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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Tough crowd (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

TonyB2009
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I was doing a confirmation party (twelve year old) today. The mother had asked for a sophisticated adult show rather than a kids show.

I arrived with my adult comedy club routine. There was a twelve year old boy, ten of his younger cousins, and about ten parents/uncles and aunts, etc. I began with an adult trick, with a good wow factor. Two older kids took out phones and began to text. Before I got a chance to confiscate the phones (I do that) they wandered out. Turns out they were not part of the party group, so at least I didn't have to deal with that.

All the younger kids (a majority in the room) dominated the show, though I tried my best to stick to the adult stuff. The adults remained at the back and refused to become involved. Maybe I should have been more aggressive and insisted, but the kids were all laughing so much.

At the end of the hour the mother was unhappy, and told me that she had wanted something like Dynamo, the TV magician. If she had been clearer I might have done close-up or passed along the gig. Now I was in a bind - the booker and her son were not happy. He was a lovely kid, but he had wanted Dynamo. So I decided to take a chance. I took him aside and showed him a few close-up tricks with cards, some coins, whatever was there. I did a centre tear which really fried him, then I finished with a wine bottle through the table.

Although his private performance was only about twenty minutes, the boy was delighted. So was his mother, and I got a tip, a rarity in Ireland. But I hope never to be in that situation again. All down to the mother not communicating what she wanted, and me failing to communicate exactly what I do.

Now for a whiskey. I think I have earned it.
danfreed
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West Chester PA
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Yeah, you earned it. We call that Miller Time in the states, though that doesn't mean we drink Miller beer. I hate whiskey, I prefer crappy American beer. I like to bring more stuff than needed so if the crowd is older or younger or different than expected I can adapt. You adapted well by doing the private show.
Mary Mowder
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I think you handled it masterfully.

It was a hard situation because of the communications problem.

What I really like is the lack of rancor towards the booker.

It was a lack of communication and because you did not get angry at being put in an awkward position you came through a winner and so did they.

Props for being able to do an impressive Close-Up Show without warning.

Inspiring on two levels.

-Mary Mowder
noland
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You mention the "booker"--did you book this show through an agent, was that the real problem? I've found that booking through agents is a bit like going on a blind date. You never know for sure what you'll run into. Agents just don't ask the client all the questions you would, and often don't want to be bothered to.
TonyB2009
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Noland, in this case the booker was the woman who booked me. I do have a few agents, and some can really land me in it. Others know the score and send me in prepared.

I am very happy the day is over, but I am also happy the woman did confront me. I then had a chance to try and right the situation. If she had just paid me and said nothing, everyone would have been vaguely dissatisfied and none of us wants a dissatisfied customer. That is far worse than a tough gig.

I guess I just wanted to blow off some steam - thanks for listening everyone.
arthur stead
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Well handled, Tony. Once or twice I've found myself in a similar situation, and doing extra, "private" close-up magic at the end for the BD child also saved my skin and left everyone feeling happy.
Arthur Stead
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Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
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Although your management of the situation was really good, I would be so tempted to give her Dynamo's agent's contact info. My mentor did that once when someone came into the shop and wanted to hire David Copperfield. She came back a day later, white as a ghost and asked, "Do you know how much he charges??"

"Well, yes..."
~michael baker
The Magic Company
arthur stead
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Ahahahaha! That's great. Michael!
Arthur Stead
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Eldon
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Virden, IL
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Tony, you should have done The Coloring Book! Smile (Sorry, couldn't resist)
TonyB2009
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Quote:
On Mar 25, 2015, Eldon wrote:
Tony, you should have done The Coloring Book! Smile (Sorry, couldn't resist)

Don't make me laugh while I am enjoying a cup of tea. Dangerous...
jay leslie
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Tony, Like noland....

The problem was the booker. I generally find that agents pigon hole you OR they sell an act you don't do and never communicate with you exactly what's happening, for fear of loosing their commish.
TonyB2009
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Jay, it was the mother who booked me. We use the term booker differently over here.
jay leslie
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Then she didn't communicate what she was after, obviously.

i once had a party in a park where they told me to set-up on a small steep mound of dirt that was like an obstacle in a miniature golf course. Then they had a snow cone machine about 8 feet away that was just grinding the ice and making as much racquet as an old Peugeot that needed oil.

They insisted that the Princess Lady who just performed could do it on the hill so I should be able to as well. even after I explained that I have a table.... that items will fall off it.... and they wanted the kids to sit looking up into the sun over my back.... and they would not turn the ice machine off.
There was another woman who had seen me before and said to me "they just don't understand. I'll go have a talk with them" and whem she came back she said they were impossible and didn't know how I was going to do the show.

i KNOW I went over my the requirements about flat & level, no food, toys, games or other activities, being against a wall and not surrounded. I also
went over it the day before in the confirmation call but they just ignored my needs.

Yes, that was one where I walked (or tried to drive). The woman who saw me before told me that she would have left a half hour earlier. I was very nice through the ordeal but all I think was that if Micheal Baker is reading this then he understands. A few men blocked me in the parking lot so I had to call the police to make them move their cars (Cell phones are great when you need them)

So we've all been there.
Some people don't listen and others assume you can read their mind. If I could read their mind I wouldn't need to listen.
TonyB2009
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You are right, Jay. It was a communication cock-up between me and the mother. But I think it was as much on my side as hers.
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