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M-Illusion
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549 Posts

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Here are a few...

I fell off a stage once. The edge of the stage was covered in confetti from a previous segment, and I guess I just wasn't paying much attention...I slid about five feet, and went tumbling off the stage!

First time presenting the Dancing Cane, not only was the lighting so bad that people were yelling, "I see the thread!", but it actually broke and went flying across the stage.

Opening illusion, like the previous one from mvmagic, uses BA...in the cue books, and from 3 times in rehearsal, the theatre lighting crew knew not to flash spotlights on it. Well, they did...ruined the entire illusion.

We were doing a Disembodied on an electronic rotating base. After her midsection was gone, something malfunctioned and it started rotating on it's own...you can figure out the rest.

I could go on and on...but I'll stop now before everything thinks I'm a quack...lol!

Smile
M@gic Man
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Australia
121 Posts

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The worst performance I have ever done, was probably when the lighting crew at where I was performing, either had no clue or thought it would be fun to stuff around with the lights.
The lights were so bright I couldn't see a thing I was dropping props every where Smile

Always tell the lighting people exactly what you want!!!

Smile
Its not what you do, but how you do it.
Justin McWilliams
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1983 - 2005
New Jersey
157 Posts

Profile of Justin McWilliams
My worst, first show ever, 9 years old. I was doing it for my school, I was very nervous. I didn't realize the amount of space from the front of the curtain to the foot of the stage was about a foot. I decided to jump out of the curtains for my entrance. Of course having that short a distance. I missed the stage, went crashing down on hard floor, broke my arm, was upset for a long time.
Hey I'm a magician, i've never told a lie.....oops:o/
Harry Murphy
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Inner circle
Maryland
5370 Posts

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And your arm is still in a cast?
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Justin McWilliams
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1983 - 2005
New Jersey
157 Posts

Profile of Justin McWilliams
No Mr. Murphy, my hand was messed up because I got burned in the kitchen.
Hey I'm a magician, i've never told a lie.....oops:o/
magicman03
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50 Posts

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I remember back when I first started with card magic, id go out and learn an effect and try to perform it without practice. I can remember a time where the card was returned but I dropped all the cards! Embarassing.
zackgb
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17 Posts

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Ahh this is a bit old but still a terrible experience nonetheless. I tech the show. The magician pulls the disembodied out on stage before the show to see how it will look under the new lighting. The head is already badly made and painted. Does look a little better at night but the show was in the afternoon. Anyway one thing he neglected to do was put the head back in, so come show time, the assistants open up the doors for him to back into the cabinet and there is the head already in there.
swiftshifter
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Philippines
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Quote:
On 2002-05-31 19:59, Greg Arce wrote:
So, like the brain that I was, I rolled up two pieces of flashpaper and gave them the shape of two comets with tails. I pushed them up my nose with the tails sticking out... stop laughing until I've finished... I lit the tails and snorted out.

One problem: I had packed them in my nostrils so tight that they didn't come out. I can now say I'm probably the only guy to scorch the inside of my nose. You don't even want to know on what level that pain reached. Okay, everybody, deep breath... start laughing.
Greg Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile

Similar experience here...It was five years ago, I was nineteen and just got aquainted with magic. New year came and I stockpiled on roman candles with the intent of using them for an effect.
I stripped four of them,took out the contents and powdered the contents very carefully. This done,I packed the resulting powder in an empty matchbox. I grabbed a lighter and started to ignite one end which was left open by at least half an inch. A few seconds passed and nothing. My closest friend who was with me at the time let out a sigh: just to let me know that he was getting bored.
I looked over towards him and told him to wait just a while.When I turned my head back, the matchbox that was packed with powder just lit up and flew (actually rocketed) to my face.
Luckily, I was wearing glasses and not contacts at the time. My plastic lenses got all singed, and not a trace of my eyebrows was left. I had to get my head shaved bald the next day in order to pass myself off as a rocker whos making a fashion statement.
The lesson: When trying out pyros, find an expert.Smile
JJDrew
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Arizona
221 Posts

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I performed once in a small theatre that for some reason had a hole in the floor backstage in the wing. This hole was about 3' square and went down about 4 feet. There was a piece of plywood across it, but the last few inches were bare.

I guess the plywood shifted during rehearsals because as I was waiting in the wings to go on, you guessed it...I fell in the hole. I wasn't hurt or anything, but I had a little problem. I was due to go onstage in about two seconds and was wearing a pumpkin costume (We were performing "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kintergarden." You CAN'T climb out of a hole when you're wearing a pumpkin costume. Luckily the pumpkin wasn't attached to the rest of my costume so I didn't have to stand there sticking out of the hole and strip. I did miss my cue, though, not because I was particularly slow to climb out, but because the others were laughing so hard that no one would take the pumpkin that I tried to hand up ahead of me.

This other one didn't happen to me, but it was funny. I was doing a show that featured a scene where one of the characters is smoking onstage. When they exited the actor would toss his cigarette butt into 1/3 of a bottle of water and go on to prepare for the next scene. After dress rehearsals and several performances the water in the bottle was truely disgusting, grey with ashes, and with numerous cigarette butts floating in it. Halfway through the show one night, one of the actresses accidently took a swig of the cigarette water. It happened to be the most prissy primadonna one of the bunch, which made it even funnier. She still doesn't find this story funny.
Brent McLeod
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My personal fav.
We where performing at a ampitheater during the summer. I was introducing us, "Ladies and Gentleman, Please welcome the AAHHHH" I had just been stung in the face by a wasp. Right by my right eye. My partner finished our intro and I ran unstage trying to juggle as the side of my face swelled up. One half looked normal and the other looked like Elvis. My eyes where watering so I droped a little more than normal. Still finished the show.

There are just a few,
Sillily, Will



Im still laughing 10 mins after I read this as well as all of the above!!

Dont we love performing!!

Ist big school show when I was 16 -I turned 1 way & my Zombie ball went flying-literally the other way with a big bang & as a finale split in 2 halves & rolled to a finish to dead silence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-Yahoo-great show!!!
BIlly James
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It was a formal banquet, I was doing crazy mans handcuffs for a lady seated at a table. She had one band stretched between her 2 index fingers and I reached over her shoulder to link on the second band (so that she would have a magicians eye view). As I streteched the band back I misjudged the distance and actually punched her in the face.....not good.

Another time....stand up show for a Christmas party. Started off with rope routine and cut my hand (in between thumb and forefinger) with scissors, blood everywhere, in the panic of what to do, I wrapped my devils hank around it. Did the whole show with the devils hank around my hand and ofcourse droped the devils hank routine.

Christmas time....lots of shows and confusion. I was standing on a stage at an outdoor public festival in front of about 300 smiling families. I had done my warm up and then had invited 2 kids on the stage for my main routine......went to my case....no props, that's right not a single one! I'd been using this case for close-up, stand up etc. so I was constantly having to unpack and repack it.
I'd unpacked it but some how not repacked it. I just looked from my empty case, to the kids, to the 300 expectant audience members, my heart was in my mouth. I had a handful of 260q balloons in my pocket and so I went into a rather lengthy and illogical routine with those.

Did a kids show in a hall, put down a line of tape to indicate the front row. After the show I pulled up the tape and it just about pulled up the floorboards with it. There is now a permanent white splintery line on an otherwise varnished woodgrain floor.
Ron Crumley
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1950 - 2012
448 Posts

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Even charitable shows can go south . . .

A handful of us were doing a benefit show for a large group of migrant farms workers in northern California. Because there was no building for the program, we did the entire show actually IN the lettuce field at the end of the workers shift. Because they knew there was going to be magic and music, the workers children made up more than 50% of the 300 plus audience. Fortunately the weather was great that evening and the audience was "seated" in the field, between the furrows.

I set up my equipment case on the only flat surface available; the tailgate of the pickup truck which had brought us into the field. Standing in the field, and nearly surrounded by over 100 Spanish-speaking children, through an interpreter I open my act with a large Hindu Water Vase. In order for the water to be seen and to add color, I had tinted the water with red food coloring. As soon as I made my first pour into the bucket, I found out these children knew at least one word in english as they all shouted "Kool-Aid"!! In a mass movement, they all jumped up and ran to the bucket in order to get some of the Kool-Aid. The 100 plus small bodies knocked over my case and sent the entire setting into chaos.

With the help of the other performers, we finally got all the kids to sit back down and I attempted to "go on with the show". My next effect was the dove pan. It wasn't until after I had dropped in a few kernels of unpopped popcorn, added a squirt of cooking oil, (lighter fluid) lit the contents and then lifted off the lid that I realized the children knew at least one more word in english; "POPCORN"!!! Again all of them rushed the truck and knocked over all the equipment in order to get some of the popcorn. With some of the equipment ruined, I called off the rest of my portion of the program and let the guitarist take over the "soiled stage".

Lessons learned:
1. If you have to perform from the tailgate of a truck, get IN the bed of the truck for your own protection.
2. If you find yourself in that setting, learn enough Spanish to ward off any human avalanches.

Even negative experiences can provide quality reflections. Though you generally have to wait a few years in order for the "sting" to wear away.
Daniel Santos
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Last year for school I was performing my Wandering CD (like a die box). Now, this wasn't just the class...this was after school for anybody to see. There were a couple hundred people and I was on stage with my friend (which messed things up for me). Anyway, I was doing the trick . . . and it came to the point when I wanted to vanish the CD. I was holding the case in front of me, so I couldn't see what was going on . . . but I was POSITIVE I would be able to do it, as I've done it at my other five shows. I held it up high looking really proud and I open both doors. Then I pull the CD out of my pocket . . . but when nobody applauded I looked at the case and the CD was still there! I realized that I was squeezing the case too hard so the part that hides the CD was pushed down, allowing the CD to roll over it rather than under. I was so embarassed but I didn't have to say anything to cover up because music was playing and my friend immediately took over.

A few years back, when I was in fifth grade I believe, I had a smaller version of the Siberian Chain Escape. I was performing it for some family but I noticed that after all that practice, I couldn't get out. My mom noticed me struggling and then she said, "Are you okay?" and I responded, "Yeah, yeah. You know...it's part of the acting skills." When I took my hands out about 45 seconds later, you could see the marks the chains left, haha.

There was a time I was practicing something (by myself) with invisible thread. I was pulling at the thread and eacht ime I quietly said, "Ouch..." After a few times, I noticed it was coming from this hang nail on my finger. The thread was stuck in it! No matter how I pulled or twisted it, the hang nail went with it. It kind of hurt, but I clipped everything off.

There was this Talented Tuesday a couple of years ago in sixth grade. I had ordered a PK Pen that came in the day before. The pen busted in the mail, and the liquid was all over the package. I just used plain tap water in the pen instead. It worked at home when I practiced, and I made sure to refill often. Before my turn, I went to the bathroom to fill the pen. When I went to perform it, it didn't fall! It was just balanced there on the edge of the table...didn't budge! Luckily I had started this whole "I have PK powers" type of thing. I easily got away with, "I can't seem to harness enough of this 'energy'."

I was performing the Twentieth Century Silks at a party at a library and I was vanishing the silk. I had practiced a method where you have it attached to string, running across to your other hand so that when you pull it it will pull the silk into your sleeve. Well, the silk just didn't finish going into my sleeve...I tried to pull it more but there was a little end hanging out...I tried covering it up but I don't know how well that worked...especially with kids sitting on the floor. At the same show, I did a headline prediction. The people were searching in the newspapers for awhile...At the SAME show, this guy had trouble finding the dollar bill in the bag of chips he was holding (for bill to potato chips).

At my little cousins party this past October, I was doing the Appearing Straw (I do it EVERY show). Now, I had ordered a new one that came in the day before...and it just wasn't retaining its shape. I pull it out of the bag and as I do, it was twisting...so I had to turn as I pulled so it would stay straight. My other one I LOVED though, because I once kept it rolled up for WEEKS and it worked like a charm! This one is very shiny and feels a bit different, but easy to work with.

Man...you guys have some really good (not like GOOD good like happy) stories, haha. I LOVE them :-P.

Daniel
If it is to be, it is up to me.
Mike Brezler
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Waynesboro, Pa.
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I did a magic show for a group of cub scouts. This one young boy kept shouting out that he knew how every trick was done. I ignored him until I couldn't take it anymore. I had a card trick that I thought would work well with him and keep him quiet. I showed hime 3 cards and turned them over and instructed him to take the middle card. He kept trying to pull the end card and it was a gaffed card. I askded him several times and he wouldn't listen. Finally I asked him to sit down and I went to another trick. I was embarrassed and the boys father yelled at him and he cried. I felt bad for the little guy. Now when I have a child that calls out and acts up, I don't use them to help with a trick. Pick your assistant wisely.

Mr Mike
David Bilan
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Clarksville, TN
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Did a show many years ago with an emergency assistant. The regular dumped me at the last minute because she had to have her appendix removed (she didn't seem impressed that Houdini performed with a hot appendix, but I digress).

I explained the "Magician's Code." She agreed to abide by the ethical restraints. I kept it simple... My instructions were to hand me the props, take them when I finished and look lovely.

One effect involved Metamorpho Spots (Plain black and white silks go into a black can covered with spots... spots vanish from can, silks become white with black spots and black with white spots.

She handed me the silks, and while I started the effect, the audience began laughing. Looked around, didn't see anything, continued the effect. When I performed the "secret" move and displayed the transformed silks, I got more laughter. Turns out my lovely assistant exposed the secret behind my back, but did it in a way I couldn't see.

I had a clue there were problems, but wasn't sure what. I do comedy magic, so I expect laughs. I got huge laughs throughout the show, but not at the right places. She exposed a few other effects and did a lot of mugging for the audence behind my back.

At the end of the show, the manager of the place came up to tell me what a great show I'd given, though he was surprised I was exposing magic secrets. He then explained what happened.

I spoke to the girl. She told me she'd been given $20 to perform the way she did, but wouldn't give me a name. Needless to say, she was nver called back.

I did change my routine so it repeated that night's fiasco, though I coreographed when my assistant would make fun of me and used sucker tricks for the "exposed" effects.

While I made lemons into lemonade, it was my most embarrassing time on stage.
Yes, I am a magician. No I did not make my hare (hair) disappear... it just took early retirement.
ed rhodes
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Rhode Island
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Quote:
On 2001-12-15 23:31, Stephen Long wrote:
I cringe just reading that.

It kind of makes mine seem non-existant in comparison.



It happened when I did my 'Invisible Deck' routine, it was only when I got to the part where I came to show the reversed card that I realized I had gotten the wrong deck out of my pocket. (I was carrying about 3 with me at the time) oops.

Kind of a tough one to talk your way out of.


I had something similar. I was doing great until I realized my son had found the deck and "fixed" it for me.
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
steves7
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Blue Springs, Missouri
114 Posts

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On my first magic trick I ever performed I messed it up badly. I begged my 7th grade friend to let me help him with his magic show for our class. I also begged him to let me do a trick. I did a disappearing ball trick. I had a small rubber ball which was attached to a ring that I wore on my hand. I would take the ball and make it look as if I had tossed it into thin air, but actually the ball was attached to the ring and resting on the back of my hand.

When I performed the trick, I showed the ball and then pretended to flick the ball out into thin air and dissapear. I must have flicked it pretty hard because the ball actually did fly across the room and against the wall of our classroom.

I know I have messed up others through the years, but I will always remember that one because it was my first trick and my first goof up!
Brent McLeod
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Quote:
On 2004-12-22 16:17, BIlly James wrote:



Christmas time....lots of shows and confusion. I was standing on a stage at an outdoor public festival in front of about 300 smiling families. I had done my warm up and then had invited 2 kids on the stage for my main routine......went to my case....no props, that's right not a single one! I'd been using this case for close-up, stand up etc. so I was constantly having to unpack and repack it.
I'd unpacked it but some how not repacked it. I just looked from my empty case, to the kids, to the 300 expectant audience members, my heart was in my mouth. I had a handful of 260q balloons in my pocket and so I went into a rather lengthy and illogical routine with those.




ClassicSituation-usually its 1 or 2 small things we forget-The worst nightmare-no props at all!! Absolute Terror!!

Im still laughing!!!!!!!!! Tears coming out my eyes!!- Well done on your finish.
jimroady
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At a banquet a couple of years ago I was doing the flaming head chest. The effect went off without a hitch with one exception. When practicing the trick I was problems keeping the torch lit as it went through the box. Befor going on stage I completely soaked the torch with lighter fluid and put the cap on the end. After positioning the box on my "willing" volunteers head I removed the cap from the torch and again soaked the end. There was no way that sucker was going to go out this time! What I didn't realize was as I was applying the latest soaking of lighter fluid, it was running down the handle of the torch and onto my arm. When the lighter hit the torch and it lit, the flame traveled down the length of the torch and set my arm on fire. I calmly(?) shook my arm until the flames went out and before the other performers made it to the stage with the fire extinguisher. I completed the effect, thanked my assistant and calmly walked off stage. I walked straight to the mensroom at the end of the hall to run cold water over my blistering arm and found a young boy doing a remarkably thourough job of washing his hands. The wait seemed like forever but I eventually got my arm cooled off and returned to the hall. I was met with an enthusiastic greeting talking about the bit I did with apparently setting myself on fire. As one magician once told me: Take credit for everything that happens on stage, even the things that happen by accident.
ed rhodes
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Rhode Island
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I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who's had the "rope through the person" effect not work.

(digression)I did a silk through the arm trick for my niece once, I stopped doing the rope through the neck trick after hearing that my niece was taking a scarf and trying to make it go through a table leg.(end digression)

Anyway, I'm doing a walk-around and set this kid up through the body. It doesn't go and I have the kid take off his coat, reaching inside the coat the cover the gaff. Turns out, I didn't have to bother, I hadn't set the ropes up properly and they were just going through the coat normally! I rearranged them with the coat as a block and told the kid; "My bad, I had the ropes in sideways!" And managed to make it work.
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
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