The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The tricks are on me! » » First day as a magician- starting issues (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
decay
View Profile
New user
2 Posts

Profile of decay
Hey guys,

I went table hopping the other night with a good friend of mine. I got a little magicians box when I was a child and I've been doing magic eversince.
Within the past year or so, since me and my pal met, we trained almost every day and showed a lot of stuff to friends and friends of the friends and so on. It all went pretty good so we tried to go out and show some magic to strangers on the street and in bars to make some money.

after all it went pretty good, we made a couple of bucks and got good reactions. but for me, one thing was very hard:
the first step. choosing an audience, looking for ways to start off (D lights, sometimes just asking... a joke..) and getting into my routine. I found this really hard because I couldn't get rid of the feeling of disturbing them in their privacy.
normally I'm a very connective guy who loves to meet other people. but that's a different subject, cause meeting someone you seem to match with and asking complete strangers to show them some stuff is a big difference.

yesterday I felt WAY better when we got into a bar I knew. I knew the staff and the crowd was about my age and about my "type".

but I don't want me to be this stiff about walking onto strangers and amaze them as well. I want to get rid of the feeling that I'm not wanted and I want to increase my faith in the chance that anybody I see might actually really like what I'm doing, whereever he's from and whatever he might look like.

any suggestions? tricks you guys used to push yourself?


thanks for reading Smile

decay
MeetMagicMike
View Profile
Inner circle
Gainesville Fl
3105 Posts

Profile of MeetMagicMike
Just keep doing it. It gets easier but I still have those same feelings that you are talking about and I've been doing this for over 30 years.

Approaching people to perform magic is kind of like asking a girl to dance. You get yourself psyched up and tell yourself that even if she rejects you it isn't personal. Then you go over and give her your line. No matter how much you preped yourself it still kind of hurts if she says no. But there really are a lot of legitimate reasons she might say no.

So likewise, when you approach a table they might "reject you" because:

1) They don't know what you are up to and are afraid they are committing to something.
2) They have a friend who is a magician and performs for them a lot.
3) They are in the middle of a serious discussion.

And so on.

When I approach a table I say something along the lines of "Hi, welcome to Moe's. The restaurant has hired me to show you a quick magic trick while your food is being prepared. Is this a good time?"

I know a lot of people will tell you not to ask, just do something to get their attention. I agree with all of the reasoning behind this theory but it just isn't me.

Sometimes in the middle of my spiel I can sense that they aren't interested. In that case I will let them off the hook and say "I can see that you are in the middle of something". I'll be around just flag me down if you decide you want some magic.

I think some people get the mistaken impression that they are supposed to perform for every one in the restaurant. I think magic is like dessert. It's a fun extra that will mean a lot to some and others aren't interested in. A good restaurant is going to make sure you know they have desserts but isn't going to be pushy and try to get every table to order a dessert.

Hang in there. Try every approach and you'll find what works for you but there is no perfect approach.
Magic Mike

MeetMagicMike.com



I took the Pledge
craig1985
View Profile
New user
united kingdom
8 Posts

Profile of craig1985
The first few times will always be tough but perserverance is the key. As MagicMike above said, it will get easier the more you do it.
Ray Bertrand
View Profile
Inner circle
British Columbia
1409 Posts

Profile of Ray Bertrand
Hi decay,

Good advice given so far. The more you do... the more comfortable you will get. The main thing is to respect the wishes of the customers and to be aware of body language, etc. ie: if they are in a serious conversation. Best of luck to you.
EnterTRAINment at its best. Keeping the Magic Alive in Northern BC
decay
View Profile
New user
2 Posts

Profile of decay
Thanks guys... I guess its just the best to keep on. however, I guess ill never really get rid of that feeling that I'm disturbing, as long as I'm not booked. but what's the difference in the end?
Ray Bertrand
View Profile
Inner circle
British Columbia
1409 Posts

Profile of Ray Bertrand
You might try reading Steve Martin's book; "Born Standing Up". In it he describes all the trials and tribulations he went through as a neophyte performer and the 'butterflies' in his stomach even after doing the show for a while. Anxiety before a performance can sometimes be a good thing. It keeps us on our toes.
EnterTRAINment at its best. Keeping the Magic Alive in Northern BC
LCRoman
View Profile
New user
New Jersey
4 Posts

Profile of LCRoman
I personally like flourishing. Or some floating money, something, they just standing in place or slowly walking around. Then I try to casual look to see who's jaw is dropped. It's kind of like a open invite. When we make eye contact, I will smile (people like my smile) and mouth to them if they want to see a trick. If not, I smile and let them no its no big deal and keep walking. It's just what I like to do. I understand how you feel about breaking into conversations. I find is easier if it's a paid gig, like a waiter, I just walk up, introduce myself and let them know I am working there for the night and offer some entertainment.
Chris_Zhero
View Profile
New user
1 Post

Profile of Chris_Zhero
Hey decay, I'm new to magic too and this page is gives good advise and is a great confidence booster (which all we could do with Smile ). As a salesman I have to go up and talk to people all the time. The best thing I can say is always persevere, never fear. What's the worst thing that could happen, they could say no and you move on to someone who says yes and you blow their mind anyway. And never take it to heart, honestly no one will mean to offend you, just carry on.

All the best.
hestonsmagic
View Profile
New user
McMinnville, OR
92 Posts

Profile of hestonsmagic
I had been doing strolling magic for years, but do to life issues had to stop for a period of time. Upon starting back up with strolling gigs I was having the issue of not being able to approach again... One of the actions I took to move forward was joined a Toastmasters group... the extra confidence gained from just a couple meetings of speaking in front of strangers helped me to "break the ice" and approach people again.
MHamel
View Profile
New user
New Hampshire
71 Posts

Profile of MHamel
I noticed that sometimes people don't want to see magic right away because they are not sure of your intention. Some people don't want to pay to see magic from someone who randomly comes up to them. I found that right from the start if I can let them know its just for fun they relax and don't feel obligated to tip, however if you are entertaining you will most likely get tips more times then not. The tips thing also depends a lot on the location of your magic.
Greg.O
View Profile
New user
7 Posts

Profile of Greg.O
It's been a little while for me but when I was doing my resturant gig I would say something like, "Hi my name is Greg and I'm the entertainment for the evening. I would like to show you something really cool if you don't mind?" Then I imediatly go into my sponge ball opener which opens with the question along the lines of "Is this your wife/husband/sister/brother etc.?" Then I ask, "Do they have trouble hearing?" this leading into me pulling a sponge ball from there ear. 95% of the time this has worked for me. Just a couple of times have I been rejected. Then also you have to be able to feel out your audiance. Even if you get your foot in the door by doing that first trick you need to be able to tell if they are interested enough to keep going. If their not just bail and thank them and tell them to have a great evening. Then on to the next table. Hope this helps!

Greg O.
Scotty Walsh
View Profile
Loyal user
Ireland
207 Posts

Profile of Scotty Walsh
Harry Anderson told me that when he busked in bars he hated to intrude on tables. So what he did was to take a table in the corner. Then, he went around to each table and briefly introduced himself and gave them a small flier (I think), and told them that he would be over at the corner table doing magic all night, and they were welcome to stop by whenever they liked.

Then he'd just sit over there practicing shuffles or whatever, and the people would come to him!

Then they'd be on his turf instead of the other way around. And this can even allow you to build some small crowds, as opposed to working to only 2 or 3 people at a time.

Posted: Aug 25, 2012 3:56am
And David Stone in his F.F.F.F. lecture says that he opens with a fire wallet, saying, did somebody drop this wallet?

He says it works well, because people are so tired of being asked for money, that when somebody comes over offering something, it psychologically makes people not worry that he's a beggar. Then they are much less likely to say no.
ronnyman
View Profile
New user
Indiana
56 Posts

Profile of ronnyman
You can't take it personally ever. It's really rough at first. I tried it for a while and got so discouraged that I quit and I shouldn't have. Now I'm back doing it with better results because I've put my ego aside.
rasmus
View Profile
Inner circle
Switzerland
1693 Posts

Profile of rasmus
Good advice scotty. the magic word for me is PRACTICE WITH THE CROWD. learn the trick first and do it everyday,
do it impromptu and don't be afraid of anything. just have a good time and a good feeling
about what you are doin'.

magicians bring joy and fun to the audience and that's just positive.

for me its better anyway to show new stuff to strangers then to friends just to receive
honest and real reactions.
A World without Magic is a World without Dreams and Hope:)



Creator of: STEEL (performed by Dynamo), X-RAY, Real Coin Bend (performed by Dynamo), Totally Crazy Bands, Rasmus Haunted Deck, MCF CARDS, Jawbreaker, POLTERGEIST
www.rasmusmagic.ch
Countage
View Profile
Veteran user
Charlotte
361 Posts

Profile of Countage
Get a button that says Publisher's Clearing House Prize Patrol and carry around a bunch of balloons.
JonesingForTruth
View Profile
New user
60 Posts

Profile of JonesingForTruth
To start with, find a place you might never go to again, and make a game of it... start a tally of rejections and give yourself a reward/prize when you get a certain number of rejections. When the rejection becomes the goal then it loses a little of the fear... and you can then start putting the goal for more and more rejections... of course no goal needed for the acceptance... that's it's own reward. Smile
highcard
View Profile
New user
48 Posts

Profile of highcard
When you're working a restaurant or club, you can usually tell who is interested once you break the ice with the first table. You'll see people watching you from other tables and that's where you go next. Just avoid those that pay no attention or seem to be wrapped up in themselves or each other. No one likes their hot date interrupted, even by a cool magic trick.
Michael_MacDonald
View Profile
1964 - 2016
Washington
2034 Posts

Profile of Michael_MacDonald
I perform bars and restaurants for many years. I find that it makes it a lot easier when your introduced. they hired you to entertain the guests. so I ask the staff to let people know that there is a house magician there today and that he will be strolling around to entertain them. this does many things for you.

1) a lot of times the guest will ask to have you come over.
2) the guest will let them know they are not interested.
3) they will know your part of the crew there to help them have a fun time while dining out.

normally they staff does this any ways but I give them added incentive as I tip out all the servers from the tips I make.
I put up a poster at the front so that people know that on this day of the week there will be a magician.

the most important thing for me is I do not just walk up and start doing magic this is a bit pushy to me. I rather walk up and start a bit of small talk find out how their day is. build a slight report with them. this gives them a sense of security that your not just some smoe off the block looking to bug in on them.
when your regulars come in you will be seen performing for them, this in turn gets the attention of near by tables as they want to knowwhat all the fuss is about. I have been known to include people from other tables close by in tricks. it loosens everyone up and establishes your credentials. for bars its the same thing really. the bar tender and servers can introduce you. you can walk up to the center stage and perform a few stand up routines and then let everyone know your going to be walking about performing at each table.

I normally have a small corner table by the bar where I place my case and have a set standing area to hang out while getting the feel of the crowd. this is a good place to do some of your flashy material. things that do not take patter but really get attention.

just some thoughts on how I play take what you wish and enjoy the ride my friends.
wnewhouse
View Profile
New user
17 Posts

Profile of wnewhouse
I haven't done my first table-hopping run, yet, but am just about ready. Like Decay, above, I have been concerned about coming across as pushy when I approach a table, so this is what I came up with to try.

My plan is:

Approach a table in a restaurant where folks seem to be enjoying some light-hearted conversation and I have noticed that they have just placed their orders with the server.

Make a comment that this seems to be the fun table, introduce myself around, and ask a couple questions (such as "Are you locals, or just visiting?").

Next, ask, "Do you mind if I visit with you for a minute, or are you in the middle of something?" If things seem positive/receptive at that point, follow with something along the line of, "You know, when you're in a restaurant there is always a slightly stagnant interlude between ordering your meal and when it is served. I'm curious, how do each of you folks like to pass that time? People-watching? Studying the wine list or dessert menu?"

Give some of the specs a chance to respond.

Then add, "Personally, I like to sit back and watch all the stuff flying around in the air that nobody else seems to notice." This should get a quizzical look or two.

Then I would follow with, "Like this sponge ball, for example." as I pluck one out of the air. While they check that out I would snatch another one out of thin air.

Then I would say, "Since we have a couple of sponge balls to play with, I might as well do a magic trick for you while you wait for your meal. Would you like that? It's free and just for fun." If they agree, then go into a three or four trick series. (Say, the sponge ball effect, then probably offer them a choice of something with silks or cards, and close with a short chop cup routine.)

Finish before their meals arrive and move on to a table that seems to have been watching this table during the performance.

I'm thinking this approach should create an opening without seeming pushy or presumptive. It let's them know no payment is required. And it clearly communicates an automatic end time NLT when their meal is served. Any suggestions on this approach? Improvements? Does it commit any blunders that I'm not seeing?
Bill Newhouse
'A reasonably remarkable presenter of extraordinarily mundane miracles.'
wnewhouse
View Profile
New user
17 Posts

Profile of wnewhouse
On reviewing my post of last night, and the overall gist of this thread, it seems that the thread would be better fitted to the Beginner's Forum than here. Certainly my post would. This forum is about volunteer work in magic while this topic seems to be focused on first runs at table-hopping in restaurants and bars. I'm not sure it applies to volunteer work for charitable purposes. Maybe it does and I just don't see the application, yet. Not criticizing anybody. Just trying to follow the Café's guidelines for postings and avoid personally derailing a thread. As a newbie, I am still learning how to use the site correctly. Perhaps a moderator should move our thread to a different forum? Just asking.
Bill Newhouse
'A reasonably remarkable presenter of extraordinarily mundane miracles.'
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The tricks are on me! » » First day as a magician- starting issues (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.18 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