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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » What happened, was this... » » Between a rock and a hard place... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

mystic shriner
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A friend of mine verbally agreed to do a show near me (a ten hour trip for him) at a small fee and then got a gig for the next day that was shorter, shorter road trip and better fee. He decides to cancel the show that was near me that I got for him and takes the second because it's closer and no driving time with more pay. There were other issues at play as well...so I'm definitely not trying to bash him here, that's not my reason for this...

I know this stuff happens, and if I was in this situation I'd be tempted to stay home and take the higher paying gig as well, to be honest about it.

I have to tell the "Arts Committee" I'm working with now that he won't show up...how do I do this without looking like an idiot?
What would you do? Smile
truthteller
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It is always wrong to dishonor a commitment, unless a "higher fee" clause is included in one's contract.

The best situation is to obtain a substitute perfomer or offer your services instead of his (assuming you are not already booked for the fair). Let the organizers know that the person you suggested left you holding the bag, tell them he will never be recommended by you again (which he shouldn't) and let them know you have taken care of obtaining his replacement. Apologize for the inconvienance, but assure them that the replacement performer will do a much better job and it doesn't hurt to let them know that you had to call in a personal favor (as it sounds like you must) in order to get someone of their caliber.
mystic shriner
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Midwest, USA
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Great advice, truthteller! Yup, I'm already booked for this, so I can't substitute...although I can't say I'd never book him again, he is a friend of mine and his excuse was pretty strong. I don't know if the same situation would prevent him from making it again. Thanks for the advice about finding a sub, though! Thanks! Smile
Stevethomas
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How about this...I had a gig already booked, so I GAVE a show (a mall show, paid REALLY well) to a friend. It was a Saturday, and I was out of town with another show. Got on the phone Monday to the mall manager to see how my buddy did, I was informed that he DIDN'T SHOW UP. I called him to ask what had happened, turns out his wife wanted him to stay home and do yard work. He said he didn't want to make her mad, so he did. No excuses, no logical reasons...that was it. It didn't really bother me, since she (the mall manager) was actually dealing directly with him, but it's just the principle of the thing. Haven't really talked with my "buddy" in a few years. He's a college professor...assistant dean of a law school as a matter of fact. Can ya believe that?

Steve Thomas
mystic shriner
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OK...that definitely beats my story...wow, what a "friend"! I have a hard time believing his wife would let him turn down the money for the gig and not just put the yard work off until later...two birds with one stone! Sounds like either he was making it up or she didn't care about the money! Well, not to make light of your story, but it sure makes mine seem a bit paler by comparison! Hope you don't have to get stuck having to refer someone to him again! Maybe you should get a lawyer! (Sorry, I couldn't resist...)

Best Wishes and thanks so much for the story Steve! I have to go, my wife is calling me outside...
MS Smile
truthteller
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Steve,

I would call the Mall Lady and reschedule the show, with you presenting, FOR FREE. I think that will go a long way in maintaining a potentially lucrative relationship.
Chrystal
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Hi Mystic Shriner,

Yikes, what an unfortunate situation you found yourself in..due to no fault of your own. Truthtellers advice was good. I'm suprised that your friend placed you in that position regardless if he was offered a much higher paid gig.

My opinion is: regardless if another higher paid gig is offered once a commitment is made it should always be honored. I've actually never heard of a "higher fee" clause like Truthteller mentioned and would not use it personally as I think it would seem a tad disrespectful to the person that booked you. A contract is a contract. Ethics come into play in both the cases that you and Steve mentioned..and more importantly both of you depended on your friends and they failed you. I'm shaking my head over these stories.

I once recieved a call from a desperate entertainer at Christmas time...as you know the busiest season where most of us are booked months in advance. His story was similar to both of yours. His friend backed out of a show 2 days before the gig. He begged and pleaded with me to help him out. I already had two shows booked that day and that particular time was really struggling trying to get through the busy Christmas season. I didn't know him but put myself in his place, so I did the show for him. Luckily it was during a time frame between my shows. The organizers were aware of it and I had the gratefulness of a new friend and a wonderful new clientele. This story has a happy ending as for the past 6 years the clients hire the both of us.
I wish you the best of luck Shriner.
mystic shriner
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Thanks for the advice and sympathy, Chrystal! Smile I haven't even had a chance to tell the fair chairpeople about this issue yet since the posting...I had a huge gig at an Apple Festival here in Southern Illinois this weekend..my show includes a lot of mentalism and I try to do something different every year, so that means for certain parts of my act I have to do rehearsal after rehearsal, thank God I have such a great Wife! She helps me rehearse everything and is very patient. Smile

I have to talk the chairpeople either today or tomorrow, so I will definetely be using your advice as well as some of truthtellers! Thanks so much, both of you! Smile
truthteller
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Chrystal,

Higher fee clauses do exist and are often employed in contracts where certain considerations were made by the performer in order to accomodate a client's needs or budget. Higher fee clauses often have a deadline. By this I mean, the performer becomes obligated to the contract 30 days prior to performance date even if the Mirage calls for you to take over the S and R show. In truth, some performers who are negotiating deals for long run venues (casino's, resorts, etc) will include these.
Chrystal
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Hi MysticShriner,

I hope everything turned and again the best of luck to you.

Hi Truthteller,
I was not aware of that clause before and have to admit I had a problem with it. Although I was thinking in terms of "one show". However, the way you described it "long term booking" it does make sense. I quess it would be like those in the business world, those that are wooed by another job offer with better financial or other perks. It makes sense to me now that you've desribed it that way. Thanks. :O)
mystic shriner
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Hmmmm...that is really interesting....
Chrystal
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Hi Mystic,

Once again I agree with you, it is just plain sad when a friend lets you down that way.

Although I agree now with the logistics of higher clause as Truthteller explained, I still have a problem with it regarding a one show deal. It seems fair if one was booked for a long term commitment, however, but that's not the case here.

I rarely say yes to free shows is basically for that reason. I would never think of cancelling once I made the commitment to perform even if a paid show was offered to me. One should always honor a commitment regardless if "something better comes their way". Especially a friend! Lots of ethics involved here and I admit I'm a stickler when it comes to ethics, friendships and overall honoring what I've said.

Again, I'm wishing the outcome works out for you Mystic. Smile
KingStardog
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In your story you started with the word friend.

A friend shows up for you when he has to turn down a 500.00 job and work for 150.00.

A friend goes to the store to get you medicine before going out in to the night on icy roads to do the show you were too sick to do.

A friend goes with you and works as your assistant, just to help out (prop you up), even though he has much more skill and experience than you do.

You will not find many friends in the ego driven, money-hungry world of magic.

When you do, that special 20 year old bottle of port (that you can't bring yourself to buy for your own home) seems like a good deal, just for a gift.

And if you have really found a friend, its very likely they will share it with you on special occasions.
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
mystic shriner
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Amen to that, KingStardog! Smile Smile
RandyStewart
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I got kind of lost in the whole thread. So did GREED win over everything else discussed here or not?
mystic shriner
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Well, I have to report that it did end up for the better in a strange sort of way. He and I are on good terms, it's not like I hate him or anything, I was just put in an awkward position that I hadn't had to deal with before. Of course I just found out today he felt badly and at the same time was worried about some other issues going on...It wasn't really that big of a deal in the end...and I'll still miss having my friend there to hang out with. Anyway, I ended up getting paid not only my wages but his as well...TA-DAAAAA!
It's Magic! Smile
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