Magic Festival Day 3
Nicholas Johnson on A Current Affair

Magic Festival Day 4 - the day I nearly suffocated to death

Today was all about 'Something About Needles & Razorblades' for me!

'Wizards of Aus' went great in both shows. The kids are really getting into the show and it's eclectic mix of style and effects is starting to work very well for the adults too.

Between the 11 and 2pm show though, Brendan and I made a rush into the city to buy more blood for the 'Razors' show - some of the effects require a specific blood type - and though the very expensive blood we bought is the right consistency, it's actually dark brown and not red.


I also got a new 'Needle' for a specific trick. The new needle works better than my original one, but the blood that came with it is pure food dye! Just by touching it my right hand was dyed bright red (and still is) despite being sprayed with my ultra-expensive protective spray as used in hospitals.

So.. I was preparing to do my show, with odd coloured blood, a red hand, then a big drop of blood fell on my pure white t-shirt. Nicholas Johnson tried his best to wash it off for me, but in the end I had to wear my t-short backwards.

So.. on with the show... and as soon as I walked out I saw of few of my poker buddies in the audience.

Razors went well, quiet crowd, but I'm used to that. I did a new intro that worked quite well and set up the premise slightly differently. Then went into the hand-in-the-trap bit.. that's still not working theatrically.

Now can 'Saw' and the thread in the neck got a good reaction. (Hooray!) And it was time for 'Needle Thru Arm'. The effect worked well, though the blood looked very fake, but it didn't get as strong as a reaction as it has in the past.

I did Fleshwound, which is a trick that works 30% of the time, the other 70% people just go "hmmmm".

Tonight was "hmmmmm"

And I did knife through finger, which didn't jam, but didn't elicit groans for some reason.

Never mind. Rings was next. Again I got through the routine but wasn't quite in the groove.

I wasn't worried though, because INSANITY was next and it killed, possibly best ever. I even had to send one volunteer back because he was only 13. Lucky I did as the beer bottle was under his paper bag.

Then I felt I was home and hosed and delivering a strong finish when, after being handcuffed, chained, and placed in a body bag with a plastic bag taped over my head, I couldn't escape.

Don't get me wrong, I did get out, eventually, but I didn't get out in time.

The music ended and I was still struggling to get out of the chains and rip the suffocating bag off my head. After about 2 minutes longer than it normally takes, I was finally able to emerge from the body bag, rip the bag off my head, and breathe again.

It was hard to finish on that note, but at least it was a unique experience for those in the audience. They may have attended Tim Ellis' last-ever show!

I can think of three people who'd be first in line to get tix to that one!  ;)