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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » What happened, was this... » » Thoughts/Advice Needed Please. (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of kippteacher1
I need some help, please! In over 25 years, I've never had today's experience occur. I had an 11 am show booked for a birthday party for a repeat client. At 7:30 am on the same day, he called and said he had to cancel because the bday girl was sick. He apologized and said he would pay anyway (I never require a deposit). I said it wasn't necessary, illnesses happen. He said he needs to speak with his wife, but they would like to reschedule the show for next Sunday probably. On my way to another show today, I decided to stop by the house to drop off a birthday present for the birthday girl (I always give the bday child a present when I get to the party). When I drove up . to the house, there were balloons out front, at least a dozen kids running around inside at least a dozen umbrellas left by the door. I saw a guest mom and her child leaving, so I asked if the birthday girl was feeling better. The mom looked surprised and said that she wasn't sick. I went inside and saw the dad and gave him the gift and said I was in the area for another show so I just wanted to drop off the gift. The dad didn't seem frazzled at all. He said thank you and said he'd give the present to her.

Can anyone figure out what is going on? More importantly, what should I do? Email and/or call and ask what happened? Forget the whole thing and move on? ???? I am really confused and would love to know how other professionals would handle this.

Thanks! I'm looking forward to hearing responses!!! Smile
arthur stead
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Wow! I’ve never heard of that happening. What scumbags!

If I were you, I would insist on them paying your fee. Tell them you lost income by turning down another gig when they scheduled you for their daughter’s birthday.

And maybe in the future you should think about a deposit? Or at least a contact? (I used to call them Performance Agreements).
Arthur Stead
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A Show By Joe
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I agree. I don't ask for a deposit but always send a contract. I wold have walked in with the present and asked the dad what was a good day to reschedule and tell him that because of the cancelation you require a deposit of 50%.

Unfortunately in these days of social media you can't put people in a situation that can damage your name over one situation like this. Sometimes the best thing is to let it go and learn for the next time. Just hope that they feel you were nice about it and tell people good things about you.
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Profile of danfreed
I'd just forget about that gig today, it was a very weird and unusual thing, and you could have/maybe should have gotten a deposit. Maybe he double booked an entertainer and didn't want to admit it, and he chose the other guy. It happens. Or the kid decided he didn't want an entertainer. If you try to get payment now, then you get into accusing him of lying, and that can end up with him badmouthing you publicly, and he did offer to pay you at first, but you turned it down, so move on.
Contracts for less than big money gigs are worthless, except that at least the client knows how much to pay, can make sure the details are right, and knows what you need for performing conditions, etc. But you can give them that info anyway without you and the client messing around with contracts. If the client hoses you over, you can go to small claims, but they don't enforce payment, from what I've seen, so the client can still not pay and you've wasted even more time and money.
Gerry Walkowski
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I have to admit, that is one of the weirdest ones I've heard in a long time.

Sometimes you have to have thick skin in this business.

Once I lost a check from a birthday party Mom (I didn't sign it), and I called the Mom. (The family was fairly well off.) I told her what happened, asked if she could put a stop payment on it, and just resend me the check. She never sent the check, even after I called her a second time. It was my stupid fault, so I just chalked this one up to my own stupidity and moved on from there.

Three weeks ago I get an email about a birthday party relatively close to my home. I quoted a price, the Mom sounded like this was almost a done deal, but then total silence when I told her I needed her address and the time of the show.

The night before the show the Mom emails me and states she had the flu and could I please do this show the next day. She even offered to pay extra, and I told her only if it's in cash. I did the show, I was paid in cash, and everyone was happy.

Sometimes you will some. Sometimes you lose some. Smile

Tim Snyder
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Chicago, IL
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Profile of Tim Snyder
On Feb 25, 2018, kippteacher1 wrote:
The dad didn't seem frazzled at all. He said thank you and said he'd give the present to her.

He was probably just trying to be polite, as he was wondering what you were doing at his home, after he had asked you not to come to his house. The thing that stuck out the most to me after reading your post is the boundary issue. A client asked you not to perform and offered to pay you for the nonperformance. Yet, you still show up at his home anyway? I think you have to be careful about just dropping by a client's home unannounced. Even though you were just trying to be nice and cheer up the sick girl with a present, I don't think most parents would see it that way. If they can afford a birthday magician, they can afford to give her birthday gifts of her own choosing to cheer her up.

The client cancelled and offered to pay. When you hesitated to accept payment, he offered to reschedule. We don't know why he felt the need to lie. Maybe he was being cheap and hoping to get out of paying you, but it is just as likely that there was some other reason that he was not comfortable discussing with you. The birthday girl had a fit and no longer wanted a magician. One of the guests had an issue with you, after seeing you perform in the past, and did not want to attend the party if you were going to be there. The little nephew is deathly afraid of magicians. No matter what the reason, this would not have been a big deal, if you had not decided to just show up at their home. If he was not comfortable discussing the real reason for the cancellation before, I doubt he would be willing to do so now.

Clients have the right to cancel for any reason. They don't have to tell you the reason they are cancelling. However, they can't just skip out on the bill. Explain that yes you will need to still charge them, but due the extenuating circumstances (in this case a sick child) you are going give them a gift certificate good for a free half hour show that can be used for a future event. You get paid and the client feels like they still get value.
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Profile of kippteacher1
Thanks, everyone. A lot of interesting ideas! I decided not to do anything and just let it go. Tim, I never thought about it why I shouldn't have gone to his house. It does make sense that maybe that wasn't the best thing to do either. I don't know what actually happened and probably never will. (Although I really, really would like to know Smile
Tom Cutts
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Northern CA
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Best advice is to take steps to assure you don't end up feeling so obsessed about something like this in the future, and then move forward leaving this one occurance behind.

You will probably never know the answer as to what exactly went on. You have potentially put the parent in an awkward position of being caught in a lie.
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