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 Post subject: I have a few questions, which i think no one asked befor...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 1:54 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Posts: 404
Location: Israel
well, I want to start restaurant magic really soon (when i'll have a license which would be in like 2-3 months from now). well, the problem is not like the regular people problems, truth is-that i don't have a problem, but i might have. let me explain myself...
I won't have any trouble going into the resturant gig coz i have a lot of confidents, routines, and i can find restuarants that will hier me (no magicians doing restaurant walkaround around here).
anyway, my questions are about things that are unclear for me, and i want people that DO restaurant work at this time or done it to answer my questions. so here's what i wanted to know:

1. Did it ever happened to u that u did tricks/routine for a table and u had a crowd around u? i mean, if u did, what did u do about it? some people going in the restaurant or going out would want to see ur magic, so what do u do in that case? also people from diffrent tables might come and watch u, would u tell them to go away? what if the manager gets pissed? he can get pissed of u for telling the clients to go away, or by telling them to stay and not finish their meal to make room for other clients and make a mess at the restuarant. this leads me to my next question...

2. What do u do if u miss a table? did it happen to u that the clients said to the manger or to u this sentence: "why did u showed them magic and not for my family and kids?"
i think u can't do all the tables at the same time, so u would be missing some, or u do have time for all of them? again, this leads me to my next question....

3. if i do a routine, what would be the longth of it? does it dependse on me? the clients? or the busy the restuarant is at the same time? or maybe even all together?

4. did it ever happend to u that a table was following u to the next table and wanting for more? what do u do in that case? i mean, u have several diffrent routines, so u won't show the same tricks twice in a row.

5. do u ever have spare time in the restuarant, like taking a break or something, or having a free dinner while ur'e working...

6. do u have a back room or something for all ur equipment? or u just carry it all with u all the time? i mean, if i would want to do cups and balls or the 3 shell game, i would hve to come with a suitcase or something and i couldn't carry it all the time. should i tell to the manager that i need a back room that no one is aloud to go into?

7. do waiters sometimes feel hate to u by u getting the bigger tips and that sourt of things? or u give the waiter's table like some of the tips u get?

8. lets say ur'e doing magic for a restuarnt-chain (not sure it's called that way). anyway, the "big manager" of the chain comes to eat for a dinner and talk with ur manager about the restuarant buisness. now the question is, if ur boss asks u to do magic, what would be the tricks/routine u would do to him? in other words, ur best tricks for restuarnt magic. u can also just state ur favorite one.

well, i have to go now, i have some more questions i don't remember right now, so maybe i'll add some more later.
just when u answer, please state the question ur'e answering, no need to quote. thank u soooo much, even an answer for 1 question would be VERY helpful, thank you and good luck in ur restuarant walkaround!!!

ps

sorry for any spelling/gremer mistakes, but i'm not from the US so plz don't blame me :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:01 pm 
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Location: Odessa TX
theres some questions there i was gonna ask but hey good job, and there were some i didnt think to ask hope somebody posts


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 1:29 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 05 Nov 2003
Posts: 1344
Location: Louisiana
Well I can answer number 6 for you, even though I don't do restaurant work yet. Bravesaint, one of the more respected members of this board, says he brings his extra stuff in a bag and keeps it behind the bar... I work in a restaurant right now, and I guarantee the manager won't be able to find you a space where no one else can go, unless its in the office... in which case he'd have to unlock the door for you everytime you need something. If you're just keeping cups & balls and other non-gimmicked stuff in your bag, it shouldnt be a big deal. No one's gonna mess with it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 8:34 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 25 Jul 2003
Posts: 279
Location: Toronto
1. The only crowd you will ever draw at a restaurant is a result of three things.
a) Parents letting their children run around, (I've seen it and it drives me insane).
b) If you are working in the Foyer of a restaurant while there is a wait.
c) In a Bar where most of the people are standing.

99.9% of the time, people stay seated in the seats when they are dining. In 5+ years at 3 different restaurants, I've never drawn a crowd in the dining room, and it's something I think I would like to stay away from.

2. It happens. Like you said, you can't be everywhere at once. One place I work in now has 60 tables in the dining room alone. Spending at least 2-3 minutes at each table would take at least 3 hours. Most restaurants have their seating turn over every 75-90 minutes, so you can see the problem. There is nothing you can do about it. If you are busy you are busy. The servers where I work know that on Friday Nights, it's impossible to hit everyone, but they do know to mention me, or come get me if the guest requests me to show up. That's about all you can do.

3. Routines? HA! it's been my experience that routines (the nice one) are hard pressed in a restaurant. Especially the busy ones. I hate being in front of people while they are eating, and will actually stop a trick in the middle if any food arrives while I am there. This means, if I arrive on time, and they didn't order appetizers, or didn't have a meal that comes with a salad or something, then I have at MOST 15 minutes, which is FAR too much time to be spending at one table. Two tricks, a little conversation, and I am out of there. I like to do effects that are completely different, one with cards, and one with rings, coins/TT, you get the idea?

4. See answer #1.

5. You NEED to take a break occasionally. Get a drink, rest a little, unwind. I've found that if I've worked too long, I start to get a little hoarse, which is not good when you need your voice to be able to do your business. Meals are usually eaten at the END of your gig, not during unless you have something worked out ahead of time.

6. I work strictly out of my pockets. I have a small case that I leave up front that contains a few sharpies, some balloons, and a few decks of cards, but everything else in in my pockets. If I need to reset anything, I do it while I am walking around.

7. If someone offers me a tip, I say thank you, but I am already being paid very well to be doing this. If they insist a second time, I take it, say thank you, and walk on. Never refuse a person's money more than once, it's rude. Make sure the servers know this. Most of the time, it won't be cutting into their tips at all, but they might not see it that way. You are in their domain, and if they get the wrong idea about you taking money that they think should be theirs, then trouble starts. Tips is not your first priority. Magic is. If you get one, then fine, if not, then fine as well.

8. You can't ask a questions like this, because different people have different ideas on what is the best. You just do the effects that you have seen get great reactions over and over again.


And lastly, this is my own peice of advice. Remember it and use it. If you are going to enter the business world and want people to take you seriously, then you need to make sure that you present yourself in a serious manner. This include everything from the way you dress, the way you speak, your attitude and lastly, your language. I know that you are from a different country, so this excuses your english mistakes, but you need to make sure that there is no slang in your speech, no mistakes in your native writing. A spelling error, or a slang word can be all the difference in getting that extra $10 an hour. Professionalism. Let me put it this way?

Is magic a profession?

Only if the magician is professional.

Strive for it ALL the time.

David.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 6:28 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Posts: 404
Location: Israel
THANK U SO MUCH!!! u both helped me a lot with those advices, but i have a few more questions to Kronos:
how much do u get per hour? i mean, u said u usally don't accept many tips or refuse to them, so ur'e probably getting a lot per hour. also, working at the weekend means getting a bigger payment, so plz lmk how much u earn.
also, in weekends, when it more crowded, do u do less tricks per table? like instead of 2-3 u do 1-2? also, if u do only 1 trick to a table (if ever), then u do a gaffed or none-gaffed trick usally? or it has nothing to do with it? like if u do the invisible deck, they might want to see the deck, so maybe u would prefer a none-gaffed trick with a single trick...
well, again, thanks a lot for the posts guys!!! keep them coming!!!

Tomer


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 Post subject: Re: I have a few questions, which i think no one asked befor
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 8:35 am 
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Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Posts: 4110
Location: Milford OH
tomer wrote:
...7. do waiters sometimes feel hate to u by u getting the bigger tips and that sourt of things? or u give the waiter's table like some of the tips u get?

8. lets say ur'e doing magic for a restuarnt-chain (not sure it's called that way). anyway, the "big manager" of the chain comes to eat for a dinner and talk with ur manager about the restuarant buisness. now the question is, if ur boss asks u to do magic, what would be the tricks/routine u would do to him? in other words, ur best tricks for restuarnt magic. u can also just state ur favorite one...:


To answer these two queries. Part of my sales presentation to the general managers is that I entertain and keep the customers happy. When the kitchen gets backed up and the food is slow comeing to the tables I am there to entertain so the wait goes by quicker for the customers. This makes for happier customers which means that the servers tips are higher when I am there.

BTW I did not know this untill the servers in all the restaurants I work at told me after I had been working for about a year.

When a regional or even a district manager comes to the restaurant, and the manager asks you to perform, just do what you usually do for the customers. They have been watching you at other tables. Don't do anything special just to impress him or her.

Mazel tov.

Peter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:58 am 
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Joined: 06 Jul 2003
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Location: Odessa TX
wow guys this is some experience info and im sure it will help me out when im doing this in the future thx :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 4:05 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 25 Jul 2003
Posts: 279
Location: Toronto
In this case, I took the most expensive item on the menu, and said that's what I want per hour.

Of course, if it's a $100 meal, good luck.

On average I am paid about $100 for 3 hours work.

David.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 4:34 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Posts: 404
Location: Israel
tnx paddy!!! u really helped me with that post, never thought of performing them for the same level. but hm, don't u get nervous sometimes performing to "importent" people? i mean, like ur hands start shaking and u get swety and ur cards stick to each other and all that. it never happened to me in my performences to kids and family and stuff, but i think it would if someone would come when my job is on stake (dunno how to spell it).
(btw it's mazal tov ;))
and for u Kronos, again thanks for the great and quick post. i might also ask for about 100$ for 3 hours, sounds right... but in those 3 hours, when do u usally take breaks and for how long? like in every hour? or only 1 break in those 3 hours? do u ask for a free meal? free drinks?
paddy, u can also answer those questions... also paddy, i know u earn money from tips, so how much do u usally get per hour? i know it's diffrent on weekends. i know ur way s getting less pay on weekends coz there r more tips, and on regualr days it's higher pay and less tips. i think it's a new way to approach, and a great one. do u usally get payed the same amount of money this way? or it's still diffrent?

tnx again for the posts and keep them coming!!!

Tomer


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 8:04 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 06 Jan 2004
Posts: 180
Location: orange county, California
whenever u perform for someone and start to get nervous just think that u perform 40% worse when ur nervous. This should help u calm down. i heard this from another post and he said it was a proven fact. So just think to urself, "i will perform 40% better if i'm not nervous" u always want to think positive.

hope this helps


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 11:42 pm 
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Joined: 24 Jan 2003
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Location: Milford OH
tomer wrote:
...don't u get nervous sometimes performing to "importent" people? i mean, like ur hands start shaking and u get swety and ur cards stick to each other and all that. ...when do u usally take breaks and for how long? like in every hour? or only 1 break in those 3 hours? do u ask for a free meal? free drinks?... how much do u usally get per hour? i know it's diffrent on weekends. i know ur way s getting less pay on weekends coz there r more tips, ...do u usally get payed the same amount of money this way? or it's still diffrent?
Tomer


To answer. First I get paid MORE from the restaurant for weekends because the crowds are bigger. My average for Fri, Sat, and Sun. nights is between $45 to $65 per hour TIPS ONLY. For week nights I average $35 an hour TIPS ONLY, plus my restaurant fee.

Once I walk in the restaurant (1/2 hour before I am scheduled) till I leave I am "on stage." I may use the bathroom but I never take a break. I do drink soft drinks only all night. NO ALCOHOL!!! (yes I am old enough to drink, and do when not working.)

Lastly, do I get nervous performing? Yes. Before every damned show I am nervous. But once I walk in the restaurant, or on stage or wherever I perform, I am very calm. I have done table magic for multi millionaires and for players for the Cincinnati Reds Baseball team and not been nervous. Hey I have even screwed up an effect at a table and the spectators did not know that I did. I made a smart alek remark and they LOVED IT. They even told the manager that I was the best comedy magician they had ever seen. You just keep going and act as if the mistake was planned and part of your act.

I do know the it is actually "mazel tov" but I was starting a sentence so that is why I used "Mazel.."

Peter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:44 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 25 Jul 2003
Posts: 279
Location: Toronto
I take Drink Breaks most of the time. Coffee, pop, water.. etc. Beverages in a restaurant cost pennies, that's why the staff can drink as much as they way. (most beverages anyways).

I also don't actually SIT and take breaks. I will usually change my pace, and just talk to people for a few minutes as opposed to sitting down. However, I've got a VERY good relationship with the restaurant I am at so I could if I wanted to.

They've even given me a bunch of wallets with their logo on them, so that I can do a Card to Wallet for a kid, and give it to them later. This has brought in a ton of work, especially since MY card is already in the wallet.

David.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:19 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Posts: 404
Location: Israel
tnx again!!! hm, do u think i'm ready to perform in a restaurant now? i mean, i think i got all the answers to my questions... i have a bunch of routines and i'm going to make an order of 150$ next week, practice the tricks, and then go to a restaurant for a job. i think i already know 1 restaurant that i can start with.
here's what i thought telling the manager- "it took to the salads to arrive after 10 min or so, and then another 10-15 minuts for the food i orderd to arrive, here's what i can do..."

here r some of the routines i thought of:

1.
sponge balls
vanish silk-then make it reappear (or do it with sult instead)
invisible deck

2.
my favorite opener (from On the Loose)
ambitious card (a routine i made :D)
3 shell game or multipile choice (if i have problem with the 3sg angles)

3.
one of Paul Harris's routines-tap dancing aces, invisible palm aces, whack ur pack ( i just LOVE this routine!!!)

if i won't have enough time for full routines, like kronos said, i thought of of doing a trick or 2 that somehow connect:

1. sponge balls, TT (for a table with kids)

2. ambitious card (it's a routine for it's own, i can make it short or long...)

3. vanish a silk and then make it reappear-to get their attantion, then do invisible deck (either Bill's version or my own, dependse if i have time to make it long)

4. darly's last trick (again, On the Loose with Bill Malone), then i explain it's easy with only 4 aces and i take out the kings and do reseting reset (again with Bill)

5. pen threw $, and then matrix

6. apex aces, revolver

7. some card manipulation stuff (from Jeff McBride vol-1, i don't have it yet)

8. joker's wild (then give the deck for examination ;)), then do twisted sisters (at the end i say: well, i guess that the jokers r still wild...)

those r just a few that i thought of, all take 2-5 minutes, not more. plz tell me what u think, like maybe i should not make routines with only card tircks and those kind of things... i think that the first trick needs to be visual, and then after i have their attantion i can do anything i want.
btw kronos, i think it's a great idea with the wallets and cards stuff, maybe i'l be able to do that too, i sure hope so!!!
plz tell me what u think about the routines/tricks and about me doing a restaurant work, if i need to change or know ANYTHING plz tell me.
i just wanted to thank u again for all the great posts, so thanks again!!!

Tomer


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:58 pm 
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Joined: 24 Jan 2003
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Location: Milford OH
You ask if you are ready to perform in a restaurant now. I don't know, but I will stress one thing. A lot of people think that restaurants are the first step into the performace world. That beginning magicians get a restaurant job and then go on to better things. These people are IDIOTS.

To be a restaurant performer you HAVE to be BETTER than just "good." You had better be flawless because you are reprsenting every magician, and the people know this. They will compare you to Copperfield, Daryl, Blaine, and others. If you make a mistake and can not cover yourself with patter and jokes, they will know.

Have you practiced the effects until you can do them flawlessly? Do you rehearse a minimum of 2 hours a day? When you get new effects do you add an additional two hours of practice to your rehearsal schedule? If the answer is "no" then you might not be ready yet.

Only you know if you are ready.

Peter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2004 2:13 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Posts: 404
Location: Israel
tnx paddy, lately i got some stuff from Penguin, 2 months ago actually. i practice right now for 2-3 hours a day, i practice my routines with myself, then with a mirror, and then test them on my family and close friends.
once i'll get the stuff from my next order i'll practice for about another month or two till i know at least half of the effects flawlessly. right now anything i know with cards is flawlessly.
i did perform in kids shows befor so i know how it's like to perform to a medium sized audiance. i also performed to my friends and family, so that means close up which will what i would do in the restaurant.
problem is that family and friends ain't like strangers, but i don't think i'll have a problem with that.
oh and paddy, i REALLY practice a lot, i mean, i'm on the comp like all the time and while i'm on the comp i practice while i chat with people and those kind of things...
hm, another question, do u have any opinions of how to approach people? i thought on a couple of things i can do:
like showing my hand empty for like the entire table while standing at the back of one of the guys where he can't see me, and then produce a silk from he's ear.
i mean, saying ur'e the restaurant magician is good and all, but i think it's too oficial, and ur mission is to entertain.
so, any thoughts?


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