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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Disruptive Behavior (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Steven
Your terms and conditions reads like the literature that I get from the drug store with my prescriptions. I have never read any of that drug store literature.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Ken Northridge
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Atlantic City, NJ
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That’s a good point Al.

Those terms and conditions will only make the customer’s party better, but some people just don’t care. Its their party and they’ll do what they want. Furthermore, to some parents disruptive behavior is perfectly normal and acceptable. Some parents even think its funny.

Rather than trying to control all of this with lengthy terms and conditions, clauses and contracts, I think is better to be flexible and accommodating to your client. Its not just a good show that makes a customer happy, it’s the overall experience from first contact to receiving payment.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Bob1Dog
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Wife: It's me or this houseful of
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Quote:
On 2011-03-23 15:19, seadog93 wrote:
I wonder if there is a more positive way to say the same thing?

I definitely need at least one or two parents at the show and usually all the adults watch and take care of the kids (which is my ideal).


Rich Bloch has opened a wonderful Victorian style magic theater called Dickens Parlour Theater in Bethany Beach Delaware. He has a different magician each week (this weekend it's Chris Capehart). If you're ever in the area, this is a MUST SEE. The reason I tell you this is that before each and every show, an announcement is made to the effect that (and I'm paraphrasing except for the punch line....)

"We would appreciate that families remain seated together throught the entire show and ask that you please keep an eye on your children. We have found in the past that unruly children tend to.......vanish!"

It gets a laugh every time and gets the message across.
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
seadog93
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Quote:
On 2011-03-26 12:40, Bob1Dog wrote:

"We would appreciate that families remain seated together throught the entire show and ask that you please keep an eye on your children. We have found in the past that unruly children tend to.......vanish!"



LOL! Smile
That's great, I love it.
"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
Christopher Lyle
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Dallas, Texas
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Quote:
On 2011-03-26 12:40, Bob1Dog wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-03-23 15:19, seadog93 wrote:
I wonder if there is a more positive way to say the same thing?

I definitely need at least one or two parents at the show and usually all the adults watch and take care of the kids (which is my ideal).


Rich Bloch has opened a wonderful Victorian style magic theater called Dickens Parlour Theater in Bethany Beach Delaware. He has a different magician each week (this weekend it's Chris Capehart). If you're ever in the area, this is a MUST SEE. The reason I tell you this is that before each and every show, an announcement is made to the effect that (and I'm paraphrasing except for the punch line....)

"We would appreciate that families remain seated together throught the entire show and ask that you please keep an eye on your children. We have found in the past that unruly children tend to.......vanish!"

It gets a laugh every time and gets the message across.


Ha! That's great. Gotta love Rich. This I think is greatness...
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
Potty the Pirate
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Still don't get it, if you can connect with kids - as one assumes an entertainer can - you should be able to win over pretty much any unruly kid. It's all psychology, though I don't believe psychology is a science in any way, shape or form. There is a big difference between the kids who leap up at every opportunity, and the ones who wants to train-wreck a performance. The former are just over-enthusiastic (way more common to see this), the latter probably have mental issues - and need to be dealt with by involving them with the show, in one way or another. Adults, on the other hand, are another matter......
knick23
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Wales
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Quote:
There is a big difference between the kids who leap up at every opportunity, and the ones who wants to train-wreck a performance. The former are just over-enthusiastic (way more common to see this), the latter probably have mental issues

And should be treated with Electro Shock Therapy at the first opportunity...that could make a great finishing effect for my show. Smile

Seriously though, it could be that the child is upset, tired, drinking coke, eating Skittles, actually doing coke...the list is endless.
Gerry Walkowski
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I think we all run into these problems from time to time. Sometimes you just get caught in the middle of these situations and you just have to deal with it as best you can.

Luckily for me, it doesn't happen very often.

About two years ago a child was misbehaving at a country club Christmas party. I switched off my wireless microphone and said to the child, "Behave or I'm sending you back to your seat." That did the trick and he was fine for the rest of the routine.

Many years back I invited a child up for a routine that involved the nested wands. In the midst of the opening of the routine the child took one of the wands (it was made of plastic) and snapped it in two over his knee. I just came out and told him in an authoritative way, "That's not funny. Please go back to your seat." From there I just invited another child up to help and the rest of the show was fine. Was I upset? You bet I was, but I didn't yell at the child. To my way of thinking, I showed him and the audience I was in control of this weird situation but again, I never raised my voice.

When these things happen you do have to deal with them on the spot, but at the same time you have to do it with velvet gloves.

Anyway, that's my two cents of advice.

Gerry
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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If you get paid hundreds of dollars an hour you should be willing to jump through a couple of hoops to earn it.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
seadog93
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Quote:
On 2011-03-27 12:46, Al Angello wrote:
If you get paid hundreds of dollars an hour you should be willing to jump through a couple of hoops to earn it.


I agree completely
"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
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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You know last night I had no dinner, lugging my amp up steps wasn't fun either, it was cold out side, the kids were full of energy, and talking out loud to me all through my show. When I finished my show everybody was smiling at me, they offered me food, they thanked me for coming, and paid me in large bills. After it was all over I knew that no one had a better time at that party last night than I did. Making people laugh is a great way of earning a living.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
wizardpa
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The New Orleans area
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Wow Al, you got it right. I just had 3 super fantastic shows in the last week. I would (almost) do what I do for free.
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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No for free I would ask for a volunteer to cary my amp. I hate those two trip party's in 30 degree weather.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Andrew Zuber
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Los Angeles, CA
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That's why I stopped doing the elephant production in my kid's shows. He insisted on being carried up the stairs, claimed it was in his contract. I looked into it - animals don't even HAVE a magician's assistant union. That's the last time I hire from Craigslist.

I feel your pain, Al. As a drummer with a massive setup, I pulled all kinds of muscles loading into and out of gigs. I'd be lugging 25 pounds of cymbals onto a stage and wishing I played the flute - but once the show started, I was the happiest guy on that stage. Made it all worth the effort.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Red Shadow
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This isn't about dealing with the problem of disruptive children, that has already been discussed at great length. This is about protecting ourselves should we ever need to and how to go about that through our advertising.

Some people like to point out suggestions on their website such as in Johns initial example, while others have it on their contract (like me). The reason we have all these clauses is because we work in parts of the city, country, world where our clients are not always honorable (yes such places do exist), and having a clause such as this is unfortunately necessary to ensure we get paid. As ultimately we don't care what the children do as long as we get our paycheck, but we don't want the client refusing to pay because they were unwilling to stop their own child from misbehaving. The contract ensures that business is conducted in a professional manor, and not just a case of he-said, she-said.
Having paperwork in place is a preemptive move to stop problems happening in the future. I think most of us are agreed that is a good idea to try and stop a problem before it happens and protect ourselves, we just have differing opinions on how to go about that.

So far, the suggestions have been:

1. On a website FAQ
2. On your contract / confirmation you send to the client after the booking
3. Mentioned during the initial telephone conversation.
4. Ignore it completely and hope it never comes back to haunt you.

I prefer option 2, not just for the legal reasons that its in writing, but because as a business, it makes you look more professional, regardless of whether it gets read or not. Reading it is not the point, having it when you need it is.

Steve
Potty the Pirate
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I forgot to mention variety. This is another very strong technique when structuring shows. Rather than a series of magic tricks, including puppets, songs, clowning, and other skills can make a show much more engaging. I think on that other forum I may have upset some folks by mentioning that I've been performing for 45 years now. I did my first magic shows when I was 4, was involved with masses of school shows, did the circuit of working men's clubs when I was 11, and performed a magic show in the West End at the Unicorn Theatre. Then I sang opera and musicals, acted in plays and pantomimes, became a full-time busker for 3 years, worked as a cabaret singer and guitarist, and worked as cruise staff on many different cruise ships for several years before creating my current character.
Yes, I'm blessed to have a broad background in the performing arts, and I can honestly say that I have gained experience from all the different elements of my performing experience. It takes a long time to become really comfortable in front of an audience, and to learn to engage them at many different levels. Once you have this experience, you understand that possibly the most important thing when performing is the exchange of energy that takes place. The entertainer exudes his/her energy and personality, and the audience give back their applause and reactions in acknowledgement of that. No matter what you do, the audience is paramount. They need to feel comfortable before they can be entertained. I find myself scanning my audiences looking out for those kids who maybe are looking less than 100% enthralled. Usually, eye contact, and sending your energy their way is sufficient to bring them back under your spell.
In my opinion, "disruptive behaviour" is probably a signal that you are not engaging your audiences in this way. And as for random kids appearing from the sidelines and gatecrashing your show, well it does happen on very rare occasions, but I don't see this as anything to do with performer or audience. In this instance I fail to see that you can either predict it, or do much about it, neither can your clients. It's about the same as a streaker in a football match. You just have to deal with that as best you can in the very unlikely event that it happens!
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