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 Post subject: 10 Steps to help you Becoming a Resturant magician....
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2004 2:47 am 
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1. Sit down, write down a list of every effect you can do, and I mean every effect you can do...

2. Cross out anything that needs more than 10 seconds prep time...

3. Cross out anything that goes longer than 4 Minutes....

4. Cross out anything that needs a reasonable amount of table space...

5. Arrange the tricks into routines (3-4 tricks in a routine), YOU WILL NEED AT LEAST AND I MEAN AT LEAST 6 Routines....

6. Make sure your starting trick is short and visual to get them interested..

7. Make sure your middle effect/2effects will keep their attention, they dont have to be terribly visual but make them magical....

8. Make your last effect your strongest effect to leave them wanting more... Walkaway and they might come back for you another day just to see more magic, manager will like this.

9. Once you have done all this and have your routines, practice every single one day in and day out for about 6 months...

10. Once everything is foolproof and you have 6 SOLID routines, I think your ready for an audition :)

Here are just 10 Steps I have put together that I believe will help you to becoming a resturant magician... Good Luck!

Ok, now that I have got that out of the way, I would really like to see what people have to say about this, especially Paddy. PLEASE Correct me if I have something wrong... And anything you would like to add, feel free.... Peace Guys, hope this helps a few people....

- Dylan -

P.S. Maybe sticky this, unless I have gone horribly wrong somewhere....


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2004 10:22 am 
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It seems like 10 good steps to becoming a resturaunt magician.

-Freds


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:57 am 
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Hopefully this clears up the questions like "how is my routine," or "routines," or "i need help on my routine." I like the information given, however I'm no restaurant magician, and cannot really judge if it is right or wrong-though, it seems like really good information.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2004 3:15 pm 
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hockey wrote:
Hopefully this clears up the questions like "how is my routine," or "routines," or "i need help on my routine." I like the information given, however I'm no restaurant magician, and cannot really judge if it is right or wrong-though, it seems like really good information.


Yeah, it seems like good way to pick out tricks for your routine.

-Freds


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 10:55 pm 
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Good outline. Maybe it should be a sticky but I think the same old questions about routines will still show up anyway.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 12:18 pm 
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danold22 wrote:
Good outline. Maybe it should be a sticky but I think the same old questions about routines will still show up anyway.


Amen to that, danold22! You'd think that new posters to the forums would actually do a little looking around before just posting a question that has been beat to death in 15 other posts titled the exact same thing. I can see why paddy gets so defensive when he encounters these. I've checked the boards a couple times the last few days and seen a brand new post saying something to the effect of "I want to do restaurant magic...what tricks should I do?" And this is the first post the person has put out. It just seems like they should take a little time and read through the stickys and the posts at the top of the board that already give a LOT of that sort of information. It seems that the majority of new posters are just too darn lazy to do that. Either that or they want to get their post count up so the stupid little name under the avatar can change from "Penguin" to "Born to Perform". To be honest, I couldn't care less if I EVER get a name change under my avatar. I don't post to dozens of posts unless I have something very specific or helpful to add....that somebody before hasn't also JUST stated. "I agree with what he said." Is NOT a helpful post.

Anyway, enough soap box for me. I'll step down now and let someone else have a turn. :wink:

Oh, and yes, that outline is rather good. I saw one very similar to that somewhere else that stated many of the same items...but was more for outlining your routines for a show. In that case, you don't have to weed out routines that require set up or that are too long. For a stage show almost NO routine is too long!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 6:10 pm 
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I'd add to have a few tricks that will work with kids and a few impromtu that can be used standing up off the tables as you will get asked to do stuff off the tables too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 11:45 pm 
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Addowner you and I seem to be birds (penguins) of the same feather. Remember that we live in an age of immediate information and instant gratification. These young fools are too lazy to do any research or look into anything. They want a rapid relpy to their senseless and insistant questions when really their answer is right in front of their nose ie "General Restaurant/WalkAround Info Sticky". We can't change the culture we created. We are a culture of fast-food, highspeed internet, instant messenger, rapid response, instant downloads, instant coffee, just add water, frequent flyers, overnight shipping and we want it all faster and sooner than we now get it.

Just my soap box rant and an explanation on why people won't stop posting the same redundant questions before reading or researching.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2004 6:50 am 
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You have a point, danold22, but the ironic thing is, it takes much less time to search for and read the information that already exists than it does to type out a message asking for that information to be re-posted, then wait for someone patient and forgiving enough to spoon-feed it one more time.

I'm too lazy to whine for information that I already have.

But I think that some people really don't know how to search so that they find what they need quickly.

Robert V Frazier


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 Post subject: No no no...
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2004 7:02 am 
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I think the reason most people don't search because they are looking for personal information, they will tell them things about them and want to get personal feedback just for them, sort of want to be the centre of attention and have their own post to get advice from... Hard to explain, basically they want to get very specific information about their cases, eg. How is my routine... THey want to know how their routine would work and they may have searched and nto found anyone else with the same routine... Hard to explain but i hope you understand where im coming from =)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2004 8:17 pm 
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Thank you this post was helpful


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 Post subject: Re: 10 Steps to help you Becoming a Resturant magician....
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 12:08 am 
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I have several rebuttals to this list, as a 6-year professional restaurant worker myself. Although I admire Dylan's intentions to help the magic community from things he's learned, I don't feel his list is very effective. I'd like to elaborate on it:

1. Sit down, write down a list of every effect you can do, and I mean every effect you can do...
This is unneccesary, in my opinion. But if that helps you, I'd say go for it. However, read the rest to understand my reasoning as to why this is unneccessary.

2. Cross out anything that needs more than 10 seconds prep time...
Why would you do that? You'd be x-ing out many good things that you can do in a restaurant setting. Sure, you want the majority of your effects to be impromtu or quick-reset, but it's illogical to tell people to x-out things that take more than 10 seconds of prep. I do plenty of tricks that can take longer than 10 seconds to prep...and they are great effects. Reset time is not as important as many other prerequisites, and certainly reset time isn't something to put high on the priority list.

3. Cross out anything that goes longer than 4 Minutes....
Like the time thing, why would you do that? You do need to have an arsenal of fast-moving, quick resetting magic, but if you have any kind of restaurant experience you'd know that you have anywhere from 2 minutes up to 10 minutes or so to perform. Why cross out good material that performers can and will have an opportunity for? It's more important to have a plethora of good, quality and varying magic effects for a performance...making sure to have enough "quick" tricks for many situations you come across in the business. But there are plenty of opportunities to perform longer effects for people who are into you (say, after they are done ordering and waiting for their food), and why not use your good, longer effects for those situations? Besides, cutting these tricks out of your arsenal can also be cutting into the money that you could be making (in tips, or future business via parties and other performance opportunities).

4. Cross out anything that needs a reasonable amount of table space... Decent advice. You don't want to perform anything that takes up too much space. Honestly, your really not able to perform these things...even if you wanted to.

5. Arrange the tricks into routines (3-4 tricks in a routine), YOU WILL NEED AT LEAST AND I MEAN AT LEAST 6 Routines....
Not true. First of all, routining is something that is an off-beat in the restaurant working world. Sure, you need routines and routining is okay, but in the fast-pace, hussle and bussle of the restaurant you aren't going to be able to really think "routines" too much. I don't say routining is bad, but I do discourage anyone to rely on that because you will be disappointed. Instead, I tell people to compile an arsenal of good, reliable, various magic that you KNOW you can perform. Then, learn to "read" people, the restaurant, the servers...all that. Then tailor the magic you do to those things. By relying on routines, you'll find that many times your routines will never make it to completion, or you'll have time for more than one but not enough for two. There's nothing worse then setting people up only to have your "kicker/popularity maker" get cut off due to lack of time, or something coming up.

Stick to arsenals, and rely a lot less on routines.

Also, I know people who only perform less than 10 effects (far less than 6 good routines) and they are successful in restaurant walkaround. So no, its not true you need AT LEAST 6 routines.

6. Make sure your starting trick is short and visual to get them interested..
Instead, make sure you "read" your audience and tailor your magic to them and their situation. That is what is important. No one can tell you what "kind" of magic you need to open or close or anything in between. That is dictated solely by your audience, your skill, and the situation you find yourself in.

7. Make sure your middle effect/2effects will keep their attention, they dont have to be terribly visual but make them magical....
I don't even understand what the point of this statement is. If your tricks are not "magical" or "attention-grabbing" then they shouldn't be in your arsenal in the first place. If you are going to be routine-based, just be sure that your routine is climatic rather than anti-climatic, that meaning that you consistently build up to the "big finish." Your energy level should continue to rise throughout the routine, if you're going to go that route.

8. Make your last effect your strongest effect to leave them wanting more... Walkaway and they might come back for you another day just to see more magic, manager will like this.
Yes, you should leave your table in the strongest possible way. Rather than worrying about your closer, however, worry about the entire package. You want your customers leaving the restaurant talking about you, not just "the magic." Make sure to present yourself and the entire package in a way that will impress your customers. You want to have your customers "let you in" so to speak. You're more than just the stranger that did some magic, you're the cool guy that they'd like to get to know/see more of. YOU are what's going to bring your customers back, not your cards, coins, or loops.

9. Once you have done all this and have your routines, practice every single one day in and day out for about 6 months...
Once you have an ARSENAL you like, develop a regular practice schedule that you can keep. Don't practice "day in and day out for 6 months," practice as often and as necessary as you need to without becoming burnt out. However, your practice is never-ending. There is no "stopping date" on practicing your magic, unless your planning on giving up the Art or taking a break.

10. Once everything is foolproof and you have 6 SOLID routines, I think your ready for an audition :)
Definately not-true. That's is probably the most detrimental piece of advice of the whole post, and has me wondering how much restaurant experience you really have, Dylan.

First of all, nothing is ever "foolproof." If you are a working professional, your work is never "perfect." You need to practice consistently, and be always thinking of ways to make your magic stronger. Without doing that, you won't get very far monetarily or popularity-wise.

I have stated before that having at least 6 routines won't get you anywhere. No need to elaborate further on that.

This is important, however: you can have all the magic experience in the world, but if that's all you have you're FAR, FAR away from being ready for an audition. You need to learn how to communicate with people effectively, to "read" people, if your going to be successful at your audition, much less work successfully in the restaurant world. You need to know how to market yourself effectively to be able to negotiate a restaurant job and maximize your earning potential. You need to learn to be social, and how to "play the game."

If "foolproofing" some routines is all you need to be ready for an audition, then why aren't half the aspiring magicians in the world making money doing magic? The fact is, there is a big difference between the "haves" and the "have nots" in magic and it isn't solely based on skill level. The fact is, good communication and marketing combined with decent abilities in magic are what's going to get you far in the restaurant world. Currently, I'm working on expanding my business to more lucrative parts of my city, as well as doing more corporate events. What have I spent 90% of my time doing? Marketing and communication. Sure I practice, and work hard on my magic, but truth be told, I spend the most time and energy on marketing myself and figuring out better ways to do so. When ranking how important my skills are to my business, the list follows in this order:

#1 Communication/People skills
#2 Marketing/Creative Promo abilities
#3 Raw magic skill

The fact is, I've entertained people with the most basic of tricks, without any sort of structure or routine, simply because I've worked on my communication and people skills. Additionally, most of my business does not come from my raw abilities in magic, but in the ways I decide to market myself. When it comes down to it, I could cut my magic skills in half and still do ok in my business as long as I have my other abilities. If my communication and marketing skills were cut in half, however, I'd be suffering and would not grow.

You can talk to a manager all you want, you can try to wow him all you want with your best ace routine. But the fact is, if you really want to get a job and be successful, your going to need to think out and implement a good marketing strategy. You'll need to put just as much work into that, if not more.

I'll say it like this: a guy goes into a restaurant dressed in casual clothes, speaks with a manager and does the best coin routine. He asks for a job.

Another guy goes into the same restaurant. But instead sits and has dinner, taking down notes about the establishment, the people, the staff, the atmosphere, etc. He also performs a bit of decent magic for his waitor/waitress, as well as the host/hostess and any bartenders. He then leaves. He writes a letter to the manager explaining what a good time he had at the restaurant, what he has to offer as far as magic, and that he would like to schedule an interview with the manager to talk about the opportunity for the both of you. The next week, this guy shows up to the restaurant, dressed professionally, and sits with the manager. He hands the manager a portfolio which includes his resume, testimonials, contact information, pricing information, and a promotional flyer that he made the previous week. The portfolio even holds a short, 5 minute DVD of previous magic performances. That magician talks to the manager, and is not surprised to hear that the staff he performed for the week prior had mentioned his magic to the potential employer. The magician then follows all this up with a short, decent card performance for the manager.

Who do you think will get the job? The magician with the "foolproof" coin routine or the professional with the short, decent card performance?


The fact is, time spent in marketing yourself to the teeth is worth every minute, and in most cases, is more "influential" than any skill you have as a seasoned magician. Sure, having skill is important, otherwise you couldn't do the job. But the fact is, most people judge books by their cover, and if they don't...they are strongly influenced by them. Spend equal or even more amounts of your time developing a good, solid marketing strategy. You will be the one to get the job, and the "foolproof" magicians will leave with a handshake or a pat on the back, and nothing else.

Also, effective communication is important, perhaps the most important. What use is good magic and marketing if you cannot speak well. A manager will base his decision a lot on how confident you seem to be. You need to be confident and sure of yourself when applying for a restaurant gig. You also need that same confidence to be able to even make it in the job itself. Good communication skills are very important. It doesn't make a bit of difference how "good" you are if your not likeable. People will either accept you to their table or not based on how likeable you seem to be. That's all about verbal and nonverbal communication. Besides, you never know what situations you'll be getting yourself into as a restaurant performer. The better you are at the gift of gab, and knowing how to "read" people, the better off your going to be in the strange situations you'll find yourself in (and you will be in them often...both good and bad).


When it comes down to it, I just don't feel you, Dylan, gave well-rounded advice. No, I'm not coming down on you, my friend, but rather trying to help you (and others here) see the bigger picture that perhaps your not seeing. The fact is, in most cases, an "ok" magician who knows how to talk and how to market himself will be more successful than a "foolproof" magician who doesn't have those skills. Just look at the plethora of vids you can see of brillant young magicians using their webcams to strut their stuff online. However, many of them have no idea how to talk, perform, or market themselves. So, they are brillant magicians who solely strut their stuff on their webcams and for their close friends.

You need more than 6 solid routines in magic to become a restaurant worker. You need an arsenal or good, solid, reliable magic that you can depend on in various situations. You need to practice this arsenal regularly, and work on ways to improve on and expand on this arsenal. You also need to develop good communication and people skills, and consider these skills as important as the magic you perform. And you need a good marketing strategy, and consistently force yourself to "think outside the box" on ways to improve your marketability.

Only with these things will you truly be ready for an audition, and will be able to maximize your earnings. Having these things will give you the power you need to make a lasting impression, have a good following, and be able to land a good job making a decent cash. These skills also give you options for future employment and ability to entertain in different circumstances. This is the bigger picture. Yes, it's more "work" than just getting some magic routines and praticing them for 6 months...but its also gaurunteed to be more fulfilling than that as well.


I apologize for the length of this post, but I feel its best to write it all out for those who will actually read it than to leave things out. Honestly, I have much more I can say on this subject, so feel free to PM me with any questions or comments you may have. Again, don't consider this a "coming down on Dylan" post, but rather an elaboration. I've worked for over 6 years in Restaurant magic, and I'm in the process of renovating my magic business in ways to become more serious, more fun, and more lucrative. I just want the members here to be fully informed, and not make decisions and be let down due to lack of info they might not be seeing. I did that for too long, and would like to help others learn from my mistakes.

Invest in yourselves...and dare to dream.
Always B Magic!


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 Post subject: ...lol?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 1:40 am 
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Ok, firstly please take the time to read the post before typing your reply to it, it is quite clear that you didnt even take the time to properly read it with a post like

Quote:
7. Make sure your middle effect/2effects will keep their attention, they dont have to be terribly visual but make them magical....
I don't even understand what the point of this statement is. If your tricks are not "magical" or "attention-grabbing" then they shouldn't be in your arsenal in the first place. If you are going to be routine-based, just be sure that your routine is climatic rather than anti-climatic, that meaning that you consistently build up to the "big finish." Your energy level should continue to rise throughout the routine, if you're going to go that route...


Read wot you wrote... I said they dont have to be terribly visual, but make them "magical"... no need for some flashy production, save that for beginning or end... I'm saying make it "magical" make it impossible... Don't know if that made sence...

2ndly, ok fine fine, you don't use routines.... Ok, thats fine, magicians do not need to have set routines... But I have spoken to ALOT of very experienced magicians, Paddy being one of them and he is very well known on this forum... And they all have agreed on having routines... It is the easiest way to have strong performances, yes and I said 6 so you can have a different routine for differnt types of audiences, that way you have some variety and still have very strong routines.... Having said that, this was just some guidlines to "STARTING", of course an advanced magician like yourself has adapted over the "6 Years" and now you can form a routine or "arsenal" as you are eyeing out the spectators.... But you don't honestly expect a newbie to resturant magic to just enter there and just think of an effect to do next... Yes, by all means if you can do that, do it... But I find it alot easier with routines...

You disagreed with the prep time of 10 seconds... Well I did mean reset time obviously... And yes I suppose if the manager lets you go into a backroom and reset after each performance, by all means do it, I just don't see that happening....

Ok, Tricks longer than 4 minutes, sorry, I may have been wrong, but spectators tend to get bored of this 4 minutes routine, unless of course its got rising tension throughout or multiple climax's... But I am saying don't do any 4 minute boring card routine that only has one ending magical climax, when you can achieve the same reaction with a simple trick that takes a minute or less....

And when I said practice for 6 months, I didn't mean stop after that obviously, and yes, B_Magic is right, practice as often as you can not "day in day out" like I stated...

Now, I didn't include anything about business management etc. Please take B_Magic's advice on this, it is very useful and will help you alot...

B_Magic, I disagree very strongly, and highly doubt your friend lasted more than 2 weeks doing resturant magic performing with ONLY 10 effects... The point of a resturant magician, or his job is to bring back customers, if your friend did bring back customers, what is he going to do? Show them the same tricks over and over?? Please explain.... At least if you have routines you can mix around a bit and have many many tricks/routines to show them...

And yes, get some tricks solid, but you will not neccessarily be ready for an audition, of course you WILL need communication skills, a good sense of humour and buisiness managment skills, read B_Magic's advice, its good...

Hopefully I have cleared up everything, or most of it, if I am still getting something horribly wrong, clear me up, I would like to here a reply from you, B_Magic, just to see if I have cleared everything up... I guess the main thing was routining, but a newbie at resturant magic cant start table hopping performing "Off the Cuff" I think its easier to start with routines, then move on to arsenals etc....

Cheers,
Dylan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 8:50 am 
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Quote:
B_Magic, I disagree very strongly, and highly doubt your friend lasted more than 2 weeks doing resturant magic performing with ONLY 10 effects... The point of a resturant magician, or his job is to bring back customers, if your friend did bring back customers, what is he going to do? Show them the same tricks over and over?? Please explain.... At least if you have routines you can mix around a bit and have many many tricks/routines to show them...


Believe it. Most professional magicians, restaurant or otherwise, do the same tricks over and over in their shows. I think it was Al Goshman who said the difference between a professional and an amateur magician is the amateur does thousands of different shows once, and a professional does one show thousands of times.

What does this person do when customers come back? Show them one of his tricks they haven't seen yet. That is, first time, they see trick #1, and maybe a few other items. (Meaning some lesser tricks not on the list of ten main effects. Supplemental material.) Second time, trick #2, again with or without some other items. For most customers, it would take at least a year to see all ten tricks at that rate. By then, if the magician wants to, he can have a different set of ten tricks. If the customer is a regular, and comes in every week, the magician isn't going to be performing for him every time. Just wave and call out, "Hey Joe! How's it going?" then perform for someone new. If Joe is a regular, he's probably not coming in week after week just because of the magic. He probably lives or works near the restaurant and would be there anyway.

Also, repeat customers very often bring a friend, and request the magician to show the friend the same trick the magician did for them last time.

Not all magicians work this way, but from the interviews and articles in The Magic Menu I've read, most do. It's pretty normal. Personally, I think I'd go nuts doing the very same magic over and over again, so I'll probably mix it up more. Time will tell.

Robert V Frazier


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 10:38 am 
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I'll chime in with my two cents on this post. When talking about routines, each piece must be modular with each section able to function on its own as a single piece. You have to be able to shut down your act at a moments notice when the food arrives without the spectators feeling cheated. I've also posted before that having multiple methods to accomplish the same effect are highly recommended to cover the very probable case of someone bringing a friend back and asking you to show the friend the same tricks done before.
You're arsenal, as B-Magic likes to refer to it, should be constantly evolving, in my opinion. Please trust me when I say this because it's happened to me........YOU get extremely bored performing the exact same effects table after table, night after night. If you're one of those people that can keep your energy up while continually doing the same effects then by all means master and perform your favorites. I know that for awhile, while I was working, strolling for an amusement park, the routines became fairly boring for me. I began performing tricks based on the feedback I was getting from the spectators I happened to be working for and found that it gave my magic a more "off the cuff" feel, which I personally prefer. I'd rather have my performance give the impression that the audience was directly involved and a big part of the magic. When I used to go in with completely coined patter, I felt like it came across just that way...completely routined. It's just in my personality and in the mood of the restaurant I'm currently working (filled mostly with fellow college students) to make my magic more conversational. For example, if after doing an opening routine (Dr. Strangetrick is my favorite), one of the people I'm working for says something like, "I wish I knew how to do something like that..." I'll go into something like B.S. 101 by Carl Andrews, which is a routine that claims to show them how it was done while fooling them a second time.
Another point I wanted to address was the 10 second reset. I personally agree with the fact that routines need to reset quickly if they are not automatically resetting. This may be just because the times that I work are the busiest of the day, and I don't want to waste anytime at all resetting between tables. I want to be eyeing up the table for the entire walk over there to be deciding how to deal with that group. Tricks with longer resets may be completely acceptable in other circumstances, like in the amusement park job, so you'll all have to feel this out during your pre-auditioning stage of the job finding process. Read my post below on the pre-show work that should be done before approaching a manager.
http://www.penguinmagic.com/discuss/viewtopic.php?p=128054&highlight=#128054


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