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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » noisy situation (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

cardguy
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Queens, New York
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I worked a birthday party at a hall yesterday and as soon as I walked in I knew it was going to be a tough job because the DJ was playing very loud music. I got a little nervous but I handled the situation as best as I could. How was I going to perform with no patter? As I table hopped it was a little difficult introducing myself because of the DJ, and I found myself yelling in people's ears as I explained my effects. I stuck with mostly visual things like pen thru bill, crazy man's handcuffs, and ambitious card. I also did sponge balls a few times and although they couldn't hear me that well, it got the best reactions. Did I deal with the situation correctly? How would you approach the problem of a noisy situation? And which tricks (including cards) would you perform?
Frank G. a.k.a. Cardguy
Peter Marucci
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One way to handle this -- if I were doing the gig -- would be to approach the person in charge (there has to be someone there in charge or who hired you!) and politely point out to them your problem and state, again politely but firmly, that you cannot and will not work under the present circumstances.

That tosses the ball into their court; if you have to leave, so be it.

At least you leave with your dignity intact.

There is absolutely no reason why anyone should be asked or expected to work under totally adverse conditions.

cheers,

Peter Marucci

showtimecol@aol.com
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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I've done a few gigs like this. Usually I know up front that there's going to be a DJ and that I'll be performing for the folks who don't want to dance. I don't have a problem with it. Wear a name tag. Do visual stuff, miming what you want people to do. Do NOT shout in their ears. If the music is SUPER loud, ask them to turn it down a bit. If you aren't being paid very well and they won't cooperate, take Peter's advice.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Bengi
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Georgia
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I agree with Peter....You should not have to "compete" with another form of entertainment. You were hired to do magic...and if the atmosphere doesn't allow you to perform what you were hired to do, it is then up to the people who hired you to make it right. A good solution to this would have been for you to perform before and after the band, and during the bands breaks. This would have made everyone happy!!!



Bengi Smile
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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HI,

I often get booked in this type of situation where I am there to entertain those who may choose not to dance. However these are normally upmarket affairs that have small orchestras as opposed to loud bands and their volume does not present a problem.

If it was I would go with Peters put it in their court approach.

phillip Smile
Magical Dimensions
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I have done a gig for Camel Cigarettes about four months ago and it was at a club. The music was loud, People dancing and drinking.



I had items that were easy to see and easy to understand. I also made a name card That read "House Magician".



I just walked up to spectators, made eye contact, smiled and pointed at my name tag. As they read the tag, I held up a little sign that I place on the back of a playing card. It read, "Would you like to see a little magic?"



I also had five other cards made up, such as "Please select a card", "Keep your eye on the queen" anyway you get the idea.



When I was done I smiled and bowed. Most of the time they grab my arm and hand me a tip.



I found that the cards (signs) saved me from yelling and made the evening a pleasure to work. Smile
tctahoe
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Lakeland Fl.
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I think this is another good reason to use a contract or letter of agreement. Just put a line in there saying you cannot/will not compete with amplified noise. This way, if the situation arises, you simply have to remind them of the letter they signed. Now, if they are still unwilling to work with you, you still are paid.



I have only had this happen once, the guy was a real di… maybe he was having a bad night, sometime’s the host/hostess dosen’t get to enjoy their party. He said, “Well, if you can’t work under these conditions…”

I replied, “Since we had agreed, in the letter you signed, that there would be no loud noise, I shouldn’t have to.” I thanked him and left. I said this with humility and was as nice as I could be. As I was going out the front door, the client came out and handed me the balance of my fee (I get 50% up front from most gigs).



His face was a little less tense ”I am sorry, the DJ was a last minute thing…”



“When you do this type of event in the future, try to keep all the parties informed, I am sorry it didn’t work out this time.” I handed him back the check and shook his hand.



Six months later he called to book me for another event, when he told me the date I said “WHAT? I CAN”T HEAR YOU!” He laughed and the gig was wonderful.



Contracts, they’re not just a good idea, they’re the law.
Scott O.
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Midwest
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I am hesitant to wade in on this one, as I haven’t performed under these conditions, but I’ll throw in my 2 cents worth anyway. Magical Dimensions had a great idea. Using the signs and doing very visual magic seems like a natural. Magic is primarily a visual art, and can be performed pantomime.



One merely has to be aware that going into a ballroom setting, you may have to deal with noise. Even the level of noise from surrounding conversations can make it hard to hear someone across the table from you. So keep it as visual as possible.



It just seems to me that this is a better alternative than saying "Thanks for booking me, but I can’t work under these conditions."



Then again, I may not know what the heck I’m talking about Smile But I try not to let that stop me. Smile



Scott Smile
Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up. Galatians 6:9
tctahoe
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Lakeland Fl.
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Please note I never said, or have said "I can’t work", rather "I should not have to work in those conditions." The entertainment I am there to present deservers the same respect as any other form of entertainment there. I just hate seeing magicians making all the compromises. But hey, that is why I use a contract.
Jon Allen
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England
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That’s great advice TC. I’ve now added this extra condition to my contract.

I rememebr a couple of items that I couldn’t work. I had an event at Wembley Arena in London where several magicians were booked to perform through dinner. Also booked to perform through dinner was a Frank Sinatra sound-a-like. It was impossible for us to perform. Luckily, the agent was there and agreed that we could not perform so we just went home.

Another time, I was booked as a cardshark for a wild west themed event. Only when I got there did I find out that the dinner was all finger foods! Potato skins, buffalo wings, cheese nachos and dips, the whole works. The booker came up to me and asked when I was going to start work. She couldn’t see anything wrong!

It’s not just the noise but anything that prevents us from working. As you said, we shouldn’t have to compete because we are there to do a job and each part of the event should have it’s own time and place to add to the overall event. I hope I’ve now covered all eventualities in my contract.

Thanks again TC.


Regards,
Jon
Paragon 3D - the most incredible Card to Clear Box you will ever own. Be fooled here: http://youtu.be/GQxRZ1OGkUo
The Silent Treatment - Digital Edition: this iconic routine just got upgraded! Watch - http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=phTDUhX0m9o
Watch the brilliant effect, Rule of Three: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CytuXsCbL0 and order it from www.onlinemagicshop.co.uk
Order the bar-raising DVD set 'Connection' at www.onlinemagicshop.co.uk
DaveVegas
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Leicester,England
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I think a valuable lesson has been emphasised here. I’m sure most of us have had situations like the one described. Being a musician as well, I’ve done hundreds of (music) gigs and it’s taught me more about dealing with clients than I realized.

The ’lay’ public (I dislike that term, but..)

don’t always think about details like the ones described. Knowing this, I make sure that I always ascertain as much info about the gig as possible and arrive a little early to check out the ’lay of the land’. It’s saved me from some difficult situations. I include questions in the ’contract’ I send out, and work around any possible hot spots.

Dave Smile
Jon Allen
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England
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This topic has come up on another mail list. It started out with cabaret artists not being visible due to no platform and has moved onto close-up performances.



So far, the majority of views towards noisy events and troublesome working environments has been "Tough. Live with it" It seems the view is held that by asking questions and putting things in your contract, you are seen as troublesome.



While this may be true in working for agents, as they can always go to the next guy who won’t have so many stipulations, I think that doing so for direct clients makes you seem

a) more professional and

b) more keen to do the best job you can for them.



I now have a clause in my contract that says I should not and will not compete with any circumstances that interferes with my ability to fulfill the booking. This may scare some people off but it will also save me on the rare occassion that I am absolutely unable to work close-up.



So do you think it makes you troublesome or professional to have so many terms and conditions for working a job?



Regards and Seasonal Greetings from the English side of the pond.



Jon
Paragon 3D - the most incredible Card to Clear Box you will ever own. Be fooled here: http://youtu.be/GQxRZ1OGkUo
The Silent Treatment - Digital Edition: this iconic routine just got upgraded! Watch - http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=phTDUhX0m9o
Watch the brilliant effect, Rule of Three: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CytuXsCbL0 and order it from www.onlinemagicshop.co.uk
Order the bar-raising DVD set 'Connection' at www.onlinemagicshop.co.uk
cardguy
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Queens, New York
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Thanx for all the great advice guys.

I forgot to mention that the gig I was talking about was only my second official gig. I am just starting out with this business.



I realized right away that it can be very tough sometimes. Since I am just starting, I don’t have a contract yet but it is in the works. It will include all the stipulations that I think are necessary to make sure that I don’t get screwed over and also to make sure that guests of the party will have an opportunity to fully appreciate my magic.



But I do believe that I handled the situation pretty well and I’m proud of myself. I am only 22 and I’m in my last semester of college so I have have plenty to learn about managing people.



Even though I was put in this noisy situation, when I saw the look on people’s faces after a strong effect, I knew that I was doing fine.
Frank G. a.k.a. Cardguy
MxJoKeR
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Nowhere, Oklahoma
173 Posts

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I recently had an unfortunate event that is simular to this topic. I was at a speech and debate tournament, (I have been preforming at these things for 5 years now, in speech as well as close-up table magic)

At the last one, I got sick the night before and lost my voice. Can you see the double edged sword yet? I got through the speech part of the event by downing a bottle of vicks 44. but after that, the whole day, people came up to me expecting to be amazed.

Being quite proficient in mime, I used that to my advantage. It was only after I stood up when the cough syrup went to my head. I got through it.

So if you really enjoy the art you'll work though anything. I understand that if it's
"your JOB" then you shouldn't have to. But don't think that just because you can't communicate vocally you can't do a routine, because although mine might differ from your's I can't think of one that I HAVE to talk for, even small or mental tricks.

I know because I did it AND I was a little
"drowsy" on cough syrup Smile so You could most likey do it to. Consider it as a challenge... or a way to make your misdirection a little better.

Till next time, MxJoKeR
Do or Do-Not, There is no try--Yoda
Geoff Williams
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St. Pete Beach, FL
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Regarding loud music, Jeff McBride related a story about how he began performing close-up magic in a disco. The music was deafening and the lights were whirling stars and such around the room...

...and that lead to the honing of his world-class manipulation skills.

Sometimes adapting to pressure can be a good thing. It never hurts to be flexible and take "NOW, what do I do?" situations as an opportunity to flex your creativity.
"Saját légpárnás tele van angolnák."

(Hungarian for "My hovercraft is full of eels")
Matt Graves
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Huntsville, Alabama (USA)
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Jeff McBride is awesome! I'd take any advice from him to heart! And come to think of it, he picks really spiffy music, too. I wonder if that's where he got his tastes . . . Smile
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