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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » I passed on this. What would you do? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Neale Bacon
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Burnaby BC Canada
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I got an enquiry via an agent that said someone was looking for entertainment for a 4 year olds birthday. A direct quote from the client was "I don't really care what kind of entertainer. Just want someone who can keep the kids busy for an hour."

That sounded like babysitting to me.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
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akolodner
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But when you show up and wow them you'd have gotten paid and opportunities for more work. Remember we're the professionals. Most people don't know what they really want. You could have kept the kids attention for an hour and then surpassed their expectations with a great show. Never turn down work. If they really wanted a babysitter they wouldn't have called an entertainment agent.
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seadog93
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I disagree, a lot of people are looking for childcare. That's not a problem if that's what you want to do, and a lot of people do, but I would certainly turned it down myself.
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Dynamike
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I would take it. Bottom line.
Skip Way
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I would have asked for more specific details on exactly what they were looking for, as I'm sure Neale did. I, like Neale, am very selective when I hear requests like this.
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Neale Bacon
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Burnaby BC Canada
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Skip,

This was a group of 4-6 year olds. No particular cultural significance.

I think the most telling is when she said just wanted someone to keep the kids busy for an hour. This tells me the adults will be elsewhere, and that they don't care much about who is with their kids.

I have worked too hard to get where I am to be a babysitter for an hour.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
Donald Dunphy
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If they didn't care about which entertainer they got, wouldn't they just look for the lowest priced option? Surely that can't be you, Neale?

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
scaevola
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I would need more information myself, ie how many kids. If a client doesn't seem right to you, my advice is don't take the show. I could see someone saying that they didn't care in such a way that I would react like you did. I could also see them saying it in such a way that I would be like "great! now I try out a whole mess of new stuff, because she doesn't care." But yeah, if a client rubs you the wrong way and you aren't starving, I would advise leaving the show for someone else to pick up.
Jeff Haas
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They probably would have taken anyone who would have agreed to do the show as long as it fit into their budget. Also, I doubt that any more work would have come out of it...the adults wouldn't be in the room to see how well you did, they only wanted to drink with their friends.

Or, from their point of view, "How much is it going to cost me to keep the brats tied up for an hour?"
seadog93
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"Also, I doubt that any more work would have come out of it...the adults wouldn't be in the room to see how well you did, they only wanted to drink with their friends."

Good point. My favorite birthday shows (not that I'm an expert, just my favorites) are basically family shows, with the adults watching, wither from the back of the room or mixed in with the kids. I think this is especially fun because the adults let there guard down and have at least as much fun as the kids.
Also, I just don't feel comfortable babysitting.
"Love is the magician who pulls man out of his own hat" - Ben Hecht

"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." -Nisargadatta Maharaj

Seadog=C-Dawg=C.ou.rtn.ey Kol.b
kimmo
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I tend to trust my instincts. Neale obviously does the same.
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Potty the Pirate
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A good sales pitch would have secured the booking, then you could go and knock their socks off. Just insist that at least two adults are in attendance during the show.
Clients like this are ready to be shown what it means to hire a quality entertainer. In my opinion you judged this client without even speaking to them. Why do you think they called an agent? Their enquiry seems pretty genuine to me, they're looking for someone who will engage the kids.
In cases like this, you should take the lead, and make it clear to the client what their options are.
On the other hand, if you don't need the work, you can afford to pick and choose.
Potty Smile
ColinDymond
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I'm with Kimmo. Sometime it just feels wrong. Yes you could do a great show and it might be fine or you could just take the money and run but sometime you have to say no!
stijnhommes
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Different culture or not. When someone says they don't care what type of entertainment they get as long as it keeps the kids busy for an hour, they obviously don't care if the kids will be truly entertained.

I'd have taken the show, just to make sure the kids would have a great time, but I understand it when people want a couple of adults to be present.
rossmacrae
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Why are you asking? Are you that hungry, that you're having second thoughts about declining a show you weren't comfortable with?

I would have been conflicted, too, but the show had as many potential negatives as positives. My big deciding factor: it sounded like "we won't respect you, and if you don't corral 100% of the kids in rapt unmoving attention for a full hour we won't be happy with you."
Gerry Walkowski
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Colin hit on something that is so true. Sometimes you just have this GUT feeling that something isn't right and you need to stick to your instincts.

Let me give you an example of something that had happened to me. I should have never let this happen to me, but it did.

This past Halloween I had a call from a very posh Country Club. The person called me and I called the person back. No matter what time of day I called, I could never reach the person. (I've always flagged that as a warning sign.) Finally, I just gave up on this person.

Two weeks later I had another call and the lady said, "I hope we're still on for that date." I called her and could never reach her. Finally, I went to their website, found her name there and sent her and e-mail. We o.k.'d everything and she did return my contract. Although I didn't ask for a deposit, my contract reads, "Payment is due immediately following the performance."

I presented the show which went over exceptionally well. When it came time to be paid the lady said, "I'm so sorry. I've been so busy I didn't have a chance to have our accounting office get your check."

Well, it took me about 3 weeks to finally get it. However, I sent her several e-mails and she never responded to any of them. Finally I contacted their finance manager and he sent the check.

Bottom line (and I have to beat this into my own head, as my example clearly proves) LISTEN TO YOUR INNER INSTINCTS.

Enjoy,

Gerry
Red Shadow
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Sorry, but I'm in the category of take the money and run. Maybe its because I have bills to pay, maybe its because were in the middle of a credit crunch, or maybe because I just don't turn work down. But even if they wanted a babysitter - its getting paid!

Look at it this way, instead of turning the work down because you thought it was a babysitting job, why not charge the client double. If they book you, and you end up babysitting - at least your getting paid handsomely for it. They might be looking for the cheapest, but you've left the option for them, and not just turn them down outright.

You also have to remember that just because you (or I) know were good compare to our nearest competitor, the client does not know this. They have no idea who you are and a web-search is probably the first time they have even heard of you. You can sell yourself, but especially in regards to price, your just as good as the next person in the phone book until they see you and someone else live and know how to compare you. Most clients have no idea what a 'good' children's entertainer consists off. They just want someone to give their children a good time or keep them occupied for a while.

But at the end of the day, I entered this business for the children. To give them memories of a great show they will have for life. It doesn't matter what the clients reason was for booking me, my job is to amaze the children and make them remember magic as something cool and funny. I can only do that by getting the booking and performing my show, regardless of what role (babysitting / entertainer) I am in - I'm still going to give those children a show they will remember for life.

Steve

P.s: Your right that repeat bookings for an event like this are rare.
Neale Bacon
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Quote:
On 2009-11-26 05:29, rossmacrae wrote:
Why are you asking? Are you that hungry, that you're having second thoughts about declining a show you weren't comfortable with?


I was comfortable saying no. I was just seeing what others thought. It's called making conversation.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
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jiayi
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I will have to say no. I think it is important to have self-respect for you and your show. If a client talks to me like that, it is very clear that they don't have respect for your service, you will most likely be treated poorly when you show up for the show. Plus I will feel cheap taking a gig like this therefore I will suggest them to find someone else for the job. If you are doing it for money then you might as well find a part-time job on the side. After all, you need to respect yourself before someone else respects you. What would the agent think of you if you end up taking the show?
keeblem
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Quote:
On 2009-11-26 11:22, ku7uk3 wrote:
Sorry, but I'm in the category of take the money and run. Maybe its because I have bills to pay, maybe its because were in the middle of a credit crunch, or maybe because I just don't turn work down.


I agree. I have a mortgage to pay and family to feed. I often find November is a quite month. I envy anyone who is in the position to turn paid work down - unfortunately I'm not.

Mark
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