Magic Castle difficulties

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undercut
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby undercut » June 1st, 2011, 12:56 pm

Not to get off-topic from film financing....

As Richard pointed out earlier, it is all about the money.

-$96,000 additional dollars lost
-16 weeks unil the MC runs out of money, and can't pay it's bills.

-is the situation getting better, or worse---has weekly (or even monthly) financial monitoring been established?
-where is the First Quarter financials, which they surely have, why are they hiding this from the membership?
-is there some sort of monitoring plan in place?
-are there new monitary controls?
-is there a timeline for a comprehensive recommendation moving forward?
-is there a committment to transparency to the membership about what is happening? Why is there a "gag" stopping Board members from talking?

What the hurry? Why rush? 16 weeks...or less.

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 1st, 2011, 1:03 pm

So the film can't be a documentary about the board meetings with a tour of the castle? Then sell the DVDs as souvenirs?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Roger M.
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Roger M. » June 1st, 2011, 2:31 pm

I believe you've already pointed all of that information out at least a half a dozen times already undercut.

I'm not sure that you're personally clear on the optics of essentially reposting the same statement over, and over, and over, and over again on a web forum.

It makes you look like a bit of a nutter.

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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 1st, 2011, 2:50 pm

Roger, you're missing how undercut is paraphrasing the lyrics to the Isley Brothers song "Fight the Power".
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Terry
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Terry » June 1st, 2011, 8:36 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Roger, you're missing how undercut is paraphrasing the lyrics to the Isley Brothers song "Fight the Power".


I thought it was a new self help book on how to beat a beaten horse to death?

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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 1st, 2011, 10:21 pm

I think the Isley Brothers song is cool.

I just wish the alarmist posts about the Castle would calm down for a while, say at least a fiscal quarter, so those who care can contrast where things are today and contrast them with where things are in the fall - without the background media frenzy.

Maybe folks like undercut can focus on carbon emissions and global warming for a bit?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

undercut
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby undercut » June 2nd, 2011, 5:44 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:I think the Isley Brothers song is cool.

I just wish the alarmist posts about the Castle would calm down for a while, say at least a fiscal quarter, so those who care can contrast where things are today and contrast them with where things are in the fall - without the background media frenzy.

Maybe folks like undercut can focus on carbon emissions and global warming for a bit?


In a fiscal quarter, the MC will have 4 weeks left before not being able to pay the bills. Is that when you would start to get in "high gear"?

Remember that BY FAR the easiest remedy is to RAISE THE DUES A LOT. That IS the "fallback position".

Jonathon, I can only guess that you've not been involved in a rescue of a fundamentally failing organization. Small changes early can pay big dividends, given a chance to work. However, when time is running out, its "Katy bar the door"! The changes have to be big, and they have to work immediately.

Of course, my numbers may be wrong. The first quarter financials would show what the trend has been. However, you notice that they are not being discussed. Why not? If they show things are better, that would be very reassuring to people. If they are worse, they would galvanize the membership for the changes that need to happen. That's known in the biz as "win-win"

However, you are not going to see them until next April, if ever. Why? Because there are Board members reading this thread, and they will NEVER allow themselves to be seen to be responding to pressure from members to be financially responsible, by providing information. Remember that the one officer who asked to see financial information, although taking vacations at a peculiar time, got removed from office for performing his required financial oversight function.

Brad Henderson
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Brad Henderson » June 2nd, 2011, 5:54 pm

Which officer was that?

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Donal Chayce
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Donal Chayce » June 2nd, 2011, 9:22 pm

undercut wrote:Of course, my numbers may be wrong. The first quarter financials would show what the trend has been. However, you notice that they are not being discussed.


I know I'm going to regret making a response, but in the current MC newsletter newly-appointed President Neal Patrick Harris wrote the following:

But with the cost controls that are already in place, and others which are in process, our latest projections show us returning to profitability this year and ending this year solidly in the black.

To me, that sounds like a report on the current "financials," first-quarter or otherwise.
The MacGician®

undercut
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby undercut » June 2nd, 2011, 11:14 pm

Donal Chayce wrote:
undercut wrote:Of course, my numbers may be wrong. The first quarter financials would show what the trend has been. However, you notice that they are not being discussed.


I know I'm going to regret making a response, but in the current MC newsletter newly-appointed President Neal Patrick Harris wrote the following:

But with the cost controls that are already in place, and others which are in process, our latest projections show us returning to profitability this year and ending this year solidly in the black.

To me, that sounds like a report on the current "financials," first-quarter or otherwise.


REALLY?? So, if you come to find that the first quarter financials demonstrate that the MC took a nosedive in the first quarter, compared to last year, what would you think then?? What I've heard is that IS what they show.

Keep in mind that the Board apparently was kept in the dark about the financial performance for the entire last year, and supposedly accepted assurances that "everything was fine".

"Fool me once, shame on you........."

One wonders if this notice was written by NPH, rather than George Juarez, as was done for the previous President. I'd personally think that NPH has more pride, but then I thought the same about RL.

The officer that was replaced was Newman.

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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 3rd, 2011, 7:46 am

Still reads like the fretting over the end of the world that was supposed to be in May, now postponed until this October - but before that was supposed to be October 1844. Never mind how such things are implicitly disrespectful to almost everyone else who put their faith in other processes.

How about offering a strategy for action expressed directly to those who are in a position to act? Certainly the few who are in the right place to do something useful have phone numbers and email and can be addressed directly rather than have to watch their beloved Magic Castle face public shaming by way of shadow puppets. Besides isn't this "end of the world" stuff part of what we regularly debunk here in magicdom?

Now if you want some street cred, do a wikileaks and post some actual facts and hard data on a site somewhere. Lurid fictions are welcome too of course.

On this side, I continue to be impressed by how some in magic confuse the palaver they offer audiences with ways to respectfully address their peers in a public forum.

What next, tales as told by Irma - who listens everything but only responds to requests for songs?
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Reason: this text found by way of Bible code through a charles fort book.

Edward Pungot
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Edward Pungot » June 3rd, 2011, 9:53 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLci5DoZqHU

Here's some more dramatics by way of Charlie Chaplin and Hans Zimmer. An odd combination, but as they say, "the magic is in the mix."

KirkG
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby KirkG » June 3rd, 2011, 5:10 pm

By Undercut"
"The officer that was replaced was Newman."

Replaced as or by what? He is still listed as a member of the Board.

hscheie
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby hscheie » June 3rd, 2011, 6:08 pm

Replaced as secretary
Hal Scheie

Passionboy
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Passionboy » June 3rd, 2011, 7:31 pm

The only major movie star that was ever on the Board was Cary Grant. In those days, Bill Larsen, Jr. was in control. Back then, The Magic Castle really seemed to be a private club for magicians!

houdini's ghost
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby houdini's ghost » June 3rd, 2011, 9:40 pm

It's a better private club for magicians right now than it has ever been.
Even back when Cary was on the Board and Bill was in charge, the bottom line was still revenue. To keep the club alive for the members, food and drink, special parties, buy-outs and the like were always part of the mix. So it was never just for us, it was also for civilians to come and see magic and spend their money.
Amateur magicians' clubs wouldn't need 10 working magicians presenting over a hundred shows a week so civilians can see and appreciate magic along with the members seven nights and three days a week.

Terry
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Terry » June 4th, 2011, 10:00 pm

Kirk wrote:By Undercut"
"The officer that was replaced was Newman."


Does Jerry Seinfeld know?

Passionboy
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Passionboy » June 6th, 2011, 8:10 pm

Of course, from the very beginning it was realized that magicians alone couldn't bring in enough money to keep the Castle going. So Associate Members and guests were allowed to come in. Survival is the reason. This is an unfortunate trurh. Every Saturday evening multitudes of guests arrive. This makes The Magic Castle look like a night club only and tourist trap. It doesn't look at all like a private club for magicians. However, that's life! So The Magic Castle is still in bad financial shape!

I might point out, Houdini's Ghost, that a more proper term for a non-magician is not 'civilian,' but instead it should be 'layman' or to be more PC 'layperson'!

Jonathan Pendragon
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Jonathan Pendragon » June 6th, 2011, 9:03 pm

I have known Jean Boyle for more than 30 years. She is an honest and decent person whose love for the Magic Castle is second to none. She is one of my closest friends so I know she was under tremendous pressure, a pawn in a power struggle who only wanted to do what was best for our club.

As one whose life was shattered by gossip that exceed the truth and was blind to the actual events that nearly destroyed me, I feel a particular empathy for what she is going through. I plead tolerance for one who deserves our understanding and respect as good person in an impossible position. I stand by Jean as a friend and as member of the Board of Directors of a club I have been a member of for 36 years.

Jonathan Pendragon

Brad Henderson
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Brad Henderson » June 6th, 2011, 9:46 pm

Passionboy wrote:I might point out, Houdini's Ghost, that a more proper term for a non-magician is not 'civilian,' but instead it should be 'layman' or to be more PC 'layperson'!


Or, "normals."

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 6th, 2011, 10:13 pm

Perhaps it might be simpler to call those we entertain our "audiences".

As to whether or not they have heard the gospel of Vernon, read the good book erdnase, pondered the self liberation of Houdini or know how every trick works and and where to buy them... who cares? They are there to be entertained. They are our audiences.

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Steve Bryant
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Steve Bryant » June 6th, 2011, 10:26 pm

Milt simply calls them "the people." He loved working with James Williams on gizmos to entertain the people.

Pete McCabe
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Pete McCabe » June 6th, 2011, 11:06 pm

If you're a professional magician and/or club operator, another good term is "customers."

Passionboy
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Passionboy » June 7th, 2011, 12:04 am

When I was a teenager and shopped for magic at Thayer's, I often heard William W. Larsen, Sr. refer to non-magicians as 'laymen'!
So I've always followed his example. I always admired Milt's father. Mr. Larsen remains someone who influenced my thinking concerning magic. Read some of Mr. Larsen's editorials in early issues of 'Genii'!

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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Max Maven » June 7th, 2011, 4:27 am

"Every profession is a conspiracy against the laity."
-- George Bernard Shaw

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 7th, 2011, 10:28 am

For those who want their phagocytes stimulated - Shaw's Doctor's Dilemma: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/5070/5070-h/5070-h.htm

Passionboy
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Passionboy » June 7th, 2011, 6:33 pm

Ah yes. George Bernard Shaw . . . one of my favorite authors. Shaw wrote five novels. In Shaw's fourth novel, "Cashel Byron's Profession," he manipulates a romantic fusion of mind and body in the marriage of his prize-fighter and educated lady.

At The Magic Castle, the magicians experience very little romantic fusion of mind and body. Or as they say in philosophy: "If everything is mind, it doesn't matter. If everything is matter, never mind"!
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houdini's ghost
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby houdini's ghost » June 7th, 2011, 8:54 pm

Okay, that's it, Passionboy. I've got the clues I need. I'm looking for an old kook who says things like "layperson" and "romantic fusion of mind and body."
Whew!

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 7th, 2011, 8:54 pm

I say "layperson" sometimes ... does that make me an "old kook"?
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

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Donal Chayce
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Donal Chayce » June 7th, 2011, 10:07 pm

No, that's not what makes you an old kook.
:whistle:
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Terrence
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Terrence » June 8th, 2011, 8:58 am

Matt Patton has resigned.

Passionboy
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Passionboy » June 8th, 2011, 8:28 pm

What's happening at The Magic Castle? First, Robert resigns from The Board and now Matt Patton is leaving. Matt was an excellent events manager.

I never blamed Jean Boyle for the Castle's financial problems. I always liked Jean.

I understand that some magician members aren't renewing their memberships.

If there are problems behind the scenes, I'm always the last to know! There's no romantic fusion of mind and body at The Castle!

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erdnasephile
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby erdnasephile » June 8th, 2011, 9:57 pm

Terrence:

Was there any reason given for the resignation that should concern the membership?

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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 9th, 2011, 8:30 am

Pete McCabe wrote:If you're a professional magician and/or club operator, another good term is "customers."


IMHO it's the club managment, our booking agent, the person who requests our services and pays the bill that's our customer. The magic shop can sometimes be our supplier. The "here's the latest trick" purveyor is our vendor. Folks who make the props we need in specific (makers/machinists/gaffers ...) are our subcontractors.

Terrence
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Terrence » June 9th, 2011, 10:11 am

erdnasephile wrote:Terrence:

Was there any reason given for the resignation that should concern the membership?


No. Matt posted a very positive goodbye note on Facebook.

Pete McCabe
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Pete McCabe » June 9th, 2011, 10:14 am

The club may be your customer, but the audience are the club's customers. Good professionals treat their customers' customers as their own customers.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby erdnasephile » June 9th, 2011, 4:43 pm

Terrence wrote:
erdnasephile wrote:Terrence:

Was there any reason given for the resignation that should concern the membership?


No. Matt posted a very positive goodbye note on Facebook.


Thanks, Terrence--there wasn't anything about this on the Castle Forum--so I'm glad to hear things ended amicably.

Passionboy
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Passionboy » June 9th, 2011, 10:16 pm

Matt Patton's Facebook page has considerable information on it concerning his resignation. Matt said he will return from time to time to the Castle to see his friends.

Mr. Townsend and Mr. McCabe what you say is undoubtedly correct, but don't get carried away unnecessarily.

The audience for the shows at The Magic Castle will consist of both magicians and laypersons. That's it!
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mai-ling
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby mai-ling » June 10th, 2011, 12:45 am

i can't get used to NPH logo thingy when i
read his thingy in the newsletter.
you will remember my name
http://www.mai-ling.net
world's youngest illusionista


Passionboy
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Re: Magic Castle difficulties

Postby Passionboy » June 10th, 2011, 6:06 pm

According to the latest minutes of The Board of Trustees, Magic Castle managers have been instructed to pull out any magician member caught performing magic while they are waiting in line for a show. Performing magic in line is not allowed. The danger of exposure is too great, according to that manner of thinking. The managers are to severely chastise any magician caught performing in line, and disciplinary action will be taken. The Ethics Committee will be busy!

Instead of being a private club for magicians, The Magic Castle seems more like a private club for employees!


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