I thought it would be nice to have a general post of common problems, accompanied by a solution you have found to work for you. Think of it as Hints from Heloise.
Common Problem: Microphone feedback.
Solution: 1. Don't walk in front of the speaker with the mic.
2. Try to talk louder so less volume is needed back at the controls.
Common Problem: Cancellation of an event.
1. Require a deposit OR
2. Put in your contract (to be signed by them) that any cancellations within 60 days of the event will still be charge 50% of the performer's fee.
Common Problem: Child who says I've seen that trick before!
1. Have audience take the magician's oath. "I am a future magician! As I learn magic I will NOT tell the secret."
During your performance, a mother thinks it's cute to allow her toddler to wander in front of your stage, constantly distracting the audience.
Coax the toddler onstage and proceed to auction him/her off. Start the bidding low ($5). By time it gets to $25, mom sheepishly comes to retrieve her wayward offspring. Everybody laughs, mom gets the message and you don't have to break character to get control of your show back.
September 1 2010, 1:45 PM
Funny idea, Steve! Another solution for a one-time offender is to say, "Don't worry. It's just a STAGE he's going through."
October 10 2010, 3:05 AM
I had another opportunity to try your idea out for auctioning off a wandering child. But it never comes to me at the time! Oh, well. One of these days I'll remember and I'll use it so often I'll think it was my idea!
whose idea's on first
October 10 2010, 10:12 AM
Now that you mention it, it occurs to me that I got the idea from David Ginn during a discussion after one of his lecutres. Or, at least I think that's where it came from?
October 13 2010, 6:31 AM
One common problem I have is that at birthdays they are often still eating when I arrive for the show. Generally I only have one show for the day so I'm not in any hurry. (They also ask if I want to eat a bite, but I rarely do before the show.) Also, I often wait for several minutes on my cash payment after the show. I prefer to get paid AFTER the show because I may get a better tip. But if I do have a second show to dash off to it can be a problem.
I'm open to suggestions.
I know some people who send a letter out with birthday ideas. Included in this would be a note that I need to start ontime as I might have another show to go to. Also, please have the payment ready right after the show as I might have another show to go to.
Or would it be better just to put a page on my website with birthday party ideas?
Magic Montana Santa
Re: Common Problems
October 13 2010, 10:17 AM
It wouldn't hurt to explain your predicament on your web page -- especially where scheduling is involved. The more information the client has ahead of time, the better the chance they'll be ready and waiting -- with your check, when the time comes.
Problems we have Problems we got stacks and stacks of problems, dear Tony
October 13 2010, 11:08 AM
How do I get paid, first and foremost a contract is writen up indicate 50% in advance and balance upon completion of show, due to additional shows performed on same day...or some such yuk, write it up in your best legal munbo jumbo, but it must be made clear to the customer that due to additional shows you can not wait around for your check, it must be paid upon completion of show. Be kind or bad news spreads quickly...