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PhotobucketI am looking for information on how you go about using your stage name to sign contracts and cashing pay checks issued to your stage name. Is there some way around using my real name? – Lazarus Stone

Hi Lazarus, before I answer your question, let me quote a famous magician/writer’s thoughts about the subject of stage names.

His name is Leodini. According to the latest survey, 80 percent of Filipino families think Leodini is the best magician in the country. If you don’t agree with the survey result, don’t worry. Next week, Leodini will conduct another survey outside of his family members.

PhotobucketHere’s a part of what he wrote in another article: “Taking a stage name used to be a trivial activity. When people still lived in caves, Ugh the Great  just called his friend magician Agh, the next magician, Egh, the next Ogh, the next Igh, and so on, until he ran out of grunts to name his magician friends by.”

Since the prehistoric period, magicians chose attractive and memorable stage names. They made sure these were easy to pronounce, read, spell and hear.  The idea is to make it easy for the public, among whom are their prospective clients, to recall their names.  It’s a tragedy of epic proportion if the audience goes home remembering the tricks in the show but forgetting the magician’s name.

I believe you can now see the drift of my answer. A stage name is used for marketing purpose, not for transacting business. It’s like brand names—Colgate, Kodak, Whatchmacallit, etc. It may not have meanings, but it functions as a memory peg to remind the buying public of the products. It, therefore, is a marketing tool to get and keep business, not something to have you bound by contracts.

Additionally, a stage name is used so the audience will remember the artist’s performing persona.  It helps the public put a name to the face of the performer who entertained them inside a theater or at a kid’s birthday party.

But when it comes to signing contracts and accepting check payments, a magician has to use his real name, otherwise he won’t be able to cash his checks.

PhotobucketThe only way I can think of around using your real name is to register your stage name as a business name with you as the proprietor. You can then open a bank account under your stage/business name whose signatory is you. Being a signatory of that account, you can then accept, draw and negotiate checks in behalf of the proprietor, who happens to be you.

The best way to get clarification about this matter is to go to your bank, because even though I have the delusion of being omniscient, I’m not familiar with your country’s banking procedures and laws. Ask the bank personnel handling your current account how to go about transacting business using your stage name.

Stay magical,