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Profile of Beth
Pesonally it seems unprofessional to me too. I mean you are paid to do a job entertain. That would be like a waitress eating while she's working. Yes she's in a place where there is a lot of food flowing about, but she is being paid to give a service. I would have to agree with Suzanne it seems a bit unprofessional to me, not to mention messy. Just my opinion.
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"All creative art is magic, is evocation of the unseen in forms persuasive,enlightening, familar, and surprising."
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Profile of Paddy
The one thing that we have not told Pablo re: restaurant strolling, you have to keep changing the effects you do. I have, after 7 years, a lot of customers who come to the restaurants to see my magic. In fact I have had some even bring in their customers or potential customers so I could entertain them for a few minutes. Nice for my ego, but, if you keep doing the same old things, they will spot that in a short time.

Corporate strolling you can keep the same routine for a year or two before adding new effects.

BTW, Suzanne, I spent a lot of my youth in and around Minneapolis. In Minnetonka to be real precise plus graduated from the U in Mpls.

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Profile of Suzanne
Hey Bob!

Sure hope I didn't offend you with my last post. If so I'm sorry, that certainly wasn't my intent.

Thanks for clearing up the bit about the finger food thing. I'll tell you what I pictured from your comment:

O ya, there is also often someone strolling around with finger food you can partake of without looking to greedy.

When I do strolling magic for catered functions in a banquet room, or in someone's home for that matter, (could be a corporate function, could be a private function) servers come around with hors d'oeuvres (which a lot of times is garlicy and spinachy hehe). So I pictured from your above comment someone working for one group while grabbing a little snack, moving on to another group while grabbing a little snack, and so on. I wouldn't have even replied if I had known your situation.

Actually, I think it would be very unprofessional to be so rude as to say “no” if the host asked me to try a cookie or some other (non-messy) food between routines.

Well, that may be a "to each his own" thing. I usually say "No thank you. I may have something when I'm finished working." And this is probably my own personal thing but I don't want food on my breath or in my teeth when I'm working close up with other people.

I think it's important for the younger magicians who are just starting out to know what both sides of the issue look like. I'm glad we can have both sides represented here in the Café'.

- Magic is what you are.

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Profile of davidmagic
I think it depends on the situation. While I never partake of any alcoholic drink, a non-plated small bite can actually breakdown barriers. People forget theat eating together is a social "thang" and tht close-up ios much more social than cabaret or stage work. At a large home with a party-yes, at a covnention with a corporate cocktail hour -probably not, and Ido at times in certain occasions in between. I live in the Midwest where bank presidents wear short sleeve dress shirts (I never do) and if you are too Emily Post, you are considered aloof and unapproachable. So, the small one or two bites canape is okay in my book.
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Profile of paymerich
So sitting down and eating a 3 pound lobster is bad form ??
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<BR>Pablo Aymerich
<BR>Norwalk, CT 06851
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Profile of Suzanne
On 2005-03-10 14:36, paymerich wrote:
So sitting down and eating a 3 pound lobster is bad form ??

Hhaha! Pablo!

Lobster is fine, never turn down lobster!! Just don't eat the parsley, it'll get stuck in your teeth. *grin*

Now where did I put that dental floss??? Hmmmmm

- Magic is what you are.

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Profile of ksalaz1
I have been invited to "snack", dine, Drink, etc at every event I have done from coporate, restaurant, private party, etc. IMO it depends on the situation, time of the evening and the client. I have in different ocassions, accepted, declined and said respectfully, "In a moment, when I have finished working" All responses have been accepted according to the scenario.

I think that a good way to respond to the original question is to ask "How entertaining are you?" I have seen 15 year veteran magicians whose skill level is good be very boring as entertainers. SO before going and jumping into a coporate gig or a restaurant, I would do plenty of private parties for friends, don't' even charge, - until you know how to work a crowd. Then, move to paid gigs in restaurants or walk around. Experience is experience, so get some under your belt.

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Profile of Bill Palmer
I'm sorry I came into this discussion late; however, I think I can still contribute something of value.

I used to work with a booking agency that had a strict "no eating with the client at the function" policy. They relaxed it a bit when some of the clients said they thought it was a little too formal for their events. They have a very strict "no booze" policy. It's unfortunate that it needs to be said, but it is very important.

I like to equate the professional magician with a doctor. If you went to a doctor's office and he was dressed in a dirty jumpsuit, had grime under his fingernails and was eating a sandwich while he was supposed to be examining you, how would you feel?

Regarding strolling at parties for your friends, there is one exception I would point out for those who are not aware of it. Never perform free at a function where there is other paid entertainment, whether they are magicians or not. If they are magicians, you are slapping them in the face. If they are not magicians, you make it look like magicians are willing to perform free. This is not a good impression to leave with someone else's potential customers.

But back to the original question. Restaurant magic is definitely easier. Your repertoire is probably going to be more limited. Sometimes if you are strolling at a party, you will need a LOT more material. For example, I have had clients call and book me into a two hour corporate gig, only to find that the corporate client had brought 20 guests. How do you work that? You just do it.

I had my stand-up show in the van, so I brought in the parts that were applicable, did some strolling, did the stand-up, and did more strolling. They loved it!
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Royston South
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Profile of Royston South
Any body thinking of starting out in the cororate world of entertaining that thinks there ready MUST READ SUZANNE'S POSTS ABOVE.

Suzanne has hit the nail on the head, Start in a family restaurant that will build your confidence about approaching tables the Children love professional close-up magic, the family are there for a great time, Make sure you have at lest 4 good routines down,
Street entertainers have a saying 1 year working on the street is like 10 years practicing at home, belive me the restaurant is indoor street magic and within a year you will have a show you can use any place.

Best of luck

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Profile of vincentmusician
I have done both restaurant and party strolling. For me, they are basically the same except at restaurants, if you are their week after week, you do need to rotate or have different routines if the same customers have seen you before. As far a eating while working. I do not. It looks unprofessional, can get my hands dirty or my clothes, affect my breath and food in my teeth. So if asked, I tell them I may eat at the end and thank them for asking. I love Strolling Closeup Magic! Cheers!
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Profile of Dannydoyle
Seriously? Again with the ancient threads?
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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Profile of madmalone
You can pick up new skills on booth... if you want to grow, do booth...
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