Restaruant Magic, openers and closers

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 10/20/01 07:52 AM

Strongest openers? Strongest closers?
Generally I open with a coin production and a 3 fly type routine, ending with a vanish of all coins, it's fast paced and gets their attention. I always cause the third coin to travel in their hand (a little interaction). My closer varies; sometimes card to wallet, sometimes cigars from purse.
Anyone else have their personal favorite "openers and closers"?
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Postby Monte » 10/21/01 03:02 PM

I use Open travellers as my closer.

Monte, as in 3 cards.
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Postby Guest » 10/21/01 05:47 PM

Open travellers has been on my mind a bit lately. Do you perform the Vernon routine or a variation? It's a good closer, gets the whole table involved, etc.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/21/01 07:50 PM

What routine are you guys talking about? Dai Vernon's routine "The Travelers", where the Aces travel to your pockets? Or Larry Jennings' routine "The Invisible Palm Aces" (aka "Open Travelers") where the Aces assemble on the table with NO indifferent cards?
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Postby Guest » 10/21/01 08:15 PM

My mistake,(it's been a long day)
I'm talking about "The Travelers", Vernon's routine, aces to the pockets.
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Postby Monte » 10/22/01 01:50 PM

Sorry Chris, but I am talking about Larry Jennings's routine. You can also get many people involved with the right presentation.

Monte, as in 3 cards.
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Postby Guest » 10/22/01 06:26 PM

I can see Open Travelers working for a small table of 2 to 4. Laying down cards on a potentially wet table would be a draw back. Do you ever have this problem?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/22/01 09:24 PM

Chris, one of the most amazing this I have ever seen was when watching Derek Dingle do magic at a bar in New York City about 20 years ago. He tended bar and did magic. Lots of magic. One of his favorite routines was "Triumph." He would wipe the dirty and wet bar with a WET rag, then plop the deck onto it and do the routine perfectly. Am still amazed by it.
Don't ask me how ... I don't do magic on wet surfaces myself!
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Postby Guest » 10/23/01 04:45 AM

Amazing Richard, since even two or three damp cards can make things difficult.

Restaruant and bar magic can be a messy business. If you are one of those (like myself) who cringe when clumsy strangers handle your stuff, you're in for a lot of aniexty.

I've had people rap my $100 John Rogers cigars against the sharp edge of a table just to see if they were "really made of wood"!

You simply smile, and carry on.
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Postby Gordolini » 10/23/01 12:50 PM

"He would wipe the dirty and wet bar with a WET rag, then plop the deck onto it and do the routine perfectly. Am still amazed by it."

That is skill at it's foremost. however, with reference to another post - don't you think that this sort of detail is lost on the layman? How many of his spectators would actually stop and think about the complexities involved in using a deck which has a few damp cards in it?
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Postby Guest » 10/23/01 02:36 PM

My favorite opener is my handling of the chop cup. I use the small cup, and my final load are two large eyeballs. My favorite closer is a toss-up between Xerox Money or Stack of quarters. I use Johnny Thompson's idea of making the cone out of a borrowed bill, and usually end up getting to keep the bill.
I did just have a great thing happen today. We have a fantastic Irish pub/restaurant here in Nashville called Seanachie's. I wanted to go inside just to check it out since my family is 1/4 Irish (I claim that side of the family more since becoming a fan of Billy McComb). My wife suggested I talk to the manager about performing there. I met the manager and talked about getting back into doing restaurant magic using Eugene's idea of having the table request me instead of doing walk-around. He liked the idea so much, I'm the middle act next week on Halloween between two Irish rock bands.
As I left, my wife looked at me and said, "See what you get when you listen to me?" I'd been thinking about getting back into restaurants, but hadn't really put forth much effort. I didn't audition, just talked to the guy, and he'd remembered seeing me at another restaurant venue and liked what he saw. Just think...I'd been putting off talking to managers (I hate selling myself..can't stand going through all the no's).
Did I mention I have the greatest wife in the world?
Rick
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Postby Guest » 10/23/01 03:08 PM

Gordon,
I got the impression Dingle wasn't trying to prove anything. Just wiping down the bar. What "other post" were you refering to?

That's great Rick! Like anything else, restaurant work is a numbers game. Selling yourself is a nessessary evil. The good news is it gets easier the more you do it.

I recently started a weekly thing at an Applebees in NY. It's a different crowd than I'm used to; more, how should I say...average Joe. More kids, lots more kids. I've had to re-think most of my set and lean torward the visual; chop cup, ropes, jumbo coin etc.

My other restaurants are bit up scale; professional types.

The variation is good however.

My favorite venue though is the coffee house. More relaxed. You can take your time with a table and really get into it without the worry over meals being served. People tend to linger in a coffee house.

Well...good luck to you, Rick.
Chris

[ October 23, 2001: Message edited by: ChrisDavid ]
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/23/01 10:20 PM

Dingle's wiping of the bar prior to "Triumph" was intended only as a practical move. Laymen never even noticed it.
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Postby Gordolini » 10/24/01 02:23 AM

Thats what I mean. Dingle didn't perform with the wet deck to show off in any manner, but the fact that he could just do his little routine with a damp deck shows how skilful the guy is. However, you have noticed Richard and you were impressed, so how much more would a lay audience appreciate the guy's skill if they picked up on little points such as this. Does that make sense?....or maybe I'm waffling nonsense. :)
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Postby Guest » 10/24/01 06:14 AM

Sharp layman DO notice details. "Wow, he even shuffled the cards!" or "wow, his sleeves were rolled back!", you hear these comments sometimes. Details are built in for the discerning spectator.

Dingle wiped down the bar. Richard noticed. But Dingle did not wipe down the bar for Richard to notice. That was a bonus.

I perform a multiple coin vanish. Once I overheard 2 woman comment how "coins make noise", yet they heard nothing. The simple fact that coins jingle and clink make this type of vanish more mysterious in the minds of diserning spectators.
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Postby Guest » 10/24/01 06:55 AM

And it's also strange what totally irrelevant details are noticed.

A few weeks ago, I performed the Jo-Dan Link (linking rubber bands, in case any readers are unaware), and was told "Gosh Dave, that was really great! And you're wearing short sleeves too, so I'm even more impressed".

And no, she wasn't joking. Maybe she thinks that I usually sleeve everything? But how that would help two rubber bands to link together is not obvious (to me).
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Postby Guest » 10/24/01 07:57 PM

Dave,
The myth of using sleeves for EVERYTHING is so strong in people's minds!!
You really must go out of your way sometimes to show your sleeves rolled back.
Make it real clear!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/24/01 08:24 PM

You know, Houdini's tuxedos were made with sleeves that snapped on, so he could rip them off at a dramatic moment ... not a bad idea for today's magician!
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Postby Guest » 10/24/01 08:58 PM

Not a bad idea at all!
It would take a magician who rides the line of comedy and serious magic, a John Carney for example, to pull that off properly.
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Postby Guest » 10/30/01 10:00 AM

A buddy of mine actually had his tux altered so now it has short sleeves!
Getting a bit more on the topic I generally begin with a routine that uses audience participation with alot of laughs. Sponge balls usually gets the job done. I then do a couple of "just watch", sprinkled with participation, routines. As a closer either "Hypothetical Possibilities" or the Cups and Balls.
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Postby Guest » 10/30/01 03:05 PM

Jay
You perform Hypothetical Possibilities at the table? That a great piece of magic.
How many cups do you use in your routine? I'm just thinking table space.
Chris
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Postby Guest » 10/31/01 09:13 PM

Chris I do a three cup routine, always have. I am lucky in that table space generally isn't an issue where I work (they sit at my table). I will say that when I work regular venues and space is an issue then I would use my small aluminum cups. I have thought about trimming the routine to Two cups but I have been doing my current routine so long I I am very comfortable with the three.
Before I go on here is a funny story; I worked a party one evening with another magician who I hadn't met before. As we were both setting up he noticed me getting out my cups. He asked "You do the cups table hopping?" I nodded affirmative. He then exclaimed "You must be a real magician!" It just brings a smile to my face.
Chris I have posted on another thread that "Hypothetical Possibilities" is one of those speacial close-up effects that can also play for a group of thirty people. It is also one of the best 'Ambitious' card plots combined with the 'Card in Wallet' and a hook that people can follow. I love it!
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