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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Great Show knocked because of the word Magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Has this happened to you.. or something similar? You offer a great deal to help out a local Catholic Church to raise money and before you can even present it, it is shot down because of the word MAGIC!

A friend said he couldn't perform tricks with money, cards or fire in a synogue. Another said he couldn't perform any trick, use microphones, sound system. lighting, or use anything that require a plug in socket for electric unless he could prove he had a million dollar liability insurance policy.

What's you input on this?
Dennis Michael
Payne
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Inner circle
Seattle
4572 Posts

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On at least two occasions I have been informed that several students could not attend my "Harry Potter" style show at an after school function because the word wizard was used to advertise it.
Friends once booked me into a Mormon Church even though the "elders" frowned upon it as it involved magic.
I have never encountered the Insurance thing yet but in out litigous society it doesn't suprise me.
Religion is a strange thing. I have done my Wizard School show in a catholic school to much praise and have been lambasted by other churches for promoting witchcraft.
Basically it all boils down to they are the client and you have to play by their rules, if you don't like it move along. There are bigger fish to fry without having to worry about those unfortunate souls who are stuck in the fourteenth century and believe witches are real.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Hi,
I have never had any religious objections to my shows, though we do not have a huge degree of ethnic diversity where I live. I regularly work for Catholics and indeed I perform at 3 catholic schoolls in our area regularly (for fees) and I am called Phill the Wizard and I dress as a Wizard. I did once at a party get a boy ask me not to make hinm a balloon sword as he was a Jahova's witness and therefore a pascifist (not bad for a boy of 6). With regards Public liability insurance. many local authorities require at least 1 million pounds cover to work there buildings regardles of wether you plug in to the electic or not. I simply have a 2 mill cover so get no problems.

phillip
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
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I have had to drop the word magic totally from one of my school programs due to parents concern. The magic show became a trick show. Instead of performing magic I performed 'tricks' and all was well, same show.

If these people understand that you openly admit to using trickery without claiming to hold real magicial powers they are usually okay with it.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Peter Marucci
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On the moral/ethical/whatever issue I agree with Payne:
He who pays the piper, calls the tune.
And there's no grounds for arguing with that.
If you were buying a suit and you hated the color, but the salesman insisted it was the latest fashion, would you still buy it?
Of course not (unless you were a total sap and taken in by that hype; and there are enough of THEM around!)
Remember the Golden Rule: He who has the gold, makes the rules.
On the other issue of insurance, that makes sense.
In an evermore litigious society, nobody wants to risk a lawsuit, frivolous or not.
A a million-dollar liability policy is pretty standard and not all that expensive.
Bascomb Grecian
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Redding, Ca.
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DenDowhy:

Wow, I have never had anything like this happen to me. That was indeed strange since you are helping to "fill" a need. In this case, help obtain funds for a group.

I have read on some posts that some performers have been hassled on the public liability insurance issue.

I personally see no reason to buy insurance for performing magic. The worst thing that could happen to someone in one of my shows, is that they get a paper cut from a card box.

If you do not use fire, do not do hanging straight jacket escapes, do not buy insurance. If you do dangerous feats, buy life insurance. But as a magician I cannot think of any reason why someone would need insurance to plug in a microphone. If you had an electrical fire, THEIR insurance would cover it.

The real solution is a personal liability umbrella policy. These are sold by the same guys who sell you your homeowner policy. Get one of these and you are covered fro just about anything you could inadvertantly do.
Welcome to The Magic Cafe'!
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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In further investigating the electrical situation, apparently someone plugged in something and short circuit the outlet and caused some minor damage to the rug near the outlet and a small contained fire in the outlet. The insurance requirement was the outcome of that situation.

I hope to meet with the pastor and find out the story behind his dislike for magic shows.

And as for having insurance it appears that this is a good thing. I want to look into IBM and SAM policies, it appears they both have group policies but I know nothing about them.
Dennis Michael
flourish dude
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from ? But I know where I am going!
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Whenever I pitch to a Church or do a Church show I sell an Inspirational entertainment program. I use the word illusions and never magic. This might go for school shows also don’t call it a magic show, call it as the show is themed. Sell the show on the content and not what you use to make your point.
For my Christian Christmas show it is called the true meaning of Christmas. This is what the show is about I teach that Christ is the reason there is a Christmas and we are celebrating his birth. I don't sell it as a Christian Christmas magic show I sell it as a program that teaches the topic. Yes I use magic/illusion but also puppets, juggling, songs ETC IT'S A SHOW. Look at it this way if I was to build a house would I tell you I use a hammer, a saw, a few nails NO I tell you what the end results is and not how I am going to do it.

Granted in my promo letters a statement such as "thru the use of Songs puppets illusions" ECT This helps them get an idea of how the show is put together. I hope this make sense.
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.
www.magicalmemories.us
Peedlkyle
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I am also one of Jehovah's Witnesses and I understand that many religious figures don't appreciate me performing for their children. As I am only 14, the kids at my Kingdom Hall (that's like the church) were very exited to see my magic because I had shown some of them when they came with their parents to my house. I unfortunately had to decline because there are MANY parents uncomfortable with the subject. If I do plan to perform for any religiously minded children I always ask their parents first.
On the other hand, you have different fingers.
flourish dude
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One more thing,
The second routine I do in this type of show spells out the fact that what I do is not magic, only illusions. (ALA Duane Lafflin) This help anyone with "funny feelings" about the "magic". I also clear this up in my promo letter to the Church.
THEN I have had others feel like "it's too close" so I created a show with very little to no magic. This show includes puppets,
Balloons skits, Juggling and audience interactive games.
That way instead of butting heads with the pastor or who ever I simply say I have a show with no illusions that we could perform.
BTW this is TOP secret info...why, because it allows me to get work from Churches that don’t' hire magicians!!!!!

Peedlkyle,
How do your parents feel about you doing it?
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.
www.magicalmemories.us
Peedlkyle
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I live in my house
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Me and my parents have talked about it. We have come to the decision that I am not doing real magic (that of course would be out of the question). Instead, I am performing sleight of hand, etc. In my religion something like this is what we call a concience decision. There is no real evidence in the Bible either way as to whether you can or cannot perform sleight of hand. I do however have to be careful with my act, staying away from some mentalism and mind reading, as that is not appropriate for me.
On the other hand, you have different fingers.
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Quote:
I personally see no reason to buy insurance for performing magic.

Hi,
What about the child that slips or falls maybe hitting his head on your table in the prosses. I have had some close misses... I do an unlink whith the linking rings where the child holds one ring of 3 to check that they are really linked I then turn to the other child helper making a remark and leaving the astonished boy with the exanined ring unlinked from the other two in his hand. well one day the boy decided out of the blue to throw it right up to the ceiling just missing a glass chandalier and the ring came crashing down on the audience!

People get exited/nervous when helping on stage it is quite easy in their haste for them to slip or fall.
Phillip
Peedlkyle
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I live in my house
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Woah, I bet that was a crown pleaser... I guess if you are afraid of being sued get insurance for ANYTHING. Basically you can be sued for anything so take the precaution if you're doing a lot of shows. Or make the entire audience sign wavers before the show...
On the other hand, you have different fingers.
Whiterabbit
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Kevin Mc Lean
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I think insurance is the way to go.

People are probably joking about waivers, but in some countries (and I believe Australia is one of them) you can't waive your right to sue even if you sign a form (I believe that this can probably lessen the settlement though).

Then there is the confidence problem with waivers: would you have a mechanic service your car if he made you sign a waiver in advance saying you weren't going to sue him?

Also, it may sound funny, but I think having insurance is a sales point that you can use to indicate that you give a professional show.

Anyway, my tuppence.
May your fingers never lose their deftness,

May your tongue always lead them down the garden path...



Regards,



Whiterabbit
Peter Marucci
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"Also, it may sound funny, but I think having insurance is a sales point that you can use to indicate that you give a professional show."

Not funny at all, Kevin, but a very valid point that you make.

Some venues in North America, especially malls, won't even talk to any performer who does not carry insurance (a million dollars is the minimum, usually) for his or her show.

This is an absolutely non-negotiable point!

You might be able to turn lead into gold but that doesn't matter: No insurance, no show. Period.
kenscott
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Who is everyone using these days for insurance?

Ken
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Because insurance has become an issue and I too wanted more information, the topic Tricky Business: Insurance for Magicians has been created to further investigate, discuss and gather information related to this important topic.

I just got back from a meeting with the Paster. He pointed out he did his dissertation in theology on the Magi, and Conjuring implications related to the scripture and it's negative control it has had on the people. His work dealt with a lot of the history (way back Moses stuff, etc.) and how magic was used to control cultures. We talked about it in today's society and in some cultures. Since any form of magic deceives people, he personally feels it takes away from one true spirituality. He also pointed out scripture related to it (7 of them) with a focus on Deutromony.

Now guys, hopefully, this does not turn into a debatable issue. This is just a short summation of our 45 minute conversation. It boils down to NO for a Magic show and he would like to see a video on the educational routines I do because I am not doing magic but teaching an important point and magic never enters into the patter.

I do understand his point of view and he made it clear when the next Paster replaces him his view point may be different. He also pointed out other pasters, priests and ministers who regularly use magic to teach scripture, but he doesn't believe in it. By the way "illusion" and word play won't work and he pointed that out to me.

It's his belief, and he is the #1 guy who makes the decison at this parish.
Dennis Michael
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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His work dealt with a lot of the history (way back Moses stuff, etc.) and how magic was used to control cultures.

Hi,
With no intention of offending anyone.
Seems that magic and religion are similar here then...."was used to control cultures."
Phillip
Payne
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Seattle
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Quote:
On 2002-12-04 16:44, p.b.jones wrote:
His work dealt with a lot of the history (way back Moses stuff, etc.) and how magic was used to control cultures.

Hi,
With no intention of offending anyone.
Seems that magic and religion are similar here then...."was used to control cultures."
Phillip


Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. It's kind of the pot calling the kettle black. But then one man's magic is another man's heresy.
Still, however unrational you find them they are his beliefs and you must respect them. His mind sounds made up and I think your efforts would be better spent pursuing other venues.
Why is this gig so important to you?
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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Quote:
Why is this gig so important to you?


The school is hurting for money, enrollment is down, it is my family's local church/school (Note: I'm not a Catholic), I support the church and wanted to do a great fund raiser for them. There are only a few place I'd really offer my services for free because I believe in it and this parish is one of them.

This is probably why I am stunned. I did it once before under a different priest many years ago.
Dennis Michael
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