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A very bad gig

Posted: January 19th, 2016, 4:00 pm
by Bill Mullins
A very bad gig.

This guy's blog is pretty interesting.

Re: A very bad gig

Posted: January 19th, 2016, 5:21 pm
by Ted M
I notice that the word "contract" appears nowhere in that whole story.

If one is booked to fly halfway around the world to perform, wouldn't it be smart to get the details in writing?

Re: A very bad gig

Posted: January 19th, 2016, 9:11 pm
by Richard Kaufman
This sounds so true: every detail is similar to things I've heard from other people.

You are asked to do thing A in advance, and upon arrival told that you're now in a competition doing thing B.

Crazy.

Re: A very bad gig

Posted: January 19th, 2016, 10:03 pm
by Tom Stone
Richard Kaufman wrote:This sounds so true: every detail is similar to things I've heard from other people.

You are asked to do thing A in advance, and upon arrival told that you're now in a competition doing thing B.

Crazy.

You can hear it from me as well. The story is painfully familiar.

Re: A very bad gig

Posted: January 19th, 2016, 11:13 pm
by MagicbyAlfred
Ted wrote: "I notice that the word 'contract' appears nowhere in that whole story.

If one is booked to fly halfway around the world to perform, wouldn't it be smart to get the details in writing
?"

Yes. An oral contract is worth the paper it's written on.

Re: A very bad gig

Posted: January 19th, 2016, 11:33 pm
by observer
Uh-huh. And in the People's Republic, when arguing with a Government-Appointed representative of the State-Controlled Media, a signed contract is worth ... ?

Re: A very bad gig

Posted: January 20th, 2016, 12:45 am
by NCMarsh
Ted M wrote:I notice that the word "contract" appears nowhere in that whole story.

If one is booked to fly halfway around the world to perform, wouldn't it be smart to get the details in writing?


If the booker's intention is to make you look bad by changing things last minute, a contract is very little protection (and I'd be shocked if there wasn't one in this case).

The surest contract for these sorts of things is committing to iron clad payment procedures: 50% is wired to you before you leave, the balance paid in cash when you arrive at the airport -- or you turnaround and fly home..that's the only way to have any iota of leverage with a long distance international booking -- and if a TV producer wants to make you look bad, and you move forward with a shoot, they're going to make you look bad...dem's the breaks

This was really well handled...great agent, and bigs ups to this guy for standing up for himself

N

Re: A very bad gig

Posted: January 20th, 2016, 6:46 am
by Ian Kendall
Yes. An oral contract is worth the paper it's written on.


Happily in Scotland, verbal contracts are binding. As long as you can show 'writ and intent', you are good to go.

Writ and intent are the important bits; if I were to say 'I'll give you a million pounds to paint my house', any reasonable person would construe that as a joke, and it would not be enforceable. However, if I said 'Hey, come on over on Friday and paint the house. I'll give you five hundred pounds and a pizza', then this would be legally binding.

It's much more fun in the days of email; I had one person tell me down the phone that 'there's no contract' when cancelling a gig at the last minute. I pointed out that we had an email trail of her agreeing to the gig and cost, and since it was a solicitor's office, she might want to ask one of the legal team what 'writ and intent' means...

As for Mat's story; a cautionary tale that shows us that sometimes it is important to stand up for one's rights (or integrity).

Re: A very bad gig

Posted: January 20th, 2016, 8:32 am
by performer
I am quite sure there was a contract in place here since an agent was involved. Not that it makes a whiff of difference. The importance of contracts is over rated anyway except by lawyers who like that kind of thing.

Re: A very bad gig

Posted: January 20th, 2016, 9:46 am
by MagicbyAlfred
Ian wrote: "Happily in Scotland, verbal contracts are binding."

They are binding in the U.S., as well, with the exception of certain types (e.g. sale of real estate, sale of goods for $500 or more etc.). The problem is one of proof when one party says, "He agreed to paint my house for $500 and a pizza," and the other one says, "No I didn't," and there are no witnesses.

Re: A very bad gig

Posted: January 20th, 2016, 2:14 pm
by Ian Kendall
That's when you need Writ and Intent. Basically, you need a witness (or these days, an email trail).

Re: A very bad gig

Posted: January 20th, 2016, 2:29 pm
by erdnasephile
Thanks for posting this--that is pretty horrible experience! (FWIW, such things are not limited just to the magic profession. I've received several invitations from overseas to speak at conferences that turned out to be kind of shady. Sometimes hard to sort the good from the bad apriori.)

One thing about the blog writer. I was struck by the quality of the photos in several of his posts. His Instagram page is worth a look if you like this sort of thing.