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jay leslie
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Southern California
9495 Posts

Profile of jay leslie
I'll just say it. Who told men (mostly) that they know anything about children's parties?

I had one guy hogging-up all my time because he HAD to prove that he could entertain the children with games. So I performed three tricks then left for another booking.

One guy didn't like the fact that his wife hired me so right in the middle of the second trick he jumped up and handed out binoculars to 18 kids (like he didn't have that planned) and told them to go to the window to see the whales on the horizon. There were no whales so I packed and left. (yes I got paid)

Today a guy just called and told me that the 6 year olds were WAYyy too advanced for balloon animals. so just give him a price for magic only. (same price as with the animals and I'm going to make them anyway when I get there)

A psychologist (A children's psychologist, at that) came in the store looking for a trick for his "very smart" 4 year old. I put a colour changing Hank on the counter while he read me the riot act about how I didn't know what I was doing only to turn around and see the kid playing with the hank and loving it. The man bought the trick because... "I got lucky" (the next time he came in I handed him a catalogue)

I entered a house and was told to go in the back yard..(The man in the living room insisted the party was outside) I asked if I had spoken with him on the phone. I asked if he was the husband. He told me he was an uncle. So I started setting-up in the living room as I told the Mom I would. He yelled at me to get out if I wasn't going to listen to him. Just then the mom came in and welcomed me and told the uncle that the party was outside but the show was inside, She offered me a soda..... and did the man apologise?

Had a grandparent bring his granddaughter up to help AND told the kid I selected to go back to their seat... not once but 6 times.... Each time I told him to sit in the back because no one could see the show and had the other kid come back so I had two helpers..

A man called as I was leaving the shop for a show in 20 minutes - and told me that it was going to rain so not to come... I went the park immediately (which was 3 minutes away) and told him that if I didn't do the show I would tell everyone how cheap he was.. because it was a perfectly sunny day and you don't cancel someone half an hour before show time. So I announced myself (loudly) and set up (The wife thanked me and gave me a tip. She didn't know what the husband was up to. I guess he was going to tell her I just didn't show-up).

On and on... I've got hundreds of these stories BUT... I'm curious ihow much of this nonsence has happened to you. (And it's not limited to men). So what have the "experts" said to you and how did you handle it?
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Inner circle
Agent of Chaos
3169 Posts

Profile of gaddy
What an awesome catalog of misbehavior on the part of our clients!

And I thought I'd seen it all. I've been treated like an A list celebrity compared to this sort of stuff. Humbling, actually!

Thanks for sharing, Jay!
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Pakar Ilusi
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Inner circle
5715 Posts

Profile of Pakar Ilusi
That's why I don't do kids Parties...

I feel for you man...
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Inner circle
Seattle, WA
4411 Posts

Profile of Philemon Vanderbeck
Contracts with non-refundable deposits are your friends.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
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Loyal user
211 Posts

Profile of Tate
Wow. Just Wow. Jay, I've been doing kids' birthday for twenty years and never had that kind of problem. I once had someone write me a bad check, but that's the worst that's ever happened. Sure, I've had people cancel, but rarely and usually with no less than a week's notice.

No, wait, the worst was when I caught chicken pox at a birthday party. About ten years ago. I was forty-five. Try calling your boss and telling him you're going to be out sick for a while because you've got chicken pox. Yeah, I had to get a doctor's note for that one.

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