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Christopher Lyle
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Inner circle
Dallas, Texas
5698 Posts

Profile of Christopher Lyle
Here's a question to ponder...

Has anyone ever had a bad experience with another Magician trying to "steal" your gig and if so...how have you handeled it?

Originally, I'm from Virginia and there wasn't much Magical Entertainment out there. Just a small band of professaionls who made their living from conjuring. We were all friends and knew what territory each other worked so we never trampled on anyones toes.

When I moved to Texas almost 10 years ago, I found a differnt animal. Lot's of people out here who perform professionally. I've always been of the belief that "there's plenty of work for all of us" and let common sense and fair play guide your path.

Let me set the scene for you. In any restaurant that I play, it's very obvious when you first walk in that I'm performing there. I have several 24 x 36 posters somewhere at the front entrance showcasing my act and the times that I play. It's IMPOSSIBLE not to see that upon entering. There are also table signs/tents that advertise my presence at the restaurant.

I would say about two times a year, I hear from the restaurant management that someone came in (while I wasn't there) and said something to the effect of "I see you have a Magician here. Well I'm a Magician too. You should fire them and hire me. I'm better than this guy." Once in a while, the restaurant gives me the business card of the guy who tried to steel my gig...and its usually someone that I've never heard of.

Has anything like this every happened anyone and if so...how do you usually handle it? Do you call the guy and ask why they did what they did or do you just blow it off?
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
Nash
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Inner circle
Hong Kong ~ USA
1098 Posts

Profile of Nash
Dear lord...
One time, I performed for this guy who also does magic. I love performing for these customers, it's good to see someone who shares your passion.

two weeks later, the owner told me someone approached the restaurant but he declined. I didn't pay much attention to it.
Then I went on a 2 weeks vacation for a relative's wedding.
When I came back, I was replaced by someone who offered to work for tips only.

TURNS OUT it was the magician customer I performed for a few months ago.

That's pretty shady if you ask me.

I took the highroad, actually I went back to school and stopped performing restaurant on regular basis... but still... that was kind of shady.
Don't give up, don't EVER give up.

Corporate event magician
S2000magician
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Yorba Linda, CA
3465 Posts

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While you may complain about the magician stealing your gig, I believe that your ire should be reserved for the management of the restaurant. To replace you without a word is inexcusable.

Perhaps you should be glad you're rid of them; your replacement should be worried about being replaced in the same manner.
derrick
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Inner circle
I dug holes for
1044 Posts

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I've had something similar happen in the past and I did confront the magicain with a telephone call to let him know he didn't get the gig. I also let him know that I would be letting the other workers in the area know of his business tactics and that I would be suggesting that they avoid passing any business his direction....and I did.

I don't put up with that kind of sorry behavior.
Bad to the Balloon
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Clearwater Florida
2116 Posts

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Several tried none succeed.

One was what I thought was a good friend of mine ... not any more.

Another tried then had the Huzzah to tell me he didn't, My manager gave me his card and told me he had offered to break my legs for the job, after all he is from Jersey. Met the guy at Jam recently, the guy looked like Dillbert. I figured he had enough problems.
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark the Balloon Guy
As seen on the TODAY SHOW
www.balloonguy.net
Creator of Bad to the Balloon DVD series
Go to my store: http://tinyurl.com/Bad2theBalloon
bunkyhenry
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NYC Metro
826 Posts

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Its not stealing its called competition
Stanyon
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Landrum, S.C. by way of Chicago
3425 Posts

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My granddaddy always said, "Ain't nuthin' can't be fixed if you're usin' a four foot 2X4!"

FWIW

Cheers! Smile
Stanyon

aka Steve Taylor

"Every move a move!"

"If you've enjoyed my performance half as much as I've enjoyed performing for you, then you've enjoyed it twice as much as me!"
Danny Diamond
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Connecticut
1400 Posts

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Quote:
On 2007-08-15 14:59, bunkyhenry wrote:
Its not stealing its called competition


When someone offers to do the same job you do, only they will work for tips alone - how can you "compete" with that offer? Offer to pay the management to let you perform there?

Of course, on the other hand, I would hope that a manager would see the value in YOU specifically, and not give the spot up to some hack. But money is often the bottom line, and a hack with an Invisible Deck can look like a miracle worker (for at least a few minutes).
You don't drown by falling in the water;

you drown by staying there.



- Edwin Louis Cole
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
20677 Posts

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Quote:
On 2007-08-15 14:59, bunkyhenry wrote:
Its not stealing its called competition


Most thievs think that. Just the other day someone competed for my telivision set!

Here is how to avoid it. The easiest way by far is in the relationship you have with your client. If you have sold the gig based on price and price alone, then when someone comes in with a better price guess what happens to you? Not good.

BUT if you have sold the gig based you YOU and what YOU can provide and have a relationship with them, then no matter who comes in, they can't take it away from you no matter WHAT price they come in with. It will not matter.

The owners of almost every place I ever worked used to give me the cards of the guys comming in trynig to snake the job out from under me. We would laugh about it. We had the "relationship" that mattered.

This why I don't work for corporations, this is why I work through owners, this is so I can have such a relationship.

Provide them a service they don't think they can get anywhere else, and you will never be out of work. Some of the guys I know working for the longest at places care definatly not the best magicians on the planet. Average at best. BUT they are able to provide something. PEACE OF MIND. Plain and simple. That is what you sell. Once you have that people can flock in for your job and none will get it.

It is all in the sale. That is the foundation of your relationship with the establishment. It sets the tone for all other things that happen.

That way when someone comes in to "compete" (read as steal) your job, it is a laughable situation. Almost as funny as the quote itself.

NOTE TO SELF: Beware of bunkyhenry trying to "compete" for jobs.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Doug Arden
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As Danny said, it's all about building relationships.

Jon Charles, an Edmonton magician, has been at the same restaurant (Japanese Village) for almost 30 years! Is he the cheapest magician in town? No. Have other guys tried to take this gig? Yes. He's still there because he has a relationship with the owners and management that has been cemented over all those years.

He plans on staying until next May when he will officially have his 30 years in. He'll leave when he's ready and not because of some hotshot who comes in and "lowballs" the price.
MagicSanta
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Northern Nevada
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I think that type of approach is low rent bs. Competing is one thing and by that I mean if a restaurant is looking to hire a magician they can look at how ever many they want then decide who to go with. For a magician to walk in and say "I'm better than him and will work for less" that is unprofessional. While I agree with setting up relationships with your employer so you don't have to worry about back door operators it still doesn't mean the back door guy isn't a scumbag.
S2000magician
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Yorba Linda, CA
3465 Posts

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Quote:
On 2007-08-15 16:21, Dannydoyle wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-08-15 14:59, bunkyhenry wrote:
Its not stealing its called competition

Most thievs think that. Just the other day someone competed for my telivision set!

Alas, bunkyhenry's correct: it's competition, not stealing.

There is hardly anything in the world that someone
cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper,
and the people who consider price alone are his lawful prey.

- John Ruskin (1819-1900)

(Not only lawful, ethical as well.)

If your client considers price alone and you're not the cheapest, you cannot compete. Therefore, you need a client who considers other things in addition to price. Once you find that client, Danny's advice is sound.
JamesTong
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Eternal Order
Malaysia
11213 Posts

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Having good relationships with your clients is very important. I totally agree with Danny and Doug.

I had similar experiences too but because of my cemented relationship I have developed over the years with business owners, others cannot penetrate where I am working.
Stevethomas
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Southern U.S.A.
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There's always some schmuck out there who'll gladly work for "JUST TIPS". They're worth exactly the amount the restaurant is paying them. If they don't value themselves enough to get paid, they know their true value.

What if waitresses and servers came in and wanted to work for ONLY tips?

Steve
S2000magician
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Yorba Linda, CA
3465 Posts

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Quote:
On 2007-08-15 17:49, Stevethomas wrote:
They're worth exactly the amount the restaurant is paying them. If they don't value themselves enough to get paid, they know their true value.

Are you suggesting that it's impossible for a competent - even excellent - magician to work solely for tips?
Strangelittleman
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Sydney Aus
184 Posts

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Im not a great magician (I know this, I'm working on it though) but the management at my venues love me. Its not because Im cheap, or the worlds best, its because the patrons love me, I'm always happy to help out and I get along with everyone.

If you have a good relationship with management that know more about value than just dollars, you should be fairly safe from these 'snipers'. Me, I've had two come in (and that's big, I'm the only bloke in my area working pubs).

The first had an ID (the manager is an ametuer magician lol) and double the asking price of what I charge. The second, very fancy flourishes, good skill and the same asking price...my managers comment to me summed it up - why would he want to replace a good thing.
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
20677 Posts

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Quote:
On 2007-08-15 17:40, S2000magician wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-08-15 16:21, Dannydoyle wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-08-15 14:59, bunkyhenry wrote:
Its not stealing its called competition

Most thievs think that. Just the other day someone competed for my telivision set!

Alas, bunkyhenry's correct: it's competition, not stealing.

There is hardly anything in the world that someone
cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper,
and the people who consider price alone are his lawful prey.

- John Ruskin (1819-1900)

(Not only lawful, ethical as well.)

If your client considers price alone and you're not the cheapest, you cannot compete. Therefore, you need a client who considers other things in addition to price. Once you find that client, Danny's advice is sound.


I laugh hysterically when someone equates "lawfull and ethical". Not even close.

"Ethical" standards varry.

You are trying to say by extrapolation that it is "ethical" to do this? Because that is how your post read. "Ethical" is a funny subjective word. Matters of law are different.

It is certainly not "ethical" by MY personal standards to do such a thing. Ethics are by definition PERSONAL, and can not be applied to all. We can have commonalities in them, but that is all.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
MagicSanta
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Northern Nevada
5845 Posts

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I'm keeping track of those of you that think walking into a place and saying "that guys sucks, you should hire me" is just business....
Stevethomas
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Southern U.S.A.
3725 Posts

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I think that if a competent, even EXCELLENT magician is performing for STRICTLY tips in the average venue, he's doing a tremendous disservice to himself and others. A chef certainly wouldn't work strictly for tips for a restaurant. You're providing a service which is intended to increase revenue for the establishment. Some people who work for just tips (free) are just out to "toot their own horn". The restaurant should realize that you can, indeed, help by making the wait time more enjoyable and seemingly shorter and keeping the customers happy. Some performers don't realize that. They just want to perform, and that would take business away from others who might do a better job.

So, you're saying, S2000, that if you're performing in a restaurant situation, it would be alright for someone to come in and work for strictly tips, taking your business away from you? Bottom line is the most important thing to some establishments, especially when word comes from the higher-ups who haven't seen you work.

Steve
S2000magician
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Yorba Linda, CA
3465 Posts

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Quote:
On 2007-08-15 18:07, Dannydoyle wrote:
I laugh hysterically when someone equates "lawfull and ethical". Not even close.

I didn't equate lawful and ethical; what I wrote was that doing something less well and selling it for less money to people who consider price alone is lawful and it is ethical. (I never suggested that doing something less well but claiming that it is done equally well is ethical; it isn't. The assumption is that the customers know they're getting a cheaper product for a lower price.)

Quote:
On 2007-08-15 18:07, Dannydoyle wrote:
"Ethical" standards varry.

Lawful standards vary as well; what's legal in one jurisdiction may not be legal in another.

Quote:
On 2007-08-15 18:07, Dannydoyle wrote:
You are trying to say by extrapolation that it is "ethical" to do this?

Not by extrapolation: I'm saying it explicitly. If you make something cheap and sell it for less (as long as your clients know that it's cheap), it's ethical to do so.
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