Stepping on other magicians toes and etiquette

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by formula, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Wondering what your opinions are on this.

    I have a residency at a nice place. I perform there for 3 hours every Friday night. An amateur magician came in a couple weeks ago with a group of people that reserved a table. Last Friday I stayed after finishing and performed until the early hours of the morning in the VIP area. He left a message on my Facebook page saying that he heard I was there and that he was doing magic in the same place. He only started in December so he's not great but the point is that he knows that place hires me out on a weekly basis so in my mind I think he should have some respect for me and not perform while he's there. He also asked where is best to buy bikes on Facebook and before I reply I wanted to see what all of you think about this.

    Is it OK for him to perform there or should I ask him to stop, as they pay me to be there every week?
  2. #2 HaveOuts, Jul 1, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2012
    My question... is your employer aware that he is performing there when you're on the clock Friday nights? If not, then I would advise you to let the management know this. It's one thing if he is performing any other day during the week or even on Friday before/after you, but I can see that being rather annoying if he is performing during your three hours.

    That's potential tip money being taken out of your pocket if they are in fact performing during your time on Friday night.

    - Steve
  3. If you've been at that location for more than a few months (I'm assuming you've been there for more than a year) it's YOUR location, YOU are the House Magician and as such you may talk to the management of the facility about helping you make that very clear by printing some table cards with YOUR photo on them and the caption reading along the lines of "Don't Forget to Catch Our House Magician" and YOUR NAME nice & bold. Similarly, the management needs to nudge Jr when he comes in to show off for friends; he's deliberately trying to gain resume credit by way of association to the site and you . . . he wants people to think he's the paid house mage on property when he's not.

    HOWEVER, brace yourself for the other possibility . . .

    Management may be aware of the lad already and looking at him as your replacement (he may be cheaper than you, sleeping with or related to a member of management or a VIP patron, etc). Sadly, this is part of show biz and you will encounter it frequently. If you get the feeling that this is what's going on, find yourself another location to work and put in your notice, there's really no winning the nepotism game. The one big out you might be able to play would be to get some major PR for the place via the News Media and in so doing boost sales.

    Yes, it is very unethical to do this sort of thing not to mention, unprofessional. Sadly, it is a constant in the industry that you will face time and again . . . at least that's been the case for most over the past hundred or so years.
  4. Thanks you two.

    It's a relatively new job for me Craig, next month will be my fourth month there. I gig around the country the rest of the week but that's my Friday night hang out. I've been doing magic for over a decade, so I'm not worried in the slightest about him taking my job. When he came in a couple weeks ago with friends they were telling him to sit down and shut up because he is a complete amateur and they love what I do. He most definitely would be cheaper than me to hire but it's a £3,000,000 venue that pays out over £10,000 in wages each week and it would be a huge downgrade for them in terms of level of service.
    What I am worried about is what you mentioned. Him getting credit for being "the magician" at this place. I work from 5.30pm-8.30pm to catch people for after work drinks/food so he wasn't performing on my watch on Friday. While I was performing in the VIP area he was doing tricks in the bar areas (this place has 5 floors).

    Oh and I don't think they are aware of him performing there HaveOuts. All of the staff love what I do and speak very highly of me so I like to think they would mention it if they saw someone other than me performing there.
  5. If I were in your shoes I would definitely say something to management because I would be ticked off for the reason of, "I don't want the public thinking that this other dude is the house magician and getting credit or ruining your reputation if people hear bad things. Word of mouth travels faster than you think.

    Craig is also correct and offered great advice. Get table tents with YOUR NAME BIG and BOLD and the words HOUSE MAGICIAN on them printed. This can be done cheaply at places the Vista Print and This is the route I would go even if I had to pay for them out of my pocket.

    Hopefully they (management) isn't scoping him out as the cheaper replacement. I wouldn't think so but I could be wrong. Unfortunately entertainment is cut throat and people under cut each other all of the time. I see this happen with friends in our own club. It happens to me as well because I refuse to give $40.00 bday parties and charge $125.00
  6. I had a club ask me to come in to do table magic and I quoted them my rate. They went nuts, "No one gets that kind of money!" I pointed out that I was making more then three times what they were offering per night, three nights at week when I was 19 and 20 years old working for Playboy and my fees were simply reflective to the cost of living, not greed driven. I likewise pointed out that you get what you pay for. . . a $40.00 a night magician probably isn't worth half that much unless it's someone just starting out that shows a bit of promise and polish.

    It sounds to me Formula, that you are in a good position but as Rick notes, it might be wise to make up some table tents; maybe get the management to go in with you so that they have 3 or 4 ad panels that promote different things; 2 panels for facility promotions such as a special drink night or meal deals with 2 panels on you. . . a 50/50 package on a couple thousand units (you should cover the facility for at least 4-6 weeks and if it's as big as you say, you're going to want at least 3,000+ units).

    You might even want to work up something in the Artwork so you can use it for an effect or two. . . check out some of Kenton Knepper's KENTONISM notes about subliminal art layouts and grow out from there.
  7. Man. That's not a good situation at all.

    I would politely ask him to stop performing there before anything else. If you're being paid to be there, it's your job. Whether or not this other magician is good, the restaurant wants you. Two magicians (especially if he's not up to par) looks less professional and can definitely look strange to patrons.

    If he continues to perform, I'd let management know. Also, if he's REALLY young (which I doubt he is), you may want to speak to his family. If it's getting in the way of your job and could look bad to management, I'd do whatever I could to stop him.
  8. Problem is being sorted if anyones interested. Meeting with management later this month to discuss table tents, promo material and having a "resident magician" shirt printed.

    Thanks for all your feedback, I really appreciate it.
  9. Most excellent. Please keep us updated on how it goes.

    Best of luck,

    - Steve
  10. Good work Formula. Keep us all in the loop so we hear how it goes.
  11. It's generally a bad show of etiquette to perform in any establishment that has talent working the same night as that said talent. So yes, if you're working the joint, and he's walking around doing stuff (especially without management's permission) Then yes I'd be quite upset with him had I be you. I'd ask him to stop, and I'd also bring it up with management to make sure they know about the situation and help enforce it.

    However if he's working nights that you're not then that's just competition. Sucks, but it's all's fair in love and war. Is it a bit shady? Yeah it is, especially if you're the house magician, but then again it's show biz. He's got to pay his bills too, and if the venue feels they can make more money by having him there when your not that's just something you've got to get used to. The only exception I can think of is if he's not clearing his performances with the venue's management. He needs to have permission, audition, or otherwise be cleared to perform in any public place, if he's not doing that then yes, again you have a valid complaint.

  12. If he's writing you on your Facebook wall, I don't think he's out to get your job. I think he's looking for someone to mentor him and teach him tricks of the trade.
    I wouldn't worry about it too much. I doubt he can perform professionally at ease with only a few months experience of learning magic.

    It takes balls do be the hired magician, not months.
  13. This happened to me. The magician wasn't that good and lacked people skills. He was performing for drinks where I was perfomring for a wage. I asked him to kindly refrain from performing when I was working to which he replied " you afraid of some competion" The next Saturday night he came in to the lounge and started "performing". I walked up to his first table after he was done while he was still there trying to get a free drink and started laughing. I went right into my set without pausing. After I was done the table said they would rather buy me the drink. I informed the table that the magic I performed for them was supplied by the house and that their applause was payment enough. After that I never seen that kid again lol.


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