Magic involves the careful use of maneuvers along with pre-planned effects and lots and lots of practice. Naturally, the acts are rehearsed to perfect the techniques, but this rehearsal also helps promote the safety of the performers.
After all, the most exciting and engaging magic performances involve no slight amount of danger. Swords, escape tricks and the ever-popular “bullet catch” effects all ask the audience to bite their nails as performers invite no small amount of risk upon themselves. And, often, these risks are real!
I have been lucky enough to avoid serious injuries throughout my career of performing mentalism in Miami. However, these four performers were not so lucky…
Polish Magician Impales TV Host’s Hand on Live TV
A common effect sees a nail hidden in a paper bag and then the performer slamming their hand down upon it. Unfortunately for Polish TV host Marzena Rogalska, the bag without the actual nail in it failed to be put in the right spot. When she slammed her hand down, a very real nail emerged from the other side.
While crying out in agony, many were unclear at first if it was an unscripted gag. She was then promptly treated for her wounds, which thankfully did not cause any permanent damage.
Genesta Fails to Escape from a Milk Can
Houdini’s famous milk can escape saw him freeing himself from almost certain drowning after being locked in a man-sized container filled with water.
Imitators were quickly drawn to this illusion because it involved a relatively simple effect: the neck of the can was disconnected from the base instead of being welded together. Applying locks and weights to the lid therefore did not matter since the neck of the can was simply lifted off.
That is, unless the can was dropped and the neck got stuck. This gruesome occurrence is exactly what happened when famous magician “Genesta” attempted the trick in 1930. A dent caused by the drop saw the neck shut tight, leading him to drown and later perish in a nearby hospital.
George Lalonde Gets a Little Too Convincing
Unlike many of these other tragedies, this one has to do with a magician possibly being too good at their work. When George Lalonde informed his audience that he would be sawing a woman in half, an audience member decided that the threat was too much to bear. Before Lalonde even had a chance to begin his illusion, the audience member stormed the stage, stole a real sword used as a prop and plunged it into Lalonde’s neck.
Princess Tenko Gets Serious Acupuncture
In 2007, famous magician Princess Tenko failed to escape from a box before ten real swords were plunged inside of it. Luckily, she was not seriously wounded, but the swords did break several ribs and her cheekbone.
The consummate performer, Princess Tenko finished her act unabated before seeking the needed medical attention.
Come See Mentalism in Miami, Which Likely Won’t End in a Trip to the Hospital
While I love a good adrenaline-pumping illusion, my brand of close up magic and mentalism in Miami generally trades off spectacle for surprises, charm, and plenty of belly laughs. Join me the next time I perform, or book a private party for a special event or corporate meeting!
You can see me decidedly not injuring myself when you watch mentalism performance videos of my astounding (but mostly safe) work.