Table Hopping Magician – Aspects of the Trade
‘Table hopping’ is so named because the manner that it entails is strongly reminiscent of a rabbit hopping around from one spot to another. Mainly used in context of restaurants, table hopping is a term that is coined to explain a magician’s modus operandi wherein he glides from one table to another for the purpose of showcasing his illusionary talent. ‘Killing two birds with one stone’ is how it is best described given the fact that both the magician and the restaurant stand to gain from it in terms of much needed exposure and enhanced reputation respectively.
That said it really does not take a genius to realize that table hopping is a low-scale version of a regular magic show and hence is fraught with certain specific issues like age, timing and charge all of which are discussed as follows –
Age – For an aspiring magician, table hopping offers a good opportunity wherein he not only stands to gain confidence but also but also realizes his follies.
There is a prevailing myth that age plays a seminal role in determining the success of a table hopping magician but as an expert would point out, there are two sides to the coin. While many magicians have taken the first tentative step in the world of professional magic through table hopping, its drawback in form of early exposure still remains a major hurdle. On seeing a 17-year old youngster performing magic, people in the audience tend to assume a know-it-all attitude and try to use his vulnerability to their advantage.
Obviously, the same does not hold good in case of an older magician since he is likely to be mature enough to handle and manage people and hence is not prone to being easily bullied. So if you are a youngster and wish to try table hopping, then it is imperative for you to build as much on your people skills and personal charm as your magical talent.
Timing – Much of your success as a table hopping magician depends on your timing of arrival at the table for the purpose of exhibiting your talent. In this regard, the best time is thought to be one when the diners have finished their meal and are mentally free to be looking out for entertainment while sipping coffee or are waiting for their food to arrive. In between meals or during placement of order are phases which should be avoided as your magic would then be treated as an unwanted distraction.
Charges – Everything comes for a price and so does magic but what varies is the amount that can be charged. A standard procedure in this regard recommends charging medium and flat rates for an ongoing package and striking a premium deal for a one-time performance.
What about the tricks to be performed while table hopping? Repeating the same trick at every table is a complete no-no since in addition to assuming a predictable air it turns out to be equally boring for the magician too. Therefore, efforts should be directed towards introducing variation at frequent intervals so that the routine remains an epitome of perfection without causing over-crowding at any particular table.