The Magic Caf
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » What happened, was this... » » Worst performance experience? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2~3~4~5~6~7 [Next]
J R Thomas
View Profile
Regular user
Champaign Illinois
138 Posts

Profile of J R Thomas
In responding to some of the notes I have been reminded of some of the horrible performance conditions I have experienced over the years.

Kids lying on the floor looking up at my hands, a religous zealot accusing me of being in league with the devil, a women putting her hands in my outside jacket pockets and a rubber 8 ball falling out of my hands bouncing on the table and landing in the middle of plate of nachos.

I’d be glad to elaborate on any of these further if any of you would like to hear. I’d really like to hear from all of you. Share your worst performance experience.

Those who hear not the music

Think the dancers mad
Andy Charlton
View Profile
Veteran user
Palma Nova Mallorca Spain
311 Posts

Profile of Andy Charlton
My worst moment illustrated the point of rehearsing fully as if on the gig. I finish
"Jiggernaut," by vanishing the jigger using a silk and a topitt. Practiced it till it worked every time at home. On the gig, CLANG! jigger on the floor Smile Thinking fast, due to adrenalin now flowing like water, (and I never knew adrenaline was brown!) I thought, "as they don’t know what I was trying to do I will just say I dropped it and do it again"....... CLANG!!! Smile

I tried once more, really carefully...... CCCLLLAAANNNGGGG!!!! Smile Smile Smile What a humiliation.

The point of all this? When I got home and did it again I worked out what was happening, The Jigger was bouncing off of a large marker pen that I had in my pocket for another effect, that hadn’t been there during practice. So,



Life’s simple if you make it simple.

"Keep that smile on your face, that excitement in your eyes." - Don Driver

Check out
View Profile
Veteran user
309 Posts

Profile of Bengi
A few years ago I did a show for 150 kids at a church festival. The entire show went very smoothly, until.....

I finished my last effect,

and the stage was rushed by all 150 kids!!!!

I was stunned, to say the least!

By the time it was over, I was missing hundreds of dollars worth of magic items!!!!

I had asked the people in charge before the show to keep the children away after my performance, but when this crowd swooped down on me there was no getting away.

I suggested to the church later that a better lesson in "Thou shalt not steal" should be bestowed in these children!

The lesson I learned? I now have several people who work as my "security staff"!

Bengi Smile
Scott F. Guinn
View Profile
Inner circle
"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
6586 Posts

Profile of Scott F. Guinn

On 2001-10-26 08:21, J R Thomas wrote:

a religous zealot accusing me of being in league with the devil...

That has happened to me quite a few times as well. The ignorance of that kind of thinking amuses me, particularly since I have been a Christian since I was 5, I went to Bible College, I was a youth Pastor at a VERY conservative church, and I’m currently a worship leader at another VERY conservative church!

I have come up with a line that has served me well when I am accosted by these ignorant people: "Sir, if I had supernatural powers, would I be doing card tricks for tips in a restaurant in Idaho?"

This has, in every case but one, "done the trick" so to speak. In that one case, the guy got really belligerent and threatened me. I had already told him I was a fellow believer, but he was getting irate and abusive. I looked him right in the eye and said, "Jesus said, ’This is how men will know you are my disciples, by your love for one another.’ God bless you, brother." I then turned on my heel and walked away.

Sorry, don’t mean to turn into the Magic Cafe preacher, here. JR’s post just struck a chord.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
My Lybrary Page
View Profile
Special user
Just outside parts unknown.
713 Posts

Profile of Magicman0323
Jr. I'm sure we would all like to hear about those other experiences, start tellin!

You'll wonder when I'm coming, you'll wonder even more when I'm gone. - Max Malini
Magical Dimensions
View Profile
Inner circle
5001 Posts

Profile of Magical Dimensions
My worst performance experience happend back in the mid 80’s. I was doing a stage show. The lights dimmed, the music came up, the spots turn on.

I then notice a silk that fell off my table and I bent over to pick it up. I ripped the whole back end of my pants out.... I stood up, said a word or two to myself and then the curtains open!

The show must go on.................
View Profile
Inner circle
Orlando, FL
1238 Posts

Profile of Jeff
This qualifies as my worst experience but happened because of my lack of experience.

When I was 16 I was a demonstrator in a magic shop and thought I knew everything. I was invited by a friend to a summer party at a local hotel. At the time I was into escapes and was asked to do something at the party.

I had a few people tie me to a chair with 100 feet of rope. Then I got the bright idea to have them throw me in the pool so I could make my escape under water.

I was 16 and very brash, I thought this would be no problem as I had escaped from the rope tie dozens of times. Of course I did not count on the rope shrinking in the water.

I’m here to tell this story only because a friend jumped in to help me out.

That would be my worst.

Available for order now:

See new, used, and collectable magic and books for sale at:
Stephen Long
View Profile
Inner circle
1481 Posts

Profile of Stephen Long
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 frowned, told my small audience that I’d have to try that one again later and went onto the most impressive effect I had at the time (a switch places torn & restored type thing.) I did the 'Invisible Deck' as my closer instead, this time with the right deck.

Apart from the appalling opening, I think the routine went quite well, maybe by the time I finished they had forgotten all about this strange man who had approached them and failed to do anything initially impressive whatsoever.

Now-a-days if I use it, I always keep it in my right pocket, so I can ask myself,

"Have I got the RIGHT deck?"

ah dear...

we live and learn.

or at any rate, we live.



"All the world’s a cookie jar,

The people merely crumbs.

I happen to be one of the chocolate chips"

View Profile
Special user
Just outside parts unknown.
713 Posts

Profile of Magicman0323
OK I guess I’m up now.

When I was just getting into magic for the first time I bought a pair of really nice thumbcuffs, learned to escape with them, and set out to AMAZE all my friends.

We all used to hang out on a bridge that was over a stream that ran out behind my house, well it was rainy that day, so we all mounted our bikes for a quick getaway just in case it started to pour.

I was sitting on my bike, pulled out those wonderful cuffs and explained that I was an escape artist and I wanted to prove it to all them. My best friend told me to hold my arms out and place them around the frame to make it even more impossible, so I did.

He locked them on WAY to tight to the point of cutting off circulation, I told him to loosen them just a little bit, and he dropped the key right into the stream, and since it was raining all day long, the stream was starting to look like a river.

I couldn’t escape from these things to save my life, I ended up having to have my bike taken apart so I could get my arms FREE, then having my Mom go to the hardware store and buying a huge pair of bolt cutters to set me free.

I couldn’t bend my thumbs for the rest of the day since they were so swollen.

Now I know what is running through your mind, why didn’t you just get the other key, well it ran through everyone else’s mind too, since they demanded to have both keys before the escape took place. Smile

Darn thumbcuffs Smile



This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time - Fight Club
You'll wonder when I'm coming, you'll wonder even more when I'm gone. - Max Malini
View Profile
New user
54 Posts

Profile of M.P.D.
WOW! I can't compare with some of those stories! I admit... it was hard for me to read all the way through some of them... I guess one of the worst things that had ever happend to me was when I was about 17 and I had a partner that never practiced with me.

I rented out a local conference center for a really hard earned $500.00, rented a popcorn machine, bought a quantity of snickers bars, and roller-bladed all over town for days handing out 500 flyers to promote my/our show.

I wrote a long script with patter, light cues, etc. five minutes before the show my partner spilled pepsi on the script, during one of the solo tricks I was doing, I stepped off to the left of the stage and my flash pot went off (scaring the c**p out of me) the whole show sucked, but I had one last thing that was going to save the show and make everyone forget about the rest..... THE METAMORPHOSIS!!!

So, I get locked in the box, the music was rolling, and SHABAM!!! we switch places... I triumphantly pose on top of the box and Yell out... WHO HAS THE KEY?!........ (no response).............. WHO HAS THE KEY?!........................... and then... all was silent for a moment, and I hear, in a very faint voice, daaaaannnn.... I have the keeeey! (the audience roars with laughter) and I go back to the box and my partner is trying to slide the key through the boards on the box and I finally get him out.... I no longer work with anyone in my show. Smile
Mark Alan
View Profile
New user
St. Augustine Fl.
64 Posts

Profile of Mark Alan
Hi Everyone.. Here's mine. It was about 20 years ago, I was 23 and had booked a 30 min. stand-up show for St. Joe's children's hospital. My show was set and I was in my dressing room/linen closet, when a nurse came in with a little girl who wanted to meet me. She was (VERY SICK) but wanted to show me the new dress that her mom bought her to wear to my show.

When she left I said to my wife, I don't know if I can do this, (I had tears in my eyes) of course I had to. There were about 200 people there kids, staff, and family. I opened with the Al Baker paper tear, A fully restored newspaper between my hands and about 30 small pieces of paper all over the floor. It didn't get much better after that. I was not prepared for that type of audience. Thankfully over the years I have done many of these type shows with great success. (but that first one OUCH..) Mark Smile
Matt Graves
View Profile
Special user
Huntsville, Alabama (USA)
504 Posts

Profile of Matt Graves
Well mine isn't so bad - man, that one about being in league with the devil would be a tough one. My Grandpa on my Dad's side actually thinks that magic tricks are of the devil and lead to "worse things" (which I would assume to be like black magic or something...)

I did a bunch of tricks for his second wife and my half-uncle up there one night when he was at work, and they liked it so much they were telling him all about it when he got home, and next thing I knew my Dad told me that "your Grandpa is really worried about you and this magic stuff..."

Thankfully neither of my parents are that way. My Dad is about as strictly religious as you can get (he thinks everyone except members of his denomination are going to h**l... including his parents and... well... me...)

And that thing about being thrown in the swimming pool was just horrifying to read... my gosh... I used to consider doing that very escape... don't think I'll be trying it now... and that thing about the thumbcuffs... dude you have my deepest sympathies... mine is rather minor compared to these - but here it is:

I was in 7th grade, and I've got this funny little routine I did pushing a coin up my nose, out my ear, in my eyeball, out my mouth, and so on and so forth... anyway, I started to do it for this girl that I had a "huge" crush on, and when I pushed the coin "up my nose" I just froze in terror for some reason. She just rolled her eyes and said sarcastically "Oh WOW!" and turned away.... Smile I'll bet my face was as red as a beet... Smile I still get embarrassed just thinking about it... Smile

P.S. Yes, J.R., I'd love to hear any and all of them! Smile
View Profile
New user
54 Posts

Profile of M.P.D.
I was doing "card to balloon" with that expensive metal gimmicked frame in a comedy club and I picked the wrong person to come up on stage... he was drunk... very, very drunk. So he gets up on stage and on his way he knocks down the aparatus all over the floor and he goes down with it. Another time I was bartending in Florida and I was juggling limes behind the bar and I tossed a ball out a bit and it landed right in this lady's drink, splashing her really good in the face. Smile Smile Smile Smile
Bird Brain
View Profile
Regular user
161 Posts

Profile of Bird Brain
HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!!!! THAT is funny! That is REALLY funny!

Bird Brain
Yes I know my enemies
They're the teachers who taught me to fight me
Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission
Ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite
All of which are American Dreams, All of which are American Dreams
Chris Becker
View Profile
Veteran user
New York, NY
371 Posts

Profile of Chris Becker
Ok, my turn.
I was 14 and our local club celebrated its 90th anniversary with a couple of stage shows. We had only about 100 people every show but at that age I was extremely nervous anyway. However, things were supposed to go much worse.
When the curtain opened, the lights went on I hopped on my skateboard and started in the direction of mid-stage. Unfortunately the music didn't start. Not only did I nearly fall off the skateboard, but I had to perform in complete silence for the next four minutes. Ulitmately the music started but of course it had nothing to do with what I was performing right then. I had to stretch the remaining thirty seconds of my rope routine to almost three minutes.

I later learned, the beginning of the tape was all messed up and it took our technician so much time to fix it.

Have fun, Chris
- - -
<BR>Cards don't cheat people. People cheat people.
View Profile
New user
21 Posts

Profile of UpclseNprsnl
Wow, I can only wait till I get older and do actual shows and stuff after listening to all the bad performances. Smile

But, I think that the good most definitely outways the bad. Plus, you have to be caught every once in awhile to make you realize what needs to be polished on certain things. Sometimes when you do tricks for yourself, you don't see your faults, but like the saying goes, you learn from your mistakes.
Jeb Sherrill
View Profile
Inner circle
1161 Posts

Profile of Jeb Sherrill
A good point!
I don't believe in reincarnation, but I may have in another life.
View Profile
Regular user
108 Posts

Profile of Tricky
Reading this really brightened up my day!

I also learned, friends are a no, no...
so are little kids, and parents and grandparents!!!

So...... at least we have mirrors!
View Profile
Regular user
171 Posts

Profile of Gawin
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, do a trick again!!!

What happend - I let a match float over a card IT Smile O.K. none with this but whole audience (5 of my best friends)shouting Do THIS again and I did Smile

"Oh look, he uses thin thread" I heard Smile Smile d**m it - this WAS a lesson!!!

Never do this again!!! Smile
Geoff Williams
View Profile
Special user
St. Pete Beach, FL
617 Posts

Profile of Geoff Williams
At a grief retreat (where families spend the weekend getting over the loss of a loved one in their family), I was hired to do a 45-min comedy magic show to allow folks to take a brief respite from the psychologically and physically draining exercises of the weekend.

At one point in my show, I have everybody raise their RIGHT hand to take an oath. I notice one adult who is raising his LEFT hand and so I, with mock scolding, try to make him raise his correct hand. I was VERY insistant.

Everything got really quiet. I believe that's when my mouth fell open.

He didn't have a right arm.

I was in shock.

I must have recovered well as, after the show, no one mentioned my "faux pas." In fact, they just booked me again for the next retreat this June (this will be my 5th year with them). They may have forgotten about it but I know I never will.

"Saját légpárnás tele van angolnák."

(Hungarian for "My hovercraft is full of eels")
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » What happened, was this... » » Worst performance experience? (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2~3~4~5~6~7 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2022 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.05 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL