Shadow Puppets with your hands

Always nice to know some shadow puppets you can make with your hands to amuse your (little) guests 🙂
According to the original caption, the various examples of hand shadow puppetry shown in this picture can be reproduced to cast on a wall the silhouettes of the following animals: a reindeer, a chamois, a ewe, a camel, a pig, a goose, a wolf, a goat, an elephant, a hare, a bear, an ox, a dog, a butterfly and an ass.

This picture was taken from the Dictionnaire encyclopédique Trousset, also known as the Trousset encyclopedia, Paris, 1886 – 1891 and found here.

Liza Minelli – New York New York

Sometimes at work, when I close my eyes, I’m standing on a huge stage with a big orchestra behind me performing theatrically this song 🙂 But when I open them I see some kids laughing about my silly arm movents with the beat 😀 This song will be of course part of “CrazyWaiter – The Musical” and maybe it will be a key turning point song. Why? Just come to the musical to find out 🙂

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Dinner For One

The sketch presents the 90th birthday of elderly upper-class Englishwoman Miss Sophie, who hosts a celebration dinner every year for her friends Mr Pommeroy, Mr Winterbottom, Sir Toby, and Admiral von Schneider. The problem is that due to Miss Sophie’s considerable age, she has outlived all of her friends, and so her equally aged manservant James makes his way around the table, impersonating each of the guests in turn. Miss Sophie decides on appropriate drinks to accompany the menu served by James, who finds himself raising (and emptying) his glass four times per course. That takes its toll, increasingly noticeable in James’s growing difficulty in pouring the drinks, telling wine glasses from vases of flowers, and refraining from bursting into song. (source)

The crucial exchange during every course is:
James: The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?
Miss Sophie: The same procedure as every year, James!

As CrazyWaiter it’s fun to impersonate people who are not sitting at the table. Have fun!

(met dank aan D.)

Expert Translation… or not?

This improvisation can also be done with real guests (or collegues), with real conversations. You “translate” what the other says by using you’re fantasy, in a real language or not. A lot of variations is possible, also depending on your own knowledge of the languages and inspiration. You can add up fun with non-verbal signs and face-expressions!

I do it also with collegues who speak Arab or Hindi in our break. Nobody understands them (included me), but I’m so kind to ‘translate’ for my colleagues. Ofcourse you use similar sounds, so when somebedy says ‘tingelingeling’, you translate it as ‘bell’ or ‘phone’.

Take care, not everybody likes to be fake-dubbed 🙂 That’s why it might be safer to do it with colleagues (warned or not warned by you) in front of the guests.

Here somebody speaks ‘Swedish’ about a Volvo and the other has to “translate”. It comes from Whose line is it anyway and the game is called expert translation.

This idea is also used in one of my favorite films ‘La vita è bella’

Playing with accents

Today I was seater. I take the guest to the table and explain the buffet:”et voila, l’entrée, l’entrée, plat chaud, dessert“. She:”attendez monsieur je vais le traduire pour les autres… l’entrée l’entréé plat chaud dessert“. WTF!!!

Being a polyglot isn’t easy, you have to fight against your accent because they don’t understand you. French is a very sensitive language in this matter and the Frenchies in general aren’t the most patient people (in contrary to Italians for example). But even in my motherlanguage I have a kind of accent (“You speak it perfectly, but where do you come from”) so maybe it’s me. 🙂

But as CrazyWaiter you can also play and improvse with it to amuse your guests. Amy Walker is doing 21 accents. After the jump she explains how to do it.


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The phantom of the restaurant

No no!!! Don’t touch that table! Underneath is the phantom, who will escape. He lets everything fall down. Don’t you see the little broken glass on the floor? It’s his work! No no! Don’t look underneath the napkin! It’s the spirit of a waiter who died from love hurt. His girlfriend, a beautiful Italian waitress fell in love with a chef and left. All the waiters will drop glasses if he’d escape from underneath!

Yesterday I had a lot of fun with a couple of curious kids who wanted to look underneath the napkin of a gueridon. And if you tell kids NOT to do something, yes you know, they’ll try to do it. Of course inspirated by the Phantom of the Opera

(Photo “Spook” by Rob Boudon, used and adapted under CC 2.0)

The CrazyWaiter Knows Everything

We are used to work a lot with people, so we are very good in reading them, since most communication is non verbal. Great fun is to play the mentalist. The CrazyWaiter Knows Everything!  In fact you use some tricks.

The most important is cold reading. Without prior knowledge of a person, a practiced cold reader can still quickly obtain a great deal of information about the subject by analyzing the person’s body language, age, clothing or fashion, hairstyle, gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or ethnicity, level of education, manner of speech, place of origin, etc. Also a knowledge of psychology (motives) and yourself are important for this. Who knows himself, knows the world!

Cold readers commonly employ high probability guesses about the subject, quickly picking up on signals from their subjects as to whether their guesses are in the right direction or not, and then emphasizing and reinforcing any chance connections the subjects acknowledge while quickly moving on from missed guesses.

Another technique widely used is shotgunning. This technique is named after a shotgun, as it fires a cluster of small projectiles in the hope that one or more of the shots will strike the target. Everybody has a relative who has diabetes.  All the Spanish girls are called “Anna“, “Martha” or “Carmen” and if the mother says it’s her, you say:”I knew there was a Carmen here

When you hear people talking about something in another place (eg the buffet) you can refer to this. “I see that your grandmamma is called Annabella“. Ofcourse you play with it by saying. “I see a lot of A’s” etc. This is called hot reading.

Also you can make use of the The Forer effect. You say something that looks specific for the person, but in fact it is general enough to apply to a lot of people. It helps when you use mainly positively things like “You have a great need for other people to like and admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself

The last common technique is the rainbow ruse. This is a crafted statement which simultaneously awards the subject with a specific personality trait, as well as the opposite of that trait. With such a phrase, a cold reader can “cover all possibilities” and appear to have made an accurate deduction in the mind of the subject, despite the fact that a rainbow ruse statement is vague and contradictory. An example is “Most of the time you are positive and cheerful, but there has been a time in the past when you were very upset.

Have fun!!! I see a waiter that is going to predict some nice things about his guests in his next shift…. 🙂

(part of the text is taken from the linked Wikpedia pages, under CC. Image published under PD. And here’s a nice WikiHow about Coldreading)