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keithleaf 07-02-11 12:54 PM

Was I acting as agent? Who is right in this?
Hey all,
Can someone take a look at the e-mail conversation and let me know if I was in the wrong here? Was I acting as agent? Who is right in this? My e-mail start with Hey or Hi Mike he does not address me so his start with '-' for Mike. Thanks.

Original E-mail title : Camp 45 minutes $300 Wednesday June 29th 2 - 2:45 pm

Hey Mike,
Are you available next week, Plainview, NY 11803 Wednesday June 29th 2 -
3 pm camp 45 minutes $300?

-Yes I am...would this be juggling only?

Hey Mike,
Thanks for quick reply, I will find out. Most likely do what you want, all your A material, some fire at the end. I will get back to you shortly; should be e-z gig
Hi Mike,

Here is info that you need. Thanks.
Location: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Contact: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Camp# xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Name of camp: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Show: About 45 minutes or more of Magic, juggling.
Date: Wednesday June 29th
Time: 2 - 2:45 pm about

- Thanks I'll be in touch with her today to touch base.

Hey Mike,
Did you have a good show, but How Did it go?
What is address to send you check? Should it be made out to Micheal xxxxx? Thanks again,

-The show was great...a little windy but such is life. Traffic on the way home was awful. She wrote me a check yesterday.

Hi Mike,
Great, traffic is also apart of life ( sometimes ).
I made arrangements that she was going to pay me, Oh well.
I hope you got the full $350, let me if it is otherwise.
You can send my $50 booking fee to Keith Leaf Hirschman xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

- I was out at a gig yesterday...and I'm actually at the hospital with a friend right now. I don't think I am available either of those days.[after offering him somw more work] what booking fee? You never discussed a booking fee with me. When I e-mailed cindy from the camp I asked her for $350. $300 would barely give me a profit after gas and tolls and paying my assistant so I asked her to pay me $350

Hey Mike,
First I am sorry about your friend in the hospital.
Here are a few questions and please think about them.

1) How did you get this gig? My advertising dollars at work, yes.?
2) I was home to get the call from the client before she call or contacted someone else. Yes.?
3) Did the client contact you directly no.?
4) Did I make calls, e-mails, and do paperwork for a gig that I intended to do myself. Yes
5) Did I contacted client and booked a replacement at $300, namely you. After more calls and e-mails Yes.
6) Were there other replacements available. Yes?
7) Did you not agree to do the gig at that price $300 Yes?
Below is the e-mails that I original sent you that says price is $300.
8) Could I have sent someone at $300 yes.

Please don't screw me on this. I am sorry it hardly covered your cost I didn't even know about assistant, this was originally a solo juggling show. Again please don't screw me on this. Lastly we did not need to discuss booking fee because this gig was booked through me; not you, at price of $300.

Thanks for your understanding and please reply, I will be more clear on this point with whomever I hire in the future.
[after calling mike to see if he was going to pay me]

- First of all i never said i wasn't going to send you your booking. i said to you that you never discussed it with me which you should have. i have never dealt with someone so unorganized and unprofessional when dealing with a client and a sub for them. You're right you got the call but once you can't do a gig after you book it i think that is incredibly unprofessional!!! i think if you can't do a gig than don't book it. If you want to be in the business learn the correct ways to do business. You don't hide things from someone who is doing you a favor by taking a gig for you for what ever reason you can't do it. Your check will be in the mail by Monday
[after calling client to stop payment on check and finding out that he had a poor performance]

-Don't ever call me and threaten me [not physically but stopping payment on check] again like that. and as far as weather they like to the show or not doesn't matter to me. About 40 kids came up to me and told me they loved it. I didnt do they show for u for the staff or for cindy. I did the show for the kids. That wasnt my best show but even if it was they probably would get it. I've got a degree in child developement and child psychology...i know how kids work and thats how I write my shows
Mike Simon

-i guess my first e-mail didn't send. you're check will be in the mail by Monday. i think you're completely unprofessional learn to communicate with the client and the sub if you're going to back out of a gig after booking it. I also never said I wasnt going to send it to you I was just telling you the situation that u caused by lack of communication

Hi Mike,
Thanks you. I will make things more clear in the future to whom every I book, I appreicate your honesty.

-I hope you are more clear. I've never had anyone that I've gotten a gig from negotiate the gig and not give me all the details. I've also never seen anyone who isnt an agent collect a booking fee. I think it's pretty underhanded the way you handled this gig. Please tell me how I should handle this? Cindy signed my contract which clearly states that my compensation is $350 Hi Mike,

Hi Mike, Thanks again, I made it very clear to Eric xxxxxx, my other sub; what the deal was and he was in full understanding already. And yes you are right I should not take gigs I can't do, except; I didn't know that I was going to book a month at a resort in the Caribbean with the option to do a 6 months to a year. That is why I will continue to have alot of work for other performers.

Hi mike My bad, I just assumed since we didn't talk about pick-up, that you were not going to ask client for it in your name and was certainly not expecting you to renegotiate deal. Call me all the names you want, but in my mind I was not giving you this gig; but booking you for it. That is why I was acting as an agent, ergo the fee. Anyway I took a chance on you because you were the first to respond, and I am a stand up type of guy. That is why I did not book xxxx or xxx or anyone else that might have been available.

Hey all we can do is learn from our mistakes, next time I will write out agreement for performer as well. If I had an entertainment company name, (Like Crazy Monkey entertainment) would that have helped?

PS I am sure that the kids loved your show and I wish you all the continued success as I performer.

- I guess the point of whether you handle it correctly or not doesn't matter. my point is she entered a contract with me for $350. had you not withheld information from me this situation would not have occurred. and obviously your agreement with her was not clear to her since she was supposed to pay you and not me but obviously did the opposite. she entered into agreement with you for a certain amount of money she also an agreement with me for a certain amount of money. I believe it's her though that owes you 50 dollars and not me. I will most likely be at the hospital for the rest of today. I really would hate to be the bad guy here but I do have a contract

Hey Mike,

Just a few e-mails ago you were sending me a check by monday. What happened? What information did I withheld; that I was booking you for a gig, or do you think I should just give all my client away whenever I book someone. If I had some BS entetainment company name would you be pulling this crap?
Do you want to get the client involved in this becuase I didn't, until it seemed like you were not going to pay, and here we are full circle. Either your going to send me the money or not. Which is it, I don't want to waste anymore time on this.

-I don't want to get the client involved either. This whole situation is a result if you not being clear in your deal with her and with me. If you had been clear she would not have asked me who to make the check out to...and I would have known that you were getting a booking fee and would have made it more clear in my e-mails with her and my contract which she signed and has a copy of. Why would I agree to do a gig 160 miles away and trust a total stranger to send me my money to begin with? I would asume since you're a "stand up guy" you would realize your mistake and not screw me..but I can see now that is not the case. If you need that $50 so badly then I'll send it right out first thing monday morning. Since it seems like your need for that $50 far out weighs your personal integrity

Hey Mike,

What the? Are you back to the name calling again? Why did you a agreed to do a gig for the price of $300 in the first place? I think your screwing me.
I want someone else?s take on this, I think you tried to steal my client and are trying to use psychological tricks not to have me ask for what is rightfully mine.
I am asking for Third party arbitration from other performers, we both state our case and have them vote. NYC jugglers, magic cafe, or other.
Finally I am more then happy to let the client decide; she was ready to stop payment on your check, I told her not to; because you said ' you never say you were not going to pay me' which I thought meant you were going to pay me and not go back on your word.
Please state which forum you would like to proceed in and please don't send me any money until we have verdict from other performers or client. PS The only mistake I made was hiring you for this gig, obviously.

-This is not worth my I said in my last e-mail if you need the $50 so badly it's yours ... I'm done wasting my time

Hey Mike,

Was $50 worth burning bridges? Maybe you need it so badly. I am done as well. Please send to Keith Leaf XXXXX xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. If is doesn't show up, I will then know what type of person you really are.

-Ohh don't worry i'll send it out when I return home on monday. And if I didn't send (which I will) it would just prove i'm the type of person who lays everything out in the open and in his contracts and honors those agreements unlike some. Good luck with whatever sort of business that you run

Hey Mike,
Same to you.

Peter 07-02-11 04:30 PM

You were clearly the agent. he agreed to $300 and then when she gave him the check he owed you $50. Which is a fair fee to pay an agent. You are right and he is an asshole.

EpitaphofSanity 07-02-11 10:32 PM

Have you arranged work for Mike before? Or was this the first time the two of you had worked with this type of relationship?

keithleaf 07-03-11 12:31 AM

Hi EpitaphofSanity,

No this was the first time, have only used friends in the past to cover me. That why this was kind of questionable, now I have learned my lesson. -KL

Isabella 07-03-11 04:02 PM

You are acting as the agent.

Mike is a liar and a thief (and borderline incoherent). You just paid $25 to find out. The other $25 is what it cost you to learn to put in the contract, "Make check payable to Me The Agent and mail to My Address."

What likely happened here is that the client sat down to write the check and said, "should I put the whole $350 in one check?" and he saw a fast buck and said yes. Renegotiate my ass - I can't imagine the client going for that on the fly.

For future reference, how I've done it when I can't pay the performer on the spot - I use people who've worked with me before and know I'll pay, so they're willing to sign a contract that says the check will be mailed. If I hire a new person who doesn't know me, I either refer them to talk to people they know and trust who know and trust me, or I pay that specific performer on the day of the gig. So my most recent event, which was fairly large, the foreigners and the one guy who'd never met me got cash day of and everyone else got a direct deposit or a check in the mail. People who work for me regularly know that we get get paid when the client's check clears, but as fast as possible given that circumstance.

Write it off as the cost of doing business, and if I ever get a juggler named Mike that I don't already know, I'll ask you for a reference :)

Isabella 07-03-11 04:03 PM

PS - might be worth offering the client a discount on you next summer to make up for the bad show, if you care about the connection.

keithleaf 07-03-11 04:46 PM

Thanks Peter,

I agree.

keithleaf 07-03-11 04:48 PM

Also thanks Isabella for sound advise. And yes I Already offered the client a free workshop or mini show to make it up to her. Thanks again for your input.

Moira 07-05-11 12:12 PM

It was wrong for Mike to contact the client directly at all. If it was absolutely necessary for him to talk to the client for some reason, he should not have given his contact information.

Lee Nelson 07-05-11 03:02 PM

The simple fact that the guy did a shit show tells me who made a mess of this.

Mr.Taxi Trix 07-06-11 11:36 AM

I'm with Lee. The client complains abiut the show after you bring someone in, its bad news for everybody.

Also the shortsightedness of bugging you about 50 bucks when you are a potential source of $300 gigs for the next decade or so is foolhardy. No profit after gas and assistant? Lie. What does he drive, a Hummer? Who is his assistant, Cameron Diaz? That does it I'm swearing off Mikes for good. He agreed to 300 bucks, for good or ill, and is in fact screwing you.

He is right that you should have told him about the 50 bucks.

Juggling365 07-28-11 08:17 AM

I'm going to play devils advocate here for a second lol. since i think some of you missed the point. i don't think keith's point was for you to assume what happened but based on the information given to form an opinion.

Isabella, it seems to me that she asked him who to make the check out to. at least given the information here that's what was put forth.

Moira, it looks to me like keith gave very little information about the gig. (i.e. space, age range of kids, inside/outside, etc.) so from my point of view there was a reason to contact the client since, i don't know about you guys, but i write a new show for each place (not a new show but a new set list and different "hosting" style)

Mr. Taxi Trix, It doesn't actually say where he was driving from.. so you can't really make a judgment on that without that information. i live about 160 miles from plainview and i drive a Ford Taurus i would charge the client $180 for tavel because of tolls and gas (as i charge $.50 a mile roundtrip to cover gas and upkeep on me vehicle) and as far as paying your assistant..i don't know what anybody here pays there assistants but since i actually value there help i pay my assistant $100 per show) so right there after gas, tolls, car upkeep and assistant i would have already taken $280 out of that $300

I would have asked for more

also i don't think he was arguing that point it seems to me that mike was simply trying to prove a point of having keith admit his mistake in not putting all the information out front ....just my take

Moira 07-28-11 01:24 PM

When I need more information about a gig, I ask the agent to ask for it. Once in a while an agent will ask me to talk to the client about the details, but it's unusual.

Isabella 07-28-11 04:49 PM

Ditto, Moira.

Also -


Originally Posted by Juggling365 (Post 59187)
It doesn't actually say where he was driving from.. so you can't really make a judgment on that without that information. i live about 160 miles from plainview and i drive a Ford Taurus i would charge the client $180 for tavel because of tolls and gas (as i charge $.50 a mile roundtrip to cover gas and upkeep on me vehicle) and as far as paying your assistant..i don't know what anybody here pays there assistants but since i actually value there help i pay my assistant $100 per show) so right there after gas, tolls, car upkeep and assistant i would have already taken $280 out of that $300

It does not matter if Mike needed a flight from Zanzibar and a chorus line of Playboy models to do the gig. He agreed to do it for $300. If he could not afford to do the gig for $300 - a calculation he should have made prior to accepting the gig - he should have told Keith he could not afford to do the gig at that price, giving Keith the opportunity to up the fee, renegotiate with the client, or find someone else.

If you got a cup of coffee, and after you drank it, the barista came over to your table and said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I know it says $2.50 on the menu, but I just realized it needs to cost $3.75 to cover my ingredients and time," you would be unlikely to cough up an additional $1.25, or patronize that cafe again.

Mike received $350 from the client. He should have immediately called Keith and said, "I got $350 - was that a tip or did I misunderstand something?"

To do otherwise makes him a thief.

Your argument boils down to "Mike is a dumbass who does not know how to properly quote his fee." I'll buy that, too. But I think most people know that agreeing to do something for a certain price means honoring your agreement, even when you've bought yourself a learning experience. If Mike's standard practice is to quote one price and ask for a check for a larger amount after the gig, none of us need worry about him ripping us off in the future, because he won't be in this or any other business long without learning some math skills and some basic ethics.

martin ewen 07-29-11 02:29 AM

Your client, your game. He's either in or out. He agreed to $300.

All else is smokescreen. Lesson learnt. Thanks for the entertainment. I love reading email confrontations. We need to post more of this stuff.

Mr.Taxi Trix 07-29-11 05:42 AM

So true Martin. I saw Jenny the Juggler a few nights ago in Cambridge, and was remembering what I think of as pnet's heyday. We do need more fodder here.

Isabella, your reply is about as solid as it gets. I was doing the dishes, and thinking that my only sensible reply would have been

"Gee, Juggling365, you really gave me something to think about there. Thanks for taking the time to post that. Welcome to the community."

Then I rinsed them.

wilallyn 08-03-11 10:49 AM


Originally Posted by martin ewen (Post 59192)
Your client, your game. He's either in or out. He agreed to $300.

All else is smokescreen. Lesson learnt. Thanks for the entertainment. I love reading email confrontations. We need to post more of this stuff.

Agreed on all counts...quite the edutainment value for this thread. word....contracts.

davidkaye 08-10-11 03:36 AM

It took me awhile to figure out what was going on, so I figure that if I'm confused, the two of you are probably confused, too. He could well have assumed that either (1) you were passing the booking to him just for the heck of helping him out, or (2) you had already been paid a booking fee by the client.

I can't really fault Mike for his attitude, to be honest.

I'd say that in the future you need to state exactly what your fee is, or better yet, get the payment from the client, collect your fee, and pass the rest to the performer. That's really the bst way to do it.

martin ewen 08-10-11 04:32 AM

If you are confused then it doesn't follow that anyone else is.
That's called personalization and projection. I only know these things because I've swum 50 thousand leagues into psychology as a matter of personal survival.

Your suggestions for the future are useful. However assuming assumptions others may have made in the face of the facts as they stand with a set fee being offered and accepted. A higher than set fee being cut and transferred and then a raft of distractive belligerence being used as not even a rationalzation of what is in effect theft but rather a tantrumesque smokescreen, while admirable at almost reviving a subject autopsied to a standstill, only actually adds the fact that you were confused until you could presume someone else was as well. Then you weren't as confused because you had invented company.

People who make honest mistakes in my experience don't over-react defensively as first option. They don't feel threatened. They are merely neutrally confused. They ask for clarification. If they start defending vigorously without first asking for any clarification then that is a 'tell'.

No It's cut and dried I'm afraid.
A negotiates gig for c+

a offers b c,
b gets c+,
b keeps c+,
a asks b for +,
b makes noises defining his rights to c+
a reminds b that his offer was only ever for c
b makes more noises to obscure mutually accepted initial transaction which was

a offers b c.

Humans, such transparent idiots, eventually such useful compost.

About Faces 08-30-11 03:42 PM

I don't know. I'm impressed by Martin's eloquence. Yes, I am thankful that I do not hire this performer. However...

Words like tantrumesque aside, I'm neither surprised nor dismayed by Mike's misunderstanding of Leaf's agreement. Borrowing only the smallest words in Martin's post, both a and b agreed that a offered c to b; however, there is no evidence to me that there was a meeting of the minds as to what, precisely, constituted c. a obviously felt that c, the booking, included an agency fee plus the performer fee. b obviously felt that c constituted the entire fee, and did not plan on paying an agency fee until informed of the existence of one, after the engagement was complete and payment rendered. Many of you have argued that b was a thief or dishonest or, at the least very naive and confused about the nature of a clearly stated relationship. I don't know what was going on in b's mind, but I do know that if a had paperwork in place, defining the relationship, responsibilities, payouts and so on, then none of this would have happened.

I'm also not impressed that Leaf called the performer out publicly like this on a forum.

You want to collect an agent's fee without problems? Do a better job of being an agent.

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