What was it like to be a guest on Stan Lee’s Superhumans? QUICK ANSWER = AN HONOR!!!!!!! (and fun)
I have been a professional memory keynote speaker for almost twenty and have had a ton of fun. Yet, few experiences have come close to that of being on Stan Lee’s Superhumans. The production company, Off The Fence, that was filming the show contacted me in Feb of 2010 and asked me to be on the show and I was EXCITED! Stan Lee is the creator of comic book hero’s like Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four and others. In his new show he travels the country looking for real life super hero’s and they selected me as someone with ‘special powers’. Wow that was too COOL! And all because I know how to memorize!
They asked me where I would be the middle of May and I told them I had a speaking engagement in Austin so we agreed to meet there. Then two weeks before the filming I went to check the details of my Austin speech and turns out it was in Alabama and not Austin! Well, at least I got the ‘A’ part right! Ha! That week after my Alabama speech I made my way to Austin to meet the crew. We met the night before for dinner at a restaurant. It was fun to get to know the London based crew.
The next day, we made our way to a jogging trail in Austin where I would memorize the names of a group of runners before they took off on a 3 mile jog and then as they crossed the finish line I would call out their names. This was a challenge but not nearly as much of a challenge as getting runners to participate in this! The World’s Most Flexible Man, Daniel Browning Smith, is the host of the show (Stan Lee doesn’t travel to the locations) and in order to get a crowd for me to memorize he got everyone’s attention and performed his super bendy flexible man routine. I had never seen a man put both his legs behind his ears and play his rear end like a drum…well…until that day. Daniel’s flexible routine gathered a crowd and memorized names. Then as the group came back from the run one by run I called out their names from memory.
After the run, we went to The University of Texas for an MRI team to conduct an MRI on my brain while I memorized. Before I went in the tube they asked me if I was claustrophobic. Well, I now know how to answer that question properly! Yikes! After being in the tube for 30 seconds I asked to be taken out. The tube wrapped around my entire body with the edges touching my shoulders on each side and the section wrapping around my head could not have been more than 8-10 inches from my face. I felt like I was being buried alive. It was a panicked feeling. If the History Channel was not there with cameras I must confess I am not sure if I would have been able to go back in on my own. But I did.
The scientist then began to study how I use a memory training system to improve my memory and use it to memorize. Before I went in the tube the operator told me that the average score correct was 79% and if someone scored 82-85% it was such an anomaly that everyone would notice. As I exited the tube they gave me my scores for the three trials. I had memorized above 92% on each trial but the last trial I had memorized a perfect 100% and that had never happened before! The host Daniel Browning Smith also scored very high in the 90 percentiles each trial.
The final leg of the show was going to a Home Depot Store and having me memorize 60 items selected at random off the shelf and then comparing my memory to the cash register. After the first run through the show producer told me I was wrong 3 times. WHAT?! Are you serious? I was dumb founded. ‘Are you sure?’ I asked. ‘Yep’, you were wrong 3 times was the reply.
‘We don’t know. We just remember 3 times you were wrong.’
‘I don’t think I was’
‘You were’, everyone from the host, store clerk, store manager and film crew assured me.
‘Can we do it again and when it says I am wrong let’s stop and do a price check.’
They agreed to humor me and we ran through it again. Each time the computer said I was wrong we did a price check. And…well….all 3 times the Home Depot computer was wrong and all 3 times the two time USA Memory Champion Ron White was correct! :)
The moral of the story is, if you are going to Home Depot and don’t have me with you. Then you better take a pen and paper!
What a fun experience it was to be including in the amazing History Channel program Stan Lee’s Superhumans. The show aired almost 6 months ago and to this day people tell me they enjoyed the show. Last months, walking through downtown Fort Worth a stranger stopped me on the street and told me that he had seen me on the show.
It was an incredibly fun experience and one that I will never forget! Catch the re runs if you can….now that you know the rest of the story :)