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Jim Sisti LIVE (Penguin LIVE)

The most knowledgeable guy in the business of tableside entertainment came to Penguin LIVE! SUPPORT LIVE MAGIC. DOWNLOAD THE FULL LECTURE TODAY.
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"If you have any interest in Restaurant Magic you need to listen to Jim Sisti After years as a pioneer in this area and as the owner and editor for the acclaimed "Magic Menu" you cannot get more insight into this area than you can with Jim Sisti. Jim is a worker. Listen to this man and your magic and your magic business will be better." -Eugene Burger

"As well as originally being from the same neck of the woods, Jim has been working in the trenches for about as long as I have. His body of work includes The Magic Menu, which contains some of the best material about working in restaurants and bars. His knowledge of the business is unsurpassed! This is an event that any person who is thinking about a career in restaurant magic NEEDS to see. My advice to clear your calendars and do not miss this opportunity to learn from someone who KNOWS what he is talking about." –Doc Eason

"I've known Jim Sisti for more than twenty years. He's a full-time pro who's comfortable on stage or in close-up venues, and he has the experience to know the material that works best in each situation and why it works best. As far as real-world restaurant magic goes, Jim is as knowledgeable as anyone out there. When a pro shares the information he's gained through a lifetime of performing, I listen. And you should, too." –Michael Close

"I have known Jim Sisti for over 30 years and can assure you, he works constantly. That’s because he is that good! I have seen him destroy audiences from college students to clients at high-end corporate shows. To me, his is the epitome of professionalism. What is more, I have had the opportunity to watch him lecture numerous times over the years. Jim is the consummate artist and an incredible teacher. His background includes hob-knobbing with some of the past greats in the business and what he covers in his lecture represents the best of the best. If you want rock-solid advice and instruction that will last your entire career, watch this lecture. No ifs, ands or buts – that is what you need to do!" –Richard Osterlind

"Do you want to know what being a working magician is all about? Talk to Jim Sisti. He has performed in so many different kinds of venues, and made them all work. He knows what practical hard hitting magic is all about. The kind of magic and not only pleases an audience, but also gets him rebooked in the venue time and time again. Jim Sisti knows what he is talking about!" –Todd Robbins

"Jim Sisti is one of the most knowledgeable magicians I know on the subject of restaurant magic. If you ever want to become a close-up magician and work for paying customers, you should listen to everything he has to say on the subject. He knows what works." –Meir Yedid

"Jim Sisti had the vision for anyone wanting to perform magic in restaurants. He started The Magic Menu and it is still the "bible" for some of the best information on the subject. Not only does Jim know restaurants but he has great insight on strolling, mentalism, amusement parks, and corporate functions. I have learned from Jim Sisti, and so will you!" –Paul Green

“Jim Sisti has a deep knowledge and expertise in a wide range of magic, from Stage Mentalism to Restaurants, and is someone who is well worth listening to and learning from. This lecture will be well worth your time.” –Peter Samelson

“Jim Sisti knows more about Restaurant Magic than anyone. He wrote the book...ok, he wrote the magazine. Not only will you learn about the business side, but Jim also has some really strong commercial magic for any close-up or strolling situation. If you want to do close-up magic in the real world, you need to see this lecture.” -Marc DeSouza

"One of the things that separates my pal, Jim Sisti, from most lecturers, is his real-world experiences as a magician. Many lecturers today invent one or two tricks and then go out on a lecture tour. Not Jim. He spent valuable years in the trenches, working for real people, gaining real experience that's really important. Jim Sisti is the real deal! Really!" –David Oliver

"When it comes to practical commercial magic for restaurant work or a social event, I can’t think of a better person to learn the tricks of the trade than from Jim Sisti." –Eric DeCamps

"If I had a chance to learn magic and the business of magic from someone who has decades of experience with thousands of hours of “flight time,” hundreds of published works, and scores of professional friends, then why would I hesitate? To me, Jim Sisti is the pinnacle of restaurant prestidigitators who has literally seen it and done it all plus he knows how to teach it in a fun and effective way. If you have a chance to see Jim lecture, then you shouldn't hesitate either!" –Scott Wells

What will he teach?

Entitled The Best of the Menu, it comprises effects that were contributed to The Magic Menu during its eleven-year publication run. The material, from many of magic’s notables, was selected based on several criteria – each effect has a strong impact but a fairly easy methodology. Additionally, they are all well-suited for walk-around performance, with special attention to ease of reset with little or no angle sensitivity.

Tramsmutation (Jim Sisti) – A borrowed, signed five or ten dollar bill apparently transforms into a one-dollar bill. The alarmed spectator is assured that what he’s just witnessed is a clever piece of sleight of hand as his signed bill can now be found in the previously examined, empty change purse that was sitting in full view. This trick is also included in the lecture for sentimental reasons – it was the very first trick ever published in The Magic Menu.

Sonata for Ring & String (Dan Fleshman) – A four-phase routine with a borrowed finger ring and a length of cord. This routine is notable not only for Dan’s original moves and his innovative takes on classic ring and string sequences, but also because of the way the routine builds theatrically. This routine is also perfect for the table-hopping or strolling performer mostly because each phase is strong enough to be the climax should the routine need to be shortened due to food service interruptions, etc.

The Two Card Trick (Bert Allerton) - Bert Allerton was arguably the first restaurant magician and this is a perfect example of the kind of commercial magic that he would use to entertain the Hollywood celebrities and society elites who would frequent Chicago’s Pump Room where Bert held court for years. This three-phase card transposition routine is perfect for table hopping as it can be ended at the end of any of the phases if an interruption (such as food service, etc.) occurs. That the magic happens in the spectator’s hand is yet another bonus.

Signature Transpo (Tom Ladshaw) – The performer has a spectator sign his name on the back of one of his business cards and then places the card in the spectator’s pocket. The performer then signs his own name on the back of another card. Instantly, the signature on the back of the card the magician holds changes into the spectator’s. The spectator then removes the card from his pocket to discover that it now bears the performer’s signature.

Aces Under Control (Mark Leveridge) / Estimation Aces (Marlo/Loryane/Sisti) – A visual, yet amazingly easy-to-do, four Ace production is followed up by a variation of a classic of card magic where the Aces are lost back into the pack but easily found by the performer in a variety of ways.

Miracle Speller (Oscar Weigle) – A very commercial effect, easily adaptable for trade shows, that should have been a part of the Frank Garcia issue of The Magic Menu that never happened due to the great man’s passing. A selected and replaced card is discovered by the spectator spelling the name of any famous magician they wish – one card for each letter – and then the magician doing the same with his own name, with the selection turning up on the final letter. Again, this effect can be adapted for honoring a special guest, promoting a product or service, etc.

Grandpa’s Fruit Knives – Jim’s presentation for Michael Skinner’s color-changing knife routine. This is used in the lecture mainly to discuss how to make a trick “fit” your personality and style.

EZ-Peek – An easy way to divine a selected card, even though the spectator has complete control of their cards. No forces, key cards, stacks, etc. Use the information in a variety of ways (in a one-ahead routine, such as Mental Epic, for example, or just a straight-ahead mind reading presentation.

Mixed Symbols – Five ESP symbols are shown and the performer is able to determine which one the spectator thought of despite the cards being mixed by both performer and spectator. Again, this is a highly adaptable routine that can be used with Tarot cards, conventional playing cards, and, for impromptu situations, even business cards.

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Customer Reviews (showing 1 - 10 of 13)
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Great close-up lecture with incredible variety Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 21st, 2014
I was particularly interested in Jim Sisti's lecture for a few of reasons. First, he is a longtime friend of Richard Osterlind's and his business partner, and Richard just happens to be my favorite performer and teacher, so I was curious about his friend. Second, I kept hearing how influential his former magazine, "The Magic Menu" was. Third, I had gotten away from close-up magic, and I really wanted to learn some good routines to start accepting gigs for this type of work.

Well, I am glad I not only own this lecture, but I was glad I was in the audience at Penguin's studios for this one. Jim is an incredibly gifted performer and teacher with a quick wit. This is one of my favorite lectures and to me is an instant classic. Let me tell you why:

Jim said he chose the material he did because they were relatively easy to perform and they were very commercial. As someone who has worked in restaurants for decades (I am not saying he is old), he knows what people like.

I love Ring on Rope routines, but I have been reluctant to do (finger) Ring on String routines. I just think the finger rings are too small. However, the four-phase routine Jim taught seems like it is something I would do.

Ever since watching Jay Sankey and Kevin King perform the bill switch, I have been intrigued by it, but not enough to actually learn it. Jim's Transmutation is a fun piece using an ungimmicked change purse where the spectator's larger, signed bill turns into a smaller, unsigned one. It appears in the change purse that has been sitting on the table the whole time.

I own a cheap set of color-changing knives, and I never really knew what to do with them. However, because I am Italian (as is Jim), I just may steal his presentation and story for the color-changing knives. Nice, visual, quick and fun routine.

Talking about quick, I imagine it is because he cut his teeth in restaurants, Jim's effects were not long and drawn out. They were well-routined and to the point. Many of the effects he performed employ multiple phases, which means the performer can cut of the effect at various points if the food arrives.

Jim has a great understanding of the magicians who came before, and he pays them great respect. During his two hours of performance and explanation and his 90 minutes of conversation with host Dan Harlan, Jim displayed a tremendous wit, a vast knowledge and good rapport with the audience. He is very respectful with his spectators, and he makes sure everyone is involved and is having a good time.

If you are considering going into restaurant magic or performing close-up/walk around magic, I highly encourage you to get his lecture. Jim's thoughts on how to give out business cards (making it a magical moment instead of a perfunctory one) and his philosophy on tips alone are worth the price of this lecture.

There is stuff from this lecture you can use at your next close up gig, and like the guy from the Men's Wearhouse, I guarantee it!
9 of 9 magicians found this helpful.
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Such a wealth of great, workable information! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 21st, 2014
I had been a fan of The Magic Menu since the publication of the first five year compilation. There are so many "real world" tips and routines in there that it all becomes a bit overwhelming. Seeing that Jim Sisti would be here on Penguin Live had me really anticipating this lecture and it did not disappoint!

The theme was perfect: "routines using common, attainable sleights that still pack a magical punch". His demos covered all the work, the tricks themselves were all so useable (the business card handout alone could be sold for the price of this lecture) and all the tips! When he and Dan start sharing ideas at the end, well just have a notepad ready.

It was also really great to hear him share stories about those moments that didn't go quite so well. As performers we have all experienced these and it's comforting to know that even a real professional is still human. He even "throws away" a great tip about a Farro shuffle in "don't overwork the cards". I've lost count of how many times my shuffle has gone downhill from over practicing with the same deck and I never realized that was why!

Great lecture, full of real world information you will immediately start using and something you will go back to over and over again.
Thanks Penguin!
6 of 7 magicians found this helpful.
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Great, practical magic and advice! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 27th, 2014
I enjoyed Jim's lecture very much. It is filled with excellent, practical, real world magic that is well suited for restaurant and walk-around performances. The effects are easy to do, easy to reset and very commercial. They are good in terms of angles which is so important in a restaurant setting. Also, they are relatively short in length or, in other cases, have multiple phases where one can end if the food arrives while you are performing.

Normally, I get one or two items from a lecture that interest me. I must say that I liked every item Jim presented and will pursue performing many of them. One of the items, "Mixed Symbols", I already perform. I learned it from another presentation Jim gave a few years ago. I use it on a regular basis and it goes over very well. Instead of ESP symbols, I use pictures of food that people can order in a restaurant.

In addition to great effects, Jim also shares valuable advice in terms of obtaining a position as a restaurant performer, working in a restaurant, relationship with other restaurant staff, his thoughts on tips, etc. Excellent!!

I highly recommend this lecture for anyone pursuing restaurant or walk-around magic.
2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
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JIM SISTI "LIVE" Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 27th, 2014
This was one of the best lectures I have seen on Penguin Magic. There was so much offered that could be used by the everyday magician. The dat after I watched the lecture I was performing Aces on Demand, Miracle Speller, Easy Peek, and Mixed Symbol. With Miracle Speller, I improvised by using a technique I learned from the late Gary Ouellette, which allows me to avoid using a crimped card. What I liked most about Jim Sisti's presentation is that everything he demonstrated was easy and useful for close-up magicians in a restaurant, hospitality room, living room, or table setting. Kudos to Jim for an excellent lecture!
2 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
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Excellent Restaurant Magic Lecture Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on August 2nd, 2014
Jim Sisti's lecture is an excellent way to understand what it takes to be a restaurant magicians (or a close up magicians). If you are interested in this area of the business, this is a must see lecture. His discussion with Dan Harlan is loaded with useful "real life" tips on how to get restaurant gigs and what magic works best in that venue.
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
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Great lecture Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 27th, 2014
Phenomenal lecture! Entertaining with very clear explanations.
Jim is a great teacher and it shows in this lecture. Very useful information for any close-up magician. I recommend this lecture 1000%. I enjoyed it very much.
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
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Awesome teacher! Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 21st, 2014
Jim Sisti is a great teacher and a pro. His explanations were very clear and easy to follow. Jim was also very entertaining and informative. I recommend this lecture 1000%.
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
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Real World Material Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on July 30th, 2014
I didn't know what to expect going into this one as I've never read the Magic Menu. Jim presented a "best of" lecture so the material presented was all solid, real world material suitable for walk-around. I enjoyed the lecture. The opening ring/string routine was great with a phase I had not seen before and an opening display that was clean enough to make me switch from the opening sequence I've been doing for 15 years. This is a solid lecture.
1 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
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Jim Sisti DVD Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on August 30th, 2022
Great DVD. Pacing off the presentation was great and the material is within the reach of the intermediate performer. Nice to hear stories from someone “in the know”.
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Great commercial magic Report this review
Verified buyer Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on February 22nd, 2021
This was a great lecture for a number of reasons, one being that the effects were good commercial routines that will work in the real world. They have been chosen from the best of the Magic Menu so as you can imagine, they’re workers.

Another reason I loved this was seeing Jim Sisti performing. He is a delightful person and is genuinely funny. I really enjoyed hearing him talk with Dan at the end. I’ve seen Jim Sisti on the Osterland videos but never realised just what a funny and relatable person he is. I wish it had gone for longer. 😊
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