Early 2014 my family and I moved from Victoria to the beautiful Sunshine Coast. I was seeking opportunities to perform magic. At this stage I was working full time as a plumber and had been doing a few random magic gigs here and there.
We attended Calvary Christian Church, a brilliant church located in Buderim. After getting to know a few of the people involved in the church, I was asked to perform at a men’s dinner. They wanted a 15-minute stage show before the guest speaker came up to share his message. This was early days of stage shows for myself. Previously I had only performed at a couple of youth groups prior to this, so I thought this was going to be a great opportunity to share my magic to a bigger audience.
What to do? I came up with a 15 minute show that had some danger, some mind reading, and a cool card trick that would help me build my social media.
After rehearsing and preparing, it was time to perform the show. My first trick, the dangerous one - It’s a trick that involves 4 polystyrene cups and a screw that is attached to a cardboard base. The idea of the trick is the screw goes under one of the cups, the spectator mixes up the cups while you are not looking. You turn back around and try to read the spectators mind to find out which one has the screw in it. You proceed to smash each of the cups that don’t have the screw in it, hopefully, you are left with the one cup that has the screw. If everything goes to plan you take the screw out of the remaining cup and take a bow - everyone goes crazy!
That’s how it’s meant to work. For this performance I was on stage and didn’t have a table. So to smash the cups, I would stamp on each cup with my bare foot. Eliminating one at a time.
You can see the trick performed on the streets here.
It came down to the last 2 cups, I realized I had no idea which cup had the screw in it (mind reading fail). As I look at the spectator to try and get an idea, he (Steve) doesn’t help, poker face is in play right now, I can’t get anything. I try stall for time to try figure out which cup has the screw in it, but my mind goes blank, all these people are looking at me to make my decision. I have to commit. On the first 2 cups I slammed my foot pretty hard to make for great suspense. I had to do the same now, as I do have a 50/50 chance of getting it right. As I lift my foot questions come into my head, am I going to hurt myself? Have I got it right? Why the heck am I doing this stupid trick? My foot slams down.
It’s the cup with the screw…! Luckily, because of the cardboard base, when my foot hits the screw it goes to the side of my foot, taking off a chunk of skin, but it didn’t penetrate my foot. What the heck to do now?
If anyone knows me personally, I’m generally pretty calm when things go wrong.
So the screw has taken a chunk of skin off my foot. I look at the audience and say “that didn’t go to plan.” I remove the cups and carnage, and start the next trick like nothing went wrong.
The point of the story is, things go wrong! Sometimes in our control, and sometimes out of our control, it's how we deal with it, how we move on. That was my first trick, I could have screamed, made a big fuss, and walked away from the rest of the show (if the screw penetrated the foot, I might have had to get help). I decided to keep going, I didn’t know how bad my foot was, I was there to perform magic, so that’s what I did.
There are times where it gets painful, there are times when things don’t go our way, there are times where it would be easier to just give up. What are you going to do about it?
As much as it might hurt, as hard as it might be, we just have to keep going, we have to keep pushing ourselves, putting one foot in front of the other. The show must go on!