tips on doing table hopping in a small local

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by sleightofhanddeception, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. So, there is a small coffee shop next to my house and the owners have offered me to do magic to their clients. Now, the place isn't very big and there are only a few seats. I have done table hopping once before in a charity event, but the place was very big and there were plenty of clients to perform for. Now, the owners have told me that sometimes the place is very full and sometimes very empty. So, my question is, do you have any advice on table hopping in small places, and with not that many people?
  2. It's relatively the same. Some things to note would be that if it is busy, you may need more material. At a large corporate event, I will often do two sets the whole night. Each table is far enough away that they can't hear or see what I'm doing, and I can bounce around the room.
    With tables closer together, I would personally for sure use a third set if it's full and busy.

    Also, a restaurant setting is a different pace than a corporate gig. For big gigs, you go from table to table non stop in order to reach every table. With restaurants (or cafe setting) you must manage tables. Some are waiting for food, some are eating, some are empty, some are ordering etc. I would typically wait until after a table had ordered, go do magic before their food came, then move on to the next table. When it was busy and all the tables are full, with only a new table every 5-10 minutes or so, then after you have hit every table, you actually have some down time.
    Now a cafe, I would imagine to not be packed the whole time, and people would sit for a while. So if you have 10 tables, and you hit them all, then you are really just standing around waiting for another customer. You may end up standing around more than doing magic.
    That's okay. Don't feel awkward about that. It is exactly what you are being paid for - managing customers. The exact same type of role in a restaurant would be the host/hostess. Periods of downtime, but they are being paid to be ready when a customer comes.
    Being confident in this is actually important. If you are apologetic and awkward about it, then the manager will feel the same way. You want them to feel they hired a professional to manage their customer's entertainment. Your confidence helps them feel that way.

    You will also have they luxury of more time with some people because you aren't rushed. However, you may also get some more "no thank you's" as many people come in for a quick coffee meeting with someone. Be prepared for that, confident in yourself in that, and provide the best customer service experience to them as you can. Thank them, wish them a terrific afternoon, and move on without being sheepish.

    I'm curious to know how it goes, so post a follow up when you have a chance!
  3. What he said haha.
  4. Thanks for taking you're time on replying!
    I do have a question about how a set should be. So, the one time I did table hopping magic I prepared one five minute set, but as soon as I arrived and tried it out once, I realesed it was too long. There were other magicians performing who had done table hopping magic before, and they advised me to only do one trick/routine. I am not sure if I should do that or have a shorter set. It might have been were I was performing, because it was a charity event with all sorts of people there, so it was pretty messy. I don't know if it is similar in a coffee shop/restaurant, so would you recommend doing singular tricks/routines or having sets?
  5. My 3 sets are titled A, B, and C. Each set last about 5 minutes and goes in a different suit coat pocket or pants pocket. Each set has a quick opener (which is a non card trick effect), followed by a card effect, and then my closer usually leaves them with my business card or a souvenir.

    Some people will even tell you that you effects should have stopping moments when you can bow out should the food arrive.

    Typically in the large venues you will go table to table, rotating through your sets from A to B to C as you don't want nearby tables who are looking over your way to already know the climax of an effect before you even get to their table.

    Always carry a show stopper effect should the big boss man arrive with clients or sends you over to a VIP area.
  6. Rick gave some excellent advice. Also be prepared to provide information about the coffee shop, food recommendations and directions to nearby places.
  7. Ya what Rick said haha.

    You basically want to time it so that it is the same length every time. For corporate gigs, I've personally found five minutes to be perfect. Restaurants (and I assume cafés) are a bit different because you might have more time. But I wouldn't want to do more than 8 minutes. If a table ask you for more, just do another set for them, but time your sets.

    As for number of tricks, use what Rick said as your framework. The exact number of tricks doesn't totally matter - one of my sets only has two tricks but many magical moments. What you want to build is 5 minutes that flows from start to finish. Really consider what they will experience in that five minutes. Don't just do one long card trick with one moment, but instead create a building series of moments that leave them with a mega-wow moment. Much of that comes from your patter and presentation.
  8. Get Real Work On Restaurants And Bars by Jay Sankey. There's some great tips for table hopping

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