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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Pardon me, sir... » » Damaging the watch (band) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

CharlieC
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Has anyone messed up a spectator's leather band while doing a watch steal? I don't know if it was the quality of the leather, but one lady's watch had some stretch marks after I was done. I'm not sure if it was me or if they were already there.
"Whenever he gets in a fix he reaches into his bag of tricks.
Felix the cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat..."
jlevey
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Often the "wear-factor" is there "before" you touch the band. Sweat and perspiration, over time, serve to deteriorate even the finest quality leather.

However, if the band worn, but not (yet) broken) then the thin leather straps that hold the tip of the band in place may truly break in the process of the steal.

If you notice (as you return the watch) that the band or "holder" is damaged, and you believe (or intuitively sense) that you "may" have caused this to happen, then the "right" (and often best) thing to do (IMHO) is the following

As you return the watch it to the owner, and as you go to put the watch back on his/her wrist, you can audibly thank her/him --putting a close to the public routine. At this point, no one (neither the toher spectators or the owner of the watch) are likely to be aware of any damage. As you turn your back on this appreciative group (appreciative of all of the fun they had to bear witness to ths miracuous watch steal), instead of moving on to work you rmagic and fun on the next group, quietly ask your volunteer/victim to come over with you, off to the side of the room --where you can discuss (in private)how in your line of work, you often find that watches are worn-out near the buckle, and that over the years on rare occasions, the act of "stealing" of the watch "may" cause the band to be damamged. Be sure to emphazsize that this damaging of the wathc is "very rare" indeed, but that if this is the case with his/her watch, you would like to offer immediate payjment to replace the band. In most cases the person will laugh and tell you that their band was, in fact, well-worn before your escapde (relief!). But if they appear genuinely surprised (and "possibly" upset, and you offer to pay to replace their band (they will imediately relax and be thankful.

In most cases, when they see your genuine concern and willingness to "make good", they will insist that this (replacement or payment) is not necessary. This is not only due to your good attitude, but also because they realize that it is not "solely" your fault --that the band was set to break soon (with or without your help)and they will recall that they had even been "thinking" on their own to replace their band soon --but have yet to get around to doing this... now, they have good cause (to do what they had planned to doo and knew had to be done). The fact that you, the entertainer, made such a kind offer will be greatly appreciated by them, as will be all the fun they had during the routine of the watch steal itself (often worth the price of a new band just for the thrill factor).

If you think about it, a performer would have to be "very" rough in their technique to actually cause the breaking of a "good" watch band, or straps.

Anmother option is to let the whole thing go and not bring it up to them. In this way, chances are that when the person discovers that their watch is damaged, they will not be upset at the magician, as long as they knew it was on its way out.

Still I prefer to bring it up discreetly in the way I described above, "if" I reallyu feel "I" may have caused the band to "finally" break.

As I write thsi I recall an incident where the shoe was on the other foot (or the watch was on the otther wrist!lol)... I once was called up on stage by the well-known (and respected) funny man --David Williamson. During the on stage card location routine, David proceeded to "steal" my leather belt (BTW,I knew he was making the steal as it hapened --but I, of course, still went along with the fun). When he finally revealed the steal and gave me my belt back I returned to my seat in good spirits. It wasn't until I got home that night that I saw my brand new belt had been damaged in the process. I was not pleased, but I knew he didn't do it on purpose and that he likely never even suspected that damage was done. I let it go, and bought a new belt, feeling thatthe fun experience was worth the price of the belt. Stil, it always bothered me that he was so rough as to damage my new belt.

Perhaps this is why I am a bit more sensitive to the subject and situation of broken bands.

I guess what I've learned is that if you intuitively feel that you were the cause for a damaged watch band (or the watch itself), it's better to discreetly talk to the volunteer after the routine and offer to pay for the damages. It may end of costing you cash, but your reputation as an honest entertainer who treats his volunteer's with the respect they deserve, will remain in tact.

I realize that this has been a long post, and somewhat repetitious, still I hope it is some help.

Just my 3 cents.

I'm sure that others in this forum have their own experiences and perspectives to share... please do.

Jonathan
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CharlieC
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Jonathan,

Thanks for your post. Actually, I think you made some excellent points and on reflection I realize why I made the post in the first place. I'm going to use your advice and talk to spectators if I feel like I may have damaged their watch. If nothing else, it will ease my conscious, and it seems like the right thing to do.

Again, thanks for taking the time to share.
"Whenever he gets in a fix he reaches into his bag of tricks.
Felix the cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat..."
jlevey
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Glad you found my input helpful.

Let us know how it goes.

Frankly, it should not be happening on a frequent basis. However, over the 20years+ (and thousands of gigs) that I have practiced the art of the watch steal, this situation definitely has occured on several occassions.

Knowing how to deal with it in a calm, gentle and honest manner, has worked well for both me and my volunteers.

With best regads.

Jonathan
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jayaweera
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Most of the time, they knew it was going to break so they do not mind.

However that is why I have insurance especially as I do this full-time things can happen that you are aware off.

Josh
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peculiarone
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I dropped a spectator's watch once. It didn't break, good thing. Amazingly he didn't even notice that it had dropped or that I bent over to pick it up.

me
jlevey
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Josh,

Taking out proper insurance is a great suggestion.


Perhaps you can help me (us)...

I have yet to find a credible company that offers insurance for Magicians that damage watches in performance.

IBM coverage and Clowns Association policies do not seem to adequately cover this type of damage to other people's property when damaged during performance.

I seem to recall that it is the spectator who (hopefuly) has the right insurance to cover damage of "their" property.

In this way, the risk always remains and performers must be confident in their skills, and know how to resolve any problems that come up due to their actions --and be prepared to pay for a new band or even a new watch --yes, the Rolex types "are" expensive!

I could be wrong. If so, please enlighten me and direct me (us) to the insurer that you currently use and know for a fact, makes good on this type of coverage/claim.

Have you ever had to use such coverage?

Many thanks.

Jonathan
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jlevey
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Dear "Me"...

Not a good idea to "drop" the person's watch... but you knew/know that.

Glad everything turned out ok. I am guessing that the watch fell onto carpet, not concrete... is that right?

If you find that you are dropping watches frequently, it's tiomem to consider switching to wallets and hankerchiefs (soft and less breakable). If it's "only" once in a while, stick with the sports watch types or inexpensive timex types.

Seriously "Me"... Thanks fo rsaharing this true story.

Accidents do /can happen. I realize I (and many of "us") have been very fortunate all these years.

That's why adequate insure coverage would be ideal...

Josh, if you have this info, this wouod be a great time/place to post it.

Thanking you in advance.

Jonathan
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peculiarone
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Jonathan.

This only happened to me once. Yes, it did fall on the carpet. As I recall, after I had unlatched the band it slipped out of my hand. I still find it hard to believe he didn't notice it.

peculiarone (that's me)
jlevey
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Peculiarone...

My apologies. I didn't mean to poke fun. I was just having a little fun with my posting, but I did not mean to suggest that you might be dropping watches repeatedly.

Accidents like this can happen to all of us. Glad that the watch was undamagedand that the carpet cushioned the fall. The fact that you didn't miss a beat ("the show must go on") and that your mark didn't even notice his watch fall (or being picked up) suggests that he and his group were so enthralled and entertained during your interactive performance that they were oblivious to everything else happening below their radar.

Again, thanks for sharing this story.

With best regards.

Jonathan
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kris attard
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One problem with watches is that many people who live a busy life may go for months at a stretch without actually looking properly at the state of their watchband - they simply get up in the morning, put it on at the same time that they're eating their cereal, feeding their cat and getting the car keys, and dash out. They may not be aware how their leather band is ageing gracefully with scuff or stretch marks, until that time at the nightclub when they inspect the watch after it was returned to them by the magician who just took it off them. Suddenly, a dozen marks they were not aware are glaringly obvious to them, and of course, it must have been the magician. So yes, unfortunately we have to be prepared for this kind of thing.

I guess it helps when the pickpocket works a style where he draws full attention to the watch before stealing it, as Borra does. Keith the Thief (UK) who I saw perform in Malta also worked in such a way that he pointed out and talked about the watch before actually stealing it. This can be useful as a way of pointing out in a fun way any scratches that already exist. The audience will think it is just joking, but the spectator will get to become aware of it before the watch is handled.

As for dropping...just as the risks of a manipulator are that he/she will some time drop a card, coin or a ball (is that where the terms Coin Dropper, Ball Dropper etc originated from?..Smile) so it is that a pickpocket will sometimes drop a spectator's belonging, so it is an occupational hazard we have to learn to live and deal with. I once dropped a watch in an erroneous performance of Karrell Fox's watch on Rope routine, but thankfully the watch could take a licking and keep on ticking.
jlevey
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Not a good idea to lick the volunteer's watch Kris... did it taste good?! lol

Seriously, thanks for your many valuable and thoughtful points, and vivid anecdotes.

All excellent!

Best regards.
Jonathan
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Rupert Bair
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I think Dave would be proud he damaged your new belt Smile
jlevey
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Good point Matt...perhaps I should send it to him Fed Ex, for framing and mounting?! Smile

Jonathan
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Rupert Bair
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I could imagine the scenario!

Umm Dave you broke my new belt!

"Lemme have a look at that thing....Naa its just a bit torn..shoddy workmanship that is, on my part. One more tug...Ahh there we go ripped in two! A job well done"

Starts to cry - Dave that was my last belt Smile

"Oh don't you worry about that!"

(Dave grabs spec upside down, till his wallet falls out from his pocket.)

Dave rummages through. "How much was the belt?"

$30 dollars.

"thirty dollars! I'm not sure...aahha!"

Dave produces a fifty from the wallet - "Have you got change for a fifty?"



WWDD? (What would Dave do) Its a fun game for you and your kids.

M:C
jlevey
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Very good Matt...I will be sure to send this material over to DW as we have become good friends ever since he "stole" and "broke" my belt! (lol)

... and now to put this post back on track....


On July 12, 2007, CharlieC wrote:
"Has anyone messed up a spectator's leather band while doing a watch steal? I don't know if it was the quality of the leather, but one lady's watch had some stretch marks after I was done. I'm not sure if it was me or if they were already there."
------------------------------------------

I am certain that more insightful comments and related/helpful stories would be greatly appreciated by all members of this forum.

Jonathan
Jonathan
Max & Maxine Entertainment
Magicians with a touch of comedy!
___________________________________
www.maxmagician.com
www.mindreadershow.com
www.monsieurmagic.com
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