The piece we brought to the Fool Us stage is no exception; it’s a labor of love, countless re-writes, and sleepless nights. It took us four years to iron out the final product and we had a lot of help along the way (stay tuned for an article from Jason on how our peers and mentors helped us).
Leading up to the actually taping of our episode we spent over four months rehearsing nearly every day. Due to the pandemic, we couldn’t follow our normal practice ritual of performing it in front of others over and over so, we filmed ourselves, watched and re-watched film, wrote and re-wrote the script, performed it for friends and family via facetime and finally we had rehearsals with the show producers via Zoom.
The process was rewarding, painful, exciting and nerve-racking. We endured bruised egos and had our share of arguments, but we also experienced laughter and pride. After all our hard work the day finally arrived when we would travel to Las Vegas and get our one shot to perform and hopefully fool Penn and Teller.
We arrived at the Rio filled with so much excitement and an abundance of other feelings. At this point in our career, we’re seasoned performers, we know how to handle stress, how to work in the moment and be quick on our feet but this would be our first time working on a real set and doing something for national television. We were working on the producer’s terms and everything in reality TV land moves super quick.
We started to question a few things and the nerves started to build. I was worried about so many things; what if we talked to fast or to slow? What if our story didn’t play out as clear as we thought it would? What if the final product doesn’t represent us in the way we want?
We eventually tried to shift our focus to how amazing this all was and tried to take in the fact that this was an experience of a lifetime. We pushed forward and had a blast filming our bio real and continuing our rehearsals in our hotel room. The hours flew by and the next thing I know it’s the night before our taping and our biggest career moment was in the horizon!!
To be honest, the thing I remember most about being in front of the greatest living magic duo in history is what happened before the big day. Back in that hotel room trying to enjoy our dinner and get some rest, I suddenly broke down, I lost it and I couldn’t stop crying. I was on the verge of freaking out, I just kept thinking I was going to walk on stage and fall or lock eyes with Penn and Teller and forget my lines. I was terrified I would freeze on stage and ruin this opportunity for us. I had this overwhelming feeling of self-doubt. Did I really deserve to be there and have this amazing opportunity? I mean Jason has dedicated his whole life to this moment and I just got into magic seven years ago.
Then something happened that changed it all for me. I looked at Jason and he told me it was going to be alright. He told me that the hours and hours of practice we put in would show up on stage. That the days we got up at 6am and didn’t want to practice but did, they were all worth it. Jason made me feel safe and confident and that’s exactly what I needed… someone with me who truly loved and believed in me.
He held me tight, told me that the only thing that mattered was that we made it there together. Somehow, I managed to get some sleep that night. The morning was blur and next thing I know we were standing backstage waiting for our cue to walk out when those crazy nerves started to creep up again. Jason squeezed my hand, told me loved me and then he gently nudged me out into the bright lights.
Next thing I know we were onstage standing in front of the magicians of the century telling them the story of the very first time we met. Even though the details are fuzzy and I’m super nervous to watch our episode, it was an incredible experience and I got to do it all with my best friend. I’m proud of us, we worked so incredibly hard. We auditioned four years in a row, dealt with repeated rejection and never gave up.
I truly hope you tune in and enjoy our performance, experience some magic and get to know us just a little bit more. Oh, and tell me how it went because I don’t know how much I will catch since I’ll be watching through my hands!!