Little Guide To Start Perfoming in Restaurants or Bars

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Luis Vega, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. Hello Guys!! I hope you are well....

    I wanted to write some tips for you...this tips are about performing in a restaurant or other places...and get tips!!! (the money kind tips)

    So I have 3 the morning I go to an architect firm and in the afternoon I am in the school (is like a job without money)...but in the nights from thursday to saturday I go to a place with many restaurants and bars and I perform for tips there and usually I get li´l gigs there, like small shows of fifteen minutes and sometimes private parties...but usually it´s only tips, but this last weeks the tips are around half of my income as an architect so it´s pretty good!! I wanted to share this knowledge with all of you

    here are some tips that have worked for me and I hope it might help you too!!
    now...this tips are from my personal experience and It might difere from people to people...

    Go with the manager this is so important...that if you don´t get pass this point get out of the restaurant...usually when I go to a restaurant I ask if the manager is there...if not I ask for the person in charge and ask him if I can entertain the people, usually they will say yes if they think you won´t charge them and you will only work for another important point...check if the restaurant charges the service in the bill ...usually is 10-15% of the total consumed...if they do, then you are safe,because the waiters won´t like that you steal their tips, but if they get their tips in the final check...then they won´t care if you get tips...and when you are over with the performances, return to the manager and thank him for the oportunity!!

    Put together 6 tricks... that´s all you need, now this tricks must be: easy, visual, resetable and not so reality you will use 3-4 but sometimes you need other 2, because sometimes a table or a group of people enjoy magic a little more than the others and you want to give something extra...this last 2 effects doesn´t have to be easily resetable since you will not do it to each table... here is a little list of what effects you might want to use..

    -A quick revelation, now this should last less than 30 seconds without including your introduction...I believe you only have that time to prove yourself to show that you are a real-life magician and not only a guy who do silly tricks
    - a trick with a signed card...this will give a personal touch from them to the magic, this trick could be an ACR, a card to wallet or a torn and restored card effect and also gives a great souvenir
    - a trick with other stuff...rubberbands, coins,pressure,those little tricks that comes in magic sets sometimes work great...I use pressure and a trick with cards that have numbers on them and I guess the number they are thinking by just looking at the cards that have their number there.
    -a closer...this must be highly visual doesn´t matter if is not easy...
    -the extra tricks...must be really good...I use sometimes Distortion, Liquid Metal, Floating Cigarrete, tricks like that

    Create a Hat Line... people usually, if you perform well, they will tip you with no hesitation since you are good and they are good people...but you still need a hat line...this line should not have the word "MONEY" show this I´ll show you my hat line "Thank you all for your time!! I hope you enjoy this performance...if you want to contribute for buying more decks, I will really be thankful" they laugh and they tip me...since I do a T&R card then it makes sense....that´s how you should do your hat line, along with your if you do magic with money, then is very easy..if you do magic with dog crap...then I dare you to do a good one!!!

    choose your tables this is my experience I strongly advice you to choose the tables from 3-6 people on it...why? very simple...the tables with 2 people usually they are a couple and maybe they are busy in their chat, so I prefer to not interrupt...especially if they are talking at 50 cm face to face...and the tables with more than 6 people don´t tip very well...I know, I know is hard to believe but here is why and this is happened to me a lot of times....when you finish the performance and then you throw your hat line, people usually start to dig into their pockets, wallets, bags, this moment you are probably thinking "coolio!!! I am gonna get rich from this table of 20 people!!"...but then when 2 or 3 people gives you money...the others just asume that the money those 2 gave you it´s enough and put away their walltes...some people are so greedy that they only pretend to look for money in the pockets for looooooonnnnngggg time until they see you receive some tips (even if is just 1 buck!!) then just take out his hand and carry on their meal...
    This is why you should pick tables from 3-6 people, because usually all of them tip you nice and easy...of course once you are done with the 3 people tables, then you continue with the others...but first attend those!!

    Watch your environmentThis is very helpful to maintain control of your performance as it allows you to work ahead the situation; maybe locate your next table, check on possible hecklers or drunk people, if there are people staring at your performance or even a potential client, a potential reveal place, anything you can use to your advantage in your situation.

    Perform for girls first Unless there aren’t any woman in the group of course!! I don’t say that you perform first for girls because of the "Ladies come first" thing or a sexist thing, but usually the first trick must be done to a woman because they tend to be more open to magic and react well. When you gain her trust you gain the trust of the whole group so everybody wants to see you perform... as a bonus, they usually are the ones that suggest the others to give you tips...

    In case you... find yourself in a situation where there is a drunk spectator or an agresive heckler or just in an unconfortable situation.. excuse yourself and tell them that maybe later you will show them more magic in a very polite way...and never, ever let anyone call you names or make fun of are being respectful to them, so they have no reason to be unrespectful of see, some days ago I was performing to a table and somebody called me "Pendejo" or As***** in a very bad way and I stopped the trick right there and just tell him very politely that there was no need for the foul language since I was speaking to them in a very respectful way and that we all were having a nice time together, so I ask him please to moderate the language...he was shocked and he apologize and the performance carried on and when it was over he told me that he was very grateful and that I was right about the language...

    in case an spectator continues to call you names or make fun of you just stop, thank them for their time and don´t need this kind of things to hurt your are better than this...

    well....that´s it, I hope you enjoyed the read and I encourage you to perform and post what you think about this....if you have more advice, please post it!!

  2. Thanks for sharing your tips for performing in restaurants and else where, Luis... I'll be sure to keep them in mind.
  3. Thanks for sharing the tips!
  4. I don't agree with performing for girls first. I think you should always go to the person who seems to be the leader at the table. Who looks like the alpha male? Say the girl is with there with her boyfriend. He could feel threatened and not want to see your magic. You have to gain their trust first.
  5. Hey great tips.
    Many of those are just the 'tip' of the iceberg.

    I really appreciate your "hat line" and "watching your environment" thoughts.

    As well about choosing girls first, often going in blind, girls are going to be your best bet - but not always. (I know you already know this, but just articulating my thoughts) For my opening effect, it didn't use anyone in particular, then I would gauge the best reaction and use that person for the next effect. And I would add that it is not a bad thing to "switch " spectators during each phase of an effect if you think someone will react better than your original choice.

    Thanks for sharing

  6. Thank you for your tips. God blessed u for writing such an awesome thread.

    I just want to add more tips to your essay, if ur ok with it. (like u have a choice...:D)

    1. It is important to not paying attention to tips every once in a while. Why? When I performs, I don't really care about tips at all. Because I know if I did that good of a job, ppl will tips me without hesitation. Moreover, when you perform and ur not worrying about tips, ur brain will more room to focus on ur presentation, and the spectators. (This tip will vary on differ situations)

    2. As far as picking a girl first, then mind as well walk up next to them when ur approach the table. So, u can use the excuse that she's right next to u and its easy for her to help u out first.

    3. Stay away from fire magic. Unless ur legit hired to work at a restaurant and the manager trusted u.

    4. Picking spectator wise, I will give u my first goto list. It might offence some ppl, I'm sorry about that.
    a)Black people (u'll get the best reaction out of them)
    b)White people(u'll get a decent reaction out of them)
    c)Hispanic(u'll might running into some don't speak english)
    d)Asian(Stay away from Asian, cuz they're not the best subject to magic. I am asian myself, so I know alot from experience.)
    "Keep in mind that, #4 does have exceptions. There are always cool people out there, but the majority is what I stated.)
  7. Definitely keep that in mind...

    Thank you so much for the insight on Restaurant and Bar work...I've yet to begin doing so myself, but it's great to hear some advice on how to go about the whole experience so if and when I finally feel up for doing so, I'll know what to do and where to go with everything.

    Thanks much,

  8. Thanks I really appreciate your grateful comments!!!

    as before feel free to share your own tips and we´ll discuss it here!

    p.d. I wanted to start contributing again to this forums to boost the spirit here...I hope I helped someway...
  9. Well thought out post with some helpful tips and good bits of information. I hope you get more tips this week than last.
  10. Hi Luis, I was wondering if you had any tips on introducing yourself to the tables?

  11. Yes, I do...
    if the table is composed of people of my age (23) I just approach and tell them "hey what´s up!!" then I shake hands "how are you guys doing?" they usually tell me that OK then I say "Great!! so how about some magic to make the night even better" while saying this I do a very big card spring and they usually are very interested into what I am going to show...and the rest is really easy, since they are already amazed...when is older people I usually talk very politely and with a lot of respect...

    there are many ways to introduce yourself...but I really encourage you to do a quick flourish or the card spring and with coins a quick production while you are introducing yourself...that way they know you are serious on what you do and you are showing off something before even start your routine..
  12. Awesome thread, thanks a lot!
    I haven't really done performances in resturants and stuff, so I don't have advice per se, but more philosophies I guess. Feel free to correct/edit/add on to what I have to say.

    Introduce yourself name first and build a quick rapport-but with your prop (cards, coins, ect.) ready to produce quickly.
    This way, you get to know your audience on a more personal basis, and vica versa, because they don't know your a magician and will treat you more like a "person" than an "entertainor" (if that makes sense. Its that "my friend the magician" vs. "the magician who is my friend")

    Use the experience to "experiment" but not full on By this I mean that its good to try new effects out in the venue, but still after plenty of practice and critique from friends/family. You don't want to go completley out of your comfort zone and bomb-your rep can't really go up from there.

    Keep the same presentation You have your effect, you have your patter, now go and try it, and ONLY that patter. Sometimes you'll get good reactions, and sometimes you won't. Yes you can adjust a bit to the spectator, but keeping it uniform will give you better feedback for yourself. If you change the presentation each time, you won't know what works and what didn't, because the patter that was amazing for one group (A) might have worked for the group before (B), but you did a different patter for group B that didn't go so well. Yes, each group reacts differently, but the presentation can get them all to react how you want them to.

    Thats really all I got right now. Like I said before, this is no way set in stone, just some personal thoughts on the subject.

  13. great adittion!!! thanks a lot!!!

    I do have something to say...well usually If I am gonna test a new effect in an unknown spectator...beforehand I have it perfected in my house and then without hesitation I do it...but only with effects that rely on sleight of hand or gimmicks or misdirection

    but for tricks that rely on psychology like forcing a number in their heads or an image I tell them that I want to try something new and it´s a little experiment so they don´t get dissapointed if something goes usually works, but when not, they just forget it and I carry on...also I do it to tables or people that have know me or I encounter for a second time....never to new people...

    that´s how I do it...but I could be wrong...but it works for me....
  14. I like that. That way they don't expect something "amazing" per se, but still can be blown away. Presenting magic as an "experiment" sometimes is good for new effects and gives a way out, but it shouldn't be abused. You should be confident enough to show your audience a magical moment, not a new experiment your playing around with.

  15. If you are getting them to pick a low number (under fifty two) you can always get someone else to pick a suit and whip out the ultimate out, the invisible deck! lol.

    And just a thought about shaking hands at the restaurant. I personally wash my hands after touching the menu, so if someone shook my hand I would want to wash my hands again before I ate. So while I would shake a magician's hand, I don't think I would like it. However that is just me. But I like your overall approach with the card spring.

    I never opened with cards, so I found my simple TT routine works well to get their focus. You can watch it here:

    Great thread idea.
  16. yes, that is a good point always start with something quick and impressive, this guy named matthew hampel has a dvd out through magic makers titled card in cake, and theres a trick on there called opening coins, its a great trick to start with at a restaurant, its patter includes an introduction, tells them what your gonna do, and that your a magician, all there nice and short, then you make three coins appear,and continue to make them disappear in a verry visual manner
  17. ok i have one MAJOR tip for some of you, if you have a trick where maybe you eat a thread and pull it out through ur eye, you may think "Hey thats cool" and so might some other people your age, personally i find it amazing, but steer clear of that for resturaunt work, just because, these people are either eating or about to eat, its not your job, nor goal i hope to gross them out so they loose theyre appetite
  18. Luis Vega this thread is amazing thank you for sharing your experiences and tips to go along with it, i my self have been doing paid gigs every now and then and reading some hints and advice will surely aid me on my future gigs ( i have 1 coming up in 2 weeks time... BTW)

    thanks maraming salamat..

  19. Do you have any tips on rates??

    I am very interested in magic as a side income, it's kind of my dream. I don't want to do it full time. I want to go to college, have a profession, but still be a magician on the side. I want to become a restaurant magician within the next 3-4 years(refining my skills and set) and was wondering on how you come up with fair rates.

    I was thinking upon rates such as

    $75 for 3 hours twice a week, $125 for 3 hours once a week, or $200 for 3 hours once every other week
    Or even raising it or whatever I come to terms on.
    Right now I'm tossing tricks and refining my act. Stop practicing silly sleights that I won't use anywhere.

    Doing simple stuff like

    Sponge balls/sponge bunnies (great for crowds, audience interaction)
    Chicago Opener
    Extreme Burn
    Ring & String > Ring Flight Revolution
    ACR with Card to Wallet
    Invisible Deck

    I'm starting to recognize what will work in bar/restaurant situations.
  20. Luis,
    can you tell me witch torn and restored card you use in restaurant ?

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