The refrigerator was dangling precariously from a rope about 20 feet in the air. Definitely not where it should be. I watched it break free and fall… on top of two guys working below. There was a massive crash and a lot of commotion. I don’t remember what happened next. But I do know both guys were fine.
It was the magicians and illusionists Penn & Teller, who were performing their show in Los Angeles aptly titled “The Refrigerator Tour.”
I know enough about magic to know that a magician NEVER reveals the secret. But this is something I’ve thought a lot about, so the rule will be broken. For one thing, I’m not a magician. For another, the secret could be applied to your business or line of work. The third rationalization for giving it away, is that I heard Penn Jillette talking about their magic and he let out the secret (perhaps inadvertently) during an excellent interview with James Altucher.
Should I be afraid?
Penn Jillette is 6’ 7” tall and is the boisterous ringmaster for the duo, while Teller basically never speaks on stage (he learned while performing in college that if he said nothing, he was less likely to have hecklers throw things at him). My point is, Jillette could hurt me, and Teller ain’t talkin’. Besides, it’s pretty apparent they could certainly make me disappear.
They’re bright, talented and hard working – and have come a long way since they started performing in the late 70s, when they were basically living out of their car and working nonstop. They have been headlining at the Las Vegas hotel Rio since 2001, have their own TV show and were recently awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (near the star dedicated to Houdini).
“Doing beautiful things is its own reward.” – Teller
So, what’s their secret. Here goes…
Penn (I’m using his first name as a technique to get friendly before spilling the beans) explains their general thinking in these sentences cleverly hidden throughout the interview.
“What I’ve learned, in art, you need both inspiration and skills.“
“Once you get the brilliant idea, then you have to do the massive hard work.”
“The most important thing is everything.
“You’ve got to be brave enough to do shit that is absolutely buck-nutty crazy, and then you’ve got to work hard enough to make that being done perfectly skillful.”
Then my friend Penn, who I greatly respect (ahem) explains what REALLY goes on behind the curtain! “There is only one trick we do. And that trick is we’re willing to work harder than you think we would work. We just put in a trick in the show that runs 3 minutes, that Teller and I worked on for six years solid. You would not work six years to do 3 minutes. We would.”
Dear Penn & Teller, Don’t hurt me. It was a secret that needed to be told.