The term table magician refers to someone who performs in a restaurant type of environment during a meal.
To help visualise this, imagine 80 guests, sat around 8 tables, eating a three course meal. The table magician will introduce himself to a table and give those seated at it a private ‘mini magic show’. The table magician will then move on to another group, sat around another table, and give them a unique magic show.
The above description would describe all table magicians, so in what ways do they differ.
The main things that differentiate between us table magicians are:
- our personalities
- our skills as a sleight of hand magician
- our skills as a performer
Although most of these are subjective. It is surprisingly common to find excellent sleight of hand ‘technicians’ who do not have the performance skill to hold an audiences attention. You can also find magicians who are entertaining as performers, but don’t have the magical skills to mystify anyone. What’s the point of booking a magician if you can see how everything is done?
Even if you find one of the few table magicians left who has both skills firmly under his belt, it still all comes down to personality! The table magician who is perfect for one audience could be a poor fit for a different group. I would strongly advise taking a look at as much video footage as you can. That’s the best way to get a feel for who you are hiring. If a table magician you are considering doesn’t have lots of video footage, then cross them off of your list. There’s no good reason for that these days. A serious professional magician simply has to have lots of video on his website.
Another thing …
Lots of table magicians will perform at a table while people are actually eating. I do not do this! If you want a magician to interrupt your guests as they are putting a fork full of food into their mouth, please ask someone else.
So when do you perform Mr Table Magician?
I will entertain your guests between the courses of their meal. Experience has shown me many times that it is incredibly distracting for your guests to try to watch a magic performance at the same time as they are eating their meal. Not only that, the whole situation just feels a bit rude and invasive. Would you want an entertainer introducing himself while you are chewing you dinner?
So you don’t like table magic?
On the contrary, it’s my favourite performing environment!
Explain yourself Mr Magic
Close up magic is my speciality. Performing at tables in a restaurant type environment is the absolute perfect setting for close up magic. I see it as my job as a table magician to be responsible for seeing the best times to perform for each group.
With our example above, with roughly 8 tables of 10 people during a three course meal, there is almost always 1 or 2 tables who are ‘between courses’. That’s my golden moment for a table. They will get their private magic performance, then I’ll go to the next table who are at the perfect stage of their meal.
This is probably the main skill of a table magician. Reading the room and planning the time to ensure that each and every table receives their individual performance of table magic at the perfect time for them.