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Topic: Are church folk really this naive?
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Dec 1, 2005 11:40AM)
I had a performance scheduled at a local church. However, after passing up other offers to perform on that date, they cancel, citing the reference to "psychic demonstrations" on the main page of my site. Are people really so naive as to not know the difference between a theatrical performer and a "psychic"?

I don't understand why these people waste my time. I thought all of the "witchburning" was over!
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Dec 1, 2005 11:51AM)
I wouldn't include all "church folk" in your broad brushstroke, but, yes, some religious people do not like magic, or psychic tricks, or whatever.

But let's not be too hard on them. Maybe they're right, and they'll be enjoying paradise while you're "wasting your time" spending all of eternity burning in the bowels of Hell.

One more reason to collect a down payment and use a contract with a cancellation clause.
Message: Posted by: johnnymagic (Dec 1, 2005 12:07PM)
I'm a magician and it still bothers me when I see the Psychic readers scamming people for money. I agree that what we do is a performance art and not witchcraft. We are not trying to take advantage of anyone by charging for quality entertainment. I would think that the Church that was going to hire you would have had the show untill someone complained so they cancelled. I agree with starr on the contract but you might have done that without mentioning it.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Dec 1, 2005 12:10PM)
A friend of mine writes a popular line of pre-school children's books. His entire series was outlawed by the state B*****t conference because ONE of the books dared to include pirates and "magic beans" in the story. I consider that an extreme reaction unworthy of rational thought...especially when the story of the Two Prince Charmings sharing their kingdoms and "Suzy Has Two Mommies" can be found in most children's libraries.

Skip
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Dec 1, 2005 12:17PM)
I don't know if you can equate witch burning with a canceled church show, witch burnings usually have better food. My sister in law believes David Copperfield uses demons to do his magic. I did a party once, strolling magic (or what you young'uz call street magic but in a house w/out a camera crew) and after one basic effect the hostess asked how it was done. I did the "can't tell you, it's a secret" response and she said only Satan could do what I did and booted me, with full pay, out of the place.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 1, 2005 12:28PM)
Yes it is very sad that here at the dawn of the twenty-first century there are still people who believe in witches, demons and that magicians must be in league with satan.
Message: Posted by: jimgerrish (Dec 1, 2005 01:48PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-01 13:28, Payne wrote:
Yes it is very sad that here at the dawn of the twenty-first century there are still people who believe in witches, demons and that magicians must be in league with satan.
[/quote]

What? You mean there's another way to do magic? I wonder if I can get my soul back if I get a good lawyer.
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Dec 1, 2005 01:55PM)
Hello Alan:

I've not been to your website to see, but perhaps you'll want to clarify what your "pyschic demonstrations" are all about. Maybe this groups is lumping you together with people like Miss Cleo and Uri Geller.

I think the lines between theatrical performance and reality have been blurred in recent years. Some people just don't want to have anything to do with that stuff.

Ron
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Dec 1, 2005 02:32PM)
I love to watch the Sunday morning church services on TV especially the faith healer with the toupee who can cure cancer, but can't grow hair.
Al
Message: Posted by: Owen Anderson (Dec 1, 2005 02:45PM)
Regretable that you lost a gig.

What was their tone in conversation with you? Did it change between booking and bailing? A case of buyer's remorse? Or maybe somebody overstepped their authority or budget?

I've had a couple of religious groups request that no playing cards be used in the show. No other issues arose on those occasions.
Message: Posted by: LostSoul (Dec 1, 2005 03:03PM)
Well, for those of you grouping witches, demons, psychics and the devil together, it's not correct, first off, witches don’t believe in the devil and most don’t go for the demons either.

Witches are actually increasing in number the Wiccan religion (we’re actually seeing a growth in “Pagan” religions in general) and as such it should be treated as any other belief system.

Now, if you really want to make a witch mad (especially a male witch) call them a warlock! The term that Bewitched used for all male witches is actually a derogatory term meaning “oath break” or someone not to be trusted (I guess some would say that about all men…)

Dave

PS: I do have some friends who pratice witchcraft and truly believe that it's real, what it is, I have no idea, but strong beliefs do make strange things happen.

Now, someone said that DC used demons in his show. Now, that's just wrong, I thought everyone knew he used Farie Folk to do most of his big illusions! :rotf:
Message: Posted by: threecardmonte (Dec 1, 2005 03:10PM)
Anybody who performs for religious groups should check out Cody Fisher's "School Show Opener". It easily explains to everybody that a magician is just somebody who knows how to do a few cool things, and not someone who is in league with the devil.
Tim
Message: Posted by: oagwood (Dec 1, 2005 04:28PM)
Yes, they are that naive and believe that opening your mind in any fashion such as hypnosis or other psychic demonstrations, is a gateway for evil spirits to enter your mind.

These are not uneducated people either. I have met (and am friends with) professionals who think this way.

I have tried to tell them that they are wrong, but it went nowhere.

I would suggest in the future get a deposit for the time slot with wording which states that it is forefeitted if the show is canceled in less than 2 weeks prior to the show.

oliver
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Dec 1, 2005 04:41PM)
It's not just "church folk." Professional educators (or what some might call the Yellow-Bellied Liberal P.C. Crowd) are nearly as bad. I was scheduled to present a seminar titled "Conjuring in the Classroom" at a state teachers' convention. They later cancelled citing, "Some teachers were uncomfortable with the term 'conjuring'."
Message: Posted by: Wolfgang (Dec 1, 2005 05:03PM)
I'm uncomfortable with the term "professional educator."
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Dec 1, 2005 05:13PM)
Well, they're paid to educate, thus my use of the term.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Dec 1, 2005 05:36PM)
Interesting what definition comes up first for conjuring:

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=conjuring

I'm not surprised at all they objected to the term "pyschic demonstrations" as you can see from the examples above folks have objected to a lot tamer references than that. I've had a call from a school who booked me saying that one of the board of directors objected to magic and could I do my show with no magic it in it.

Being magicians ourselves we often get blaise about our art and forget that folks not in the know, really know very little about our art. We get annoyed when after performing a trick some people claim it's just a trick or guess at how it was done, can we also be annoyed that we actually do fool some people and they think it's real?

We also kind of bring it on ourselves with many magi wearing black, waving fire around and acting other-wordly (and even calling mind-reading tricks psychic demonstarations) is it any wonder the uninformed get the wrong impression?

George
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Dec 1, 2005 06:05PM)
I really don't see the point in rewording my website. How else would I word it? Are people really so ignorant that I have to state the obvious - it's not real, just a theatrical performance. Do these same people think that what occurs in a movie is real? I just hope if that's the case, they don't have the gall to breed.

I make no apology for saying that anyone who thinks like that should be committed to a mental institution.
Message: Posted by: flourish dude (Dec 1, 2005 06:20PM)
I would say if your not a Christian then you should not perform for churches or for a church program. If you are a Christian and a true student of the Bible then you know how to represent yourself.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Dec 1, 2005 06:26PM)
I was raised that way. Studied theology, too. But, some people just twist the Bible to support their own views. I find that some people who claim to be religious are just mentally lazy. They don't put any thought into what they believe. They trust too much in preachers and books, rather than making a real effort to find out what God wants.

I don't like to be told what I should believe. A healthy discussion is nice, but don't say my view is wrong when you're just parroting someone else.
Message: Posted by: calamari (Dec 1, 2005 06:41PM)
This is an interesting subject, Some magicians would say that we should strive to make magic as real as possible, the McBrides of magic, you know, mystically weaving tales of fantasy along with strong effects proving some harnessed power (weather dark or light) and others perform in a comedy vain hardly producing fear of supernatural powers. and then there are the John Edwards of the world professing to receive messages from beyond, it could be confusing to people who have no idea what it is we do, heck sometimes it is confusing to me.

I think we must know our audience and give them the best entertainment we can and make them as comfortable as possible when hiring us, as the old saying goes the customer is always right, and if we cant convence them otherwise, they are.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Dec 1, 2005 06:50PM)
One fact remains. If these people are that superstitious, why did they contact a magician to perform for their event, having seen the website? Why book a performer, only to get talked out of it, a few days before it is scheduled? If they want respect, they can show it in return.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Dec 1, 2005 07:00PM)
I think the problem lies in the fact that YOU know what a pyschic demonstrations are and what it meansd and how it is an entertaining part of what you do and is not eveil or wrong. However, just because you know this, does not mean your prospect or potential client knows this. Everyone has a different take and different meaning as to what that can suggest and what it can mean.

When working with churches, you must be careful that you really spell out for them exactly what it is you do and what it is you do not do. Let them ask questions on the phone and if there is any hesitation or uncertaintly, then you stop and adress any and all issues ahead of time.

Another factor that may be playing a part in this is that often the decision to hire a magician for a church function is not the responsibility of just one person. Usually it is one person who starts it and gets the idea, but the idea then has to go up to the church board to vote on it and discuss it. It may be at these meetings that a person's original good intentions gets shot down by the rest of the group. It does happen.

I try and adress this issue by sending them a full church based magical program promo kit and I also send it to them in PDF format so everyone at the meeting can get it and have it to look through. I also ask them if they might find it helpful for me to show up at the meeting so that I might adress the group and answer any questions they may have.

This puts my prospect at ease and makes sure that I get the chance to sell my show and my solutions to them as only I can. No one knows my show better then I do.

Hope this sheds some light on the topic a bit.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Brian Lehr (Dec 1, 2005 07:01PM)
As a former minister, I used to perform magic in that Church's which I Pastored. It was no problem for most of the people, but a great problem for several.

One day one of the parents came to me and said, "Pastor, if you do any more magic in Church, our family will be leaving." (Depending on which family it was, I may have done lots of magic the next Sunday!) ;-)

In any case, I asked her, "Is it ok with your family if I perform "object lessons" for the children?" "Sure Pastor. We don't have a problem with that."

So I continued to perform magic in the Church, but I simply called them "object lessons".

Bottom line is, know thy audience, and know how to work with thy audience. :)

Brian
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Dec 1, 2005 07:02PM)
Perhaps they know very well it's just a theatrical performance but they are concerned about "others" visiting your website and seeing that might think?

beats me.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Dec 1, 2005 07:10PM)
It really is a metter of perception and what people think things mean or how their church body might take it as a bad thing. I think a bit of educating your prospect really does help try to rectify this situation by placing yourself in control and by really letting the prospect know exactly what the show is about and how it can meet their needs and what it is not.

Let them ask questions because they may not always ask you but they are thinking about them. Ask them flat out if they have any issues or concerns about your program that you could address for them or for their church body. Be proactive in this fashion and you can really help change views.

It has worked for me.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Dec 1, 2005 07:13PM)
I explained everything to the person who did the booking. But, it doesn't do a bit of good unless I get to talk with the person who has reservations.

I'm looking at requiring deposits on church shows, to save on the uncertainty. The church info package sounds like another good idea.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Dec 1, 2005 07:37PM)
Alan
You are the naive one, get a 50% deposit. I am not going to voice my controversial opinion here, just get a deposit when you are dealing with people who think they are above the law.
Al
Message: Posted by: flourish dude (Dec 1, 2005 07:39PM)
I would say a church website as well if your going to do a lot of them. It could just be few pages or just one.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Dec 1, 2005 07:47PM)
I really do feel it is about educating your prospect and getting them to know what it is you are offering to them and what it is you are NOT going to be doing. In fact a frequently asked questions sheet could be a very powerful marketing tool for you to send out with your information. On it could be the most commonly asked questions and pitfalls that you have come across and the answers to how you are different. This might help you even when you are off the phone with them or they are having a meeting.

Just an idea.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Dec 1, 2005 07:58PM)
Perhaps they'll phone back tomorrow and say "Since you didn't know we were going to cancel you can't be psychic so you can do you're show after all" and then you can say "I knew you'd do that" and really confuse them.
I get around this problem by bringing a duck and a large pair of scales to every church gig I do.

George
Message: Posted by: kenscott (Dec 1, 2005 07:59PM)
Kyle that is great in the perfect world. I do churches and enjoy them very much. HOwever there was one church school last year who most of them knew me most of the kids had either seen me or had me at their birthday. They wanted to hire me at the end of the year church school function. Everyone wanted me EXCEPT one mother who did not think it was right to have magic in the church. Most of the time it is the sqeaky wheel that gets the oil.

In regards to when they have a meeting and bring you up. That could be the worst thing because they can't sell you like you sell yourself.

I am not sure if it would have made a difference but in the case where the lady did not want a magic show there, I wonder if I would have talked to her in person and changed her mind. Maybe? more than likely not?

Alan very interesting topic chaulk it up as their lost.

Ken
Message: Posted by: PROFED (Dec 1, 2005 08:15PM)
I was working alone as demonstrator at Magic Inc., when a local woman came into the shop to get out of the rain while waiting for her bus. I performed a couple of effects for her and got no verbal response. When ask how she liked it she said this doesnot come from God, does it? I told that this was a talent and all talents come from God. She then told me how much she enjoyed the mini-show.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Dec 1, 2005 08:18PM)
I was asked to leave a synagogue for not being Jewish, but they had the class to thank me for coming, pay me all of my money, and cary my stuff to my car.
Al
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Dec 1, 2005 08:29PM)
Ken:

I think we are actually on the same page but we may not be understanding ourselves. That is ok though. hehe It happens. I was saying that you may not be able to change a person set in their ways, but you can do things that may give you a better chance at landing a gig at a church if you do a few things up front.

Now of course this is not a perfect world solution and it may not make any good, but it may help and certainly does not hurt to give it a try, test it and see if it works for you.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: calamari (Dec 1, 2005 08:53PM)
I don't think you have to be a Christian to perform at churches as Flourish Dude remarked earlier, I mean does a plumber have to be a Christian to do work at a church?
Message: Posted by: chris mcbrien (Dec 1, 2005 09:03PM)
Now THIS is a thread!
Alan, churches unfortunately are'nt just houses of God, they can be houses of politics. Even if one person saw the site and complained, that would put an end to it. Fact is, they know and deal with that person regularly..you, they don't know you from Adam.
My dad's a minister, and I've know priests, ministers, rabbis, sheiks...from what I saw growing up sitting and listening to my dad's talks with these guys, and from my experiences with different religious organizations as an adult, this thing that happened to you is'nt out of the ordinary for a church.
Don't change your site, but just know that it may happen again with any religious organization if they don't like what they see. Take Al's advice, they took your time, so take their money.
Chris
Message: Posted by: David Bilan (Dec 1, 2005 09:05PM)
During his show, a friend of mine asks whether there are plumbers in the audience (looking for a volunteer). If not, he asks if anyone uses plumbing. After one gig at a church he was approached by a woman angry that he used potty jokes during his show.

Matters not what you do, look hard enough and someone will find a reason to complain. Get the deposit and have a cancellation clause.
Message: Posted by: mstick85 (Dec 1, 2005 09:31PM)
I'm surprised a church would book a magician. And I say this both as a person who performs magic as a hobby, loves it, and is a born-again Christian. Look, we go to church, or we should be going to church, for one and only one reason. And that is to worship God. That's it. It's not a nightclub. It's not a Café with a coffee bar, and it's not a social club. It is the house of the Lord.

If a church has sound doctrinal practices, I can see no possible way that they would invite a magician to perform. What's the purpose? Entertainment? See above for the reasons. I would say if a church member wanted to hire someone to perform at a private event (birthday party, etc.), I say "Go for it." But that's not what church is for.

Earlier posters are right. It only takes one person to change/ruin/distort anything. It happens all the time.

Alan, you are doing nothing wrong. Personally, myself, I just don't think a church should hire a magician. That's not what church is about.

Regards,
Mark
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Dec 1, 2005 09:36PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-01 20:37, juggleral wrote:
Alan
You are the naive one, get a 50% deposit. I am not going to voice my controversial opinion here, just get a deposit when you are dealing with people who think they are above the law.
Al
[/quote]
You're right. Unfortunately, churches think they can get away with this stuff. It happened a few years ago with another church, so it's no longer an isolated thing.

I have no problem conforming to reasonable requests, but I have to know what those requests are. By the way, when I perform at Jewish events, I make every effort to please them and things go well. Never had a problem at Catholic churches, either - much more enlightened than non-denominational churches.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Dec 1, 2005 09:48PM)
Alan
Every synagogue is different, this one was a very very orthidox one, and they were perfect gentlemen about the whole matter. If they call me back for another non performance with full pay I will gladly return.
Al
Message: Posted by: flourish dude (Dec 1, 2005 10:32PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-01 21:53, calamari wrote:
I don't think you have to be a Christian to perform at churches as Flourish Dude remarked earlier, I mean does a plumber have to be a Christian to do work at a church?
[/quote]

If you are going to perform a Church show for the people whom go to church then yes you should be a Christian. Being a plumber and work on the church build is not the same as presenting for the people.

"I'm surprised a church would book a magician. And I say this both as a person who performs magic as a hobby, loves it, and is a born-again Christian. Look, we go to church, or we should be going to church, for one and only one reason. And that is to worship God. That's it. It's not a nightclub. It's not a Café with a coffee bar, and it's not a social club. It is the house of the Lord.

If a church has sound doctrinal practices, I can see no possible way that they would invite a magician to perform. What's the purpose? Entertainment? See above for the reasons. I would say if a church member wanted to hire someone to perform at a private event (birthday party, etc.), I say "Go for it." But that's not what church is for.

Earlier posters are right. It only takes one person to change/ruin/distort anything. It happens all the time.

Alan, you are doing nothing wrong. Personally, myself, I just don't think a church should hire a magician. That's not what church is about.

Regards,
Mark"

Mark, most of us who perform for Churches offer a theme program that will enhance Biblical teaching. It is the same as a play (skit), puppets, or even a singing group that comes to perform for the church. We are performance artist. I will agree that if it is a private show and they are using the building then do what ever, but if you are presenting during service times for the church body then it is very different.

It all boils down to you should know your market. It seems like a lot of magicians will take what ever show is thrown at them. Then they wonder, what happened why did they not like my show. I will tell you this, not knowing your market will in the long run hurt you.

Alan, I am not saying your doing anything wrong as well. I just think that if your a Christian and have a strong Biblical background then you would know that there is a fine line with how you present yourself and this would not have been a problem. I myself have a different website for churches. I present myself not as a magician but a variety arts performer. I use illusions to illustrate.

Ask your self this, are you performing for the church to "get paid" or are you performing to enhance the kingdom of God?
Message: Posted by: Brian Lehr (Dec 1, 2005 11:06PM)
This is a great discussion on an important topic, and one that is often discussed in the forum directly above this one (The Good News forum).

If I'm not mistaken, the purpose of this Café is for magicians to help other magicians, not for certain magicians to disparage other magicians because of their beliefs, culture, race, style of magic, or anything else.

Brian
Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Dec 1, 2005 11:12PM)
I think MagicGeorge touched on part of the problem earlier. We perform Magic, guys. It's a "secret" art. When asked, "How did you do that?" we say "I can't tell you." Most people know it's just a bunch of trick, but we use terms that are shrouded in mystery and abhorrent to those in the Christian faith. Magic and Psychic being two of them. Both of these terms denote some power that is beyond the natural-- yes? Well, if you are a Christian then you believe that only God Himself has this type of power. Why would a church want to bring someone in to perform feats of "magic" or demonstrations of "psychic" power? It makes no sense. . . unless there is a purpose.

I'm a Christian magician... Christian -- magician. When I perform a magic show in a church, it is not purely for entertainment. I am there to support, through my actions and words, what that church believes and teaches. If I do my job correctly, my presentation will be entertaining. It will also become a creative way to present a Christ-centered message.

Have I had church's that pre-judged my show based on the word magic? Yes. Quite honestly, that should be expected. The very definition of the word magic puts it outside everything that honors the God that Christians serve. However, if my terminology is changed to 'illusion' or 'object lesson', then most of the opposition vanishes. Those terms more acurately define what I do.

So one really needs to understand one's audience. If a specific audience grouping is causing you problems, then you probably don't have enough awareness of that group to adequately meet their needs as a performer. The burden doesn’t fall upon the audience (or booker) to understand you; it falls upon the performer to understand his audience needs.
Message: Posted by: chris mcbrien (Dec 2, 2005 09:56AM)
If Alan wants to perform in churches, he will have to be more sensitive to their issues and figure out how best to market to them. Perhaps a seperate webpage would be a good idea.
It's all about the message. My gospel show is about the basic tennants of Christ, which happen to be the basic tennents of many faiths. I've been hired by Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, the local Hillel Foundation (jewish), and Muslims....I gotta tell ya', they all loved the show because it's all about....LOVE! At the same time, if they don't want a magic show, so be it. I don't discount that Al has a great message, as does Alan...I'm sure the same could and probably will happen to me at some point.
It's all about the message.
Maybe Alan could change his wording to "mental miracles" instead of the psychic thing....it would put it into the realm of everday psychology, which is more acceptable to the public.
chris
Message: Posted by: calamari (Dec 2, 2005 10:11AM)
It's one thing to do a religious themed program for churches and another to entertain for a group at a church. I perform the same family friendly show for churches that I would perform for any family oriented group. I did not get the sence that the original poster was going to perform a religious program for the church and as churches provide entertainment for their congregations from time to time outside the normal services (such as youth programs, fund raising dinners etc..) their is no need to have a religious theme in your performance.

If you want to be hired by a church all that is required is that they beleive your program will not offend the congregation or have a message that is contrary to their beliefs. One should certainly have a contract and require a deposit for churches and everyone to avoid this kind of situation.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 2, 2005 10:42AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-01 19:20, flourish dude wrote:
I would say if your not a Christian then you should not perform for churches or for a church program. If you are a Christian and a true student of the Bible then you know how to represent yourself.

[/quote]

Hey I'm a devout atheist and I've performed for church sponsored events with no problems. I just keep my lack of faith to myself and present the show I was hired to perform.
Message: Posted by: bsears (Dec 2, 2005 10:56AM)
I'm surprised that I find myself siding with the church on this one. I think that a magician who does psychic readings, tarot, and the like, and advertises it publicly, places themself in a category outside of the mainstream of most magicians. I can understand the church's surprise.

Many speakers, presenters, and performers have been cancelled after the person who booked them found out that there was a conflict of interest in their beliefs.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Dec 2, 2005 11:09AM)
I perform lots of shows for churches, in addition to serving other customers. And I am a born again Christian. Most of my shows for churches are gospel shows, but I do some for-fun shows now and then for churches.

I know from experience, that there are more hoops to jump through with church customers. And people from churches are, generally speaking, more easily suspicious of "magic".

However, I don't equate that with them being lazy, or hating me, or anything like that.

I think it is part due to their upbringing, and part due to how they choose to educate themselves. However, I also know lots of non-Christians that are the same way, they believe a certain way because of their upbringing, and how they choose to educate themselves. As the classic saying goes, "Those convinced against their will, are of the same opinion still."

I know both Christians and non-Christians who think that some psychic demonstrations are real. Same for hypnosis.

But not necessarily for magic (in the majority of the world), because of the amount of exposure to demonstrations of magic entertainment, and the exposure of magic secrets.

Now, with a non-Christian, real powers (or the implication of real powers) might be "interesting" or not considered bad. But with a Christian, especially a conservative one, real powers (or the implication of real powers) are going to be considered negatively.

So, I personally, knowing how conservative churches tend to be, would avoid those subjects in my marketing, even to related markets, because they might see those materials. Because those subjects (psychic demonstations, hypnosis) hint at real powers. Besides, I have no personal interest in those subjects anyways.

If you want to work in certain markets, you have to be willing to jump through the hoops they provide, and also accept the lumps when they don't like you doing business on your terms.

You are a grown-up, and can do business in the way you choose. If it means marketing magic as well as psychic demonstrations, then you have to realize there might be consequences for doing business on your terms. You might lose some potential customers. But you can't blame customers who won't respond, when it is your choices that drive them away.

Here's an example of what I mean. Just yesterday, I was in a store that sold electronics, and some other items, called XS Cargo. They were "new", but mostly factory refurbished, electronics. There were amazing prices. Then I asked some more questions. They had a 30 day warranty only (no standard one year warranty, or even a 90 day warranty), and if you returned the item in the 30 days (because of it breaking down, or even if you changed your mind about buying it), you did not get cash back, but only store credit. There was the option of buying a two year warranty on some items, but again, for store credit if you returned it because it quit working (and that item might not be there anymore).

For me, those were some terms of business I wasn't interested in dealing with. Some might like it, and buy there, but I would rather have a "new" item (not refurbished), that comes with a one year warranty (not 30 days) at a place like Costco. I would rather have a proper money back guarantee, as well. So, I will choose to pay up to twice the price, as opposed to buying at XS Cargo. It would just be silly if they got mad at me, for not buying there, because I didn't like their terms.

With my birthday business, I ask customers to pay me in cash, because I've had problems with bounced birthday customer cheques in the past. Customers do that, and they realise they are doing business on my terms. I also do business on their terms, at the location they want, on the date they want, etc. It is about mutual agreement.

With doing business with churches, you can do business on your terms and their terms (a mixture of both), but if you market in ways that some might object to, you will lose business. Those are the plain and simple facts for the choices you make. You can't get mad at them for objecting to some of your choices, if the option of having your program is going to make harmony within their church body more difficult.

Now, in order to be as "church-friendly" as possible, I have designed my marketing materials that talk about our shows in conservative ways, I offer my book on the subject of "Magic, Christianity and The Bible" for anyone that has any concerns (I also have written a short, two-page article on the same subject which I put into some church mailings), I clearly provide an explanation of a gospel magic trick (not the method, but a description, so they can see that it is an object lesson), and I am super-clear in my show to say that I don't have any powers (I don't need to do this for non-church groups).

Some might not really understand the meaning of the word "magic" used in the Bible (and how it is different from what we call "magic" today). While I can try to "educate" them, I might not be successful. They might not even be willing to look at my article or my book, or talk with me in person or on the phone.

Have I had some negative responses from people in churches? Yes.

Have I had the church change their mind about the booking, because when I am not there at the meeting, someone stands up and objects, and then for the sake of church family harmony, they make a choice not to book us after all? Yes.

Have I had some churches still continue with the booking, even if a person objects? Yes.

Have I had local Christians in the community write to me personally, expressing concern about me doing "magic"? Yes.

Have I been attacked in the local Christian media (newspaper), by members of the local church body, because of doing "magic"? Yes.

I still love and care for those people, even if they feel suspicion and fear towards me. That's because I am commanded to, in the same Bible that tells them to be concerned about "magic."

I don't consider myself superior to them, just in a different place in my spiritual walk.

But as I said, I can do business on my terms and their terms, but there has to be agreement between the two points of view, otherwise there is no business. If one gets their way, it is lose-win, or lose-lose. If both get their way, it is win-win.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: dking66 (Dec 2, 2005 08:23PM)
In the best-selling book "Purpose Driven Life" by Pastor Rick Warren, he states the we, the church, have five purposes... Worship, Missions, Discipleship, Evangelism, and FELLOWSHIP. The church is all about fellowship... spending time with and supporting other believers. Entertainment, banquets, get-togethers, pot-lucks are all a part of fellowship. God is not a kill-joy... and he doesn't want his church to be so.

I am not only a performing magician... but also a full-time Minister of Youth & Activities. I both perform for churches... and I book entertainers for our church-wide activities and events. There are times I look for a Christian performer who can present the gospel or make a inspiring presentation... and there are other times I just want someone who will entertain. However, as I am sure most church leaders, realize that you can't make everyone happy. There will be some people who will not agree with the type of entertainment or program you have. Thus, the church... as do schools, and other organizations must choose their program and program personalities carefully.

To promote a school show... you might not want to advertise yourself using a "brassiere trick".
To promote birthday party shows for 5 year olds... you might not want to advertise yourself with a head chopper.
And, to promote church shows... you might not want to advertise "psychic demonstrations".
It all has to do with how you promote yourself.
Don't come down too hard on the church on this one. You must see their side... as they must be very careful. Therefore, we must be careful how we promote ourselves.

Many thanks!
Doug
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Dec 2, 2005 10:54PM)
[quote]
I really don't see the point in rewording my website. How else would I word it? Are people really so ignorant that I have to state the obvious - it's not real, just a theatrical performance. Do these same people think that what occurs in a movie is real? I just hope if that's the case, they don't have the gall to breed.

I make no apology for saying that anyone who thinks like that should be committed to a mental institution.
[/quote]
Of course they're dolts. But then, they think you are the one who is crazy. Arguing against them is futile.

As an entertainer, by choosing to specialize in magic you have eliminated this sort of person/group from your customer pool. If you'd been a singer, you'd open up certain markets and eliminate others - if you'd been a lecturer, the same.

This was a glitch - don't make the same mistake again and move on - don't look back.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Dec 3, 2005 01:05AM)
I have another comment to make, and that is about the subject of contracts and getting your cancellation fee / non-refundable deposit. Some have recommended this course of action.

Now, they broke their word in cancelling the booking. But to a degree, they also felt that you misrepresented yourself (and broke your word), and might present psychic demonstrations* during your presentation to their group (something they are uncomfortable with), or perhaps weren't the type of performer they thought they were choosing.

While I believe in contracts, I also believe in the spirit of them.

If I had a show for a customer, who I knew would be unhappy with the show, [b]before I even did it[/b], I would turn down the booking (or let them cancel), and not force them to pay for it. There are circumstances when they should pay you if they cancel, but this doesn't seem like one of them.

It is just bad business to force them to pay for something which they are obviously going to be unhappy with, because negative word of mouth will work against you.

This is especially important if you offer an money-back guarantee (MBG) on your show, or work your best to deliver full customer satisfaction (and many performer's don't... they just take the money and run, not caring whether the customer is happy or not). If you offered a MBG, why do a show, if you know you are not going to get paid for it, in addition to the customer being unhappy?

You did well in letting them go, and parting as amicably as possible.

- Donald

P.S. *They might not realize that psychic demonstrations is another term for mind-reading magic. But even if you phrased it differently, it still might have turned them off.
Message: Posted by: Police Magician (Dec 3, 2005 05:14AM)
Alan, I live in the Bible Belt in Georgia and have had mixed reactions to magic. Some don't mind a show in the church while others perceive it to be the work of the devil. When explaining what a magician is, I let them know that the "power" I have is the knowledge of principles used to effect a trick. I tell them that if I had any real powers, I would not be seeking out people to do shows, nor would I need all the props.

I have experienced some of what you mentioned in the past. Some you can reason with, others you cannot. I respect their belief even if I don't agree with it. There are some good posts on your problem that will help prevent this from happening again. We all learn from problems experienced. P.T. Barnum once said that every man is a *** fool for five minutes a day; wisdom comes from not exceeding the limit. I try not to exceed the limit.

Glenn
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Dec 3, 2005 05:47AM)
Using the term "mental miracles" would get me in more trouble, than saying "psychic demonstrations". Besides, what in the world is a "mental miracles", anyway? It would only confuse prospective clients. I've had many discussions about this and the use of the word "miracle" would really offend people - I won't do that, if I can reasonably avoid it.

The need for secrets can be explained to even church people. I also explain that my performance is strictly theatrical in nature. The trouble is that too often they won't allow a dialogue, because they don't want anyone to change their superstitions. They don't like change - period. Some people are really close-minded.

As for misrepresenting myself, I discussed what my show is and is not, with the person doing the booking. After that, I was shut out of the conversation, not allowed to discuss things with the people who had concerns - they simply cancelled. Churches in this area are largely social in nature. I find churches to NEVER be divine institutions, but rather human ones - largely political.

As for myself, I don't like being told what to believe, because it doesn't allow for real growth. I believe that organized religion often gets in the way of God. I'm just a secular magician - will never be a gospel magician. If the show causes concern, they don't need to waste my time and cause me to turn away others, who want to book for that time slot.
Message: Posted by: Smoke & Mirrors (Dec 3, 2005 08:02AM)
Name-calling, generalizing, grouping, is this the kid's section or a section full of kids?

This is why posts of this nature eventually get deleted here. There is no discussion. This is an outlet for non-christians to whine and complain...and for christians to act better than thou and chastise and both are wrong.

The biggest problem is we want to think that we are good enough to perform for any group, any venue, any age and have them ALL happy and laughing. The best thing I did was learn to say "no" to certain events outside of my favorite venues and abilities. We would all do ourselves a favor by turning away the things we do not desire and let the pros in that group handle the event.

Just opinion though.
Resume the childish name-calling.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Dec 3, 2005 10:55AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-03 06:47, Alan Munro wrote:
The trouble is that too often they won't allow a dialogue, because they don't want anyone to change their superstitions. They don't like change - period. Some people are really close-minded.

[SNIP]

As for myself, I don't like being told what to believe, because it doesn't allow for real growth. I believe that organized religion often gets in the way of God.[/quote]

I don't know if anyone else sees the irony in this statement. Maybe you didn't mean for it to come out that way, but it did. You said you despised close-mindedness in others, but admitted that you yourself are close-minded (about certain things) in the very same post.

How can you be mad at others for not being open-minded, when you admit yourself that you don't like being told what to believe (admit that you are not open-minded, too)?

I know that I am close-minded about some subjects, so when I see it in others, I don't get as upset as much. That's a healthy perspective on life!

As I said earlier (my first post, way back on page two), run your business the way you want, but why get so upset when someone objects to the way you CHOOSE to advertise? You now know that your choices are costing you gigs. But that's your choice.

You could always advertise without using that phrasing at all, if you are really frustrated about losing shows like this. Otherwise, just realize that advertising in the current way you CHOOSE to, will cost you shows now and then.

I was reading in "The Success Principles" by Jack Canfield the other day, about Incident (I), Reaction (R), and Outcome (O).

If you want a different Outcome (O) in the future, you will need to change the way you React (R) to certain Incidents (I).

His example of this was:

Example A:

A person gets $100 bonus at work (I).
They choose to spend it on booze, or a wasted night on the town (R).
They are frustrated that they never get anywhere in life (O).

Example B:

A person gets $100 bonus at work (I).
They choose to invest it in some special savings or bonds that will bring a financial return (R).
They are happy because they have their bonus still, plus some extra money (O).

Again, if you want to be happier about incidents like this (I), and still work for these customers without losing the show (O), you will need to change your marketing approach (R).

You are in TOTAL CONTROL of your reactions in life (R) to different incidents (I). That's why some people react to the same incident (I) in completely different ways. This is why one person might be totally frustrated about being stuck in a traffic jam, and another person might totally roll with the punches and be mellow about it. That's why one person will blame others when they lose a show, and another person will learn from it and change their marketing approach in the future.

We are giving you suggestions as to what to change for the future. It is your choice whether to change or not, whether to be bitter or better. (Sounds like the advice you wish the people at churches would heed, too.)

- Donald
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Dec 3, 2005 11:26AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-01 22:31, mstick85 wrote:
I'm surprised a church would book a magician. And I say this both as a person who performs magic as a hobby, loves it, and is a born-again Christian. Look, we go to church, or we should be going to church, for one and only one reason. And that is to worship God. That's it. It's not a nightclub. It's not a Café with a coffee bar, and it's not a social club. It is the house of the Lord.
[/quote]
No, it's not a nightclub. But many churches host functions that might be thought (on their face) purely social ... dinners, children's socials, the sponsorship of Scout troops ... EXCEPT that the benefit is fellowship with one's church community, the good of the surrounding community, and promoting the awareness of the church as seven-days-a-week center of life.

If you're going to insist that church functions be limited to prayer meetings and worship services, the church is isolated from "workaday life" and left with almost no connection to the community as a whole.

My Church performances have been for Christmas parties ("better finish the show, they're all in a hurry to see Santa"), Halloween parties ("better finish the show, the kids have to go to school tomorrow") and annual Scout dinners ("better finish the show, the parents are dying to go home"). All of these events, in my view, have a perfectly valid place in the church hall.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Dec 3, 2005 03:52PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-03 11:55, Donald Dunphy wrote:
I don't know if anyone else sees the irony in this statement. Maybe you didn't mean for it to come out that way, but it did. You said you despised close-mindedness in others, but admitted that you yourself are close-minded (about certain things) in the very same post.

How can you be mad at others for not being open-minded, when you admit yourself that you don't like being told what to believe (admit that you are not open-minded, too)?
[/quote]
There's a big difference in being told what to believe and having a healthy dialogue. I often discuss theology with people who have differing beliefs - it can be a really healthy thing. They can discuss what they believe and why they believe it.

I don't like dictators who TELL you what you should believe - I make that call. My beliefs evolve, maybe their beliefs could evolve for the better, too.
Message: Posted by: mdspark (Dec 4, 2005 12:08AM)
Alan,
You have expressed a very reasonable point of view and approach. You are correct..it is sooooo sad that people in the 21st century still think like they are in the Dark Ages. They have reduced a spiritual way of life to a mere superstition and in doing so,have made a mockery of Christianity.

On more than one occassion I was asked by a church to entertain their children as long as I "didn't do any CRYSTAL GAZING." So what I do now is perform my mentalism under a different name to keep the two separate. Sad indeed.

Mark
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Dec 4, 2005 01:28AM)
[quote]
On more than one occassion I was asked by a church to entertain their children as long as I "didn't do any CRYSTAL GAZING." So what I do now is perform my mentalism under a different name to keep the two separate. Sad indeed.
[/quote]
In fairness, hasn't the mentalism/psychic area been too irretrievably tainted by bad guys to be a good fit with a Christian environment? I mean, entirely aside from certain Biblical citations, isn't it just a LEEEEETLE too close to dressing up in a red jumpsuit with horns and a tail? Even without chapter and verse, would Max Maven look entirely in place in your pulpit?

And I don't wanna hear "well there are shyster evangelists too" ... the "but he does it sometimes too" argument is just juvenile.
Message: Posted by: Tim Hannig (Dec 4, 2005 01:50AM)
I've been in magic all of my life.

I've been in the church all of my life.

I have been asked countless times by people in the church if "any of this stuff is real"...not what I do, but they want to know if Blaine is real...these days if Criss Angel is real, etc. So, maybe they see "psychic demonstration" and think of the psychic infomercials, etc.

(In the same way, much of the public is confused about real Christianity from the "televangelists" that they see on tv. There are lots of false teachers today, but hey, read 2nd Peter...it's no surprise.)

When I see the word "psychic", I think of neon lit houses with 24 hour readings. That stuff freaks church people out. So, if they see the word "psychic demonstrations", yes...that probably creeps them out a bit.

To you, it might mean you're doing mental epic...but to them, those words mean something else. Even if you try to explain that you won't do that during your show, just the fact that you advertise it on your site as a part of one of your acts is enough to make them uncomfortable.

I'm sure if the people who booked you saw you, they would have loved it.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Dec 4, 2005 09:06AM)
Alan, are you really that naive to think that there’s not a few people out there that “just don’t know” about you and your magic? Man, they think you’re a freak, and it’s not just the church folks. You’re a magician, a strange person, a weird-o to many folks. You claim to be able to do things that nobody else can do. You give them the creeps.

Congratulations on a job well done.



Don’t blame them, blame yourself.



I blame Max Maven. He still gives me the creeps. :)

Tom
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Dec 4, 2005 11:05AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-03 16:52, Alan Munro wrote:
There's a big difference in being told what to believe and having a healthy dialogue. I often discuss theology with people who have differing beliefs - it can be a really healthy thing. They can discuss what they believe and why they believe it.

I don't like dictators who TELL you what you should believe - I make that call. My beliefs evolve, maybe their beliefs could evolve for the better, too.
[/quote]

Alan -

From the sense I got from your earlier posts on this thread, you said that the contact person cancelled the booking, because someone else in the church was uncomfortable with something you said on your website.

But I don't recall reading that the contact person said to you that they now believed something different about you, too.

I don't think it is so much a matter of one person (or perhaps a group of people) in the church telling others what to believe (in this case), otherwise the minister might have stomped on their efforts to even contact you about the booking in the first place. You would have never even heard from them, if the leaders of the church, or the majority of the church members, believed this. This person would have known the church's beliefs, and acted on that understanding.

I think, in the case of your incident, you have a church family that is making a compromise to keep the peace in the family.

But everybody does that in their own family, too. For example, a busband wants a new stereo (or HDTV, or truck, or whatever), but the wife says that they can't afford it, and so he doesn't get it. He compromises to keep peace between them in the family, even if he still really wants the item.

Compromise is not always a bad thing. It's about living in peace and harmony with others. Hey, I put up with my wife leaving her clothes on the floor, even though that personal habit bothers me. And she puts up with tons of things about me (don't I know it), such as my perfectionistic attitude.

It's just like this in the church. Some people have compromised about not having the show, in order to keep peace in the church family.

Actually, although you might be upset with the selfishness of that one person (or group of people) for expressing their views and getting their way, you really have to admire the [b]selflessness[/b] of the people in the church who didn't get their way, and had to cancel the booking, when they really wanted to have you.

BTW, I think Tim Hannig's post hit the nail square on the head. Great post, Tim!

- Donald
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Dec 4, 2005 12:01PM)
Like Donald said, I’m sure it was to keep “the peace in the family,”

Ross also makes a good point, that some magicians don’t come across as “family entertainment only.” They sell it as the real deal and this makes it hard for some people to separate the two. Most folks can accept the kidshow performers as being “only entertainment,” but once you get outside this type performer there’s lots of people that "just don’t know." Many people are afraid of the unknown.

When you consider the fact that the majority of folks (church or not) never see more than one or two magic shows in their entire lifetime, it becomes clear that magic can be confusing to many. While many may not believe it’s real, it will always be that mystery about it.

No, I don’t think it’s the going to church that makes people naive about magic.


Tom
Message: Posted by: manal (Dec 4, 2005 01:04PM)
In response to the origional question posed by this thread:

Most are not , but yes some are.
Message: Posted by: Mr.Wizard (Dec 4, 2005 03:19PM)
Perhaps, but no more naive than those who believe in psychic anything.....

...there is the real irony in this.
Message: Posted by: Steve Haffner (Dec 4, 2005 08:56PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-01 20:37, juggleral wrote:
...just get a deposit when you are dealing with people who think they are above the law.
Al
[/quote]

I must have missed the part where they apparently thought they are above the law. I take no sides on this issue, but without a cancellation policy written in the contract, isn't cancelling within the law?

- Steve
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Dec 5, 2005 05:39AM)
Yes you have missed the point "get a deposit" is the point.
Al
Message: Posted by: Mr.Wizard (Dec 5, 2005 06:00AM)
Actually, the core point is when you try to have "something for everyone", someone is going to be offended.

The exact thing happened to me over a birthday party once, once.

Then I kept my different shows on different web sites.

Truth is, it is just good business not to confuse "uncle milton" the magic clown with "the all knowing great mysto".

Another point, is how many people see the site, get offended, and don't call at all? Web hosting is cheap, and you need different sites for your different characters.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Dec 5, 2005 01:37PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-04 10:06, TomBoleware wrote:
Alan, are you really that naive to think that there’s not a few people out there that “just don’t know” about you and your magic? Man, they think you’re a freak, and it’s not just the church folks. You’re a magician, a strange person, a weird-o to many folks. You claim to be able to do things that nobody else can do. You give them the creeps.
[/quote]
Reread my posts.

When I was growing up, I never encountered this kind of thing. The church educated the people. I find that some other churches seem to be overly concerned about the drop in donations in the collection plate, if someone doesn't like what the clergyman said.
Message: Posted by: Police Magician (Dec 5, 2005 02:22PM)
Alan, I have to agree that getting a deposit to confirm the show is a must. I, as well as several other magician friends, have had sponsors call at the last minute to cancel a show for whatever reason. If I don't know the client, I ask for a deposit and the show is not confirmed until it is received. This keeps me from missing out on other shows and losing money. Some have sent them in while others, who wait until the last minute, have lost the show. They must have the deposit in by a certain date. The only ones who get a refund are those who have natural disasters or death in family. All others lose their deposit, which is agreed upon prior to the booking.

As Tom said, magicians do things other people cannot do. Many, who have no understanding of the principles used in magic, have formed a mindset about magic. Good or bad, you cannot change their thinking. I have had clients, who have cancelled in the past, call again. When this happens, I explain to them that I lost other shows and money due to their last minute cancellation. Because of this, I let them know that I need full payment up front by a certain date to confirm the show. If they pay and then cancel the show, they lose their money. Sometimes you have to be hard on people or they'll walk all over you.

I know that some may disagree with the above statement, but in my law enforcement career, I deal in holding people responsible for their actions or inactions. This carrys over into the magic world as well. Good luck and I hope this does not happen again.
Glenn
Message: Posted by: ThePartyMagician (Dec 5, 2005 03:13PM)
Well said Glenn!

It's all part and parcel of being a 'professional'

Mike
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Dec 5, 2005 04:46PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-01 12:40, Alan Munro wrote:
I had a performance scheduled at a local church. However, after passing up other offers to perform on that date, they cancel, citing the reference to "psychic demonstrations" on the main page of my site. Are people really so naive as to not know the difference between a theatrical performer and a "psychic"?

I don't understand why these people waste my time. I thought all of the "witchburning" was over!
[/quote]
You have hit on my hot button! I have been through this ignorance/fear from these folks many, many times in my life, until I finally gave up and said to heck with all church performances. I'm not wasting any more time with these nerkles.

The final straw came from the pastor of the church I was attending at the time. He just went off went I asked him if I could do a magic show in the church...he went on about voo doo and witch craft and all that...and no amount of convincing on my part could get through that myopic, hermetic, titanium steel mind of his. In the end, I justsaid "see 'ya." " I have better things to do with my time."

I haven't looked back, either. But truthfully, I have been hearing it from church folks for YEARS, telling me they saw the devil sitting on my shoulders, blah, blah, blah. One time, when I was a lot younger and naive, they convinced me that a bonfire with my tricks and books as the fuel would please God, so I gave in. (Burn the EVIL!!!) Boy was THAT stupid!

These folks I believe are motivated by fear and ignorance...afraid of being sent to hell for watching a card trick. I thought God said over and over in the Book to FEAR NOT!

Did I tell you about the time I was in a grocery store, and I had a pack of Bikes in my hands that I was about to pay for, when some folks from the church happened to walk by?


Posted: Dec 5, 2005 5:57pm
-------------------------------------------------
[quote]
On 2005-12-01 17:41, Starrpower wrote:
It's not just "church folk." Professional educators (or what some might call the Yellow-Bellied Liberal P.C. Crowd) are nearly as bad. I was scheduled to present a seminar titled "Conjuring in the Classroom" at a state teachers' convention. They later cancelled citing, "Some teachers were uncomfortable with the term 'conjuring'."
[/quote]
HmMMMmm. But most of these same folks have no problem with Harry Potter..or Halloween. Strange..very strange indeed.
Message: Posted by: magicguy67 (Dec 5, 2005 05:05PM)
The harry potter book was not sold in one country because they didn't want the kids to think it was real.
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Dec 5, 2005 05:13PM)
Hi Alan ,
I would look at it like this if there that finicky do you really want to work for them anyway? unless its a company or large oranisation or outdoor I don't take a deposit or have a cancellation clause, why ? because I could not be arsed chasing the money and I think to a small group it does you more bad than good (word of mouth)to keep there deposit if they cancel or try and get some sort of cancellation fee. hell if a proffesional performer cant handle losing the odd show fee (not directed at any one) but they need day job!
If you take the money I bet not one of the people at that church will ever book you. let it slide be nice and you might find you reap more than you sow
Phillip
Message: Posted by: God-glorified (Dec 5, 2005 05:18PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-01 19:20, flourish dude wrote:
I would say if your not a Christian then you should not perform for churches or for a church program. If you are a Christian and a true student of the Bible then you know how to represent yourself.
[/quote]
I agree, but then again I didn't know churches would hire someone that wasnt a Christian, I just figured they could find gospel magicians easily.
Then again I am wrong often. I have been associated with a few different churches. One has a church with women that shreik and faint at the thought of someone owning playing cards, I also know a church that invited me to open the sermon with magic. To each his own (but its not ALL church folk ;)
Message: Posted by: calamari (Dec 5, 2005 05:45PM)
I performed at a church last night, I don't belong to the church, I don't know any one there. But someone had heard that I am part of a magic presentation that is funny and clean and suitable for all ages, and that's what they wanted, someone to entertain them at an ( advent celebration) I am not even sure what that is.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Dec 5, 2005 05:45PM)
Well, in over twenty years, I have not been lucky enough to run into even ONE church group that was open to magic. Not one. Looks like I beat all the odds, eh?
Message: Posted by: mdspark (Dec 5, 2005 06:44PM)
I say these types of churches that get hysterical at the thought of 'magic' as entertainment are wearing their fear and ignorance on their sleeve. Just what "Satan" would like. I say to heck with them. Move on. don't look back. Such superstitious individuals, sadly, don't want to be enlightened. Their minds are locked closed. And, THANK GOD they do not represent the whole of Christianity.

Alan Munro, I get the impression from all your previous posts that you wont waist time with these types. Your orignal question is valid even if rhetorical. When a church contacts me, I tell them that I USUALLY do not perform for churches anymore due to last minute cancellations for superstitious reasons.. I find this weeds them out FAST and the more progressive, enlightened churches are not offended by this approach and never cancell for obsured reasons...Travel on my friend!

Mark

P.S. "Dear Lord, save me from your 'followers'."
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Dec 5, 2005 10:19PM)
"What do you think the devil's going to look like? ... No one's going to be taken in by a guy with a long red pointy tail. What does he sound like ... AARGH!? No! He will be attractive. He'll be nice and helpful. He will get a job where he can influence a great God-fearing nation. He'll never do an evil thing! He'll never deliberately hurt a living thing. He'll just bit by little bit lower our standards where they're important, just a tiny little bit. Just coax along, flash over substance, just a tiny little bit. ... And he'll get all the great women."
— Albert Brooks in the movie Broadcast News
Message: Posted by: dking66 (Dec 5, 2005 10:45PM)
Okay... this is getting pretty pitiful. No wonder these churches won't hire you folks. Let's stop the Christian/church bashing. There is far too much bashing in the world of magic. "Turn the other cheek" and let's put the "judging" behind us.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Dec 6, 2005 12:08AM)
I think one of the most ironic things, is that some people get so judgmental of Christians for being judgmental of others.

If being judgmental is a bad thing, lead by example in [b]not[/b] being judgemental of those being judgmental. Duh!

Otherwise, you are acting hypocritical. Saying you believe one thing (that being judgmental is bad), yet acting as if you don't believe it (acting judgmental yourself). Everyone is judging each other over what they perceive to be wrongdoing on the other person's part.

[quote]mdspark wrote:

When a church contacts me, I tell them that I USUALLY do not perform for churches anymore due to last minute cancellations for superstitious reasons.. I find this weeds them out FAST and the more progressive, enlightened churches are not offended by this approach and never cancell for obsured reasons...Travel on my friend!

Mark [/quote]

Even though this might possibly come across to the prospect as a little harsh, I would agree that this might be a reasonable approach for certain performers who are having problems with cancellations over this reason. I wouldn't use it personally. I have found other strategies that work well for me.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: mdspark (Dec 6, 2005 01:13AM)
If you read my post..you will note I was NOT referring to ALL "christians".

And Donald...as you probably know..It's all in the WAY YOU SAY IT...as much or more than the words themselves...Kinda hard to portray that with only the written word here.

Last visit to this thread...On to more productive ones.
Mark
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Dec 6, 2005 09:43AM)
Mark -

The comment about being judgmental wasn't to you, but put out there in general, for people to reflect on.

Like I said, you gave some nice advice, that might be helpful to some.

Insanity doesn't rule in every post on this thread. Hehehe!

- Donald
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Dec 6, 2005 11:53AM)
I think one of the best attempts, above, to analyze what really happened, was the "keep peace in the family" post - a church full of reasonable people and one member going "Omigod, that's deviltry!" - let's not upset brother and sister Jones too badly, we'll find some other entertainment. Running a church involves shepherding the entire church family. Even though the majority of the flock never give you any trouble, there are a few easily-spooked lambs in any flock and they, too, need care and consideration.

What is the job of the pastor and (by extension) the church representative? First and foremost, to care for the congregation. Just, in this case, the duty didn't mix well with the ordinary process of business in the outside world.

That said, regarding "respecting their point of view" [in reference to those who see prestidigitators as tools od Satan], I just don't. They're there, they're always going to be there, but in my view they're not only annoying, they're missing the point so badly that they make the more mature among us sick. Kinda like the folks who want all movies and television, and every book in the library, to be fit for the smallest child. As my old Bible teacher used to point out (chapter and verse), some of us can only handle milk, others have graduated to meat - you don't cram meat down the throats of the babes, but it's just insane when the toddlers waggle their fingers and say "no, no, that's bad" to those who are more mature and who need stronger fare.
[quote]
On 2005-12-05 23:45, dking66 wrote:
Okay... this is getting pretty pitiful. No wonder these churches won't hire you folks. Let's stop the Christian/church bashing. There is far too much bashing in the world of magic. "Turn the other cheek" and let's put the "judging" behind us.
[/quote]
You want acrimony (approaching the level of venom)? Just move this to the "gospel magic" topic. Many posters there are thoughtful and gentlemanly, but many others are barely able to contain their impatience with divergent views and a few are just unable to participate in open discussion when challenging opinions are aired.

That's not offered to tar all Christians with the same brush (I'm a Christian myself). But when I see views so deeply held that people react with fear and hostility when people with opposing views demand consideration, well... I sometimes picture Methodist suicide bombers trying to take out those darned Presbyterians.
Message: Posted by: Police Magician (Dec 6, 2005 09:45PM)
Fellows, please remember to respect others opinions/beliefs, regardless if you agree or disagree with them. If you disagree, state it in a manner that is objective, not subjective. Some posts have gone overboard on this subject while others have shown to be helpful. Remember, this forum is Magicians Helping Magicians. And, these holidays coming up is supposed to spread good cheer.

Glenn
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 7, 2005 10:47AM)
This whole thread has been over blown. One the question had been asked of "Are there really people who don't know the difference between Theater and demonstrations of supposed "psychic powers" the answer should have been yes. We could have then all moved forward and gotten on with our lives.
But no we had to partake of the classic INTERNET activity of beating the ground where a dead horse was a week ago.
So the answer to the original post is, yes, some people (and just not those who go to church) are that naive. They will waste your time and either complain about your show or cancel it unexpectedly and for what you think are silly reasons.
It happens, life goes on and little is to be gained from complaining about it.
Message: Posted by: squando (Dec 7, 2005 11:30AM)
I am a Christian and I am not offended that they cancelled for philosophical reasons but they did not live up to there commitment to pay you. I guess a contract is needed.
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Dec 7, 2005 11:38AM)
Hey guys remember back in the old days where all magic catalogs had that disclaimer about nothing supernatural is used in the accomplishment of performing magic? It was always pretty prominent. Maybe for the rare instance this becomes an issue, a little extra bandwidth is saved for a similar disclaimer. Not sure if it would help, but couldn't hurt.

Oh and about that quote about not being duped by a guy in a tail? It makes me nervous, I think my loan officer at my credit union had one of those. ;)

Frank Tougas
Message: Posted by: Bill Scarlett (Dec 7, 2005 12:00PM)
[quote]
As for this thread being an attack on church folk, nothing could be further from the truth. It may be an indictment of people who are ignorant and try to pretend otherwise. Spiritual pursuits are not for the lazy.
[/quote]
Alan, the title of your post "Are church folks really this naive?" is inflammatory and provocative. How can you say that it is not an attack on church folk. Now I won't claim to be much of a christian, but I find the tone and attitude of your posts to be quite negative. Perhaps the church picked up on your dismissive attitude about their concerns. Could it possibly be that your lack of understanding led to you losing the gig? Just something you might want to reflect on.
Message: Posted by: JohnCressman (Dec 7, 2005 12:43PM)
I'm a strong Christian and I see absolutely nothing wrong with "magic", anymore than I see something wrong with medicine, nuclear science, nanotechology or weather forecasting... none of which I really understand, nor do most people, but yet... the people who practice those things do amazing things.

Heck, my MECHANIC does amazing things when my car doesn't work. He waves his wrench and then makes it work...
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Dec 7, 2005 10:16PM)
I know this will sound like a shameless plug, but illusionist Andre Kole and I co-authored the book "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena" with some of the questions in mind that this thread has raised.

It is not just some "church folk" who see magic in this light, but many "unchurched" see it this way also.

Those in the church understand that the Bible teaches there is a cosmic battle taking place between the forces of good and evil. Unfortunately, I believe they tend to attribute more power to the forces of evil than the Bible does.

I have posted on this in the past for anyone who cares to search my thoughts out.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=112947&forum=16

Perhaps that thread will help the reader understand why there is so much "magical" thinking in the church, as well as give a reasonable response to that type of thinking.

Terry
Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (Dec 7, 2005 11:08PM)
[quote]
Heck, my MECHANIC does amazing things when my car doesn't work. He waves his wrench and then makes it work...
[/quote]
HA!! That was funny!
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Dec 8, 2005 01:07AM)
I'll ask the question my wife keeps asking me: why not insist on a deposit from EVERYBODY?
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 8, 2005 01:19AM)
Cause I'm a trusting soul and rely upon the fact that I've never been stiffed by a client. Not event the church groups I've performed for. :)
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Dec 8, 2005 02:34AM)
Hi,
I agree with you Payne as I said in an earlier post I have had the odd show cancelled through the birthday child being ill or family tragedy but I have had the odd cancell on me with a legit reason. I think it does you more bad than good to keep deposits on cancelled shows anyway... makes me think how hard up for money some of the people on the Café here are.. particularly with all the marketing people seem to do and the 50 shows a month!

Phillip
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Dec 8, 2005 03:37AM)
Well, P.B, when I gotta pay the mortgage, and:

the neighbor (when I get to a completely empty house) says "I think they went to Chuck E Cheeses" ...

when somebody who finally answers at the vanished client's number the next day says "Oh, that event was cancelled" ...

when the mother of the kid who had to cancel the day before the show due to the kid's flu one week says, regarding the rebooking three weeks later, that she has to cancel the day before the show because he has the flu again ...

when it's perfectly clear that they just don't care about the commitment they made (like the church the OP originally posted), it calls one's dedication and trust into serious question.

It only happens rarely, but it stings. I don't ask for deposits because I really believe it kills more bookings than it saves, but when it happens, it hurts.

I have gone ridiculously far to honor my commitments, to show up despite very good reasons (I have gotten off an operating table to work a picnic in the summer sun as soon as they'd let me out of the recovery room, and I drove myself home afterward - my wife doesn't let me pull stunts like that anymore). So when the customer just doesn't give a hoot ... [*sigh*] ... is there a reward in heaven for a poor old stupid magician?
Message: Posted by: Smoke & Mirrors (Dec 8, 2005 06:55AM)
A phone call to the event planner a day before showtime will likely cure all of these problems (as far as saving you a wasted trip anyway). Although I do not a require deposit, I do email them a fake contract. It is fake because I do not ask them to sign it or return it. It is amazing how well it works though, people take it very seriously. It simply states when I require notice of cancellations, how much we agreed upon, the date & time of the event, overtime rate, performance area requirements, and my right to send a substitute performer if I am sick. But most important is to CALL and stay in touch with the planner. They are so busy sometimes Ross, it is likely they totally forgot about you.

I hate to post this however in a thread like this one and keep it going.

Maybe a moderator could lock it as both sides agree that it is getting nowhere.
Too bad.
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Dec 8, 2005 07:14AM)
HI Ross
I do see your point,I have a morgage (in fact more than 1) too, but in all honesty how often does this happen shows being cancelled? not often in my experience,if it did I would be looking at my shows, appearance, manor ext (this is not pointed at anyone)and I do not think it does the performer any good to take the money anyway lets say there are 50 families who are part of the church group (example)2 families objected to the magic, if you keep there deposit or insist on payment you risk losing work from 50 families and people they tell just for the sake of $500 or so if just 2 or 3 of those 50 families booked you in the future you will more than recoup any losses particularly if you have a good show!
ontop of that you come accross as an understanding proffesional performer.
Phillip
Message: Posted by: Mr.Wizard (Dec 8, 2005 08:38AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-08 04:37, rossmacrae wrote:

when it's perfectly clear that they just don't care about the commitment they made (like the church the OP originally posted),

[/quote]

Ummm.... that isn't what happened.

When checking the web site, the Chruch felt the person they hired was involved with things they did not agree with, so cancelled him.

That is called voting with your checkbook.

Like it or not, people will do that, and do so all the time.
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Dec 8, 2005 12:03PM)
[quote]
A phone call to the event planner a day before showtime will likely cure all of these problems
[/quote]
I have learned that very thing since my earlier days, and make phone contacts for individuals a part of every Monday's duties, and ongoing contacts with event planners are important as well.

[quote]
I hate to post this however in a thread like this one and keep it going.

Maybe a moderator could lock it as both sides agree that it is getting nowhere.
Too bad.
[/quote]
Maybe there's no conclusion to be reached, but it looks to me like there are still some good points being made. Does the topic make you uncomfortable?

Posted: Dec 8, 2005 8:20pm
Quote:

go ahead and resume the name calling, that will get us somewhere.

Neither the thread as a whole, nor even the sum (rather than individual details) of my postings in it, can fairly be characterized simply as a flame war. Valuable discussion has gone on - possibly some of my posts have furthered it. If there has been the occasional epithet, that's like when we in Washington call similar discussions on the House floor "frank and earnest."
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Dec 8, 2005 07:27PM)
Ross baby
Don't hold it in any more, just take a deep breath, let it all out, and tell us how you really feel. Thers's only 5 pages of stuff written here so far.
GO FOR IT BIG GUY
Al
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Dec 9, 2005 03:04AM)
I'm never one to hold back, even when nobody wants to hear me.

Some call it a character flaw, I see it as proof that I shoulda been in the guvvamint. How the world might be different today ... [*shudder*]
Message: Posted by: sdgiu (Dec 9, 2005 11:23AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-01 12:40, Alan Munro wrote:
I had a performance scheduled at a local church. However, after passing up other offers to perform on that date, they cancel, citing the reference to "psychic demonstrations" on the main page of my site. Are people really so naive as to not know the difference between a theatrical performer and a "psychic"?

I don't understand why these people waste my time. I thought all of the "witchburning" was over!
[/quote]

First let me say that what they did was wrong.

But, let me get this straight, nobody here has "EVER" had anybody cancel for what they thought was a silly reason. Is that about the gist of it? And Obviously/unfortunately some people "ARE" that naive. What can you do???

On the matter of "witchburning", I believe that you and most everyone else here has proven that that practice is still going strong.

Come on people, you lost a gig, or had a problem that happened to be at a church. It should not have happened, but are you going to spend the rest of your life crying & complaining over it?

Get over it, move on. Otherwise people will get to where they run when they see you coming.

I hope you have better experiences in the future, and you don't have problems with anyone, most of all churches. I work nearly exclusively in churches and some of them are better than others. I'll let you in on a secret though, they are just people, like us. :wow: Say it ain't so little bob.

Anyway, although this is a terribly weighty issue that seems to merit a lifetime of study and debate, hope you all work this out.
Steve :baby:
Message: Posted by: JesterMan (Dec 9, 2005 03:50PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-07 13:43, JohnCressman wrote:Heck, my MECHANIC does amazing things when my car doesn't work. He waves his wrench and then makes it work...[/quote]Is that before or after he makes your wallet (or at least its contents) vanish? :bigsmile:

It seems to me that much of the productive use of this thread ended after the suggestion of getting a contract. This is a reasonable response, and though some have mentioned it being a turn-off, I have yet to have a show lost from sending one out, asking for its return along with a modest deposit. As for keeping the others happy, having a deposit does not preclude that. In fact, with no deposit, they just fired you, and there is no good will in that. If you had a deposit, and returned it due to their sincere, if misguided second thoughts, then you can get (possibly) some good will.

I would also consider the split of the web site/s. After losing a friend years ago due to his leaving magic based on his perceived conflict with the churches' teachings, I understand the reluctance that church may have had. (I am not saying I agree with them, nor their actions; just, I see where THEY are coming from.) I find it odd, in any event, that there is this problem; the first trick I learned was taught to me by a seminarian at my father's church. Oh, it was a CARD trick, too. I am sooo burning! :devilish: (Well, if I believed in that sort of thing. . .)
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Dec 9, 2005 08:06PM)
This is a reasonable response, and though some have mentioned it being a turn-off, I have yet to have a show lost from sending one out,


Hi,
And you know this because? if I was/am a member of a group of friends, we where holding a charirty event which due to lack of support we had to cancel which meant canceling the act and the act demanded a fee/cancellation fee, none of the organisation (me apart) wanted to use the act again ever! and we are talking 30 of the top hitters under age 45 in my home town of 8000 each with a lot of influence and well respected including the mayor of the town, area (seveal LOCAL TOWNS) bank manager ext ext

phillip
Message: Posted by: JesterMan (Dec 9, 2005 08:39PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-09 21:06, p.b.jones wrote:
This is a reasonable response, and though some have mentioned it being a turn-off, I have yet to have a show lost from sending one out,

[i]Hi,
And you know this because? phillip[/i]
[/quote]I have this experience due to entertaining on and off since 1974. No one has ever cited this as a reason for not booking, or given ANY indication that they were at all disturbed by the agreement or deposit. I've had bookers ask me, with the expectation that I would ask for this, as they are calling me as a professional ("What kind of deposit. . .?", or, "How can I make my deposit?".) I can't speak for the UK, having never performed there, but in my area, it works to both of our benefits.

As for your comments; sorry, I can't tell if what you wrote is a hypothetical, or a real circumstance. In any event---Frankly, why should the magi, or any entertainer, be stuck on the other side? In every agreement, I have a 30-day exit clause. That gives them time to get their ducks in a row, and me time to get booked if they decide that they can't, as long as they decide that 30 + days in advance. If they decide after that reasonable period, it should be my choice to give the good will. Without some commitment on their side, why should I not hold myself up for the highest bidder, and be able to cancel THEM at the last minute, and be held harmless, legally? I've had the opportunity. . . I wouldn't, however. The agreement & deposit protects THEM, too! If they can't deal with a deposit, then they can get an amateur, or take their chances that I might still be available when they call at the last minute.

In this case (late date cancellation), why should our fellow member be shut out of another booking because they were slovenly in doing their 'due diligence'? Without an agreement of some sort, he is out in the cold. . . . And THEY could be, too!
Message: Posted by: Powermagic (Dec 9, 2005 09:18PM)
Lets remind everyone that the show was booked then cancelled so yes it is obvious someone made a stink about"magick" being used.
Lets remind everyone THEY CALLED the OP.
Get all bookings, even birthdays, in contract form to avoid this.

Most of the problems are with churches that call themselves CHRISTIAN churches and the more south you go the worse they can be.

Yes, anyone who cannot tell the difference from a DEMONSTRATION or SHOW is uneducated and it would seem to be more from Christian schools and churches.
But don't confuse all churches who are CHRIST based to be grouped as CHRISTIAN CHURCHES. You will hardly have problems with Catholic churches for example.
Hmmm why can they get it is all just tricks yet some who still confuse and sometimes abuse the literal weakly translated bible as truth that all magic is bad.
My neighbor is a J. Witness and they follow the bible as the ONLY truth and yet know that what I do is not evil, nor think I have "POWERS"

Sure, it helps if you have a religious theme, but then I do agree with the person who was silly to state that to perform for a Christian institution, one should be Christian. IN the context of a religious show, then I agree. It is best to know and believe what you are pushing.
But if not a bible show, than that thought of being of the same faith is just more right wing Republican Christian hooey.

They called him. He did not call them.

Have performed for many religions and the only ones that have been issues were "Christian” Schools and Fundamental Christian churches who try to site OLD testament passages that speak of Wizards and Magicians being taboo.

So if they do not GET what was translated into English was not equal to what they were talking about centuries ago, then yes those people are uneducated and naive.
Message: Posted by: Magic Spank (Dec 10, 2005 02:15AM)
I have to admit, this topic is way to long to explore every single post before posting my thoughts.

So here they are, though they may have been stated already and were not requested...

The reason some people don't like magic for "moral" reasons isn't so much superstition or "you're imitating god". It's because they believe as I do, that deception in any form is morally corrupt.

In ANY form. That includes deception for the purposes of entertainment.

Muhammed Ali is a magician who you may refer to in this regard. He is Muslim and I believe he explains every trick after he does it because it is against the Muslim belief to mess up someone's head with deception.

I agree with this belief and do not perform magic because of it. I am not Muslim, I just believe the same thing. Many Christians believe the same.

I will do magic for friends and family, but I will never leave anyone in a state where they are concerned or their mind is preoccupied with how it was done. I'd rather just tell them. We still experience the enjoyment, the suspension of disbelief for a moment afterwards, I just don't want them staying up all night worrying about it.

And I think they respect me all the more.

Rob
Message: Posted by: Mr.Wizard (Dec 10, 2005 04:41AM)
Rob,

I too am a very religious person. I am a memberof FCM, and a man of faith.

I have heard your position put forth before; and I respect your belief. However, as with most who hold it, there is a hole in the concept.

Many Christians say deception in any form is wrong. Yet they have no problem with a movie like "Passion of the Christ" that is nothing but deception. After all, its all fake its a movie!

When looked at, where we come to is a place where what they really are is fearful of what they can not explain. They KNOW its a movie so they feel there is no deception. Because they do not know how the trick is done, they feel that is deception.

Problem is, that falls apart when you point out there are hundreds of things about that movie, from what is a best boy to special effects, that they really don't understand or know how it works.

Like it or not, it really comes down to fear. It is the only honest place to be, and the only one I respect.

If someone says, "I am fearful of this, because I think it is a road to hell". I may not agree with them (in this case I do not), but I respect them and their faith, and the attempt to please God and/or Jesus Christ as they see fit.

However, I do not agree with them attempting to force their version of scripture on anyone else, especially those who understand it far more than they do.

It is really the same as those around here who claim to follow wicca, or other kinds of "nature based" faiths. If that is really what they believe, and they honestly follow that, then I respect it. In truth, if they shove a stick in the ground and say that stick is God, I respect it. I don't believe it, but I do respect it, and I will take up arms and give my life to defend their right to believe that.

However, in truth, most who follow that kind of path, do so not because they are positive in that belief, but rather, are anti-christian. I have no respect for that, because that is a bigot, which you might notice is what they try so hard to project onto Christians.

The point?

It is their money. I can show you silly belief and bigots anywhere you'd like to see them. I can show you honest people of faith too. As such, to thine own self be true.

It is just a show. Trust me when I say there are schools out there who think I am a huge jerk and will never have me back. Very few, but they are out there...

...like the group who believes I stuck in a "secret religious message" when I did the arrow card.

However, the vast majority think what I do is the best they have ever seen.

So, as you travel through this world my brothers, whatever be your goal....

....keep your eye upon that doughnut, and not upon the hole.
Message: Posted by: Magic Spank (Dec 10, 2005 06:12AM)
I certainly agree with Mr Wizard. My belief is based upon the idea that I don't want anyone worrying too much about my tricks. I want enjoyment only, not concern.

Best-

Rob
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Dec 10, 2005 06:31AM)
I have this experience due to entertaining on and off since 1974. No one has ever cited this as a reason for not booking, or given ANY indication that they were at all disturbed by the agreement or deposit. I've had bookers ask me, with the expectation that I would ask for this, as they are calling me as a professional ("What kind of deposit. . .?", or, "How can I make my deposit?".) I can't speak for the UK, having never performed there, but in my area, it works to both of our benefits.

Hi,
this part I would go along with no one would be put off by a deposit. but I think if you kkep the deposit and they think they have a good reason to cancel (and in their eyes most reasons are good) you are going to get bad will, I know this happens as I am a member of several organisations that use entertainers and several are on the never use agian list for this very reason
Phillip
Message: Posted by: Police Magician (Dec 11, 2005 06:06AM)
One of the resorts where I live has a contract that has a cancellation clause in it. It is required in case they have low attendance or interest in the event. Like it or not, if you sign with them, they are subject to cancel. They do not give deposits either. Their payment is one check about two weeks after the event. On a good note though, they do come through with many offerings for shows throughout the year, so one or two cancellations is not that much.

Glenn
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Dec 11, 2005 11:45AM)
To call "church people" naive is quite naive in and of itself.
Your dealing with people's faith not their intelligence.
If you book with a church you should have the foresight to deal with these issues
up front.I have had churches cancel due to money but not once had an issue like this. But then I don't give the impression of having supernatural powers of my own.They know up front it's all trickery.It is esscential to explain at each and every event and on any advertising.
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Dec 11, 2005 01:48PM)
You can find naive people in *any* group or category of person one wishes to choose.

With regard to this specific issue, I have said many times that if people are exposed to magic in *only one context* - bad, evil, silly, 'magicians are creeps', etc... - then that is the impression they will have until they see it or come to understand it in a different context.

And it is not just magic - it can be anything. In high school (about age 15), I thought most football players were dumb. That is what I had always heard. I didn't have any players who were friends, so I just figured it was true. Then I got to know some who were intelligent, very high achievers who made good grades. Very goal oriented. I learned a lesson then about grouping, or labelling, people that has stayed with me.
Message: Posted by: JesterMan (Dec 11, 2005 11:06PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-10 07:31, p.b.jones wrote:I know this happens as I am a member of several organisations that use entertainers and several are on the never use agian list for this very reason.[/quote]Well, those organizations would be welcome to call me only for a last minute booking. If they have several on their list due to kept deposits, that means that THEY are a bad risk for an advance booking. If I were to know that there is a/are group/s that cancel a lot, I'd put THEM on a list. :winker:

Each entertainer must decide for themselves how to handle this situation. I'd handle a group like that the way I do an agency/entertainment broker; only call me shortly before the date. The likelihood of losing a better risk event is less likely, then.

Oh, by the way; I have never held a deposit. But, as I said, without one, they have nothing 'on the line', and you could show up, and find them at a local pub, having forgotten all about you. But, if they have $50+ (or a similar amount in each reader's currency), you can be pretty certain that they will at least call. Then you have the chance to be the nice guy. The alternative is being unceremoniously fired, with no chance to show your good will at all.

Because that church had no good reason (to me), I'd have them on 'my list', too. Knock my wooden head; so far I've been lucky with them.
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Dec 12, 2005 08:34AM)
The overstated generalization made against Church folks is just that. And I don't like overstated generalizations because they usually are driven by an agenda. Maybe the agenda here was to vent. If so, then you should feel content as you have vented a lot. If the agenda was to point fingers and put down Church people, then it is a wrong agenda, and this is the wrong place to pursue it.

OK, Alan, you had this happen, a church cancel on you twice.

First I will say that it is the responsibility of the communicator to communicate. If your web site does not properly communicate with your target market, it your fault not theirs. Banacheck and others who do very professional Mentalism make a point of making it clear that what they do is not real. Maybe you should consider being more clear. Or find a different target client base.

Secondly I will say that it was wrong for the Church's to cancel a committed performance. It is one to give ones word and then go back on it!

But now I must also ask; Do you mean to say that this has never happened with clients other than the Church?????

I certainly doubt that! In fact, I have had many gigs cancelled, including civic benefits that I was doing for free, and had passed up paying gigs to be available for, and private parties, and Corporate events. Did they have reasons? They gave excuses, and I have no reason to doubt them.

It happens a lot in all venues. Does it only happen in the Church? [b]NO.[/b]

It is not right to call out the Church and blame them for shortsightedness. Go back to the Communications point I stated above. If you think they cancelled after booking because of fear of your mental ism etc, then where do you think the fear was stirred? It was your web site.

Let's just call out everyone who every cancelled a show. [b]They are all wrong.[/b] Now let's just be done with it.

BroDavid
Message: Posted by: RevJohn (Dec 12, 2005 11:06AM)
Some thoughts after reading all of this, here are some of my informed thoughts:

1) Do Churches sometimes think the rules of business do not apply to them? yes.
2) Are some church members niave? Yes.
3) Are some of them Lutheran? Yes.
4) Do some Lutheran's cancel shows? Yes.
5) Do some Lutheran's think eating Lutefisk is an act of bravery and should be a show in itself? Yes
6) Should this type of show be cancel? yes, and probably illegal.

RevJohn
A Lutheran Anti-Lutefisk Anti-Canceling Anti-Naive Anti-hating Pastor
Its all about love, baby!
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Dec 12, 2005 11:37AM)
RevJohn...
That gets my vote for funniest post of the week!

Kevin
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 12, 2005 12:43PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-12 12:06, RevJohn wrote:

A Lutheran Anti-Lutefisk Anti-Canceling Anti-Naive Anti-hating Pastor
Its all about love, baby!

[/quote]

But if you are truly an Anti-Hating Pastor then you must, to avoid hypocrisy, love Lutefisk.
It's all about the reconstituted fish, baby!
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Dec 14, 2005 05:33AM)
Well, those organizations would be welcome to call me only for a last minute booking. If they have several on their list due to kept deposits, that means that THEY are a bad risk for an advance booking. If I were to know that there is a/are group/s that cancel a lot, I'd put THEM on a list.

HI,
I can understand where you are comming from, However, the entertainers on this list have acumilated over many many years (before I was a member) and the groups arrange charity/local community events unlike many organisations we do not try and get are entertainers ext for free. Occaionaly and by no means often an event has to be cancelled from clear lack of support always at least 1 month before. as I have said earlier we would not use anyone agian who kept a deposit. most of the people who belong to this group have great influence in the town and as there are similar groups in most towns we meet and talk ext so you can see how things might go. It matters not about wether anoyying our group matters , the point is most people will consider you unjustified in keeping their deposit even if they are totaly in the wrong. personally I think it is better to take the loss rather than falling out with a client or group.
Phillip
Message: Posted by: RevJohn (Dec 14, 2005 09:58AM)
Lutefisk... it was what was really meant when the first person said, "love the sinner, hate the sin." Has nothing to do with Morality.

I love the fish. I just don't love what the world has done to the fish.

or whatever you call it after its transformation.

RevJohn
Message: Posted by: leftytheclown (Dec 15, 2005 03:01PM)
Billy Riggs billed himself as the first Disillusionist (I think that's what he said!) when he came to our church. He set the tone as a performer with some manipulations and standard stuff. The he went on to do some pretty good mental magic to "prove" that psychics were fake by stating he did it by trickery. He followed with an excellent sermon on a true miracle, the resurrection of Jesus.

Greater Gosple Magic, by Laflin goes to some lengths to to help a performer present himself in the best light for churches. Instead of saying magic, say "Puzzles for the Eyes". I announce before hand I will be using simple tricks to illustrate Gosple truths. It is unfortunate that some church members don't understand the purpose of a Gosple Magician's performance and judge on the "trigger words".

Rev John, you have reiterated the key concept of how God looks at us and how Christians are to view mankind. That is: "Love the person, but hate the sin." However, materialists and the philosophy of modernism reject the concept of God, sin, right or wrong, absolute truth, etc., so it is a non-issue to them. Since they also condemn religion (Christianity for me) and call us irrational, bigots, and worse, it seems as if they say we are committing the materialist's version of sin--which they say doesn't exist.
Message: Posted by: tboehnlein (Dec 16, 2005 02:28PM)
I think your marketing needs to be directed to your target audience, if your focusing on church programs then you need a dedicated page or site for such programs. You deal with the ideal of deception & psychic demonstrations every day, this target audience is only familiar with it on limited basis.
Think about it, if a parent was purchasing a childrens book on line & that site also on their home page advertised adult publications, would they be very likely to buy from there, some would many would not. Your situation is no differant.
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Dec 16, 2005 03:37PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-16 15:28, tboehnlein wrote:
Think about it, if a parent was purchasing a childrens book on line & that site also on their home page advertised adult publications, would they be very likely to buy from there, some would many would not. Your situation is no differant.
[/quote]
Stop that! You're making sense! And moreover, you're suggesting a solution!

That's not what we're doing in this thread!
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 16, 2005 06:24PM)
Yeah that horrible ACLU! Read this to find out how they are single handedly destroying our country http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1206-23.htm
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Dec 17, 2005 04:26PM)
That article was simply an unofficial ad for the ACLU, in the guise of an editorial.

The ACLU is not as bad as some may say, but on the other hand, their record is well known and can be studied by anyone who will take the time to do so.
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Dec 17, 2005 05:46PM)
Their record is well-known because they have the Constitution on their side.

If the absolutism of that document (and a far-reaching approach to its interpretation) is often annoying and hard to understand, surely you can understand this: the majority has no protection for its freedoms unless the smallest minorities also have full and equal protection - including protection FROM the majority.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 17, 2005 06:18PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-17 18:46, rossmacrae wrote:
Their record is well-known because they have the Constitution on their side.

If the absolutism of that document (and a far-reaching approach to its interpretation) is often annoying and hard to understand, surely you can understand this: the majority has no protection for its freedoms unless the smallest minorities also have full and equal protection - including protection FROM the majority.
[/quote]

It's comforting to know that there are still amoung us those who understand the purpose of this much maligned agency. The civil rights given us by our constitution are far too easy to loose without the constant vilgilence of those willing to fight to protect them. Be it on the battlefield or in the courtroom.
Message: Posted by: Mr.Wizard (Dec 17, 2005 07:40PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-17 19:18, Payne wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-12-17 18:46, rossmacrae wrote:
Their record is well-known because they have the Constitution on their side.

If the absolutism of that document (and a far-reaching approach to its interpretation) is often annoying and hard to understand, surely you can understand this: the majority has no protection for its freedoms unless the smallest minorities also have full and equal protection - including protection FROM the majority.
[/quote]

It's comforting to know that there are still amoung us those who understand the purpose of this much maligned agency. The civil rights given us by our constitution are far too easy to loose without the constant vilgilence of those willing to fight to protect them. Be it on the battlefield or in the courtroom.
[/quote]

First, this is now so off topic I would think its removal is near.

Second, leftist clap-trap is just that. The ACLU has NEVER defended a persons second ammendment rights in ANY case. Yet they defend the rights of NAMBLA. What right is it when you want to have sex with underage boys?

I can post a great deal more, but this is not the place for it. Unless the context is now naive people who think the ACLU is a good thing are....
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Dec 17, 2005 10:26PM)
Regarding the claim immediately above:

A simple and succinct explanation straight from ACLU: "The case [in which they defended NAMBLA] is based on a shocking murder. But the lawsuit says the crime is the responsibility not of those who committed the murder, but of someone who posted vile material on the Internet."

Do you want your rights, or don't you? If you want to post on the internet without fear of prosecution, everyone (even those we despise) must share that right.

The other claim, regarding the second amendment, is simply untrue. Their stated policy is that, "if we can license and register cars, we can license and register guns." Period. License - register - not prohibit, confiscate, or any other wild claim.

Yeah, we've gotten off-topic. But the discussion is still vigorous - SOMEONE must be interested. Someone else, Mr. Wizard, seems to be afraid of discussion. You no like the talk, you no read the thread.
Message: Posted by: mattisdx (Dec 18, 2005 01:18AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-01 12:40, Alan Munro wrote:

Are people really so naive as to not know the difference between a theatrical performer and a "psychic"?

[/quote]

Like PT Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute".
Message: Posted by: RevJohn (Dec 18, 2005 09:10AM)
Mmm....

Ross, love you man! Right on the money as usual!

As for other comments.... mmm,

[edited by RevJohn]

RevJohn
Message: Posted by: Police Magician (Dec 18, 2005 12:48PM)
Mattisdx, Barnum did not say there is a sucker born every minute. The saying stems from a court case he was involved with. See details on the "Cardiff Giant" for further.

Glenn