You're Reading it Here First: David Blaine Barred from SAM Con. Dealers Room!

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/05/02 09:12 PM

You know, it's hard to imagine that the SAM would do this to Copperfield, Blackstone, Houdini, or Doug Henning, but David Blaine showed up at the dealers room at the SAM convention tonight after the show, with girlfriend Darryl Hannah, a major star, and the SAM refused to let him walk in. She wanted to buy some tricks as gifts for her nieces and nephews and the schmuck at the door (what else can you call him) REFUSED to let them come in. Can't believe it. This reminds me of when the Magic Castle refused to let Johnny Carson in one night because he didn't have a tie and no magicians appeared on the Tonight Show for a long time after that!
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Postby CHRIS » 07/05/02 09:32 PM

I don't know the details of any of the two incidents you mentioned, Richard. But I don't understand why superstars should not have to pay admission or abide by the same rules as everyone else. If a tie is the rule, then it should be the rule for anybody, also Mr. Carson. Good for the castle not to let him in. The real question though is - is the tie rule really necessary to begin with.

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Postby Brian Marks » 07/06/02 11:11 PM

Its not the rules that are necessarily important.

First David Blaine can afford to buy a day pass and so can Daryl Hannah. David Blaine wont stop doing tv shows because he was refused. He will continue to promote magic whether we accept him or not be cause he has no other source of income.

Enforcing a minor infraction of a dress code on Johnny Carson was ridiculous. This guy was promoting magic in front of huge national audiences and he did't have to be. It was in magic's best interest not to piss him off. Rules can be overlooked if its in the best interest of magic which is what I thought the Magic Castle was supposed to be looking after.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 07/07/02 01:59 AM

1 – It's not a “minor infraction of a dress code.” It's ignoring a dress code that should be enforced equally. To do otherwise is to allow a different set of rules for an elite class. (I've got an idea; let's allow the elite class to collect on 22 at the blackjack tables in all the casinos around the world! I'm sure more of them would grace us lowlifes with their presence at the gaming tables. And the speed limit signs – 65 MPH for you and me, but if you have a Lamborghini and a TV show, it's 85.)

2 – The Castle has, for at least as long as I have been a member, kept extra ties and coats on hand for those who have “forgotten” about the dress code. If the story about Johnny Carson is true, there must be something more to it than just a tie.

(And yes, the dress code should remain in place. It's one of the things that sets the Castle apart from the norm. We tried “casual Monday.” It was a tremendous flop. And by the way, I hate ties.)

3 – Blaine should have gone to the registration desk straightaway and obtained passes for himself and Miss Hannah. I'm certain that the SAM officials would have been happy to have them wandering about the dealers' room – the resulting press clip being worth the price of admission. Of course, they should offer, and expect, to pay. It's up to the convention organizers who gets free admission. Then, with the proper credentials (i.e. daily guest badges) the poor “schmuck” doing his job at the dealers' room entrance would never have had to make a call that was outside his control. “Let's see,” Mr. Schmuck says to himself, “do I allow admittance to these superstars without passes so everyone else, who got in here with properly obtained passes, can see that we don't really care, but instead are sending the message that as long as you are a member of the elite class you're in? Or, do I do the job I was instructed to do, exactly as I was instructed to do it?” Here's a question: What would you do?

Ah yes; all men are created equal, until, that is, they are listed in Forbes.

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Postby MaxNY » 07/07/02 09:32 AM

Dustin raises great points. Me, Let him in. The guy wants to be part of the action. Who cares if he has a badge? Do you think he pays cover charge to enter clubs? No. Here is another great factor in all of this... Daryl Hannah. God, can you believe how silly that scene must have looked to Daryl Hannah?
Richard, I need more of the story because this kind of story boils my blood. Was it just the bagde checkin rent-a-cop that turned him away, or SAM top brass? That also makes for a better story.
The Parent Assembly #1 still boasts of the night ( 15 years ago) when they turned away Henny Youngeman. It is often used as a "bar" on admission too..." You can't come in due to this being a closed meeting, we even rejected admittance to Henny Youngeman..." allegedly.
There is part of this story that makes me think he tried to enter, knowing he was to be bounced.
I heard a rumor that the same thing went down at the Manhatten one day convention, (minus the fish).
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Postby Steve Bryant » 07/07/02 10:39 AM

It's exactly the mentality that keeps me from joining clubs (any clubs, not just magic clubs) and why I stay away from the club conventions. I went to one in 1976 and decided to never go back (IBM, 1976, San Diego). Good talent but too many loony thinkers (and just plain nastiness) in the crowd. Who wouldn't want Daryl Hannah walking around? They could have worked something out.
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Postby Jeremy Medows » 07/07/02 02:15 PM

Mr. Kaufman:

Why should David Blaine be admitted if didn't pay the admission? Everyone else had to. I saw many important and famous magicians at the convention. They were there because they paid admission or they were working at the convention. Why is David Blaine special?

Why should Darryl Hannah be admitted for free? Is she more important than the rest of us who paid? Do you really think that celebrities should get better treatment than the rest of us?

I saw many famous magicians at the convention who were paid registrants. If Blaine really wanted to attend, he could have purchased a registration or one day pass to the convention.

I was not at the scene when Blaine was refused admission to the room, but I'll bet that he was refused admission from the security guard who was sitting at the door. She was paid to sit at the door and admit those with passes. Should she risk losing her job because some rich and famous people wanted to enter did not have badges?

The convention was great. David Blaine missed out on some wonderful magic.

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Postby Guest » 07/07/02 04:32 PM

Darryl Hannah buying tricks at the SAM convention, with her squeeze, DB.

Was no available SAM operative capable of recognizing that such publicity is worth far more than the cost of two registrations?
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Postby Guest » 07/07/02 06:39 PM

Kaufman is the only one who's hit this on the head. Of course, there's a double standard -- do you really think that Nicolson or DeNiro pay cover charges at any club they ever go to? The double standard is that if Copperfield showed up unannounced and tried to walk in, the SAM hierarchy would fall all over themselves ushering him into the room. This isn't about a dumb security guard. This is about the old guard -- as Dylan wrote, "Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'"
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Postby Rene Clement » 07/07/02 08:22 PM

Well, at least David Blaine tried to walk in the dealer room through the front entrance. On Saturday night, another magician, also of TV fame but I won't mention his name, came in through a blocked back door, nearly knocking over from behind the booth of Gruppo Teattro & Magia. This was nearly as comical as his many "Late Night" performances. Rich, this was the booth next to yours! How did you miss this?
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Postby Rene Clement » 07/07/02 08:50 PM

SAM Parent Assembly doesn't boast about throwing Henny Yougman out of their meeting. In fact, the members and officers are today somewhat embarassed by the incident whenever it is brought up. What we have here is one of those no win situations where no matter what your decision, someone is going to be offended.
The story went like this:
Henny was an occasional visitor to the meetings but this particular time he came on a lecture night.
Mnay years ago, Parent Assembly #1 ran very srtict meeting. I mean these followed Robert's Rules of Order to the tee. Really! In fact, a copy of this book was required at all meetings just in case it was needed as reference to insure every move and every motion was proper. In similar manner, PA #1 was very strict on it's policy of members only at the few "closed meetings". Meeting notices sent prior to the event were worded clearly that this is closed to members only. No guests...no wives..etc. The PA #1 was strict on it's "no exposure" policy.
When Henny showed up, the assembly officers got together to descuss what to do. I guess, when in doubt, the safest thing to do was to adhere to the rules as written in the by-laws.
In retrospect, I think these men have now realized it was maybe not the "correct" thing to have done that night.
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Postby Guest » 07/07/02 11:21 PM

I think common sense should dictate in matters such as these,meaning that of course you let him in, he's David Blaine.Like him or not, he's done quite a lot to bring close-up magic into the public consciousness and by so doing has made it a bit easier for us little guys out in the trenches.Couldn't something have been worked out,a courtesy extended?
Final score:
Bureaucratic Nonsense: 1
Common Sense: 0
:mad:
Just my opinion.
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Postby Guest » 07/08/02 04:00 AM

"Why should David Blaine be admitted if didn't pay the admission? Everyone else had to. I saw many important and famous magicians at the convention. They were there because they paid admission or they were working at the convention. Why is David Blaine special?"

No offense to the many wonderful magicians that were at the SAM, but these famous magicians you speak of are pretty much unknown to the rest of the world. They are in fact very big fish in a very small pond. David Blaine is the exception to this rule. Allowing someone like David Blaine (and Daryl Hannah) in the dealer's room could have generated some publicity, not to mention that it would have been a special treat for many of the attendees to be able to see someone of David Blaine's caliber in person.

Don't get me wrong. I think that many of the magicians that were in attendance (and performed) are better close up magicians than David Blaine, but denying them entrance just to stick to the rules was not the smartest move, in my opinion.

A potential David Blaine endorsement for the SAM could have done wonders for their membership. I guess we will never know.
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Postby Rene Clement » 07/08/02 06:46 AM

I guess you can say Blaine hadn't experienced as icey a reception since his Frozen In Time special.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/08/02 09:01 AM

hahahaha--Rene, you crack me up!
While many folks who live in the real world (I get up, go to work each day, go home and play with my wife and kids) don't know this, there is DEFINITELY a double standard in the world for celebrities: they are frequently given stuff for free that we would have to pay for, and among these things are the entrance fees to clubs, conventions, etc.
Frankly, if I was running the SAM, I would have PAID Blaine to walk through the dealer room, NOT asked him to pay. The publicity is great, and it gives the attendees a chance to see Blaine up close and talk with him.
Famous people don't pay for this kind of stuff, nor should they expect to. They add glamour when they walk into the room: just look at the excitement when Copperfield attended and spoke at the dedication of the Houdini stamp on Wednesday morning. That electricity and press coverage would have been minimal had he not been there.
Blaine is no different than Copperfield. He's a famous celebrity and magician.
Here's another story about the SAM Parent Assembly in New York. Many years ago Eugene Burger was schedule to lecture for them, and he brought David Roth along to the lecture. Because Roth was not a member, the SAM refused to let him in. Eugene's solution to this idiocy is simple: either Roth comes in or I leave. Roth was let in.
Life is not at all the same for celebrities--they exist on a plane that is different from the rest of us. You can like it or not like it, frankly that doesn't matter. David Blaine walks into the most exclusive clubs around the world and doesn't pay for admission: the owners are THRILLED he's there. The utter small-minded stupidity of the SAM in not letting Blaine into the dealer's room cannot be overstated.
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Postby NCMarsh » 07/08/02 09:37 AM

I think its worth saying that "living on another plane" doesn't just mean special priviledge, it also means special scrutiny that those of us with more private lives enjoy freedom from...It doesn't bother me in the slightest that folks like these get stuff i don't--because the happiness that comes from my anonymity easily eclipses the temporary pleasure of free admittance to clubs, conventions, etc.

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Postby NCMarsh » 07/08/02 09:38 AM

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Postby Randy DiMarco » 07/08/02 09:41 AM

10-15 years ago at an IBM convention (I don't remember which one) David Copperfield was in the dealer's room very briefly. There was a buzz about this the rest of the convention. I doubt he had a badge but I do know that he didn't try to enter through the front door. He was ushered in and then quickly out through a back door.
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Postby James » 07/08/02 09:49 AM

After David wasn't allowed in for free -- why didn't he just go and buy a day pass? What's the big deal? I don't blame the guy for wanting to get in free -- but if he really wanted to get in the dealer's room -- he could have for a few lousy dollars.

When I go to a club or event -- if they let me in free great. If not, I buy a ticket. Really simple solution and makes everyone happy.

I think David needs to check his ego at the door.

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Postby martinka » 07/08/02 11:55 AM

I believe that the registration desk was already closed at the point he was turned away, so obtaining a pass then would not have been possible anyhow.

Looking at an early convention photo, sitting at the tables you could find Houdini, Kellar, Thurston and many others. It's interesting that the most well known performers of our time cannot be found hanging around in the same manner...
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Postby Guest » 07/08/02 12:48 PM

I don't know who the "doorman" was that blocked David and Daryl - but if that's his claim to fame - poor guy.

What do you think would have happened if Daryl Hannah showed up without David?

Would he have turned her down? Oh, yes. The rules.

Is it just a case of - David Blaine, he's no better that the rest of us?

Who would you name as the top ten magicians - not counting Blaine.

Have the rest of them, collectively, done as much for magic since he's on the scene.

Richard already said it all - so I can stop right here.

Thanks for listening.
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Postby David Oliver » 07/08/02 02:39 PM

What I find amusing is the "triple standard" of the S.A.M. in this issue.

These particular S.A.M. people (I have it on pretty good authority that it was an S.A.M.er, and NOT hotel security who denied Mr. Blaine's admission) try to show fairness and equality between the "stars" and the rest of us, by denying his admission because of the lack of owning a registration badge. These are the same S.A.M. people, who, at the S.A.M. in Las Vegas (4-5 years ago?) kept the dealer's room closed to everyone one day, for an extra 30-35 minutes prior to opening, so that Mr. Copperfield and his entourage could view the dealers wares without being inundated with photo and autograph requests. I think this was the correct thing to do for Mr. Copperfield. Because he was allowed to have a relaxed dealer room tour, he reciprocated by staying longer at the convention signing autographs, greeting attendees, taking photos, etc. He probably doesn't often get the chance to walk about freely without being attacked at conventions (I also don't remember if he and his ENTIRE staff that accompanied him had badges). This courtesy should have been extended to Mr. Blaine as well. It should not have been made into this big of an issue for goodness sakes. There are seperate standards in play. Although, now that I think of it, I think all "David's" in magic should be admitted to attend conventions for free.

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(a paying S.A.M. 2002 Convention Attendee)
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Postby Guest » 07/08/02 05:13 PM

If I was the head hauncho at the SAM convention, I would have let him in ... but only on one stipulation ... Blaine and his beau must sit down at a table and sign autographs for the conventioners. I would have said "Hello David Blaine, it's great to see you. It will take me about 20 or so minutes to get your FREE badge(s) ready, in the meantime I'll announce to everyone on the loud speaker that you'll be signing autographs at that table over there." Then I'd announce on the speaker "Ladies and gentlemen of the SAM, we have a special prize planned for everyone here at this 100 Anniv. event. Magician/ superstar David Blaine and his girlfriend Ms. Hannah are here to sign autographs
in the lobby by the dealers room. And don't be bashful folks, go right ahead and ask him if he would levitate 3 feet high in the air like we saw him do on TV. Go ahead, ask him!!!"
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Postby John Signa » 07/08/02 05:34 PM

This sounds familiar to what I had experienced 4 years ago, at Macworld New York. I was standing near one of the entrances to the exhibit hall, when Apple's CEO Steve Jobs wanted to enter, except the guard refused to let him in without a badge. Eventually show personel showed up with a badge for Steve.

At SAM, what should have happened, is that as soon as security refused Blaine's entrance, an organizer should have been contacted and shown up to escort David through the dealer's area (or at least past security). No need for one-day pass or other paperwork.

Yeah, its a double-standard, but smart organizers would have found a way to use it to their advantage (photos showing David & Hannah as some of last years attendees, for example).
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 07/08/02 06:01 PM

Bummer about the stink with Blaine in NYC. Definitely would have been good press for the SAM for Blaine to walk about in there.

On the other hand, I personally would *love* to have seen the look on their celebrity faces when the person told them they couldn't get in.

"I can go to any club, anywhere in the world... for free... despite the fact that I have a bajillion dollars and could buy a dozen clubs if I wanted to. And you're telling me that I can't enter a lousy ballroom filled mostly with ten dollar magic tricks at the Hilton?"

"That's correct, Mr. Blaine."

[stunned silence]

Maybe it's not so bad for people on a separate "plane of existence" to run across something they want but can't have every now and then. (Speaking of which, I read that Michael Jackson wanted to buy one of Queen Elizabeth's golden thrones when he - and Blaine- were in London recently.)

Meanwhile, the IBM convention was also great fun. Ballantine was a riot, but the top 3 events of the convention for me were lectures by Robert Fitch, Davey Marlin-Jones, and Gaetan Bloom. John Carney was good but he spent too long on some material and ran out of time.

As a musical theatre fan, I also thought it was great to have Darren Romeo show up and sing for us.

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Postby Kurt Lee Flickner » 07/08/02 07:31 PM

Good Press???
Who cares that David Blaine was at a magic convention in NY,,, is that a story for the NY Times??
Is it a story for Genii Magazine???
David Blaine is a magician, so what is such big news that he was at a National Convention of Magicians.
If you think NY Times was going to send a photographer because they hear that Blaine was there, it is NOT news, it does nothing for "good press" for magicians. Does it add some kind of credibility for SAM to have Blaine attend and be photographed, and reported in the news?

Blaine should obtain a day pass like everybody else.
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Postby Mark Jensen » 07/08/02 07:37 PM

This is exactly what I've come to expect from magic-dumb in general. I constantly hear magicians complaining about the public's perception of us as one step below mimes on the annoyance scale. Then we do something like this.

No matter what you think of David Blaine, Daryl Hannah is a mainstream celeb. When I think of the impression she could have gotten about magicians and the positive press, jobs, etc. that could have been generated versus the opinion she now has...

At least we can look on the bright side, it wasn't Steven Spielberg or Ron Howard wondering around the hotel who was turned away...but wait, didn't Ron direct Splash...

Also, let us not forget the POOR dealers who could have sold some product...

Finally, for all of you who say everyone should have to pay...do any of you work in the real world? Have you never heard of FLEXIBILITY? (No stretching remarks please ;) ) Do you know what company's pay for endorsements? Some preliminary groundwork could have been laid...If the SAM was a company and I owned it, well someone wouldn't be very happy right now.

Nuff Said,

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Postby Brian Morton » 07/08/02 08:35 PM

Mark Jensen writes:
This is exactly what I've come to expect from magic-dumb in general. I constantly hear magicians complaining about the public's perception of us as one step below mimes on the annoyance scale. Then we do something like this.
No matter what you think of David Blaine, Daryl Hannah is a mainstream celeb. When I think of the impression she could have gotten about magicians and the positive press, jobs, etc. that could have been generated versus the opinion she now has...
I can see a number of sides to this tale. The Everyman populist in me wants to say, "Well, David Blaine is no slouch -- he sure as hell can afford to pick up the tab for a day pass to the S.A.M. dealer's room."

The former publicity flack says, "Who'll it hurt to let him in?"

And I have to remember a day when my former boss, a member of the Cabinet who was a retired four-star Army general, once chewed me out after I told him that his giving a speech at West Point wasn't news.

It wasn't. And David Blaine and Daryl Hannah (a reasonably washed-up star who is coasting on her looks and "Splash" -- quick, name a hit movie she's been in in the last five years) showing up to buy a few tricks at a magician's convention isn't news ... it's a blurb.

I'm with Doug Edwards on this one. Given the way Blaine treated a roomful of paid magician attendance at "Magic...Live!" when being interviewed by Max Maven, I'm for making the guy earn his freaking keep. Make him sign autographs for ten minutes while hanging at a a table with all the free cokes he can guzzle before he gets to schmooze among the guys whose chops he'd be lucky to have in ten years.

Blaine is not in the same universe as Johnny Carson at the Castle. He's no DeNiro, no Nicholson. He's this year's (and 1999's) model so far. Sic transit gloria mundi.

The public notices little nor cares less about whether or not David Blaine is received with open arms or turned away (have you seen a thing about this in the regular press? Uhhhhh ... no) by the annual magician's gathering in the largest media city in the nation. It is a tempest in a tea drop.

But the world of magic has at least put his high-and-mighty-ness on notice that maybe he needs to care about those people who run the show next time he wants to wander in off the street and buy a couple of tricks to impress the nephews of the latest squeeze. Like the waiter told the Senator in Washington, D.C. , who was rebuffed upon asking for an other pat of butter with a "do you know who I am ?

Said the waiter: "Do you know who I am? I'm the guy in charge of the butter!"

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Postby Guest » 07/08/02 08:46 PM

Just food for thought--bearing in mind that I was only there for one afternoon and did not witness the Blaine encounter, so I'm going on hearsay--I'm told that when Copperfield wanted to stick around for an afternoon and take in the convention, he paid for a day pass, despite the fact that he was actually on the bill as an invited guest to speak at the stamp ceremony. Does anybody who was there know if that's the case for certain? If so, my kudos to David C.

Just an interesting thought for comparison, if it is in fact correct.

--Andy

P.S.-My visit was brief, as I mentioned, so I didn't get to meet many of you, but it was nice finally meeting the few who I did, particularly Jamy and Richard at the Genii booth (btw, Jamy, your pitch did work, I gave my info to Richard before the booth closed that evening! ;o)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/08/02 08:59 PM

Copperfield had the flu and attended the stamp signing anyway. He had a difficult time leaving because he was MOBBED by people who wanted his autograph. I was one of them! He kindly signed at least 100 autographs before finally leaving the room, at which point he was mobbed outside the room. I don't think he stayed much longer than that. I don't believe he would have had to pay any sort of registration if he wanted to stay, nor would he have been asked to. He has been supportive of the SAM for many years.
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Postby Pete Biro » 07/08/02 11:02 PM

Everybody, the organizations in particular (except OURS... the WMS) are stupid.

NO ONE SHOULD HAVE A PASS TO VISIT THE DEALER ROOMS.

After all, what are they but little MAGIC SHOPS. And does anyone need a pass to go to a magic shop?

NO.

These are just customers for the magic shops and at the WMS we don't require a badge to get into the dealer room...after all the person coming in might spend some money. :cool:
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 07/09/02 06:07 AM

In the case of a smaller convention, sometimes the attraction of getting into the dealer room is one of the things you use to sell registrations. It's great for them to go into the room and buy stuff, but I think it's important that some dollars go to the convention who assembled that selection of dealers that was attractive enough to cause the person to want to visit.

By the way... I just read on SAMtalk that the man who turned Blaine away was Jim Zachary.

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Postby Gerald Deutsch » 07/09/02 06:47 AM

A question for those that think that a double standard should have been applied to David Blaine and that he should have been admitted into the dealers' room without paying (like we all had to).

Suppose he was admitted and he wanted something from a dealer but felt that because of all he's done for magic he shouldn't have to pay. Should the dealer have given it to him for nothing? (I'm taking about something more expensive than a subscription to Genii, Richard)

Suppose Mr. Blaine felt it was too crowded in the dealers' room. Should the other magicians have been asked to leave so that he and his date could look around unmolested?

I know double standards exist but I've always been opposed to them (Oh so what if he exposes on TV - look what he's done for magic), whether in magic or in politics.
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Postby Guest » 07/09/02 07:29 AM

I didn't attend the S.A.M Convention becuase I'm on SS and couldn't afford it David Blaine on the other hand according to Forbes magazine made over 5 million last year let the idiot pay or stay home like I had too. This only gives me one more excuse not too like him along with most of the magical community. David go back to the jungles and perform maybe you can fool them, your not doing such a good job here in the USA unless you count all those late night drunks and coke heads you do your so called magic for.
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Postby Pete Biro » 07/09/02 07:55 AM

Another perspective. OK, let's say the registration was closed and Blaine was not able to get a one day pass. They should have politely said, "You SHOULD buy a registration, but they are closed. Are you coming tomorrow? If so, we'd appreciate you taking care of the registration cost for tonight, but in the meanwhile, go on in and spend some money.. I'm sure out dealers would appreciate it."

If a dealer wants to "give" hime or Ms. Hannah something for nothing, that is their choice. Nobody forces you to do so.
Stay tooned.
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Postby Guest » 07/09/02 09:58 AM

No Dealer Room passes were available was the word at the front desk when I tried to obtain one on Thursday. I was told that the only wayn i would be admited to the room was to buy a one day convention pass which was at least a hundred dollars.

Since I only had two hours available I chose instead to use that hundred dollars to buy from dealers via mail that I am already in relationship with. This meant less income for the dealers, less tax for the city and one less person to contribute to the enthusiasm of the hall.

Part of the insurance regulations in the usual contract for the use of the exhibition rooms at the hilton hotel involve the understanding that.
Only patrons wearing badges are to be admitted once an event has begun.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 07/09/02 02:01 PM

This has evolved into a curious thread: Hard-line opinions from both sides of the fence with only a few centrists. While I would disagree with the “no double standards ever” contingent on the grounds that it is unrealistic, it's some of the “pro-double standard” folks I find the most curious.

There's one person quoting a song from and about a period of struggle for equality in this country while advocating a form of class separation (apparently anyway – I'm not completely clear on what he was really trying to say – maybe I'm wrong).

Another, not all that long ago, berated a “star” for his “elitist” inclinations and is now wondering why a pair of “stars” were not granted an accommodation befitting their – ahem – elite status. Go figure.

Of course, there lies the bump in the road of double standards, eh? Where does one draw the line? Some might say the slope is so slippery that no one can stand in one place long enough to draw a line.

The hell of being a pragmatist is that while you are standing in the middle of the road you tend to get run over by both sides.

I'm getting used to it.

Of course double standards exist and they even have their place. However, the time and place are subjective and should always be at the whim of the person (or organization) in the position to grant the accommodation. If the Magic Castle says you have to wear a tie: you have to wear a tie. But, as I implied in my first post, the SAM should have let Mr. Blaine and Miss Hannah in, the photo/press op being worth more than the price of admission. The problems arise when the recipients of gratuitous accommodation grow so used to the practice that they strut around with an attitude of expectation. Their over-inflated egos all but demolishing the last of their common sense – and common courtesy.

I am of the opinion that a person of admirable character would never openly expect such accommodation and would show sincere gratitude when it is offered. Instead, there seems to be many “celebrities” who, when asked to pay or follow the same rules expected of everyone else, either go off in a huff or openly comment, “Don't you know who I am!” (Insert Celine Dion chest thump here.) And then they become even more incensed when the “offending party” has the temerity to let them know that they don't give a rat's derriere who they are. And yet these people – these symbols of self-importance – continue to be tolerated, even beloved, by our society. Excuses are made for them: “Of course there's a double standard; they're stars! Class has its privileges! We should feel privileged by their very presence!” It's no wonder there seems to be so many of them who expect privilege to be heaped upon them simply because of their celebrity status. Even more distressing to me is the apparent fact that so few seem to understand that this lack of humility and common courtesy on the part of the recipients of privilege is a problem.

Please forgive me for my naivete. Sometimes I expect too much from people.
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Postby Tom Dobrowolski » 07/09/02 03:00 PM

I find all the nonsense insisting that Blaine pay to get in to the dealer room amusing. We're not talking about being seated in a restaurant over someone with reservations, bumping someone off an airline flight or getting a new liver for a transplant before someone else on the list. We're talking about access to the dealer room at a magic convention.
There always was and will be a double standard for celebrities. Welcome to the real world.

Besides Biro is right:

"Everybody, the organizations in particular (except OURS... the WMS) are stupid.

NO ONE SHOULD HAVE A PASS TO VISIT THE DEALER ROOMS.

After all, what are they but little MAGIC SHOPS. And does anyone need a pass to go to a magic shop?

NO.

These are just customers for the magic shops and at the WMS we don't require a badge to get into the dealer room...after all the person coming in might spend some money."
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 07/09/02 03:18 PM

I only have one issue with Pete's (and the WMS) system: what do they about layman lookie-lous? Isn't it fair to say that at a convention most dealers are a little more open – vis--vis secrets, gimmicks & gaffs? Of course, if they know ahead of time that “civilians” may be wandering through, they'll be as careful as they would be in their shop. Those, that is, who actually have brick & mortar shops and know how to deal with the general public – how many of those are there these days? Of course then the dealers would have to monitor who, for instance, is looking through books, etc. “Is he wearing a badge?” Apparently it works at the WMS - so what the hey - go for it.

Dustin
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Postby Scott » 07/09/02 06:18 PM

Speaking of Jim Zachery...is he still around? All the links I have for his dice stacking products are broken and I can't find a thing using the searches. If he's still around, anyone know his web address?

Thanks,
Scott
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