What’s happening to the world now is that people are becoming sensitive. They see all sorts of things not only with their eyes but also with their minds.
Unfortunately, pessimism, paranoia and suspicion percolate in many people’s mind.
For us Filipino family entertainers, this could be a dangerous trend. It is even dangerous to non-Filipino magicians. In it’s January 17 report, the Dallas Morning News published a story titled Lewisville Magician Accused of Kidnapping Student. The report is about a 22-year-old magician who ended behind bars last Thursday, after being accused of taking a nine-year-old girl from the Creekside Elementary School campus.
Though innocent till proven guilty, the magician will have an uphill battle to fight. In the real world of performing for children or family audiences, suspicion is enough to convict a performer in the public’s mind. Parents are not keen on hiring magicians suspected of being child molesters even if eventually the court absolves him of any wrongdoings.
In our profession, the standard of propriety is probably more stringent than in other fields of work. The best way to protect ourselves from accusations is to remain above suspicion. To do that, let’s keep in mind always a good rule-of-thumb: never be left alone with the children. Remember you don’t need to molest a child. You only need to be suspected of child molestation to bring yourself to a career-ending situation.
We hope the Lewisville magician extricates himself from his legal troubles and eventually clears his name. Nevertheless, I think it’s a good idea that he starts thinking his options, including a shift in career, this early. Now that media has broken the story, my psychic vision tells me that for this magician, returning to professional children’s magic will be as tricky as running a gauntlet of hecklers.