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Jon Gallagher
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Veteran user
Elmwood, Illinois
395 Posts

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Throughout this school year, I've been presenting anti-drug shows for schools. It's gone over great and I've rebooked several shows for next year.

Here's the problem. I just booked a show that will take place next week. It's an anti drug show, but here's the kicker. Earlier in the year, the ex-principal of this school made all sorts of headlines by getting arrested for possession with intent to deliver. Yep. A school principal who was allegedly dealing dope.

During my show I talk to the kids about trusting certain adults and putting together a group of adults that they can trust whenever someone asks them to do something they know is not right. How do I approach this in this school? The principal resigned (he didn't want to, but that's a different story), but how do I talk to these kids when someone they obviously looked up to was doing drugs?

The current principal has been a lot of help. He said, "Don't change a thing." But what advice can you all offer?

I'm going to be more nervous at this show than any of the others.

Oh, and did I mention, there will be at least two local TV stations and a couple of newspapers covering the show.
www.jongallagher.com

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
Emazdad
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Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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I'd go with the princibles advice and leave things as they are, He knows the kids best but have an answer ready if any of the kids mention the last princible. What sort of answer I can't give you as I don't know the place or the people involved.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
744 Posts

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I tend to adgree with Emazdad. I'd leave the show unchanged. What has happened is obviously a complicated issue that you don't want to get bogged down in during your show.
Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Steven Steele
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Chief of Staff
Hesperia, California USA
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I would suggest that you might suggest another show (because in all probability you won't have enough time) to be performed maybe in the fall that educates the children about strangers and how to deal with them. Otherwise, with this short notice...I wouldn't change anything either.

Steven
Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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Since the crowd already knows what has happened, work in a message on how easy one's life can be changed, and how one's self image is destroyed by being involved with this illegal activity. If they know anyone involved with this type of activity, they will see for them selves how harmful it can be.

Don't try to hide it, use it to your advantage in getting the point across.

I talked to an entertainer who was required by the courts to go into schools and give talks about the harmful effects of drugs. Well he told them like it really was using the street language (Gutter talk), the fact it really felt good to do it. He let it "all hang out" shocked the teachers and adults. He got a standing ovation from the kids because they could relate to him. It wasn't planned but it was the best honest personal experience. He told it like it was, the reality he lived.

The best way to deal with a problem is head on, not go around it, over it, under it or ignore it (maybe it will go away).
Dennis Michael
Mago Mai
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Venezuela
485 Posts

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Den:

Nice words of advice.
Mago Mai
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Darkwing
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Inner circle
Nashville Tn
1845 Posts

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Ditto,

Don't change a thing. A good defintion of courage is putting your fears aside and do your job. Do your best and you will do fine.

My Dad used to softly tell me this when he sensed I was nervous and hopfully I convey the tone of this advice to you.
Jon Gallagher
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Elmwood, Illinois
395 Posts

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Right now, the anti drug show tells kids to say no, not only to drugs, but also alcohol, tobacco and strangers. As it turns out, the principal who was arrested is the reason they want this show. It's going to be part of the "healing process."

Right now, the effect in the show that gets the biggest reaction from the teachers (believe it or not) is the Bongo Hat. I talk about addiction and how it grows and grows, and finally turns you into a monster, both inside and out. I should say, instead of biggest reaction, it becomes the one they remember and react to on my evaluation sheets that I hand out before the show.

I WILL handle the show. Right now, though, I'm just a very nervous magician, praying that I'm given the right words to say when the time comes. I'll be listening for more advice, and I'll let you know next Monday how the show turned out.
www.jongallagher.com

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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Thank You,

What a great Idea, the Bongo Hat for a drug related message. My mind is working a mile a minute on this one. I've used it for a comedy prop, but it now will be used for an important message. It will add humor to the act, and the message will be reinforce, both visually and humor aids in remembering things. It really is a positve funny way to get an important message across.

It just added this idea into my Index file Bongo Card, Index file Prop:Bongo Card, My Instruction Binder (Bongo Instructions-made note on page), My Routine Binder under my Drug Awareness Routine section, and finally in my personal Internet BBS Notebook.

Thanks again
Dennis Michael
magicalmischief
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Loyal user
Massachusetts
239 Posts

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It's important to stress that your message is for the students. The principals lack of judgement only makes it more important to reinforce the "Just Say no" message. The trick here..(pardon the pun) is to not bring the current principal arrest issue in directly. Do your show just like all the others and things should be alright. I myself have never performed an anti-drug/alcohol show before...it is one I am hoping to develop in the future any help would be appreciated...but your performance and show is your own...Dont change a thing.
Seems to me that death is just natures way of telling us to SLOW DOWN!
Jon Gallagher
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Veteran user
Elmwood, Illinois
395 Posts

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I should give credit where credit is due. Duane Laughlin (I think) came up with the Bongo Hat routine on his tape, "Using magic to fight drug abuse."

UPDATE: May 5, 2003

The show was today, and it went great!

I didn't change anything at all. I spent a little more time with the Bongo Hat, telling the kids that once chemicals, whether it be drugs or nicotine, got inside their bodies, it not only changed them on the inside, but also on the outside. I stressed that even important people in their lives can make poor choices and blind them (hat covers the head completely) to what's really going on around them.

After the show, the president of the school board came up and congratulated me. Teachers had nothing but praise. The principal was more than happy. The two newspaper reporters that I talked to sounded very positive and the TV station that covered it took quite a bit of time in interviewing me (it aired at 5 or 6 and was very positive from what I understand - I'll see it at 10).

Thank you all for all the advice both here in the forum and also in PMs and emails. We all worked together, and I think we all helped to make a difference in a bunch of kids' lives.
www.jongallagher.com

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
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