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Alym Amlani
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Inner circle
Canada
1465 Posts

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Here's a question that I feel sad to ask:

Have any of you regular performers run across poachers at your resident gig? By poachers, I mean other magi that try and steal your gig when you're not working?

I know that it is usually unsuccessful, and that if you perform well weekly you have nothing to worry about; however, it's so frustrating to hear that some people come in specifically to try and take your job. Anyway, I'm still working so all's well, but just thought I'd poll some others to see if you've encountered similar behavior...
Logic Defied
Paul
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Inner circle
A good lecturer at your service!
4397 Posts

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It's not happened to me, but I've heard of it happening before a few times, once happened to a friend working a trade show when he took a break!

As you say, it's pretty sad. There are plenty of venues to approach. It shows a lack of ethics and a lack of experience. Generally a good performer has nothing to worry about.

Paul.
Paddy
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Inner circle
Milford OH
1571 Posts

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Had it happen a couple of times. Both cases the G.M. came to me and showed me the person's card (same person in both cases) and asked me if I knew him. I responded "no, but I have heard good things about him." The only reason I said that was because you never tear down anybody, especially your compitition, it makes you look petty and jealous.

Well both G.M.'s responded the same way, "don't worry, compared to you he's pure crap" (or a word meaning the same.) Made me feel really good.


Peter
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
Keith Raygor
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Naples, FL
969 Posts

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On 2 occasions (same magician) in the past 6 years at the current restaurant. The owners laughed about it and thought it was tacky. The magician in question has gone on to live up to his self-estimated potential.
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11159 Posts

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Yes. Yes. Yes. I have serious issues with bottom-feeders. Do not get me started.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Allan
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Elite user
405 Posts

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Had it happen twice in the same restaurant by two different magicians. Those are the ones I know about.
Alym Amlani
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Canada
1465 Posts

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Sigh...
Thou shalt not steal!
Logic Defied
Bob Johnston
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Philadelphia, PA
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I have never worked with a “written” contract in a restaurant.

Would (or could) that problem be addressed in a written contract and has anyone added it to their agreement with a restaurant?

I am talking about another magician looking for a gig for the times that you are not there.

Bob
lowphat
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Michigan
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I suppose that would probably help out, but sometimes would depend on the type of restaurant you're in. If you're working a chain restaurant, a lot of times the GM doesn't have authorization to sign a contract. If it's privately owned though that might be a good idea. However, I tend to agree with others in the conversation that if you're doing good magic, you really don't have to worry about it. Most people who are doing good magic themselves would never stoop to such a level anyhow, so rest assured, if their coming in to poach, then they're probably a hack.
steve j
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Long Island, New York
559 Posts

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Right now I am confident that I don't have to worry about this however it does worry me from time to time, especially since many restaurants are price oriented, if someone come in saying that they are cheaper they may not be as good but I lose the job. I hate when this happens.
20Robert04
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Midland, MI
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I don't know I might looking at it the wrong way but they it be possible accidents? When I move in a few weeks I am going to go around trying to get another job at a local restaurant. Since I will be new to the area I wont know what restaurants are taken and what are not, so if I hit one that has already a performing magician I will just kindly back off. It could just be a simple mistake, or I could just simply be arrigent.

Paul
Keith Raygor
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Naples, FL
969 Posts

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In my case, it was after the magician asked to meet me to introduce himself, we spoke for a few minutes, then when I excused myself to hit some tables, he asked for the owner to offer his services.
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11159 Posts

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I had one guy, who I thought was a friend, go to extreme lengths to undermine me. He did some hack magic, but was mostly a balloon folder. At one of my regular restaurants, there was a particular night that I had to come in about an hour and a half later. The management knew and were ok with it (I always had a good relationship with them).

The balloon mangler knew this also. He took it upon himself to go to that restaurant, tell the management that he was going to be filling in for me, and the management naturally assume all was OK. He proceeded to work as many tables as he could in that time. He is also a notorious tip hustler, always wearing buttons and idiot tags that say stuff like, "Tipping is Good", or "I Work for Tips".

Needless to say, when I got there, I hit the roof. He had in essence, eliminated the possibility of me working any of those tables myself, either because of overkill, or because all those people were thinking it was going to cost them again.

I have had at least two other bottom-feeders to contend with heavily over the years, but I'll save those stories for later.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Lee Darrow
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V.I.P.
Chicago, IL USA
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Quote:
On 2005-05-28 15:20, alym wrote:
Sigh...
Thou shalt not steal!


I guess that kills one of my favorite sleights. But that's a side (steal) issue! Smile

As to bottom feeders, they are an occupational hazard. The real problem is with the fast changes in management one gets in chain restaurants who try to "improve" their bottom line by dumping a higher priced magician (me) for someone who will do the same hours for $25 for the whole evening (and who has only a year of experience and isn't out of high school and only does dealer items with the printed patter that comes with them!).

Don't get me started on those people.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Alym Amlani
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Inner circle
Canada
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That's why it's great to get in good with the owners of the restaurant you work at. That way, if the manager leaves, at least the owner still knows you - and ultimately it's their decision Smile

Funny, the restaurant was never approached before I started working there!
Logic Defied
Jon Gallagher
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Elmwood, Illinois
395 Posts

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I lost a restaurant job once to a guy who came in and undercut me in price. That was about 20 years ago.

The restaurant manager told me that it was just a matter of economics. Nothing personal.

Three weeks later when the manager called me to see if I could come back to work for them, I told him that my prices had gone up quite a bit.

Nothing personal. Just a matter of economics. My economics.

A month later, I was working at a restaurant just down the street.
www.jongallagher.com

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
Joe Mauro
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It's a free market. Be so good that it doesn't happen.
~Joe
kinesis
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Scotland, surrounded by
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I was placed in a potentially awkward situation. I recently got booked by an agent to work at a vey well known restaurant chain. When I turned up I was informed that it was to cover for the regular magician. Well at the end of the 3 hr job many of the waitstaff said I was much better than the usual guy and they'd tell the management. I didn't give out any cards and I didn't leave any publicity material with the management. If they want me I guess they can get to me through the agent...

So, what would you guys do if this restaurant offered you the job. I certainly would feel very bad about taking someone elses work from them but I would be mad not to take it. This is, at the moment, purely hypothetical.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein






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cfrye
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Portland, Oregon, USA
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I believe you have acted ethically and would be justified in taking the job, if offered.

Sometimes you lose a job to bad luck. In baseball, a first baseman named Wally Pipp took a day off and was replaced by Lou Gehrig. Gehrig then played 2,130 consecutive games, nearly fourteen 154-game seasons, beginning that very day.
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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I think it is incredibly bad form to try to move in on another magician's turf, whether you are better or not. He's the one who did the leg work, etc. Now if the restaurant fires him first and then contacts you, that's another matter.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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