We Remember The Magic Caf We Remember
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » A couple of questions (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
Matty Moriates
View Profile
New user
71 Posts

Profile of Matty Moriates
Hello everyone,

So I am studying to be a restaurant magician. I say studying because I am just beginning and I know that I have at the very least a year before I can start actually working in restaurants. I am not a beginner in magic, but I am in restaurants. I have read a lot on the subject (and I have plenty more to read and learn) so I have a good idea about what I need to be working towards. But I do have a few questions:

1) This is probably my most basic question and may sound like a stupid one, but I have no idea what it is like so I gotta ask. How do you keep track of the tables that you already performed for?

2) I know that the presentation of an effect is far more important then the effect itself. I know that you need to connect with your audience first and foremost. But I am having trouble figuring out how to do this. Basically, how to hone my people skills. Where can I learn to truly connect with my audience?

3) What are your oppinions on scripting? I've read arguments on both sides (loose scripting vs. a set script). I feel like I should have a set script, but be able to improvise. I think that once I get more experience I will have a loose script but I don't know. Is this what you found happened with you?

Those are basically what I can think of right now. Some might be pretty basic answers, but I figures I might as well ask and get them answered instead of trying to search and possibly guess for the correct answers to these questions. I really appreciate all the help I can get. Thanks in advance.

Take care,
Matty
-3-
Ethan
View Profile
Regular user
UK
142 Posts

Profile of Ethan
Quote:
On 2007-08-01 03:29, Matty Moriates wrote:
Hello everyone,

So I am studying to be a restaurant magician. I say studying because I am just beginning and I know that I have at the very least a year before I can start actually working in restaurants. I am not a beginner in magic, but I am in restaurants. I have read a lot on the subject (and I have plenty more to read and learn) so I have a good idea about what I need to be working towards. But I do have a few questions:

1) This is probably my most basic question and may sound like a stupid one, but I have no idea what it is like so I gotta ask. How do you keep track of the tables that you already performed for?

2) I know that the presentation of an effect is far more important then the effect itself. I know that you need to connect with your audience first and foremost. But I am having trouble figuring out how to do this. Basically, how to hone my people skills. Where can I learn to truly connect with my audience?

3) What are your oppinions on scripting? I've read arguments on both sides (loose scripting vs. a set script). I feel like I should have a set script, but be able to improvise. I think that once I get more experience I will have a loose script but I don't know. Is this what you found happened with you?

Those are basically what I can think of right now. Some might be pretty basic answers, but I figures I might as well ask and get them answered instead of trying to search and possibly guess for the correct answers to these questions. I really appreciate all the help I can get. Thanks in advance.

Take care,
Matty


1. By paying attention and making note of both the faces and the position of the table. For me I'm rubbish with faces but can usually remember the position of tables I've done. Just as long as they don't move table, which does occasionally happen.

2. In my opinion this is fundamently a natural skill that you either have or don't. Sure like all skills it can be improved upon, but if your not naturally a people person then you are alway's going to struggle with this. Getting a job that involves dealing with people can help improve whatever natural ability you have.

3. You obviously need to have some kind of a script, but you need to be very flexible about this if your going to relate to your spectators, maybe you will want a tight script to start during your practise phase but by the time your performing for real you need to be so fluent with it that you can adjust it change it, stop it part way and then re-start it, adapt it part way through etc. In some cases I've even had to change the trick part way through. So flexability is key and only comes with a lot of practise to real audiences.
DylanTolly
View Profile
New user
Australia
94 Posts

Profile of DylanTolly
I do not and have not worked for a restaurant before, but like yourself, I am also very interested and am currently preparing myself.

However, I will try to answer your questions, but be aware that this is not based on first hand experience Smile

1) I think this ties in with your 2nd question, if you connect well with your audience, you should recognize them fairly easily. However, if you still have trouble, you could always start from a corner and work your way around the room in a pattern. Depending on the structure of the restaurant, I don't think it would be too hard to start at a point and make your weave your way to the last table seated.

2) As Ethan said, people skills are normally something you are born with, but you can improve. I will say one thing that I have experienced in my time performing for strangers on the train and in public, and that is politeness goes a long way. If you have a kind and courteous attitude, you can't go too wrong. Asking small questions like peoples names, what they do, how old they are can make a big difference, and also start other conversation. In short, if you are having trouble interacting, ask questions and be polite. Oh and SMILE! Smile

3) I would suggest not to have a script at all, be yourself, but if you are uncomfortable with meeting new people, I guess starting with a script would be fine. As long as you try to steer away from scripted responses as soon as possible. This is just because I find when someone is speaking from memory rather than their 'soul', it is often very obvious and stiff. People like people with personality.

Hope this helps, as I said, I could be wrong as I have not had experience! I have been doing quite a lot of research and I would consider myself quite a people person, so hopefully I am giving you the correct advice.

-Dylan
Danny Diamond
View Profile
Inner circle
Connecticut
1400 Posts

Profile of Danny Diamond
Quote:
1) This is probably my most basic question and may sound like a stupid one, but I have no idea what it is like so I gotta ask. How do you keep track of the tables that you already performed for?


I think if you do not remember whether or not you have performed for a particular group yet, then you should make an effort to make your interaction with the spectators more personal and meaningful. To do a set for a group, and then 5, 10, 20 minutes later, not remember if you worked for them yet - would probably indicate that you are in robot-mode with your magic, and not really engaging and interacting with the audience.

Quote:
2) I know that the presentation of an effect is far more important then the effect itself. I know that you need to connect with your audience first and foremost. But I am having trouble figuring out how to do this. Basically, how to hone my people skills. Where can I learn to truly connect with my audience?


Well, you said you were waiting a year before attempting to get a magic gig in a restaurant, correct? During this year, get a job as a waiter at a local restaurant. Not only will this improve your ability to interact with people in a restaurant setting, and it will get you familiar with the workings of a restaurant in general.

Quote:
3) What are your oppinions on scripting? I've read arguments on both sides (loose scripting vs. a set script). I feel like I should have a set script, but be able to improvise. I think that once I get more experience I will have a loose script but I don't know. Is this what you found happened with you?


Have a script, but definitely be prepared to improvise. I was ready to do my second effect in my standard set the other night, which is a coins across. As I reached into my pocket for my coins, the older woman who I was going to use for the coins across routine, stated "I love cards tricks" as she spotted a deck of Bikes in my vest pocket. OK, no coins across, I decided. I wasn't going to do cards at all in this set at this table, but obviously, her statement made it clear that the cards would be appreciated and enjoyed at that time. So, my script was broken, but it resulted in the customer getting what she wanted - card tricks.
You don't drown by falling in the water;

you drown by staying there.



- Edwin Louis Cole
Loual4
View Profile
Special user
Montreal, Canada
670 Posts

Profile of Loual4
Hi Matty,

To answer your questions :

1-
Keeping track of the tables you performed for is not that complicated. Divide the room in sections and proceed methodically section by section. The one thing you may not want to do is to pick one table at random, then another at random, etc… This is important if you have a large amount of tables ( 75, 100…). If you have only 6 or 7 tables, then I do not think it should be a problem simply remembering who you talked to, faces, etc.

2-
Connecting with your audience… Hum.. This may sound like a simple and stupid answer, but how about looking at them. Listening to what they say. Giving them time to express themselves. I have seen many people who are so concentrated on what they do, that they fail to acknowledge their audience. Big mistake. This is something that you start to get comfortable with if you really know your stuff. This way you do not focus on what you are doing, but rather on who you are performing for. This builds your connection to the audience. This allows you to have appropriate reactions to what is happening around you, as opposed to being slightly oblivious to it.

3-
Scripting… Personally, I am of the opinion that if you do not script, you are in trouble. If I may, I will make a comparison to theatre and film. In those performing arts, everything is scripted. Period. You do not just casually go and improvise everything right and left ( this is not to say that it never happens, but…). And yet, all seems natural, unrehearsed. There is no stiffness associated with “memory work”. This is because of some very dirty words that I am about to use: Rehearsal, practice! If you rehearse and practice enough, you will not have to think about the script you memorized. It will come naturally. But you do have to rehearse and practice a lot for naturalness to be there. A good presentation means scripting. Having done it so often that it is second nature allows you to: focus on your audience, improvise a little if the situation demands it (it happens!!!), keep track of who you performed for!

Hope this helps a little.

Louis Jutras
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
20969 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
Quote:
On 2007-08-01 07:38, DylanTolly wrote:
I do not and have not worked for a restaurant before, but like yourself, I am also very interested and am currently preparing myself.

However, I will try to answer your questions, but be aware that this is not based on first hand experience Smile

1) I think this ties in with your 2nd question, if you connect well with your audience, you should recognize them fairly easily. However, if you still have trouble, you could always start from a corner and work your way around the room in a pattern. Depending on the structure of the restaurant, I don't think it would be too hard to start at a point and make your weave your way to the last table seated.

2) As Ethan said, people skills are normally something you are born with, but you can improve. I will say one thing that I have experienced in my time performing for strangers on the train and in public, and that is politeness goes a long way. If you have a kind and courteous attitude, you can't go too wrong. Asking small questions like peoples names, what they do, how old they are can make a big difference, and also start other conversation. In short, if you are having trouble interacting, ask questions and be polite. Oh and SMILE! Smile

3) I would suggest not to have a script at all, be yourself, but if you are uncomfortable with meeting new people, I guess starting with a script would be fine. As long as you try to steer away from scripted responses as soon as possible. This is just because I find when someone is speaking from memory rather than their 'soul', it is often very obvious and stiff. People like people with personality.

Hope this helps, as I said, I could be wrong as I have not had experience! I have been doing quite a lot of research and I would consider myself quite a people person, so hopefully I am giving you the correct advice.

-Dylan


I am not quite sure why you would give advice under the conditions you have laid out.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Ethan
View Profile
Regular user
UK
142 Posts

Profile of Ethan
I don't think it's practical to work methodically around the tables, since you need to perform at tables that are not eating and or request to see you and this is rarely in a convienient table order.
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
20969 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
To answer the first question, at the base level you wil RECOGNISE people! Pretty easy really. Hopefully you will know their names by the end of the routine, so knowing if you did tricks for them is less trouble than you imagine. Doing a "patturn", well is not really feasable as they seat tables according to station, and people are always in various phases of dinner.

A LITTLE EXPERIENNCE will show you this. Good question.

For your second question, get a job as a SERVER in a restaurant. You will know if your people skills are honed, by the tips. As an added benifit you will learn how a restaurant runs, and functions and how to be the heck out of the way. You will also learn why it is pointless to try the "patturn" idea. EXPERIENCE in the restaurant business will help you far more than any research believe me.

As for "scripting" let me just say this. IMPROV GROUPS USE A SCRIPT to a certain degree.

To just show up and hope to "imporvise something" on the spot is a sure recipe for disaster eventually. Unless you have YEARS of experience to back it up and to draw from.

It ends up with an inconsistant feeling, with NO transitions. Heck the SERVERS reherse the specials.

If you want to be thought of as a professional, maybe it is best to act like one. I think that is best done with scripting. Be flexible, be able to know when other lines fit, but script EVERYTHING and I mean even your "ad libs".

Oh and then rehearse everything. Oh and practice everything. Those are 3 completly different and sepporate ideas. It is not an easy thing but there is a HUGE difference in the scripting, rehearsal, and the practice of material.

Good luck with the venture, you may not be a year away, you never know!
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Loual4
View Profile
Special user
Montreal, Canada
670 Posts

Profile of Loual4
Hi Ethan,

The places I have worked for with 75- 100 tables were banquets and huge reception type of affairs. The staff was always very good at planning the service in a methodical way. All I had to do was keep ahead of the service! There can be method to this madness, and in my case, it helped. But that is just me. In restaurants, I performed in places that had maybe 10 tables at most. If you can't keep track in there, you are in trouble! Again, just my opinion based on my personal experience.

Have a nice day!

Louis Jutras
Loual4
View Profile
Special user
Montreal, Canada
670 Posts

Profile of Loual4
Hey Dannydoyle, How are you?

A LITTLE EXPERIENCE has shown me that when table hopping at a large reception, establishing a pattern helped me quite a bit. You are convinced it is pointless, hey that is your prerogative. I know you have extensive experience in the restaurant area, so I will not even argue the point. all I will say is that there are very few restaurants with 100+ tables, and that in the case of receptions, EVERYBODY is scheduled. A LITLLE EXPERIENCE in catering has taught me that.

As for small restaurants, where I have had A LITTLE EXPERIENCE performing, like said above, if you can't keep track of 10 tables, you are in trouble.

For the rest, I am not sure if we are on the same page... I think we are... Scripting, rehearsing, practicing...

Have a nice day

Louis Jutras
Matty Moriates
View Profile
New user
71 Posts

Profile of Matty Moriates
Thank you very much everyone for your help.

With the first question: I thought that it would be that simple, but I never tried it so I had no idea. So thanks for clearing that up.

The last question: Obviously it is a personal preference thing. Thanks for the advice going both ways. For me personally I think I'm going to stick with a good script, but always be willing to improvise. Also I'm going to perform all my routines numerous times before I even dream of starting in a restaurant. This way I will be able to improve my script, and also take note of what could happen and prepare for everything (well at least be as prepared for as much as possible).

Now back to the second question: Once again thank you for your advice. But I guess I should clarify more. It is not like I am a shy person or anything like that. I do naturally have people skills. In fact when I got hired at my job, my manager said it was because he could tell in the interview that I had such good people skills. But that probably just contradicted with my question. See I am naturally very polite, kind, and outgoing, but I lack the ability to go up to people I don't know and have a good conversation. In other words, I'm not a real smooth talker. I have the people skills to be nice and polite and all that, but when it comes to connecting with them and being a smooth, wity talker, I lack those skills. So I would like to know if you guys know of a way I can improve this skill. Maybe a book that has advice on how to work on this? Anything is greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much for everything guys.
Matty
-3-
Bad to the Balloon
View Profile
Inner circle
Clearwater Florida
2116 Posts

Profile of Bad to the Balloon
Who says you have to hit every table?

I get done at a table I look up. I see 5 tables waving money at me, I look to see which is most done in their meal and pick that one to be first.

Styrofoam
Dessert
Steaks
Salad
Menu

Hit the tables with the first thing first, when you run out move down the list.
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark the Balloon Guy
As seen on the TODAY SHOW
www.balloonguy.net
Creator of Bad to the Balloon DVD series
Go to my store: http://tinyurl.com/Bad2theBalloon
Danny Diamond
View Profile
Inner circle
Connecticut
1400 Posts

Profile of Danny Diamond
Quote:
On 2007-08-01 03:29, Matty Moriates wrote:
So I am studying to be a restaurant magician.


Quote:
On 2007-08-01 12:00, Dannydoyle wrote:
Doing a "patturn", well is not really feasable as they seat tables according to station, and people are always in various phases of dinner.


Quote:
On 2007-08-01 12:48, Loual4 wrote:
A LITTLE EXPERIENCE has shown me that when table hopping at a large reception, establishing a pattern helped me quite a bit. You are convinced it is pointless, hey that is your prerogative.


Maybe table-hopping at receptions, a pattern can work to some degree. But it seems that the Matty wants to be a restaurant magician, which most would take to mean working at a restaurant, as a magician, on a regular basis. Danny is correct, in that case, people are always at various stages of their meal. A pattern doesn't make sense and simply won't work.
You don't drown by falling in the water;

you drown by staying there.



- Edwin Louis Cole
Loual4
View Profile
Special user
Montreal, Canada
670 Posts

Profile of Loual4
Danny, good point.

Louis
Ethan
View Profile
Regular user
UK
142 Posts

Profile of Ethan
Quote:
On 2007-08-01 12:01, Loual4 wrote:
Hi Ethan,

The places I have worked for with 75- 100 tables were banquets and huge reception type of affairs. The staff was always very good at planning the service in a methodical way. All I had to do was keep ahead of the service! There can be method to this madness, and in my case, it helped. But that is just me. In restaurants, I performed in places that had maybe 10 tables at most. If you can't keep track in there, you are in trouble! Again, just my opinion based on my personal experience.

Have a nice day!

Louis Jutras


Yes with a banquet it can be possible to work in a pattern, as everyone is together and starters for example are served to all tables at the same time, well as near the same time as practically possible. This makes it a whole different dynamic to restaurants where each table is an individual group of people, starting and finishing to their own time scale. The table beside them will most likely be at a completely different stage of their meal, so it's apples and oranges. I was answering the question reference restaurants. I agree if you only have a restaurant of 10 tables there should be no problem, I work regularly in over 20 restaurants and have none with so few tables as 10. On the whole a restaurant with so few tables couldn't justify the expense of a magician. So for a restaurant in a more likely scenario the method of working the tables in some kind of order just wouldn't work, though in some settings such as a Banquet it may be appropiate.
echomagic
View Profile
Veteran user
344 Posts

Profile of echomagic
Just my experience:
( 1 ) You will recognize almost all of the people that you have performed for during the course of the night. Tip- Start with making balloon animals ( have only a short menu if necessary ). If the table has balloons, you've been there. It does help to try to tackle one section at a time, but it is more important to perform between meal courses, usually after they patrons have ordered their meals.

( 2 ) Have a couple of fun comments that you can approach the table with. Greg Wilson might say something like " Hi, my name is ---- and my job is to bother all the nice people at the tables. How am I doing so far? Have several approaches that fit your personality. Let everyone at the table get a chance to speak. Be a good listener.

( 3 ) You must script. Know your routines so well that by adlibbing during the magic, you can seamlessly get back into your routine. You will adlib! No two tables will have the same reactions or personalities. The good news is that after doing approximately 30 - 35 tables during a 3 hour shift, your scripting will be so second nature that you may need to concentrate on the routine.

A suggestion: start your restaurant magic experience by working strictly on salary ( no tips ). I won't elaborate as this will begin an entirely new topic.

Good Luck!
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
20969 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
Quote:
On 2007-08-01 12:48, Loual4 wrote:
Hey Dannydoyle, How are you?

A LITTLE EXPERIENCE has shown me that when table hopping at a large reception, establishing a pattern helped me quite a bit. You are convinced it is pointless, hey that is your prerogative. I know you have extensive experience in the restaurant area, so I will not even argue the point. all I will say is that there are very few restaurants with 100+ tables, and that in the case of receptions, EVERYBODY is scheduled. A LITLLE EXPERIENCE in catering has taught me that.

As for small restaurants, where I have had A LITTLE EXPERIENCE performing, like said above, if you can't keep track of 10 tables, you are in trouble.

For the rest, I am not sure if we are on the same page... I think we are... Scripting, rehearsing, practicing...

Have a nice day

Louis Jutras


your experience is in comparing apples and oranges. People at a banquet eat all at once. Pretty easy to keep track of.

Hope the difference is obvious.

As for 10 table restaurants, I have never personally seen one. So I can't say. I would be interested in how they pay the rent on a 10 table establishment myself as the numbers don't work at all.

You seem offended by little experience comment, and you are kind of showing exactly what it is I am saying.

Sorry to have set you off so badly, but others seem to agree as you have seen a bit of light anyhow. Hope at least you stay angry only with me, and let them off the hook. LOL.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
JeffMac
View Profile
Veteran user
Sudbury, ont
350 Posts

Profile of JeffMac
Quote:
On 2007-08-01 17:41, Dannydoyle wrote:
As for 10 table restaurants, I have never personally seen one. So I can't say. I would be interested in how they pay the rent on a 10 table establishment myself as the numbers don't work at all.

You seem offended by little experience comment, and you are kind of showing exactly what it is I am saying.

Sorry to have set you off so badly, but others seem to agree as you have seen a bit of light anyhow. Hope at least you stay angry only with me, and let them off the hook. LOL.


Danny if your ever back in Canada I'll bring you to a Five table restaurant, fantastic food and has been paying the bills for years.
Oh but your pickin up the tab $130 for a steak with no side.
Oh I like wine too
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
20969 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
Jeff, that would be cool.

Actually in New York they have a place too. BUT as we both know, it is not the "rule" certainly right?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Bad to the Balloon
View Profile
Inner circle
Clearwater Florida
2116 Posts

Profile of Bad to the Balloon
One on St Pete Beach and in Largo Florida too. One has 8 tables the other just 6.
http://www.fetishesrestaurant.com/
http://bluedot.us/users/tomfakes/dot/66856899750
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark the Balloon Guy
As seen on the TODAY SHOW
www.balloonguy.net
Creator of Bad to the Balloon DVD series
Go to my store: http://tinyurl.com/Bad2theBalloon
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » A couple of questions (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2022 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.1 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL