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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The December 2002 entrée: Banachek » » fun stories of other performers » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Banachek
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V.I.P.
Houston
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Well I was asked in the blindfold Drive post to post other stories here, so I will, I will start with a new one, also move one of the others over here so if you see it twice you will know why:
In thoughts and Friendship
Banachek
Campus Performer of the Year two years in a row
Year 2000 Campus Novelty Act
PEA Creativity Award Recipient
http://www.banachek.com
Banachek
View Profile
V.I.P.
Houston
1079 Posts

Profile of Banachek
Another blindfold drive:

Permission for me to share this article was kindly given to me by Bev Bergeron. It certainly shows the showmanship of some performers and how they can always seen to grab the spotlight.

BLINDFOLD DRIVE TO DALLAS
The year was 1959 and the month was September - that time of year when the Texas Association Of Magicians hold their annual Convention of over 1,000 amateur and professional magicians - meeting to view shows and exchange ideas. That year's conclave was to be held at the Statler Hotel in Dallas, Texas. Two hundred and 50 plus miles to the south is the city of Houston where Bill Siros and Gene de Jean (McIntosh) where plotting to pull a major publicity stunt in conjunction with the convention. Bill Siros was a former carnival performer who had settled down to own and operate a successful sign business in the oil city. Gene was then in his mid-twenties and had been a student of Bill's since his early teenage years. Now that Gene was older, his views of his talents had grown. He considered his magic ability to be equal to anyone's in this world. Bill saw where this kind of thinking was going and often used his older knowledge and experience to maneuver Gene into funny situations, funny to others, but many times not so funny for Gene. The Dallas convention would turn into one of those times.

Bill had convinced Gene that in order to top a publicity stunt that Bill had orchestrated in 1957 by floating a lady down the streets of Houston TX, Gene would have to drive a convertible automobile, while blindfolded from Houston to Dallas. At first Gene was not buying the idea from the older pro. His thoughts, which were true: it was too far to drive with a blindfold on and the Texas heat in September was too much to be tolerated in a car with the top down. Bill admitted that was true, if it had to happen that way. The solution: After the committee taped the blindfold over Gene's eyes and he was on his way out of town, it would be a simple move to just pull over somewhere, remove the blindfold, raise the convertibles top and turn on the air conditioning. Then the happy trip to the outskirts of Dallas where the procedure would be reversed for the short drive to a hero's welcome outside the hotel. Gene bought it. However, it just didn't happen that way. After the committee did the blindfolding and checked the car out as OK for the drive, the Houston police stepped in to help with the traffic control to the city-limits - there Gene was met by the Harris County Sheriff department.

And so it was, all the way to Dallas. As the car passed from one county to another, a different police department greeted them and escorted the magician on his way, thus, making it impossible for Gene to remove the mask and turn on the air-conditioning. It was hot! Gene perspired all the way using his talents to control the car and his temper to the front of the Statler Hotel. As he pulled into the driveway he breathed a sigh of relief as he thought to himself that it was a lot of trouble doing the driving, but he will bask in the reward of front page coverage and television stories of his successful drive. A smile came on his face as he could hear better than he could see with the restricted view, that the trick blindfold offered him, of the cheering crowd.

As the car pulled up in front of the hotel, photographers and television cameramen ran to positions themselves for a shot of the hero. Gene opened the car door and with a blindfold still in place, stepped from the car ready to whip back the mask to reveal his smiling face. But alas, before he could remove the cover, Bill Siros stepped up and placed his hand over the blindfold so that Gene was caught and said, "Don't anyone attempt to awaken this man without me doing so. It would be to dangerous for him. He is under my power and could not have performed this magnificent drive if I had not hypnotized him in Houston!" The cameras ran. But all the stories and pictures were of Bill Siros hypnotizing someone and causing him to drive a car from Houston to Dallas blindfolded. Gene's name was not even mentioned and all the pictures had his face covered with a black mask and Bill's hand.
In thoughts and Friendship
Banachek
Campus Performer of the Year two years in a row
Year 2000 Campus Novelty Act
PEA Creativity Award Recipient
http://www.banachek.com
Banachek
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V.I.P.
Houston
1079 Posts

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here are a few more I like to tell, these appeared on the Gemini Network in 98 in my column:

Funny Incidents in Magic


This column is not going to be about mentalism, or me for that matter. It's going to be about funny incidents in magic. Often I tell these supposedly true stories and people will end up choking on their food or spewing their milk or coffee from their nose. So if you have any liquids or sandwiches near the computer, remove them now. Be warned.

Let's start out with a mild one. This is second hand, as are all these stories.

I heard that Tony Spina once produced a dead dove. In other words, he produced it, and sad to say, it's head hung to one side and the dove fell to the floor with a loud thud. Rather than have people focus on their attention on the dove the rest of the show, he simply pushed (kicked) it to the front side of the stage, into the footlights. On he went. About a minute into the rest of the performance, smoke started to rise. Then flames! The bird had caught on fire.

Speaking of fire. There was a convention competition where a young competitor was standing backstage with his dove pan waiting to compete. As he waited, the lighter fluid in the pan kept evaporating so he would add a little more, and then a little more and more and more. Finally, when it was his time to go on, he went straight into his act. He was doing fine until it came time for his finale. The 'two cute chicks production' from his chick pan. He lit the fluid in the pan and low and behold a big ball of flame spewed fourth. He put the lid on, (trying to put the flames out) and removed it. Out jumped two balls of flame, (the chicks) they hopped across the table and down to the floor.....

Ah, but it gets worse:

The boy was horrified. His chicks were on fire. Not thinking, the boy chased the little balls of flame and started to stomp on them. Putting them out of course and squashing them at the same time. Needless to say, the boy did not place, although he was remembered more than any of the other acts.

And finally, my good friend Walter Blaney. Walter does a wonderful 'Texas Size' act that has taken him all over the world. His finale is to take a small regular size rabbit and turn it into a large, huge (redundant but the sucker is really big) rabbit.

Before one show, the huge 'Texas Size' rabbit had a stroke. Poor Walter took it pretty bad, but the show must go on. Walter knew it would be the rabbit's last show and he should not perform but Walter could not find another rabbit that large on such short notice. So, Walter did his act. The show was going great. The response was one of his best. Then came the finale. Walter took the small rabbit and turned it into a 'Texas Size' rabbit. Walter held the rabbit up high in the footlights for everyone to see. The louder the crowd responded, the higher Walter held the rabbit, going from one side of the stage to the other swinging it (slowly as it was sick) back and forth. It seemed the audience reaction was never going to stop, especially those up front, and it probably would not have had Walter not realized why they were responding so enthusiastically.

Remember the rabbit had a stroke? Well, seems that the poor old rabbit could no longer hold it's bladder. When Walter held it up high, it let go and sprayed the entire front row. Walter could not see what it was doing due the bright lights. The more the crowd hollored, the more poor Walter animated the rabbit and held it up high, and the more the rabbit sprayed the audience.


(this next section is a little off color, be warned.)

And speaking of Walter. Walter was good friends with David Hoy ( A real famous mentalist. See, I did get the word mentalist in here.) One weekend Walter was visiting Hoy and Hoy suggested Walter go with him to a radio show he hosted and there Hoy would interview Walter. The interview seemed to be going great, David Hoy started to talk to about Walter's new 'Levitation Illusion.' "Now you have this wonderful levitation that has magicians all over the world talking. It's truly amazing! You lay a girl on a board across two stools, then you removed one stool, remove the board and remove the other stool and she is just floating there."

Walter agreed that was how the illusion looked and talked a little about it. Finally came Dave's next question.

"Well, I have seen it and it is truly amazing but I heard you did something even more amazing with it the other night. You laid the girl between the stools on the board, removed one stool, removed the board and then removed the other stool and she was just floating in mid-air.... then you climbed up there and F * * * * d her." (Yes, he used the f word.)

Walter turned beet red, hemmed and hawed, surely he had not heard Hoy right. This was live radio. Hoy would lose his job. Walter was flabbergasted.

"Well did you climb up there and do that to her?" Asked Hoy.

Walter looked around and realized he had been had. Hoy started to laugh and Walter saw the tech guys laughing out loud. They were not on the air. David Hoy had set up the whole elaborate scam.

Jump a few years ahead, Walter is again at Hoy's house. Hoy invites Walter to a TV interview. This, Walter knows is live. Hoy starts to interview Walter, then says:

"Well, I have seen it and it is truly amazing but I heard you did something even more amazing with it the other night. You laid the girl between the stools on a board, removed the one stool, removed the board and then removed the other stool, and she was just floating in mid-air then you climbed up there and ...."

Hoy paused.

Walter turned red. It was Deja Vu all over, surely Hoy would not say this ... They would both be ruined .... This was live TV.... Walter knew beyond any doubt that they were on the air.

Hoy continued with:

"passed a huge hoop across the girl."

Walter let out a sigh of relief as David Hoy, always the jokester, let out a laugh.


Please share any stories you have like this here.
In thoughts and Friendship
Banachek
Campus Performer of the Year two years in a row
Year 2000 Campus Novelty Act
PEA Creativity Award Recipient
http://www.banachek.com
Brent Allan
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Elite user
Chicago
415 Posts

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I used to work as a stage assistant for a big touring illusion show (I won't name drop here.) Anyway, at the end of the show, after our big finale, the stage manager would get on the mic and announce 'Ladies and Gentleman, *********!!!' (announce the illusionists name), at which time he would come out and take a bow.

On one such night, just as he picke dup the mic and started to announce, his voice cracked. The result was it sounded like a kid going through puberty doing the announcement. I don't do it justice by describing it here, but we pretty much lost it backstage, we were laughing so hard.
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Brent Allan
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Chicago
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Speaking of refraining from name dropping, it brings an interesting conversation to mind.

Years ago, I was having lunch with my GOOD FRIENDS Harry Blackstone, Doug Henning, David Copperfield, and my student David Blaine, and we were talking about how we HATE people who name drop shamelessly.


(Sorry guys, couldnt resist . . . ) Smile
Turn your business card into a relentless salesperson that brings you business!

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