Bar Magic is performed in bars, either seated in front of the bar with the customers, or behind the bar as a "magic bartender." It may also include restaurant magic if the bar has separate tables for customers.
Bar magic is often impromptu, making use of objects commonly found at bars (like glasses, straws, lemons, olives, knives, napkins, cocktail swords/parasols, dice, etc.), or objects brought there by customers (like matches, cigarettes, business cards, car keys, etc.).
Bar magic is usually direct and hard-hitting, often with an emphasis on humor. The effects are simple in plot so that customers who may have had a few drinks can still follow the action.
Because of the environment, bar magicians must posses excellent audience management technique, and must be able to roll with the punches as the unexpected often occurs.
There is also a related category known as Bar Bets where the performer makes a seemingly impossible bet, and then proves that it is possible.
There is a further sub-category of Bar Stunts which are feats or gags to surprise or amuse the crowd. A very few examples are napkin folds, the popular tying a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue, or the "ghost" that scuttles along the bar, made from a lemon covered with a napkin.
Noted practitioners include Matt Schulien, Heba Haba Al Andrucci, Johnny Paul, Senator Crandall, Jim Ryan, Eddie Fechter, Frank Everhart, Johnny Platt, Ernie Spence, Doc Eason, J. C. Wagner, Allen Okawa, Tom Mullica, Bob Sheets, Whit Hayden, Bill Malone, Scotty York, and Eric Mead.
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