Do you ever internally ask any questions when you arrive to do close up magic? It’s important that you take moment to look around the area you are going to be working and consider your surroundings. It’s easy to forget the real reason people are sat around the table for the evening:
8 Questions to ask yourself:
After you have arrived at the venue, take a moment to look around the room you will be performing in. Answer the following 8 questions:
- The Layout – Is there room to move between tables?
- Blackspots – Are there places with limited viability or bad angles?
- The Serving Flow – Where do the waiting staff enter and exit the room?
- Waiting areas – Where are the best places to wait when speeches or awards take place?
- VIP Tables – Where will the client be sitting?
- Bag Corner – Where can my magicians case/bag be stored and easily accessed?
- Table sides – Which side of each table would be best to perform from, to get the best visibility, yet providing shielding from the other tables?
- Table Time – How many tables will I need to do, and how much time can I allow per table?
Dominic Reyes talks about checking out the venue when arriving at a gig
Understanding the layout of the room and the places that you should avoid, so you are not in the way of the waiting staff, will mean you can quickly move around the room without getting in the way of anyone.
It’s much easier to do this BEFORE the guests fill the room, so make it a habit to arrive a few minutes earlier, so you can walk through the venue and note these points.
Remember that you are NOT the most important member of staff in the room. The guests are there to eat and chat, your job as a magician is to entertain them IN-BETWEEN these primary activities. If waiters come to clear plates, stop and let them take over the table.
Careful planning, once you understand the serving flow, will mean you can work the opposite side of the room from the food being served, but sometimes a table will need to be cleared, while you are there. Let it happen and be happy about it. If you act annoyed that you have been interrupted, it comes across as ‘self important’.
Taking the time to scout out the venue and answer the 8 questions above will mean that you will face less unpleasant surprises at your gigs and will work much better with the restaurant staff.