Video Interview with Tommy James – We Live and We Learn

Earlier this week Tommy James made an interesting post on The Magic Cafe. Here’s that post:

I have something I NEED to share with everyone who has purchased my Lop Sided Cyclops or intends to buy one in the future. We all need to learn from our mistakes and I hope MY mistake will be a learning experience for anyone else. I just received a letter from a teacher at a school that I need to share. I’m not proud of it in fact, I’m hitting myself in the head and saying “Why did I not foresee this as a possibility!???” Please read her letter and then I will tell you how I responded.

Dear Mr. Tommy James,
Last week you put on a performance for our school. Most of the children enjoyed the show greatly, you were funny and magical. However, I would like to bring to your attention, a skit that I found very offensive. When you did your flying eyeball trick, you mentioned a “monster” who had one leg shorter than the other and walked around the stage limping. You had no way of knowing this, but in my class, I have a student who was born with a birth defect and has one leg shorter than the other. The minute you said that, he looked at me and several students looked at him. I am writing to you, to ask you to eliminate this skit from future performances. You never know who will be in your audience, monsterizing a physical defect can be very hurtful. Please consider this in the future.

Thank you,

I was horrified. I returned a response apologizing and stating I would NEVER intentionally hurt the feelings of another human, especially a child. I let her know that this is a marketed effect that is for sale to other magicians around the world. I let her know that I DO learn from my mistakes and I would not TAKE the effect out of the show, it just needs to be tweaked a bit, and I would leave out the line of the monster having “one leg shorter than the other.” My letter was a lot longer, but in short, that was my response.

To people purchasing the effect, I will also change the instructions and eliminate that line which is totally irrelevant to the performance. When I came up with the effect, I wanted a funny name for the cyclops. When I thought of “Lop-Sided Cyclops” I needed a REASON as to WHY he would be lop-sided. And my miraculous brain came up with the short leg bit, not thinking there may be a handi capped child or person I may offend. Did I REALLY offend that child or do you think the teacher over -reacted?? Either way, if it constituted an e mail like I received he will STILL be the Lop-Sided Cyclops but leave out the unnecessary line of the leg which has nothing to do with the routine.

I HATE learning like this!!!!

Thanks for reading,

I thought it was an interesting topic worth discussing. I emailed Tommy and asked him if he would be willing to do an interview with me for the blog and he graciously accepted. The full interview is below.

The Interview:

Video trailer for the Lopsided Cyclops:

For more information on Tommy’s products you can visit his online store. Happy Black Friday my American friends. 🙂

 Have you ever had negative feedback after a show? How did you deal with it? Leave your story in the comments below. If you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends!