Funny or Not So Funny Screw Ups - No Way Out

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RickEverhart, Dec 31, 2019.

  1. So if you perform enough, it's going to happen at some point. Eventually you are going to mess an effect up at a show, event, etc. and there is no out at all. You either laugh it off and move on or hope that you can get yourself out of it.

    Let's hear them :) I'll start with one from last weekend. I had 3 shows on Saturday and thank goodness the screw up was at the unpaid bar gig for a bunch of friends.

    1.) Last weekend I was at a bar doing a close up performance (unpaid thank goodness) and I get to my mental photography deck routine. I reached in my pocket and pulled out the deck, show it entirely blank on both sides and go through all of my lines, script, blah blah blah. I wave the female spectator wave her hand over the deck to print the first card and nothing happens.

    I lift up and reveal still a blank card. Thinking to myself, "Oh...I didn't have the deck square and just missed on the pickup." I had her try the other hand. Nothing! Now I too am shocked and embarrassed. Yikes.

    I quickly step back and dribble the cards noticing that I grabbed my completely blank deck that I will leave out in case a spectator wants to see or grab the mental deck after my performance. I do a deck switch and casually leave it out so someone can grab it and look through the deck and finds nothing. Little did I know, the joke was on me this time. Ha Ha.
    Justin.Morris and byronblaq like this.
  2. I did a three card monte on table, with a bycicle 1800s deck.

    When i came to do the thing i do to switch the card the spectator has to follow, he still gets it right.. im like -yeah lucky try
    Lets go again

    And again

    And again...
    He keeps getting bit right. So im like ok...-you know what im doing and you have great eyes, congratulations, i give up

    Then he tells me he never saw any quick moves , its just easy to follow the ace cause the back of the card is whiter than the others
    What a laugh we had

    Switched decks, and got him 3x in a row.
    Justin.Morris and RickEverhart like this.
  3. Now that's funny :) Ha!
  4. Nobody else has any performance show screw ups? Come on....I can't be the only performer on here.

    Another time, I didn't realize that the extra stratosphere ball fell out of my case in the back of the car and when I went to perform the trick the 3 balls wouldn't switch their order. When I lifted the tube for the audience they were still in the exact same order as they went in: Green, Yellow and then Red. LOL....I wanted to crawl in a hole so bad.
    Justin.Morris likes this.
  5. One that comes immediately to mind. Second performance of tossed out deck - audience members are tossing the deck to the next person, and on the third throw the elastic snaps and the cards go everywhere.

    I called out those three correctly, but the helpful spectators picking up the cards commented too loudly on what they saw. Awkward...
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  6. Yikes ...
    But hey, this sounds like a good addition to my Monte routine!
  7. In one of my first shows, I was doing a key card effect and the spectator did a three part cut when I told them to cut the deck. They got lucky, I got unlucky. I simply had to say, "I guess that didn't work as well as I expected it to." I'm glad I've since learned to cull and palm.

    A while ago, I was forcing a card to do Mark Wilson's Bigger Card in a kids show. Forced the wrong card and didn't know it (because I didn't see it). Finished the routine and the kids said, "that isn't the card." I asked, didn't you pick the 9 of diamonds... they said "No. It was the 7 of Hearts." I smiled and said, "Unfortunately, this is the only big card I have" and moved on.

    I was helping a friend set up for a show and I had to put six envelopes on six chairs. I put them down in reverse order. As he performed the effect, I realized that I had the wrong order and there was nothing I could do from my seat in the audience. Ouch.

    I have an effect where a half a bill disappears when put into a handkerchief and a bunch of dollar bill confetti drops to the floor. Then, I take another spectator and make their half of a bill disappear. The fist time I did this, there was no confetti the for the second bill disappearing. A spectator said, "what, no confetti?" I simply turned to her and said, "I would have expected some too." I performed the show a second time, but must have screwed up the reset. When I went for the final match of the spectator's half bill with what was in an envelope, only one of the two matched. Oops. I simply said, "Oh well, 50% isn't bad..."

    In using a Fiedler's Flier to select a card, I think the gaff got turned around and it didn't work (I still to this day really can't figure out what happened). I had to do a redo, saying something like "I want to make sure that you really feel like you can put this card anywhere in the deck... let's do it again so that we have a completely random card selected."

    The best reaction I got from an audience member was actually when I didn't really screw up. I was performing a McCombical Deck routine and when the spectator named the "wrong" card, one of my friends in the audience looked mortified for me because they thought that I had really screwed up. Luckily, it was all part of a magician in trouble plot and I redeemed myself.
    RickEverhart likes this.
  8. Awesome...I had another one where a spectator selects a force card and then I dress them up as a cowboy/cowgirl and hand them a cap gun. I play soundtrack from "The Good, The Bad, The Ugly" and have them fire the gun at the deck while I hold it. I count down and pull out a scorched card with a hole through it. Yup...I missed on the force card and the kids all started laughing and said "That wasn't his card." Ugh...face palm.
  9. At a small performance, for maybe an audience of 15 people, I performed a chair routine by Jim Steinmeyer. It was going really well until I folded the chair to show my prediction and revealed the most macho teenage boy as "THE ONLY WOMAN". Needless to say, none of the other chairs matched...

    I did a tossed out deck routine in a large theater at one point. It was a public show so my family came to watch me from the back row. On the second "toss" my brother in law caught the deck. He decided to be really macho and chuck the deck to the front of the theater. It missed the first row and hit the ground just before the stage. The cards went everywhere. I had to quickly pick them up and slip them back in. I finished the routine and as far as I know, no one caught on to the method, but my brother in law still apologizes for it.

    Not really a mess up, but at the resort, I perform at I did some magic for a family and at one point the little girl says, "Wow! He does magic like Sky's dad!" I dug a little more, as it turns out, they were from Las Vegas and their little girl happened to be classmates with Sky Copperfield, David Copperfield's daughter. Small world!
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  10. Ha! These are great. I love hearing other moments like this from performers. It means we are human and perform enough that "crap" will and does happen for sure. :)
  11. I did a high school late-night party at one point, and have always wondered why I was never invited back. I think the reason was because I tried to do Touching on Hoy like 4 times and it never worked...

    I did another high school party, (after a dance) and performed my own chair test. Everyone ended up in the right chairs this time but one of the girls completely disassembled a double envelope of mine on stage. She was utterly confused...and the routine didn't really have an ending because of it.
    RickEverhart likes this.
  12. Hey, that's similar to my story! Though my rubber band never broke, and if they saw the cards they didn't make a big deal out of it.
    RickEverhart likes this.
  13. I was performing for a somewhat famous singer here in Mexico... and I have a levitating ring routine...

    Then this guy has a ring so I start the routine with his ring and everything goes great. right until I start levitating it... the thread broke a mili second before I start spinning it and it just fell to the ground...
    RickEverhart likes this.
  14. You all reminded me of a very tough night for me and a friend.

    This was a preview night for a festival, so everyone gets like 3 minutes to do something that tells the audience what your show in the festival was like.

    Buddy of mine, a good magician generally, decides to do Tossed Out Deck. Tosses the deck into the audience, first person gets a card fine, tossed it to another person. That person, for some reason, takes the rubber bands off the deck. And drops it. I was off to one side of the auditorium this was being held in, just watching it like a train wreck. Felt so bad for my friend.

    The other one, my fail - For the same event, I was doing a lightbulb routine. The idea was that the audience would send energy to me, causing the lightbulb to light up until it shattered. Lighting up went great - gasps throughout the audience. But the hosts didn't realize that wasn't the whole bit so one guy started coming out thinking it was over, so I had to tell him no. Which broke my stride so to speak. Went to do the shatter using Mesika's gimmick and right into the mic, "clink!"

    No smash - still holding a full bulb.

    Oops. Oh well. Thanks folks, come see my show! Heh.

    BTW - Big Bang is a superior method, which is what I switched to.
    RickEverhart likes this.
  15. Yeah.. I also felt bad and I wasnt even there... crap.. no recovery for that I guess...
  16. When I was 17, (I’m 33) my buddy and I were busking at a festival. Our act was was juggling, some hand-to-hand gymnastics and a straight jacket escape, we had about 40-50 people watching . I’m not a big guy, 5’8 ,140 lbs at the time. I would usually find the biggest guy to put it on me. That day was cold and I was wearing a sweater and completely blanked until it was too late. The jacket was on and I sunk. I’m sure someone here can manage to get out of that situation, but at the time I was out of luck. I couldn’t get out , I walked off sat on a bench, told my buddy to finish it off . It was hilariously embarrassing and to be honest I haven’t done a public escape since haha . I’m happy that happened :)
  17. Tossed out deck, card forces, invisible thread and chair routines seem to be leading...

    A group of magician friends (including @WitchDocIsIn) had met up in New York City for lunch and were hanging out in a park. I began to perform for two women who sat down on a bench that was next to were we were. I was doing my Omni Deck routine with a deck borrowed from another one of the magicians and it was going well. They were very suspicious and I actually let one of them fan the deck for the other person to pick the card (which would have made the ending even better). After the first rise to the top, one of the women notices the Omni Deck. They were still sitting and had a great angle to see the bottom of the deck. Sigh. I played it off as if I had no idea how it happened but I'm pretty sure it was "clear" that I failed.
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  18. Oh man...that had to be the most embarrassing feeling. We've all been there man.
    am.baker likes this.
  19. .

    It builds character haha. Happy it was then and not now.
  20. A similar thing happened to me:(, but luckily I had a normal deck of cards and started a routine with it and went well.

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