I had the great pleasure in working with The Illusionist 2.0 show this last few weeks. Being able to work with some of the best in the industry and learning so much is something that couldn't be purchased.
Lots of long hours and early morning starts but then again that's show business.
I had 2 roles in the production. Selling and demonstrating the magic merchandise and "behind the scenes" assisting one of the stars in the show. Every day/night we cheated death at least 2-3 times per day and we lived to do it again for the next show.
On the morning of the 11th of January The Illusionists 2.0 family were hit by a news that non of us could have ever imagined. The death of Dr Scott Lewis who played the hypnotist in the show.
We had 3 shows to do. 10am, 2pm and 7pm. We arrived at the Sydney Opera House early in the morning to set up and get ready however one of the members were missing and no one knew where they might be. It got closer and closer to show time and there was no sign of Dr Scott Lewis. Unfortunately as the saying goes in show business "the show must go on" we started the show without Dr Scott. Half way through we were informed of the worst. Dr Scott had passed away. The show finished without the audience being aware of anything but back stage was a different story. There was a dark feeling within the room and upon everyone's shoulders... As the first show had finished the audience for the second show were arriving and ready to see the show. The announcement came on saying due to unforeseen circumstances the 2pm show of The Illusionists 2.0 had been cancelled. As you would imagine the people where incredibly upset and angry. We couldn't tell them at this stage why the show had been cancelled for obvious reasons.
I could understand and respect the anger in some people but I couldn't understand why some of us don't seem to understand that if a multimillion dollar show announces that it is cancelled due to a unforeseen circumstances we still expect the show to go on..... We get too greedy! For a show of this size to be cancelled means something incredibly bad had to occur. You would think people would be more understanding. Its not like we all went out for a drink and where too drunk to call in for work...
So from 2pm to 4pm the producers were in deep thoughts of what they should do. Do we cancel the rest of the shows or do we go on. Everyone in the team was lost. You could see it and you could feel it everywhere you went. I had gotten the chance to know Dr Scott for a short time and he was such a wonderful person. We bumped into each other several times having coffee in mid shows. Shy at times believe it or not. I watched him during his performance from the side of the stage several times and the laughs he gave me I will never forget. 24hrs before he left us I had this incredible urge to have a photo taken with him while he was below stage but there was no one around to take the picture of us two.
At 4pm we all got called in for a group meeting and discussed options. We decided the show will go on in dedication to Dr Scott Lewis. As upset as we all were the 7pm show went on in Dr Scotts honor without the audience being aware of it until after the show when Luis De Matos told the audience what had occurred just hours before. The show for us involved in it wasn't the same as one of the family members were missing but together we supported one another and remembered Dr Scott Lewis. The remainder of the shows/tour have all been dedicated Dr Scott Lewis. RIP
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Australia's Premier Illusionist