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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Party on a school night: and other things I am blaming on the parents (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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toomuchmagic
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After every show, I mail out a thank you note along with a performance evaluation, on which I ask if I may have permission to use them as a reference in the future. Even still, I called them to tell them someone wanted a reference and if I may have permission to give out their info. While the video thing may work for you I am not a fan of the idea. I try to run my business and treat my clients like the way I would like to be treated. If I hired someone to come to my house and perform and they shoved a camera in my face right after looking for compliments, I would not be pleased. I prefer to have honest feedback about my show so I know if and what I have to change. Putting people on the spot may not produce genuine responses.

I have yet to put up any clients quotes on my website or promo material either. I never believe these things when I read them, and I don't expect others to believe mine. Who is to say they aren't misquoted or completely fabricated. John Doe nobody saying, "Joe Schmoe is the best magician I ever saw" does not mean Joe Schmoe is a good magician, or right for your event. It takes more than that for me.

I don't see a problem with the reference process. This is common practice in many businesses, plus any other job you try to get will ask for references too. I still don't understand why magicians think they can make up their own business practices.

I don't know where the 4 trips to the car came from. I have 1 from the car. The reason it took four trips is because, like I said, I set my stuff up outside and had to move it inside. I have things set up on top of my table and on top of the trunk, which had to be carried separately so I didn't drop them.

I have never had a problem with children encroaching on my space...in this situation the kids were not encroaching on my space...there was no my space. traffic cones would not help.

again... I would never get rid of the sound in the show (it is not a complication except for this situation where they had faulty plugs) , I don't need a microphone (and those waist ones are kinda tacky and poor sounding no? Almost like that contraption where you wear the handheld mic around your neck...), and I really don't mind lugging around the props. (the things I left outside were silks for 20th century silks, and something else small.)

(I appreciate all the advice even though a lot of it does not address my problems at all Smile )
Louis LaLaurie
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You ought to be ashamed of what you just said in your last line, sir!
It only shows why you failed miserably at your event!
You DO have a right to be paid before the show, and many much, much greater than you do this every day!
Irrelevant? You did not listen! Follow your instincts! If the parents are getting anxious, you don't have to deal with this. You are also allowed to ask the parents to mind their children better!
I think Delores was trying to tell you that you should be flexible and aware of the flow of the room while perhaps being more rigid? on certain issues so you have smooth show.
Louis
John Bowlin
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Don't sweat it toomuchmagic, you did the best you could do at the time. Just learn from it and move on. You already answered most of your own dilemnas concerning that evening. As for Louis..."typical American" comment....well heck...he's French...more than enough said. Next time a Frenchie insults you just do a google search on "Ted Nugent and French journalist" for a great laugh. Nothing beats real life comedy.
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John Bowlin
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(44)(60)...ahh..the immortal Rodney King...give credit where it's due. Who says kindness can't be legislated...Louis sounds much nicer now.Smile As for your story toomuchmagic, I'm envious. When I have a story like that to tell I will consider myself "experienced". I'm curious how you feel or felt going into your next show(s). Is there a relief of anxiety knowing you can survive the trenches or is there more anxiety having recently wallowed in the trench?
Tony James
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Look at the number of helpful replies. Don't we all just love other people's nightmares?

Keep it simple and make it earlier. 4 year old children at 7 o'clock at night are tired and fractious.

In fact I always prefer young children in the morning and certainly before lunch. They are fresh and enjoy themselves and it leaves all afternoon for the parents to do what they want to do.

And it leaves all afternoon for you to do other parties.
Tony James

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Louis LaLaurie
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Toomuchmagic,
You deserved my comments for your hostility towards a woman.
Also, if you have done so many parties, they why did you post this? Yes, the obvious, and no, I do not do many birthday parties during the week. People here do not like intrusion during the evening hours as many eat late here, and children go to bed early. Of course, Friday is much different as no school the next day, it is the same there?
I have yet to find my "typical American" comment.
And as far as the "he's French", yes, I am. However, I have no attitude that denotes your assumption that because of my own nationality I am "above you" with my comments.
I think that if you have done so many birthdays, you would have more control and would know to take the money before you perform, but that is ok if not. It's your show.
So you simply wanted sympathy?
Awww, too bad, I will cry for you, baby-man! Your birthday smelt of elder-berries and the children behaved like hamsters....is this the stupid stereotype you think I am?

I have had enough of the anti-French comments and am happy to go to my shows today knowing that I don't have to deal with the same culture you do....
KC Cameron
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Quote:
I prefer to have honest feedback about my show so I know if and what I have to change.
Besides insinuating my clients (& myself) are not honest, you seem to have no idea what you are talking about. References are NOT to find out what you can improve, they are for getting business. Getting feedback to improve your show is something different. It is important, but it is different then asking for a reference. Sometimes the two are combined, and sometimes feedback can be used as a reference, but the two are NOT the same.

Example of feedback: The kids lost interest when you were doing that thing with the silk, but they really enjoyed the drawing that moved and talked and when you made money come out of their ears. Example of a reference: Joe Blow did a good job at my son's birthday party, and I think he was worth every penny. I plan to use him again.

Since you are a "phone reference only" kind of guy, do you really want your past clients going into detail what you could improve in your show - as a reference? No, you want general thoughts. Giving potential clients "feedback" about your show doesn't get back to you anyway (or is a rather poor method), so how can you use it to improve your show?

Quote:
"Joe Schmoe is the best magician I ever saw" does not mean Joe Schmoe is a good magician, or right for your event.
True, most clients generally do not know what is best for an event, or even how to judge a magician. It generally means "Joe" was the magician (possibly ONLY magician) in recent memory they liked. If you toss out this because they are not a "magician expert" why have ANY references from anyone (live or written) who IS NOT a “magician expert”???

Also, I don't understand how a client who claims you are "the best magician in the world" in printed form is any more valid than them saying it on the phone. Who is an "expert"? Hey, they were happy, and they ARE an expert on what makes them happy.

When it comes to references over the phone, how does a client know you are just not giving them your aunties number? I have four or five friends and relatives I could ask to be references, and not to mention we are friends or relatives. That is done too.


As for printed references, I agree, they are often fabricated which is why I went video. Still, many clients do believe the printed references (an many of them ARE true), and having them is MUCH better than none at all. Excitement wanes with time, so there is less chance clients will say the same thing two months down the road. Two months later they may say instead "He was good" which is not as impressive as "the best in the world." Even though it is not true, and people will know it is not true, I would rather have a client say "He is the best magician in the world!" than "He was good.".

As for live references, there are a number of reasons I don't use them except for "big" jobs. First, my goal is to do an average of 6 birthday parties a weekend. That means six people calling references. If they each called 3 people, that is 18 calls. Can I rotate the references around? Yes, but it is a pain, and I ALWAYS ask the reference before I give their number out - each time. In reality, I would be giving out 3-4 numbers for that week. That means each reference will get 4-6 calls, plus my call asking if I can use them as a reference. That is WAY, WAY too many calls interrupting dinner for my clients. After the 2nd or 3rd interruption, they will probably not be as "glowing" as after the first call. Maybe they just got into a marital spat when the call comes - that reference may not be glowing then either. Maybe the husband was not there, but he answers the phone - what type of response can you realistically get? What if the party was for their 4 y/o and their 12 y/o answers and his parents are not around? “Well, it was pretty boring, but Janey seemed to like it ok.”

Now not everyone asks for references, and in my experience, those that do (after viewing my references online)for something small like a birthday party tend to be a problem. I don't like problems, so I pass on them like you should have with this one. (Hey Skip . . . *G*)

Quote:
If I hired someone to come to my house and perform and they shoved a camera in my face right after looking for compliments, I would not be pleased. I prefer to have honest feedback about my show so I know if and what I have to change. Putting people on the spot may not produce genuine responses.


You ask for advice, then criticize it & twist it. Who said I was ambushing people, and "shoved a camera in my face right after looking for compliments" - Toomuch, you are too much! First, like every competent magician, I need not look for complements - they come naturally all the time. Your response tells a lot about yourself and perhaps your show. All I said was:
Quote:
This is why I have video referrals. I get them right after the show, so they are still flush with excitement.
Did your "trash talk" about this statement make you feel better??? Do you feel like a better magician after twisting and trashing what I said? What if a client totally misrepresents you because they had a bad day - like you just did to my comment?

Face it you really messed up on that gig, from the phone conversation on. We have all made mistakes, so stop being defensive and learn from a lot of excellent advice.

Alexa, as for the video, I have it on my website, and new customers love it. They know about it BEFORE they book me (it is prominent on my web site), it is never a surprise. Yesterday I booked a bi-monthly gig on those alone, sight unseen. Now I am sure if I don’t produce, I won't keep the gig, but I will. That alone is almost half my house payment.

Here is how I do it (a tad different than TooMuch surmised). After my portion of the party is over, a parent will come over and tell me how wonderful it was. (Occasionally it doesn't happen because they are tied up with the cake and food. If so, I ask if everything was fine. I do this to find out if there is anything I could improve – and I ask that too) After they tell me what a wonderful time everyone had, I ask them if they remember the video testimonials on my web site. They do, and I ask them, IF they are not camera shy (giving them an out), would they like to provide one too. I ask them to say anything they want, as if they were talking to another parent. The video is over within 30 seconds, so it does not take up any real time. For me, it is a pain posting them, and I have a ton waiting to be posted on my site. I do not do this for every party. I often forget about it, and often it would be too intrusive or I don't have the time. Also, many women are camera shy (so many of the references are Dads). It WILL get you parties.

Some people are less expressive than others, especially on camera. This is to be expected. This does not mean they didn't love the show, it just means they are not as expressive on camera. Eventually I will weed these out.

Another nice thing about video references is your potential clients can get an idea of who your clients usually are, socially, economically & ethnically. Since I do a lot of parties for Asian & Middle Eastern, I want to show that in my references. That demonstrates I am aware and considerate of their culture. I also like to post wealthier clients because they pay better and they are not looking for "the magician to the red necks". While I would not turn down a "red neck" party, that is not my target audience, I will eventually not post those references. (For those that object to my "red neck" comment, I was raised in rural Alaska, about as "red neck" as it comes. I have nothing against them, they just usually do not have the money necessary to feed my family).
toomuchmagic
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Captain,
I apologize for being a Dolores. How horrible of me.

Put simply, I completely understand the differnce between an evaluation and a reference.If you reread my post and the posts by others before it you will understand what I mean. I did not say you are wrong about the video thing. I stated why I don't do it (which you kind of echoed in your response), and what I do instead.

I did not mean to insinuate you or your clients are dishonest....but most people are nice enough to find something nice to say, r at least not completely dog you to your face while on camera.

To me, a phone referral is better than a quote, because it exists entirely in the context it belongs in. It is living and breathing, if that makes sense to you. I am not there, and it can go in any direction it needs to. It is 'honest' in that respect. I am confident in my service, so I don't need to have them call up my mom...though she may have more ***ing things to say about me anyways.

Quote:
On 2008-01-11 10:57, Louis LaLaurie wrote:
Toomuchmagic,
You deserved my comments for your hostility towards a woman.
Also, if you have done so many parties, they why did you post this? Yes, the obvious, and no, I do not do many birthday parties during the week. People here do not like intrusion during the evening hours as many eat late here, and children go to bed early. Of course, Friday is much different as no school the next day, it is the same there?
I have yet to find my "typical American" comment.
And as far as the "he's French", yes, I am. However, I have no attitude that denotes your assumption that because of my own nationality I am "above you" with my comments.
I think that if you have done so many birthdays, you would have more control and would know to take the money before you perform, but that is ok if not. It's your show.
So you simply wanted sympathy?
Awww, too bad, I will cry for you, baby-man! Your birthday smelt of elder-berries and the children behaved like hamsters....is this the stupid stereotype you think I am?

I have had enough of the anti-French comments and am happy to go to my shows today knowing that I don't have to deal with the same culture you do....


Possibly somewhere along the communication barrier, you mistook my insignificant sarcastic remark as a vicious attack on a defenseless female. Why did you not also stick up for shrimp cocktail. What made you so sure it was her I was referring to. And why did you not respond to my evidence proving crotchety-ism. Smile

If you would remove your head from your nether regions and stop defending those who cast the first stone without being provoked, you would notice that I was simply making an attempt to promote a discussion after sharing an anecdote (how silly of me to do such a thing on a discussion board.). There is a vast difference in the way things go down in different regions of my own country as well as in other countries. I stated that of the many shows I have done...none are on a weekday. I was wondering if any one else has a contrasting experience's and hoped they would share. I attributed some (not all) of the problems I faced to this specific detail.

Your typical american comment is there in black and white (well, white and green). It was uncalled for, made no sense, and showed irrational hostility in an ignorant stereo typical manner. How you can fire the first shot, but be offended when others return the favor I will never understand.

Quote:
I have no attitude that denotes your assumption that because of my own nationality I am "above you" with my comments.


How about:

Quote:
am happy to go to my shows today knowing that I don't have to deal with the same culture you do....


Quote:
On 2008-01-11 09:17, John Bowlin wrote:
(44)(60)...ahh..the immortal Rodney King...give credit where it's due. Who says kindness can't be legislated...Louis sounds much nicer now.Smile As for your story toomuchmagic, I'm envious. When I have a story like that to tell I will consider myself "experienced". I'm curious how you feel or felt going into your next show(s). Is there a relief of anxiety knowing you can survive the trenches or is there more anxiety having recently wallowed in the trench?


Seriously, can we not use these ridiculous numbers. It is giving me a headache. I refuse to look them up, and it just looks dumb.

Regarding the rest of what you wrote...I think that is why I shared my experience. I wasn't sure what to think. I wanted to be able to correlate the fact that I had a bad experience with the unusualness of the weeknight party.
I will have to go into my next show with confidence as I always try to. Though it will be in the back of my mind. I think it will only make me be more aware of certain things, although I think that may be wasted energy.
toomuchmagic
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Louis you must forgive me. You can not find your bigot remark because it has been removed (by you) along with the phrase I quoted about respect for wisdom. DO you think I made it up...or that the other guy who commented on it imagined it.

Good thing I made a copy of it before was so conveniently edited.

Quote:
Louis LaLaurie

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27 Posts Posted: Jan 11, 2008 12:48am Reply with quote Send a Private Message View Profile of Louis LaLaurie Report this post to forum moderator
You ought to be ashamed of what you just said in your last line, sir!
It only shows why you failed miserably at your event!
You DO have a right to be paid before the show, and many much, much greater than you do this every day!
Irrelevant? You did not listen! Typical American! No respect for elders, no respect for wisdom!
Follow your instincts! If the parents are getting anxious, you don't have to deal with this. You are also allowed to ask the parents to mind their children better!
I think Delores was trying to tell you that you should be flexible and aware of the flow of the room while perhaps being more rigid? on certain issues so you have smooth show.
Louis
MAKMagic
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Quote:
On 2008-01-11 13:05, toomuchmagic wrote:
Louis you must forgive me. You can not find your bigot remark because it has been removed (by you) along with the phrase I quoted about respect for wisdom. DO you think I made it up...or that the other guy who commented on it imagined it.

Good thing I made a copy of it before was so conveniently edited.

Quote:
Louis LaLaurie

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27 Posts Posted: Jan 11, 2008 12:48am Reply with quote Send a Private Message View Profile of Louis LaLaurie Report this post to forum moderator
You ought to be ashamed of what you just said in your last line, sir!
It only shows why you failed miserably at your event!
You DO have a right to be paid before the show, and many much, much greater than you do this every day!
Irrelevant? You did not listen! Typical American! No respect for elders, no respect for wisdom!
Follow your instincts! If the parents are getting anxious, you don't have to deal with this. You are also allowed to ask the parents to mind their children better!
I think Delores was trying to tell you that you should be flexible and aware of the flow of the room while perhaps being more rigid? on certain issues so you have smooth show.
Louis



Louis - How about some ice for that BURN!

Honestly here guys TMM asked for some helpful advice - not tear downs.

I agree with Mrs. Attitude regarding being to PC and blahblahblah...but the issue here is that there was no reason for your attacks on his experience or person. Speaking your mind is good - when it is meant to accomplish something. Yours wasn't.

There has been only a few real attempts at helpful critisism. 1. Maybe to many items to setup 2. Clarify space needed\per # of children ahead of time 3. Time of show discussion to parent before booking. 4. The use of references.

The rest was just bashing. I can personally vouch for TMM, he's been in the buisness 15 years and has done as many childrens shows (amongst others) as Mrs. Riddle is old x3 - which is quite a bit.

One thing to remember about his show to - this was not an afterschool show. It was at 6:30pm. After school is 2:30 or 3:30 for those of you without kids.

Aside from that you will note that he took partial responsibility for what happened.
.:Michael Kelley
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KC Cameron
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Too Much, No I do not think it was because it was a week night, although the age and the time should now set off bells & whistles for you. Some clients are just like that. Try to avoid them.

As for the bashing - well here in the Café we do have some world contenders. I believe one of the reasons we ALL became magicians is we want attention. Nothing wrong with that. Some like to get it in a negative fashion - lots wrong with that. Others seem to like inflicting pain and chaos. We are an interesting group for children professionals. I imagine a psychologist could have a field day here.
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It would make for one really weird reality TV show. That is for sure. =)

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benlewis2004
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So often you can tell when you will get these sorts of parties just talking to the client, if I don't like what I hear, I'm busy.
AshleyW
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Good job Ben.
A hard lesson learned for many is knowing when to say "no".
And the goal of less work; more money is very achievable.
Louis LaLaurie
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TMM<
I forgot I had casually made the remark, but I tell you I DID NOT remove it..perhaps a moderator? However, I must have forgotten it. the other comments I meant for you fully, as the one taken away. You see, I do not mince words or get into pointless arguments, I simply say what I mean and move on...I only saw "remove your head from your netheregions" and laughed out loud. Crass and the product of a poor upbringing, but funny, yes?
My head is not hidden there where you seem to be familiar, it's on my work. I don't have time take anything here personally, it's simply a place to have fun.
You are nothing to me...simply someone who in 15 years shouls know his business and is complaining and looking for sympathy.
I think we will have to call this to an end.
John Bowlin
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Ba dum da dum...g'nite sweetheart...it's time to go...(insert clueless banned one here)>
toomuchmagic
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I am shocked that the one who made the ignorant prejudiced remarks...who got caught in a lie...still stands to defend himself...and attempts to knock me down.

with that, I bid you all adieu....to read your silly posts and remarks....and to keep my own to myself....because after 15 years, I should have seen and know it all.

until we meet again.

adieu.
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