It’s all fun and games until someone sticks a sword through your neck. Then it’s all fun and games with a gaping wound. That is, unless the someone doing the sword sticking is Tucson’s John Coppin.
Coppin is a master magician who was a contender in the recent Stage Magician of the Year competition and a regular performer at Tucson’s 2nd Saturdays Downtown.
A 2nd Saturdays niche at the Ronstadt Center was the stage for his sword trick. The master maneuver was compelling enough to draw the crowd away from a nearby table selling marshmallow and weenie roasters shaped like teddy bears with the foodstuff where private body parts should be.
I know I was hooked – with the sword trick, not the weenie roasters. I had to be hooked with the sword trick, literally, since it was my neck through which the sword was stuck. Coppin, however, has a gentle touch and the wound magically healed before I could snap out of the hypnotic trance in which he placed me during the procedure. The crowd oohed and ahhed, he gifted one young lady with a snazzy balloon parrot, pulled a few rubber balls out of thin air and the weenie roasters were all but forgotten.
While the balloon twisting and traditional tricks are steady staples in his acts, Coppin says the weirder side of magic is where it’s at. Some of his zanier tricks include the sword through the neck, sticking a needle through a balloon, or the ever-popular “zig zag lady” who is sawed into pieces.
“They add a bit of craziness to the act,” Coppin says. “It goes away from the norm.”