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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » My **** Show (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Pete Legend
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Inner circle
Ireland
1365 Posts

Profile of Pete Legend
Hey lads,

How's the form?! Haven't started a topic on this site in a fair age. Anyways I was reminiscing about the golden days here at the Café...possibly inspired by the "20 years" thread posted below and decided to rumble through a few of my older offerings. I found one dating back to 2007 I believe. I was 23 at the time - doesn't life go in a blink? I'm now married, own various other non magic/mentalist related businesses and truth be told rarely perform anymore even before the zombie apocalypse hit.

Anyways to get to the point here is a post from 13 years ago detailing a show I did for a college here. The title of the post was "My **** Show" which says it all. Since that post I had plenty more experiences ranging from brilliant glorious highs to fist fights, non payments, walking out to an international audience that had almost zero engliish (didn't realise until I literally walked out on stage), foreign tours, standing ovations, terrible reviews, a failed double act, walking around my city in my underwear, opening up for my hero who turned out to be a woeful gimp, making national paper due to a prediction which included a murder case, more god awful shows which included a whole host of cringe moments and I could go on but I won't bore you.

Anyone here want to share some of their war stories for the craic?

P.S. I copied and pasted my post from 2007 so apologies if the smilies in the original post don't come out. Also I didn't change a thing (funny how I look back and see the differences in how I express myself now compaIred to back then...

Sound!

Pete

My **** show :

Today I think I had a pretty shocking performace.I was hired to perform at a college from 1pm to 2pm.I entered the college(found parking eventually..traffic warden almost chased me outta school car park which was kinda funny actually..his exact words to me "Feck Off!" He was a little old school I imagine..

Anyways I entered the south side campus and see the venue which I THINK Im about the perform in..It looks ideal! Unfortunatley Im told I wont be in there till tomorrow instead I'll be in the north side campus (oh great..after it took me an age to find a car spot)Just as I'm informed a lecturer runs out of some class room commenting on how a projecter or something isint working,when he finds out Im a "magician" he begs me to entertain the class for 5 minutes while it gets fixed. Smile I thought it was an unusual situation so I was delighted to help..just because it was different(Always wanted to be a lecturer! Smile) I went in,introduced myself..they all starting clapping and giggling,I went ahead and performed MOAB and it went down great.Huge clap and Thanks SmileI leave the campus then I notice I forgot my mobile phone..half hour search reveals its in my pocket...

Eventually Im taken to the nothern campus and the student Union person informs me that its not likely to be the greatest crowd to perform for..Im thinking hey they are college students,I've done hundred of gigs,theatres,comedy clubs,21st Birthday Parties and this crowd are basically my age (Im 23) so no worries I can relate to them!..After all I am goods gift to mentalism.. Smile

I walk in and I'm shown the venue..now how can I describe this it was a long corridor where people sat for lunch..it went on and on,I thought to myself oh dear!Still I can do it no worries Smile Then Im told the microphone is dead for some reason Smile Now picture this my stage area is in a corner by the entrance to this venue..Im not in a central position..im in corner of the hallway basically with no mic.I look for better performace area's that our more central(least don't have to worry bout finding a place for a mic)Could'nt find any place at all suitable,there were entrance ways to the toilets,class rooms etc.Still I can do it,my charm and wit will draw them in,no worries!

5 minutes to show time I go around the various groups of people and tell them about me,my show and where I will be performing..show one or two close up pieces which gets fabalous reactions..Show starts at 1pm sharp.I look around nice crowd has bothered to show (bout 80-90 percent of students there in the hall)I start with MOAB its then I begin to notice nobody can really hear me..I kid you not I heard one girl no more than 5 feet away say "I don't know what his saying" (I have a very soft voice) Im one for witty remarks,interacting with the crowd...situational humor and by-play that I have put a lot of thought in to..im afraid it wont work here..(they must be able to hear it to appreciate it).The reveal of the word gets actually a good enough reaction.

Next effect I use my psychic Clipboard(lol still for sale here by the way) where the same spec reads my mind..role reversal..this time I look at the book at I think of the word and he tries to get it.My batteries died(I checked night before..it was grand,perfect..I could of wrote a novel and every word would of shown)..but nope nothing appeared on screen..so I had to get him to write the word tear it up and well you know the rest...Reactions were mixed.

I continued on with charlie Routine(those who seen my dvd will know about it) I should point out angle's were were tight..people to my immediate left and right and volunteers on the floor directly behind me..I asked one person to write a time..got a peek for later reveal.I went on to talk about Charlie and tell a story about him.. Im such an idiot I decide to tell a story that goes on for about 4 minutes and about 5 percent of the audience can follow me(usually gets laughs all way through) in this case Almost nothing...though two people coughed which broke the silence..it was very nice of them.Anywho the photo in the wallet(Heirloom) was revealed..I then did little hypnosis with female spec..then it ended where the initial time thought of was the same one that the other spec randomly selected via twisting the stem of her watch..I wrote the time that charlie passed away beforehand on a page held by a spec which also matched.Luke warm reaction..Usually for me it gets a very good reponse.Dam you Charlie!:)

Then did a first kiss Routine..revealed things that I could'nt of know..each reveal brought about stunned silence..yeah stunned *cough cough Smile I be honest this piece for me gets huge reactions..I have done it hundreds of times in comedy clubs,big theatres,little theatre's.Once it got such a reaction it was only equal to a roar you hear in a football game..today's reaction was like something you would hear at a local game of marbles...Though the billet switch used (which I have used for 3 years..always with a mic) may have being spotted by a number of students to my immediate right..I heard whispering though I thought maybe they were commenting on my nice shoes..This particular switch has been like gold to me.. I am very surprised and a little shocked that it was spotted even in these conditions..something to really ponder upon..Eventually the applause came..eventually..

Finnished up with Confabulation where I predict the things that happenned through out the show...for the nice people who were paying close attention through out (In this case most likely a man and his dog) I gave the letter to a girl to hold..got two people to join me..walked to a central area to everyone..they called out a few things..Info attained during a previous routine..wont bore you with that detail.All info matched on the letter nice applause..few "no ways's" and etc

Listen to this instead of ending the torture there and then I end up performing a coin through object..discussing the power of the mind etc..using Geller and shaolin monks as example.Penetration went perfect..gasps etc but my back was to least half of the people there...(god sometimes I don't be well!)The applause finnished up and the show sort of sizzled out without any clear ending because as 2pm came bell rand and classroom doors opened up..it ended aimlessly and as untheartical as a leaf blowing in the wind..

I packed up my stuff,A magician in the crowd came over to me(bout year or two younger than I) and made an inspirational motivating comment that I wont forget..very uplifting he said "the crowd didn't really clap did they?" I laughed a little.. he did have a point.He commented on how nobody could hear me and also informed me that he thought a few people may have noticed one or two things to my right..I thanked him and really do appreciate him telling me this,its good advice and gives me things to think about.Though he did go on to say how his show is a lot different to mine..hows he likes to interact with his audience and have a joke..hmmm I thought just like me and any good performer.. then I wondered if he ever was in a similiar postion in regards to having no mic and playing in a less than great venue..Though cant blame everything on it..as you read I did some horrible naive,studid things through out the piece,mic or no mic my stupidity is my own fault.

Anyways there you go Im on again tomorrow(same college different campus),honestly I have felt a lot better and done literally hundreds of better performances but I don't think I ever learned as much.I embrace this learning experience and at the same time hate it!

If you read this far you have my deepest respect and sympathy SmileJust wanted to share Smile

Pete

P.S.I just bought new batteries for my clipboard Smile
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Inner circle
Seattle, WA
4429 Posts

Profile of Philemon Vanderbeck
My worst show is when a booking agency misrepresented the type of show I do. I do mentalism, but the client was expecting something more in the vein of modern mediumship. Of course, I didn't find this out until I arrived at the venue about 30 minutes before showtime. I went ahead and performed my planned show, but I could tell that the audience was disappointed, so I decided to do some impromptu cold-reading. Big mistake! I was dealing with a skeptical crowd, and I wasn't getting any hits. In fact, one of my participants chose to interpret my vague prediction into something much darker than I had intended.

In retrospect, if I had known what kind of show the client was expecting, I could have properly prepared and done a long-form Q&A act. I learned that it is vitally important when working with a booking agency to make sure they know what kind of act(s) you offer and properly sell you to clients.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
hypblake
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New user
61 Posts

Profile of hypblake
I was here back in 2002 but under a different name. I actually remember reading that post when you originally posted it!

It is funny. I own two other non magic businesses now. I was still performing right up until Feb of 2020. Last week I decided to start looking around and actually just last night I was reading a thread under my old name. I was laughing at how long ago that was and that it is still documented here. It was related to spending time with Jerome Finley and some stuff he was showing me. Time keeps moving I guess.
hypblake
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New user
61 Posts

Profile of hypblake
BTW we try and forget horrible shows, don't we?

I had one in a different state for a fair. I traveled there got ready for the show. Was planning on doing a huge q and a act which would require walking around the audience. It was going to be my first go with this new act and I was pumped. My time was supposed to be like 7 PM or something like that. By the time I actually went on, around 8, it was starting to get dark. I literally walked on stage and the most massive thunderstorm hit. The timing was so impeccable I should've taken credit for this massive event and taken a bow and left. This was Rain like I hadn't seen in years. People scatter, but not everyone. That would have been great if they all left, but oh no, Half stayed they wanted to see this psychic fry their minds. As they sheltered under umbrellas, coats etc. I was dry onstage. 60% of my act was planned for me out walking around amongst them doing q and a. You know paper being passed around and people writing on that paper. I did everything I could to try and delay getting to the q and a but I was out of options. Lets just say wet paper doesn't work well in a q and a. I am sure you can imagine how this went down. I did my best and just straight up started cold reading. I still have nightmares about this show.
Gerald Blankenship
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Regular user
Lake O The Pines Texas
106 Posts

Profile of Gerald Blankenship
Well back in the 1970 I did a show at a hotel for girl scouts and cub scouts. I had advertised to their organization that I would be locked in a heavy wood shipping container. Well the show was going good did the doll house, chick pan, made a poodle appear, and several other easy ones. The time came for the big escape, and the kids were excited about it. The trap was on the back side and undetectable when examined. The release mechanism was on the out side of the box, an assistant had to release it when a foulard was raised. well I get in the box then all locked in. The foulard was raised I pushed on the trap and it would not budge. The assistant did not release the catch so I was truly trapped inside. My only option was to force the trap open when I did there was a cracking sound, how ever the MC said I hear bones cracking art that moment I stood up, I was expecting silence or giggles but the kids loved it. After the show a couple of parents came up and shook my hand saying your showmanship got you out of that one. When it was the MC that saved my behind. After that I saved my coin and purchased the canvas covered box from abbots. Had nightmares about that night and learned a lot.
I don't understand all I know about this
Pete Legend
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Inner circle
Ireland
1365 Posts

Profile of Pete Legend
Thanks for sharing Philemon! I have got into similar issues before - in one performance a group of middle aged women were expecting me to make contact with their dead dad while I spent the 80 minutes slagging the audience. They approached me afterwards, I genuinely thought they just wanted a picture but they let me have it.

Hypeblake : How's the form? Good to see one of the older crew still knocking about! Good old Jerome.... Smile All the same hope he is doing well. Cheers for the story, ridiculously poor timing! How long were you bluffing on stage before you actually had to go into the audience? I've had similar experiences though no rain involved with mine just plenty of waffling to cover a whole multitude of mess ups. Great hearing from you.

Cheers for posting your story Gerald! You got through it and learnt from it so I'd consider it a win - your show was over 50 years ago, it's funny what memories stay with us. You must have an absolute ton of experience in the trenches!

Appreciate you guys for posting. It's great when we storm shows but often at least for me it's the quick thinking, nonsense spouting, backtracking or just complete feck ups that make me smile the most.

Cheers lads!
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