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Restaurant Magic Reader Review

Official Review

March 16th, 2009 11:03am
Reviewed by Tracy Atteberry
The Restaurant Magic Reader is a compilation of Jim Sisti's Magic on the Menu columns written for Magic Magazine (2002-2005) plus some essays printed elsewhere and even some previously unpublished articles.

If you're familiar with those articles, or Jim's excellent work with The Magic Menu then you've almost certainly ordered this book already and are just reading this review to pass the time until it arrives. I'm happy you decided to spend some of that time with us.

If you spend any time at all working in a restaurant or doing walk-around then don't waste time even thinking about it. Go buy the book now.

You won't find any tricks in The Restaurant Magic Reader (for that check out The Magic Menu) but you will find an invaluable collection of tips and advice for the restaurant or walk-around performer. In my opinion, any close-up worker will find more than their money's worth within these pages.

Don't get Magic Magazine? Not convinced yet? Well, I can tell you that this is one of those books that is dense with valuable information but let me try to give you a feel for it. Below is the table of contents for The Restaurant Magic Reader including the titles of all the contained essays:

  • Forward

  • Introduction

  • Beginnings

  • Getting Started

  • Choosing a Restaurant

  • Choosing Material

  • Choosing a Character

  • Apparel

  • Approaching a Table

  • Overcoming Preconceptions

  • More on the Approach

  • Working the Room

  • Working with Management

  • Working with Staff

  • Playing the Host

  • Working Large Tables

  • Performing for Children

  • Developing a Following

  • Special Occasions

  • Problem Patrons

  • A Horror Story

  • Tipping

  • Energy Levels

  • Changing Performance Modes

  • Psyching Up

  • Impromptu Magic

  • Keeping It Simple

  • Magical Souvenirs

  • Tricks Vs. Magic

  • Prop Maintenance

  • Close-Up Pads

  • Borrowing Objects

  • Performing for Other Magicians

  • Networking with Other Magicians

  • The Importance of Magic History

  • Promotion and Cross-Promotion

  • Outside Work

  • Business Cards

  • Burning Out

  • Magic in the Spectator's Hands

  • "Show Me a Trick!"

  • Respect for Other Performers

  • Touching

  • Adventures in a High School Cafeteria

  • Final Thoughts

I've pitching it pretty hard here, but don't get me wrong. The reader is probably going to disagree with Mr. Sisti a few times before they finish reading. I hope so, and I suspect that Mr. Sisti would hope so too. It proves the reader is thinking.

So, to sum up: If you're a close-up worker I think you'll enjoy this book. If you're a restaurant or walk-around worker then you should already own it.
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Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Restaurant Magic Reader

Author: Jim Sisti
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $30.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

The Restaurant Magic Reader collects the many articles and essays that Jim Sisti has written over the last 20 years on the subject of restaurant magic. Between these covers, you'll find thoughts and ideas on such important topics as choosing material, selecting a performing character, getting and keeping a restaurant magic engagement, working with the management and staff, handling problem spectators, promotion and cross-promotion, proper dress, tipping, and so much more.

While you will agree with some of the opinions expressed while surely disagreeing with others, it is all irrefutable written in the singular voice, one informed by years of experience, of someone who cares deeply about magic and its perception. The Restaurant magic Reader contains rich food for thought, worthy of consideration by not only restaurant magicians, but every walk-around performer.

Pages 184 - Softbound

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