by Brian Lumley
Doug lifted the banner to his waist on one. Then raised it over his head. He then lowered it to his waist again and looked down at the trunk. He was supposed to say two when he raised it over his head, but instead he was talking to Dale through the wood trunk lid. She was still inside the bag. The change could not happen; Doug dropped the trunk banner and said to the audience;
“This is the fastest illusion in the world but something is wrong. I will come back and do it for you at the end of the show later tonight. I don’t want anybody to miss Metamorphosis.”
Metamorphosis was one of Doug’s signature illusions. To date Doug’s performance of the trunk was legitimately the “fastest in the world.” This interruption…while performing this illusion was a physical, psychological and psychic shock to him. The sabotage or mistake that created this failure of Metamorphosis was a tread on sacred ground.
Doug hopped off the trunk and trudged off stage with his head down, tears of frustration, and embarrassment in his eyes… He was really fighting his emotions and rage.
Once past the stage legs all hell broke loose. The trunk was dragged off stage and Dale was let out of it to get ready for their next entrance. She was confused and stressed because she had never encountered this problem before. Doug was in a total rage and in tears himself. The stage managers intervened and kept Doug from the stagehands. He looked at me and the stage managers and told us to make sure this didn’t happen again. He shook it off, then made his next entrance with Dale on cue. The Magic Show carried on without further interruption.
When they found out what had happened the stage managers were immediately on the phone to the producers. Immediately the producers were on the phone to the IATSE Local 1 management and the IATSE National/International office.
That night all the shop stewards in the theatre were brought in. Faces were red from embarrassment and rage.
For my next illusion, come back tomorrow for Part Four.