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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Restaurant mentalism (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

mrfluffy
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Hello,

I did my first restaurant gig last night at apparently the busiest TGI Friday's in the world.

Now I have performed at parties, shows with my magic society but never restaurant. I looked at various threads on various boards, tried to KISS, had three instant resettable effects, and went off.

The problem I found was that my usually good/great material seemed to be out of sorts and not very well received. Most times people sort of looked at me strangely - especially one girl in a birthday party who had the biggest mouth in Kent, but about 10 seconds after I revealed.

My regular close-up routine involves a stacked picture deck with two revealed cards with one drawn and the other using Banachek's "letters in a word", a name reveal using Busch's billet and a bent coin using Neil Tobin's X-pert.

So the question I'm asking is, do I perform mentalism in a restaurant setting? Do I just go for "packet mentalism" someone mentioned an Alakazam item to me, or do I change character and whip out the sponge balls?

Any advice as always is greatly appreciated.

fluff
Hypnotic Winter
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For restaurant effects I recommend Derren Brown's and Banachek's work. They both have a good deal of experience in these areas. Mind you, Mr. Osterlind's PCT is good for anytime and anywhere. I think it just takes time to develop a close-up mentalism set that suits you.

H.W
When your only reality is an illusion, then illusion is reality.
A.G.
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Dear fluff!

First off, congrats on your first restaurant gig! I started out performing in loud noisy lounges, restaurants, ect., for the first six years of my now 18 year carreer.

Your sucsess in performing in this enviroment will not come from books nor finding the "best effects and tricks" to win over the people you will meet. First off, be yourself! EVERYONE can smell a fake personality from across the room. That said introduce yourself with words not a trick. Shake hands with everyone and get their name. You will se them again.

It is almost irrelevent what effects you are performing at this stage in the game. When you approach them, be polite, smile and make sure you hands, nail and clothes are spotless! This is important. Do your buisness (not too much) and thank everyone for their valuable time.

And I will tell you something that will change/elevate yor performance greatly---when the opportunity is there, sit down! JOIN them. Nothing worse than having someone "hovering" over you while you are trying to enjoy the company.

Ask them" do you mind if I join you for a minute?" Then they are yours, and, yes, they will come back.

I am currently touring my theatre show for eight weeks, but I still perform once a week at a huge lounge here in Canada. Now they reserve to see me.

Good luck. Feel free to email if you have any questions.
http://www.allandrew.com
entity
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Gerardi,

Could you give us a list of the theatres where you will be performing? I'm sure some of us would love to see your show.

- entity
Scott Xavier
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One quick bit of advice and a question:

Do what sells.

Who are you working for? The audience or yourself?
mrfluffy
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Quote:
On 2004-10-10 18:01, Dr_Zodiac wrote:
One quick bit of advice and a question:

Do what sells.

Who are you working for? The audience or yourself?


I agree that's the big question - is it just trial and error to find the effects that work well in that environment?
Decomposed
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Zodiac,

I wish I could get your spoon bend video to work on your website:(

Candini
Scott Xavier
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I'll email you the new work from my theater show at the live bait theater. I have to encode video, so expect some delays. With promoting and stuff, it'll be some time until I can get an hour to digitize it. It's truly original.
francisco
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Quote:
On 2004-10-10 06:36, mrfluffy wrote:
Hello,

I did my first restaurant gig last night at apparently the busiest TGI Friday's in the world.


Just as a point of interest, which TGI Fridays was it? One in America, I presume?

-Francisco
'When you steal one trick, they call it plagiarism. When you steal many - they call it research.'

[Corinda, 13 steps to mentalism]
mrfluffy
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Quote:
On 2004-10-11 08:33, francisco wrote:
Quote:
On 2004-10-10 06:36, mrfluffy wrote:
Hello,

I did my first restaurant gig last night at apparently the busiest TGI Friday's in the world.



just as a point of interest, which TGI fridays was it? one in America I presume?

-Francisco



No. Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent.
entity
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Gerardi in Vancouver:

There are lots of Café members in Canada. Please post a list of your tour's theatre dates, so that they can check out your show.

- entity
bobser
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Hey mrfluffy,

I regularly do a couple TGI's not too far from you. As you know the pay's better than most 'regular' gigs and the atmosphere is pretty cool.

(For those maybe unaware, TGI now have a policy of recruiting magicians on weekends. I believe this started at the beginning of September, and I am talking about 'here in the UK').

If you think I can help with anything in particular gimme a PM.
Bob Burns is the creator of The Swan.
Necromancer
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Hi Fluff,

Mentalism does work in restaurants, but your hardest job as a performer in this environment is getting your audiences into the right frame of mind.

Gerardi's advice is spot on. Let everybody at the table know that you are there to ensure that they have a good time, and be an approachable professional. First and foremost, you are acting as an ambassador of the establishment in which you perform -- and the sooner that point is made clear to your clients, the sooner they can let go of their suspicions (who is this guy? Are we going to have to pay him?) and relax into enjoyment of your performance.

As for repertoire, the common wisdom is that it's best to start with something short and preferably funny. Have fun with them, set the mood. Then, try to do effects that involve the entire table rather than one person at a time. And when they're on your side and having a good time, kill them with something perhaps a little involved but truly knockout (this is when I would do the Xpert Coin Bending, for example). If any of these involve your business card as a leave-behind, so much the better.

Congratulations on your restaurant gig. Have fun!

Best,
Neil
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), and contributor to the ebook GOLD: When It HAS To Be Performance GOLD -- all at Penguin.
mrfluffy
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Thanks, Neil, and others.
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