When things go wrong!

I saw a street performer last week playing to a good sized audience in Rundle Mall. He was tricking a child with a “Where is the ball” cups routine in which he flicked the ball back and away in full view of everyone but his volunteer. This is called a sucker trick and is normally cute and moderately funny as the child would never have located the ball.
The little girl behind the performer who very helpfully picked up the ball and rolled it back to the magician. The ‘victim’ grinned joyfully and pointed “There it is!” and everyone broke up at seeing the trick reversed on the performer – including the performer himself.
I was reminded that no matter how well planned, rehearsed, staged and managed a performance is, something not only can but will go wrong and the real measure of a performer is in handling the situation goes completely off the rails.
I always have a couple of extra tricks almost literally up my sleeves, and have had to switch tracks when something goes wrong.
I cannot recommend enough that if you are going into a performance art, take some lessons, or join a theatrical club that performs improvisational drama to an audience. If you can to that, you should never be afraid to turn your failure into something amazing.
The street performer, incidentally was not speaking, so took a large arrow out of his case and spent the next 3 minutes pointing it at member of the audience asking the child who had thrown the ball back. Nicely handled and a great bit of off-script guff.

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