funny magician storiesRecently, I was thinking about some of my embarrassing, funny magician stories and thinking that, “No one ever needs to know about these.” Long story short, here’s one of them now.


I don’t pretend to be the most coordinated magician…and I’ve never been accused of it either. Needless to say, I’ve had some moments in my career where coordination seemed to be at an all time low, but this one takes the prize.

The Backstory

funny magician storiesThe strongest recommendation I could give to any beginner magician is GET A WEEKLY RESTAURANT GIG! I can’t begin to tell you how that will polish your craft. My first restaurant gig was at the wonderful, Red Lobster. I owe getting over stage fright to that restaurant. One of my go to tricks back then (and even now) was the classic Cups & Balls trick. In case you’re unfamiliar, little balls disappear and appear under the cups, then for a surprise ending, larger objects come out of the cups (tennis balls, lemons, etc.). I liked making lemons come out of the cups and, being 16 years old and on a budget, I used rubber lemons so I didn’t have buy new ones every week. The only downside to rubber fruit was that the texture would sometimes cause the lemons to stick inside the cups and I would have to tap the cup on the table to dislodge the rebellious fruit wannabe. Never thought that would result in the story I’ve been able to tell for the past many years (notice how I did not give the exact number of years so that my age could not be deduced).

The Embarrassment

funny magician stories

So, one particular night, I was performing the Cups & Balls at a table for two very nice ladies. I should also point out that while I was at this table, a waitress came behind me and said while pointing at a nearby older couple, “That table over there is requesting you.” I acknowledged them with a nod and a smile, asked the waitress to tell them that I’d be right there and continued with the current table, noticing that the older couple was watching me. I finished the bulk of the trick and now it came down to the finale…The Rubber Lemons of Death. I lifted two cups revealing two very well behaved lemons. I lifted the third cup to reveal the final lemon, that had not yet emerged from the cup. And as I said earlier, I would typically tap the cup on the table to dislodge the lemon. On this occasion, I had gotten such big reactions from these ladies that it may have caused me to be a bit more animated with the tapping of the cup. When I tapped the cup once on the table, I decided to lift it couple feet off the table to show it empty. Well, guess what hadn’t rolled out of the cup yet? You guessed it, Lemon #3. When did it decide to roll out? Oh, right about the time the cup was two feet off the table. Slight digression…it’s amazing how certain moments in life can seem to happen in slow motion. Back to the story…I watched in slow motion as that lemon rolled out of the cup, fell two feet down to the table, then, being rubber, bounce into the air and land perfectly in the dead center this one lady’s bowl of extra salad dressing. Something that I don’t believe I could do again if I did one performance every hour for the last however many years (see how I still avoid the exact number of years). At that point, I was completely frozen as the other lady turned to me and without skipping a beat said, “That was great!” The owner of the salad dressing quickly said, “That’s alright, I was finished with that anyway.” The three of us had a good laugh as I pulled the dressing covered lemon out of the bowl. They gave me a $10 tip, possibly out of pity. In any event, as I cleaned that lemon off at a sink and headed to the other nearby table that had requested me, I couldn’t help thinking to myself, “It’s nice to see people so forgiving of a teenager just starting out in his career as a magician.” I arrived at the table with confidence and said, “So you folks would like to see some magic?” To which they replied, “No, that’s ok.”

Moral of the story: Rubber lemons are even bad for magic tricks.