David Copperfield (Picture courtesy of The Extraordinary Project)If you are like me, you dread being called up in public during a live performance but lament it if you are not one of the chosen.

Last night we went to watch David Copperfield live at the Hollywood theatre in the MGM Grand Hotel. I have seen Copperfield live before, he came to South Africa many years ago, so this was not my first time seeing the legendary magician flex his card tricks. However, because we enjoyed his performance so much the last time, we decided to do it again, and boy did I get my money’s worth.

Let me be honest. The guy can sometimes come across as a bit arrogant, often prompting the audience to clap for him while generally seeming unenthused about his performance. The introduction video of ‘how great he is’ did not help matters either. It is a shame really, since some of his acts are simply mind boggling while others are, sadly, downright dismal. I am actually a little perplexed as to why he is still performing, goodness knows he does not need the money or the recognition. After all, for an illusionist who thrives on pushing the boundaries, when last did you actually hear of David Copperfield? yeah, that is what I thought.

Anyway, the main reason for this post has to do with what happened during the show. In short, I was called up as an unwilling participant. I say unwilling because I was dreading being called up, my stomach was twisting before I got picked, and, as luck would have it, I was randomly chosen.

Myself at the Hollywood theatre in the MGM Grand hotel, Las VegasThe act was all about how Copperfield could predict a random set of numbers and words given to him by the audience, which were recorded on a piece of paper, a tape and a set of vehicular number plates, all locked up in a silver chest suspended above the audience. To make it even more interesting, it is later revealed that the number plates belonged to his grandfather.

In order to participate I had to answer two questions, this was after informing him that I was from South Africa, after which he began laughing hysterically. I have my reasons as to why he caught the hysterics, but I will let that pass for now.

The first task asked of me was: “Name any two numbers of your choice between 1 and 50”. I chose five and nine. The second, a question: ‘”When last did I get lucky”? Wh… what?! Yeah, that is right. Mr Copperfield wanted to know when was the last time I had sex.

Milieunairs, if you do not know by now, although you should, I am still a virgin. I have previously admitted to being proud of my ‘V’ status, but it is one thing to be proud and another feeling entirely to admit my lack of a sex life to a 250 strong crowd of people, in Las Vegas of all places; a city second only to Amsterdam in terms of liberal sex. I know that may seem a tad hypocritical, being proud of something I believe in yet not standing for up for it, but I believe it was simply the circumstance of being caught off guard that warranted my initial reluctance.

David Copperfield - 'Whatever'So what did I do? Instead of simply saying “I am a Virgin”, I paused, for an uncomfortable amount of time, before uttering “What if I say never”? I kid you not when I say that you could have heard a pin drop in the theatre. It was deathly silent. As if I had committed some heinous crime. Copperfield laughed and proceeded to write ‘Virg’ on his white board – which we would later find out was code for Virginia. He made a further crack or two at my Virgin status, which got the audience laughing, before inviting me up on stage with the other participants. I swear, I think my face was beetroot red through most of the act.

While on stage I had to unlock this silver chest using three keys. Since he knew I was South African he asked me if I know how to speak Afrikaans. I said yes. Why I did, I am not sure because he then wanted to know what certain English words were in Afrikaans. To say that my Afrikaans is laughable, would be an understatement. I barely managed to inform him that ‘lock’ is ‘sloot’ and right is ‘regs’. He lapped it up anyway and instructed me to unlock the chest. Since I was a Virgin, he kept going on about a ‘slow screw’ and what ‘not to do’ while in the sack, to turn the lock slowly so as not to ‘rush the climax’ and so on and so forth. It was funny and I laughed with the audience, regardless of how mortified I was.

This act was by far the best one of the evening, even more so because I was able to be a part of it. How he managed to do what he did, is beyond me.

All in all I had an amazing time and I feel immensely privileged to have been a part of a legendary David Copperfield performance, despite his apparent fall into mediocrity.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!


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