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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Perform for all...or just some? A Dilemma (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

BenHFarrar
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Ok..here's something which I have changed my mind on many times recently....
I have a standard 8 minuite table hopping act for pivate parties (generally quite upmarket ones). I do not work restaurants. Sometimes I am booked for an hour and a half or so to perform at the guest's tables, but when I get there there is an enormous amount of tables (like 30!). Do you think (under these circumstances) that I should just perform my 8 minute act to a few tables (the important ones) and see how many I can get through, or I should just do say one trick at each and get through them all?

I tend to go in-between an do say 5 minutes to as many as possible. I feel that doing only one trick would sacrafice my "artistic vision" (lol) which is what I get booked for.

What are your thoughts on this???

Ben
Jaz
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How many tricks in your 8 minute act?
BenHFarrar
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I always do 3. I have a few other pieces which can be slotted in for longer "sets" and which I use if I have to perform at tables which are close together (for more variety).
kammagic
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Well when you book the show its important to find out how many people will be there and how many tables then quote your price and time accordingly. If for some reason you get there and are surprised by the number of tables being more then expected then shorten your act and go a little longer then an hour and a half if you have to and try to get to everyone. The person who hired you will appreciate that.

, Jonathan
MagicSanta
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For table side I've always looked at it as something that needs to be very flexible. Sometimes you only have time for one routine, other times you may be expected to perform five. I wouldn't suggest you be hard set to one eight minute 'show'.
BenHFarrar
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I will always check the amount of people first and adjust my fee accordingly, however It is entirelly out of my control what size tables I will encounter when I actually get there. Im not hard set on an eight minute show, as the material within it changes fairly regularly. I am however quite set on a "show" with a begining, middle and end.

What I'm really asking is your opinions on the role of a magician, to get through people like cattle and not particularly connect or show anything special, or to really connect and "show" the people what you were really hired to perform. I am always booked as a magician and given freedom with what I do, so I have no obligations to show everyone magic. I obviously want the best for the organises, but I'm really not shure what is best (not just for me but for all magicians)

Mabey I sound stupid, and its a silly thing to ask here, as everybody has their own opinions but id love to here what you guys think.

(Obviously I have to be flexible but how flexible?)

Thanks
Ben
Jaz
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Obviously working 30 tables in 90 minutes would mean 3 minute sets.
That would mean an intro and one trick per table. Yes, somewhat of a dilemma.

I don't know what tricks you know or possible factors of the venue but doing a couple of larger, visible effects that more than one table could see would help cover more tables.
So if you do a shorter 5 minute closeup act for 15 tables in 75 minutes you have 15 minutes left and could do three 5 minute tricks that more people can see or 5 three minute tricks near tables that haven't seen you closeup work.

Keep in mind that not all table will want magic or be deep in conversation.
This will help with the time factor.

Jonathan's advice on knowing your venue beforehand is a given. Find out all you can about the venue schedule, other entertainment, etc, etc. Even then you can run into problems but at least you have an overview.
An 8 minute act at 30 tables would mean 4 hours of strolling. Ouch! Smile

Hope I helped a little.
Best to ya,
BenHFarrar
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Thanks Jaz,
Do you find that larger effects work for multiple tables? I may try this sometime (my real LOVE is stage magic, so this is a plus for me)
I will always do my research about the event but generally poor performance conditions are out of my control.

Thanks again Smile

Ben
JamesTong
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A chop cup or cups and balls routine would be a visible stand up performance for a few tables at a time. Just an idea, Ben.
MAKMagic
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I've found that it depends on the venue. e.g. In my weekly restaurant gig, I get to as many tables as I get to. People come in and people leave. I perform for as long as I want tothey want to at any given table. I may NOT get to everyone. If and when I know a table is asking for me I will ensure to tailor things to get there before theyI leave of course.
When it comes to private parties I make sure I know what the host wants ahead of time. Some hosts, when they have 100 people there don't expect you to get to everyone in an hour, and are fine with that. If they expect me too I'll let them know that the magic everyone will see will be about 2 minutes long and not nearly as personal as if they had me for a few additional minutes.

We generally will work things out so that they get what they want and they're guests will enjoy things to their fullest potential - be it not concerning with hitting everyone, keeping me longer, or even hiring both me and my partner to do it.
.:Michael Kelley
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Jaz
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Quote:
On 2007-08-20 16:17, BenHFarrar wrote:
Thanks Jaz,
Do you find that larger effects work for multiple tables? I may try this sometime (my real LOVE is stage magic, so this is a plus for me)
I will always do my research about the event but generally poor performance conditions are out of my control.

Thanks again Smile

Ben


Tricks done chest high like rope effects, paper tears, linking rings, silks and others that pack fairly small are more visible than cards and coins. Even if you don't use these, bringing 3 or 4 of these types can help. Leave them in your vehicle, in your overcoat or with a table you trust. Once you assess the situation you can decide whether you need them or not.
JamesTong
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Quote:
On 2007-08-20 17:07, Jaz wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-08-20 16:17, BenHFarrar wrote:
Thanks Jaz,
Do you find that larger effects work for multiple tables? I may try this sometime (my real LOVE is stage magic, so this is a plus for me)
I will always do my research about the event but generally poor performance conditions are out of my control.

Thanks again Smile

Ben


Tricks done chest high like rope effects, paper tears, linking rings, silks and others that pack fairly small are more visible than cards and coins. Even if you don't use these, bringing 3 or 4 of these types can help. Leave them in your vehicle, in your overcoat or with a table you trust. Once you assess the situation you can decide whether you need them or not.



I agree with Jaz. It is good to be prepared.
Dannydoyle
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What exactly is "upmarket"?

The details are best worked out prior to your getting there. Every situation is different.

You asked if you should just do the "important tables". I am cuious as to the formula to decide such a thing.

Whoever hired you will tell you what to do. The customer is always right.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Flec
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When asking about how many people are there, don't be afraid to ask hwo many tables and what size they are. This shows that you are genuinly interested in the event and that you want to give your best performance.

If there is say 30 tables, offer them another magician to work with you, so that everyone can be entertained! (and you can get some extra cash from commission).

If they don't like the idea of that, perhaps offer them a solution....like an hour before the meal for reception drinks? you can play to bigger audiences when everyone is standing around you?
Flec
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And also concerning the "important tables" it is sometimes impossible to tell who people are. if there are celevrities present, obviously you want to perform for them to boost your ego. But if the celebrities agent is on another table....he will be the one who is more likely to use you.
BenHFarrar
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I will always ask about the tables, but usually these are supplied by the venue, so it is not always easy to find out from the host. My definition of "Upmarket" is a black tie event usually in some kind of interesting venue. Generally these customers ask me my opinion...after all I am the magician. My definition of important tables are the head tables, the birthday person and their wife, somebody who has requested to see magic, a table with some kids on, a rowdy table etc. The tables which will respond best to what I do. Usually there are three, sometimes 4 tables the host asks me to make sure I get to. These are the important tables in my opinion (not that the others are unimportant!)
Harry Murphy
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Jaz is right on. I think of my experience with up-market (high paying, possibly repeat business) table hopping venues.

I hit the door knowing (on average) the number of guests and the set-up of the room (number, size of, and lay-out of tables), plus the scheduled of the event (open bar, food, speeches, etc.) and the expectation of the booking agent. I have a cognitive map of what I need to do. I also have a realistic estimation of how many tables I can reasonably hit. This gives me the flexibility to adjust when I’m actually on the floor.

Sometimes a table is really into magic and gets a longer set. Sometimes a table could care less and gets a shorter set or no set at all. The fun, laughter, and sounds of amazement often dictate time spent. I know the “average” time I need to spend to cover “x” tables. I make sure that the tables I perform for make noise of appreciation (laughter, etc) to insure the booker knows that the guests are enjoying themselves.

I try to hit as many tables as I can but am realistic knowing that in a large venue with a ton of tables it will be impossible. For those venues I've tried to up-sell the program and bring another performer or maybe three! Or I try to sell something totally different, say a stand-up/platform show. My success at the event usually occurs at the contract table.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
BenHFarrar
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Thanks Harry,
That was really nicely put. Thanks for your help...its much appreciated.

Ben
Jaz
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Let's take another look.
I mentioned rope effects, paper tears, linking rings, silks.
Except for the paper tear, and I was thinking smaller Ninja Rigs, how many routines can be done with the other three props?
I would say quite a few.
Now, if you manage to get someone to assist you with one of these routines, do you think more or less people will watch?

Best,
Christopher Lyle
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Ben,

The best advice I can throw at ya is to try and perform effects to "connect" your tables together. Do a Ninja Ring routine with two differnt tables at the same time. I also do Cards Across with someone from one table and someone from another table. Cut and Restored Rope with people from 2 or 3 tables.

When I book my act for this type of performance, I ask them how many tables thre will be and how many people will attend. I tell them the length of show that I feel would best suite their needs based on the answer....
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
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