So 2014 is well under way and I must say so far it is going well. There are some awesome things ahead for me and I am excited to share them with you as they occur.
I finally finished my honours in clinical psychology and next year I will be tackling Masters. I am already thinking about a thesis and I think something along the lines of deception and magic will do me well.
So with me now, I am embarking on restaurant magic. And I have been thinking about the interactions between the magician and the customers in the restaurant. The table that they are sitting at is their table. It is their private place to communicate with each other and enjoy their meal together. So what right does the magician have for coming in and entering their space? Their personal and private space?
So as the hired magician, whether working for tips or getting paid a flat rate it is your job to be there! But walking up; throwing your cards on the table; pulling up a chair; taking a sip of someone’s coke is just not the right way I’m afraid.
Just because you have the right to be there, doesn’t mean they will let you enter their space. So you need to be wary of that. Your entry to their table in my opinion is stronger than your first effect. First effects are incredibly important – I mean if your first trick is pup and weak then I’m afraid the chance of the tip or them enjoying the magic is quite low. But if you barge in their space and blow their minds out of the water, they probably will think you have incredible skill but are incredibly arrogant and either won’t return to the restaurant because of the chance that you will be there or they will refuse to see your magic and complain to the manager, which will not bode well for your career at that particular restaurant or even the future.
You need to smile. Show dem white, clean teeth. Psychologically speaking, the way we look, our first impression is what remains. Smiling is non-threatening.
You want the customers to be intrigued as to what you have to offer. You don’t want them to go “oh f**k the clown is here to show off.” So the smile lowers their guard and opens them up to the interruption.
Talking in a friendly voice, showing interest in them as people and not just as a vending machine that can vomit out money instead of a cold coke. These are people; humans with feelings. Going up and saying something like “Hey there, how was your meal? Oh you haven’t gotten it yet? I’m sure it’s on its way but in the mean time how about I share with you something that will play with your mind?” That sort of approach shows them that you’re interested. Look, there are many, MANY opening lines that work, however this is the one that I like.
Some magicians say that the customers don’t have the authority to answer the question if they want to see some magic because not many people have seen a close-up magician in real life. They have seen Dynamo and David Blaine and clowns, but not a legit close-up magician. I hear that point and agree with it, but I think just walking up and going straight into an effect could seem invasive. Again I suppose it depends on the table as well as your style. I wouldn’t say “I’m a magician let me show you a trick” I would show them I am a magician. But I would ask if they would like to see something mind-boggling.
I guess after writing all this, the opening effect is YOU (and Eugene Burger agrees). So be the best you you can be and go and wow the next table you walk up to! I know I will.