Candida Summit

Candida Summit

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mag Crew (2008)

We’ve all heard of them. Perhaps they have even come to your door. Adolescents selling magazines. What is an annoyance to you is a life of degradation to them. Tempted and tricked into a false promise of glamour, the actual violence and exploitation teens across America face in the world of cross country magazine sales today is the sad and cruel end of a once hopeful dream.

In the epic traditions of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Mag Crew unflinchingly depicts one day in the life of Levi, Ethan and Addison, three high school drop- outs tricked into following their rainbow in hopes of travel, luxury and a secure paying job in the world of door to door magazine sales.

Shortly after signing up, these three along with countless others in the crew are faced with a harsher reality than expected. Their boss’ mantra for the first day of the job: “my crew sells magazines. Those kids didn’t, and if you don’t you get your face sanded off on the concrete. Remember that.”

Mag Crew delves into a reality we could only wish was fiction. Rather than shy away from the heartbreaking truth, Mag Crew embraces it in a stunningly horrific exposé of the real lives of teens selling magazines door to door.

Slaves To The Sale
Nancy Stancill


They come around acting all personable saying they are in a contest to sell magazines, and they win a trip if they sell the most. This is sad. 

1 comment:

MessiahMews said...

I was in a Mag Crew back in the late 70's. It was the worst time of my life. At the end, I ended up stranded at a bus station and pregnant (didn't know at the time).

When someone in the group was fired, the others were told that the fired guy or gal "won the contest". There was NO CONTEST. It didn't exist.

One girl stole some of my clothes. Lived on less than $5 and sometimes only a $2 a day.

I was in the Lonnie Devine group from GA, and FL. I don't remember or knew the name of the company back then. Sorry.

Here are some of the other agents names I remember...

John Paul Steven (Buddy Stevens), was a Jr. Manager. Drove a baby blue Lincoln Continental.
Sheila Starbuck, was usually a car leader/driver. (She drove a grey or silver car with a burgendy top. Don't remember make or model. Probably a mid 70's model).
Gene Dragotta (had girlfriend Dawn in the bigger crew).
Dan Allen. (Dan had frizzy afro like hair, but is a white guy).
I remember a french speaking woman. Could have been Flo Roos, but not sure.
A real hateful Hewbrew or Jewish gal. She threatened me and I had no idea why.
A real nice guy named Will, but don't remember his last name. Was one of the most sincere and nicest guys in the big group.
I don't remember the girl's name who stole my nice jeans, but it was the first week of being in the crew.

At one point, I remember the managers taking us all to a beauty shop to get our hair fixed, guys got haircuts, sometimes we would get a new outfit or two.

I was recruited by a girl named Kathy. Don't remember her last name, but she had short hair, very pretty in the face.

I was later split ted off into a much smaller group who consisted of Buddy Stevens, Gene Dragotta, Dan Allen and I. I think it was called a "spur group".

Gene Dragotta was also real nice too, and he missed his girl Dawn. They tend to split the groups, of opposite sexes got attracted to one another, I found.

The night of being left stranded at the bus station wasn't too bad, because earlier that evening, I was canvassing at an apartment complex, and happened to knock on the door of a real nice guy, who was engaged to a girl I went to school with in GA. She was from Tampa originally, and wonder of wonders, she was back in Tampa, and this guy had a picture of her on one of his tables.

I told him I went to school with her, and spent a summer with her the year before in the summer of 75, after graduation. And about how odd it was I happen to run into him as a potential customer. I told him I wanted out of the crew, and please to give me her number and I would call her as soon as I could. By deliberately staying inside someone's house for too long, it caused them to fire me, which I was glad of.

I had my back up plan in action, so at the bus station, I called her, and she came to get me and I stayed with her until I could arrange to get back home in GA.

I can attest to the being stranded, only receiving a few measly dollars a day, the expected sex, forced sex, and sleasy living conditions.

It is my desire that these damn mag crews and publishing companies that allow it, are made illegal and punishable to the fullest extent of the law.

And to those parents and families who lost sons or daughters to these scamsters, you have my deepest sympathy.