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Profile of Terry
This is a beaut...
It happened about 30 years ago....

My father owned a bar in a small town in Sayreville New Jersey. I was about 10 or 12 years old. A regular came in and ordered a beer or two. He produced a guillotine and put the cigarette in one hole and his finger in the other as ususal. He entertained the crown for an hour or so by cutting cigarettes in half and mysteriously saving his finger.

After a few times of this and a few more beers, as I remember, he put his finger in and dared some of the nearby patrons to slam the guillotine down. None took up on the offer.
The patron then made a fist, and slammed down on the guillotine, and you guessed it...
He nearly cut his finger off.
There was blood pooling up all over the bar and my dad ran to get some towels to mop it up.

I remember that I wanted that trick. I couldn't understand why my dad was against it.

Now that I've rekindled my interested in magic I need to go out and get one. Smile

Does anyone have a show-quality guillotine for sale - seriously?

What fond memories..but the moral is - never drink and practice in a guillotine - magic can be dangerous.

Maestro -
My immediate reaction reaction was that it was funny, but that quickly changed when I realized it wasnt part of the act.
She was about 20 feet away. I mean man, this thing really hit her dab solid in noggin. Her knees sort of buckled and the juggler ran over.

I left at that point.


Husker du..

Putting paper straw through potatoes?!?

Buying the snake matches and using the chemical snake to make folded cigarette pack foil get so hot you cant hold it in your palm?!

I saw the same fellow who almost cut his finger off eat a light bulb, a shot glass, and a highball glass. He actually broke the glass with his teeth, chewed it, and swallowed it. He put salt and pepper on the glass shards as he ate them.

Pardon my stroll down memory lane...

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Profile of Indyfan
Okay, my turn!
I work for an engineering company, and our project secretary asked me to perform magic at a project party we were having in a pub. So, eventually, the project manager saw me doing some stuff, and said "You have to show the client this stuff".

So I do a few things for the client, and the crowd starts getting bigger & bigger & bigger. I glance at the roof to see if Card to Ceiling would work, and it looked fine. So, I figured, here's where I'm going to blow them away. I get ready to toss the deck to the roof, and just as I look up, the chandelier temporarily blinded me, throwing my toss way off.

The deck hit the roof at an angle, then fell, and hit the poor waitress that was walking by right under her eye (on her cheek). She grabbed her eye & ran off....

Of course I ran over to her to make sure she was okay, which she was, but not impressed at all. So to make up for that trick (the crowd was still there), I decided to do Ambitious card, with the already signed card (which obviously didnt' stick to the roof). As the crimped card was about to "pop" to the top, I realized something wasn't right.....there was still a little bit of w** on the card, so another card had stuck to it, preventing the 'popping' action. I blew 2 in a row, not to mention almost knocking the waitress out.

I pulled off an easy Daley's Last Trick & said "I'm done". I found the waitress, apologized, and bought her a drink to smooth things over. The funny thing is, about a month earlier, I was in the same pub, did Card to the Ceiling, and as I explained to the waitress the effect, she looked up and said "was that you?". I laughed & told her "THAT'S what's supposed to happen."
Amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
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Profile of w3irDO
Well, well ,well.... i've been doing quite alot of show and there were one show i'll never forget in my entire life!!!
I perform stage show normally, so at this show i've told the incharge person when during my show i'll be performing infornt of the curtain and never open the curtain. So i started off with the dancing cane and just starting of this effect the curtain is open Smile and the gimmick is been seen . Not only that i thought that maybe my ending will save me. At that time i suppose to throw the dove upwards and it changes into a silk. but things doesn't happen as what have been plan. the dove did not went into the "pocket" instead it fly straight behind me and the silk i throw too front that i have to run forward to catch it back. Well, you could actually imagine the dove flying to the right side of the stage while i'm running to the left side trying to catch back the silk. And after the show, people come to me and ask what suppose to happen at the end!!! Smile real disaster!!!
Caleb Strange
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Profile of Caleb Strange
I started out, many years ago, as a juggler. It was my very first paid show. In a pub car park, lots of families out for an organised 'Fun day'.

I started with a rola bola routine, and wanting to make a big impression, after they introduced me, I prowled that car park like a man possessed. The planned moves went out of the window. I threw down the cylinder. Hurled the board on top. More mad eyed staring, and I knew I'd got all their attention. Then one vigorous, unrehearsed deep knee bend later, rippp went the back of my pants. No kidding. About fifteen seconds into the career.

From that moment on, I learnt to cover all eventualities, so to speak. Though that didn't stop me working a Nursing Home with the zipper down. Does that happen once to all male performers? It won't happen again!

I can't resist telling you about a friend of mine who runs circus skills workshops. He was at this secondary school, on his four foot stilts, when he assembles a crowd of kids, and says 'We're gonna start with a lesson in trust. I'm going to turn round, and fall backwards, and I know you're going to catch me'. Big mistake. The floor was nearly as hard as these kids hearts. And my friend was out of action for a couple of weeks. When he told us about this, expecting to elicit sympathy, the standard reply was a withering, 'What did you expect?'


Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
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Profile of Dynamike
I was performing for adults. My last trick was the Chair Suspension. The lady fell off. I don't if I had her uncentered, or if she moved. It happened about 10 years ago. It still lurks my mind in an embarrising way.

After the show I told her I was sorry. Her husband said in a mean manner, "Why you drop my wife!" I'm glad it didn't get physical.
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Profile of Zorak
These stories are hilarious (but embarrassing at the time, I am sure.)
In my over 3 decades of performing magic I've learned that everything that can go wrong WILL at some time or another. Strings will break, wrong cards forced, props will malfunction, flies will be open etc.
I'll just tell you 2 incidents of mine out of many, over the years.
I was performing a Christmas show in a hall, there were over 300 guests, seated at tables.
My daughter who was my assistant at the time had taken ill, so my 15 year old son (who was into body building) acted as her substitute.
I was doing some last minute prep before the music would start and the show would began. I handed the loaded dove streamer to my son, Dean, as I set a flashpot.

The music began, I fourished the streamer through the air. gathered it and released the dove. The DEAD Dove! My son had gripped it so tight he broke its neck,
I immediately realized its lifeless condition and began pumping my arms up and down causing the wings to flap. Luckily, the vanish was the dove to silk in the dove mat and the audience was none the wiser. Whew! (I can think of hardly anything worse than producing a dead animal)
Another time, I was the magician working with 2 clown assistants, on stage in an auditorium. All 3 of us were "mic'd" for sound. I had just done a silk vanish with a pull and reached over to pick a prop off my table when I heard the clown behind me whisper to me, "Your ball is hanging out!"
not realizing her words were being amplified to the whole audience. Of course, she meant my hank ball had gotten hung up under the back edge of my jacket. At first I didn't know what she meant and looked down. The audience was laughing and roared when I looked down and my face turning beet red when I realized what they were laughing at!
From that time on all my pulls are on reels.
I would like to close by saying to the new people in the business, stiff upper lip ole chum. This is a business that has an embarrassing moment waiting just around the corner. Be prepared and try to develope an "out" for every effect you do. Smile Merry Christmas to all!
Magic is in the hearts of children from 1 to 101
Please check out my Website:
MAGIC CARTOONS all drawn by Zorak
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Profile of marko
Me, 14 years old, onstage during an outside function (I thought it was going to take place inside). My first effect was the Cups & Balls. It was an unusually windy day. You can take it from here. The shop didn't get any better.
Thought: Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
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Profile of peppermeat2000
This experience was HUMILIATING at the time but now throws everyone I share it with (including myself) into hysterics.

I was called to do a show for a group of nudists at an upscale Manhatten banquet facility. I originally thought that the group would allow me to perform with clothing but later was informed that I was expected to perform "au natural". The gig was to pay extremely well and being fresh out of college and fairly open-minded, I decided to accept. Believe me, I was more nervous than I had ever been before a performance and when I got to the banquet hall my mouth was so dry I could hardly talk.

A rep from the banquet hall greeted me and pointed to the room which housed the nudist party. He directed me to a small room where I could remove my clothing and where I would find a door leading to the party. I planned on making my entrance by rolling my close up table into the room and modestly staying behind it as much as possible. Once I stripped down to my birthday suit, I took a deep breath,and on the count of three,boldly rolled out my table into the banquet room.The room was dark and loud music blared over the sound system. While I adjusted my eyes to the dark I began setting up a few props onto my table.I stood behind the table for a few minutes and began to think it odd that so many people were dressed in formal attire.

Before I could put two and two together, an irate gentleman was screaming in my face and asking what the h*&^ I thought I was doing. Within seconds a large crowd had formed around me,some angry and some laughing. It was explained to me by the first gentleman who approached me that this was his daughters wedding reception. He wanted to know who put me up to this stunt and all I could do was stand there like a naked idiot with a deck of cards in my hands.

Finally the guy who met me in the lobby showed up and apologized profusely to both the father of the bride and myself. He had unwittingly showed me the wrong door to enter for the nudist party and didn't realize the mistake until an elderly woman ran screaming into the banquet hall lobby that a "rapist" was on the loose at the wedding reception.After several embarassing minutes I soon found myself performing for the nudists and tallying up another interesting chapter to my life as a magician.
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Profile of JSMagic
Now that is messed up
If a magician is not intending to "trick" a spectator, why is every "trick" called a magic "trick"?
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Profile of markjens
Reminds me of the back of a magician's business card that I still have. I saved it for this very reason.
1. No, I won't do it again.
2. No, I won't tell you how its done.
3. No, you can't look at it.
Oh, and the word "no" in each case is in bold type.

On 2002-03-20 13:53, Gawin wrote:
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
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Profile of DavidEscapes
Hi all

My worst performence experience is not magical, is is from a trapeze show I did a couple of years ago at an outdoor event in the spring.

I was doing 4 solo shows a day for the public at a stately home, out on their lawn. Two sideshow & escape shows finishing with a suspended straitjacket escape and two trapeze shows. There was only one performer (me) and two people crewing (my girlfriend and one other). We had a trapeze rig consisting of two 30 foot high scaffold towers with a long truss inbetween.

Anyway, on the last day, third show of the day. I went out as usual to do my trapeze/ acro routine. It was a 20 minute show ending with 7 minutes on the trapeze. Loads of kids were there and I was dressed in this kind of alien fantasy outfit. Really cute with lots of fun fur! As I started there was rain and wind. Almost enough to call off the show but not quite. Anyway, just before I went on the trapeze I did a bit where I jumped from about 6 foot high off the scaffold. I landed on the crash mat under the trapeze and in an unseen pool of water which had formed on it. My body went one way as I rolled as intended but my foot sliped another. SNAP went my ankle!

I lay on the ground for a few moments them looked up to see lots of worried little faces staring at me. I couldn't just be carried off there and then. I had managed to make the kids really love this character and it would have hurt them I think. So, I just got up and carried on. I did the routine and the adrenaline kept the pain to one side for the next five minutes. Though one particular move which leaves you with the trapeze ropes twisted around the ankle was agony. After the show I shook some hands and said some thank yous. Then just about managed to get changed in mmy little tent before my girlfriend had to get me a wheelchair and cart me off to first aid.

I managed to do my last show of the day (sideshow) with my ankle heavily taped, though the suspended straitjacket escape was right out! After that I only had to spend two hours climbing the scaffolding to de-rig and pack. Another two hour journey home then an hour carrying the scaffolding to the garage so the van could be taken back to the hire company. I finally managed to get to hospital the next morning. I needed a lot of physio to get over that one.

It was quite a day!

Have fun

David Victor - The artist formally (and still occasionally) known as David Straitjacket.

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Profile of RandyStewart
On 2001-12-06 07:00, Andy Charlton wrote:
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,


Your post remains one of my favorites!
I'm a serious user of the Topitt. However, in rehearsal I've experienced every moment you described above. Those of us who use a Topitt will try to throw everything but the kitchen sink in there. I've missed using new objects and hit everything from Kosta Boda glassware to the dog!

Thanks for sharing with us. Smile

Randy Stewart
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Profile of magician_carter
I actually have had more than my share of bad moments, but the two that really stand out is, one, I was going to do professors nightmare. I got the ropes to the point where the ropes were folded at my fingertips and completely forgot the next move to stretch them. The audience not knowing what I was going to do, thought it was funny and I just moved on, playing it off, got a laugh and moved on to my next effect. My other one, actually happened last night. I have been working on David Regal's Clearly Impossible for the last two months. I got it flawless. I video'd it, did it infront of the mirror. No angle problems, the handling was great in my opinion. I decided to show it last night for a couple of friends last night. One is a magician, the others were not. I got the 4 coins in the glass, put my hand under the table to catch the coin coming through the table, turned the glass over and pulled my hand up. I said "See, three coins, and the one that went through the table. When I looked, I had four coins on the table and the one in my hand. My "gimmick" didn't hold. I was so shaken by that, I didn't even have an come back. Time to move on to the next effect. Smile
Without Magic, Life is Boring.
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Profile of Turk
Alright, here goes:



I had a friend of mine over one night and I was just starting out doing magic. I had known this guy for 12 years (gone to 4 years of college with him, 2 years at the same military post with him (what a coincidence!) and about 6 years of knowing him "off and on" since the military. He lives in TX, I live in OR.

He is gay, I am not. I only mention this because it has a bearing on the story.

One day, unannounced, this friend came to visit my wife and I here in Portland and announced that he was going on a 6 month trip to Europe and was just stopping off to say good-bye for the 6 month interim.

Well, after dinner, the talk got around to magic and I decided to do some simple mentalism/mental magic for him.

As part of this performance (ALL simple tricks), I performed a self-working card trick out of "Scarne's Tricks" called "Birds of a Feather", "Doves of a Feather". "Do as I Do"--or something like that.

The effect was that we would each have a deck of cards, each would shuffle and "feeely" select a card from our deck, put the card on top of the deck and cut the deck as many times as we liked. We would then switch decks and find our selected card in the other's deck, and when located, the cards matched!! Stupid easy self-working card trick.

Anyway, here was my patter: My emphasis was that I would imitate his actions identically. If he shuffled 4 times, I shuffled 4 times. If he cut the deck 6 times, I cut the deck 6 times. Etc. I emphasized that since we were doing identical actions, our cards selected should be identical. THEY WERE (and they were the same for each of the 4 or 5 times I repeated the trick). He was flabbergasted. In an off-hand manner, as I was puting the deck away, I mentioned that this experiment "proved" that we were in tune with each other, had the same vibes--or some other B.S. off-handed extemporaneous comment.

He left the next morning for his 6 month trip to Eurpoe still babbling about the trick!!

Well, about a month later, there was a knock on my door, and it was my friend!! He had thought about this trick every day since he left for Europe...and came to the realization that "we were meant for each other" and he came back to the USA to be with me!!!

WOW!!! What to do? I figured I had to clue him in ASAP so I told him: "Gosh Jim (not his real name)!, You realized what I had been showing you were just tricks didn't you? I'm sorry if I left you with a different impression".

My friend was thunderstruck and crestfallen. And VERY mortified and embarrassed. He mumbled something in reply and I quickly changed the subject. We talked about mundane things, he had dinner with my wife and I, and when he left to return to TX, I never heard from him again. In an instant, I lost a friend of 13 years.

There is a STRONG moral and lesson in this experience for all magicians. We have to be very careful; we never know for certain how our magic will be perceived and we have to be cognizant of the possibilities and perform accordingly.


P.S. Sorry that this story couldn't be funny like this thread seems to be. My experience wasn't funny, but it definitely was embarrassing.

Hey Duncan (Straitjacket Guy),


I'm am VERY impressed with your nerve and courage to finish the show (after breaking your ankle in the trapeze act) before collapsing in pain. What a professional mind-set.

Admiring regards,

Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
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Profile of Chrystal
Everytime I think about this particular event, I am morified but also break out into hysterical laughter. Imagine having both feelings simontaneously! What happened was this..I recieved a call one day from a friend that owned a shop. An elderly lady had come in several times looking for "a really good clean entertainer". He immediately thought of me, he said (I'm thinking, okay well I'm pretty good and have great hygeine so guess I qualify) :O) I gave her a call and she insisted that I not make fun of her son whom was going to be celebrating his 40th birthday at a Church Gathering for 300 people. I assured her although I did comedy that I never made fun of spectators but rather made myself the brunt of the jokes.

I turned up for the event held in a banquet hall connected to the church.I announced my arrival by saying I'm here as a special guest for so and so. The guest of honor immediately runs up to me when I made my entrance and tips me backwards and plants a big wet kiss on my nose!!! I realized that the guest of honor was mentally challenged (the mom hadn't told me this) and he somehow misunderstood and thought I was his date for the evening. No matter, I can handle this I thought, as ironically I have a background in Special Education and often work with people with dissabilities.

I climb the stage and he immediately announces to the crowd that he's my assistant while trying to pull open my case. I sense there will be a problem with a stage show so I announce that he and I will visit all the tables individually (thereby giving me more control over my props).The crowd nodded knowingly and that seemed to work out okay except for every once in a while he would still tip me back and plant a big wet kiss on my nose!

The evening seemed incredibly long and I was thinking at this point how I couldn't wait to finish. As I tried as gently as possible to tell him it wasn't appropriate to kiss me, nothing could convince him that I wasn't his date for the evening and that I was not a famous movie star. I decided to have one effect on stage as a closer. I asked him to sit down on a chair holding a styrofoam cup over him,planning on asking the audience for use of their pens and pencils. I turned to his mother and asked for a glass of water to pour into the cup and then planned on poking the cup with the pens and pencils given to me. She asked a young kid at the table to hand me a glass of water which he did. I poured the "water" into the stryofoam cup but it suddenly bubbled over and fell into this thick goo right on his crotch!!!!!!!!!!! The room went silent and he suddenly yells LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO ME!! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE?? I have absolutely no recollection of what I said next, all I remember is 300 church people looking up at me and him pointing. I think I died a thousand deaths...yikes!!People whom walked me out to my car claimed wow you handled that really well and even his mom tipped me! What ever I said and to this day I claim automotism (a term in criminology when one experiences something so horrendous the mind isn't fully able to understand or remember)
Ps: don't ever let someone hand you 7-up instead of water. That's my story and I still cringe whenever I think of it. Smile
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Profile of Rich B.
These stories are great. Here is mine. Even though it’s not as spectacular, it was quite embarrassing.

Before heading to my weekly Tuesday night restaurant gig my Mom had stopped at my house and I decided to try a new effect on her.

My Mom, for whatever reason is always looking exactly where I don't want her to look. It's just impossible to misdirect her. It's probably because she has seen so much of my magic...over and over.

Right before the big revelation of the trick my Mom says to me "your fly is down”. I freak out and say "why are you watching my fly...It has absolutely nothing to do with the trick...DON"T WORRY ABOUT MY *** FLY". I kind of lost it. I leave for my gig.

After 2 hours of Restaurant magic, I go to use the men’s room, and you probably guessed fly was still down...with the tail of my white shirt coming through the fly of my black pants. I looked soooo ridiculous.
And I thought my patter and humor was just
"on" tonight.

The moral of the story is "Always listen to your Mom".

Rich B.
Almost Amazing Doug
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Profile of Almost Amazing Doug
Rich B,

You should copy this story and give it to your mom on Mother's Day Smile

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Profile of debaser
Peppermeat - you had the funniest story.
Chrystal - you had the most embarassing story.

I started performing for money when I was eight years old. So that gives you the context.

I was 9 years old - A gallon of milk in my case splits and pours all over everything.

I was 11 years old - During a show for a fair, I was doing the sword through neck. The sword visibly bent and it instantly became a comedy routine.

12 years old - my load for the Newspaper Tear effect falls off in front of 200 senior citizens. (I don't think they noticed or cared).

Here are two stories that didn't happen to me:

Abbots convention - A middle aged man performing a floating coin, lifts his own touppe with the T****d. Everyone laughs and reacts and he just smiles obliviously.

Pizza place - I'm eating pizza with a friend and next to us is a clown performing for someone's birthday. The clown is so-so at best and was having trouble keeping the jokes at our table down. THEN he couldn't get his dove pan open. He borrowed everything from credit cards to knives trying to get the pan open. He tried for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, the kids have gone on to eating and opening presents. All the while the clown was trying to open the dove pan. This was the main form of comic inspiration for my friend and myself for the next month.


p.s. Greg, be careful.
Rich B.
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Profile of Rich B.
Well, here goes another one. I am basically a close-up magician, but have done approximately 15 children shows in the past 2 years.

About 3 months ago, I accepted a gig for a first holy communion party that was going to be held in a banquet hall. For me this is a big show because all others were performed in the clients' homes.

So I wanted to upgrade my show... I purchased a small wireless sound system...a rabbit...and reworked my show, to include opening(after warm up)with a billiard ball routine set to the music "Get The Party
Started" by Pink.

So for the past 3 months, I rehearsed the entire show(Billiard Ball routine about 600 times)to be prepared for this "Big" gig.
I did a free show at my brother's home with about 15 children(to practice with a live audience) and it went over great.

This past weekend was the first holy communion party at the banquet hall. I arrive...there are over 100 people...I'm pretty confident(and a little nervous)...set everything up...double check everything.
My friend Todd(also a magician) was with me to help me set up and do balloons for the kids at the end of the show.

I do the warm up and say "Its time we get this party started". The music starts and at this time I did not have all the adults attention especially the tables in the back, so there was some chatting going on. I reach into my jacket to grab a pair of sun glasses (really to steal a silk used to produce the first ball)and find no glasses in my pocket.
I panic and realize that I left them in my the music is still playing I scurry to my table to get the glasses...rush back up to my position and try to produce the silk...I could not get it to unfurl as I lost the tail as I was looking for the glasses. So my hand is vigorously shaking up and down for no apparent reason. I finally peel the silk apart with my other hand. The music is so far ahead of where I'm supposed to be that I can't recover... so I decide to stop the music.I say " I'm going to have to start over again...I apologize...but I worked too hard on this routine for you not to see how it actually should be If you'll just excuse me a second". Of course by this time I have everyones undivided attention. All I heard was the crickets in the backround. I go into the hall and reset everything. I come back out...say a funny line about disappearing and "now I magically reappeared" as I burst through the door. The audience is laughing and I could understand why. I start the music over and the whole show goes over great.

That would be embarrasing enough...but this is what takes it to the next level. I find out after the show, from my friend Todd, that I never shut my mike off when I went into the hall to reset. Of course I'm saying religous expletives under my breath along with some other minor curse words while I'm resetting. That is why the audience was laughing as I re-entered the room.

Even though I had a very rough start, the client actually gave me a $50 tip because he thought the show was great.

And to the Almost Amazing Doug...I just did print out my last downed zipper mishap to give to my mother on Mothers Day. Thanks for the idea.

Rich B.
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Profile of mvmagic
What a perfect topic...

I have used a cool appearance as an opener. My assistant stands on a very thin platform. Whips up a cloth and when it drops there I am. I enter the platform from a traveling ba tube. Due to metal wearing or whatever (still don't know what really caused it) the tube had developed a slight droop. It´s pushed in rather quick, I exit and its retracted. However, because of the slight bend the tube hit the back edge of the platform, throwing my assistant off and I fell to the ground. Thankfully the platform didn't tip over as it would have ended on Tytti if it did. The embarrassment was unimaginable... It was a closed show but still....
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