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Christopher Starr
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Heart of America
1851 Posts

Profile of Christopher Starr
Ok...had an interesting thing happen last night. I was performing the Cube Zag for the local Girl Scouts Father Daughter date night, and at the conclusion, as I am taking a bow, I heard some girl loudly say, "Look, he's bleeding!" and I look at the stream of blood running down my finger. Wow, what a finish!

I had no clue really how it happened, until I reviewed the videotape of the show. Apparently as I rapped my knuckles on the blade to prove that it was solid (?), I gashed that knuckle in the process. Never had it happen to me before. My condition is complicated due to the fact that I am also on blood thinners due to a heart valve replacement a couple of years ago.

I grabbed a napkin, and performed the next two tricks with my left hand only, as I tried in vain to comress the wound with a paper napkin. Finally had to walk off stage and wrap it with a piece of duct tape, wherein it still kind of trickled out because of the position on my knuckle.

Ain't show biz grand? What's the worst thing that ever happened to you while performing an illusion?

Bryan Gilles
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Northern California
1729 Posts

Profile of Bryan Gilles
Haha... I got food poisoning in a subtrunk! Needless to say, my wife was a trooper and hesitant to ever get back into the trunk again!

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Profile of PokerMagic
I had to take an EARLY intermission to relieve myself...must of been a bad preshow
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Has written
1305 Posts

Profile of mvmagic
Years ago, I was playing a magical clown character. The basic premise was that of the two clowns I was the one able to do magic and the other clown always messed things up and needed me to show up and correct things. The carrying theme was that I was always on vacation and he made me appear (seemingly only magic he could do right! LOL). One year I was supposed to be on a beach so when I was made to appear, I was barefooted, had a snorkel in my mouth, a lifesaver around my waist and a bunch of other stuff (kids loved that outfit btw). I was loaded to the prop from the back and one time a 'happy' accident had resulted in a nail sticking from the platform I appeared on. I landed directly on the nail, impaling my foot. Oh the memories...
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Chris Stolz
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Mississauga, Ontario
1957 Posts

Profile of Chris Stolz
I'll never forget the year I was hired to perform at a mental care facility. They would invite the children and grandchildren of the patients and those patients that had been good that week were also allowed to attend. The last year I did it, a patient had a complete fit. This was mid-way through a zombie routine. I simply had to stop and wait for him to be removed from the room.

Later, to finish off the night, I was waiting for the organizer to come let me out (a security code was required) when a patient came over to talk my ear off. Luckily, this man was completely harmless, just a little out of it.

I've also had a techie get sick mid-illusion and have to leave the booth only to leave the cd running. He thought he would be back by the end of the routine. Needless to say the CD ran for a couple extra minutes into the show before he came back to turn it off. Apparently my card manipulation routine was SO BAD, it made tech people sick. Smile
Mad Jack
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195 Posts

Profile of Mad Jack
My wife always is busting on me because of my uncanny ability to pick volunteers that are mentally challenged, or disabled in some way. One day I asked for a volunteer and picked a guy who had Down syndrome. "Have we ever met before?" I said. "Yep" he said, "Last year." I knew this wasn't true, but said "Oh, well great to see you again!" Oh course I made him the star, which would normally be great, but this guy didn't want to relinquish the spotlight! He kept bowing and walked down the front stairs into the audience and started shaking hands all down the row! Honest to God, he kept going down the rows shaking everybodys hand!

Also, one time my wife was about to get out of the origami and lost her balance and fell out of it, landing on her back. She also ripped the whole side of the illusion out, bending all the metal, ripping the tape, etc. She still says I was more concerned about the prop than her! (Duh..)

Mad Jack
Andre Hagen
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1433 Posts

Profile of Andre Hagen
Years ago I opened with a production and disappearance of four doves, two of which I had raised from birth. My son, who was my stage manager would load one of the doves for a tube production in the middle of the show.

On one occasion he could not attend and I loaded the dove before the start of the show. To my horror I produced a dead dove. Luckily I was able to manipulate the bird to appear alive long enough for his disappearance which was slated immediately after the production anyway, but it broke my heart to lose him. I should have known better.

I also cut my hand severely while performing the Tabary Rope Routine, and it was actually a false cut! After that I ground down the points on all my scissors.

I think Murphy (of Murphy's Law) was a magician.

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein
Vaughn Ver Steegt
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Janesville, Iowa
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Profile of Vaughn Ver Steegt
My son was performing at a high school concert in their gym. Right after he produced the dove it took off and flew up to the rafters in the ceiling. So after the laughter died down he went back behind the curtains, came back out with a paper towel and started twisting it into a shape. He said imagine this paper towel is my dove and continued with the routine. The choir was later accompanied by the cooing of this bird. Later when everyone was out of the gym we shut off the lights stood on a step ladder with a long pole and the bird climbed onto that and we got him down. We thought the school might have a new mascot. People still give him a hard time about the night his dove flew away.
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Profile of styck13
A long time ago (May 2006) I started a very thread with this very subject (without the blood)... During his school talent show, the gimmick in Devon's sub-trunk didn't work (was too tight) and he was legit locked in the box. His (adult) assistant had the whereabouts to unlock it...FIX IT..Calm a very yanked off 10yr old...and start over. He still won 3rd place in that show. Here's the link to the thread. there's some REALLY GOOD horror stories there too.
Donal Chayce
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Profile of Donal Chayce
Many years ago I was booked to perform at a juvenile detention camp as part of a variety review-type show. The show took place in the gymnasium, and the "kids" sat in folding chairs and on the floor, with about a dozen guards posted around the perimeter.

I closed my portion of the show with a canvas covered sub trunk illusion. When it came time for the substitution, I hoisted up the drape over my head on "three"...and nothing happened. I didn't know if my (male) assistant who was locked in the box was sick, injured or had fainted, or if the gimmick had jammed but, in any case, I lowered the cloth to my knees, forced a smile and said, "What? Were you expecting something?" Sweating bullets, I then loudly repeated the count and, fortunately, this time the switch happened.

I later determined that both my assistant and the prop were okay. Because of the poor acoustics in the gym and the somewhat rowdy audience, he had simply missed his cue.
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Profile of Bradacal
About 12 years ago, When I was first starting in performing I was asked to do a retirement residence...Because people were talking during it, these two old men fought these other two, HILARIOUS...Show was immediately put to an end due to it...No one was hurt, just same soft punches and little kicks were distributed....all because these two old men kept 'shhhshing' the other two who were chatting during the show....
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New Jersey
1188 Posts

Profile of ERIC
Many years ago when I was still in my teens, I used to end my show with a straight jacket escape. I used some patter about the Great Houdini and it was the third in a series of Houdini related effects.

Well, I was doing this show for the Italian American club at the local swim club, and that night brought a lesson in audience control for me that I will never forget.

I went into the introduction while getting two gentlemen up to assist. While one was strapping me in, and my attention was on what I was saying and making eye contact with the audience, the other gentleman went behind my back and grabbed from a small construction supply pile near where I was set up, a cement block and some rope.

Well there was some drinking going on and this guy was feeling no pain (I wish I had noticed when he first came up, but I was too into what I was doing.) Anyway, he tied the rope with the block onto my legs and with the help of the other, they lifted up and threw me into the pool.

Luck was with me as I had recently completed a scuba class and my instructor had drummed into us to not panic, and that panic kills. For those who do the jacket, try it in water some time. I was able to make my escape, to a standing ovation. After the show was over, The contact person along with the president of the club approached me and after much fussing and red faces, the contact person paid me triple my fee.

The leather straps had to be replaced, and I booked quite a few shows as a result, BUT... the lessons learned... I NEVER used two people to put me into the jacket again...I am more in tune with the people I have up to help....I NEVER lose the control factor.

Lucky?...You bet, but it brought some very important lessons home early in my magic and has made me a better performer. At the time, I was just so full of myself that I just lost track of what was going on around me. I was knocked down a few pegs, and realized that we should never stop learning, and NO ONE is the know all and be all.
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Newark, CA
895 Posts

Profile of EsnRedshirt
Wow- you weren't just knocked down a few pegs, you were almost knocked six feet under!

Speaking of bleeding (as well as paying attention to your surroundings), one time, during a pre-show rehearsal, a mishap with a staged sword fight (never loose focus during a sword fight) knocked me senseless and gave me a very bloody gash on the bridge of my nose.

Realizing I'd look rather silly with a bandaid on my nose during a performance, I jammed cover-up make up into the wound until it stopped bleeding. I don't recommend this approach, as it hurts like hell. However, no one could see the cut from stage, and the sword fight went flawlessly during the performance.

Self-proclaimed Jack-of-all-trades and google expert*.

* = Take any advice from this person with a grain of salt.
Chad Sanborn
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my fingers hurt from typing,
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Profile of Chad Sanborn
I once did a show with another magician at a library, many, many years ago. He was doing his part when 2 kids in the front row began a fist fight! I was stunned! It was a rough fight at first. The magician on stage at that point didn't flinch. He simply turned into an announcer and started calling the fight! LOL "in this corner wearing the jeans shorts is Little Timmy"...

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