AAAKWAAARD!!! – Bo in the trenches / by Bo Gerard

After 39 years and over 13,000 shows, I have had the occasional awkward moment or situation occur; and I am sure you have as well.

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Like the time I showed up to do a show for 300 Ericsson employees at their company picnic, and there were only three people at the picnic.  It seems that Ericsson had done a massive layoff the day before, so 300 people were suddenly un-invited to the company picnic.  In solidarity with those who lost their jobs, the rest of the employees decided it would be inappropriate to celebrate the next day at this picnic.  So, when I arrived, only the three employees who were in charge of organizing the picnic were present.  I sat them down in one of the pavilions and did my show - just for them.

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On another occasion, as MC of the event, it was my duty to announce to a crowd of 7000 people at the Taste of Addison’s headliner show, that “Hootie and the Blowfish” would not be performing.  The organizers informed me that a dangerous storm cell was approaching and that I was to encourage the audience to leave as quickly and safely as possible, before the storm arrived.  The booing was truly deafening!

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And once I arrived at a venue to perform for Christian Louboutin Shoes.  It was to be a fashion show for the buyers from Niemen Marcus.  I was going to be part of a runway show, performing magic with some of the shoes.  When I arrived, I was informed by the producer/decorator that I would not be wearing the outfit I had brought. (one we had previously agreed upon). but instead would be wearing a suit that they had purchased online.  It was an electric-lime-colored suit, and they had GUESSED at my suit size.  The suit was huge on me!!!  I had to use a stapler to hem the pants, and tape and safety pins to make the pant waist and vest even come close to fitting me.  I looked ridiculous!  I have worked with this producer again, but always stipulate in my contract that I will be providing my own costuming, and that this cannot be changed without prior approval by me.

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And finally, there’s the time I cut the tip of my finger while performing the “knife through coat” trick.  I foolishly believed that I could continue without the audience ever getting wind that I was bleeding profusely. I honestly thought that I could pull off doing the rest of the show using just my right hand, while applying pressure with my thumb and a tissue to the cut on my left hand.  And it was working too, ...until the blood started getting past the tissue and dripping on the floor and some of my props.  Luckily, the person that hired me saw my dilemma and stepped up to whisper “Would you like to stop the show?”  I reluctantly said “yes”.  He gracefully got the audience to give a me round of applause and I walked off stage, still smiling and waving, and pretending that nothing was wrong.

I bet everyone in the business has a “bloody” story of their own they could tell.