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Topic: Do You Allow Parents To Video Your Show?
Message: Posted by: James Fortune (Jan 27, 2004 04:28AM)
This seems to be a question that has two answers - Yes & No!

What I mean by this is that almost as many pros say "Yes" as say "No".

What's your view on this and why?
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jan 27, 2004 05:30AM)
Why not?

If you are asked and you say "no", that's only going to create ill will, above or below the surface.

There are those who are so protective of their routines and secrets that they won't allow anyone to tape their shows or take still pictures! A bit paranoid, I suggest.

And there are those who say that taping a show means that next year the parents will just play the show in the VCR instead of hiring you. Well, if the performers, parents, and kids can't tell the difference between a filmed and a live performance, I guess that's a reason for not doing it. But I suspect most people can tell the difference! LOL.

On the 'yes' side, assuming you are asked in the first place, you keep the parents happy, and they are the ones that are hiring you.

The only reason 99 per cent of them tape the show is as a memento of the birthday party. (Do you REALLY think you are that important that you would overshadow that event?) So let them, and don't be a "grinch".

To say "no" is just mean-spirited and small.

Of course, if they start taping and don't ask, use your own judgment!

Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: James Fortune (Jan 27, 2004 06:24AM)
Dear Peter,

How very wise.

I purposely didn't mention my views because I wanted others to comment first.

In my catchment area, is is common practice among the pros to disallow videoing of the shows. Indeed, a number of my friends (competitors?) will stop the show if a video camera pops up!

My view has always been similar to yours - why not?

I'm not a 'Superstar' with a £/$ multi-million marketing image to protect. The parent is filming his child, not me. (S)he's recording a happy event.

Now, I've often asked if they would send me a copy. They always say "Yes" but they never do. :lol:

Ah well ...

(BTW, if you don't agree, please feel very free to tell us so - and why)
Message: Posted by: Andini (Jan 27, 2004 06:35AM)
The situation has never come up but if it does, the answer is, "Absolutely!"

I can just see the day...the family sits together to watch some of there home movies and, what's this? A magician? Oh yeah! We had him at Billy's birthday last year. He was fun! I wonder if I still have his number...

I think you know where I'm goin' with this. :cool:
Message: Posted by: James Fortune (Jan 27, 2004 07:06AM)
Especially if your phone number is nicely and visibly displayed on your roll-on table! :goof:
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 27, 2004 07:44AM)
I certainly do because it is their show that they are paying for and the more they show the tape to others, it acts as an infomercial for me.

I just make sure I have my logo sign on my roll on case so that the entire film or pictures from the show always have my name and brand mark on it.

It is free advertising. I also can get some great footage from them if I do not get to film the show myself.

Message: Posted by: James Fortune (Jan 27, 2004 08:21AM)

Great stuff.

I just make sure I have my logo sign on my roll on case so that the entire film or pictures from the show always have my name and brand mark on it.

Do you just have your name & logo or your phone number as well.

I'm just about to have my roll-on repainted and definitely want my name and logo on it - but do I put my phone number on it as well?
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Jan 27, 2004 09:38AM)
I think we all have come across entertainers who are so full of themselves, - almost to the point whereby the Customers and their children are placed down the priority listings, - as if they are just funding the entertainer's desire to perform. Generally speaking I find that some of these individuals have very little worth photographing or videoing in the first place!

We are proud of the fact that there are videos/pics of us not only in the UK but also Japan, USA, Holland, Denmark, Australia, Canada etc. Looking at it another way, - we have now done 25 years and 2 months of entertaining, - wow, just think of all those pictures! Wonderful! :)
Message: Posted by: kenscott (Jan 27, 2004 10:09AM)
Birthdays: I do let them without a doubt. I mean I am in their house and I tell them they cannot use their video camera in their own house? To me that is crazy.

I do not allow any other shows such as schools, daycares, libraries, etc to be taped.

Message: Posted by: magiker (Jan 27, 2004 10:20AM)
I agree with Kyle.

Free advertising and a great way to reach others that may not know you exist.

Message: Posted by: A C Spectre (Jan 27, 2004 10:38AM)
The way I see it, I'm performing tricks invented by someone else and mass marketed. My routines for those tricks are a mix of some of my own thinking and things I have seen other performers do or what some other performer wrote up in the instructions for the trick. In reality what do I have to fear from someone video taping my shows? I think the risk of creating ill will with a paying customer by making a stink about it is not worth it. In the past I have even asked for a copy or to view the recording in order to critique my performance. Any time I have done this people have been more than happy to oblige me.

Being a part time performer, I don't have the benefit of a Security Detail for my shows, so even if I did prohibit video or still photography at larger shows (schools, churches etc.) it would be an unenforcable policy. Trying to case the joint for cameras while attempting to entertain at the same time just won't work.

If I am ever lucky enough to invent an illusion the sets the magic world on fire or I start to play sold out auditoriums worldwide I suppose it would be a concern. Until then, I won't get too excited about it.


A C Spectre

Message: Posted by: James Fortune (Jan 27, 2004 10:43AM)
Hi Ken,

I do not allow any other shows such as schools, daycares, libraries, etc to be taped.

Can I ask why?
Message: Posted by: glodmagic (Jan 27, 2004 10:44AM)
I addressed this in a similar thread.

What isn't mentioned above is that there are thousands of Birthday tapes of our performance in circulation. Most of these tapes go back several years.

As with any of you, I perform shows that are excellent, good bad, and Ugly! When it appears on tape it is immortalized AND a representation to a viewer of your quality.

I am not as concerned about protecting my routine, jokes, etc. but I always am concerned about this "record" of a show in terms of my quality.

It has worked both FOR and AGAINST me. I have heard parents say they booked me because they watched the entire show at the neighbors house on video. Although I have not heard it, I am pretty sure that one of my "less than perfect" shows have been reviewed as well.

Nearly EVERY show I see a person with a video camera aimed at me. This brings yet one more dimension. I was directed when doing TV specials to forget about the audience and play to the camera. At a Birthday I am looking at the floor much of the time because kids are seated there so a lot of video is my bald head!

Do I let someone use a camera on their own kid in their own house? You Bet I do! I have a special rider in the Birthday agreement about getting a copy.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jan 27, 2004 10:57AM)
I agree with Ken Scott. I do allow my birthday show to be videotaped or photographed. In fact, it is one of the issues I address when speaking with a parent, as it is often raised.

(By the way, I know some performers who offer to provide another person to make a special birthday video of the birthday party, especially the show. This can have titles quickly edited in, and can be left with the parent before you both leave the party. The performer provides the videographer, the videocamera, and the tape.)

For my other shows (non-birthdays), I have a policy of not allowing the show to be taped or photographed. Why? Because I have seen tapes of myself pop up on TV commercials, and photos of myself pop up in advertising, without my permission, and without receiving any modeling/acting fee. You should always be compensated if your image is being used in a commercial way, to make other people money. I am not referring to a newspaper taking my photo for a story, and not referring to pre-promotion of a certain event, with use of a photo you've supplied.

I also have a problem with some people recording me, without asking permission. This irks me, and strikes me as rude. If they ask me, then I let them do so, with the understanding that they will not use the images for commercial purposes. I will not interrupt a show if a person starts recording without permission, but I will make an effort to talk with them afterwards to encourage them to ask first next time.

- The Gr8 DonaldD.

P.S. I think your name and logo on your su-table is fine. In my opinion, your phone number on that same sign has crossed the line. Just one reason why, it's tacky. A second reason, what if you are working for an agent?... you should never give out any contact info for yourself at a show, if you are working for an agent. All business cards / phone numbers in that case should be theirs! This is appropriate business behaviour.
Message: Posted by: James Fortune (Jan 27, 2004 11:20AM)

what if you are working for an agent?... you should never give out any contact info for yourself at a show, if you are working for an agent. All business cards / phone numbers in that case should be theirs! This is appropriate business behaviour.

Absolutely right! I'd forgotten about that :goof:
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Jan 27, 2004 12:06PM)
I have signs written in dry marker that I hold up in front of the video before the show starts that say "Child's name & age" and (printed) Magician: Phillip Jones & my details.

This way it makes the video look good having the titling and I get my details over.

I always let them tape me!
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 27, 2004 12:19PM)
I do not have my phone number or anything like that as it gets to be too much. The only thing on the case is my logo that has our name. It is enough to remind people who we are and get people talking about us.

My roll on table is one by Joe Lefler so it has the fabric type of material on it. This is perfect for me because it excepts velcro really well. This allows me to make up my own signs and to also customize each sign to the show I am doing. It also allows me to change signs and store it better.

Message: Posted by: ralphdean (Jan 27, 2004 01:07PM)
A parent wondering around alot with a video can be distracting so when they ask if filming is ok you may want to suggest they not move around the room much.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jan 27, 2004 01:34PM)
Kyle - I do the exact same thing with my Lefler table.

- The Gr8 DonaldD.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 27, 2004 01:40PM)

Great minds think alike. =)

Message: Posted by: kenscott (Jan 27, 2004 02:02PM)

I don't allow schools, libraries ,etc. to tape my shows for several reasons.

First, one time my show was taped and they watched this tape over and over. Instead of hiring my out to another school this school got the tape from the other school and just showed this tape to the kids for the after school program from which I could have made $400.00 for that show.

You want your shows in this type of venue to be special in that they cannot just go and watch you on tape and see your show.

Another thing is if you have a bad show I don't think you want that tape going around.

But in birthdays I think it is safe to say they are just going to keep it for their enjoyment.

Message: Posted by: Christopher (Jan 27, 2004 02:05PM)
... Because I have seen tapes of myself pop up on TV commercials, and photos of myself pop up in advertising, without my permission, and without receiving any modeling/acting fee.

I agree. I had a show that I did regularly and one year they decided to go with someone that would do the appearance for 10% of my fee. Wouldn't you know that they used video from my previous performances to promote the event even though I wasn't performing.

For all of my parties, I have a taped series of introductions...10 min, 5 min, 3 min. They are humorous ways of introducing myself, preparing the audience for the show, and also stating my no video taping policy. I do not normally have a problem with still photos. I play this series for every show, having modified them for each type of venue.

My birthday message does not include the taping message, however. On my confirmation I list that taping is allowed for non-commercial viewing.

I personally think this sounds professional and should be included.
Message: Posted by: James Fortune (Jan 27, 2004 02:06PM)
Good points Ken.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Jan 27, 2004 02:14PM)
I have no problems with it. I like to know they are going to do it beforehand so I can make sure of the angles. Once a camera appeared (tada) 10 minutes into my show . The father walked up to the front to get a shot of the kids laughing then turned to film my multiplying balls from the side. Ooops, I bet that didn't look too magical on the rerun.

On another occasion when returning to a household after one year the Dad mentioned that a certain trick was great and said he still didn't know how it was done after watching it several times in slow-motion...

So I suppose (possible) exposure could be an argument against.
Message: Posted by: glodmagic (Jan 27, 2004 03:31PM)
At one time I had my phone number as a banner along with my name on my festival tent. It got a prominent spot in the newspaper. A photo of me performing, my name AND phone number.

The phone rang around the clock that week.

You can't pay for advertising that good!
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Jan 27, 2004 04:14PM)
I have no problem with videoing the show. It's a fact of life nowadays and it would cause offence if you didn't let them video littles Sarah's party.

I do ask them to talk to me first though, so I can ensure they don't distract the kids, and don't video from behind me.

Usually they don't video the whole show, only the parts with the birthday child in it. If they are videoing the lot they normally just set the camera up on a tripod and leave it running.

I don't worry about them just showing the tape next year and not booking me as if they don't book me someone else will so I haven't lost anything.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 29, 2004 12:02AM)
There was a time when I would not permit my show to be videotaped under any circumstances. Now, I have a different opinion, and I'll explain why.

I no longer perform at children's birthday parties, but if I did, I would not only allow it to be taped, I would INSIST upon it, and, in fact, I would tape it myself. Then I would offer a copy of it as a purchase option to the proud parent.

Why this approach? First, it makes sure that I don't have somebody behind me videotaping the gimmicks! That has happened to me on a couple of occasions. Second, by having a tape of the show, I have ironclad proof that I did NOT do anything out of order with little Johnny or Janie. If you don't think this is a real worry, ask a number of other fellows who do not perform for kid shows. Third, it's an extra source of revenue, if you can sell them a tape. This leaves them free to watch the show, and they don't have to worry about getting any part of it. It can be part of your marketing, also. A friend of mine in Houston picks up extra money for each show this way.

If I am performing at a Renaissance Festival, I allow only short segments of it to be videotaped. I do allow people to videotape their kids being levitated and things like that. I don't allow the whole show to be taped, because of a very common problem at this kind of show. This is the "local act stealer." While most of the people who live near Renaissance Festivals cannot afford to build the kinds of props I have, they can walk off with lines and bits of business. Friends, those are my bread and butter.

Some friends of mine, a group of jugglers called "The Flaming Idiots" told me that a couple of fellows came up to them after one of their shows and said, "The fellows at the juggling club in ******* really liked the videotape of your show. We are all doing your act now." They explained to these fellows that what they were doing was wrong and asked them to destroy all the copies of their tapes.

If you think this is big-headed, remember this: we earn our livings with our acts. The Flaming Idiots just finished an off-Broadway run.
Message: Posted by: kenscott (Jan 29, 2004 07:49AM)
Bill makes some great points however, people can steal your act but they cannot steal your style/charcter.

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 29, 2004 12:23PM)
Agreed Ken. Bill does make some very nice points and it is smart thinking in regards to adding something else to your marketing.

I also think that video taping your performances not only protects you, but is the one way you have of really evaluating every performance you do and learning from what went right and what went wrong. If you are like I am, you are constantly checking and double checking your show. You are making improvements and adding in bits of funny business when something that was improved went over so well. A video really helps with this entire process.

Message: Posted by: nums (Jan 29, 2004 01:15PM)
I always allow taping and agree with most of the pros and cons, I do however have a rather amusing story (at least I think it is).

I was performing for a child's birthday and dad was a big techno-geek (for lack of a better term). He had set up two cameras and a few mikes while I was setting up. As I was starting my show, I introduced myself and stated due to copyright I do not allow videotapping of my show. The look on this guys face was priceless and we all got a big laugh.

The show went on and I have been back to their house to do it again.


Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 29, 2004 02:14PM)

That is great. =)

What is also nice is that sometimes you can get a copy of the tape as well in case you do not get a chance to video tape the show yourself. I think most people do not mind doing you the favor since you are allowing them to film you.

Message: Posted by: glodmagic (Jan 29, 2004 03:19PM)
That was the part I left out. Here is an exact Cut and Paste from my final confirmation. Feel free to use it because I always believe that uniformity in our business is to my advantage as well:

"Video is OK from the audience point of view only (straight on) and ONLY IF A COPY OF THE TAPE IS PROVIDED TO US. You agree such tape is for personal use and may not be made public without written permission of Magician Walter Glod."

I used to lug in my own camera to every show but now I get a FREE tape of it AND I know EXACTLY what is on the tape that they have (if exposure happened).
Message: Posted by: Snidini (Jan 29, 2004 11:36PM)
There have been some great points brought up here and I for one don't mind being video taped. Here's why. First, if an adult is taping (which usually happens), and I am doing a children's party, it is my insurance policy that someone cannot accuse me of any wrong doings. It's all on video. Unfortunately these days, if you look wrongly at someone, touch or say something inappropriate, you can be held liable in a court of law. I always ask to have a copy and they usually oblige and for the most part, it has helped me to promote my show to friends and relatives of those who taped me. Now, on the other hand if I were truly professional and had an act that was being performed in theatres, Vegas showrooms or theme parks, then I may have to say the obligatory "NO". I think at the birthday level it's your choice to accept or deny.
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Jan 30, 2004 01:05AM)
I can see not allowing a stage show to be video taped but I always allow my birthday shows to be taped for reasons already given.

Heck why not? Good advertising!

I never thought of taping it myself as an additional marketing tool. Very good idea Bill!

In addition to the reason Bill mentioned, it would be a good tool to review your shows if you needed to.
I use a digital camcorder so if I were to do my own taping I would still need to transfer it to a VHS tape before giving it to the family. So arrangements would have to be made to mail it at a later date.

I don't see a big need taping the show for your own safety sake. I don't think I've ever done a show where adults/parents weren't present. I guess it still couldn't hurt in today's paranoid society.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jan 30, 2004 11:14AM)
On 2004-01-29 01:02, Bill Palmer wrote: Third, it's an extra source of revenue, if you can sell them a tape. This leaves them free to watch the show, and they don't have to worry about getting any part of it. It can be part of your marketing, also. A friend of mine in Houston picks up extra money for each show this way.[/quote]

Hey Bill, it's great to know that professionals think alike.

I said the exact same thing in my post on page 1 of this thread, above your post (I think I am the 14th post down).


- The Gr8 DonaldD.
Message: Posted by: mattisdx (Feb 6, 2004 11:46PM)
You gotta let them videotape it. then their kids will rewatch it over and over, and show it to other people, upping your chance of getting a lot of re-hire's for other events and new clients :D
Message: Posted by: WayneNZ (Feb 7, 2004 01:20AM)
I've never let people video my show.

I only live in a small city (40,000) and I've learned that too much exposure is a bad thing.

E.g. If I'm at a public event with free entry, not many people will book a paid show for a while.

Their reason: why pay when we can see you for free?

Keen to hear from others with any ideas etc.
Message: Posted by: rxwookie (Mar 31, 2004 08:11PM)

Birthday Shows: Mom/Dad can tape, however I ask them if I can show them where to do it from. (Angles, etc.) The best way I've found to do this gently is to let them know if I specify where the camera is, I can have the birthday kid facing the camera without obstruction when they are on stage.

I also find out if they are going to tape the whole thing or not. If so, I get a copy as stated in the agreement. If not, I make sure to provide my own set-up.

School, Stage, Etc: I provide my own camera set-up and ask that no other taping be done without my express consent. I also take down contact information for those interested so that once I've edited in titles and such, I can sell them a copy for a nominal fee.

Copyrighting: At the beginning of each tape I make, there is a copyright notice (kinda like you would see in movie rentals) so I have a way of recourse if it is used inappropriately.

Having every show taped allows you to go back and "review the film" and become better. You can also have a demo of an interesting (or) excellent response to a single illusion that you provide as an example of the quality show you are doing.

Lastly, anyone in local magic rings/clubs (IBM, SAM, etc) should consider allowing (part or all of) recent tapes to be viewed for constructive criticism. If you don't feel you need it, you can show it for newcomers and give them an example of "how it's done".

Just my 2 cents.
Message: Posted by: DarryltheWizard (Mar 31, 2004 09:05PM)
I have received copies of the tape and used parts of them for a live performance demo. I have recently purchased a DVD handycam and I have taken it to larger shows to get some live audience reaction and also to see any weaknesses present in new routines. I wouldn't allow someone to tape a larger show unless I had some say as to the position of the camera. I also found that most amateurs don't hand hold a camera too well. It can make you seasick with the jerky movements and the zooming in and zooming out.
Darryl the Wizard
Message: Posted by: itsmagic (Apr 1, 2004 02:25AM)
Wouldn't you get into any legal issues when you do the videotaping in a big show and use the footage for commercial purposes, namely promos and demo footage? Normally don't you have to get consent from people you are filming? I did show for a group of second graders and couldn't film the event because I needed to get prior written consent from their parents before any taping could be done.

Funny thing is that the teacher took some still pictures and posted them in her classroom for parents to see during Open House (or Open Classroom?) So worked out quite well w/free advertising.

The Gr8 Donald, you said your friend does not allow parents to record the show, but the magician can video tape himself and offer it to the parents of birthday child for a price. How does he approach this in a way that doesn't offend the parents? And how much does he sell the tape for?
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Apr 1, 2004 08:50AM)
On 2004-04-01 03:25, itsmagic wrote:
The Gr8 Donald, you said your friend does not allow parents to record the show, but the magician can video tape himself and offer it to the parents of birthday child for a price. How does he approach this in a way that doesn't offend the parents? And how much does he sell the tape for?[/quote]

I'm not sure if I exactly said my friend would not allow parents to record the show at a birthday party (if I did, please show me).

I did, however, state that my friend records it for parents who want that service. I think he charged the parents an extra $50 if they wanted this service, and only taped if the parents requested this add-on to their birthday package. This was all arranged on the phone, before he went to the home. He only brought the cameraperson when it was appropriate.

A student would come in with the camera, tape the show, quickly edit in titles before and after, and simply hand the VHS tape to the parents as he left out the door. The student was paid a certain fee out of that $50, the entertainer keeping the rest (cost of camera use, cost of videotape, fee to arrange this bonus, etc). No copy of the tape was kept by the magician, and the one and only tape was given to the parent for non-commercial, home-use only (this is why the parents of the birthday guests did not need to be asked permission, I think).

I hope that addresses your question about videotaping a birthday party show, for profit.

About non-birthday shows: Here is how I would expand on your comment about the classroom show. Many schools and daycares have written policies about their students photos being taken. This policy includes videotaping. Some reasons are for privacy, some are for the protection of the student (some parents need to keep their child safe from the other parent who wishes to abduct the child. There are court restraining orders against the other parent, and they may not even know where their child is. It's true!) These policies are in place for a reason.

If you are going to videotape a public show, or even a private show, for your own COMMERCIAL use, you will need to seek the parents' and guardian's permission. Or put it on your contract that you will be filming the show, and have your customer's understanding and permission. You'll also need to announce it before the show, that you are taping, and that anyone who doesn't want to be filmed, should leave. In the latter case, you are still running into a grey area (use of video of individuals, aka volunteers, is more risky than a group audience shot). In reality, they are a model. Although it is your show, you are still using their image to promote yourself, for your COMMERCIAL purposes. That's why you are taping it, right? Also, some people don't want their picture being used without permission for other reasons.

(Magician Kirk Charles has model release forms in his book, "Standing Up Surrounded".)

The fact that news crews (TV and newspapers) can film and take photos, and use them, is different. Perhaps someone will explain why. I've already gone on too long for now.

Hope this helps.

- Donald.

P.S. Diclaimer: The above is not a legal opinion. If you need professional legal council on this matter, please seek out the appropriate professionals.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Apr 1, 2004 06:07PM)
My problem is that parents don't want to film my show, they want to film their kids. This usually involves coming up onto the stage and standing next to me and filming.

Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Apr 1, 2004 06:34PM)
There are probably only a few people who recall the "rules" stated in a contract. Especially for those who use multiple page contracts.

Nicholas, do you ask them AT THE SHOW, immediately before the show, not to come to the performing area during the show? Have you tried the idea of masking tape on the floor as a "stage" barrier to get the message across, and go through the rules that no one is to cross the tape, unless invited? (The kids will do the job for you of telling the adults to keep behind the line! :))

You could always go impromptu at that point, say "Uh-oh, he crossed the line. Now I'm going to make his video camera disappear!" Take the camera, then pull out your Wiz-kote Illusion, and "burn" it to a crisp. (Or you could vanish it using a take-apart dove box.) Talk about a memorable message about crossing the line. Just joking! :D Hehehe! Yeah, people always love it when you do magic with their "borrowed" object!

- Donald.
Message: Posted by: kenscott (Apr 1, 2004 06:58PM)
I don't get it. The audience shots are some the best ones. Parents want to capture the kids reactions. It would be one thing if the KIDS are not laughing or not enjoying your show.

I, too, use a masking tape line on the floor and for the most part parents stay back to take pictures and video. However, if I see that they are getting good crowd reaction shots, I ask them if I can pay for a copy. Those shots are PRICELESS.

At a birthday they are not having the birthday for US they are there for the children. We are just HIGH priced baby sitters.

Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Apr 1, 2004 08:38PM)
I agree with you Ken.

For me, when I was thinking of Nicholas' situation, I thought of the very few times it has happened to me. At those times, the parents came right up and stood right beside me, or behind my su-table, as I was performing. (They were an obvious distraction for me and the kids.)

Personally, I like a little personal space when doing my show, unless I make the choice.

- Donald.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Apr 1, 2004 08:53PM)

Your post reminds me of when I saw Ian Rowland perform last year. Before the show he came on with a camera and asked whether he could get the cut away reactions BEFORE the show. He got everyone laughing and clapping before he started and filmed it!

It was a great warm up!
Message: Posted by: James Fortune (Apr 2, 2004 02:20AM)
This thread is becoming most interesting. Thanks everyone for contributing your views.

I have tried asking a video-taping parent for a copy of the tape, they always say "Yes" but I -never- receive it. I don't nag because I feel that's bad business.

Ah well.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Nov 2, 2004 01:19AM)
They do it anyways, without asking.
Message: Posted by: Derek Rutt Creations (Nov 2, 2004 02:30AM)
Well my view is that they have paid for it so let them have the pleasure of keeping it ....providing it is not done professionaly in order to publish it. It will make no difference to your bookings .....in fact it could improve them when they show it to their friends.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Nov 2, 2004 03:33AM)
In fact it could improve them when they show it to their friends.

Hey that's a good point, thanks Derek. My wife told me a teacher was filming my last show and she overheard her say "I need to rewind this to see where the rabbit went."
Message: Posted by: andrew martin (Nov 2, 2004 04:15AM)
I let them tape the show. Most of the time they don't tape the whole show.
But what I do and you may use this almost at the end of the show I look right into the camera and say,If you enjoy this show and want more info. you can go on my web site at http://www.anderwmartinmagic.com . It gets a big laugh.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Nov 2, 2004 06:18AM)
As for news crews, they are allowed in public venues to air a certain amount of time. Like a performance of a concert or legitimate theater, news crew are allowed to air so many minutes of that performance. Now how much film they really shoot it another matter.
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Nov 2, 2004 06:56AM)
They can video the "special trick" with their child, and nothing else.

Unless you plan on changing your birthday party every time you do it.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Nov 2, 2004 04:52PM)
Doesn't Equity say your not allowed to be videtaped withour permission? My friend takes £20 if they want to record him.

Message: Posted by: Billy Whizz (Nov 3, 2004 02:46AM)
On 2004-11-02 17:52, magic_matt wrote:
My friend takes £20 if they want to record him.


I wouldn't expect your friend gets much repeat work with that kind on attitude Matt!
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Nov 3, 2004 09:50AM)
He does suprisingly :) He is good just he doesn't like people recording him.

Message: Posted by: Jay Kaye (Nov 4, 2004 05:02PM)
Hi all, great thread,

Having a rider on your agreement/contract lets the parents know exactly where they stand prior to the event (whether you choose to allow video taping or not) and avoids the debate occurring on the childs big day, something that might spoil the event to some degree.

Appearances at company picnics or other such gigs need a different approach but I find that each case has to be assessed on its own merits.
Message: Posted by: muzicman (Nov 4, 2004 07:44PM)
Ever had a hidden camera tape your show? One of my co-workers wife actually hired a stripper to embarrass her husband at work. She dressed as a cop and acted like he was getting a ticket. The rule was "No pictures or video allowed" per the agreement the wife had with the performer. Knowing this in advance, the wife got 3 camera's from different angles since she got to pick when and where she would perform. If your answer was "No" to the first question, how would you know? And if you did discover one half way through your act, would you ruin the show, or the event by insisting it be turned off? It would be within your right, but in the end is it worth it?

I agree with many above. Private parties are one thing, public performances are another. There are some really tiny, remote camera's available these days over the internet. You can fight it, or you can embrace it. Fact is, if a parent wants to tape a show, you can't stop them if they are determined...because you will never KNOW!
Message: Posted by: MDS (Nov 4, 2004 10:14PM)
On 2004-01-27 11:09, kenscott wrote:
Birthdays: I do let them without a doubt. I mean I am in their house and I tell them they cannot use their video camera in their own house? To me that is crazy.

I do not allow any other shows such as schools, daycares, libraries, etc to be taped.


I am the exact same way....
Message: Posted by: leefoley3 (Nov 5, 2004 08:28PM)
On 2004-02-07 02:20, WayneNZ wrote:
I've never let people video my show.

I only live in a small city (40,000) and I've learned that too much exposure is a bad thing.

E.g. If I'm at a public event with free entry, not many people will book a paid show for a while.

Their reason: why pay when we can see you for free?

Keen to hear from others with any ideas etc.

You think YOU live in a small town?! Try a population of 12001. That's my situation. I concider myself a "seasoned amatuer" but would love to become semi-pro. Your post has made me think about whether or not I would allow recordings of my performances. It has never been mentioned as I have only to perform at parties. This past Friday night my wife and I were invited to a party and many of my wife's co-workers requested in advance that I "do some magic". Of course I was pleased to do so and I am just beginning to make some kind of name for myself. It was the first party that my audience consisted primarily of kids (ranging in age from approx. 10 yrs to 18 yrs old). I am pleased to say that everything went well. I have said for some time that I didn't think I would want to perform for children for a variety of reasons. When it comes to the very young I've always felt that my material which consist primarily of cards and coins (although I do have more than just a few "general" magic effects/routines) would be difficult for small kids to follow. Depending on age some kids do not realize that someone can not actually make something disappear and they may not know enough about cards (suits, how many cards are in a suit, what four of a kind is, what happens to a deck when it is shuffled, etc.) These have been the primary reasons for being unsure with the little ones.

Being that I live in such a small town I am literally the ONLY magician in town. That is unless someone has yet to come out of the magical closet!

Considering all I have read in this post. I am very unsure if I would want an entire performance video taped. I see no problems with photography (still pictures) being taken. This has happened in the past and I recieved only positive responses from these.

I think this thread is great and am very glad I checked it out. Let's face it, if I do take the next step and focus on becoming semi-pro and putting a little extra in the wallet, I now think I will definately have to reconcider my feeling about the young ones. I would probably be called on more for them than adult parties.

Thanks gang for getting the wheels turning once again. You are all awesome and I appreciate the sharing. This thread alone might just make me or break me (depending on my decision, which is leaning toward the kids since reading this thread.)

The Café rocks and so do the patrons!! :bwink:
Message: Posted by: RonCalhoun (Nov 12, 2004 11:31AM)
Why not let people tape?

I allowed a school to tape me and next thing you know I’m on cable TV. This Happened twice.

I booked a Blue-Gold banquet once and got a call only days before the event to cancel the program. Why? Because a birthday Dad who I had allowed to tape my birthday show had decided to help the Pac save money, and they had shown the tape last week and hired another performer for the banquet.

By the way he wanted me to know how much all the kids had really enjoyed the tape.

Once I was booked to do a 40-minute program. However, upon arrival I discover everything had been pushed back at least 30 minutes. When I started 50 minutes later they ask my if I could cut it a little short because of the time problem. So I did a 30-minute show and everyone was happy.

Everyone was happy until a month later when the guy who asked me to cut it short called and asked for some of his money back. You see the contact said 40 minutes and the tape had only a 30-minute show. “Cut the show short? Why would I tell you to do that?”

Please remember I’m NOT telling anyone what to do. In fact I didn’t even tell you what I do. But I did answer the question, Why Not.
Message: Posted by: paulajayne (Nov 20, 2004 10:00AM)


A cancellation within 7 days of my show is 100% payable - 14 days 50% - and 28 days 25% (Lost Depost).

Also I have riders in the contract that cover my performance time and ammendments to that time.

Basically if I turn up to a gig and they have not cancelled me beforehand by phone and in writing then they pay.

In London some times I have two shows on the same night. So I cover the "Oh we have moved you to the 10pm spot instead of the 8:30 pm spot" situstion.

Many years ago a DJ/Compare friend of mine did a very big show on a US Airforce base here in the UK.

The show was booked to finish at 1 am - he was asked to play on unit 2 am and then 3 am - which he did - The place was hopping and it all went down very well.

Came the time to get paid -(£2500) - No payment arrived, he chased up the event organiser, the guy who asked him to play on until 3 am.

The reply was "Sorry you are in breach on contract, your contract was until 1 am and you performed until 3 am" - He never got paid.

Contract everything you can think of - down to food and drink -

Message: Posted by: RonCalhoun (Nov 23, 2004 05:33PM)
[b]Hi Paula I'm posting here because your PM is full.[/b]

First, thank you for you comments in “The Magic Café Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Do You Allow Parents To Video Your Show?”

Some of the problems I had talked about happen sometime ago and I was trying to answer the Why Not Allow Parents To Video Your Show Question.

I still say thanks for your information however.

I'm including a part of my current contract if you want please look it over.

8. Payment terms: Balance payable on scheduled date of event. A 10% surcharge is added to total fee if balance is delayed. All request for changes as to date, time and/or services must be made in writing and approved by RON CALHOUN before event date. RON CALHOUN's services are booked rain or shine. Purchaser forfeits deposit if services are canceled at any time. Purchaser is liable for 50% of contact fee if service are canceled between 45 and 90 days of the first day of event. Purchaser is liable for total contract fee if services are canceled with less than 45 days notice.

Balance payable on scheduled date of event. - this use to read “at the conclusion of the program” but if they cancel then the program never had a conclusion.

RON CALHOUN's services are booked rain or shine. - I use to book a lot of company picnics enough said.

less than 45 days notice - 95% of my show are booked within this limit which means 100% payment is due

Thanks again,

Message: Posted by: paulajayne (Nov 23, 2004 05:58PM)

I have fixed my PM messages.

Your contract looks fine and 45 days is fine. I also like your rain/shine clause.

I also include items such as: -

1. Parking
2. Food and Drink for any crew/assistants and myself.
3. Power requirements - and the fact that I will test the supply prior to plugging in my equipment.
4. Performance times and limitations if there is a delay.
5. Fire equipment - although I carry some extinguishers I err on the safe side.
6. Non Disclosure agreement.
7. Access to stage area when I am set-up and during performance.
8. Assistance in getting equipment into and out of venue and use of lifts (this is required in central London).
9. Space requirements on stage and for my sound desk and engineer (When I use one).
10. Cancellation due to fire, flood ETC.
11. Dressing room / area.

Basically I try to cover everything but phrase it in a positive way in that meeting these requirements will help to ensure that they have a good and safe show.

You may say I NEVER have problems parking - but one day you will and if you have it covered then you are OK.


Message: Posted by: Daegs (Nov 30, 2004 04:37AM)
"6. Non Disclosure agreement."

Just wondering, does this apply to disclosing your rates?

Or if they see something they shouldnt?

Just wondering because I've never seen a non-disclosure agreement in a contract before.

Parking is a big deal, especially in the city where the closest lot is $10-$20 dollars.

I personaly say something such as "will cover any parking fee's(non-valet)".

Some clients were turned off because they expected I would run them up for valet parking.... go figure. Anyway so added that in and haven't had any problems.

But that is very important depending on your location, especially in situations where there isn't any convienient parking near the venue, and you have a case or 2(or more) to carry.

[quote]Once I was booked to do a 40-minute program. However, upon arrival I discover everything had been pushed back at least 30 minutes. When I started 50 minutes later they ask my if I could cut it a little short because of the time problem. So I did a 30-minute show and everyone was happy.[/quote]

Try including a clause such that $50 dollars(or whatever based upon your fee) is payable for every 15 minutes your show is pushed back at the performers discretion. That way you can give them a free ride but still show them that you can't be kept waiting without repercussions.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Nov 30, 2004 08:19AM)
I think that the only time a Magician will not let their show be taped is, when they are not sure of their show and are afraid they will mess up and someone will see how the trick is done. If you are confident and are a good entertainer, you will let them tape the show.
Message: Posted by: Julian Kestrel (Dec 22, 2004 05:18PM)
Technology is not license. Just because one has the ability to preserve an event does not mean that one has the right to do so. When a person buys a ticket for a show or hires a performer for a one time event they are contracting for an "ephemeral" experience.

If they say they want to tape it so Aunt Ruthie in Pasadena can see it then it needs to be pointed out that showing up has its own rewards.

At both the Metropolitan Opera and at the Lion King I have seen people with Technology overstep their rights. I have also seen their tapes impounded and their bodies escorted out the door.

Whether I am playing in a private or public event I do not permit video taping or audio recording. The Primary reason being that the work is mine and the secondary reason being that I maintain control over my image and representations of my work. Most Professionals do.

Also if they are so keen to see the show again they should rebook it or reccomend it to their friends.

There is also something called "context" and very few perfomances survive the amateur videographer very well. When Capturing the Friedman's came out on film, many children's performer in NYC shuddered as to how a pat on a child's shoulder might be reinterpreted on a homevideo.

Still Photographs are another matter and those I approve of when the right moments have been cleared in advance.


Julian Kestrel
Message: Posted by: RonCalhoun (Dec 22, 2004 09:53PM)
On 2004-11-30 09:19, Wolflock wrote:
I think that the only time a Magician will not let their show be taped is, when they are not sure of their show and are afraid they will mess up and someone will see how the trick is done. If you are confident and are a good entertainer, you will let them tape the show.

Wolflock, How many show do you do per year?
Message: Posted by: Dr. Faust (Dec 23, 2004 10:00PM)
I suppose that, when doing magic for children, often at a party for which you have been paid, you must accept videotaping as a requirement, whether you like it or not. Yes, you could always still refuse to be taped, but how much of a magician does that make of you, in the field in which you have chosen to do your work. Therefore, I'd say that anyone who doesn't want to be videotaped by parents should choose another area of magic. If you insist on resisting in this area, I'd suggest making this known to the parents up-front, before they give you any money. At least they then know the deal in advance. That's my humble opinion.


Dr. Faust
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Dec 24, 2004 09:23AM)
I always allow them to video tape the show. After all it is them who are hiring me to provide a service to them. Letting them video tape the show only helps me to build a better relationship with the client.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 27, 2004 01:25AM)
I don't really do childrens birthday parties if I can help it. Therefore, I'm not the willing "movie star" that some of you are. I never object to still pictures.

However, one of the things as a stage performer I use to sell my talent buyer is the fact that I will not compete with you by selling videos of this act. Therefore, I also cannot allow videos of this act. Another problem is that if I allow you to record the show, I have also allowed you to record the music. I do not own that right in some cases. Don't record my show. Yet, I will admit that I will allow the news people to get a small bite of the show for broadcast. Likewise, for commercials and fundraising ventures, I will even go to the TV station and do tricks one the air to promote the ticket sales.

But for the most part, recording is my poprty and it is not tobe shared at this time. Life changes. Someday I may change my mind. I've only been a magician forty-four years.

Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: dchirlin (Jan 28, 2008 03:31PM)
Has anyone ever had the reverse problem? Videotaped their own performance at a residence for later advertising use (whether on a website or videotape) and then been confronted with an upset parent for the publicity of their home or children? Even when the videotaping was obvious to all spectators?
Message: Posted by: magicmarkdaniel (Jan 28, 2008 04:14PM)
I have never recorded a show at a private party. If I need the show recording for whatever purpose, I have good connectons with a local primary school with full stage facilities. Once a year I put on a free BIG show with dancers and a guest singer, but if I just wanted a smaller show recording I would offer them a free standard show. Most schools are covered against the use of photography and video recording but they put it into their school newsletter just in case. The big show I did last year, I put up signs in the entrance just to be on the safe side stating that the show will be recorded. It worked out well as I offered to do two shows for them last September on two consecutive days. They took the profits from the first and I took the profits from the second.

Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Jan 28, 2008 11:43PM)
Personally I don't mind beong video taped...I actually like it and add some comedy lines about the video during the act :)

But...the problem in Manila parties is that parents hire profesional video coverage people...meaning these people will have a copy of your act and in some cases I'm personally aware of, some of these videos are sold to other magicians who want to see your act for whatever reason they may have :(

When I was starting out twenty years ago...I bought myself a Lou Hilario video from a video coverage guy...the video helped me a lot in changing my style...

... but twenty years after, its now my video that is being sold to newbies.

I don't mind being watched by peers...in fact I do seminars, lectures and workshops...its just that some of them copy you verbatim and that's a bummer.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jan 29, 2008 12:04AM)
I never allow sound or video recording of my shows. Yet I have experienced some being used. I do allow all the still photos they want.

In my voice over (called the 2 minute warning) before the show recording is specifically prohibited.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: AntonDreaming (Jan 29, 2008 08:10AM)
Paula Jayne,

The situation with your DJ friend is not realistic at all. Im not saying it didn't happen but "over performance" is not a breach of contract. At least not in the situation you explained. Please see below...

The basic rule is that parties to contracts must perform as specified
in the contract unless (1) the parties agree to the change in the
contract's terms, or (2) the actions of the party who deviates from
the terms of the contract are implicitly accepted ("ratified") by the
action or non-action of the other party.

These two rules are true for your friend. The agreement was changed on the spot and accepted by both parties and at no point did the organiser attempt to stop the DJ.

I am fairly certain that if your friend went to court he would easily win. No matter how much denial on the event planners part it is hard to belive that the DJ simply "played for an extra 2 hours despite peoples objections".

If I was the DJ I would have gotten that money... He let that planner walk over him.