Title: The Definitive Guide to Restaurant Magic
Author: Wayne Goodman
Publicist: Wayne Goodman Entertainments
Retail Price: $30.00
Reading Difficulty: Easy
• Soft Cover
• Over 86 pages of material
Restaurant magic has been the bread and butter for many working magicians, but trying to break into the “biz” can be painful for some. Good thing we’ve got Wayne Goodman, a comedy close up and parlor magician on hand to show us the ropes! In his book The Definitive Guide to Restaurant Magic he shows you step by step everything you need to know, and a few things you need to avoid, to get steady work table hopping at bars and restaurants in your own town.
Anyone who is familiar with working in a restaurant table hopping as a magician will tell you it’s a tough job. You never encounter the same type of audience twice in the same evening, and you’ll see everything from unruly kids who just want to know how it’s done to the gracious lovers of magic whom we all want in our audiences. But getting these gigs, and then keeping them can be a challenge! You’ve got to know how to approach business owners, how to approach tables, how to collect tips, how to structure your show so it works on the move, pocket management, set construction and selection of material. It’s a full time job!
In his book Wayne talks about everything you want to know. He discusses subjects like residency vs. a gig, being in the performers union, liability insurance, set selection, his recommendation for tricks to perform, how to approach a table, how to get the gig, what to do on your first night, and even performance contracts. This book is cover to cover a gold mine for anyone interested in doing restaurant or bar magic as a profession.
On the down side this book is published in England and thus written from a British performer’s point of view. So references to money, how much you should charge, etc. are all in British pounds. If I had to pick this apart for something wrong, that’s the one thing I’d go after. The only other annoying thing is the book doesn’t have page numbers or a table of contents so any kind of quick references isn’t going to happen.
Overall there are very few books on the business side of magic out there that I’d openly recommend to someone wanting to learn how to make money doing what they love: magic. This is one of those books. There’s enough information to get you going in here, and Wayne really hits some strong points towards the end with Equity, and General Liability Insurance. Something I think a lot of magicians don’t even think about considering. I’m glad I picked this book up. It’s a quick but valuable read!
When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Readability and Overall Quality.
Product Quality: 9
Good price for excellent tips and tricks. This book belongs in your collection. It won’t teach you how to do magic tricks but it will teach you how to become a better magician.
Teaching Quality: 8
Wayne is able to keep things real while keeping things interesting. It’s a quick read, and one you’ll want to read over and over again.
This book will either live in your brief case, your nightstand, or your bathroom because you’ll be reading this frequently.
Over All Quality: 8
For such a small book, it packs a punch. I recommend it.