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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Good News! » » Are church folk really this naive? » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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calamari
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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.
"I came, I saw, SHE conquered." (The original Latin seems to have been garbled.)
Alan Munro
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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.
magic4u02
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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
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Brian Lehr
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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. Smile

Brian
TheAmbitiousCard
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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.
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magic4u02
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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
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Alan Munro
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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.
Al Angello
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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
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flourish dude
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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.
Nothing of the same will bring any change, take action today!
Just taking a step, is a step in the right direction because when you stop working, your dream dies.
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magic4u02
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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
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magicgeorge
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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
kenscott
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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
PROFED
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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.
Al Angello
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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
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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magic4u02
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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
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calamari
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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?
"I came, I saw, SHE conquered." (The original Latin seems to have been garbled.)
chris mcbrien
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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
David Bilan
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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.
Yes, I am a magician. No I did not make my hare (hair) disappear... it just took early retirement.
mstick85
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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
"Go Browns!"
Alan Munro
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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

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.
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