need no reset,and that you can do so well that all your concentration can be on presentation and interaction with the guests.Peace. Rich


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 Post subject: same
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:24 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 02 Aug 2003
Posts: 595
Location: Texas
My goal is convention walk around. Nothing against restaurants but I would hope someday to land a good convention gig when I feel Im ready.
I live in a city that has lots of conventions.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 12:41 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 23 Oct 2002
Posts: 30
I have worked in the restaurant business MORE than in magic... so know this...

Some of the waiters and/or bartenders you work with might get a little ticked with you. Some might think you are STEALING their tips. Regardless of whether the management hires you or not, you should be prepared for this! In truth you're not taking anything because the patrons tip you on the tricks and the waiter on the bill and service.
To help smooth this over... try making friends with a couple of waits, get them involved even.

If you really want to go ALL out, try working up a SPECIAL routine maybe a little longer than a usual set, if the table is into it than let go and show them what you can do... fill your set with flourishes, one hand cuts, packet throws, (Hot shot is a really good one!)anything that looks COOL! This is where learning HARD-CORE sleights are needed, because you will rely on ONLY your hands and the cards. To paraphrase an awesome magician, you need ten assistants and 52 slaves! Make your figures work the cards... make the cards fly, dance, do the twist!

However you do it though remember, the difference between being in front of a table and a packed coliseum is all in your hands and your head!!

Listen to the masters, grasshopper. Listen to those who HAVE failed and those who have been made famous... they are often the same person!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2003 4:49 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 24 Oct 2002
Posts: 388
Location: Connecticut
Very nice points, great advise.

Are Resturaunt tables really the time for the hot shot cut though? I've heard it's best to be interactive, not showoffy, in the resturaunt scene. Is this true? Just asking, not criticizing.


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