Steven Brundage was annoyed when an officer pulled him over for speeding on Dec. 5 in Scotia, NY. But an encounter that could have led to a ticket and a court date instead set Brundage on the road to Good Morning America and viral video superstardom.
Brundage is a magician, and he was returning home from an event when the officer pulled him over. As a result, his passenger seat was covered with card decks and Rubik’s Cubes. The officer asked Brundage if he was a poker player. When Brundage replied that he was a magician, the officer asked him to perform a trick. What happened next made Brundage an internet celebrity overnight.
Brundage stepped out of the car with a Rubik’s Cube and a cell phone camera, asking the officer if he could record the trick “mainly because it’s not every day an officer asks you to perform a trick,” he told Al.com.
Brundage warmed up by solving a Rubik’s cube in under a minute. He promptly scrambled it again, then tossed it up in the air. It left his hand unsolved and landed solved. The cop who pulled him over was impressed enough to let him off with a warning, but that wasn’t the end of the good news for the magician.
Though Brundage knew the video had viral potential, he originally posted it to his Facebook page, hoping to use it for marketing. After he realized other people were pulling it from Facebook and posting it to YouTube, he posted it there himself. The video already has over a million views and won him an invite to perform the trick on Good Morning America.
“In today’s society, and with the proliferation of video and online sharing, it’s important for magicians to always be ready to do something amazing,” says Kevin Viner, a magician and owner of Kevin Viner Entertainment. “You never know when an opportunity will strike to create an amazing piece of quality content, and you have to be ready to strike when the moment is right.”
He plans to release a how-to video in a few months to his hordes of eager subscribers.
Meanwhile, a magician from the U.K. is also making headlines for a video that combines magic and police work. Kent police hired magician Rob James to walk the streets of Dover, dropping smartphone-sized cards in open bags and pockets.
The stunt, called Putpockets, was created by the Dover Partnership Against Crime to make people more aware of pickpocketing in public places. The point was to prove that if someone can put something in a person’s pocket, they can just as easily take it out. Each of the cards had warning messages and tips to prevent pickpocketing.
The video hasn’t taken off like Brundage’s did, but the video creators are still pleased with the result.