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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 12:16 pm 
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Well Dylan, it may seem hard for you to believe, but my friend has been successful in his restaurant gig for several years now, and he only does about 10 different effects. He's an older guy, in his mid/late fifties, who talks magic with me often at the college I attend (he also works in the college bookstore during the day). He's a firm believer that its better to have only a few tricks that you absolutely master, then to have a plethora of tricks you do ok with. So he sticks with his 10 or so effect arsenal, mostly coin tricks, and that's what he performs with. And he does well.

The fact is, even if you have 6 solid routines, eventually you will repeat them. And in the restaurant business, you'll often get repeated customers a week, a month, even a year later. Sometimes these customers won't even remind you that you've performed for them before. So how do you make sure you don't repeat the same effect again? Eventually, you will repeat effects. And if you got only 6 routines, working at least 2 -3 hours a night, your going to repeat sooner rather than later. Repeating a trick is no biggie in most cases, if you know how to do it.

I always recommend people have arsenals rather than routines because of many of the things that have been said on this post. With an arsenal, you can develop a small routine that fits best for the situation you come into. Your not trapped by the "walls" of a routine either, therefore your mind is always open to think clearly and creatively. Your also able to feel fresher in your work, not trapped by doing the same, consistent thing over and over. With an arsenal, you're able to have the freedom to start and end quickly, which is important if working in the restaurant scene.

My arsenal is always changing, always improving and updating with the latest things that I can perform well. Some things get temporarily "retired" for a bit while something else new comes in. My arsenal is always rotating and changing. You don' t get that same freedom in routines. As hard as you work to put a routine together, you got to work just as hard to break it down. Habits are hard to break. Even though having an arsenal forces you to think on your feet a little more, and forces you to learn how to read your audience, I always recommend this way first. I'd rather the new guys learn the hard way first, rather than spend more time trying to break habits that don't help them.

Like I said, I'm just trying to help people learn from my own mistakes.


About reset times, note that I agree that most things should be quick moving, quick reset effects. However, I don't agree with telling people to cross off anything that takes longer than 10 seconds to reset right off the bat. If someone has a great, killer effect that perhaps takes 30 seconds to reset, but works great for them, by all means keep that in your arsenal. I've got a couple great attention getters (the one's that get people hollerin, clapping, and get other people to notice me) that take a solid minute or so to reset, and I keep them around every time I perform.

Here's a couple great restaurant effects that take longer to reset:

Kaps on Fire Wallet-when fuel burns off, takes more than 10 seconds to prep again.
Hot Leads-run out of cards and you've got to spend at least a minute prepping another batch of cards.

And there's tons more! But in this example, why would I tell a new guy NOT to get Hot Leads because of the longer reset times when you run out of cards? The fact is, the magician handing out his business cards, especially in this way, is going to BRING him/her more business, and more money! By all means, take the minute or so to reset and start handing those things out again! :P


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 2:34 pm 
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Thanks for these posts, B Magic! Its refreshing to get another side of the story, so-to-speak. There is lots of great information and good points to both sides of the argument that I plan to use in developing my own habits and m.o. I've recently been in "routine mode" trying to routine a whole bunch of effects together. While its been nice to do that for a few card tricks and even a coin routine I do, it is also refreshing to hear someone say that just having an arsenal to rely on at other times when you need something to really grab a table is great.

I will continue to work on some routining, but also work on the other things that you mentioned....like working on my arsenal and also the marketing aspect. I have a full time profession and perform restaurant magic as a part-time thing when I fill in for a friend of mine. Lately he hasn't needed me too much since his show schedule has thinned out for the summer. I am finding the need to possibly obtain my own restaurant gig on a regular basis. This marketing information is going to be invaluable - thanks so much for taking the time to actually explain some of the things that could really help land a job! I've got the business cards and I've seen how a few of the restaurants work, but I hadn't thought about just going in and performing for the staff and then following that up later with the interview, portfolio, etc. and mentioning the former visit. Unfortunately a couple of the places I would like to perform I couldn't actually afford to dine there! But, that's not to say that magic wouldn't work in a place like that. I'll just have to tailor my approach to those places.

Anyway, thanks again for the plethora of information. Its been very helpful and I am now armed with some good advice and know how to proceed much better.

Take care,
Dave


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 Post subject: Ok...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2004 4:18 pm 
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Alrite, I see your point now... hmmm I suppose with either 10 tricks or 6 routines, you can't always remember what tricks/routine you showed the audience.... But 10 tricks, I would get soooo bored lol :P.

And the reset time, yep sure if you have a GREAT trick, by all means go for your life... But for an average trick, dont bother, you can probably achieve the same reaction anyway with a trick that is instantly reset...

=) Later,
Dylan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 12:17 am 
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I have only 3 months of restaraunt experience....but i work twice a week. So ive done it quite a few times. What I've learned is that, when i begun, i had so many tricks that i was thinking of doing, but ended up on the first night using 7 tricks! 7, that all. I showed most people 2 or 3. I now use the same 7 tricks over and over and over. But if I see a repeat, dont kid yourself, i have a lot of tricks i know. You can do VERY similar tricks, with different revelations, or endings. And people arent the wiser. People remember the climax, and thats it.

I probably sound like some punk kid, which indeed i am.
:wink: But hey, my 7 tricks work. Ive developed repore with the waiters and hostess' and managers. I hand out business cards, and have been referred more than i ever would have imagined. I actually have an interview at another restaraunt, where someone i performed for worked at. I went there 2 fridays in a row, and just performed to guests waiting, to waiters, and even the manager. I guess i have been rambling...

Overall, make your tricks count. Get the tricks with best reactions, and make sure you are comfortable with them. You dont have to have patter memorized, just be nice, and as B said...read the man. Its like a poker game! Im a rather smooth talker, not being modest, and it will get you farther in life than i thought. So new and younger ones, take your time. Don't throw yourself in a situation you aren't ready for. Get your "arsenal" down. And then go have fun. Thats what it should be, fun, and entertaining.

Your Friend,
Nick


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 6:02 am 
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Nick, you are doing what a lot of us older guys have been telling the kids. Magic is not he trick itself, it is the PRESENTATION. The performance is everything.
Peter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:07 am 
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Just wanted to say that this discussion is exactly what these forums are for. Sure people will disagree but that's the beautiful creative part of magic. Arsenals or Routines it is up to the individual performer to "create himself" and his mode of presentation for his magic. I like routines because they present some structure that I can fall back on. Should the opportunity present itself, I am ready to deviate from my routines and just go with the current situation.

Once I was in the middle of my routine moving from my ambitious card to dough and there was a fly buzzing around the table (it was an outdoor patio at the restaurant). The table made mention of it and I said "Well maybe we can catch it" I then did the Web to one of the guests and he loved it. Now this may seem pointless but had I just stuck to my routine, I would have done dough and moved onto another table, but because the opportunity presented itself, I performed The Web, which I normally don't use in restaurants.

So you can combine both of sides of the perverbial steel core coin (no pun intended) as far as routining and arsenals are concerned. IMHO


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 1:53 pm 
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paddy wrote:
Nick, you are doing what a lot of us older guys have been telling the kids. Magic is not he trick itself, it is the PRESENTATION. The performance is everything.
Peter


My thoughts exactly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 5:00 pm 
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Eugene Burger also uses the 7 effect rule. The same 7 all night long....I don't know if the 7 changes the next night.

Being an ambassador of the restaurant is also important. What else is going on is important. Promoting all things restaurant and being friendly are exceedingly more important than going and doing a few tricks for people. If you got the job by doing tricks good for you....

Nick,

I discovered the same thing at a recent wedding I attended and worked. I had my pockets BRIMMING Over set for about 30 different effects and a regular deck. and 4/halves which is essentially restaurant standard. I used a total of 9 effects I think regularly. I used some of the others but not much....

Here are my ten tips in no particular order....

1. Be entertaining
2. Do magic you do well
3. Do magic that the audience likes. Try not to do an effect solely because you like it.
4. Practice with wet coins/cards and other props.
5. Promote the restaurant and other possible activites.
6. Be entertaining
7. Involve the audience on a personal level.
8. Don't do magic you can't do at least moderately well.
9. Practice hard but not so much you get sick of the effects you WILL have to repeat them over and over. This could be taxing.
10. Have Fun and for gosh sakes be entertaining.

Adam


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 Post subject: Posting on the Boards
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 7:17 am 
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I have read through many, many sentences along this thread and there has been a tremendous amount of good advice I think I will take to heart if I decide to pursue the restaurant venue.

Just one thing, though: all you posters with well over a thousand posts ... remember that once upon a time there was a single digit next to your avatar and corresponding to the word "Posts".

I'd put a couple of paychecks on the fact that some of you asked questions or posted information that has been posted before. And hey, the bottom line is, if you don't like re-reading old information (in the form of new questions from youngsters), don't click the link. There "ain't" nobody twisting your mouse finger, after all.

-R


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 Post subject: oy! its my turn!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 10:25 pm 
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hey! hows everybody doing? having a nice day? ready to hear what i have to say? really? ok, good- sit back in ur seats and listen to what dylan has to say about dylan!

okey-dokey mr.dylan! lovely little list uve put up, but im afraid that it just shows your complete and total ignorance to the wonderful and amazing world of the resturant business. and you also emphasized your ignorance by refusing to see the wisdom and experience in B_Magic's amazing post on your "10 rules of magic" sorry if im insulting you in any way, but i have to say- before you make guidelines to something... instead of acting like a proffesional- instead become a proffesional- THEN make ur silly guidelines. Also, you should be fully aware of the fact that I have survived a year and a half in the resturant business with only 7 tricks, one of which i wouldnt even call a trick because it was just a shnazzy way to reveal a business card. now you should know that this ARSENAL of tricks were not all of my tricks, oh no- i can most definitely do much much much more than that! but these were my resturant arsenal that felt rite, now i must admit it changed a bit as i got a better feel for the job- but it was still 7 tricks. You should know that in tips alone i made $150 in 3 hours on my third time ever performing at a resturant, do you know why? Its not because i spent 6 months perfecting every last trick (though i might as well have, because i did it so man times in the first two days i could perform all of the tricks with my eyes closed and reciting long division), it was because i had patter- good people skills and patter that fills the tip jar. also, do you want to know how i got my job? i didn't "audition" no... i went to the resturant every weekend for three weeks with my parents (im only 11 or else i wouldve gone to the bar as well) and i did simple but stunning tricks to the waiters, busboys, witresses, and any other employee that was around the table at one point or another- now at that point i didnt really have a resume, i mean everyone has to start somewhere! And then i went up to the manager wearing a button up shirt with nice shoes and khaki good pants and i walked up with the cards in my hand, casually doing small flourishs with the cards, and i said, "hello! im dylan ________ and i was wondering if maybe we could schedule a time when i coul show you a few tricks and then we can talk about maybe..." i was halfway through the sentence when he said, "your hired!"

now, heres a REVISED GUIDELINE, probly wont be very good.... but hey!

1. have talent, if u dont have any- get some!
2. Build a good arsenal of tricks that are stunning very visual, and angle friendly- preferebbly impromptu, but, if its very stunning- why not go ahead! try and make up a loosely built guideline or story ur tricks are built around- but leave plenty of room for improvisation, i ind my best patter comes from spur of the moment improv!
3. Learn how to read a crowd, how to tell if is not really a good time to show people a magic trick (for example, if hes a big guy with a shotgun in his left pocket... id avoid him- he mite not like getting confused...) also, learn what kind of people will prefer certain types of tricks... this is hard to do- and comes with experience!
4. begin by doing small neighborhood kiddie parties as well as showing off to ur friends at school, build up a resume to show off to a manager at a resturant. i know i didn't do this as much as i shouldve- but it sure as edited wouldve been easier to get a job!
5. spend time going into a resturant that you think gets a fair amount of business- but could use something like a magician to attract more! eat there a lot and check out the feel of the place, check out and see if its low key- should your tricks be mellow and then have a BOOM! or is it a fast moving resturant, where your tricks go from one BOOM to the next, leaving your customers dazed and dizzied (great now im quoting from CHICAGO!) adjust you arsenal to fit with the feel of the resturant.
6. begin doing quickpace tricks that have strong endings to the staff
7. finally, take B's advice- take notes, dress nice, look proffessional, and GET TO BUSINESS!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 11:41 pm 
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^^^ Wont read due to no paragraphs.


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 Post subject: Here, Here
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2004 12:59 am 
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¶Here, Here, Dylan. And congratulations!

¶Oh ... and ManofMagic ...how do you know there're no paragraphs unless you read through it?

¶At any rate, I thought I'd throw a few paragraph marks in for you ... free of charge.

-R


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 Post subject: Dylan...
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:44 am 
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Ok, Dylan, You call me the ignorant one because I have not accepted B's advice. Saying somethign like this has proved how ignorant you really are yourself, if you would have taken the time to read all of the posts above you would see I did accept alot of B's advice... Yet put my opinion out there as well.

You also said I pretended to be a professional, read my post, at no point do I ever state myself as being a proffessional, I posted to try and help people out, to get people started, I asked for a bored like this to be put in place, and started it with some advice I knew would somewhere get some rejections, and therefore put some great advice on a board like this, which has happened as a true proffesional (B) has posted some very valuable advice. I put the bored here to not only help myself but to help others, it was a thing I did for others, not to try and make myself look like more of a "proffesional" around the boards...

You stated you are 11? I don't know what you meant, explain please, it came off as if you are 11 years old, and you have been working for 1 and a half years? You started doing resturant magic at the age of 9 and a half? Please, explain... I don't believe a nine year old could get a job and speak like an expert such as yourself...

Yes, I may appear cranky, but when somone comes onto a bored I created for the purpose of helping others and calls me ignorant without even taking the time to read the posts I have made? Well then yes, I will get cranky. When somone as ignorant as yourself comes and tells me that I am trying to make out as I am some kind of proffessional when I am clearly only out to help, then that will anger me even more.

Read the posts, I have accepted advice, admitted to being wrong due to a lack of experience but also put in my thoughts and advice, isn't this the main purpose of a forum? And still people are saying they only use 7 tricks... Please share with me what these 7 tricks are... Are you talking about 7 main tricks and a couple small ones, are are you saying you ONLY EVER USE 7 tricks... And would you be kind enough to share the 7 tricks you perform? I am very keen to hear what tricks could be so fantastic to last you a year and a half! I would just get far to bored.

Please disagree with me in some way to keep me on my toes. Thanks.

Cheeeers,
:twisted: Dylan :twisted:


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 Post subject: Multiplying Rabbits?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:32 am 
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Too many Dylans running around and I can't keep 'em all straight.

They're multiplying faster than the multiplying rabbit trick I do.

:)

-R


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 Post subject: Re: Here, Here
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2004 8:36 pm 
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snedglow wrote:
¶Here, Here, Dylan. And congratulations!

¶Oh ... and ManofMagic ...how do you know there're no paragraphs unless you read through it?

¶At any rate, I thought I'd throw a few paragraph marks in for you ... free of charge.

-R

I can see through the big block of text that their are no paragraphs... :roll:


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