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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The tricks are on me! » » Anyone ever volunteer and get no response (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

georgel
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Anyone ever volunteer and the person says I'll get back to you and you never hear back. I recently volunteered to do magic for a senior center and talked to the head of the group and she just didn't seem to have much interest.
I was wondering if I approached it wrong or what. I even sent her a letter explaining what I had in mind for the show and would be interested to even teach some magic to the group.
Gord
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Yep, been there done that. I just move on.
MrBukey
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Unfortunately there will be people for whom magic isn't their thing - and if they're the contact point, then you may never get over the first hurdle. It may not be fair, or seem right - but that's the way it is. Sometimes people don't reply because they don't want to appear rude and don't want to offend - even if they end up doing exactly that by not responding.

As Gord said, all you can really do is move on. You're not in a worse position for having asked, but don't let it put you off approaching others. Smile
1KJ
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Your desire to perform is to bring a smile to someones day, right? It doesn't seem fair that the guardian of the gate decides if they get to enjoy your entertainment. I would suggest that you simply volunteer to come in and spend time with some of the people. As you are there, just share an effect or two. Pretty soon, the residents will be requesting you.
Amazing Magic Co
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Yup ... been there.

Dan.
jcrabtree2007
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Just move on. Plenty of places that would love to have you. I do a lot of charity work- nursing homes, schools, preschool/day care, veterans home, scouts. Just keep looking. In these right times, many places are thrilled to have free entertainment.
Siekomagic
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I have never been refused to perform for free - however it must happen as your post suggests. I would just move on and perhaps try another home or maybe a children's hospital. There is always someone whom you could bring a smile to. Often I just perform impromptu in a elevator, at the cashier (bill switch) that kind of thing. Always brings a smile and brightens someones day.
Kasoom
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I would suggest that if you're really interested, keep up the contact. It may seem rude, but all too often, activities directors simply flake out and forget to call back. You may find that calling back in three months will bring an invitation to perform ASAP because one of their planned programs hit a snag.
Remarkable Marco
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Yes, do follow up ONCE. There is always the possibility of a human error on their part while they were actually interested. If they still do not reply, move on and do not take it personally. There is nothing that appeals to everyone.
marknem7
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I've left messages with the volunteer coordinators at three Sacramento, CA hospitals (including a children's hospital) offering to do charity shows, and they never responded.

Is there any reason anyone knows of (risk of props spreading infection maybe) that magicians aren't as welcome in hospitals anymore?
jcrabtree2007
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Hey Marknem-
Just got to find the right places. I live near Sacto and didn't get responses. So don't fret. Including the Children's hospital in Sacto. No reponse. there are others. try some of the senior centers.
Rook
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Depending on the organization, you may have to "sell" them on how your performance will further *their* mission. Admittedly, you are offering your valuable time and talents at no charge, so it seems that they should jump at the chance. However, in order to host you, they often have to put aside resources and time that would otherwise be placed elsewhere. Your free performance isn't necessarily free to them...they're just not paying *you*.

As such, some of them may need a bit of convincing as to why it would be a good idea to have a magician aboard.

My favorite example is when I offered a show for a local charter school that caters to the underprivileged (pretty much my target audience). Although I thought I did a pretty good job of telling them what I could do for them...at no cost whatsoever...the response I got was.

"How does your act correspond to the core curriculum?"

As it turns out, in order to host me, they had to cancel homeroom, corral 250 kids into a Caféteria, get the staff to clean up after breakfast extra fast, place extra faculty in the room for crowd control, and call in their IT guy to set up the sound system. This is in addition to their already dreadfully busy day.

I realized that what I was *really* being asked was: "Is it worth all that just to have some guy drop by and show us magic tricks?"

I had tailored my act around character traits that the schools were trying to push and (with a bit of guidance from a Junior High teacher so that I could 'speak their language' better), I put together a better proposal. It took a bit of time to get me in, but it was a screaming success in the end.

I know it seems unfair to have to "sell" what you're trying to give a way for free. However, sometimes there's organizational cost that you don't see and unless they have the benefits spelled out in front of them against which they can weigh those costs, they can't make an informed decision. The most expedient way to deal with that is to simply ignore it.

If you send a very good "pitch," spelling out the benefits of your presentation to their people and they still don't get back to you, don't worry too much. Carry on and keep contact on an interval of every 6 weeks or so. You may be surprised when you receive a call from a contact made a month or so prior. They just weren't ready before.

-Tom
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

-Roald Dahl
Mark Boody Illusionist
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Great insight Tom, thanks for sharing your experiences. It should help a lot of people, myself included.

Mark
jcrabtree2007
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Great points Tom. Hadn't looked at it from that standpoint.
Remarkable Marco
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It may seem silly but, often your message can get lost in the mail or email, or get lost in the transfer between the person who received it and the one in charge of making the decision, or on the desk of the person in charge, or in the mind of the person who makes the decision and forgot to reply. If you don't get a reply I don't think it is rude to send a second message after a month or so, just to double check that your first message was received. They may answer then, and then you know. Or they may lose the message again, in which case it is bad karma and you don't want to perform there anyway Smile
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