The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Theft while you perform - need a little help/advice (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
BenSimon
View Profile
Regular user
Munich, Germany
137 Posts

Profile of BenSimon
So, here's what happened..
I was at this crowded bar where I'm a regular patron. Since I know most of the bar staff, I also happen to frequent the back room, where people who know somebody who's working there smoke and chat, away from the bustle of the outside public bar room.
Recently I sporadically also intimately perfom a few little routines to people who are interested, there. Yesterday too.

So I was there, in the back room, chatting to this girl about this and that and what's happening in the world, and soon she finds out that I'm doing a little magic and very excitedly calls attention to all her friends who gather around us and I proceed to do my standard card show (all old classics, ACR, etc., since I had had a drink and wanted to do something I wouldn't mess up). Well, she was a great spectator and her folks were an awesome audience, applauding even in this very casual intimate setting. One guy even wanted my number since he loves magic so much.
I wanted to make the performance not too long, since as I said, had had a beer already, and everybody was about to head out for a different place anyways, so I thanked everyone and wanted to head outside for another one - *when* the girl I had been performing for noticed that her purse/handbag was gone.

I thought to myself "uh-oh" while hearing that LOST-sound (you know what I mean) in my head. At first everybody thought it was a trick!! And only by frantically looking for the thing and repeatedly denying that I could produce it, people realised that this was not a funny trick by me. Since I know the people who work there, I told the girl, "Here's my wallet and phone, I'm not running away, I just want to look outside whether anybody's seen anything unusal" - Nothing. I also checked the toilets' trashcans since I'm not too street-stupid - Nothing. So I went back to the back room and helped people look for the handbag, in case it only dropped behind something, out of sight, but nothing turned up.

After 5 minutes the boss of the place (who happens to be the guy my audience knew, but who didn't know me yet - hooray) shows up with the now 200-euros-and-one-phone-lighter handbag he had just found in the restroom, behind a window. Everybody was seriously upset and I got serious bad looks. All I could do was to be present and apologise for what happened, tell them I even gave them my real number and I don't really need to palm handbags. But - intelligibly - they weren't entirely convinced I had nothing to do with it. And actually, me unsuspectingly misdirecting everybody makes me at least a link in the chain of events and I feel seriously seriously bad.

So nobody was any wiser, they still somehow suspected me in a way, or at least were not really happy about my performance that had such direful results. Before the group left I had a chance to talk the owner of the place for a minute (who was leaving with them), and again tried to make clear that I'd perfectly understand the cops to show up at my place in the next days and I feel awfully sorry. He told me he now didn't really believe I was part of the handbag-job, but I felt he wasn't my best buddy either, now. The bar personnel had put in several good words for me with the boss - if they hadn't I probably woudln't be able to write this, unless station house cells nowadays have internet. I proceeded to counter my ridiculously high levels of adrenaline with ridiculously large amounts of alcohol, but this ******-up situation didn't really go away.

When I woke up a few minutes ago, at first I didn't really know where I was and how I got here, the taxi slowly reappeared in my memory and a night of talking to strangers about the preceding events.

I'm scarred and scared. My magic ruined an otherwise good saturday night for a group of good people and I feel seriously bad and guilty about it. I don't know what to do. I need to get a hold of the girl's number, to somehow recompense for my unwitting but undeniable part in the theft. I need to talk to the owner again. And I need to think of possible thieves while I misdirect an audience. Somehow magic now has been linked to bag-snatchers and to bad things happening, not only for me but also for these people and for the boss of one of my favourite bars, whom I happened to meet under these wonderful circumstances.

Has this happened to anybody? Been accused or suspected of being an accomplice in theft? I'm thinking that especially a busking situation could pose a feast for some muggers. How did you handle it? How *would* you handle this?
I would really appreciate some input becaue I'm not too happy about what happened last night. Thanks!
Peace,
Ben
Stanyon
View Profile
Inner circle
Landrum, S.C. by way of Chicago
3409 Posts

Profile of Stanyon
Crowded spaces...alcoholic places...not a good mix.
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!"
BenSimon
View Profile
Regular user
Munich, Germany
137 Posts

Profile of BenSimon
The bar itself was crowded. The back room, where this happened, was not. There were only 6 or 7 people there, only the group I was performing for. It also wan't a performance per se, I only did 5 minutes of magic to people I had just met. Something that I think happens to everybody, you talk to people and they say "oh, please show us something". You don't turn those down, do you?
DaleTrueman
View Profile
Veteran user
Australia
314 Posts

Profile of DaleTrueman
I don't think you can blame yourself. There are two people who are to blame. One is the thief, the other is the girl who did not take good enough care of her bag in a public place. That sounds harsh on the girl of course but many thefts are preventable if you learn to watch after your things. I have learnt this the hard way and I have been accused of being overcautious in the past, but I haven't had anything stolen in a long time even when travelling a lot and ending up in some real dives.
I know that probably doesn't make you feel any better but it's really not your fault and you are a total gentleman for wanting to make it right for her somehow.
The police and the bar owner can suspect you all they like, but even if you were involved (which you are not of course) there is nothing to link you to the theft.
It's just some scum who took advantage of your performance.
HerbLarry
View Profile
Special user
Poof!
731 Posts

Profile of HerbLarry
Hey Ben your a good dude for being concerned but you gotta let it go.
You said you weren't involved & you've shown good faith helping to find the purse.
That's it. Done. Over. Fini.
As for Magic being tarnished there is a reason people make jokes about grab your wallet when the Magician hits the stage. Besides those that came before you have done far worse in reality.
You know why don't act naive.
Renaldo
View Profile
New user
The Great Pacific NW
83 Posts

Profile of Renaldo
Don't blame yourself. Tiggod's right, the 2 people to blame are the thief and the girl who can't take care of her belongings in public.

Also something to think about, the girl seems to have noticed the bag being gone after the show, but that doesn't mean the bag wasn't stolen before the show even started. It could've been taken well before you started, but she didn't notice until she was ready to leave. I wouldn't beat yourself up over this. You did nothing wrong.
gaddy
View Profile
Inner circle
Agent of Chaos
3169 Posts

Profile of gaddy
Jeez talk about magician's guilt! You had nothing to do with this, why should you feel bad? Obviously it's a shame that her bag was 'nabbed, but that bag could have been gone for an hour before you got there!

I'm a bartender and a busker, I feel no sympathy when people lose things in my bar because 98% of the time it's due to their carelessness.

If you feel your reputation is permanently tarnished, you should speak up with firmness and conviction to that club owner and set the record straight on your behalf. If this does not solve the problem, you should simply NOT frequent that establishment anymore -and don't neglect to let them know why!

There are a million bars out there, and they're all great. You're a "regular" at one bar, you can be a regular at another one... And if you're feeling sleighted, you can draw some of their business away to your new favorite hang-out.

You may love "your" bar, and the people there might seem to love you - but if they're giving you the ole' fish-eye over something as obviously outside the realm of your control as this... Then trust me when I say to you that you leaving is more their loss than yours.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
The Futurist
View Profile
Veteran user
331 Posts

Profile of The Futurist
Yeah, I echo what the other guys are saying here. It seems to me you've done more than enough to help out in this situation.

So you may be concerned about the unfortunate association between your appearance and this theft, in the sense that distorted and hyperbolic versions of a story might tend to circulate round your town via idle gossip. This is good advice:

Quote:
On 2010-02-21 14:27, gaddy wrote:
If you feel your reputation is permanently tarnished, you should speak up with firmness and conviction to that club owner and set the record straight on your behalf. If this does not solve the problem, you should simply NOT frequent that establishment anymore -and don't neglect to let them know why!


Essentially, it would be sad if you had to curtail your dealings with this bar, but if you do have to do so, make sure to be seen doing it in a very vocal, above-board and nothing-to-hide way.

Had you been playing guitar and singing instead of doing magic with a deck of cards, the same thing could just as easily have happened, assuming it did even take place during your performance. Entertainers are all about drawing and focusing attention - well magicians micromanage attention on a finer-grained level than musicians, but you get my point. I'm sure the bar staff will back you up on this point: all you wanted to do was to spread a little joy via your art.
TheRaven
View Profile
Special user
597 Posts

Profile of TheRaven
It sounds like the only people other than yourself that were in the back room were employees and their friends. If that is the case, whoever stole the purse is an employee or one of their friends. If that is the case, you need to let this go. You are over-thinking your role. Continuing to loudly proclaim your innocence will make you look more suspicious, not less.

Remember the quote: "Me thinks though doth protest to much"
DaleTrueman
View Profile
Veteran user
Australia
314 Posts

Profile of DaleTrueman
And you could take it as a compliment to your little impromptu show that people were so engrossed in what you were doing that they didn't hold on to their belongings...
DWRackley
View Profile
Inner circle
Chattanooga, TN
1909 Posts

Profile of DWRackley
I can only echo the others. Thieves are "out there" and it’s often someone you know but wouldn’t suspect. It’s my own responsibility to watch my own wallet, coat, whatever. It’s sad for the girl, but she shouldn’t be “street-stupid”, either. I haven’t been in a bar in years, but I’ve seen stuff disappear from a church sanctuary! It sounds like you did what was reasonable; now let it go.
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
blackskirt
View Profile
New user
8 Posts

Profile of blackskirt
I have to say that if I were the girl the first person I would suspect would be you, but after that I would think to myself that maybe it isn't you cos that would be too obvious wouldn't it..

Don't blame yourself buddy, you were just really unlucky. Do you have a rough idea of who could have stolen it?
TAJ
View Profile
Regular user
197 Posts

Profile of TAJ
Whoa!!! The fact that you were tripping over yourself to prove your innocence would scream suspicion to me. You are torturing yourself over an assumption that this girl thinks you are a scam artist. Why were you kissing her butt? Who cares what she thinks!!!

Why did you give her your wallet?!! Did she ever accuse you? If she did accuse you, you should be feeling angry instead of guilty. Don't apologize for something you didn't do, the girl and the bartender wont respect you. My advise is to relax and stop thinking about what other people might think about you. These people are not your friends if they think ill of you.

Taj
BenSimon
View Profile
Regular user
Munich, Germany
137 Posts

Profile of BenSimon
First of all, thank you so much, everybody, for your kind words. I'm a little better, but I'm the guy who really takes it to heart when his reputation is distorted. I didn't sleep very well, at all.
I'm taking your advice serious and want to let it go, it's just not easy for me, thank you all! You're absolutely right that if they are still suspicious I couldn't care less about the place.
BenSimon
View Profile
Regular user
Munich, Germany
137 Posts

Profile of BenSimon
Update:
The waitress who knows me best called me yesterday and told me that the girl with the handbag still sort of thinks I had something to do with it, which is so ridiculous and shows such a lack of knowledge of human nature, because we had a wonderful and intense conversation for 20 minutes and even more wonderful magic afterwards.
Since this was not the only time something's been stolen in that bar, now though, they want to take precautions and be more careful now. Now listen to this. While nobody really thinks I had something to do with, apart from the girl herself, now I'm not supposed to go into the back room on my own! Of course this means, somebody still suspects me. Not that I particularly care about the back room, but this is a situation I cannot tolerate, due to the implications. If I want to continue to perform in this city, I cannot tolerate my name being linked to anything like this. Well, this was yesterday. Maybe everything has cooled down, who knows. Anyways in a bit I'll be heading for the place, professionally ordering a soft drink and calmly inquire about the current mood about the whole thing, and professionally state again, in a more sober mood than the prevailing of saturday night, that I have absolutely nothing to do with the theft of that handbag. Probably I will have to mention that their sanctions against me are something that not only hurt and disappoint me personally, but that I also won't be able to tolerate them, professionaly as a starting out performer, on my own behalf and on that of the magic community, and that probably in the future I might hesitate to name this bar as a good place where one might want to go to have some fun, if the current unresolved situation is maintained in this particular way.
dmueller
View Profile
Loyal user
Central Illinois
227 Posts

Profile of dmueller
Ben,

It sounds like up to this point you have handled the situation quite admirably. Far to often people tend to automatically put on the "its not my fault so its not my problem" attitude.

When you go back to the bar, I would speak directly to who ever is in charge and get the straight story from them. If they insist on imposing sanctions against you that you feel uncomfortable with, politely end the conversation and leave. Don't make any ultimatums. Don't cut your nose off to spite your face. While it is unlikely to happen, they could end up catching whoever did it. At that point they have egg on their face and will owe you an apology.

If I were the bar owner, the back room would be closed to everybody that was not an employee. In a way he has opened himself up for quite a liability by allowing certain patrons into an otherwise restricted area. I can certainly see his point of view on the situation. While he most likely doesn't believe you have anything to do with the theft, he has a business to protect. His investment weighs a lot more than one budding magicians ego. Most likely he see's the situation as it truly is: someone took advantage of the fact that you had the group distracted. Whether you were in on it or not doesn't matter. A theft occurred in his establishment.

I know it sounds like I am taking his side, but I am not. I empathize with your situation. But Munich is a big place with plenty of other bars. If you can't resolve things amicably with the bar owner, just find a new one. If you truly had nothing to do with it (which I fully believe) then you have gone above and beyond what was necessary to make things right.
DaleTrueman
View Profile
Veteran user
Australia
314 Posts

Profile of DaleTrueman
If it were me, I'd probably enquire if there was any news on it but not get too worried about it. The more you make it a problem for yourself the more of a problem it will become. It's not your problem. It sucks but if you want people to forget about your association with the incident, let it go. Make a big deal and they will wonder why and remember it longer.
As long as it doesn't become a regular thing at your performances no one will think you are part of it anyway.
BenSimon
View Profile
Regular user
Munich, Germany
137 Posts

Profile of BenSimon
Yeah tiggod, I know what you mean. Thing is, I'm a regular there, knowing some of the folks who work there for over 3 years. I'm one of the guys for whom there's always a seat reserved at the bar, so I do take it a little personal when I'm accused of something I have nothing to do with, by people who run the place that has become my second living room. But just as you said I went there right now to inquire about any news and left my number in case somebody would want to talk to me. And I stated that I would like to talk about it. I just want an update from the owner regarding that back room ban. If they don't want to let anybody go there without being accompanied by someone of the staff, that's fine. If it's only me, I have to at least bury some friendships.
BenSimon
View Profile
Regular user
Munich, Germany
137 Posts

Profile of BenSimon
See, I want to let this go too as soon and easily possible. But if I have the impression I am still being accused, I can't just pretend nothing has happened. That's bad "education". Actually in some schools of education you actually do ignore bad behavior without punishment but reward the good. This is not easy. I just don't think I can go back there, if people possibly think I'm a thief. In fact, it's something I don't think I can let happen.

I might switch to birthday parties and fortune telling.
Mysterious Mike
View Profile
Loyal user
Chicago
258 Posts

Profile of Mysterious Mike
You are not to blame in this. If a comedian is telling a good joke, and everybody's attention is on him, and a purse is stolen, is he to blame? Now I understand that a comedian does not typically use slights, but still. Just because you are the focus of attention and a criminal takes advantage of that does not make you to blame at all.
The performance is what really makes it all worth while.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Theft while you perform - need a little help/advice (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.24 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL