Sign up Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,600
Reply with quote  #1 
 SamTheNotSoMagnificent had a great topic on your best performances and it has gotten a little action so I thought we should also share stories where things DIDN'T go so great or at least as planned.

I'll start.

Back in my college days I was doing a manipulation act and featured doves, billiard balls, cards, thimbles, silks, linking rings, etc.

I booked a show at an assisted living facility and did a slightly "pared down" version of my act.  I also did some interactive routines but the manipulation part was to music.  Because I performed in a tuxedo, tails and all, I arrived and then changed into my attire and began the process of loading my jacket.  If you haven't done this, it really is like stuffing a turkey.  I had numerous clips and holders that had to be filled.  You have to do it there, because stuff falls out in transit.  It takes awhile to say the least.

As luck would have it I had arrived a tad late (traffic related) but with enough time to make the show start on time, I just had to rush my set up.

I started with the billiard balls and thimbles, a couple of match pulls,  then the four doves and finally the silks.  I also had a piece of flash string that I had tucked into my waistcoat.  Well on this occasion I forgot to load the silk that the flash string was going to transform into.  Doh!

So imagine my surprise when I got to the point in the act where I was supposed to steal a rolled-up silk and then pull the flash string out, light it and let the silk unroll for a flashy production - only to find that the silk holder was empty.  I had been in a rush to get going and just simply missed it.

So I reached and felt the empty clip, grabbed the string anyway, pulled the lit match from my lapel and lit the string.  The string burned away and.......nothing.  I just smiled.  They thought it was cool anyway and how did they know there was supposed to be a silk, right?  The only problem with that scenario is that I was going to produce a dove from that silk.  So I had to improvise so I "borrowed" a silk that was going to be used for another effect and was able to produce the bird anyway.  

When you work to music, unless it is nebulous background music (mine wasn't), you have to hit your marks so to speak.  Certain songs go with certain tricks and have punctuation moments to reinforce certain productions, vanishes, etc.  Once you get off track it can be hard to get back on.  I was able to maintain my tempo.

In the end it worked out and maybe I was the only one to notice, but I learned an important lesson.  One, always account for unforseen delays such as traffic jams and two, make sure to go through each effect in your head as you load up and make sure that all of the loads are accounted for!

So what whoopsie moments have you encountered?
0
krolik

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 28
Reply with quote  #2 
Once I was putting a folding half dollar into a bottle and the band broke. Didn't realize till it was too late. Result: a coin that looked like twisted wreckage. Made a feeble joke about being strong and hurried on to the next thing...
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,600
Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krolik
Once I was putting a folding half dollar into a bottle and the band broke. Didn't realize till it was too late. Result: a coin that looked like twisted wreckage. Made a feeble joke about being strong and hurried on to the next thing...


That's why some prefer a "deep cut" so that you can wrap two bands around the coin.

Seriously, when things like that happen all you can do is smile, make a joke and move on.

The trick is to take a deep breath and then go into something that blows them away and hope they forget.

If you've developed any kind of rapport, they will likely be quite kind about it.
0
SamtheNotsoMagnificent

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 57
Reply with quote  #4 
We seem to have a particularly shy group of people here. [tongue]
0
luigimar

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member - Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 1,248
Reply with quote  #5 
My wife once (more than 15 years ago!) had a dinner at home with some of her friends from work. They knew I like magic so they wanted to see a show. I prepared some effects and everything went all right. For the finale, I had prepared the Thumcuffs escape. I asked one of the guests to come to the front with me and help with the effect. When I took out the thumbcuffs to put them on the helper to check that they were real, I noticed that he didn't have part of one of his thumbs!! And the other one had a deformity! (I never noticed that when he arrived!) I started thinking... What to do?! And I went ahead and put them on his thumbs gently. Luckily he had enough "flesh and bone" to be constrained by the cuffs and I kept going as if nothing had happened... I took them off him and then I asked him to put them on me. Since he wasn't too strong I felt the cuffs were a little loose and I asked another guest to close them a little more so I could do the trick. I had another guest cover my hands with a handkerchief so I could do the magic and I started getting my hands off the cuffs one at a time and then showing that I was really constrained (you know this effect, that sometimes can be played humorously, getting your hands out of the handkerchief one at a time and then going underneath again and showing that one is really constrained...). Finally I escaped and I got a nice round of applause but I was really embarrassed of having put this guest on the spot with his hand problems. So, next time I do the trick, I'll check people's hands before I asked them to help me with this effect.
__________________
Luigimar
Magic is Within...
0
krolik

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 28
Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamtheNotsoMagnificent
We seem to have a particularly shy group of people here. [tongue]


Yes, plus the fact that it's sometimes hard to know where to begin!
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,600
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by luigimar
My wife once (more than 15 years ago!) had a dinner at home with some of her friends from work. They knew I like magic so they wanted to see a show. I prepared some effects and everything went all right. For the finale, I had prepared the Thumcuffs escape. I asked one of the guests to come to the front with me and help with the effect. When I took out the thumbcuffs to put them on the helper to check that they were real, I noticed that he didn't have part of one of his thumbs!! And the other one had a deformity! (I never noticed that when he arrived!) I started thinking... What to do?! And I went ahead and put them on his thumbs gently. Luckily he had enough "flesh and bone" to be constrained by the cuffs and I kept going as if nothing had happened... I took them off him and then I asked him to put them on me. Since he wasn't too strong I felt the cuffs were a little loose and I asked another guest to close them a little more so I could do the trick. I had another guest cover my hands with a handkerchief so I could do the magic and I started getting my hands off the cuffs one at a time and then showing that I was really constrained (you know this effect, that sometimes can be played humorously, getting your hands out of the handkerchief one at a time and then going underneath again and showing that one is really constrained...). Finally I escaped and I got a nice round of applause but I was really embarrassed of having put this guest on the spot with his hand problems. So, next time I do the trick, I'll check people's hands before I asked them to help me with this effect.


I'm sure that had to be a jolt to you. Good on you to rebound and carry on. Maybe in the end the guy will remember you as that kind man who didn't pass him over. People who live with "differences" tend to forget them. If it didn't embarrass him don't let it embarrass you.
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,600
Reply with quote  #8 
Nobody likes to remember "whoopsies".  Like when you pick up the chop cup and there are two balls underneath when there should only be one.  But I think there is a lot to be learned from failure.  Not that screwing up a trick or having bad luck is failure, it isn't.  Knowing how to extract yourself from adversity with dignity and carry on is what matters.

I was hoping for more examples of when things didn't go as planned and how you got out of it.  We all can learn.
0
Waterman

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 606
Reply with quote  #9 
I was using a blown egg for a walk around egg bag routine. At one point in the routine I asked a young girl to verify that the egg was in the bag by feeling it through the material...she verified a bit too aggressively as there was an audible crunch which could be heard by the audience. The girl look mortified and was on the verge of tears. Meanwhile the audience members were laughing which only upset the girl more.

I held the bag up and shook it while at the same time reaching in my pocket for a sponge ball. I explained that the eggs I use are supposed to break because I need the special yolk form inside them. I reached in with the palmed sponge ball and produced it as if it was part of the routine. 

Unfortunately, I let that experience divert me from using the egg bag. I recently ordered a more durable (and magnetic) fake egg to help prompt me back into using it again. 
0
luigimar

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member - Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 1,248
Reply with quote  #10 
What I wrote was my biggest whoopsie so far. Of course we've had more when presenting a card effect, as when you think you have a double but it is a triple card or a single or when you do a Jordan when you need an Elmsley count... what we just do is turn around, set up and try again.  

What you can do to avoid this is practice, practice, practice at home and also practice in front of an audience. That's the best way to know what to do in case of a whoopsie. 

One thing I remember Tamariz has said (don't remember where) is to practice as much as you can and also practice the possible mistakes and find a way out. If you do that, you will be ready for anything, including whoopsies...

__________________
Luigimar
Magic is Within...
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,600
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterman
I was using a blown egg for a walk around egg bag routine. At one point in the routine I asked a young girl to verify that the egg was in the bag by feeling it through the material...she verified a bit too aggressively as there was an audible crunch which could be heard by the audience. The girl look mortified and was on the verge of tears. Meanwhile the audience members were laughing which only upset the girl more.

I held the bag up and shook it while at the same time reaching in my pocket for a sponge ball. I explained that the eggs I use are supposed to break because I need the special yolk form inside them. I reached in with the palmed sponge ball and produced it as if it was part of the routine. 

Unfortunately, I let that experience divert me from using the egg bag. I recently ordered a more durable (and magnetic) fake egg to help prompt me back into using it again. 


I guess the blown egg wasn't what it was cracked up to be....sorry, couldn't resist.  But should have!

Seriously, this is definitely an issue with blown eggs.  Hopefully the new egg works out better.  I'm interested in how you might exploit the magnetic feature.  Do you have a magnetic holdout?
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,600
Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by luigimar
What I wrote was my biggest whoopsie so far. Of course we've had more when presenting a card effect, as when you think you have a double but it is a triple card or a single or when you do a Jordan when you need an Elmsley count... what we just do is turn around, set up and try again.  

What you can do to avoid this is practice, practice, practice at home and also practice in front of an audience. That's the best way to know what to do in case of a whoopsie. 

One thing I remember Tamariz has said (don't remember where) is to practice as much as you can and also practice the possible mistakes and find a way out. If you do that, you will be ready for anything, including whoopsies...


Good advice, whatever can go wrong will eventually go wrong if you do it often enough.
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,600
Reply with quote  #13 
I just remembered a funny story.  This isn't technically a whoopsie, but it was nerve-wracking at the time.

I was asked to do a performance at a Blue & Gold Banquet for the Boy Scouts many years go.  I hadn't done my whole "stage" routine in a while and had long since gotten rid of my doves, etc. but I decided to put together several manipulation-type effects and do them to music and then switch over to stand up with audience participation, etc.

So I began the first part of the show and at one point I have to reach behind my lapel to get a lit match.  I have the typical metal match pulls with sandpaper, etc.  They are awesome, never have failed me....until then.  I reached behind the lapel, grabbed the stem of the match and pulled.  It came out just fine, lit as usual.  I touched it to the flash string and suddenly a red silk took its place.  No problem yet.  I started to go into color-changing silks when all of the sudden I smelled something.  It was definitely a burning smell.  The match creates a smell when lit but this was different.  There was smoke coming from behind my lapel!  I have no idea how or why and it had never happened before.  There must have been a loose thread that caught fire or something.  All I know is that it was smoky, a bit hot and I patted the lapel and the problem went away.  I just looked at the crowd, shrugged my shoulders as if to say "what the heck"? and carried on.

Fire in acts can have serious repercussions but this was just a stupid match pull.  It's not like Great White when the flash pots set the ceiling on fire in Rhode Island.  Oh well, stuff happens!
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.