Mat Franco has lived on this tiny ball of water and rock for thirty years. During that brief time, he's developed a reputation as a man of focus and deception. A man who performs. A man of magic. A magician.
He was performing last night. Having spent the last hour demonstrating feats of cunning and dexterity, the America's Got Talent winner took on his greatest challenge to date: Climbing a short set of stairs. A herculean task indeed.
As you can see from the video above, Franco was faced with three steps, four if you include the stage itself. He started strong, taking the first two steps cleanly with a lithe extension of his right leg that ended with a firmly planted right foot, but his overconfidence came at a cost. His left foot snagged on the first step, shifting his weight perilously forward. There was a sharp intake of breath amongst the crowd as gravity continued its dark work, pulling the magician towards the earth - towards defeat, and a thousand retweets of a hastily edited gif. But that is a fate meant for lesser men. Not Mat Franco. Not the magician, Mat Franco. With the last of his strength he hurled himself forward, gambling his safety and his dignity on one final effort. Like an aeroplane transforms forward momentum to flight, Franco transformed his stumble into a roll fraught with desperate grace. He rolled across his back, legs tucked into an undignified turtle squat until, eventually, he's once against facing the stage. Finally, he makes it to his knees, arms open like a tiny, magic-performing Atlas grasping the world. He stops a moment for applause, having triumphed not only over the stairs, but over gravity, a fundamental force exerted by the universe itself. He waits for a beat, two. Then, slowly, but with indisputable purpose, Mat Franco rises.
The rest of the show was pretty good too, I've heard.