About to start Bar Magic... advice?

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

  1. Hey Mike...It was me who said that about performing for girls first...but I did miss that important thing about the men...I should have put in my thread that I introduce myself to the whole group first...men and ladies alike...as I do this I usually say something like "hey Guys!! how are you doing? are we having a great night?" I could put the exact words....but it would be in spanish...then when they respond I say "great!! how about some magic to make the night even better!!?" as I say this I do a big card spring...well at least that´s what works for me...

    what do you think about that?
  2. I say whatever makes you that money...go for it!

    Personally, I do not bring out the cards or coins or whatever until I have spent a good amount of time building rapport. When I first started out, I would just have the cards in my hand, walk up to a table and ask if they wanted to see a trick. The problem with this is, most of the time people will not want to be rude and say not thanks if you already have the props out ready to go. I mean sometimes they will, but from my experiences they won't.

    That is why I spend a little time letting them get to know ME as a person. And in turn, I am trying to know THEM as a person. THEN, when it is time for me to show them what I do; if they like me...they will WANT to see some neat-o effects. At least this works behind a bar. Obviously in walk-around situations and such, time is money.

  3. When i perform in restaurants. The effects should be ones that you knwo like the back of your hand. This will allow you to do what you want and give it the patter needed for the situation. When i do magic. The first thing I do is see how it can fit me, my style, my character, my performance, and even how i think people will repsond to "me" doing it. There are certain reactions you want in bar magic.

    Also. In bar magic, you'll be performing for a few people at a time. Unless the house is packed with the same faces all night. More than likely, people are gonna drink and do whatever so you catch them on their off time. Not their buzz time.

    do stuff thats quick and relies on less talking. That kills. Like Mike said, get to knwo them. you want to build the relationship with your customers. That will allow you to see what they like and you can go and learn magic that your audience wants to see. My audience hate cards. They think of me as a con man other than entertainment. Thats why i make things move, hurt myself, make things go away....penetrate impossible objects. Get to know the people. And your magic will be fine.

  4. You know..I think I am gonna try that...building rapport before performing...I usually perform in tables in restaurants and bars...people here usually is a little bit cold...if they don´t like you they are usually rude...or they look at you in a very suspicious way...that´s why I use a quick visual to get them interested..because as you say...time is money...

    anyway I am trying your way tonight, see how it goes, I hope everything goes well....learning is always nice!!

    any more suggestions? perhaps if you have some free time you could read my thread ( http://forums.theory11.com/showthread.php?t=26111 ) and tell me what you think, I will really appreciate it!!

    thanks again for your time!!
  5. Whoa, I almost forgot about my good looks.
    Seriously - I agree with shaking hands with the guys first. Otherwise they'd be thinking you're trying to steal their girlfriends away.
    Good looking out Mike.
  6. Dude Mike... I freakin' love you man!

    Thanks for your thoughts and insight, you've answered so many of my questions.

    For those who care, I went up to the bar today and showed a little of what I can do... The manager wasn't in, so I left some business cards (on the counter where they keep fliers, and some to the barkeeps). So hopefully I'll get a call. I really didn't know how to approach the situation.. I talked to the bartenders a while, let them know a little about me, and then did some effects.. Afterwords I asked who I should talk to in terms of hiring entertainment and they said he was out for the day.

    I'm also going to go around to some other bars and restaurants to see if I could do some magic. I love performing, and would kill for a chance to do it for money :D

    Any more thoughts, experiences, stories would be greatly appreciated.

    Oh, and Mike... did you not make it to Magic-Con? I was looking for you ... like a stalker... haha
  7. Good luck with that :)!

    And also:
    Bars=Drunk people
    Drunks=Short attention span and lack of vision. Perform something quick and visual!
    Just my two cents.
  8. Thanks man, haha.

    Flash paper all the way haha :D
  9. #29 Mike.Hankins, Apr 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2010
    As a rule of thumb, I try to make sure I have worked out with the owner(s), or Bar Managers a suitable time for me to perform.

    Also, while this is not necessary, consider going to bartending school to learn how to actually make the drinks. This way, when you perform a new bar, and speak to the manager, you can inform him you also bartend. This could potentially make you more marketable as a bar magician. I didn't do that for a while, but finally ended up going to school to learn. Though I know Daniel Garcia never became a bartender, and worked the bars quite frequently.

    Obviously, I am not going to want to perform from 12am-2am because you are correct: drunkie drunkersons all over the place. So look for spots during happy hour/power hour or something to that effect. This way, you will have a nice sized crowd to perform for and more than likely they will not be in slurred speech mode.

    In case you happen to get hired in a venue where there is loud music preventing you from doing any sort of rational talking, then I would suggest material that is VERY visual and doesn't take long to perform.

    Magic-Con...unfortunately no. Had personal family matters to tend to.

    Quick bar story:

    Performed Twilight Angels to a group of women who were there to celebrate a co-worker's birthday. (BTW, Twilight Angels totally KILLS)...

    So I perform this effect to a veryyyyyy large black woman. She was sooo funny too. Well, at the end of the effect, I do the revelation and guess what SHE does?

    She punched me right in the chest very hard and said "HOW HE DIIIIIIID THAT?!?!"

    She wasn't punching me to kick my ass or anything, but that was her natural reaction.

    And now people wonder why I wear body armor to my gigs... :)

  10. Haha, nice.

    So you've seen the list of effects that I've posted up. What effects do you use or would recommend me looking into? I've got Doc Eason Vol. 1 coming in the mail on Monday so that'll be great.

    Since smoking is allowed in these bars, I was looking into some cigarette magic in 'Tarbell's Course on Magic', and also SMOKE by Derren Brown (or a variation).

    What do you think?
  11. My experience with bar magic is admittedly pretty limited, but some worthwhile tips and tricks I learned while in the trenches:

    1) Learn to be a bartender. As Mike said, you're a hired entertainer who's primary intent is to keep customers' glasses full. Think of it from the bartenders perspective: working the bar on a busy night can be overwhelming, and having a trick monkey in the way can be frustrating. I would suggest learning to make and serve common, popular drinks so you can contribute to the overall 'team' of the bar staff as well.

    2) Don't (ever) refuse drinks from patrons. When you're the man of the hour performing for everyone, you're bound to get a free drink or... 10. Don't ever refuse those drinks-- even if you don't particularly drink, yourself. Remember, your primary purpose is to keep glasses full and money flowing. If you choose not to drink alcohol, you should always have an understanding with other bartenders: always ask for a Jack and Coke, but have the glasses (secretly)filled with coke. It may not be the most ethical solution, but it works wonders: you don't look rude or uptight to the patrons; you don't get drunk every night you perform, and the patrons are paying for a full cocktail-- you're only getting soda, so the bar profits and maintains its supply of alcohol!

    3) Structure your effects into 'sets'. Learn how to routine your material and include a meager four-five effects into a half-hour/45-min show. Remember, you should be ENGAGING the patrons... not going trick-happy and showing them every effect you know. Allow them to tell stories and interact with one another as well. I don't mean to lose control over your act, but allow some time for gags and audience participation for the sake of a complete, entertaining experience.

    4) Simple hits haaard. I know we spend a lot of time on one-handed passes and push-off second deals and memorized decks, but all that effort may/may not equal the impact of a simple Rising Card Deck. I like to think I've done some pretty impressive, amazing magic in bars, but the age-old Rising Card Deck always seems to be a particular favorite...

    Again, all this is based upon my own (limited) experience. Hope it helps.

  12. Romeo -

    Thanks for the advice man! I've just recently watched Doc Eason's "Bar Magic" and see a WHOLE new world of magic. The way he handles everything, and performs is miraculous. The performances were worth the cost of the DVD easily!
  13. like Randy said you will be performing for drunk people wich is alot like performing for children. they will enjoy quick flashy things not long stuff. i personally think that thread would be an amazing trick when your spectators are drunk.
  14. I was going through John Bannon's Bullets After Dark yesterday. And if you know how to do "The last trick of Doctor Daley" you sould already know how to do this. But I was just looking at the qucik presentation angle with the crossing and uncrossing the spectator's arms, seems really fun. And it's very quick for the Bar.

    Just something really quick you could use for bar situations :D

  15. Blindside!! Thank you man, that's perfect! Simple, to the point, and powerful.

    I'm thinking of doing a four ace routine

    Something along the lines of Aces - by d+M
    Twisting the aces,
    Doc's Ace Trick that you shared
    and then maybe throw in some jacks for Reset by Paul Harris
  16. Card on the ceiling!!!! If your bar manager won't let you stick cards to the ceiling...then punch them in the face and find another place to perform!
  17. That looks just fine but I think you should Stop at Doc's Ace trick. Honestly doing reset is preceding the effect you did just before in their hands.

    My other opinions on what I would perform in your situations.

    Stairway is a must. Use it in a rubberband routine. I've been doing Stairway literally every night I go out. I'm going to routine it with "Jacob's Ladder". After I do "Crazy Man's" and/or " Ring to rubberband"

    There are literally a million rubberband tricks :D.

    "Carbon Paper" I think is a great closer. I have a TKO (The Kaylor Option) it's great for stealing away the "gimmicked" card when not in use.

    Kostya's Warning is great. I received it in the mail a few days ago and in 1 night I used up all my flash gimmicks! Expensive to perform, I have to pay another 20 bucks just for performing lol.
  18. Kostya's Warning is one of my favorite effects when I am out and people are drinking or having a good time and it is getting dark or I am in a dimly lit bar.
    The effect does get expensive if you use it way too much. I tend to use it at the end of the night as I have a crowd around me.

    I was lucky enough to order when it first came out and got double supplies from him.
  19. That made me laugh.

    You can always do card to ceiling for the manager so they can see the impact...or just do it without asking. You can always apologize if the manager doesn't want them there...I mean it's not rocket science to remove the cards (or maybe it is...could I really be that smart?!?!)

    Oh! and Romeo is right, never refuse a drink. Another option is order a Screwdriver but have the bartender make it without the vodka. Though taking shots of orange juice all night might not be your favorite thing in the world.
  20. I will say that one has to be careful if you just perform it without asking. I had a friend do that to try to land a gig. He put the card up there and everyone was in awe. But when he grabbed the card, part of the ceiling chipped off of it too. Needless to say, he did not get the gig.

    I really stress learning this effect...as I have a regular bar gig, there are tons of cards on the ceiling. On the days I am not there, people come in and look up and then generate a buzz as to why these cards are everywhere. Guess what, they end up coming back because THEY want a signed card on the ceiling too! Lol...

    It is a good way to generate buzz about you, as well as potentially make the bar more money because you are drawing them in...

    Ok, time for some Lucky Charms...


Share This Page

{[{ searchResultsCount }]} Results