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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Stopping a Show (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Creative Coach
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Anderson, SC
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Mark,
Both parties are at fault. Them for lasering you and you for losing control. You are a school show veteran. You know you used an incorrect responce. You WILL pay for it in bad comments at the next principals meeting. I can't beleive you said it. But you did and the damage is done!

I'm sorry but I WOULD NOT follow Ross' advice as this will further escalate the problem. As a fulltime speaker in schools that type of action will lead to unemployment! It will also lead to other acts not being allowed even though they had nothing to do with it. In the future curb your tongue. That's not appropriate words from a school presenter no matter what the cause!

I personally was shocked at your comments! Sorry for the laser but don't stoop to their level. You're not 12 yrs old!
rossmacrae
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Arlington, Virginia
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I could be entirely wrong - and only you can try (and you can only really guess) to anticipate what the reaction would be in either case.

I'm just suggesting that if you "roll over" for this kind of hysteria, you'll still get a bad rep plus you tacitly agree that you were the offender rather than the victim. If you show a strong response, you at least go on record as having been gravely insulted, even assaulted, which puts your response in a very different light.
Bob Johnston
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Philadelphia, PA
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Second guessing is so easy.
However; I would have stopped the show, explained to the kids and teacher why I was stopping the show and then gone directly to the principals office.

That would have taken care of my anger and given me some protection from repercussions for failing to finish the show.

This way, you would have probably left with an apology from the principal and protected future jobs there.

Threatening to do a rectal exam on a child, negated all of that.

Bob
daffydoug
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Well, if you are going to stop the show and go directly to the principal's office, it might be a good idea to pack up yur show and take it with you, or put it in your vehicle first, because any kid who has no compunction about shooting a laser in the magicians eye would most certainly have no qualms at all with DESTROYING unguarded. unattended props....
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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If you are going to stop the show and go to the principles office directly, then you mind as well pack up your entire show and store it in your house and leave it there. I can tell you word of mouth travels fast and you will not be working very much anytime soon. That is just not the way to handle a situation like that.

As John stated above, you are a professional and you should conduct yourself like one at all times. Regardless of how much confrontation and how much anger you may have, you just never, ever stoop to their level, lose your temper during a show. You are not a 12 year old.

You must also keep in mind that the other kids behaving should not be punished because one child decides that this day was his day to be a pain. You are a professional and the show goes on and gets done no matter what it takes from you to do it. That is what being a professional is all about.

After the show is done, then you can take various courses of action you feel neccesaruy in a professional manner. Stopping the show right then and there is not an option if you want to be working long.

Kyle
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Bob Johnston
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MarkTripp:

I reread your post and see nothing about any action taken by the teacher. With that in mind, I still see nothing “unprofessional” about stopping a show that is PUTTING YOU IN HARMS WAY.

And, I never suggested that you leave your equipment there in the room.

Every principal I have ever worked with would have wanted you to do just that and would have wanted to make things right for you. I think what you ended up doing was very wrong, but I also think that continuing to try to perform in pain, caused by an unsupervised student, is preposterous.

In fact, if I were you, I would still go to speak to the principal, for the very reason that others have told you “that principals talk to each other.” The deed (both yours and the kids) is done, you can not redo the mistake you made.

Why would you want to leave it with just the teacher’s description of what happened.

Bob
BIlly James
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I'd have given that kid a breakaway wand to hold! That would have taught him a lesson!

;)
Al Angello
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I would never let the adults leave the room, so I would stop the show before I started to inform the adults that I AM NOT YOUR BABYSITTER. I will handle the entertainment, and YOU must handle dicipline, or my fee will double.
though love
Al
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fccfp
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It is difficult to know exactly how one would react in a given situation till it happens to you. I have been in situations that I believe are beyond normal misbehavior. I had a ten year girl at a her communion party threaten me repeatedly with bodily harm. After dogging her twice I asked an uncle standing close by to help out. Fortunately the kid reacted well to the uncle. It could have easily gone the other way with the kid throwing a tantrum. I think I handled it well under the circumstances, but...

I have been doing all types of kids shows for a very long time. I lay out guidelines (rules) during my warm up/ opening. It is usually sufficient.

Unfortunately today parents do not spend a lot of time with their kids to begin with, let alone watching a whole group. They are often ill equipped or simply don't know when or how to step in.

It sounds like Mark was experiencing a real threat of physical damage. Those little laser pointers are dangerous to the retina of the eye. It is a felony to point them at aircraft. We as human beings are particularly sensitive to danger to our eyes. I believe that magicians, as with other "visually oriented" people are particularly sensitive to these threats. I think the only way to prepare for these type of events is to try to think thru what one would do in advance. Unfortunately, occasionally we are sometimes thrust into situations that one could not have anticipated. How we handle them is a measure of our own maturity and preparation.

Was Mark outrageously provoked? Yes. Should he have handled it differently? Well it's easy to sit back after the fact and say yes to that as well. Right now all that can be done is to try to control the damage as best as can be done. This includes a thorough ophthalmological exam. I think it also should include a phone call and letter to the principle as well as whoever hired you in the first place. Usually, in my experience, it's a PTA mother that has little or no experience in working with entertainers and there needs. Children are not allowed to carry weapons to school for a reason, this may now include laser pointers.

When we hold ourselves out as professionals, we must be prepared to act professional regardless of the circumstances. There have been occasions where I have had to bite down on my lower lip to keep the first thing that came to my head from coming out my mouth. Sometimes I have to hold back the 2nd third or fourth as well. It has gotten easier over the years, but it can still be a trial. I keep reminding myself on these occasions that I chose to be there.
A.K.A. Jay The Magician
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Hobie the Magical Hobo Clown
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Niagara, Ontario
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So far I have never stopped a show but there were times when I wanted to.

I also lay down the rules at the beginning and I feel that helps out a lot.

Show the kids respect and they will also respect you.
One Mustn't study a magician to closely,
Never look up his sleeve,
Never look under his hat,
Just sit back and let him do his act.
rdwat92284
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Rob Watkins
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Honestly, there is a part in many of us that has always wanted to respond by lashing out. But many of us try not to because of the repercussions. When we read about someone who does we secretly cheer and then suddenly feel sorry for the guy having to mop up the mess.

Perhaps it is all a matter of expectations on the part of the performer and on the part of the school -- both explicit and implicit. The school is expected to provide a safe environment that will keep the performer from physical harm, this is implied but never written out in any agreement. And the school is supposed to provide a safe environment to keep the students from verbal thrashing, especially from a guest on their campus.

As magicians we often seek to control as many aspects of our performing environment as we can to prevent exposure of an effect and to ensure an effective presentation. This includes arranging for a staff member to brief the audience on proper etiquette or doing it ourselves. But who would have ever thought that in addition to encouraging people to turn phones and pagers to vibrate we would also have to tell them to put away their laser pointers?
fccfp
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NJ
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Has anyone ever jumped right to the finally, abreviating the show, so you can finish before it gets completly away from you?
A.K.A. Jay The Magician
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todsky
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Fccfp, on several occasions I have shortened a show by jumping to the finale, because the audience was acting up too much.
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Al Angello
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Once I had to skip the middle of my show and go right into the big finish after being told by the guest of honor "You are not my teacher, and I don't have to listen to you".
Al
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
rossmacrae
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Arlington, Virginia
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Him: "You are not my teacher, and I don't have to listen to you".

"Okay, you don't have to, but you're going to miss out on a lot of the fun. He doesn't want to ... anybody out there who wants to have some fun? Well then, come up here and hold this wand while Jimmy sits down."
Bob Johnston
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Quote:
On 2005-05-28 22:42, rossmacrae wrote:
Him: "You are not my teacher, and I don't have to listen to you".

"Okay, you don't have to, but you're going to miss out on a lot of the fun. He doesn't want to ... anybody out there who wants to have some fun? Well then, come up here and hold this wand while Jimmy sits down."

This is the proper way to handle a problem. It will seldom fail and will often "inspire" a teacher to step in.

Bob
Al Angello
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Dear Bob Johnston
I would never disagree with a distinguished gentlemen like you, and if this ever happens again I will remember your words. Thank you very much.
one of your fans
Al Angello
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
todd75
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Kids are always going to get excited at magic shows....it's what they are suppose to do. However, I have recently created TIP SHEET which I send to the person in charge which covers the following.....

1. Crowd Control
2. Making sure cats and dogs are put up
3. I must start ON TIME
4. No food or drink during the show
5. Keeping the room free of children before and after the show
6. Not telling the kids what is going to happen in the show

I have learned after years of experience that some kids are just naturally rude (especially those over the age of 8) and that you have to do the best you can do and then move on to the next show. In other words- don't dwell on it!

I cover the talking rules before the show starts. I do this in a fun way! However, if the kids do start talking, I will simply say- "I need you guys to be really quite when I am talking." This usually works. However, if it doesn't- then I will go on to say, "I will wait until you all decide to stop talking before I can finish."
NJJ
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Quote:
On 2005-05-29 16:15, todd75 wrote:

3. I must start ON TIME



I've noticed that for the past two weeks EVERY show I have been ready to go at the starting time and EVERY show the parents have been running late by 5-10 minutes. Do you run over time a little if you can or do you stop at the agreed time?

I've been splitting the difference!
magic4u02
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I have had this problem Nicholas on many an occassion and it really depends a lot upon how late they are running and when your next show is that day if you have another one. If I have another show that day and I simply must start at a certain time, I make that clear to the parent ahead of time and in my conformation call. If they are running late, I simply have to shorten up the show a bit but still give them a fun-filled show as promised.

If they are running a tad bit late and I do not have another gig that day, I will usually work with the parent and agree to wait a bit to go on. I will then do my full time for them. If I am a "solutions provider", then I try to solve their problems best I can and I think my clients appreciate me going the extra mile for them.

Kyle
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