Changing places with Mr. Fellows
Back in the very early days of the comedy club circuit I met Bob Fellows.
I was performing at the Laugh Stop in Newport Beach for a special magic night. As was usually the case in these clubs there was a tiny, primitive stage with neither wings or curtains. In fact there wasn’t even a backstage area. Much to my amazement when I arrived at the club I discovered someone setting up illusions onstage. Illusions in a comedy club!
I introduced myself to the performer and met Fellows for the first time.
I was very dubious about how any performer could perform illusions and a levitation on this stage, there just wasn’t enough room and the sight lines were impossible. I needn’t have worried the show went perfectly.
After the show I chatted with Bob and told him how impressed I was at the way he incorporated the illusions into the show. We joked with each other about our shows with me stating I would never, ever want to travel a big show. Bob looked at my tiny working case and said that he could never work with so few props. How wrong we both were!
The next time I ran into Bob was when Dick Foster was mounting his first production of “Spellbound” at Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe. The show was just about ready except for the addition of a mind reader. Dick had looked at every mind reader in the business and didn’t think any of them were suitable. When he heard about the gap in the line up, Bob literally put together a mind reading show overnight that Foster thought was perfect. No wonder it was perfect for the show it had been designed for it! The mind reading was a huge success and opened a new chapter in Bob’s career.
I had graduated meanwhile to producing and performing magical extravaganzas for the corporate market. I acted as MC and then added an illusionist and a manipulative act to complete the bill. Before to long I was thinking about adding an illusion or two to my repertoire. One day, out of the blue, the phone rang and on the other end of the line was Bob Fellows who asked me if I wanted to buy his illusion show. He was now performing his mind reading show as the heart of a highly successful corporate seminar. The idea behind the seminar was to expose cults and the way they were constructed. In order to demonstrate how this was done Bob created a cult from the audience using his psychic powers.
I thought about the offer for a second or two and said yes. Two days later I was the owner of a full illusion show. The props were delivered to my garage and the deal was done except for one thing, I had no way to transport them. Two days later Bob phoned up saying he didn’t need his van anymore would I like to buy it? You bet I would! In a flash the transposition was complete and I had a van full of props and Bob was traveling with a wireless microphone and a tiny working case!