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Starrpower
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Inner circle
4070 Posts

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This week in my market, a Wal-Mart Santa Claus pulled a doozy.

A 6-year-old child, whose father is in the service, asked Santa if he visits the Mideast. Santa answered, "No, I don't go there anymore. There are bad people there who kill people."

The girl told him her daddy was there, and brought supplies to the troops. Rather than the logical answer of "Sure, I'll see your daddy and let him know you're thinking about him," this goofball replied, "President Bush started the war so the Vice President could get rich."

The mother, at this point, said, "That's enough, Santa."

A few more comments were made before the child left Santa's lap.

I'd imagine this child was absolutely crushed that Santa implied her daddy was a killer.

A few years back, I read on another forum (not here) where a magician was hired by a political party, or an organization promoting a candidate. The magician spent his time there promoting the other party! He said it was only fair that both sides be heard! Really, he did this while on the payroll of the guy he was bashing, and felt this was perfectly acceptable.

Does anyone here feel it's appropriate to discuss politics, religion, or any other personal views while working?
Chrystal
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Inner circle
Canada/France
1552 Posts

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Hi Starrpower,

Yikes your story gave me shudders and I'm in agreement with you it was very inapropriate. Regardless of one's own personal views the following topics should never be discussed at work. Santa, especially should never be discussing this type of stuff with little kids!!! Whew good thing I'm not working at the moment as this is my own personal views of course. (coughs and calms self - sits back down.)
Macbeth
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London
129 Posts

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Depends on the edict, I have done a birthday party for someone at my church who asked me to do some gospel magic in the show.

But other than at personal request I wouldn't. I am being paid to entertain not express my opinions. However if I was asked to perform magic for a cause or political party that I didn't agree with I would turn the offer down.
Starrpower
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4070 Posts

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Macbeth, I am in agreement with you, to a degree.

I could work for someone with differing views than mine, but I would certainly keep my views quiet -- at least at that event! If I felt so strongly about something that I knew I couldn't keep quiet, I, too, would refuse the booking. But under no circumstances would I discuss my views with a child!

Being hired specifically to deliver a message is another topic altogether.
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
This was inexcusable behavior on the part of this Santa imposter (and the magician at the political rally, too). The Santa sounds like someone who didn't understand the boundaries of his position, and obviously crossed the line in the heat of an opinionated thought. The other guy sounds like an infiltrator. I hope they both had there careers severly damaged, if not there physiques.

The fact that both of them were hired to do jobs brings with it a certain job description that really should not have to be spelled out in the contract. If there need be contract clauses (no pun) for this sort of thing, the litigation process for hiring any entertainment will be so complex that we'll all be out of work.

Maybe there should be some kind of Good Housekeeping seal for entertainers; a kind of code of ethics that we subscribe to in an open forum that lets the buyer know he is getting someone that will not do something this stupid. Just a thought...
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Loual4
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Montreal, Canada
670 Posts

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Is there no end to human stupidity?

When Hired by anybody, the one thing that you have to make sure of is that you do not embarass, annoy, or otherwise bring discomfort to your employer. He wants you to entertain, not be a pain! I agree with the previous posts on an important point: If your views differ from your employer and you can not keep quiet, then don't take the job!

As for the Santa Claus story, this person had no business giving out his personnal political views to a child. He was hired to bring joy to the kids by listening to them and keeping the dream of a real santa alive in the eyes of the little ones.

Have a good day!

Louis
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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If I am hired to perform at a church function, then yes I do talk about religion and do a piece in my show that talks about my beliefs in god and my personal walk with him. However, the church knows this before they have me come out and they know my routine and what I will ne covering on. In this situation, I feel it is appropriate for me to do what I do.

However, I would not bring in politics, religion or my own personal beliefs if I am booked as an entertainer for an event. I am there to entertain people, to make them happy and feel good. I am not there to lecture to them one way or the other. I am their to solve the needs of the client and to provide solutions for THEM not to use it as a means for MY personal goals.

Kyle
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Starrpower
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4070 Posts

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A follow-up: It turns out the Santa was not a pro. He was a volunteer who was dismissed after this incident. Wal-Mart was very good about the whole thing. Keep your eyes open during the next few days as some national media have picked up this story.

Also, remember this the next time you are up against an amatuer or beginner who charges less. These little "horror stories" are often enought to make a prospect think and you, as a seasoned performer, may get the booking.
Macbeth
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London
129 Posts

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Quote:
On 2004-12-21 13:03, Starrpower wrote:
Macbeth, I am in agreement with you, to a degree.

I could work for someone with differing views than mine, but I would certainly keep my views quiet -- at least at that event! If I felt so strongly about something that I knew I couldn't keep quiet, I, too, would refuse the booking.


Starrpower, That is what I meant.

I would happily work for a few different political parties and organisations (The chance would be a fine thing as I am only doing 1 or 2 shows a month). But there are some like the BNP that I wouldn't touch with a 20 foot bargepole.
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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I've no problem working for different political parties and organisations, they are all as bad as each other, I would also not air my own views while working.

Like macbeth I would not work for the BNP (British National Party...for National read Nazi) nor would I work for the Pro-euro brigade. (That would be fun because if it was in town my car would be parked nearby and it has a 'KEEP THE POUND' sticker in the window.)

I would not do gospel magic if hired by a church, I'm not a believer so to me it's just another kids show, but if a kid made a comment about god I would just agree with them, they can make their own decisions about religion when they're older.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
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