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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » It Finally Happened (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

RiffClown
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Yorktown, Virginia (Previously Germany)
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It had to happen sooner or later, I was twisting and performing at a local festival for tips (to donate to my organization that was raising money there) and was asked to cease and desist by the group hosting the carny even though I was not profiting in any way except for possible exposure. I was there merely to generate traffic at the booth at which my organization was selling food, soda etc as a fund raiser.

It seems that I was giving away balloons for free and severely undercutting their sales in another part of the fest where they were charging an arm and a leg on a per balloon basis. I "hear" a simple poodle was a buck and multiballoon figures were outrageous. No money, no balloon (and they wondered why my line was longer.) The only reason I was asked to leave was because of GREED.

I won't mention the host's organization, but those in attendance saw their .......really dark side. To make matters worse they offered me the opportunity to twist for them away from my organization. I apologized to the people in line and explained the situation as I began packing up. I performed a quick mis-made flag routine, we all said the Pledge of Allegiance ("under God") and I passed out some giveaways (gliders, tattoos, kickballs, etc.) to those that were in line. I thanked them for their understanding and packed up.
Smile Smile Smile Smile

The good side is, during the hour and a half I worked, I raised pretty good money for my organization and have already received some future bookings from the exposure alone. Several folks in line asked for my card and complimented me on my professional behavior as I was having to pack up despite the crying kids.
:cry: Smile Smile

I offered them a %10 discount for their next booking if they mention the star on my card. (I mark my business cards so I can "kind of" track their effectiveness. These had stars punched in the corner.) Smile
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>http://www.riffclown.com
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
Brian Proctor
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Somewhere
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I applaud you for your professionalism. That is a great example of how professional entertainers should behave. I think you did the right thing. And as a bonus for doing that, you got alot more out of it by people asking you to do things for them. Awesome!
Brian Smile Smile
Darrin Cook
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Well-done, Riff Clown. You are a better man than I to maintain your composure under those circumstances.

Remember, as I always say, "The wheels of justice turn slowly, but they do turn."
RiffClown
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Yorktown, Virginia (Previously Germany)
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To respond in kind to the "sponsors" would have only hurt my reputation "which I'm still building" in the local area. I really feel I came out the better for it and the layfolks in line saw the sponsor's true colors.

**Update: My booking today went very well. I recognized several people that were stranded in my line and a few let me know that they had filed complaints and left soon after I did because of the way I was treated.
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>http://www.riffclown.com
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
BroDavid
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Sometimes (not always, but sometimes....) we are priveleged to immediately see the result of having done right!

I am glad for you Riff, that you were able to see good results so quickly.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2002-07-05 18:25, RiffClown wrote:
It had to happen sooner or later, I was twisting and performing at a local festival for tips (to donate to my organization that was raising money there) and was asked to cease and desist by the group hosting the carny even though I was not profiting in any way except for possible exposure. I was there merely to generate traffic at the booth at which my organization was selling food, soda etc as a fund raiser.

It seems that I was giving away balloons for free and severely undercutting their sales in another part of the fest where they were charging an arm and a leg on a per balloon basis. I "hear" a simple poodle was a buck and multiballoon figures were outrageous. No money, no balloon (and they wondered why my line was longer.) The only reason I was asked to leave was because of GREED.



To Play Devils advocate, did you pay for your spot to be there? I think it is great that you were doing something for charity but you shouldn't pass judgement on others so quickly.

What you call GREED they might call putting food on the table. Carnies make their living by working these events. If they don't make money they do not eat. With rare exception most of these people live on very humble means.

You make it sound like Microsoft came down and orderd you to cease and desist when in fact it was probably people that realized that if you kept working, meatless Monday might be extended to everyday due to lack of funds.

The reason I am a bit more sensitive to this issue is I grew up in this enviroment. I went to work pitching Svengali decks and Wonder Mice when I was eleven. Everything I did in life before that was mearly a waste of time Smile

I can give you a better example. Just this past Saturday night I was working Harvard Square. I got there at 9:30 a.m. to make sure I got my preferred pitch. I also showed up with my performers permit that I spent forty dollars to obtain.

Most of the day I spent killing time for next to nothing under the hot sun. I did a lot of four dollar hats just to hold that spot. I didn't eat lunch and between shows I took pulls from a gallon bottle of warm water that I brought with me. If I left my pitch another performer would have moved right in. Unless you are rotating with somebody you squat your pitch for the duration.

At about seven thirty my window of opertunity for making money begins. Remember from 9:30 a.m. untill 7:30 p.m. I am just working to hold my spot. That is 10 hours standing undering the blistering July sun with no breaks just to work the night.

At 7:45 p.m. A fortune teller shows up and sits five feet away from me on the wall in front of my pitch. This is where my audience sits. She starts casual conversation with me and I am polite. I want to ask her if she really intends to squat on my pitch but I can't think of a nice way to get the words out of my mouth so I say nothing.

I start to bally for my edge and stop a mom with two very pretty daughters in their early 20's. It takes me about thirty seconds to rope them in but once they come back I know I am all set. Timing is esential. During that thirty seconds several things happen.

My gregarios back and forth between these women stops about five people on my left flank and the women are on my right. All I have to do is move them into position and I am going to stop another thirty. That thirty will blow up to whatever the pitch will hold. That is how it works.

As I am still talking to these women the fortune teller hops up and starts asking them if they want their palms read. SHE PULLS THEM RIGHT OUT OF MY AUDIENCE WHILE I AM IN MID CONVERSATION!

The sound of my jaw hitting the pavement could be heard by the jugglers 500 feet away over the latin gutiar players amplifier at the next pitch.

This of course killed the fluid motion of my timing and I lost the crowd.

I can not tell you what I wanted to do to this lady because none of you would ever think kindly of me again, but lets just say it would not have been nice.

To make matters worse I can't even draw another edge because everytime I do this woman starts reading palms louder and takes attention away from what I am trying to do. I mean SHE IS RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF MY PITCH!

So, I quietly, and politely, waste A HALF HOUR OF PRIME TIME. Time I have been standing on this pitch TEN HOURS to get. A brief shining spot in the day where money flows like water but only lasts two hours.

When she is finished she tells the people they can now watch my magic show. I am seething. I am politle to a fault as I say to her, "You know what you just did was not very cool. You pulled these people that I stopped and were watching my show right out of my audience."

She says, "Well, they want to watch it now."

"That doesn't help the crowd I lost because of what you did."

Now the three ladies get all puffed up and say, "Well, you've lost us too!" and walk away.

The reason for this is, to those three ladies my friends, "I" looked like the greedy magic man who was trying to take food out of the sweet old fortune tellers mouth.

I wasn't going to waste my time trying to explain to them the situation. I just let them go, it would have done no good to try and stop them. To those three ladies I will always be the big jerk of Harvard Square. The good news is if they had stayed they would have only been one dollar in my hat. I was much more upset about the xxx dollar hat I lost during the half hour of primetime the ignorant witch took out of my pocket.

I called over the Harvard Square monitor and guess what?

She didn't have a permit. She had NO RIGHT to be there. He told her to beat feet and she had the gall to come up to me and ask me how long I intended to work the pitch so that she could comeback when I was done. I said, "I don't know." She is still not getting it and says, "Can you guess?"

I say, "Lady, I've been here since nine AM waiting for right now. I am not giving up this pitch untill I've worked it dry for the night." She looks at the monitor and says, "HE'S BEEN HERE ALL DAY! WHEN DOES SOMEONE ELSE GET A TURN!"

The monitor says under his breath, "You don't get it do you ma'am." He then sighs and says, "Ma'am, there is no time limit it is first come first serve."

Now her eyes start spinning like pinwheels and she screams, "BUT THAT'S NOT FAIR!"

The monitior replies, "Not fair to whom, Ma'am? You don't even have a permit. If you ask me This guy has earned this pitch. He has stood here all day waiting for right now. How would you feel if someone imposed on you after you spent a back breaking day earning your spot?"

She groaned like she was dealing with idiots packed up her junk in a huff and bailed out.

This all took about an hour. In busker terms it took two HUGE hats. To give you an idea as to the percentage of my day this lady cost me let me make it easier to follow. I had worded steady all day and lets say I made xxx by working all day. I could have done two shows and made xxx times 2 in just the hour this lady took from me. I did my last two shows and that is what I did.

So, going home that night I was xxx times two short. In real money, that is about a car payment.

Now, I know the original story is a bit different but I think my story is a very clear cut example of how things can be misunderstood.

I am sure fortune teller lady thinks I am the Greediest dirt ball to ever walk the planet since Gordon Gecko in "Wall Street" and that's okay. She don't get it. If you don't know the rules you can't get the game.

It is not greed when you are trying to feed your family. Greed is when you are doing it to buy your tenth Car.

I'm sure fortune teller lady is a nice person. What she did was not out of malice but mearly a lack of understanding and miscommunication. I wonder if it might be a similar situation in the original posters situation. Maybe the festival people are not that bad. And maybe the balloon twisters charge five bucks for a balloon because they are only able to make that kind of money once or twice per month. The rest of the month you have to scrape and back break.

My friend Perry told me, "You make your grits during the week and your gravy on the weekend."

It's a tough road sometimes.

Best,

Danny-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
RiffClown
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I wish I could say you were right. The folks that ran the rides paid for their spots as well and I respect that. My spot (shared with my organization) was $150. To top it off, the organizers (same ones who asked me to leave) set the prices or our wares so we couldn't be competitively priced.

I wish I could say otherwise, but my original assertion stands. I understand and sympathize with your scenario, I've been there, too. This was very different.

This was corporate greed at its darkest. Smile
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>http://www.riffclown.com
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2002-07-08 14:14, RiffClown wrote:
I wish I could say you were right. The folks that ran the rides paid for their spots as well and I respect that. My spot (shared with my organization) was $150. To top it off, the organizers (same ones who asked me to leave) set the prices or our wares so we couldn't be competitively priced.

I wish I could say otherwise, but my original assertion stands. I understand and sympathize with your scenario, I've been there, too. This was very different.

This was corporate greed at its darkest. Smile


That's a shame..
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
Bird Brain
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Riff,

It may have worked BETTER for you, ya know! The people who saw you get "moved" may now, when they think of you, think "Hey, let's get that really nice guy that was so professional!"

You never know.

But I'm with you with the corporate greed!
It's awful! I could go on and on! But I wouldn't want to freak out the cafe...

5150,
Josh
Yes I know my enemies
They're the teachers who taught me to fight me
Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission
Ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite
All of which are American Dreams, All of which are American Dreams
RiffClown
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Yorktown, Virginia (Previously Germany)
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Smile
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>http://www.riffclown.com
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
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