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PaulEverson
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Seems most people on here like telling each other how great they are.

Much more reassuring in my opinion to hear about peoples cock ups...must be some good ones out there?

My own include..

A drawing dupe, where I'd got the peek and within about four seconds completely forgotten what it was..

A tossed out deck where I'd used the wrong deck - and it gets worse - I'd thrown out a Svengali deck, the first person riffled through it the wrong way and were somewhat surprised to see an entire deck of Jacks of Spades..

Of course these were mostly in the early days ;-) - My performances are faultless now....ahem
Ken Dyne
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Inner circle
UK
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For me I think one of my majors is at a large house party in Northumberland I was performing a swami routine impromptu with a piece of borrowed paper (a till receipt) and when doing the dirty work I pushed too hard the gimmick went right through, and stood there staring them all in the face, that was an "interesting" experience.

Another was when performing Bob Cassidy's amazing Name and Place routine I was interrupted by an escaped terrier gnawing at my leg and I simply forgot the information I needed.

Alas we struggle on...

Kind thoughts,
Kennedy
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templemagic
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Sunderland, North-East England
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Hehe, Mine is similar to the drawing dupe one. I was strolling and using a drawing duplication with business cards, I got the peek and everything seemed fine. I drew the picture only to turn it over and find out I was way off! The drawing was a key and when I had seen it as a stickman. I was puzzled because it didn't look like a stick man when I re-looked at it.

In retrospect, I realized I had only managed to get a quick peek due to terrible angles and so I had just misinterpreted what I had seen. I was originally just performing for one person but several moments before the peek, several other came over surrounding me.

I managed to bluff it off though by pointing out that I was getting the impression of a circle at the top with straight lines below it (which this drawing of a key had), fortunately they were highly impressed that I even got that much - though I have NO idea why. Smile

Oh well, it's never happened since! Smile

TM
ROBERT TEMPLE
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Greg Owen
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I open my variety show (different from the mentalism show) with a quick card trick routine. Good jokes, nice icebreaker and all that.

I flubbed the card control three times in a row! Got the card wrong the first time, realized my error the second time...covered by a joke with the spectator and changed spectators. Then flubbed the control AGAIN.

I ended up having another spectator name any card and then asked the previous spectator if that was her card.

It wasn't.

So...I said something like, "Well, that's why no one likes card tricks" and I threw the deck back in my prop case and went on with the show.

I've been doing the same card routine for over 20 years...oh well.

- Greg Owen
Author of The Alpha Stack ebook - the balanced memorized stack
gobeatty@yahoo.com
chanor
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New York City
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I was doing Jim Rainho's Acid Madness (a kind of Russian roulette) in a hotel. Blindfolded I drank from 4 of 5 randomly mixed test tubes, one containing "acid." I poured the contents of the 5th tube onto a chemically altered penny, which was supposed to sputter and exude a bit of smoke. Well, there was too much reagent and the smoke alarm went off, with the audience running out of the room and coughing! Fortunately it was my final effect of the night.
Greg Owen
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Quote:
Fortunately it was my final effect of the night.

Sounds like it would have been even if you hadn't planned it that way! Thank you for sharing your story.

- Greg Owen
Author of The Alpha Stack ebook - the balanced memorized stack
gobeatty@yahoo.com
The Magical Duo
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I was doing a scotch and soda routine and was a little too enamored of how deceptive it was. I decided to try vanishing the coin "before the spec's very eyes." When I asked "Where is it?" ( had the duplicate under my watch) the kid said, "They're inside each other!!!" BIG OOOPS!!!
You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons. Gene Wilder BLAZING SADDLES
amadrigal
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Bolingbrook IL
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I was doing a thumb cuff escape and vanish... well I escaped vanished em then all of a sudden they reappeared and shot down my pant leg and the floor caught the cuffs....but I got credit for the escape.
If you cannot convince them, confuse them.
Harry S Truman (1884 - 1972)
Sam Haine
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San Jose, CA
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Greetings,

A mistake? Me? Surely you jest.

Well actually, there was one teeny little issue involving some very drunk girls at a night club in Santa Cruz. When I was performing psychokinetic touches, one of the girls couldn't feel anything. She said she didn't feel any taps. She was that drunk.

I looked at the audience with one eyebrow raised. Quite visibly I tapped on her shoulder and asked if she felt anything. With her eyes still closed, she said, "Nope." That's drunk.

I just raised my hands in applause cue and took credit. What I took credit for, I'll never know. But it got a big round so I guess it worked.

Other less creative foulups: getting called on a one-ahead, misreading a peeked a drawing (what the hell was it anyway?), and many, many broken loops.

Sam Haine
Magical entertainment for charities www.sam-haine.com
Jordan Waller
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Ok I used to do an an effect were I use a little bit of prep work to get someones star sign. I then give them a cold reading and state that all this then points to them being a Virgo or whatever.

Anyway one time I was doing the effect and started doing my coldreading. Now I normally keep it short but I was getting mega hits. So I continued. The woman I was performing it for was becoming ecstatic, I kept going making random stabs about her parents etc. I was hitting every time. I then reached the crucial moment and realized I couldn't remember what her start sign was I just guessed at one and I was wrong and it killed the effect for me, the woman just stared at me gone out so I just said 'and that's why you can't trust newspaper horoscopes' and I got an applause but the woman wasn't too impressed and neither was I. I still can't believe it slipped my mind in fact within 10 mins of it happening it came straight back.
One day I will write a book
Michael Singer
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Bending a flimsy-looking spoon from a friend's drawer of mismatched silverware, only to learn in horror that it was part of her mother's beloved wedding set from India. Great bend too! Whoops....

I now tell that story, then use my own silverware.

Mike
"The answer is never the answer. What's really interesting is the mystery." - Ken Kesey
kinesis
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I was performing a silent cabaret act, on the floor, to a seated audience. It was done to a pre-recorded backing track, so there was very little room for error. Anyway, part of the act is where I take a flaming torch, set fire to a dove pan and the change the torch to cane (appearing cane), smother the flames with the lid of the dove pan and go into a ribbon fountain. Well as the cane 'appeared' the flaming rag in the top of the torch flew out of the end of the cane and landed on the seat of a male spectator. It landed right between his legs at his crotch. Due to the music I had to carry on so I didn't lose the timing. So I'm performing whilst watching this guy screaming in fear trying to flick this burning rag of his plastic chair before it sets fire to his privates. I laugh out loud when I recall this moment, it was so totally surreal. Smile
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein






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mindhunter
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Upstate NY
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This is posted in a mentalism forum yet has turned to mistakes in magic performances in general...and this isn't a complaint as it is ironic because a mistake of mine in magic led to me getting into mentalism:

A quick aside to set up my dillema: Ages ago in college I was attending a small "underground" Close Encounters of the Magic Kind convention near Rochester, NY hosted by Keith Walker. I was into performing close-up and platform "magic" at the time to help with tuition and through a friend-of-a-friend met Keith who got me into FFFF and CEMK. The venue allowed room for a lot of close-up walkaround with laymen afterwards. Not to drop names but very impressive attendees to a rank greenhorn like me were in attendance: Wesley James, Jamy Ian Swiss, Lovell, Hilford, etc. That in mind, the following is NOT a good situation to be in:

During one of these "sets" I SAW the beautiful at least 2 carat ring I was doing a version of ring-flite-to-wallet go FLYING across the room. I tried to cover and said "hey, it not only transported to my WALLET, it then LEFT there and ended up under that table!" Her unimpressed husband escorted me there and to BOTH our supprise we had an additional effect: the ring had vanished from there as well, and to an undisclosed location! Needless to say, my having to have the lights turned up to find it and calling in this impressive search party was VERY anti-climatic.

I couple of those lecturing that weekend turned me onto mentalism and I have NEVER regretted seling that Ring Flite!

Bryn
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Jordan Waller
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Man that reminds me of another cock up I performed.

You see I am very fond of pickpocketing. So in one of my sets I pretty much fleece some guy and then plant the majority of the stuff on someone else. Very entertaining and fun stuff normally...You see when I once performed this I managed to steal some guys watch and placed it in another guys inside pocket I then waited a long time to show the revelation. Anyhow I must have botched up the plant in the guys pocket or he felt an urge to check that pocket, because without me knowing he removed the watch from his pocket. I set up for the revelation pointed out the pocket to my horror it wasn't their.

The guy acted brilliantly as though he hadn't a clue what was happening. I ended up saying to the man who was now missing his rather expensive watch that I really hadn't got a clue were his wacth was. Off course he didn't believe me. He laughed thinking it was part of the act. I began panicking honestly believing that this guy had stolen the wacth and was going to sell it on the black market. He let e simmer for ten whole minutes panicking not realizing what I was going to do before he pulled it out of one of his other pockets.

Oh how I cried.
One day I will write a book
Watercooler
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Cardiff UK
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I once did scotch & soda and confidently handed out the 'half dollar' for examination. My spectator asked why there was a hair coming out of the coin!

Everytime I use this set now I'm on full alert for hair or fluff getting caught up in the action!
MentaThought
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Wasn't there an episode of Kreskin's 1970s TV series in which just about everything went wrong?
"A good mentalist ... will teach you a miracle because he understands the subtleties ..." -- Banachek

"If this works it'll be BEAUTIFUL!" - The Amazing Kreskin on a stunning effect he performed on his 1970s television series (PS: it worked)
chmara
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Tucson, AZ
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Biggesty screw up -- with best results -- getting married to the mother of my children.

Bigger screw - up ---- getting out of magic for 20 years.

Best recovery - getting back into magic 15 years ago -- finding nothing (really) had changed and changes I wanted to see still had to be made --- by me.
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

Commercial Operations, LLC

Tucson, AZ



C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
Looch
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A friend of mine (not mentioning any names) but regularly forgets what he has previously peeked, I saw him do a version of sneak thief and forget the peek for the DD. the same night he forget a word for a book test.
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Sean Fields
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Well, as it has become apparent, we have all flubbed something, somewhere, at some point. I have 2 instances that really go beyond description...

Story #1: It was a warm summer night up here in Winnipeg. I had been hired to work at a local nightclub for the finale to a citywide contest.

I was doing walkaround, and all was going wonderfully. The reactions I was getting were incredible. I then walked up to one table, and did my thing, and then, it happened...

I was doing Cigarette Thru Quarter (Belanger Method), in fact, I was using Belangers routine as well. I got to the point where the quarter sticks to the end of the cigarette, they were starting to freak, then... THE QUARTER FELL OFF, and landed on the table!

There I was, cigarette in hand, and a quarter with a gaping hole shimmering for all to see on the table.

I covered the only way I could think of, by pointing out that there quarter was defective. I did a spellbound change to 'heal' the hole, and walked away. Quickly.

Story #2: I was sitting having dinner with friend of mine, who is also a magician. Somehow, the waitress began discussing our profession with us. For some unknown reason, we thought it would be a good idea to do a little something for her.

Well, my friend did Perfect Card Calling with the Osterlind Breakthru Card System, and she was noticably impressed. I decided I was going to go straight for the jugular, and perform The Tesla Experiment. Unfortunately, it was not to be...

I drew a line across the back of the card, with an 'x' on the left hand side, much like a 'sign here' sort of thing, the same way I always set up my tear. Well, perhaps it was the alignment of the stars, or the phase of the moon. Whatever the reason, I wrote my line TOO LOW on the card, so when I did the tear (an elaboration of the Osterlind Tear I learned from Peek Performances), I saw NOTHING. That is not true, I saw the tops of a couple of letters...

I couldn't look through the pieces, because the heat was on, and the piece that would have the writing was already torn. I began doing the best revelation I could, trying to determine the name. I would have NEVER got this name in a million years, it was so unusual and obscure, to this day I can't remember what it is.

They say that occassional failure makes everything seem more realistic, but I don't think that concept applies to your first attempt. I was horribly embarrassed...

Remember, no matter how bad your screw up seems, there is someone who has screwed up worse... Stay tuned for stories of when my friends botched...

Sean
chichi711
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I was all pumped to do Osterlind's magazine test. I was so excited about finally performing it in my show that I forgot to write down a word on my black board. When the spec brought the magazine forward and she decided on a word that was circled I realized that I had never predicted anything. I was so ****ed off!!! I pulled some stuff out of my *** and made it look alright, or passable, but I learned a lot that day.
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