At the beginning of my cabaret show I always announce, “I do two things: magic…. and danger!”. In reality my show consists of illusions, comedy, sleight of hand, mentalism, juggling and fire-eating but that would probably over-complicate things if I said all that at the start of the show! I’ve written loads about the “magic” so this blog will focus on the “danger”. Here’s my five best dangerous tricks and stunts.
- Glass Walk
This stunt is usually reserved for my Halloween performances although I’m now rolling it out as part of my upcoming corporate motivational events. I start this stunt the same way it’s been done millions of times before, I pour a load of broken glass out of a bucket onto the floor, I let a spectator examine it (it really is normal broken glass from smashed glass bottles), I then take my shoes and socks off and carefully walk across the glass (no I haven’t filed down the sharp edges and even if I had, when I step on it it still breaks and creates new sharp edges). I then up the ante by getting the spectator to climb onto my back and I give them an unforgettable piggy back ride across the broken glass while the extra weight pushes my bare feet even harder into the splintering mass of glass shards (no I haven’t got fake skin covering the bottom of my feet). I love this stunt because I’ve managed to crowbar quite a lot of comedy into it but it’s still really tense and when people hear the glass creaking and cracking under my weight they can’t help but cringe and flinch. Oh, and it’s really fun emptying the wine and beer bottles beforehand!
- Hammering A Nail Up My Nose
This is another one that’s generally reserved for Halloween events – I hammer a six inch nail right into my nose, simple as that. The nail is examined beforehand and I get a spectator to pull it out of my nose and offer to let them keep it… and sometimes they actually do! When I first started doing this stunt I’m ashamed to say I basically copied Derren Brown’s routine (which you should definitely check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CyJQCZqAos) but the more I’ve done it the more I’ve made it my own and I’ve now completely nailed it and I’m proud of the routine I’ve hammered into shape which has as many moments of humour as it does moments of horror! I also love that all I need is a hammer and a nail and I can entertain (or disgust) either a small group or a theatre full of people.
- Knife Juggling Walk of Death
This routine makes its way into my cabaret set when I’m not allowed to use fire (see below). I get a member of the audience to examine some large knives. I then get them to lie on the stage while I stand with one foot either side of them (a pretty scary view for the spectator, even without the knives being involved) and walk from their feet up to their head while juggling the knives! This is great for office parties as people love to see the office character in a death-defying situation!
- Fire Juggling and Eating
My fire routine is spectacular in the literal sense of the word. It looks great, there’s music, comedy and drama. I juggle the fire and do several tricks and gags before running the fire over my bare skin then sticking it in my mouth, which is even more impressive when you know I can’t usually handle anything hotter than a tikka masala! This has been the second routine in my cabaret show for the last few years and never fails to wow audiences of all ages and backgrounds. I can also perform this as an added extra at weddings and parties.
- The World’s Most Dangerous Card Trick
This is a stunt I have perfected over 12 years. It starts off like any other card trick – a spectator selects a playing card at random then returns it to the deck. I then hang a wooden board around their neck, the cards are thrown into the air, I throw a knife through the cards and their card ends up pinned to the board. That’s the routine wrapped up in a nutshell but there’s a lot more to it when you see it live (you can see clips of it here https://www.scoopmagic.co.uk/video-gallery/). I once even did it with two cards selected then me and my magician friend Paul Roberts threw knives at each other and pinned cards to the boards we were wearing. It was an awesome finale to my first ever theatre show back in 2009 and a world first! Unfortunately, when we looked back at the video we had run out of tape (yes, tape!) half-way through the act!
What do you think of my list? Have you seen me do any of these stunts? Have you got any favourite dangerous tricks? If you have any thoughts I’d love to hear them so please leave them in the comments and don’t forget to like and share this blog. Finally remember, as Belva Plain wrote: “danger hides in beauty and beauty in danger”.