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charliecheckers
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Wow - now who is distorting reality?
Benji said his material is aimed at those currently earning less than six figures.
The reality is that very few magicians at Benji age have ever pulled off a successful four wall event charging $50. Most here laughed when he announced he was doing it. Then when he did it and it was verified, the next move was to minimize it as "we'll, that was only one time".
Very few magicians at his age have ever had the opportunity to perform live on television, or perform at the Magic Castle. When those were verified, again the move is to minimize the accomplishments of a younger performer.
Performing overseas? Getting paid substantial amounts of money? Once again minimized.
People ask "Why not just stick to performing?" Even those who themselves have branched their careers beyond just performing are asking this, which is really puzzling to me.
Benji has stated previously that his goals are not necessarily what others goals are. I recall something to the effect that he does not aspire to be Michael Jordan but rather own the team Michael Jordan plays on. What is wrong with that? He has years to develop his strategy.
I also think people need to give a little more credit to the people viewing his offerings. He actually makes no outcome claims. If everyone who was in his target market bought his program, did the work necessary to implement what he suggests and the end results were they achieved what Benji has achieved, then those people would be well beyond where they are likely to end up without his services. The fact there are many other services, perhaps better ones, does not change that. I know Benji's brash ways brings on the strong opinions to counter his boasts, but speaking for myself, I think I can sort out what is valuable and what is not usable.
Bazinga
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Quote:
On 2013-12-07 15:55, charliecheckers wrote:
I think I can sort out what is valuable and what is not usable.

But you have certain advantages over many who are looking for such material. Isn't your dad a long-time performer? Please don't' misunderstand me, I truly admire your accomplishments. For a highschool and a college student, you and your brother have accomplished so much more than people your age, or any age in some cases.

I've no doubt you can sort it out. Your posts here clearly show your knowledge.

You got me thinking about something: Knowledge can be expensive, and ignorance is often costly. I myself got sucked into the P-D-F* stuff many years ago. I'm sure that's why I jump on some the BB threads. But I must say that I think buying that P-D-F* stuff has enabled me to identify BS right away.

Maybe we shouldn't call BB and others out. Maybe it's necessary for newcomers to learn for themselves. Literally "paying their dues." What I find amusing is that they all seem to think the progression HAS to be:
1. Kids magician.
2. Corporate magician.
3. Motivational Speaker.
4. Guru.

Although one of P-D-F* added a #5 when he sold his "How to use magic to pick up women in bars" course. One of his DEEciples learned the hard way when his association with that guru cost him a local election and some of his reputation.

But everyone has to learn the good and the bad of things for themselves. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?

Yes, Paddy's language is a but harsh. I feel the same way but I try not to put it quite like that. But he and Danny, and the others are simply trying to give to seekers a different evaluation of the material they are offered. That too is a good thing.

Bazinga!
Dannydoyle
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Wait what do you mean he pulled off a 50 person show? Pulled it off? Seriously? AND it was verified? How so?

Even putting that aside lets go at it this way Charlie. If he did pull it off as you say, it was once. So what about THAT equates to success? The PROBLEM is that he comes here wanting to buy his "coaching" or whatever latest guru nonsense as if he has been doing it forever. As if he has the secret for cold fusion. So lets be clear. Even IF he does these things and you think ONCE is a big deal fine. But don't come here and pretend to be some success guru.

That is the problem Charlie. Much of the advice is just plain bad. But you want to gloss over the miss quotes, the bad advice, the rehashed advice and want to just claim all is well and let Benji dupe anyone who doesn't know better.

What would you say if someone came here selling a book of other people magic tricks and ideas? Just repackaged them and sold them with no credit. Then what?
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
charliecheckers
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Quote:
On 2013-12-07 16:47, Dannydoyle wrote:
Wait what do you mean he pulled off a 50 person show? Pulled it off? Seriously? AND it was verified? How so?

Not this time Danny LOL , you will need to be the one to chase down the old thread if you disagree.
Quote:
Even putting that aside lets go at it this way Charlie. If he did pull it off as you say, it was once. So what about THAT equates to success?

I guess here is where we disagree. I only read how hard these events are to pull off and how most do not have the experience, know how or fortitude to do this successfully. Actually, most of what I have read has been presented here, and I would guess that you and Mindpro have authored some, if not many of these posts. Certainly it is unlikely to get lucky given all the factors that have to come together. I personally know of no one in my area pulling off such an event. I read of very few successes and more failures on TMC. Yes, the more you do the more you know, but that does not mean the lessons from one success are not helpful to those who only dream of pulling off such an event. Those who have done many successfully are welcome to compete with Benji for that opportunity to teach.
Quote:
That is the problem Charlie. Much of the advice is just plain bad. But you want to gloss over the miss quotes, the bad advice, the rehashed advice and want to just claim all is well and let Benji dupe anyone who doesn't know better.

I am cool with critique of Benji's over statements and misstatements and agree with most of them. I just think the portrayal of Benji by some suggests he has little or no value as a source of information and on that I disagree. The courses I have purchased from other advisors that are well known also contained portions that were "cheesy" in my opinion, so I ignored that portion of their advice. I still am so very thankful that I invested in those products.
Quote:
What would you say if someone came here selling a book of other people magic tricks and ideas? Just repackaged them and sold them with no credit. Then what?

That is a bit tricky to answer, in that I am not well aquainted with the material Benji sells. I only would say he is qualified to share what worked for him and why he made decisions that he did. I guess if you use the same ingredients in different quantities you can come out with a cookie that is all your own.
Full disclosure - I own none of Benji's products or services. I do plan on reading several of his book suggestions that I have not read, perhaps even his.
Dannydoyle
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Nice dance and no answers.

Sorry but one 50 person 4 wall event is not too tough to sell. It is not a success story and it seems as if Benjis results always get better with time.

The way most success peddlers work is to show what they have done for decades and to show what they have earned doing it. Benji wants to skip all the heavy lifting and go right to buy my stuff.

Sorry man but it takes more. A heck of a lot more. The guy quotes famous millionaires because he can't point to his own resounding success.

Funny you keep using the word "share" for what the young guru wannabe does. H shares nothing. Every post is a pitch. Mindpro and I sell nothing. Odd you don't see the difference.

And the last question you try to dance around is an easy answer and I think you know it. It has nothing to do with Benji. Someone repackaging others tricks is frowned upon. To say the least.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
charliecheckers
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Quote:
On 2013-12-07 16:28, Bazinga wrote:
But you have certain advantages over many who are looking for such material. Isn't your dad a long-time performer? Please don't' misunderstand me, I truly admire your accomplishments. For a highschool and a college student, you and your brother have accomplished so much more than people your age, or any age in some cases.

While my dad performed magic as an amateur for many years, it was never a business in any way. He performed for money occasionally to acquire a few new effects and such, but that was it. I was very fortunate to be incorporated into his stage shows that mostly were for charity. He placed high demands on us even though it was for no money. It was for an appreciation for the art. In high school I pursued business ventures early on and read books and listened to CD's on business. My business ventures had to do with video editing/creating. I never was very successful, but learned a lot. My current business was something I started to make a few bucks doing birthday shows around my area. My dad said if I broke even, it would be better than making the money other kids my age do, so he supported our decision. He has given suggestions, but most of what I learned was acquired from reading, discussing with other magicians, and the advice and programs I acquired here. I traveled to meet up with Eric aka The Great Zucchini and gained confidence and many ideas from him as well. I would think most who are avid participants here would be able to separate hype from sound suggestions. Even if they follow some poor advice, that too is a learning opportunity. I know for a fact I have done that at times. I don't think it is healthy to live in fear or lament over it and some of the suggestions here would make you believe doom will come to you if you follow Benji's advice. Really? Now who is selling hype?
Bazinga
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Charlie,

Your dad certainly has the right attitude there. And so do you, even toward you video experience. Though you say you weren't good at it, if you ever have a pro demo done you'll have an eye and the knowledge to know if the person making it is doing good work. And you'll be better able to guide him to what you'd like done.

I have GZ's "Rock Star" video & lecture notes, and am getting his new video. While I won't be emulating his show, or even much of his style, I got enough value out of the first one to make buying the new one a no-brainer. I also like his attitude toward helping others.

As to doom coming to those who follow BB's advice, of course the ones who do the event crashing/fake video testimonial thing will come to doom. Even he says he doesn't do that any more. Of course there's some good advice in some of what he says. Most of it is not his advice though but what he is repeating from others before him.

I do agree with you on his book list (except for his own of course) and when I saw his video on that I replayed it and made a list. I had some and bought some more that was on it. But that doesn't make him a teacher either, just a guy who displayed some good books.

When I say people should avoid BB, I'm not talking about you, me, or anyone with enough sense to know how to sort the crap from the Shinola. I'm talking about someone new who might find him as the first source of information.

Finally, I think you and BB are about the same age. When I read what you say, I see the sense and value in it. I simply don't when I read his words.

Bazinga!
Dannydoyle
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Fact is Charlie he puts himself out there as something he is not. He plays an expert on the internet and in life it's not reflected.

Some of his advice is bad. What is not bad is more often than not lifted from others.

I just don't think people should take advice from someone who does not have to live with the consequences. He puts people in a bad path. Doom? Not likely. But there is a lot of room between doom and giving worthwhile advice.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
charliecheckers
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I hope that by my suggesting that Benji has advice that is worth listening to, I am not being perceived as equating his advice with that of those much more experienced and genuine, such as Danny and Mindpro. Let me say, that is by no means the case. Danny and Mindpro have advice that is time tested and sound. I have followed their advice closely and it serves to guide me. Even on areas where I already have an opinion, it is very comforting to read their advice because It confirms my suspicions most often, which is improtant as well. If one has to choose between you guys and Benji, there is no contest. The good news, in my opinion, is that we do not have to choose. We can see if there are things Benji brings to the table. I observe his websites and he has shared why they work. It makes sense to me and I would like to hear more on that. Someone has given him great advice, I believe. When I looked at his Paid to Perform website I saw how inviting it was and realized after a while I was gaining a positive perception of him as a person and professional. I have collateral information to fill out that picture for myself, but it really made me think of the thought process that was put into that site to capture attention and make me want to spend more time there and revisit it. I would like to know more about that. I do not believe it is the work of an amateur. Benji speaks of leveraging current performances to a greater degree than many do. That is a strategy I try to maximize, and I would be interested in hearing his perspective. If you google his name, you will find an image of someone sought after and successful. I would like to know more on the thought process on how that came about. Reading his on-line blogs cost nothing and there is no obligation to to buy anything. I find value in them. I read the book Millionaire Fast Lane by MJ Demarco a few years ago. He spoke of creating wealth through streams of income that do not require exchanging time for money and treating time as the most scarce resource.This was a very valuable perspective and one I see Benji mentioning as well. Those who get paid for performing a show exchange time for money, with a higher return on their time if they are more talented. A faster way to create wealth (unless you are David Copperfield talented) is to create wealth when you are asleep, sick or on vacation. Benji not only mentions this, he is taking action. His websites closely follow this advice. Benji's websites work 24/7/365 with very low costs, no salaries, no sick days, no employee turnover. I am paying close attention to his strategies, as they mirror what experts are saying to do. He is learning the fundamentals and stumbling along the way, but his strategies are what I am watching as they progress. For me, this is exciting because I do not have the exposure or experience many of you have, so for me to watch Benji is my best example of someone taking such action, yet early in the process where I can watch the development.
Sometimes I think experience can distance one from those with inexperience a bit. Danny and Mindpro continually downplay Benji's accomplishments. They say you have to be successful for a long time before it really counts (my words, not theirs). I think this is because from their perspective some of these accomplishments are somewhat ordinary. What is lost a bit, is that for most of us, Benji's success is beyond what we can imagine archiving in the foreseeable future, so to us it is extraordinary. Not everyone who is successful shares or is even a good teacher (not to say Benji necessarily is) so when one of our peers (younger and less experienced) is successful and has services, it is interesting.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On 2013-12-07 23:21, charliecheckers wrote:
I hope that by my suggesting that Benji has advice that is worth listening to, I am not being perceived as equating his advice with that of those much more experienced and genuine, such as Danny and Mindpro. Let me say, that is by no means the case. Danny and Mindpro have advice that is time tested and sound. I have followed their advice closely and it serves to guide me. Even on areas where I already have an opinion, it is very comforting to read their advice because It confirms my suspicions most often, which is improtant as well. If one has to choose between you guys and Benji, there is no contest.

Sometimes I think experience can distance one from those with inexperience a bit. Danny and Mindpro continually downplay Benji's accomplishments. They say you have to be successful for a long time before it really counts (my words, not theirs). I think this is because from their perspective some of these accomplishments are somewhat ordinary. What is lost a bit, is that for most of us, Benji's success is beyond what we can imagine archiving in the foreseeable future, so to us it is extraordinary. Not everyone who is successful shares or is even a good teacher (not to say Benji necessarily is) so when one of our peers (younger and less experienced) is successful and has services, it is interesting.


I think you've made a few misunderstandings or perceptions here. You're comparing watermelons to kuquats. One come to you based on years, decades of personal time-tested experience, the other comes to you from a young eager guy three years of experience mostly based on the work of others. If you look closely at what Benji says, believes and offers, separately or in its totality, 90-95% of it is the work of others. It is not based on his years of experience, it based on the experience of others. The problem now is Benji has proprietarily taken it as his own, repackaged it in purple and grey, and is now trying to push it off as his own. This is a huge difference.

The advice given here from Danny, Jim Snack, Munton, myself and some others is based on our own years of experience and execution. We didn't learn something from someone else, adapt it to us, and claim it as our own. We took years of knowledge, learning and personal experiences, and created our own, based on our own efforts. I'm sorry but experience doesn't come from one or two time events. That's learning itself. Then comes tweaking, testing, and trail and error through evolvement. This all takes time, which can't be expedited. Experience and time can't be rushed just because you're in a hurry to get to the end results. Sure, everyone wants that, but it simply is not how it works.

So my point is let's not confuse personal experience though "the process" with pushing someone else's experience off as your own.

As pointed out previously, to some Benji may seem impressive or it may appear he has accomplished a lot. All Benji has done is become a great student of other gurus. The one consistent element to students of gurus is the sole desire to be the guru themselves. This is the work in progress. This is what Benji is putting all his time and efforts into is trying to be the guru wannabe and come off as taking single minor accomplishments and through today's mediums and resources amplify and glorify them to come off as much more than they actually are. To more inexperienced performers they may not see, understand or get this, so it therefore looks impressive. What you are seeing is the polished final results of Benji's learning from other gurus, other's experience and what he is himself learning as a guru student.

Much of the advice is guru hype that when actually applied in the real word falls on it's face. Because much of it is based on theory, not real world practicality and application. It's also not based on entertainment business, but rather conventional business. Big difference. It's designed to get you hyped up and to believe that it's possible and if you are not or have not achieved it, it's because of you - you are lacking, not doing it properly or you are not implementing or executing it. There is no accountability, because it's subjective to you.

I've actually lost count, but in the last year and a half, I believe this is his 7th, 8th or 9th web site, his 10th or 15th product or service release, he became a "coach" almost immediately within a week of his first book release (which as to someone who has been an entertainment business coach myself for years finds this most offensive, again because he's trying to represent himself on a level and as being something he's not), he speaks for free at events that he spins to look like he's now "a highly-paid, in-demand, professional speaker" - using terms similar to "the county's best" or "the world's best"...), and I could go on and on, but my point is as Danny said it's representing himself and his content as something it's not. Maybe you learned something from Benji's list of recommended books. Great, of course it wasn't "his" list, other gurus gave that to him, he simply "shared it with you and now it appears as Benji offered some great advice, especially to those who didn't know the information yet themselves. This is the basis for his entire wanna-be guru offerings. If you want to be impressed by this, go ahead, but you're giving credit where it's not due, to the wrong person and falling for the bigger picture, which is that the whole link was always originally intended to bait you to go to his blog and web site to shamelessly plug more of his materials (again that are mostly the work of others, combined with his personal one-off experiences). That's the only reason he comes to the Café at all, for personal gain, profit and promotion.

At one point I was routing for Benji as he had shown signs of being a decent performer in time with experience. But his interests were in being perceived as a guru or entrepreneur. All of these short-lived, minimally successful web sites, becoming a super-speaker in less than a year, now personal trainer or coach, it simply shows his lack of commitment and follow through to one thing. Let's face it, Benji is still trying to find bookings himself (to the point of doing it for free), yet he's peddling advice to others on how to get bookings. He is simply what those of us actually in the business call a "wantrapreneur".

Trust me, I know MUCH more about Benji, his operation and bigger picture than I will ever express here, and sometimes when I see performers of a more beginning or semi-pro level being enticed by some of these misrepresentations or social media spins designed to make it appear to be impressive, it literally pains me to bite my tounge.

You said "Sometimes I think experience can distance one from those with inexperience a bit. Danny and Mindpro continually downplay Benji's accomplishments", and of course you're entitled to you opinions. But I'd rather see this as "the distance" you speak of allows us to look at it from the level of experience from where he is to where he so badly wants to be. 75% of my own coaching students over the years are beginners or those with less than three to five years performing experience at various levels, usually part-time, that want to become pro or make the move to permanent part-time entertainers or transition to full time. So while much of my current performing work is at an advance level, much of my work on a daily basis is more with those levels of performers than those on my own level of experience, from age 16 to 63. Many progress from the beginning levels to much greater advance levels, based on a tried and true system created and based on decades of experience. Again, there is a huge difference, but I don't believe there is the distance you think there is. You must realize just because someone has worked through and progressed on from a certain level doesn't mean that it is forgotten or doesn't still play a role in daily professional business and execution. Perhaps this may not be realized by those yet to accomplish it, but this is quite true.

No one is downplaying anything, there is just nothing to downplay. I have yet to find a single thing that I have found to be impressive or different from what anyone else has done or can do. Especially on the level his is trying to be at. Much of it is what many here do on a daily basis. He unfortunately only shares what he wants you to know about these "accomplishments". The greater true value to others would come from what he's not sharing. He should forget the "positive, guru spin" and would be better served sharing the good, bad and the ugly. Trust me, he's had plenty of bad and ugly to share that would be helpful to others (as do most with any level of experience, most of you reading this included).

What kills me is those that say "well Benji did his own four-wall show, good for him." What? Obviously it wasn't that successful or A.) he be bragging much more about it, showing clips from it, and boasting about it excessively, and B.) he'd be doing more of them himself. So, to me the true value is in (as Paul Harvey would say) is in "the rest of the story. (I know, who is Paul Harvey? to the younger guys here, sorry). This is just one example of many.

The point is you must be accountable to who and what you listen to and accept. It just is very upsetting to me as someone who after accomplishing my life's dreams and goals in live performing and entertainment, and decided to share this lifetime of knowledge and experience with others to make their journey easier and less costly and problem-ridden, to see people supporting, buying into and defending such thin offerings, from someone with no real track record, minimally experienced (heck he was asking basic performing questions just three years ago), and someone that uses the current popular medias to make things appear much greater and grander than they actually are. Yes, in reality it is offensive and a misrepresentation of his minor personal strides forward and "accomplishments". He, like the tallest kid in the kiddie pool because he makes the biggest splash, but in reality he is just another kid in the pool.

If this faux-experience and manufactured impressiveness is what is preferred, I'll be happy to quit sharing my information and personal experience (for free), supporting and helping others here based on my experience info and offerings and simply keep them to myself and exclusively to my own students.
charliecheckers
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[quote]On 2013-12-08 10:40, Mindpro wrote:
Quote:
.
So, to me the true value is in (as Paul Harvey would say) is in "the rest of the story. (I know, who is Paul Harvey? to the younger guys here, sorry).

Great post. Nothing I can really disagree with. Sometimes it is valuable to stir the pot a bit and reinforce principles of worth.
And as Confusius always said: "Good Day!".
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On 2013-12-08 11:19, charliecheckers wrote:
And as Confusius always said: "Good Day!".

Tee hee.

Bazinga!
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Jim Snack might have some good advice. But he could use Benji's help on making a website. Sorry couldn't help myself.
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That's the beauty of Jim Snack's, is it's not about all the latest frills, bells & whistles and wiz-bang technologies, just great content in an easy formatted web site. Jim doesn't need hype and fluff, his material speaks for itself - which is kind of the entire point. Jim could have the latest flash, fancy graphics, guru-style formatting, social proof, first-fold video, and so on, and in reality it wouldn't make a difference at all. He wouldn't sell any more of his products because of this.

It's about being effective and achieving the pre-desired results. So often a fancy website is only ego-satisfying to the performer or business and actually complicates and confuses things for the intended.
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Quote:
On 2013-12-08 19:02, Mindpro wrote:
It's about being effective and achieving the pre-desired results. So often a fancy website is only ego-satisfying to the performer or business and actually complicates and confuses things for the intended.


In his Smart Business for Entertainers audio seminar, he actually makes a joke about his website that's almost exactly to this effect. I don't think he needs anything different.
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Is this one of those - "the sky is falling threads"?

Quote:
On 2013-12-07 18:33, Dannydoyle wrote:
Nice dance and no answers.

Sorry but one 50 person 4 wall event is not too tough to sell. It is not a success story


However in my opinion a 50 person 4 wall could be considered to be a success. Depending on the person's goals and business plan.

The words success in magic can mean a lot of different things depending on the person's point of view and what they themselves consider just what a success truly is.

The money measurement of success is only one yardstick to measure success. And in my opinion that should only be judged by the person that is doing it. If it is judged from the outside in my opinion the Judgement can be and often is biased.

There is a lot more to success than just money - in my opinion and that was the opinion of everyone that I have met in show busness.

Just a few thoughts and opinion.
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Paddy
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Bish, the problem with Benji is simple. He comes across an an EXPERT to sell his membership on his website, but the advice he gives is just plain WRONG! i.e. His idea to get "references" is to crash a corporate meeting, do a few tricks in the back then interview a few spectators, claiming you worked that company party. This is definite proof that Benji is a liar and con artist out to make a fast buck off young magicians teaching them how to get a bad reputation.
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bishthemagish
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Well, I don't have a problem with magicians posting video of something that they have on a DVD or a web site trying to sell a book, web site or a DVD. And I don't have a problem of magicians posting and trying to sell business techniques.

I have had this happen to me back in the day that I wrote books and did my DVD's on culling and punch work. I have had people say on this message board that I was trying to come across an EXPERT. I have been called a liar and con artist and many other things.

I don't judge people I don't know by what is written on a message board.
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You're confusing "what is written on a message board" with what the individual himself has openly stated on a message board. And I disagree, there is a great deal of valuable input, information, opinion and experience offer on forums like this. Perhaps you had a bad experience.
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