Archive for March 16th, 2008

I JUST DON’T GET IT

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

I’m often left confused and speechless by the boldness of some people. But, quite honestly, magicians seem to have a flair for audacity that’s hard to beat. I can write thousands of words of personal experiences I’ve had with magicians who have demonstrated behavior that I just don’t understand. But, in the sake of time and space, I offer only one example because it happened this morning.

I received an email from a magician in New Jersey. I don’t know this magician. To my knowledge, we’ve never met. But, as I understand it, he provides magical entertainment in psychiatric hospitals in his area. He was writing to me about our magic therapy program, Healing of Magic.

His email stated,

“I checked out your website and to be honest I feel that you are trying to make money from others who may be interested in working in hospitals. I don’t agree with that. I don’t know you but what you are doing offends me. I don’t ‘teach’ tricks in hospitals, I’m a professional speaker and don’t volunteer. I get paid for my scheduled programs. I have a very successful program and am highly sought after. My calendar is full and frankly unless you are interested in booking me to speak or present my program, I don’t need to spend $55.00 on your ‘materials.’”

I have never asked this individual to buy anything. I have never asked anyone to buy these materials. I don’t run ads in magazines marketing the program. And I don’t solicit magicians to spend money to get involved. He looked briefly at our website and decided that I was “trying to make money from others who may be interested in working in hospitals.”

I responded to his email politely with a brief overview of what the Healing of Magic program is all about. I explained that the program is for magicians interested in volunteering some time to a local hospital to teach patients tricks as a part of their therapy program. We offer the materials for sale to those who can afford them because we’re not in the financial position to just give them away to anyone who asks. That doesn’t mean we don’t also donate these materials where needed – like in India, Malaysia, Africa, South America, throughout Europe and, yes, several times here in the U.S. I believe in this program and believe in the impact it can have on someone’s life. That’s why we print books, brochures, booklets, and produce a DVD. But it’s costly and time consuming. The point is I didn’t ask him to buy anything nor did I ask him to volunteer any of his time to this program.

I’m not exactly sure how much time he spent on the website to come to the conclusion that I’m taking advantage of people. But rather than ask me directly about the program, he condemned me because I somehow “offended” him.

He provides – for a fee – entertainment to patients. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I applaud him for bringing joy, fun, laughter, and amazement to people who greatly appreciate it. I’m not asking him to stop!

But I do find it just a bit ironic that when he was asked by someone else about writing a book of his experiences because they might be beneficial, he replied, “If you know of someone who could help me write, I would really be thankfull. I have a ton of stories that I think would help others thinking about working in hospitals.”

So, is he just going to give that book away? Or is he going to “try to make money from others who may be interested in working in hospitals?” I don’t know. But do you see a double standard? Would it be okay if he sells his book of experiences while being offended that I provide an organized, systematic approach to using magic in a therapeutic setting?

Like I said, I just don’t get it.