More with The Pendragons

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/07/10 12:13 AM

Just saw this on Alan Watson's e-zine:

2. Charlotte Pendragon And Illusions For Sale?
--------------------------------------------
Message by John R. Browne III (US)

Message published in full

August 5, 2010
To: Alan Watson
From: Jack Browne

I hope this finds you and Michele well. Jan and I enjoyed seeing
you when you were in San Francisco last year. Happily the I.B.M.'s
legal affairs have been in good shape for a number of years now.
There is nothing for me to pass along to you in this regard.

I write you now on my own, and not in my capacity as I.B.M. Legal
Advisor. "CHIN-CHIN" (aka Gregory Chin) is a young, successful
and very colorful (bright red hair) San Francisco stage show
performer who brings a lot of energy and dedication to the Art of
Magic.

I became acquainted with Chin-Chin several years ago, when he
needed information about the I.B.M.'s stage contests. I have
followed his career in magic since that time. Chin-Chin's San
Francisco Bay Area's performance venues are continually
expanding. His unique brand of stage and illusion presentations
is getting him better and better engagements. Still, being
devoted full time to a magic career and with no "day job" to help
pay the bills, Chin-Chin has to watch his pennies.

Chin-Chin has wanted to perform John Gaughan's Origami Illusion
since he was 12 years old. Through magician friend Jason Latimer,
Chin-Chin learned that some months ago CHARLOTTE PENDRAGON put
out the word that ORIGAMI was for sale. Chin-Chin contacted
Charlotte, who agreed to sell him ORIGAMI for $5,000. Since
February of this year, Chin-Chin has scraped enough money
together to pay Charlotte a total of $4700.

Eagerly anticipating shipment of ORIGAMI upon paying the final
$300 to Charlotte, Chin-Chin contacted her recently to arrange
for delivery. Shockingly, Chin-Chin was told by Charlotte that
ORIGAMI is in Trinidad, and that there will be a storage charge
of at least $10,000 to retrieve it from storage! Chin-Chin has
now contacted me for help, as a friend in magic. Because I feel
badly for Chin-Chin, I have offered to help him obtain ORIGAMI
without payment of any fees for my legal services.

I began my quest yesterday by calling John Gaughan, who built
ORIGAMI, to ascertain performance rights to the illusion. John
confirmed that the original purchasers, THE PENDRAGONS, bought
the performance rights along with the illusion, and that such
rights pass to subsequent purchasers.

I then called JONATHAN PENDRAGON, who was in Boise, Idaho, where
he is presently performing. Jonathan was nice enough to talk with
me. Although Jonathan is not in personal contact with Charlotte
because of a court order, Jonathan knows from speaking with
Chin-Chin that Charlotte "sold" ORIGAMI to Chin-Chin without
disclosing that the illusion was in Trinidad and subject to a
costly storage lien.

Jonathan then told me that Chip Romero of Lake Charles,
Louisiana, has also recently "purchased" illusions from
Charlotte, which are also in Trinidad and are under the same
storage conditions as ORIGAMI. Mr. Romero confirmed today on the
phone that he sent Charlotte an $11,000 check last October for
Fire Cage and Sword Suspension, and that Charlotte promised him
she would drop these illusions off in Lake Charles some months
ago on her way to perform at a convention in Daytona Beach,
Florida, not disclosing that such illusions are also in Trinidad,
along with ORIGAMI. Mr. Romero told me he has retained an
attorney.

Jonathan clarified that he was not aware of Charlotte's actions
until months after the fact, and that he played no part in them.
He said he was never informed that she was selling their
illusions and that she had left them in Trinidad.

Jonathan said that Charlotte had handled the logistics of their
shows, that in June of 2009 she told him she had arranged to
bring their props back, and that he didn't learn until May of
2010 that she had not done so.

Jonathan told me he has not received one penny from Charlotte's
illusion sales, which include those he invented such as Clearly
Impossible, as well as the illusions Charlotte sold to Chip
Romero; i.e., Fire Cage and the unique Sword (broom) Suspension
harness which Jonathan said he designed and helped build.
Nevertheless, Jonathan says that he will do all he can to try and
see that Chin-Chin and Chip Romero get the illusions they have
paid for.

Although my investigation and any action I may take thereon on
behalf of Chin-Chin is far from finished, I thought it would be
appropriate to "put the word out" to the magic community about
what I have learned so far, and also for another reason:

Jonathan Pendragon is very passionate about maintaining his
rights to a deceptive "doll house" (little theatre) illusion
designed by Jim Steinmeyer and built by John Gaughan. So I wanted
to put the word out to fellow magi that neither Charlotte
Pendragon nor anyone else has rights to "sell" this illusion.

Your readers should please feel free to send any information they
may have about these matters to me at johnrbrowne@sbcglobal.net.
Many thanks.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20012
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Tom Gilbert » 08/07/10 04:12 PM

A $4700 illusion and $10,000 to get it out of storage? Wow.
Tom Gilbert
 
Posts: 389
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: NH

Postby SteveP » 08/07/10 04:22 PM

What I'm guessing is that $10,000 is probably what's needed to get all the illusions out of storage. And is that $10,000 going to get the illusions into the USA as well?

It would be interesting to hear Charlotte's side of this situation.
SteveP
 
Posts: 322
Joined: 01/20/08 01:00 PM
Location: St. Louis, MO

Postby Tristan » 08/07/10 07:45 PM

Here is my story

I am making this public because I hope by spreading the word this will not happen to someone else. In February I made a verbal agreement with Charlotte to purchase the Pendragon Pole Levitation for $7,000. I had worked with the Pendragons in the past and had a good knowledge of the prop and condition it was in. I agreed to pay $3,000 down with the remainder to be paid after I received the prop. Charlotte was to ship the prop immediately, but instead there were months of delays and excuses for why she could not ship. By early July I believed she had no intention of ever sending me the prop at which point I asked for my $3,000 back. From what I understand she then sold the prop to another magician who drove to Vegas to pick it up. I have continued to ask for my money back, and at first she told me she would send a refund checkseveral weeks went by without a check. Earlier this week Charlotte contacted me and said she would wire the money. That has not happened either.

I have now found out about Gregory Chins and Chip Romeros situations, and I hope adding my story to the mix will help bring a speedy resolution to this issue and warn others not to get caught in a similar situation.

Best,
Tristan Crist
Tristan
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 08/07/10 07:20 PM

Postby Raleigh » 08/09/10 12:39 AM

Do we all see another Snap Illusions deal here ? I am shocked at this news ...... you would think ten grand would be peanuts to her . Charlotte pay your storage , get your illusions back and send these guys their stuff they already paid for ..... with all the effort spent building your respected name in the entertainment world .... Go out on top and not like a loser !
Raleigh
 
Posts: 388
Joined: 01/23/10 12:47 PM
Location: Las Vegas , Nv.

Postby Tabman » 08/09/10 09:46 PM

I keep reading and re-reading this thread trying to understand since this just doesnt sound like the CP I met and talked with in LV and in SLC. It's fascinating.

Gamblers have always held a soft spot in my heart - Titanic Thompson. My best friend in the 70s was/is a horse breeder and trainer of Futurity horses. He would sell half interests in most horses with the understanding he would split any purses.

I was with him when one of his horses took a large purse. He got really nervous and told me he had sold half the horse to five different people. I never did ask him how it turned out.

Sometimes desperation makes people do things they wouldn't ordinarily do I guess. I hope it works out for everyone in a positive way.
User avatar
Tabman
 
Posts: 917
Joined: 03/17/09 02:25 PM
Location: TC and KOZ at the Funny Bone

Postby mrgoat » 08/10/10 04:15 AM

I thought it was a very funny joke.

And shocking that someone so 'famous' in the world of magic thinks it acceptable to rip off other magicians.
mrgoat
 
Posts: 3900
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Brighton, UK

Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/10/10 11:19 AM

I have just deleted a post from this thread. Accusations of criminal activity by parties not directly involved will not be tolerated.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20012
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby SteveP » 08/10/10 01:43 PM

Raleigh wrote:Do we all see another Snap Illusions deal here ? I am shocked at this news ...... you would think ten grand would be peanuts to her.


I've known and worked for quite a few illusionists over the years and aside from David Copperfield, most are not as wealthy as some may perceive.

Unless you've worked an illusion show, you have no idea of the ongoing expense. Sure the props cost a lot. Some are able to pay cash for new illusions, while others have financing or investors. But there are other expenses such as storage, insurance, maintenance, transportation, costumes, assistant salaries, agent/manager fees, taxes and so on. Not to mention everyday bills we all have.

While we may have idea of what a top illusion act gets paid, that's not all profit. If a close-up or stand-up performer doesn't perform for a month or so, your act isn't costing you money. When an illusionist doesn't work, the act is costing them money.

I think it's an unfair jab at Charlotte to compare her to Snap Illusions. Jack Moyer has been pulling his crap for years. We don't know the whole situation here. Obviously there are some problems and it's wise to let potential buyers know there is something going on. I'm sure that this will work out for everyone in time.
SteveP
 
Posts: 322
Joined: 01/20/08 01:00 PM
Location: St. Louis, MO

Postby Raleigh » 08/10/10 01:59 PM

It may well work out for everyone in the end , but that still does not make it right . And how does her latest actions put her on a pedestal above Jack Moyer ( Snap Illusions ) They only difference is her illusions are already built! And by the way maybe Jack Moyers situation may work out for everyone in the end as well.
Raleigh
 
Posts: 388
Joined: 01/23/10 12:47 PM
Location: Las Vegas , Nv.

Postby SteveP » 08/10/10 02:51 PM

Raleigh,

I never said what she was doing is right. But until just recently no one ever had an issue with Charlotte. Many of us have been having problems with Jack Moyer for well over 5 years. It's highly unlikely that Jack Moyer is going to come through after all this time. The only reputation Jack Moyer has is one of ripping off people.

The Pendragons have had an impeccable reputation for how long? About 30 years now? I don't think she is just going to throw that away. Like Jonathan posted above, we don't know the whole story.
SteveP
 
Posts: 322
Joined: 01/20/08 01:00 PM
Location: St. Louis, MO

Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/10/10 03:12 PM

You cannot compare Jack of Snap Illusions and Charlotte. They are entirely different cases since one is a merchant and the other is not. I don't want to see any more of that.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20012
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Raleigh » 08/10/10 03:13 PM

Steve ,

I agree with you that there are two sides to a story . But .... being famed , beautiful and having a respectful reputation for 30 yrs. does not and can not erase her current actions .

I personally don't think Chip Romero a highly respected cruise ship performer and the other two guys ( and there may or not be others ) have any reason to fabricate such a story . I agree let's not jump to the ending , but just because we are talking about Charlotte Pendragon the issue should not be " sugar coated "
Raleigh
 
Posts: 388
Joined: 01/23/10 12:47 PM
Location: Las Vegas , Nv.

Postby Tabman » 08/10/10 04:42 PM

Tabman wrote:...I was with him when one of his horses took a large purse. He got really nervous and told me he had sold half the horse to five different people. I never did ask him how it turned out....


Well, I couldnt leave it hanging like that so I emailed my old pal and he told me he sold another horse and paid all off. He said he didnt actually sell half ownership in the horses, but half financial interest.

I feel better now. Thanks.
User avatar
Tabman
 
Posts: 917
Joined: 03/17/09 02:25 PM
Location: TC and KOZ at the Funny Bone

Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/10/10 07:24 PM

All right you chuckleheads: I have banned "Hughdini" and deleted his posts. (I missed one of them the first time.)

I have deleted Jonathan's post, which he should never have had to make in the first place and I apologize for missing one of Hughdini's posts--it should have also been deleted immediately.

Have some damn respect considering the events that have transpired.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20012
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Steve Bryant » 08/10/10 10:05 PM

On a positive note, I received Todd Karr's/Jonathan's Grand Illusion pdf file on CD this week. It looks great, and the contents are fascinating. I haven't read it all, but the chapter on Metamorphosis is most revealing. I also found the essays fascinating. 124 pages, laid out in the format Todd uses for his hardback books.
User avatar
Steve Bryant
 
Posts: 1642
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Bloomington IN

Postby mrgoat » 08/11/10 04:10 AM

I bought a rising card from Tom Baxter and it arrived safely and is brilliant.

Just to let you know some people can send you what you pay for.
mrgoat
 
Posts: 3900
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Brighton, UK

Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/11/10 10:05 AM

Do not ask about deleted posts or your posts will simply be deleted as well. That said, I will respond in this case: Jonathan was responding to a stupid remark that I deleted. With the original post deleted, Jonathan's post also needed to go. End.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20012
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Tristan » 08/11/10 11:31 AM

A positive resolution:

On August 10, 2010 I was refunded the money I was owed. (See my post earlier in this thread for my story.)

I now consider my personal situation with Charlotte resolved, and no longer see a need to be involved in this situation.

Best, Tristan
Tristan
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 08/07/10 07:20 PM

Postby Seuss » 08/11/10 12:07 PM

Great to hear. Nothing better than to see her clear up these issues.
Genii Lifetime Subscriber
Co-host Magic On the Side
User avatar
Seuss
 
Posts: 431
Joined: 07/15/09 01:04 AM
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Postby Doc » 08/11/10 02:27 PM

Tristan wrote:A positive resolution:

On August 10, 2010 I was refunded the money I was owed. (See my post earlier in this thread for my story.)

I now consider my personal situation with Charlotte resolved, and no longer see a need to be involved in this situation.

Best, Tristan


I bet this thread had nothing to do with it. :D
User avatar
Doc
 
Posts: 89
Joined: 01/22/10 07:53 PM

Postby Doc » 08/11/10 02:32 PM

Raleigh wrote:Steve ,

I agree with you that there are two sides to a story . But .... being famed , beautiful and having a respectful reputation for 30 yrs. does not and can not erase her current actions .

I personally don't think Chip Romero a highly respected cruise ship performer and the other two guys ( and there may or not be others ) have any reason to fabricate such a story . I agree let's not jump to the ending , but just because we are talking about Charlotte Pendragon the issue should not be " sugar coated "


It's called "circling the wagons", Irvin. ;)

(Let the firestorm begin! :D )
User avatar
Doc
 
Posts: 89
Joined: 01/22/10 07:53 PM

Postby SteveP » 08/11/10 06:36 PM

I don't see that there is going to be a firestorm. It was never implied anywhere in this thread that those guys fabricated a story and nothing that I've posted has been "sugar coated".

Based on Tristan's post, resolutions are starting to happen (as I mentioned they would). I imagine that there will be similar resolutions for everyone involved.
SteveP
 
Posts: 322
Joined: 01/20/08 01:00 PM
Location: St. Louis, MO

Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/11/10 07:05 PM

There won't be a firestorm because, if things get nasty, I'll just lock the thread. So keep it clean.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20012
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Raleigh » 08/11/10 07:17 PM

Doc ,I agree the wagon's have been circled . Any comments not favorable to the Pendragon's are not welcome here !
Raleigh
 
Posts: 388
Joined: 01/23/10 12:47 PM
Location: Las Vegas , Nv.

Postby Seuss » 08/11/10 07:41 PM

I don't see it that way at all. Seems civility is key.
Genii Lifetime Subscriber
Co-host Magic On the Side
User avatar
Seuss
 
Posts: 431
Joined: 07/15/09 01:04 AM
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Postby Raleigh » 08/11/10 07:53 PM

Great.
Raleigh
 
Posts: 388
Joined: 01/23/10 12:47 PM
Location: Las Vegas , Nv.

Postby mrgoat » 08/12/10 03:55 AM

Seuss wrote:I don't see it that way at all. Seems civility is key.


Either that, our being outed on the most respect magic forum.
mrgoat
 
Posts: 3900
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Brighton, UK

Postby West McDonough » 08/21/10 08:42 PM

I have resisted posting because my story is fairly "small potatoes" compared to others, and I'm just not someone who likes to air dirty linen in public. But, at the request of a friend, I have decided to go ahead.

In a nutshell: I wished to learn the Sands of Egypt and a friend recommended I contact Charlotte. I contacted her on January 20th, 2010, and she agreed to sell me the bowl, sand, and full instructions for $200, which she requested I send via Paypal. I did so on the 21st, and notified her both via email and phone that the money had been sent.

A number of times over the next four months I called and emailed to enquire about the package. I received a three different excuses, and eventually stopped getting any response. Around April I started hearing rumors that this had happened to others, so I gave up trying. Eventually I was able to purchase what I needed elsewhere, and I'm not a big one for making scenes.

But I do agree with my friend that if, as it seems, this is a continuing problem that is affecting others, then I should at least add my experience to the warnings. I have no intention of pushing the issue further -- I just want to do what I can to prevent others who can afford it less from losing more.
West McDonough
 
Posts: 52
Joined: 07/22/10 01:39 PM

Postby CraigMitchell » 08/22/10 09:44 AM

West - if you paid via PayPal ( along with most credit cards ) you are usually covered in the event of non-delivery. Simply file a dispute for non-delivery and you will receive a refund when the merchant in question is unable to provide proof of delivery.
User avatar
CraigMitchell
 
Posts: 1188
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Magic

Postby West McDonough » 08/22/10 09:59 AM

Thanks for the suggestion, Craig. I'll look into it, but my understanding is that has to be done within a fairly short time period and it's now been 8 months. In hindsight I should have filed as you suggest, but I believed the excuses and kept waiting.

I'm over it now -- I'm not going to press it any further and I've already accepted the money as gone. I would never even have said anything if I hadn't seen so many similar things happening to others.
West McDonough
 
Posts: 52
Joined: 07/22/10 01:39 PM

Postby Seuss » 08/22/10 09:59 AM

paypal requires action within 40 days.
Genii Lifetime Subscriber
Co-host Magic On the Side
User avatar
Seuss
 
Posts: 431
Joined: 07/15/09 01:04 AM
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Postby Doc » 08/22/10 02:07 PM

Seuss wrote:paypal requires action within 40 days.


Greetings Seuss!
PayPal disputes generally must be filed within forty-five days of the payment date.

PayPal asserts that that time frame may be extended for "abusive accounts" but that is bologna.

Snap Illusions always placed their delivery dates well outside the PayPal dispute window to dodge this bullet and PayPal never lifted a finger to extend it for that crowd.

The same with another "abusive account", RNT2

The reason?

Under the PayPal Buyer Protection Plan for the load of people that were skunked by purchases made on eBay, and under their Purchase Protection Plan which applies to all buyers outside of eBay, they would have been forced to cough up the refunds for non-delivery out of their OWN bucket to the extent they exceeded "abusive member's" available balance (which, I imagine, was $0.00 at any given time.)

The legions of people that were screwed by these outfits were left to twist in the wind even though they were definitely the victims of an "abusive account."

You couldn't pour any extended protection coverage on PayPal attributable to this recent "abusive account." ;)
User avatar
Doc
 
Posts: 89
Joined: 01/22/10 07:53 PM

Postby Magic Newswire » 08/22/10 03:22 PM

For anyone that uses PayPal regularly, you might look into their MasterCard which is tied directly to your PayPal account. You have the Mastercard guarantee as well as what protection PayPal themselves offer as well. Just a thought.
User avatar
Magic Newswire
 
Posts: 2467
Joined: 03/29/08 12:32 PM

Postby mrgoat » 08/22/10 07:07 PM

If only "real" people knew how simple it was to chargeback a bogus charge...
mrgoat
 
Posts: 3900
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Brighton, UK

Postby Troy Swezey » 08/24/10 02:15 PM

WOW! This is very interesting. I am glad I stumbled across this and found that I am not the only one she has had nefarious dealings with.
Charlotte and I met on Facebook maybe late 2008 having been a fan for many years and became friendly with each other. She even invited me to see her and Jonathan perform at The Magic Castle early 2009. When she wrote me and said she was moving a couple miles away from me in Las Vegas I was happy to offer assistance to get her information etc and even visited her at her Las Vegas home and helped move some of her things into a storage facility.
In January 2010 she called me on my cell phone saying she was in a bit of a bind and needed to borrow $500 that she could re-pay me in a few weeks time when she returned from a visit to California. Of course I offered to help my friend and I gave her an envelope with the money in the parking lot after her performance at Jeff McBride's Wonderground.
Strangely that was the last I have heard from Charlotte. None of my phone calls or emails have been returned. I was so shocked to have this happen from such a friendly and allegedly spiritual person such as herself as well as someone so much in the public eye. I was just going to chalk it up to 'lesson learned' but if this is a pattern of hers then perhaps someone needs to step up and somehow put an end to it. I mean how many out there have been wronged financially by her? What other shady dealings is she involved in that simply haven't come to light?
Very interesting.
Troy Swezey
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 08/24/10 01:49 PM
Location: Las Vegas

Postby mrgoat » 08/24/10 02:21 PM

Now *that* is how you do a first post.

Out of the park, as I believe you say on that side of the pond.
mrgoat
 
Posts: 3900
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Brighton, UK

Postby Troy Swezey » 08/24/10 02:47 PM

Thank you MrGoat. I mean I did not want to and was not going to say anything but as my case is obviously not an isolated incident perhaps there is something much deeper going on with her.
I would hate to see how she treats her clients or bookers or managers if this is the way she treats friends and fellow performers.
Troy Swezey
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 08/24/10 01:49 PM
Location: Las Vegas

Postby Raleigh » 08/24/10 04:23 PM

I hate to say I told you so , but .....
Raleigh
 
Posts: 388
Joined: 01/23/10 12:47 PM
Location: Las Vegas , Nv.

Postby Ryan Matney » 08/24/10 05:23 PM

You know, she must have financial problems. Jonathan said they were struggling before the split and now she has lost her means of income and must find a new source of money.

Also, did nobody advising that kid about Origami tell him that he could get a brand new one built for just a bit more money?
Ryan Matney
 
Posts: 729
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hurley, Va

Next

Return to Buzz