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Topic: The Restaurant Magic Reader (you'll make a living with this)
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Feb 14, 2009 07:11PM)
Waited until some of the hubbub died down a bit, so this would bring this back into focus when the physical book came out. As to whether a book about restaurant magic is relevant to a mentalist (such as me), you be the judge. I'll speak more of this at the end.

First, my initial reaction upon reading it:

Oh! My! Stars!

The highest recommendation I've given for this book, is that I've told several people that each and every concern or question they might have about the business is answered in this book. For the newbie or the veteran, this is the manual, the one which sets the standard.

Jim Sisti is the author. For those in the know, that's enough information right there. He's well established as the #1 authority on making a living via restaurants -- and close-up magic. One can choose to learn from him - and also make a pretty good living; or one can dismiss this book because the advice offends you.

Yes, there's enough in here to offend a lot of people who dabble in magic. Things such as dress, poise, courtesy. Things such as how to endear yourselves to management & the staff, and how to make yourself valuable to the place(s). Advice such as getting inside the mind of your patrons and learning how to be a real gentleman or lady to them, and - rather than being intrusive - becoming a delightful memory which grows more charming with time's passing. Things such as developing your own fans. Entertaining the grown-ups while simultaneously entertaining the youngsters. Things such as how to get outside work while keeping your word to the restaurant. These are things which the Criss Angel wannabe may not want to hear, or believe.

Jim even shows how to choose (and land) the restaurant which will provide the best pay, the steadiest work, and the best type of customers.

You want to know how to deal with hecklers? It's in here.

You want to know how to get the gig? It's in here.

You want to know how to develop your character? What kind of magic to use? What sort of work is involved in making a living?

It's all in here.

As to whether a book about restaurant magic is relevant to a mentalist -- I'm not the only one who's performed mentalism from table-to-table. One of the things which made it work, was advice from Jim Sisti. Stuff that's in this book.

--Grandpa Chet
Message: Posted by: Steve Hook (Feb 14, 2009 08:28PM)
Thanks for the review, Chet!
Message: Posted by: aussiemagic (Feb 15, 2009 05:33PM)
Does Jim Sisti work restaurants now?
Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (Feb 15, 2009 06:01PM)
Starting back in November of 2008, Jim Sisti started performing at the Ginza restaurant in Bloomfield, CT on Sundays. Of course, he's also doing shows for his clients on other nights.
Message: Posted by: M Sini (Feb 16, 2009 07:06AM)
Chet, thanks for the review.
Message: Posted by: Martino (Feb 16, 2009 01:44PM)
How much of this book is a rehash of the articles from Magic Magazine?
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Feb 16, 2009 01:47PM)
About 3 ounces, though I wouldn't call "rewritten and edited" a "rehash."

Look, if you don't like Sisti's work and if you aren't willing to take his advice, don't buy it. It won't help you.

--your kindly neighborhood Grandpa Chet
Message: Posted by: Jim Sisti (Feb 16, 2009 02:02PM)
It's certainly no deep, dark secret that The Restaurant Magic Reader is a compilation. In fact, in a different thread, I posted the following on January 26th:

"Over the last 20 years, I've written quite a few pieces on various aspects of this topic for M-U-M, Genii, and MAGIC and also devoted a number of episodes of Talk About Magic (a weekly Internet commentary I did for Richard Robinson's Magic Show site for 8 years) to it. Some of these essays made their way into the pages of the Menu over its 11 years - maybe about 25% - but the others never did. So, I gathered all of these writings together with a few I never published and a couple of others that were in various states of completion (which I finished for this collection) and they made a surprisingly substantial book - 185 pages worth. So, the bottom line is that rather than this stuff being scattered all over the place, anyone who is interested in the least in anything I have to say can read it all in one place.

I titled it The Restaurant Magic Reader because it's just that - a collection of my articles on various topics related to restaurant magic that can either be read front to back or opened at any place that interests the reader. There are no tricks - well, there is one that's described in one of the essays, complete with its method, to make a point - but that's it.

It also wasn't put together with the express purpose of providing a soup-to-nuts course in working restaurants but, as I look over the contents, it could certainly serve that purpose."

Thanks for the opportunity, though, to bring Martino up to speed. And, thanks, Barry, for mentioning Ginza. I've been having quite a bit of fun there on Sunday evenings. That gig came on the heels of working a Mexican restaurant chain (three restaurants) for quite some time. So, yes, some of you can now relax - I do still work restaurants in between corporate shows.

For those interested, more details on the book can be found at http://www.themagicmenu.com and if you put 'magiccafe' in the promo code box, there's a $5.00 discount. I will now return you to your regularly scheduled nit-picking, apparently always in progress... :)
Message: Posted by: aussiemagic (Feb 16, 2009 08:17PM)
I hardly see that wanting to clarify whether you still work restaurants or whether the material in this new book can be found elsewhere as "nit-picking". Or, was this meant to be funny?
Message: Posted by: andykean (Feb 17, 2009 01:53AM)
Hi all

this is a fabulous read & well worth your time & money.
Even though I had read some of this previously in magic magazine & the magic menu
Martin great to see on the Café hope all is well in your world.
My tip just buy it , it is a great reference all in one place.
Real world advice, and I found myself nodding and laughing at some of the information,Jim kids in restaurants must be the same all over the world!

I a way I hope few others do buy it as this will keep repeating their mistakes instead of learning from Jim's
Message: Posted by: slyhand (Feb 17, 2009 07:19AM)
I have read 3/4 of the way thru it so far. Everything I have read so far is fantastic.
Some I knew, others I was vaguely aware of and tons I had no idea. It's also an easy read, very straight forward and to the point with fun mixed in.

I only wish it had more ideas on how to get the gig. I liked what he said about it but there must be other ways as well. Does anyone have a source for this type of information?
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Feb 17, 2009 07:27AM)
Slyhand, try http://www.lybrary.com/professional-restaurant-magic-p-348.html

But you must not have noticed The Script, which is my name for Jim's short phone script which has never failed to get me an audition if I make three calls.

Andy, you're sneaky in wanting to keep all this information for yourself. But I tend to have the same feeling!

--Grandpa Chet
Message: Posted by: M Sini (Feb 17, 2009 08:02AM)

Many thanks for the promo code. My order has been placed.

Message: Posted by: slyhand (Feb 17, 2009 09:12AM)
On 2009-02-17 08:27, mormonyoyoman wrote:
Slyhand, try http://www.lybrary.com/professional-restaurant-magic-p-348.html

But you must not have noticed The Script, which is my name for Jim's short phone script which has never failed to get me an audition if I make three calls.

Andy, you're sneaky in wanting to keep all this information for yourself. But I tend to have the same feeling!

--Grandpa Chet

Thanks for the link.
Yes, I did read the "script" and it seemed very sound. I was just looking for additional ideas.
Thanks again.
Message: Posted by: Jim Sisti (Feb 17, 2009 11:50AM)
Thanks for the kind words about the book, guys. It's very much appreciated.

To Slyhand, if you'll send me a PM, I'll be happy to kick around some ideas with you regarding strategies on landing a restaurant gig.
Message: Posted by: slyhand (Feb 17, 2009 02:21PM)
Sent and thank you.
Message: Posted by: dimosa (Feb 24, 2009 05:47AM)
So many good books, tips, explanations ....

I'm just asking what's the difference between:

"Jim Sisti - The restaurant magic reader"
"David Stone - The real secret of magic"

I own David's version, but I'm reading good reviews about Jim's book.
And that's why I'm asking you folks, what the difference is?

Message: Posted by: dimosa (Feb 24, 2009 08:29AM)
I forgot to put this book too...

Jim pace:


Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Feb 24, 2009 08:59AM)
Don't know, Little D. Haven't Stone's book, though I have the feeling you're comparing apples to oranges. (Is Stone's book about how to thrive as a restaurant magician?)

As to Jim Pace's book -- um...what's a delicate way to say this..?

--your kindly Grandpa
Message: Posted by: Jim Sisti (Feb 24, 2009 09:11AM)
All of the books on restaurant magic are simply points of view. The idea that any one work is the "bible" is pure nonsense.

In my opinion, if someone is genuinely interested in a particular subject (such as restaurant magic), they should seek out ALL of the available references, assimilate the data, retain what speaks to them and move forward from there.

There are a number of good books on restaurant magic out there - but there aren't THAT many...
Message: Posted by: Doc Eason (Feb 24, 2009 11:12AM)
That's what I have been trying to say ...

and if any of them have a money back guarantee.. whaddaya got to lose?

Moving forward...

Message: Posted by: Jim Sisti (Feb 24, 2009 01:27PM)
On 2009-02-24 12:12, doceason wrote:
That's what I have been trying to say ...

and if any of them have a money back guarantee.. whaddaya got to lose?

Moving forward...

I was holding out for a free ShamWow. I'm sure that will be next...
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Feb 24, 2009 01:36PM)
Now you made me google "shamwow" -- Evidently, I need to watch more television instead of listening to OTR.

--soakable Grandpa Chet
Message: Posted by: M Sini (Mar 4, 2009 11:09AM)
I finished reading the Jim's book last night. For the $25 I spent on it (thanks for the Café discount Jim) it's easily the best money I've spent on magic in a long time (including my TA DVD set).

Jim's book provided me with a wealth of knowledge on restaurant magic. I feel as though I'm much better prepared to enter this field after reading this book. I've been hired by a few bars for one night gigs here and there but have wanted to get a 'steady' restaurant position.

Don't buy this book if you're just looking to learn 'tricks.' That's not what this book is about. Jim assumes you already have good material to perform. This book provides you with more of a navigational road map which attempts to save you from the pitfalls as well as provides you with tons of little nuggets of information that Jim learned first hand.

Now I'm going to use the information and techniques from the book and put them into action. Wish me luck!

p.s. I'm also going to read it again. I liked it that much. Thanks Jim!
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Mar 23, 2009 05:43PM)
Title: The Restaurant Magic Reader
Medium: Book, soft cover 182 pages
Arena: Restaurant magic
Available: Any shop, distributed by Murphys Magic Supplies

Jim Sisti is, perhaps, one of the best known restaurant magician based on his great former publication The Magic Menu as well as his columns in Magic Magazine. To put it simply Jim Sisti knows about working restaurants and what it takes to succeed and to make the best of the opportunities the work brings you and also problems associated with it. He is a talented communicator and he knows how to get his point across without wasting time and he makes his points very clearly and is, to be honest, a joy to read. While I have never met Jim we are kindred spirits and while he makes the statement on the back of the book that some may disagree with what he has to say I’m not among them, Jim and I think amazingly alike. This means I think he is right in everything he has ever written!

The Restaurant Magic Reader is a collection of essays written for Magic Magazine, which I’ve not read in years so I’ve not seen these essays before, put together in one very sturdy soft cover book. The paper is very tough as far as books go, a good thing because my kittens (eight six week olds who are now happily adopted out) knocked my book down and were only able to eat through the back cover and first page before I rescued it. A regular book likely would have lost many more pages. Each essay is about two or three pages at the most and so you can keep a copy in the smallest room of your home and, uh, read as you sit and relax an essay at the time. The range of essays is from getting started and picking a restaurant to dealing with other performers in other restaurants and pretty much everything else in between. There are excellent thoughts on character development and how to deal with troublesome customers. All essays have value and should be read, some read more than once.

If you want to work restaurants or do already but are still trying to resolve the whole thing then you will want to read The Restaurant Magic Reader. The information is invaluable and it will answer most of your questions about how this interesting field of magic works. There are few ‘must read’ books but I’m putting this one on that very short list, if you want to work tables. I cannot find anything to fault here and the only people who will be disappointed will be those that are only looking for tricks, you won’t find them here. There are enough tricks, you need to learn how to present them and how to find the place to perform and what you can expect so you are armed not just with your abilities but with advance knowledge of what you may expect to encounter. This is a wonderful book by one of the better writers in magic and it is going into my ‘always pick up to read’ box, and it only the second book to make the last three years.

Very well done Jim, and thank you for sharing.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Mar 24, 2009 12:38AM)
Doc Eason has a mention of Jim's book in a recent newsletter:

" I recently obtained a copy of Jim Sisti's Restaurant Magic Reader. Wow. It is
so much more than a Restaurant Workers guide book. He touches on
nearly every subject about performance. This book should be
required reading for anyone who is either thinking of - or is
already-working a restaurant.

I couldn't find much to disagree with in there. Here is a guy who
has been in the trenches for more than two decades, is articulate
and insightful. It'll be on my website soon.

As one reviewer put it..."If you're a close-up worker I think you'll enjoy this book.If you're a restaurant or walk-around worker then you should
already own it."

It will be on my website and available shortly".
Message: Posted by: Jim Sisti (Mar 25, 2009 01:29PM)
Thank you all for your kind words, particularly MagicSanta for taking the time to write and post such a lengthy review.

The $5.00 discount on The Restaurant Magic Reader for Café members expires in a few days - on March 31st. Until then, if you put the words "magiccafe" (no space, no quotes) in the promo code box, the discount will be taken and the total will be 25.00 (I pick up the postage). Again, I'd be happy to inscribe any copies; just indicate that in the comments box when you order. Further details and ordering information can be found at http://www.themagicmenu.com

Many thanks again!
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Mar 25, 2009 08:59PM)
You are welcome, I'm just glad the kittens didn't eat the whole book.

The only thing keeping me from saying this is one of the best books on restaurant work I've read (and I've read most of 'em) is the fact that Magic Menu was so dang good. Remember Magic Menu fans, besides the two main books there is a third book called The Final Four.