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CurtWaltermire
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Curtis The Mentalist
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MickNZ, YOU GOT ME! Yep, I wrapped duct tape around my face and had her lead me by the hand to the parking garage...

Not really.

Quote:
It seems as if it was a power play. That is all in person and no way to tell from an online description.

Danny Doyle

That is precisely how it seemed, Danny. Yet something just didn't seem quite right.

As mentalists, magicians--and even human beings--we know that things are often not as they seem. We specialize in making things so.

First, let me begin by saying that I'm not suggesting in the least that how I handled this situation is the BEST way that it should have been handled, nor am I recommending or suggesting this as an answer to such an absurd request. I'm only introducing this topic to get the creative juices flowing and to perhaps encourage my fellow performers to see things from a different perspective and--for crying out loud--not to take themselves so seriously. I've shared the story as it happened totally from my very own perspective; what was said and in such a way as to reflect how it came across and made me feel. That doesn't mean that my perception was correct.

My reaction? Remember, I had only a split second to react. Plus I had just performed an hour-long after-dinner show for a large corporate group and seemingly just knocked their socks off. I was still riding that high we all get after slaying an audience.

I let out a short laugh, snatched the keys out of her hand, squeezed her by throwing my arm around her shoulders, looked down upon her with a huge smile (I towered over her) and said in an ostentatiously joking manner "ONLY if it means you're taking me out on a HOT DATE afterwards! After I ask my wife FIRST, of course..."

Her response? I watched as she laughed like a little girl as her whole tough, professional bearing and personality crumbled. Her phony exterior, which was just a protective and self-preservation mechanism anyway, seemed to completely vanish.

She suddenly became very likable; mainly because she was vulnerable and I evidently exploited that unwittingly in my own unique way. She took her keys back and insisted that she was only kidding and that she was going to have one of her assistants to get the vehicle as some of the stuff had to go in the back of it to be transported out. Whether or not that was completely true didn't matter, she backed down immediately and seemed almost apologetic and humble. I resisted her ridiculous request in a way that disarmed her and without antagonizing her, while still maintaining my self-respect as well as hers. She knew a lot of the success of this event was riding on the fact that she hired me, and I did more than just pull it off--I went over-the-top and made her look fabulous, which was more than she bargained for.

As I continued to pack up my things, she became very chatty with me and even started helping her people pick up things and pack boxes, etc. Various people continued to approach her while she stood by talking to me, congratulated her on a job well done, and told both of us how great they thought the show was. They just kept coming. I could tell it was a huge relief to her, and she was thrilled I helped her look good and was letting me know it. Turns out she was fairly new to her position, and a lot was riding on her and the stress had been tremendous. Also, the fact that her assistants seemed to genuinely like her and work with her told me that perhaps she wasn't the domineering, power-wielding person she was pretending to be towards me. That said a lot about her right there.

I packed up my things (in between shaking hands, networking, getting pictures with people, testimonial videos, etc.) and had loaded everything up and was ready to go. I came back to do a final sweep of the room. Most of the guests had left at this point, and it was just people who worked for the hotel cleaning up and a handful of her own people assisting her. She stood there and apparently whoever was supposed to get her vehicle had gotten distracted and hadn't done it yet and they were close to getting ready to take everything out and that person was nowhere to be found. She was a bit exasperated and didn't notice me standing there.

I said "Where's your keys? I'll go get it."

She was completely blown away. In fact, she said "No" and asked a woman standing by if she would "just go do it." I insisted she let her stay and help finish and I would go get it and be right back. She handed me a spare key she had, described the vehicle to me and it's location, and I went and brought it to where she needed it (which happened to be about 20 feet away from where my own car was already parked in front of the building, ready to go). When I pulled up, everything for loading into the SUV was stacked outside and ready to go with people waiting to load it. She heaped praises and many thanks upon me, and the other people got in on the fun as well.

I went home that night thinking about what had happened and how even though everything within me wanted to tell this woman off initially (on the surface), something deep inside was telling me that things were not really how they appeared, and that this was simply another human being who was in an intense struggle who needed me to pull through as someone who understood her and was working for her benefit, rather than merely some professional who was trying to maintain some sense of professional dignity.

I truly believe that sometimes in all of our "professional-ness" we tend to forget that the people we are working for are just other human beings trying to cope with this strange thing called life, career, family, etc., and the better we understand them, connect with them, and help them, the better off we all are. Even if it means humbling ourselves and working outside of our normal capacity for a few minutes. I'm not talking about going crazy with such things, but about seeing the need in the people we work for and finding new and creative ways of going about meeting those needs. It's not that I believe that how we allow others to treat us isn't important; it's that how we treat them is even more important than that.

Did I do the right thing? Well, all I can say is that it ended well--quite well, in fact. I'm still their guy for random events here and there. Plus, I must add that this all took place in the city where I live, and my reputation as a businessman and individual is just as important to me as my reputation as a performer. A lot of people are connected in this town, and a good word about the type of person you are to deal with goes a long way.

Is this the end all answer for people who dish out such treatment towards us as professional entertainers? Not necessarily, but I believe erring on the side of treating people like decent human beings in spite of themselves is a good place to start.
Dannydoyle
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I don't know if it was right or wrong, I make no judgement. But it is Definately a dangerous road to travel that is for certain.

And I get your touchy feely idea about dealing with other human beings but let me just put forth an idea to consider. Obviously this is how she feels it is ok to treat people. Without The behavior being corrected she will continue to inflict this upon others. A simple firm and polite no is not a bad thing in life. She gets enough of them and suddenly knows our is not how you act. Encourage the behavior and you get more of it. From a whole how do deal with other people standpoint it seems a disservice.

I have a friend with a college age daughter who thinks she can shock the world with her mouth. Completely unacceptable. He just les it go and never corrects it based on whatever. She did it around me and I simply but firmly told her that talking like that doesn't shock me in the least, that it really demeans her and makes her look bad and so forth. Talk like that to anyone you like but if you want to talk that way to me please simply do not bother to talk with me.

It worked. She talked like a human being with me, then others saw how it changed and made that same polite but firm request. Not long and she turns into a nice young lady.

I get what you are saying and am not saying it is wrong. I am saying there are other ways that are polite they might help as well.

To clarify the entire hot date thing to someone you tower over in this day and age is a VERY dangerous road to hoe. Throwing yoy arm around her even more so. That is one of those things that I don't care how you mean it can and will be interpreted wrong by a judge. It is a HUGE risk.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Keith Raygor
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Great ending to your story. Thanks, Curt. There's always the possibility that things can go wrong, even in the simplest of situations. But your gut-level, spur of the moment reaction made the world just a little bit nicer. It's always nice when trusting your instinct brings pleasant surprises - and teaches us to trust our instincts even more.
Dannydoyle
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Another point is that if it had been a married woman with the right husband you end up with an entirely new set of problems.

The best thing is it worked out for you. Being live in the moment you were the best judge of how to handle it.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
cheesewrestler
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Quote:

She reached in her purse, pulled out her keys and held them up to my face and asked: "Would you run out into the parking garage and fetch my Lexus and drive it up to the front door please?"

She was dead serious.

WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE?

Before I tell you how I handled this, I want to hear from YOU.


As long as we're just spitballing ideas, how about

"Oh, no thank you, I'm married."

And let her figure out the implication.
55Hudson
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Good story, Curt. Thanks for closing the loop.

Hudson
CurtWaltermire
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Curtis The Mentalist
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Quote:
On Nov 4, 2016, Dannydoyle wrote:
Another point is that if it had been a married woman with the right husband you end up with an entirely new set of problems.

The best thing is it worked out for you. Being live in the moment you were the best judge of how to handle it.


She is, in fact, a married woman, but I don't recall having seen a husband that night. I'm not really a touchy-feely-huggy person much anyway (except with my own wife/family), but I had seen her hugging around on some people prior to the show so perhaps somewhere in the back of my mind it didn't seem like it would be that out of place. Looking back, there were a wide array of factors at play that evening that are just too many to mention here, and being LIVE in the moment, as you mentioned Danny, made all of the difference.

My whole point really--in all of this--isn't to condescend on this forum to teach some big moral lesson of any kind; rather just to relate a ridiculous and very rare and random situation that happened some time ago, and how I somehow managed to handle it and keep the train on the rails in hopes that it might help someone here somehow. Plus, I was trusting my gut that for some reason this woman's behavior wasn't really representing what she was really like, or at least that my perception of her could be wrong. I told myself years ago that for my own sanity's sake that it isn't my job to go around trying to "teach people lessons," unless they are my own two children, grandchildren, my family members, etc (BTW I have a niece who also uses her big, shock-mouth as a weapon, yet for some reason that thing stays holstered and unloaded when it's around me because I've just shut it down). There's a big difference between that and allowing people to treat you poorly, which I don't do either. I just pick my battles and don't take myself too seriously, and I breathe and sleep a lot better as a result of it.

Looking back on the whole thing, I believe that for some unknown reason (personal experience/mental conditioning?)instead of seeing this woman and my dealings with her as a pain in my rumpski, I saw her behavior as screaming out to me about something that she needed, and I went about in my own equally peculiar way to meet that need, regardless of how things seemed on the outside. In this particular instance that line of thinking seemed to pay off handsomely.

Anyway, there's really not much more I want to say about this as I've said enough. Thanks to all who've tuned in. I hope it was worth your time and you've received something useful from it.
Dannydoyle
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Yes being in the moment makes all the Dierks.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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