Speaking of memories, Rick Bronson’, owner of The Comic Strip, and The House Of Comedy entered the Stage Magic Competition at a Magic Montréal Convention in 1991. My son Michael was sitting in the audience and Rick managed to get him on stage as a volunteer, although he must have used some strong armed method, as I can’t see Michael going up there voluntarily!
My youngest daughter Julie, who was about 18 the time was sitting beside me watching the show, and she leaned over to me and said, “Michael is such an idiot to go up there. Wild horses couldn’t drag me on stage.” As I recall Ricky did a great version of the classic Tricky Bottles and Michael was really a good sport about it and seemed to be enjoying himself up there, in spite of the fact that Ricky made him look a little silly.
The next day, when the Gala Show came on, I think I was sitting with Phil, although he was usually back stage controlling traffic, when the Zucchini Brothers came on. We usually had one act that wasn’t magic but was sort of tied in to the genre, like a ventriloquist, or a mind reading act, and in this case a juggling act that was hilarious.
The Zucchini Brothers were on stage doing their thing, when they said they needed a volunteer. Suddenly the house got dark and two spot lights flashed around the audience and stopped at a person. The Zucchinis marched down into the audience to collect the lucky individual that the spotlight hit (not literally). We couldn’t see who it was from our vantage point, but you can imagine my surprise when I saw Julie, yes the same Julie who couldn’t be dragged by wild horses on stage, on stage. One of the brothers put a straw in her mouth, stood her in the middle of the stage. One went to one side of the stage; the other went to the other side, juggling pins in hand .They told her not to worry, the pins would fly past the end of the straw. They told her to stand straight and not to move. They started juggling pins to each other with her in the middle. Suddenly one stopped and said, “You moved. Penalty!”
He took out a scissors and cut the straw. Every few minutes he stopped to cut it shorter. Everyone laughed except Julie.
After the show she went over to Phil, fuming. “How dare you tell the Zucchini’s that it was okay to get me as a volunteer?”
Phil said. “I never did any such thing. They never spoke to me about it. “
“Well,” she said, “when he came to get me, I told him I wasn’t going and he said, ”Yes you are. It will be fine. I okayed it with your Dad.” She didn’t want to spoil the show so she went.
By the way, Ricky has since gone on to be a stand up comedian, is a comedy club owner, had his own TV show. I think it was called The Traveler. (Check out his web site).