About to start Bar Magic... advice?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Robert//Livingston, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. Hey everyone,

    I've recently been told that I need to go and show my skills to the owner of a local bar. So, I've decided I'm going to go down and apply for a booking under 'entertainer', or a job just as a bar magician.

    Now, who here has ever done this... or wanted to do this? I've only been in magic for almost a year, although I have developed fast and studied A LOT.

    Here are my list of effects to pull from. I have these all down well, and will probably incorporate them into routines for the bar... Here we go.

    Invisible Deck
    Red Hot Mama (chicago opener)
    Coins Across Routine
    Sponge Balls
    Torn and Restored card
    Twisting the Aces
    Biddle Trick
    Card Under Drink
    Hellbound Spellbound
    5 Speed
    Angle Zero
    Paul Harris' Improv Shades
    Carbon Paper
    French Kiss
    Body Contact (Homer Liwag's "The Rice Papers")
    Marksmanship ""
    A Chop Cup Routine
    Sandwich Effects...

    These are some of my hard hitting effects that I perform when on the street or for family and friends.

    Does anyone have any advice on deleting or adding effects to this list? Can anyone tell me what I'm about to get myself into?

    I'm a very outgoing person, so my personality is great for what's being asked.

    Oh, and I'm looking at Jiggernaught... looks like an amazing routine.

    Can't wait to hear what you guys think!

    Thanks :D
  2. Luis - Amazing article! I've actually read it a few times.

    Just some minor differences in my case... Instead of table hopping, I'll either be A.) Behind the Bar, or B.) Walking around performing.

    This place doesn't have tables to eat at. More like 2 bars, some pool tables, tv's ... stuff like that.

    Also, the material I listed.. What do you think about those effects?

    Thanks again for the response.
  3. well Looking at the effects I choose

    Card Under Drink
    Torn And Restored Card
    and maybe 5 speed

    it´not about having a lot of effects, but using the right ones...these will allow you to reset and then go to the next person without needing to refill or reset...

    I would suggest French Kiss and Chop Cup Routine as extras...
  4. one HUGE tip that im also gonna post on the thread luis started, you said thread, in ur list of tricks, is this thread by wayne houchin, if so, i do not recommend it for resturaunt work, some teenage/college kids may enjoy it, but as a pretty obvious general rule of thumb, these people are about to eat, they dont wanna see you pullin **** out of your eyeballs, avoid anything that might gross some1 out before they eat
  5. Any time I do strolling or table hopping almost every effect is instant reset. I keep something killer for a closer if a big crowd is around and then get ready for people to start asking for business cards....ha ha. Then I make my exit for that night.
  6. I really like angel zero. But my experience is when you are in a crowded environment, people may not hear the sound of tearing the corner and you get my meaning.
  7. Yes, THREAD by W:H would be bad in a restaurant, but this is a bar.

    So I think it would be appropriate with a patter about taking a bet for a free beer or what not. I think this would be a great place to use this effect and have great reactions.

    Thank you everyone for taking time to comment on this thread. Luis and reverhart, great advice, I'll definitely use effects that are easy to reset and keep a couple in reserves.

    Hans - I definitely get it. Maybe for when it's not too rowdy :D
  8. Good Luck

    You should really try to read Draven post about how to get a jop and keep it. And good luck :D
  9. #10 Justin.Morris, Apr 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2010
    Invisible Deck (I suggest using this only when needed)
    Coins Across Routine
    Sponge Balls
    Biddle Trick
    Card Under Drink (if your routine is good - perhaps with your acr)
    Carbon Paper (I don't have Jay's version, but with Guy's version there is a card that you need to introduce, and you give both away. Good for a couple of times a night)
    French Kiss
    A Chop Cup Routine

    Pressure (the sound of a balloon deflating is not good restaurant noise, but could work once or twice a night perhaps)
    Angle Zero (once a night effect. If you can leave the corners in different places it makes an interesting discussion piece for the patrons. Much like card on ceiling )
    WARNING (If you can do carbon paper, then you can do this. If you can do it well, combine it with carbon paper effect perhaps)
    Sandwich Effects... (depends on the effect really...)

    No way
    Sinful (you dont want foaming drink everywhere.)
    THREAD (Bad for bars- people are eating)

    I don't have it
    Red Hot Mama (chicago opener) (I hear it's great)
    Torn and Restored card
    Twisting the Aces
    Hellbound Spellbound
    5 Speed
    Paul Harris' Improv Shades
    Body Contact (Homer Liwag's "The Rice Papers")
    Marksmanship ""

    Out of all these, what are your favorites to perform? Which ones have you done the most, and which ones do you have the most fun performing? Perhaps you have had opportunity to work on some patter for a couple of these effects. Can you build them into sets of three with similar theme/patter?

    If they are in short routines (1-3 effects) you can cut short if you need to, and if your material is impromptu for the most part, you can always add an effect if needed.

    Good luck!

  10. Justin - Thanks for you're input man, I get what you're saying on Sinful. I'll be going by this Saturday to see if they'd be willing to let me entertain there.

    Wish me luck!

    Oh, and any more advice, stories, experiences of performing magic at a bar would be greatly appreciated.

    I'm also looking into Doc Eason's bar magic DVD's.
  11. So I don't know if you've realized this, but you'll need to carry 2 decks, one that you can only use for one certain effect, the other one will have a gimmicked card every time you perform carbon paper. 2-4 sponge balls in your pocket, 4-6 coins, an extra card for red hot mama, rubber bands around your wrist, 5-8 balloons for pressure, a gimmicked dollar bill, a book matches for warning, a lighter for carbon paper, extra cards and a sharpie for french kiss, a gimmick for body contact, cups and balls, and thread. . .
    Can you see how it might be kinda hard to perform these tricks? You can't just name everything you can do and say you can do it for a bar. You need resettable tricks.

    Invisible deck is good - instant reset.
    Carbon paper - instant reset granted you won't be doing other card work unless you palm out that gimmicked card.
    5 speed - instant reset
    Twisting the aces - reset.
    Greed - good
    I would just use those.
  12. Danny - Thanks for your post.

    These were the effects that I could pull from to create little routines for bar magic. I wasn't actually going to do every single effect on that list in one night.

    I just wanted to know if the effects would translate well into the bar scene.

    Here's a little routine I'll use -

    Kostya's WARNING (the one with the lighter warning label)
    Carbon Paper
    Then maybe Invisible Deck for the closer.

    But yes, I don't want to be a walking prop bag haha.

    Thanks again :D
  13. You have some good effects from which to build a short close-up set. From what you listed I'd probably go with:

    1. Chicago Opener (Opener)
    2. ACR
    3. Card Under Drink
    4. Greed or Improv Nightshades (Closer)

    If they're really digging what you're doing maybe throw in CMH+Stairway between effects 3 and 4. Stairway would also work well leading into Greed or Nightshades since the bill is already in play.

    I that's a pretty solid set. Save everything else for special performances, repeat customers, "encores," etc..

    Good luck!
  14. Thanks Mat!

    I concur, greed would go great after stairway.

  15. Balloon swallowing
    Cards to pocket
    Coin under watch
    3 card monte
    Professor's nightmare/Fiber optics
    3 Shell game
    Gregory WIlson's pitch and ditch
    Cards across
    Hyrum the hunted hanky
    Mystery of the Traveling Marbles
    8 card brainwave
    10 card poker deal
    Oz Pearlman's Clutch
    Oz's Phantom Artist
    Bill to cigarette

    Most of these are very easy
  16. WOAH!! you have wayy to many effects, yor pocets will be like bricks and most f these need setup. I suggest getting 7-12 tricks which 80% are instant reset or take 10 seconds and doing them.
  17. SlipperyPete - I haven't heard of half these effects. Do I need to buy each individually? Or is there a book with most of these in them?

    Alfie - All these effects are ones that I can DRAW from... I don't want to do every effect in one night, I was just telling everyone most of the effects I know well enough to perform.

  18. You are neglecting one key factor here.

    The people you WILL be dealing with will be buzzed or drunk. Therefore you do NOT want to be doing anything that takes too much time. You want to do to things that are quick and visual.

    Anything that involves them having to remember anything besides what their card is. Is usually a no go. Because unless you have dealt with drunks before, they have pretty no memory besides what to order and how to try and get that cute blond girls number. Anything else, it's pretty much not there.
  19. Hey guys...
    I thought I would chime in here and give what little advice I have. For the record, I have been performing bar magic off and on for almost 10 years now, and my primary source of income comes from a 4 night a week, 2 shows a night gig.

    I may actually write a lot here, because this is a topic of discussion that really can't be written about in only a few paragraphs. I have read some of the posts, and I am loving all the help you guys seem to be wanting to give! Mad props yo!

    First and foremost, performing magic behind a bar is much different than performing table hopping
    at iHop. I highly suggest taking a look at Doc Easons Bar Magic 3 DVD set he has out. He is one of the finest workers behind a bar, and you will see just what it takes to really entertain a crowd. There is actually a ton of great resources out there on bar magic. I will post in a later thread.

    Someone posterld earlier about your pockets being filled to the brim with cards, coins, balloons, chickens and doves. This is simply not true. If you work behind a bar, you will have a place to call your own to stash all your props. At any given time, I may have a deck of cards in hand and some sponge bunnies in my pocket. But that is neither here nor there.

    Being in magic only a year, you are still new to the art. You may be growing and learning fast, but with bar magic, you ate going to be learning all over again. Just keep that in the back of your mind.

    As far as the 3,209 effects you listed, please know that you will only need about 6-7 for a 45 min show. Actually, in my show the MOST I will perform in a given set is 7 effects. The rest of the time, I am building rapport, cracking jokes, and gearing the entire bar up for an effect. Also, someone else mentioned to perform for women first. This is true to a degree, but certain criterium should first be met:
    - Make sure in a group of men and women, you greet and introduce yourself to the men first. This way, you aren't coming off as some dude who is just trying to flirt with the pretty girl. Also, you will be making yourself less threatening to the men this way. So now they loosen up and you can have a great show. Often times I have seen some performers go right to the ladies first, and madman jealousy sets in with the dudes and it can make for an uncomfortable situation. Especially if you are a good looking bubba.

    Also note that while you are there to entertain, your main job is take make that bar money. Once you understand how to work a bar crowd, it will become second nature to make sure you are keeping their glasses full while you make them rack up a huge tab because they are so entertained by you and your magic.

    Try working it out with management to come and work the bar on a night where some type of event is going on, such as poker night or trivia night. The crowd usually comes in early, and you can work that crowd while they wait to start whatever it is they came there for. Usually, those events end with plenty of time left on the clock for you to come back out and perform.

    Ok, I know for a fact I did not touch on everything I wanted to touch on, due in part to me typing this up on my iPhone. I will reread every post on here again when I am in front of my PC, and will try my best to formulate enough answers to any questions you might have...

    I would say Godspeed, but I don't think it is fair that God can speed and we can't...


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