The Royal Crown Cola Escape
One of the benefits of being a performing artist is the unique opportunities that arise. In 1968, Royal Crown Cola was putting together a marketing campaign with the slogan "Escape to the Mad World of RC". I was hired to kick off the add campaign.
As an enterprising young performer, I designed a prop to look exactly like a carton of Royal Crown Cola . It looked exactly like the ones you'd buy at the store with bottles of RC in them. I built the carton and painted it all myself. I left no stone unturned in regards to detail. Every letter, every little symbol that could be found on a carton of RC Cola was on my giant reproduction.
To begin my performance we showed the large carton, then chained and locked it shut, and curtained it off. Next I was strapped into a torture rack. The RC Cola Carton was next to me in the curtained cabinet. In full view I proceeded to escape out of the torture rack and then I stepped into the curtained cabinet. As soon as I was out of site, the curtain would fall free to the floor revealing the giant sized RC Cola Carton.
However, I was no where to be found. And for good reason. Remember, the marketing campaign slogan was "Escape to the Mad World of RC." What I had done in a split second was basically do a reverse escape. I broke into the giant carton. The locks were still in place, everything was still quite secure. Now it was time for my assistant to come over and unlock the carton.
One thing I didn't mention. The carton itself was empty except for a single bottle of RC Cola that they wanted me drinking when the carton was opened revealing me inside. So as I was waiting for them to unlock me I picked up the bottle. Suddenly to my great discomfort, I realized I had forgotten to bring a bottle opener. I tried everything I could think of to open the bottle. Finally by pounding the bottle cap against a bolt repeatedly, the bottle cap came free and just in time. About the same time the bottle cap flew off, the carton lid opened revealing me inside holding a foaming bottle of RC. Then I took a nice swig of the cola and felt like I had pulled off another great routine.
My father was with me at the time. He was my head male assistant and my biggest supporter. He asked me what all the loud pounding was. I was about to explain to him that I couldn't get the cap off the bottle when my eyes spotted something that threw me for a loop.
If you recall, I hand painted the giant RC Cola Carton. One of the things that I personally handpainted myself was two red circles with arrows and the words "featuring our brand new twist off cap!" We had a good laugh about it later.
Just another day in the life of a busy professional escape artist!