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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Needed: Advice on ethics (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Chance
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About 6 weeks ago (give or take a few days) I received an e-mail from another member of this forum, and that e-mail has since changed my life. And I don't mean in a good way.

The sender of that e-mail had noted my growing friendship with Steve Baker -- which was easy to do when you consider our public messages here to each other -- and decided it was the proper time to tell me about some past trouble he had had with Steve. He said the motivation behind his e-mail was to warn me about Steve, so that I wouldn't fall into the same situation he had.

Please understand everybody, that this e-mail was total news to me. I had not asked this person a single question about Mr. Baker, and this information, such as it was, caught me like a punch between the eyes. I was as stunned by the nerve of the message as much as by the content.

And just so we are clear on this as well: I am not taking sides on this issue, and find it quite rude that I would be informed of such a situation behind Steve's back.

After about two weeks had gone by, I mentioned to Steve, as politely as I could under the circumstances, that I had received this message. I told him what the message was, but not who had sent it to me. I did NOT ask whether it was true or not -- it's really none of my business!

I even went so far as to say to Steve, that I would gladly forward a letter from him to this person, encouraging them to go around me and contact Steve directly. I felt then, as I do now, that this was the best I could do under the difficult situation I had been placed in.

That was several weeks ago. And now?

Now, Steve Baker, who would Skype with me for hours each week, who had become a distant but firm part of my life here in Vienna, won't even return my e-mails. It feels to me like our friendship is gone. I miss our regular contact very much (and so does my lady Katharina, btw, who would often join in with our Skype calls), and can't help but feel that he blames me somehow for what has happened.

So Steve, if you are reading this, just know that you are missed here in Vienna, and that Kat and both wish you well.

For the rest of you EA's out there, I'm curious to hear how you guys might have responded in my place. Actually, not that I write about it, I'm also wondering if anyone else has been contacted behind Steve's back as I was?

Chance
Kondini
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I would have ignored the message and it`s content,,,yes I have received stirring the spoon mails and treated them with the contempt deserved.
I take people as I find them to be and treat others as I am treated.
It seems that you have been indirectly and sadly used as a bullet.

I can sympathise with your position and am sure that Mr Baker is a far bigger man than all of it.

Ken.
Cliffg37
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It is easy to be cynical and critique someone who has had succes in a field. It is harder to find the truth yourself, since you obviously risk offending by doing so. I will go with Kondini on this and say that there is much maligning that goes on in the EA field, just like I suppose any other field. Look how many people insult the president? He is on top, and many people, some of whom MIGHT know what they are talking about are ready to tell him how to do his job, without having a clue what his job really is.

My point is I seldom if ever respond to maligning e-mails. If I feel something is disturbing I might research it as you did Chance. With the sad understanding as to what might happen. Another point is that while what ever you are talking about may or may not be true, we all know that there has been a long tradition of "Baker bashing" on this board, and that simple fact would make me suspect to anything maligning that was said.
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Roslyn
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I am shocked that someone on here would do such a thing. I am a firm believer that if someone has a problem with someone else they talk it over with that person and try to sort things out. If that's not possible at they could both just agree to disagree and leave it at that. Dragging someone who is not involved in any matter, let alone one like this, is rediculous and unfair.

I wouldn't worry that Steve hasn't got back to you. He's very busy with his belt at the moment as well as other things. I don't think Steve is the type of guy to take this stuff to heart. He's been around far too long for something like this to get him down and effect his judgment of decent people.

We can't all get on with everyone after all, not even me (I know it's a shock to you all here, but there are people in this world that don't get on with me, and they're not all ex-girlfriends either!!)

I think you did the right thing telling Steve what had been sent to you. That way, if Steve was bothered by it he could've sorted it out. He's not exactly backward about coming forward after all Smile

Take care and don't stress.

Ros
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KerryJK
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On occasion, both in e-mail and in life, I occasionally get people "warning" me about such and such a person, whether by good intentions or otherwise. If I reply at all to these, it's with a polite note thanking the sender for their concern but that I am not in the business of taking sides in other peoples' battles (even trying to play a neutral role in such matters is a mug's game because you just get flack from both sides - I've been stung this way before) or judging people by stories told from one side only (again, this is a mistake I've made and learnt from). Showbusiness stinks, none of us can be perfect in our lifetimes, mistakes are made and conflicts arise, but by far the factor that accounts for the most damage I've experienced are misunderstandings, which when given fuel have a nasty habit of forming vicious circles of misinformation.

The best I feel I can do is to judge people by their best and hope people will do the same for me. That's not to say I'm not careful with who I trust, just that I don't like basing such decisions on rumour and innuendo above my own personal dealings.

I daresay some people have nasty things to say about me behind my back, both substantiated and otherwise, it happens to everyone. Frankly I've many more interesting things to be bothered with that I can control, and I can't be doing with politicks and ********.

I hope you guys manage to patch things up.. it's terrible when these things get out of hand.
drwilson
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I used to really wonder what it was about escape artists, until I recently started to listen to some carefully selected rap music. It's pretty much the same thing, who's the baddest, the best with the beats and rhymes, whose gonna **** the ************ who ****ed his *****, and so on. Except that some of the rap guys must make a lot more money.

I have learned a lot from a number of different escape artists who aren't on very good terms with each other, so I would echo the approach suggested above, learn what you can from whoever is willing to be helpful, and treat other people as you are treated (or better).

Yours,

Paul
DavidEscapes
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I agree with Paul. It is pointless arguing over who is the best, anyone with any sense knows that its me anyway. Just line up behind and get along guys Smile
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drwilson
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That's the spirit! You'll see me waving from waaaay back near the end of the line.

Yours,

Paul
Kondini
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Who is best!!! Come on David even with a bad foot I didn`t have to go all the way to China to get a show.
KerryJK
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Quote:
Who is best!!! Come on David even with a bad foot I didn`t have to go all the way to China to get a show.


That is one of the best one liners I've heard in ages! Smile
MarkTripp
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I would forward the message to Steve, with the name, and I'll tell you why;

People who want to "help" you like that, need to be up front about it.

Let us say that John Doe did "xyz" to me. Then I saw him getting ready to "xyz" some one here.

I would say IN PUBLIC what happened and call out Mr. Doe for doing "xyz".

I wouldn't be a wuss and do it behind anyones back or in the guise of "just between us"; THAT is a cowards way.

Not saying anyone should do as I; that is your life to live.

But you asked, and that is what I would have done or would do.

Mark Tripp
Harley Newman
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Nobody contacted me like this.

Performers tend to bicker a lot, and not just the EAs. What you received sounds like it was over the top.

When I joined this group, I could tell that there had just been some kind of battle, and it was pretty strange. There were, not-always obviously, sides taken between warring camps, and many of the posts reflected that bristling.

As a rule, when person B complains to you about person C, it's best to treat the problem as B's. B is trying to justify something. Probably, the truth of the situation is somewhere in between, but you can't find it out, if C isn't there, and it wasn't your problem in the first place. If you're in a position of having to find the resolution, there's also a lot of background information missing.

So the best thing (without having seen the message) would have been to either ignore it, or to gently let B know that you didn't really want to be in the middle of his/her fight. Passing the message on, is joining the fight.

If B persists, you have a variety of options. You can take sides, which has potential to be a big mistake. You can help him/her to find a new way to deal with the situation, if you feel that B is enough of a friend. Or you can ignore it, or just change the subject.

What Mark suggests is appropriate for an A-B situation. But you weren't in that.
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Wolflock
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Chance. don't take things personally. Steves Computer is a bit messed up at the moment and has been for a few weeks now, and that is why he is not contacting you. Perry and I too have not been able to get hold of him on Skype or email as of lately. I am sure that when he has sorted things out he will get in touch with you immediately.
Steve is definately a bigger man than the type who would hold a grudge against you just because you warned him about someone trying to put him down. And as for the person who emailed you. EMAIL them back and tell them to be a man and either email Steve directly or CC him with the emails so that he can also read what is being said about him. If they have reason behind their email, I am sure that they can sort it out in a dignified and proper manner by getting in touch with Steve and sorting it out DIRECTLY with him. Why sneak around behind Steve's back. If I had a problem with any of you, I would sort it out with you personally, not email someone else (unless I was just jealous that you were better than me).
There are always three sides to a story, Side A's, Side B's and then the truth.

Steve will get in touch with you as soon as he is able to again.

Regards
Wolflock
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Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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People are people. I've found that the best way to deal with anyone (EA or no) is with an open mind, but not so open that you risk your brains spilling out. There is good and bad in each of us; virtues, flaws and quirks.
I have been friends with EAs who were venomous enemies of each other, and who would tell me about what a crumb 'that guy' is.
I nod and smile, but I don't join the parade. Hero worship is as dangerous as bashing.
If someone is gentlemanly to me, I will return the favor graciously.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
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DavidEscapes
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Quote:
On 2005-05-18 17:48, Kondini wrote:
Who is best!!! Come on David even with a bad foot I didn`t have to go all the way to China to get a show.


Don't lie, you just couldn't get your wheelchair onto the plane.
David Victor - The artist formally (and still occasionally) known as David Straitjacket.

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RJ_Silmser
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Hi Chance...

Question Sir, why would you even bother saying this here to all of us ? I can't see how it would do any good telling us. This is something between you and Steve.

Steve is a famous guy and like all famous people, they have their jealous followers and crazy people...like "Jon C", but that's a different story.... Steve is a busy guy, especially with making his belts. Steve is the kind of guy who thinks things out before he acts...his escape work shows that. Give it time and everything will work itself out.

~Rick~
"A man is only as young as the woman he feels"



-Groucho Marx-
Chance
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You gotta be kidding, Rick. Before you say anything else about my ONE letter here mentioning Steve Baker by name, go back a read how many of YOUR letters do so. THEN we can talk, okay?

For everyone else who wrote encouraging words, both here and in private, I thank you. I hope you have written the same encouraging messages to Steve as well! God knows that no one -- regardless of fame or fortune -- benefits from having such idiots casting stones and telling stories behind their back.

And if anyone were to come to any of you telling stories about me, I would for sure like to know all about it! Lies can only survive in darkness.

Chance
Wolflock
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Rick - I think Chance was just wanting to know what everyone elses advice would be to the situation. I know I would in situations like this. And this is the place that I would ask.

Chance - I think Rick was just saying that this is kind of a private matter. I agree with you last comment. If anyone has a problem with me, Rather come tell me to my face.

Regards
Wolflock
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